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Self Configuring Modular Robot (Chapter Cover)

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Chapter 38 - Self Configuring Modular Robot[]

"What're you working on Lizzie?"

Arthur Steiner-Davion asked it, because Elizabeth Ngo had taken over an empty office space in the Palace.

"Homework...or rather, 'work that came from home'." Elizabeth stated. "Pat asked me to have a look at some of the books."

"Uh, 'book-keeping'? I thought you wrote an app for that."

"I did. Funny thing about that-garbage goes in, garbage comes out." Elizabeth said it without looking up. "In this case, contractors, delivery schedules, and what actually showed up for hand-reciept from LCAF quartermaster. It's supposed to be a...'Learning Experience'-he's already got a team of Accountants working on ****** the supply line for the 171st and the Coast Guards. I'm supposed to study the reports, without getting the outcomes until I submit my own ideas on what they'll find."

"Want a hand?" Arthur asked, sitting down in an empty office chair.

"Sure!" she looked up and beamed, "I thought you were going to be working with Sierra and Terry on..."

"They're fine, don't need me, and if they do, I've got a beeper." He told her, "Also, Penny and Jess are working with Yvonne on the next generation of code breakers for the spore-chasers, which leaves me with nothing to do or supervise, except you."

"Uhm, won't, like Kate or Peter have a word or two to say about that?" she inquired.

"I'm sure they do." He stood up, and planted his hands on the back of her chair, looking over her shoulder. "I just don't care what it is."

"Uh-huh...tell me more? Flattery WILL get you somewhere." she said.

"Okay...what's Penny's deal?" he asked.

"She likes fire." Liz told him. "You should take her out on the beach, and let her build a big bonfire. She'll light it up, and she'll light up for you."

"Kinda scary when you put it that way." he confessed.

"You like 'scary'." Liz reminded him.

"Maybe she's not my kind of scary." he commented to her.

"We're eleven, Arthur, do either of us even have a ******' clue what we really 'like'?" She let the padd drop on the desk blotter.

"Maybe. Maybe not, yeah...It's like having a FOG in my head, Liz! I can't THINK like this!" he confessed to her

"Same. They call it 'puberty'." Liz commented

"Who do you look at?" he asked.

"I see everyone." she said.

"Not what I'm asking." he commented

"Kinda personal there, Dauphin." she noted. "Fact is, we've known each other since age eight, your mom's been more of a mom than mine ever was, and I think I get your dad better than I understand mine. So why are you flirting with ME? Penny's prettier, so is Sierra."

Arthur shrugged. "I dunno...I've known them about as long."

"We're working together." Liz said, "Think about the shit your brothers get into when they-"

"I have." Arthur said.

She sighed. "Let's tackle this project, alright? You and I both know I'm not a fit for that."

"Maybe we can...practice?"

"Like I know anything about that?" she shrugged, and stood up, almost bumping into his chin. "I'm not saying 'no', I'm asking if this is really a good idea."

"Sometimes science isn't about why-" he began.

"-It's about 'why not'?" she agreed, "So let's go over 'why nots' and isolate it down, and if we can't come up with a good argument for why not, we'll move forward, deal?"

"Deal." He nodded.

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