I encountered Adept Hoshi-garei in the Lotus Garden this afternoon. This is unusual as he works in technical development and is not usually seen in daylight. ("Technical development" are the pointy-heads who invent insane and dangerous gadgets for the ninjas of the Order. They must not be confused with the IT workers who run our computer system as the gadgets sometimes work.)
Adept Hoshi-garei was elated. I could tell that by the way he nearly raised his eyes from the ground when he spoke to me. That and the fact he was extravagantly chewing a pen rather than his normal pencil.
"Adept Wasabi," he intoned. "For 33 years I have been working on a portable device to create power by causing excitation in liquid through the application of heat. And today, after many frustrations and doubts, I have finally created a working prototype. Would you like a bite of pen to celebrate?"
I declined his kind offer and listened as he described his device.
After a while, I chose my words carefully, in accordance with the teachings of the Ninjitsu on The Way Of The Treading Softly On Dreams. "Adept Hoshi-garei," I whispered. "You do realise you've spent your entire working life struggling to invent the kettle, don't you?"
He did not reply but stood in silence. He's still there now, seven hours later. A dribble of ink dropping from his chin.