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Self Configuring Modular Robot (Chapter Cover)

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Chapter 74 - Self Configuring Modular Robot[]


"Liz, my brother might be a Genius, and my older brother might be the next Archon-Prince, but I...
...have an idea I want to run past you." Peter Steiner-Davion stood in the doorway.

"Uh...Peter, we're working on something-"

"Hear me out. The Clans."

"Yeah?"

"They have an eighteen month long supply line." He said.

"True." she nodded, "Everything we've learned since they halted, including testimony from General Kerensky and Colonel Wolf..."

"So, that stuff has to move by ship, right?" He asked.

"It does." she answered

"And...if a ship is intercepted, it can't deliver materials." Peter added.

"Also true. My brother's already gotten permission to build a special unit for the Navy to conduct commerce-interception and raiding. They've been working up for like, the last three years." she said.

Peter looked downcast, "Dammit, I thought it was a great idea."

"It is, Peter, it's common sense. However, the Clans have a Warship fleet-the same one that Aleksandr Kerensky ran off with after stealing it from the Star League with his mutineers and deserters. We know they still have them because the Smoke Jaguars used them to plaster Turtle Bay. We've got visual rec on a dozen other warships so far at various points during the invasion, especially once Focht overthrew Waterly and opened Comstar's archives on the Clans." She looked up. "Your idea's sound, Peter. Just because someone else got there first, doesn't make it not a damned smart thing to think of on your own...oh, and Penny's still got a crush on you."
"What?", confusely answered

She closed her eyes and leaned back, "I said, Penny Doons still thinks you're a hunk, Peter-she Like-likes you. I swear Yvonne Steiner-Davion told you about that already at the Christmas celebrations in the Triad."

He swallowed, suddenly distracted, "Really?"

Elizabeth sighed heavily, "Of course, she's still too young for you, but she won't be forever. You might wanna consider that...so you approached ME with this idea why?"

"You're testing for your Guild Certification, I don't know who else I could talk to about it." he admitted. "You know space..."

"You were looking to see if I could give you pointers so you can impress the old man?" she hinted.

"Yes."

"I think you're worrying too much about trying to stand out." Liz told him, "Be yourself, believe it or not, that's actually more likely to win you points with your father than trying to be impressive, because you already are impressive...I mean, who else had the foresight to show up when Sierra almost got us in trouble with the Van in downtown last year? YOU knew enough to be there to smooth it over and keep it out of the press. You're not dumb, Peter, you're not a super-mechjockey like your brother, and you're not a nerd like we are-you're good at reading the groove of people-that's a kind of intelligence most of the Pack don't have, it's why Penny has a crush on you so bad she stumbles her words every time you show up in the clubhouse."

"I'm not sure that's really real." he said.

"It's real." She assured him. "Look, my advantage is that I can be blunt, because I have a time limit, I know when it ends, and I know how, so I can afford to be rude and direct-which lets me get away with shit I would be at sea with if I didn't have it. Penny's crushing on you hard core, Peter-she has since we were eleven, if you were a douchey guy who takes advantage, I wouldn't tell you, but you're a good guy with chops everywhere except there."

"What about you and Arthur?" he asked.

"Arthur will find a girl who will last and forget about me." Liz spoke as if explaining to a child, "I'm factory-defective goods and he deserves better. Sooner or later he'll grow out of it and move on."


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