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Self Configuring Modular Robot (Chapter Cover)

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Chapter 46 - Self Configuring Modular Robot[]

"Why do you want to build this...

...again? and why should we pay for it?" Patrick asked, laying the drawings on the desk. Elizabeth has been home for a year, and there have already been losses. Phelan Kell going missing at The Rock. Worlds going silent...which would've been a bigger surprise if General of the Armies Natasha Kerensky hadn't warned people.

"We're still in a dark age, Pat." Elizabeth's thirteen, it's February of 3050, and the Kowloon Militias reformed 171st Brigade is going through the final evaluation and check-out prior to being papered as part of the Melissia Theater Militia. "This? It's hard science, basically root science, the kind of science that leads to technologies that change things on a massive scale. Nobody's run large-scale high-energy physics projects since the Star League."

"Alright, start over. Why do you want US to pay for it, instead of petitioning the Archon?" he shifted his angle here. "Is it Arthur? Is that it? I'm considering making you go back to Tharkad and apologize."

"Please don't...not until he's moved on." Liz answered sullenly.

Patrick rocked on the balls of his feet, and looked out the window. "Your cost estimate is in the hundreds of billions of Kroner, Liz." he finally said. "That's a lot of basic infrastructure I can't pay for, if we build this ourselves."

"Jobs." Liz offered, "Big projects can stimulate jobs."

"That would sell it to Arluna." He turned, "or Jessenice, or god help them, Hood IV. We don't have a massive unemployment problem. Try again."

"If it turns out useful data, we'll have an advantage." She said, "People will come HERE to learn what we learn, trade and prosperity."

"In the middle of a war?" he scoffed. "WHY?"

"Science isn't about why, it's about why not?" she asserted, "Why not push the envelope of what's already known? why NOT be the driving force for the next Industrial and Technical revolution?"

"You think it's going to be that, and not just a hyperexpensive paperweight?"

"Big enough to wrap Snark IV?" Liz pointed out, "That'd be some damn impressive paperwork to need that to hold it down!"

He cracked a smile, "Yeah, it would...answer is 'provisionally yes' but I get to bring in outside funding, and you have to abide by their terms."

"You wouldn't!!"

"I will," he stated. "because part of this, is you being right (again) and part of it is you being obstinately wrong at the same time." He smiled, "Hey, cheer up, Her Majesty the Archon might say 'no'."

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