Jun 03, 2020 9:55 PM
Ms. Frizzle and Promise
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"The math will probably be more useful after I have an intuition."

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"Quite likely. So, where to next? Sure you don't want to see the multiverse a bit before settling down? There's a planet with a thousand species of flowering tree, and every three thousand years they all bloom at once."

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"That does sound pretty."

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"Absolutely stunning." She seems to have taken this statement as acceptance, because she starts pulling levers on the dashboard again. "You might want to find something to hold on to."

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...Promise looks for suitable handholds.

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There are railings along the walls. There are also the traditional benches and seatbelts, including one with a back that looks like it wouldn't squash her wings much.

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She grabs a railing.

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"Alright Bus, do your stuff!" Ms. Frizzle pulls a final lever and the view out the window gets all weird again. Now they're in a different forest, where it's just after dawn and the sky and the trees are both overflowing with color.

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...Promise tiptoes over to the window to get a closer look.

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She can't see all one thousand kinds of trees at once from this vantage point, but she can see multiple dozens--clusters of tiny red ones and single enormous blue ones, purple ones fading to white at the center, yellow ones whose petals are foot-long streamers fluttering gently in the breeze. Some of the flowers are growing directly out of the tree trunks; some sprout up from the roots to cover the ground with veins of color. Some are translucent. Some are luminescent. A shaft of sunlight hits a branch and all the buds on it unfold at once in a matter of seconds.

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"Ee!"

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Ms. Frizzle smiles at her, pops the door, steps out, and twirls exuberantly. Her dress has switched to a pattern of flowers and fruit. 

Tiny gem-bright insects, and clouds of hand-size butterflies, and little darting birds are roving between the trees, feasting on nectar.

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"What are those things -"

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Ms. Frizzle is So Excited about having been asked a question!

"Those birds and insects are pollinators! They drink nectar from the flowers, and they spread pollen which help the trees reproduce! If you like, we can shrink down and take a look at the process up close!"

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"Fairyland doesn't have animals," explains Promise. "They're kind of weird. You can shrink?"

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"What, none at all? That must have fascinating consequences for your ecology. Do you have fungi? Microbes? Do fairies pollinate plants? And oh, yes, the Bus has a shrinkerscope that can make us anywhere between full-size and microscopic!"

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"We have fungi and I don't know about microbes and sometimes fairies pollinate plants."

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"Do dead plants decay, or get diseases that aren't in the form of fungi or parasites? Do fairies get diseases? "

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"Dead plants decay eventually, but I'm not sure what causes all their problems so it could all be fungi or parasites. Fairies don't get sick."

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"Then it's entirely possible you don't have native microbes! Though I expect some will have colonized off outsiders arriving. So, what do you say, shall we go explore the insides of some flowers?"

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"Yeah, all right."

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"Excellent! Here we go!" Rays of light shines out of each of the Bus's headlamps and illuminate the two of them. They start getting smaller; it doesn't feel like anything and looks like their surroundings getting bigger. "Wahoo!" yodels Ms. Frizzle as they shrink to about a centimeter tall.

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Promise wonders if this will make flying easier. Flutter flutter.

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Her mass has decreased by a greater fraction than the surface area of her wings, so she doesn't need to flap as hard to get lift!

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Ms Frizzle, for her part, has pulled a jetpack out of a pocket that should not be able to fit a jetpack and strapped it on. She joins Promise in the air.

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