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Campus Avenue bears a strange energy, intangible, ethereal. Halfway between the Administration Building and the Lower Dorms, six ancient stoneworks line the road. They are arranged the same way as the pips on the six side of a die, even rows with a gap between, where the brick road runs.
The pedestals are four feet off the ground at their highest, each with a low ramp that runs to the edge of the road and no further. The road is not part of them, since the stoneworks were constructed from a form a basalt known only to exist miles below the surface. The road is red brick only. The road is not special save that when it was built, the road crew specifically, carefully, painfully measured the spacing between the pedestals that they should avoid the road sides from touching the edges of the stone ramps.
Nobody had asked them to. That is what everyone knows about Campus Avenue: nobody wants to disturb the stoneworks. They are scarcely documented. The university’s most prestigious arche
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A bright red ball of yarn bounced down the hall before rolling to a stop on the carpet. Million, sitting against the wall with her legs crossed, turned her eyes to the ball with a faint whirr. Then she turned her head the other way, to Lily’s face leaning out of the bedroom.
“I only look like a cat, you know,” Million said.
“I know,” Lily said, “I’m running a test.”
Million furrowed her brow. “What test?”
“For a hypothesis.”
“No,” Lily said, “It might taint the data.”
Million sighed, exasperated. She didn’t have to, of course, since she was a robot—specifically a high-end general purpose ani-droid, shaped like an orange bipedal housecat. Although her outer covering mimicked soft orange fur, and her ears tapered to a point, and her electronic eyes narrowed with vertical slits, it was all merely an illusion for the enjoyment of humans.
She was not even that