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The Boy

“Just like the fish,” whispers the boy, crackling over the golden wire between the hyporvrychio above his father’s wheezing. Fins are so much work! Perhaps in the next design a pump, or a finned wheel–

The wire’s taut. “Careful,” he warns into the speaking-tube. “Even fish go only so deep.”

“They go wherever they wish!” So fast, laughing, young legs finally free of their cell. “They swim deeper than any net!”

“No!” He pants. “The plating won’t hold, child–”

Pinging on the line; gushing; a cry silenced as the wire finally snaps. The copper fish vanishes into the hungry dark.