Markus Kohl's old bones groan as the tinker wakes to the first morning of the second sun. The second sun's humidity and heat give Markus little relief. His neighbors show him little patience as their poorly maintained machines shudder for the tinker's attention, and the villagers calling on the Markus's services refuse to allow the tinker's helpful Fay to enter their homes. Markus's work schedule strains to meet King Tiber's request for a device that will cool his court as the second sun crowds the sky. Though his body aches and though his neighbors show no respect for his duties, Markus meets the king's order with the help of his silver-haired Fay. What the tinker presents to the court challenges the realm to take responsibility for itself, or suffer terrible plague should ruin be allowed to gnaw at Markus's final, stunning achievement.
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