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She was brilliant, for one thing. Lucas was smart, Lucas had a knack, Lucas knew how to put one byte in front of another, but River was Nintendo to his Atari.

Graceful, too. Slipped updeck and down like it was home.

Which, another thing: portal? spaceships? anti-gravity and dozens of terraformed planets? It sounded as good as Narnia. Better than, maybe.

And okay, fine, she was pretty. Beautiful. Unearthly? Like no girl he knew, anyway, hair hanging in her face, eyes that saw the whole world as physics and logic.

Now, if only she’d talk to him instead of Darwin.