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Feng

The glare blinds Feng for a moment, and he squints from under his coolie hat at the scaffolding, where just enough metal shows through to bounce sunlight across the paddy. It’s an awesome sight, even obscured as it is.

He hitches up his basket and walks on, around the rock pile and toward the town hall-granary complex. Inside, voices babble as they sort and distribute, mark and parse. Another of the carts rumbles by him, loudspeaker on full:

“HARVEST THE RICE,” it blares. “GATHER THE WATER. TRAIN THE SOLDIERS. BUILD THE ROBOT.”

Kind of unnecessary, thinks Feng, but hey, whatever works.

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