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"His last stop was here, at the ruins of Zipactonal, where he remained the longest. Babbage spent months here in the jungle, encamped before these very stone steps. When asked about his business here years later, Mr. Babbage merely smiled and said--"

"Cut!" The shout rang out across the ruins. "The girl's in the shot."

"Bloody hell!" Carvel pivoted in place, shading his eyes against the sun, peering up the ruined Mayan pyramid's slope at the young girl scrambling along its decrepit surface. He didn't know if it was typical for these 'film' projects or not, but this had to be, by far, the least professional production he'd ever had the displeasure of taking part in. "Robinson, control your wretched offspring!"

The film crew's overweight director lifted his glasses and wiped the sheen of sweat from his ruddy face. "Don't put yourself out, Mr.White. We'll take up again from the start of your anecdote."

The girl's father, the crew's guide, ran a hand through the back of his shaggy dark hair. Where the crew's jungle khaki's were so new that they were practically still starched, his own outfit was faded and streaked with the mud of dozens of previous expeditions. "Sorry about that, Mr.Girnwood."

"Just keep her off the set, Henry," the director said.

"Penny!" The man cupped his hands, calling up the ruins to his daughter. "Get down here!"

The girl looked up from her explorations, the copper sheen of her hair's cascading curls catching the light of the setting sun. She gave a brief wave before starting down the pyramid's crumbling face, her feet easily and naturally finding secure footing despite the seeming careless rate of her descent. While not so crass as to wish a fall upon her, Carvel resolved that if she did take a tumble she'd have no one to blame but herself.

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