Denny was in her good place, imaging a tropical shoreline and waves breaking on white sands. Zoffany's voice came from far away, out of the clear blue sky.
"Now move back in time," the scientist said. "Remember your colleagues at Malpas Abbey."
Denny's imagination conjured up the familiar team that had made a moderately success show about the paranormal. Brie, Matt, Marvin, all appeared, improbably dressed in beach attire - Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirts. But they said nothing to Denny, gave no hint of recognition. All of them were dead, slain by Interlopers. Except Frankie, who was missing, presumed alive but not in this world.
As she thought about Frankie's fate, the pleasant vista started to darken. The sea receded, the sky faded to pale gray, and the beach became a grim wilderness. It was the unearthly landscape of the Phantom Dimension.
"I don't want to be here," she muttered, starting to feel alarmed. "This is not my good place anymore."
"Okay, pull back," said Zoffany, soothingly. "Go back to the beach, the sun."
But Denny could not pull away from the grim, alien world. Instead she felt herself carried forward, over the reddish soil, towards the tunnel where she had gone in search of Frankie. She tried to resist, but an irresistible force drew her on. She was underground now, hurtling towards the chamber she remembered all too well. In the dark cavern, she again came face to face with the being that had posed as Lucy, Gould's long-lost sister.
"Hello again, Denny," said the creature, in its high, childish voice. "Thank you for coming to see me."
"No!" Denny shouted, writhing now. She could hear Zoffany's voice, far more distant now, trying to bring her out of the trance. But instead she was drawn closer to the diminutive entity, which reached up and grasped her face. She felt once more the crawling sensation in her mind, black tendrils groping through memories and feelings. She fought against the creeping incursion, lashed out with her mind against the invader.
This is not a memory, Denny thought. This is happening now.
"I can bring her back," whispered Lucy. "If you help me."
"... three, two, one!" said Zoffany.
Denny was back in the drab laboratory, the scientist anxious, leaning over her.
"You okay?" Zoffany asked. "I was a bit worried there."
Denny sat up, took the scientist by the arm.
"Lucy is still alive, isn't she?"
Zoffany looked shocked, then embarrassed.
"How - I mean, why do you say that?"
"Because I felt her," Denny replied. "She reached out to me. Made me an offer, in fact."
"You contacted her telepathically?" Zoffany asked, eyes widening. "You're sure?"
Denny nodded solemnly.
"And I'm also sure that you and Gould lied to me about her being dead," she said. "Is there anything else I should know?"
Zoffany looked around, then leaned closer.
"Look, this is strictly between you and me ..." she began.