"It is a common misconception." Hutton Ambo removes the pipe from his mouth, stabbing the air with it to emphasise his point. As he is currently in the body of an eighteen year old who has barely fluff on his chin and upper lip the action is both more irritating and ridiculous than usual. I roll my eyes.
He puffs on the pipe and coughs, his new lungs untrained to accept the stink of the cherry shag tobacco that he insists on polluting us all with, before he continues.
"It's not that consciousness is a quantum activity in the sense of the brain's physical position in the universe, like some would think. That there is some special effect at work in the structure of the human mind that somehow gives it consciousness, or even life. It's more pervasive than that. The whole universe is alive, what Professor Rucker called pan-psychism. We are merely bubbles that erupt from the underlying quantum foam of thought that is at the heart of every particle of matter. That is what allows us to travel between universes, what we call parallels, by the sheer effort of thought. We are slowly training out wavelength to a new frequency, one that slips us through the brane separating the parallels and into the specialised host body waiting for us."
"Yes, but what I wanted to know is why is our the only parallel to have developed the technique? Why do none of the other monkeys seem to be able to do it?" I look to the girl who has asked the question. Her mind really isn't much older than the teenage body she is in; her first mission and clearly uncomfortable, she's provoking the debate and pushing Ambo's buttons in all the wrong ways.
"Well, that's simply not true." Ambo replies. "There are many agents who have come from different parallels. We do try to reduce the amount of interference and limit the knowledge of the ability to travel. We don't really know what the effect of large amounts of inter-parallel travelling would cause."
"That's why we focus on cleaning up our own mess and, occasionally, that of others." I say. Time to bring this to a close and back to the mission. "We aren't evangelists, these other parallels must be free to develop as they would."
"So long as they don't break our rules." Ambo says.