“The system is very sensitive,” said Shril. “You must know the sound of each letter in the English alphabet.”

“I do,” replied Arkis. “What d’you think I’m flapping my lips with right now?”

“No, no,” Shril said. “The sound of each letter in the English alphabet as it was. It’s expecting the English of people who’ve been dead centuries.”

Arkis looked over at Birc, who was standing in front of the machine, speaking:

“D00d, h0w d0 j00 0p3n teh dor, bruh?” Birc intoned, reverently.

“Such a beautiful old tongue,” Shril said. “More like singing than anything.”

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