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"That is impossible," he says, peering at the thing. "Can I touch it?" he asks.

"Sure," says Bina. "Just - don't drop it, and don't cut yourself on it. That would - I don't actually know what that would do to you but it probably wouldn't go great."

"Ah," he says, as he takes it gingerly, like someone would hold a baby bird, or a live hand grenade.

"Is this the future then?" he asks, holding the fragment up to his eyes and peering through it. "There so much… mud. Is that normal?"

Bina stifles a laugh so it comes out as a snort. "No," she says. "I mean - no more than it is now. That's just a particularly muddy part of the future."

"Wait -" he says, peering through the tiny splinter. "That's - that's the third distillation tank - that's where I saw you! All the wreckage - all that mud that's…?"

"This place," says Bina. "You're looking at the ruins of Astre Sucre."

"Good god," he says. "It's just… right there. Like I could reach through and touch it."

"Don't," says Bina. "I'm gonna need that thing."

"I need to sit down…"