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“Do you want any tea?” Amber asked from the kitchen.

“Yes, thanks.” Chris peered down the hallway from his armchair. “They’re asleep, I think. Thank God for that.”

Amber smiled as she returned with the tea tray. “I didn’t think it was such a bad day. I admit they’re hard to deal with, but nothing the two of us can’t handle.”

Chris closed his book and accepted the cup. “I guess it’s just worry.” He inhaled gratefully and took a sip. “Thank you. Did you see the riots on TV today?”

“I tried not to. It’s the ugly side of human psychology, if you ask me,” said Amber, curling up into her own armchair. “Everybody *says* they want to be out-achieved by their own children, but when it actually happens? They don’t mean it.”

Chris laughed. “Well, maybe they’re thinking 105%, not 700%. And over a lifetime, not by the age of six.”

“I think people are mostly angry about the lack of choice. Having a super-smart kid is one thing. A billion of them is another. And a billion super-smart kids from some virus? Created by, what, some shadowy government agency? Probably employing honest-to-god mad scientists? No consent. Not even a discussion. No wonder people are pissed.”

Chris sipped his tea. “Sounds like you want to be out there flipping cars yourself.”

Amber smiled. “Not quite to that level.”

The room was silent for a moment. Amber looked up. “Have you ever thought about having kids?”

Chris looked up from his book, thoughtful. “I’ve considered it.”

Amber nodded. “Well, I guess we both have a decade or so to think about it.”

Chris laughed again. “Yeah, let’s talk about it again when we hit puberty.”

“Deal,” said Amber, grinning. She hopped down from her chair. “I’ll go check on Mom and Dad.”

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