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Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual
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Enlarge: Bonnie Scarlet gets her bearings

"Excuse me," Bonnie said to a passerby, "Which way to the Experimental Research District?" And then, like all sensible people, she went the other way.

The District represents one successful approach to innovation.

If you take every wild-eyed scientist with a lab full of explosively inventive progress and then shove them into the same small neighborhood, it was argued, they would tend only to hurt themselves, each other, and their assistants. There would always be civilian casualties, of course: but it was so much easier to keep those to a minimum if the threats were all crowded together. The apparent danger of one immense, coordinated incident was considered small because the occupants of the District tended toward self regulation of the kind that starts with 'Fenwick's project may be more remarkable than mine!' and ends with 'Good old Fenwick. When shall we see his like again?'

The Air Safety Association has a special squad trained to deal with the District. That training, although Bonnie did not know it, was concentrated in a very large, top secret manual entitled Things We Have Run From, and How To Run From Them. So the Myrmidon's advice had been good: the authorities try just as hard as anybody else to keep their business out of the District. But Bonnie had no intention of going where the Clockwork Book so clearly wanted her to go.

This had, of course, been planned fo

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