was once believed legitimate as a science. Changing metals-base to gold, concocting cures for dread disease, prolonging life unto Eternity, were among the Grand Endeavors that an alchemist (using potions, tinctures, recipes) might achieve, if not in practice, in repute, since none recorded his/her breakthroughs in a form that proved repeatable. Nonetheless, to some degree, perhaps a measure of success indeed was found.

Taking this to heart within an Indonesian context (where the vagaries of Magic are still very much in vogue, where ghosts are frequently reported, not by children but by grown-ups, where the Bogeyman will catch you unawares, where myths unfold from Ramayana to Garuda, where a bird can tell your fortune, where a witch can strike you deaf and dumb, where gods with demons vie), the offbeat exploits of a ten-year-old endowed with rhyme and reason, blessed by resources abundant, prone to asking questions why, are very apt to reap results dismissed as "utterly fantastic"... save for one convincing certainty; in the Realm of Tailored Genes, what Vina wants (and sets her sights on) Vina gets.

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