Sep 24, 2018 10:17 AM
then everything changed
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"Tell me, how is it you came up with such ideas? The physical recording of sound. Truly, it is unprecedented."

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"You ever watch water ripple or - grains of salt dance on a table, when something makes a loud noise?"

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An immaculately groomed eyebrow lifts. "I have not taken more than passing note of the phenomena."

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"Oh, well, I thought about it a lot, and you can make things that move easily, and watch how they move, or make them move through things that they'll leave marks on - and then it turns out you can make that process go backward! But it would have just been a lot of messing around with string and wax if it hadn't turned out that way."

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"And the sewing machine?"

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"Well, first I thought a lot about how you could get a machine to make the motions a person does, sewing, but I didn't get anywhere at all! And then I was like, what if we'd never had hands or needles, and had to invent sewing."

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"An unusual thought."

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"So I've been told."

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"What of the most recent, the... typewriter?"

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"It's a curiosity, really, there are too many characters for it to be useful for anything but writing down sums."

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"The accountants are quite excited about the efficiency gains that the standardization of records can offer."

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"I'm glad to have been useful to the accountants, then!"

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They come to the base of the mountain. The road takes a right turn to climb perpendicular to the slope. The incline is manageable, but the path is quite long in compromise.

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Tromp tromp tromp tromp.

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Once they crest the summit, they see the city laid out in the caldera below. It's laid out on a regular grid, with wide streets and gleaming buildings, dotted with open plazas and greenery. In the center is the palace and grounds.

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"What a lovely city."

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"The capital is the pride of the Fire Nation. I would be pleased to show you around, once you have recovered from your journey."

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"I'd like that!"

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"Good." They descend into the city.

A small villa has been reserved for her use during her stay.

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"Gosh. How long am I going to be here? Should I have packed more stuff?"

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Smile. "Your needs will be seen to."

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"Sure, but what about my wardrobe? I often make my own clothes, you know, what with the sewing machine, testing it out."

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"If you find yourself missing something, you can send back for it."

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"Suppose so. Gosh."

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"I will return in two hours. Please, refresh yourself."

Her belongings are deposited by the door, and her escorts leave.

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