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Meridion sat in the darkness, lost in thought. The instrument panel of the Time Editor was dark as well; the great machine stood silent for the moment, the gleaming threads of diaphanous film hanging idle on their spools, each reel carefully labeled Past or Furute. The Present, as ever, hung evanescent like silver mist in the air under the Editor's lamp, twisting and changing moment by moment in the half-light.
Draped across his knees was an ancient piece of thread, a lore strand from the Past. It was a film fragment of immeasurable importance, burnst and broken