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"It doesn't look like paper," the little boy said skeptically.
The man laughed, "Nay lad, it's not made of paper. Harmuth is a port like any other but there are many mills that make paper for shipment to other parts of the Steadfast. The city is what it is because of paper."
The boy looked back at his father, "Why? You can't eat paper. You can't build anything out of paper."
"Books boy, you can't have books without paper. An' the rick folks love books. An' the Aeon Priests. Every mystery of the worlds before they write into books so that we don't forget what we have learned anew. That's what happened to the worlds before. We forgot what we knew, an' it has to be learned all over."
"That makes sense," the boy said, trying to digest it all.
"It's a nice story, but I don't see why it should matter one whit to me an' my men."
"Because, if you steal this cargo, and this ship you are going to slow down the progress of all mankind. You will heed us from rising from the ashes and moving toward the glory of the old worlds." The Captain was no longer a boy, but the lesson his father had taught him had stayed with him. He traded in goods and knowledge, doing what he could to facilitate the rebirth of the civilizations of mankind's past.
The pirate captain sneered, "An' what good do tha' do me now?" he asked. Without waiting for a reply he waved the curved blade in his first through the air, "Search the ship boys, I don' believe that a man so well dressed on a vessel so fine carries naught by useless paper. Seize the valuables and slay the crew. This ship do be ours now!"
"Oh, I can, I will, an' I am!" the pirate said, unloading a buzzer into the captain's chest.