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“Any progress?”

“Yes. As always.” Rana bends her face to the Shintoistic microscope.

“You know what I mean.”

“You mean, have I worked out a theory that predicts the progress. No.” Beneath her gaze, tumultuous biogeny is frantic at work; as the prokaryotes mutate, split and die, kami flicker into being, bridging the gaps between generations. Faceless, they spill from the edges of the slide plate. They seem to be looking for shrines.

“Even if you do find one, nobody’s going to be happy when you publish it,” says Kaden soberly.

“Neither religion nor science,” says Rana, “is concerned with that.”