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by Scott Westerfield
p.24 “Think they’re pretty-making?” she asked.
“I give them fifty mili-Helens,” he said.
This went totally missing on everyone.
“A mili-Helen is enough beauty to launch exactly one ship,” Zane ezplained, and the older Crims all laughed. “Fifty’s pretty good.”
p.253 But she hesitated before putting the firestarter to the pile, paranoia staying her hand. The forest still made its sounds--dripping water, bird cries, the skitterings of small animals among the wet leaves--and it was easy to imagine something watching her from the darkened spaces between the trees.
Tally sighed. Maybe she still was a pretty-head, making up irrational stories about the empty forest. The longer she stayed alone out here, the more Tally understood why the Rusties and their predecessors had believed in invisible beings, praying to placate spirits as they trashed the natural world around them.
p.254 She smiled as she stared into the flames. Nature was tough, it could be dangerous, but unlike Dr. Cable or Shay or Peris--unlike people in general--it made sense. The problems it threw at you could be solved rationally. Get cold, build a fire. Need to get somewhere, walk there. Tally knew she could make it to the ruins, with or without a hoverboard under her.
p.287-288 He experimented with the sticks hopelessly for a while, which allowed the SwedeBalls to cool, thenfinally dug in with his hands. A slightly disappointed expression crossed his face as he chewed. “Hmm.”
“I thought that food of the gods would be. . . better, somehow.”
“Hey, this is dehydrated food of the gods, okay?”
p.308-309 Andrew could be frustrating company, though. He made some brilliant leaps of insight, but other times he was just as thick as could be expected from someone who thought the world was flat--especially when it came to the boys-in-charge thing, which she found particularly annoying. Tally knew she should be more understanding, but was only willing to cut Andrew so much slack; being born into a culture that assumed women were servants didn’t make it okay to go along with the plan. After all, Tally had turned her back on everything she’d been raised to expect: an effortless life, perfect beauty, pretty-mindedness. It seemed like Andrew could learn to cook his own chickens.
Maybe the barriers around Tally’s pretty world weren’t as obvious as the little men hanging in the trees, but they were just as hard to escape. She remembered how Peris had chickened out as he’d looked down on the wild from the balloon, suddenly unwilling to jump and leave behind everything he’d known. Everyone in the world was programmed by the place they were born, hemmed in by their beliefs, but you had to at least try to grow your own brain. Otherwise, you might as well be living on a reservation, worshipping a bunch of bogus gods.