Trace finally moved her glorious eyes from the microscope.

"They're perfect," she gushed, "Sooo much nicer that the huge ones you gave me last time."

I was rather proud of those giant rosebushes, with their pink and white blooms like wedding headdresses for goddesses. I said nothing.

"How long did they take this time?" she demanded.

I mimed a modest shrug, clearly visible - I hoped - on the screen.

"About two hundred and sixty years," I admitted self-effacingly, "I had a bit of trouble getting them just the right colour - they kept going green on me."

Trace peered again at the microscopic roses I had made for her, obviously drinking in the colours - orange and pink and yellow.

"How did you manage the dewdrops?" she asked, spinning around to look directly at my image on the screen.

"It's a secret," I replied.

A full answer would have required a lengthy technical explanation about the use of a concentrated solution of complex sugars, produced by the secretions of a micro-organism I had designed especially for the purpose.

Introduction Part 2