Genie sat, wondering for the millionth time how it had gone so wrong so fast. Keep Changeling from waking up—so simple. They and Paige had taken turns challenging him, making him bend his reality more and more.
Paige sang the same song over and over until Changeling stuck her lips together just by thinking about it.
Genie locked him in one of the bathrooms. Changeling walked through the door, leaving little bits of himself (nothing too significant) behind him.
Finally it went too far. Working together, Genie and Paige had made it so that to Changeling, everything looked three times bigger than it was. Changeling flew up to his captain’s chair, then went to land in it.
As he fell to the chair, said chair actually the same distance from the ground as it had been, Changeling almost woke up. Genie felt everything around them waver, deciding whether it would be allowed to continue to exist or if it and everyone on it would go poof.
Everything held.
Only just.
To keep anything like that from happening again, they knocked Changeling out. They kept him that way. They each took turns watching over him.
And then he changed.
Genie saw the pink dragon in Changeling’s bed.
Genie wondered how they were going to tell Paige and Alex that their starship, the sanctuary in the middle of what was essentially the big empty, was being influenced by someone who, as Genie knew from experience, was a bad loser. Especially when it came to poker.

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