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Self Configuring Modular Robot (Chapter Cover)

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Chapter 61 - Self Configuring Modular Robot[]


"We need more information...

...about the human genome." Yvonne Steiner-Davion announced, "Thus, Mister giant, why you're here, in my laboratory."

Point Commander Zein struggled against his restraints as the pre-teen girl held up a sampler. "I surrendered HONORABLY!!" he shouted.

"Right..." Arthur Steiner-Davion, standing behind his sister to the right, crossed his arms, "I think we might wanna go over what constitutes 'honorable' behavior, mister...Zein? is that right? First name or last?"

"My given name. I have not earned a bloodname, why are you doing this to me??"

"Well...We have a friend, and she's stubborn as hell, and her big brother is why you're in this laboratory. You see, Lizzie's dying of a genetic defect, and she's being uncooperative about any treatments except painkillers and drugs to let her keep going until she dies...and you're a genetically engineered superman, so we're going to take you apart to figure out how to fix her."

"Tha'ts really oversimplifying things!" Yvonne snapped.

Zein stopped struggling. "You are doing this to save someone?? You are Scientists??"

"We try. Penny, are we ready to start yet?"

"Nope." another young teen's voice came from a bank of equipment. "Jess left me notes, but I swear his writing's worse than his accent...", Penny said

Yvonne walked up to the restrained elemental, "First off, we're not going to 'take you apart', I'm going to take a few samples from your tissues, nothing you're going to really miss, a couple microliters of your spinal fluid, a few stem cells, some blood, okay? we're trying to figure out how to fix our friend by reverse-engineering the only gene-engineered subject we could get..."

"I know how this works." Zein spat, "You are running an analysis panel. Your equipment is archaic, your methods are frankly disturbing, if they had told me what this was, and I would have volunteered."

'Huh, really?"

"Certainly. I am always willing to demonstrate the superiority of my Clan's eugenics program!" he boasted.

"Well, I'm still going to keep the restraints on you, because, y'know, you're bigger than me." Yvonne told him. "I'm gonna give you a nice local to numb the sites, and we'll talk while I work, okay?"

"Given the situation, that is acceptable...who is your friend? this 'Lizzie' and how is her brother responsible for my unjust incarceration?"

"Should I tell him, Art?" Yvonne asked as the frame rotated to present the Clan warrior's spine.
"Liz is the younger sister of Henry Ngo, who was the Mechwarrior that hammered forty five of your colleagues on Trell One." Arthur stated. "Does that jog a memory?"

"Aff...He did more than hammer, as you put it, the Mechwarriors in my Cluster. He crushed and pulverized many of my sibkin with his dezgra physical attacks."
"Yeah? I have no idea what that means, unless you mean 'totally awesome' martial arts." Arthur noted, "Hank's in the hospital and Lizzie's there watchin' over him. Doctors aren't sure what you guys did to him."

"Did?", Zein asked with interest.

"He's in a coma." Yvonne noted, "There we...go...ah-huh...and we're done."

"A coma??" Zein was intrigued. this could be useful "really?"

"Yeah." Arthur noted, "Lizzie's on a timer, but whatever feedback weapon you guys used on Hank. It's put her in a non-functional state of mind. You can say we, her friends, aren't real happy about that. She lost, like, all her progress recovering from finding out she's got Cholmann's Syndrome."

"What is that?" Clanner asked

"Lethal...untreatable, incurable, and degenerative." Yvonne quipped as she hopped off the stand with her samples and hurried to the analysis bench. "Her nervous system's self-destructing over time, we don't beat this she dies at forty, in agony that they say is worse than being burned alive, and insane. YOU have way too much body for a human-size brain to power reliably, but you don't have any apparent neurological or other problems, we figure out how they did that, we can make some progress on fixing her."

"But why?? That sounds like a waste of resour-"

"Elizabeth is a genius, dumbass." Penny stepped into his view. "She's one of us, and we're all certified geniuses, but see, that's what, five people out of trillions? figure what's the value of a one in-a-hundred million intellect?" she pocketed a multitool, and squatted down, "So, not a waste to try and save her. Her personal project is reconstructing Kearney's lost theorems, she could revolutionize JumpShip travel, break the thirty lights barrier, you dig that? not a waste to save her."

"I do not know what these 'theorems' are, but I am aware of the limit of thirty light years for jumpship travel, it took us almost eighteen standard months to reach...here." he noted.

"Right. well, Liz is a mathematician and a physicist, and she's a genius and there aren't a lot of us around, so we're going to save her life even if she doesn't think we can." Arthur told him, "And...so...you get to be a source of data in that pursuit."

"Your laboratory is laughable. You need a true Scientist Caste to guide this...mad undertaking!" he scoffed, "Not this amateur's butcher-shop, flailing in the DARK!!"

"Hmmm...well, you know where we can get one?" Arthur asked.

"Aff. MY Clan has the best Geneticists!!"

"And how do we get to talk to one, Zein?" Yvonne asked.

He started explaining Clan history, and their culture...


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