phenomena will one day be explained by science.â
âWow, that sounds like a lot oâ fun. In the meantime, Iâll tell ya a great story about the man with a hook fer a head â¦â Parveen sighed again. âThis seems already implausible to me.â Mimi ignored him and began her story. âIt were a dark night, sumthinâ similar to tonight, in fact. There werenât no moon and two young kids, weâll call âem Parveen and Mimi just fer simplicityâs sake. Anyway, they was out walkinâ in the woods and they was lost â¦â âDid they have a flashlight?â âNo, they got caught unawares and dinât know they would need one,â Mimi said. âWhy would we go out walking in the woods on a moonless night with no light source?â âItâs just a story.â âI find it unlikely that I would venture out on such a trek without even pausing to make sure I would be able to see adequately.â âAll right! All right!â Mimi rolled her eyes. âFine. We got a flashlight. Happy?â âNot happy; it merely seems more likely.â âWhatever. Mimi and Parveen out in the woods. Theyâre walkinâ along and theyâre lost. They canât see a thingââ âI thought we had aââ âThe batteries wore out! Weâre walkinâ along and we hear a sound like somebody is followinâ us, but every time we stop â¦ it stops.â Mimi took on a serious expression and pushed up imaginary glasses. ââMaybe itâs an echo of some description. Or perhaps these woods are haunted.ââ It was a quite passable impersonation of Parveen. âThat doesnât really sound like me.â
âI think it does.â âWell, I would never say that.â âQuiet,â Mimi snapped. âAnd Mimi says, âYeah, theyâre haunted all right: by the ghost oâ that guy who killed people with a big hook. He eventually got his head chopped off by an angry lumberjack but now he wanders these woods lookinâ fer his lost head. Heâs got a hook on his shoulders where his head used ta be.ââ âThat is ridiculous.â âQuiet. My story! Get it? Okay, anyway â¦ Parveen says, âOh Mimi, I am experiencing such fear. Please protect me.ââ âOh, this is completely unendurable â¦â ââDonât worry, Parveen. Iâll pretect ya.â Just then, they heard a twig snap â¦â âRidiculous.â Out in the night an owl hooted, causing them both to jump. Mimi crowed and pointed at Parveen. âSee! Ya are scared! Ha!â âNot in the least.â HAMISH X DREAMED. Bright lights shone down, burning through his closed eyelids. He moaned. Voices spoke nearby. âHeâs stirring,â Mr. Candyâs voice announced. âIncrease the dose of sedative.â âItâs already dangerously high.â The Professor sounded worried. âWe donât want to lose another one.â âThere are more boys where this one came from,â said Mr. Sweet. âIncrease the dosage, Professor.â A shuddering sigh. âAs you wish.â Hamish felt the pain lessen slightly, fading to a throbbing ache that emanated from his legs.
âExcellent. Now apply the interface units, Professor. Then the process is complete.â âAs you wish,â the Professor said again, sounding resigned. âApplying now.â There was a pause, then a strange sensation: a cool, slick substance surrounded Hamishâs feet. He murmured softly. âThe interface units are in place.â âExcellent. Activate.â âMr. Sweet, shouldnât we wait until Iâve run more testsââ the Professor began. âDo as youâre told, Professor. Consider this the only test you will have the opportunity to