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Zeuxis led them up to the highest storey. There he left them while he went back and forth between darkroom and roof with his camera and the parts to his flying machine, carrying them up to the pavement that surrounded the topmost spire.
Zeuxis sat on a carved sailbeast and assembled his flier.
In a palace shaped like bromeliads Yin Sanhi sat sipping a liquor of fermented cactus essence and sand persimmon. The chamber was papered by scrolls of proverbs on statecraft. The mathematicians and artists meant to send her dancers in pale silk and musicians with wrists like flutes, but she had declined, choosing instead silence and solitude.
Yin Sanhi moved pieces of whispering amber into an outline of a turtle, the animal of wise questions.
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Mattar comes to the house of Anaharesh in search of a single word; a word to end a war.
From the Archives:
He tasted of salt. Naomi half-expected to see him melting in the places where her mouth had been.