“What?!” Nila said, grabbing Frederica by the shoulders. “Tell me everything!”
Josephine stepped up beside Nila and took her by the arm.
“Come on, I’ll fill you in,” she said.
She winked at Frederica and led Nila into the portal without hesitation. Tommy and Magh approached it next. Magh took a deep breath, glanced back at Frederica, and smiled. Then she and her future husband stepped through. Frederica stepped up to the portal with Melody, then looked over at Carmen.
“Are you coming?”
“I think I might stay awhile,” Carmen replied. “I need some time to reevaluate my role in Verden.”
“You want to move back?” Frederica asked.
“Gods, no,” she said. “But… I was thinking it’s a shame this school has gone unused for so long. Maybe it’s about time someone starts it up again. With the right teachers, this place could flourish.”
“That sounds like a great idea,” Frederica said.
“I know,” Carmen said. “I was the one who thought of it.”
Frederica chuckled and stepped through the portal with Melody. On the other side, she found herself standing on the front step of her house in the suburbs. She waved her hand and the portal vanished.
Everyone else had already gone inside. Frederica remained on the step for a long moment, staring up at the sky. No robots walked the streets, no hovercars soared through the air, and the new buildings hadn’t been built yet, but she knew she’d be staring up at them again before she knew it.
“So… you’ve seen the future,” Melody said. “What do we do next?”
Frederica turned to Melody and smiled.
“Whatever we want.”