Single-use paths through the city are produced in the following manner: a map of its streets, ideally eleven inches across by seventeen inches tall, is laid out on a level surface. Next, a single shell is loaded into the cartographic apparatus, filled with a mixture of cuttlefish ink, magnetic gel, and iron shavings. Finally, the trigger is pulled, allowing the electrically-charged cocktail to splatter across the entire breadth of the page.
The hornet's feathers were beautiful under a microscope. In each vane, he could see its stripes unfolding into sharply-defined fractals, interlocking Sierpinski triangles of black-and-yellow contrast. The further he increased the degree of magnification, the more intricate the patterns became.