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“The kids in Machinetown are afraid of us,” says Wicks.

“Shouldn’t they be? They find something wonderful, and we march in like the Government Scientists out of some agitprop zine.”

“We’re not slicing it up or hauling it away!” says Wicks. “The whole point of the project is preserving–”

Sedge shrugs. “You can explain the subtleties to them if you want.” He runs cable over to the girl with green hair and jacks her in; her eyelids flutter, and then she’s still.

For a moment they’re silent: Wicks, Sedge, the girl, and the great bird rampant, frozen in the crystalline mass.