The Archivist

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A prisoner, former Captain in Cope’s Royal Navy, his reversed skull:



Sailor: Without spines they thought we’d collapse.



Skull: And did you?



Sailor: There was no me. I was reversed, and I found the first cryolite tablets in Thule.



Skull: It was you that built the Machine!



[Crestfallen – unknown devices, glitter and silver picks.]



Sailor:
I told you, there was no me. I was the first to place my hands, fit them into the saddle, yes – but! I was not me. I was you, and we carried it together. The ice boat, glazed with warm breath.



Skull: [laughs] Do you remember the tooth?



Sailor: I remember [unintelligible screaming] –



Sailor: [Suddenly coherent] The miiiiiiiiines...