Norene was grinning in her usual cheerful manner as she skipped into the kitchen, several bags dangling precariously from her arms. “I got it!” she chirped. “Everything they had. Vincent thought I was completely mad.” She paused. “Though, I think he thinks that about me all the time anyway. He’s just usually better at hiding it.”
I snorted. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought everyone but himself was a little crazy.”
Norene giggled. “Maybe it’s true. Maybe we’re all crazy, and we only think we’re sane because that’s the only way to get through the day.”
“Possible,” I agreed. “But hardly a theory that can be tested.”
“Like our experiments? Oooh, that’d be fun, doing an experiment about if everyone’s crazy.” Norene dumped her bags on the nearest dusty counter, only dropping one on the floor.
“And what would that experiment look like?” I raised an eyebrow.
“I dunno.” Norene set the wayward bag on the counter with the others. “You’re the expert, not me. I’ve never done a proper experiment before, remember?”
“I guess we’ll just have to change that, then. Though for today, we’re just going to get some baseline data, not trying to prove or disprove a theory.”
Norene tilted her head to the side in a gesture I had come to think of as her questioning face. “What’s the difference? Isn’t it all experimenting?”
“Well, yes.” I joined Norene at the counter by the bags and began unpacking them, placing the varied containers in neat rows as I explained. “There’s different kinds of experimenting. There’s playing around with things and trying things out just to get information, like we’re doing today. Later on, I hope to do some more controlled experiments that should help us determine the rules for what works and what doesn’t work.”
“Playing sounds fun! The other kind sounds interesting too, but I think I’ll like this better.”
I laughed. “You would. You don’t like rules.”
“Rules are meant to be broken!” she agreed with a grin.
“Technically, some rules can’t be broken. You know, the ones that govern what’s possible and what isn’t.”
“Pssh, lame,” Norene retorted, wrinkling her nose. “How are you supposed to find out what’s really possible if you’re too certain you know what isn’t?”
“Exactly. The rules are there, but we have to test them to know them. And just because something’s never been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done.”
“Yeah! Let’s show those rules who’s boss!”
Well, not quite what I meant, but close enough. It was hard to argue with Norene’s enthusiasm.