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The Astronomer

“Do you remember my position at the court in Nuremberg?”

Spiraling, spiraling, up a staircase caged in cogs.

“Clockmaker,” said Drosselmeier, “and magician.”

“What do you mean to do?” panted the astronomer.

“We have chased Krakatuk into the future; we cannot know where it will be. But we know precisely where it was!”

The cold struck a bolt through his chest. “Oh Drosselmeier,” he whispered, still climbing, “it has driven you to madness!”

A heaving, grinding sound, as Drosselmeier threw the gear train into reverse; time sheared at the astronomer, and he was–

Spiraling, spiraling, up a staircase caged in cogs–

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