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Weird Science [IC]


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February 17th, 2018

Science Lab, Claremont Academy



It was Saturday Afternoon and while most students were either still asleep or relaxing as there were no scheduled classes today.  Zhu, dressed in black yoga pants and a flowing white thigh length tank dress was the lone occupant in the lab.  While she wasn't working on any particular school project, the amazing array of equipment was a dream for her to work on.  She was currently trying to revise her nanobots to give them a little more independence.  Her latest babysitting adventure had convinced her that she needed to really work on their capabilities.  


While she was working in the pristine lab, another pair of student was finishing up their tour.  Eric VanWitzenburg, a senior, was leading Tony Edwards through the science section of the classrooms.  He paused just outside the lab that Zhu was in, "so that pretty much wraps up the tour.  We're in the science section and you'll have a lot of classes here.  You have the introduction packet, your schedule, and your room assignment.  I hate to do this, but I have to head out.  You should be able to get back to the dorms through that door."


He shook Tony's hand and hustled back to the admin building where there was another person whom he had to give a tour too.


Meanwhile an atomic centrifuge made a powerful whirring noise from the lab as it separated some component materials to it's atomic elements.  Zhu didn't appear to be looking at the very detailed readouts on the console, but every now and again, a prompt would flash up and it would go away without her even seeming to acknowledge it.

Edited by BlazingCoconut
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It was his first night staying in the dorms. He'd met more of the guys from his dorm. But not his roommate? Maybe he was busy. He had a good night sleep, though he did stay up a bit late working on more calculations. He wanted his aerodynamics to be on point. So when he let loose a boomerang, it would not miss! Still, he was human and needed sleep.


The next morning he was met with a knock on his door. The guide was here. And he was still in clothes from yesterday! Scuttling to the door, he looked wrecked. "Uh, can I get ready real quick." Eric didn't look amused, but nodded. Tony did a quick shower an, not having time to coordinate, put on a  pair of slacks and loafers and a tanktop, it was clean but what he used for gym, which he hid under his thick black coat with a hood. He took a messenger bag full of notes and electronics to take notes. Really the open cold air didn't bother him anyway, but he and Eric suffered through it. Tony noted everything he could, spotting efficient paths to everywhere they went. "Sorry about the hassle today, Eric," he said shaking his hand and waving as he went off.


But this is where he wanted to be. Science facilities. And there was the girl from yesterday. She wasn't as beautiful as Corinne, but he and Alexa connected better, being on the same intellectual level. And that made it easier for him to talk to her. "Hello, Alexa," he said somewhat happily, "this place is great. I see you're up to your project, yes?"

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"Oh no... this is just personal stuff.  I do this in my spare time for my own knowledge," she said with a sly smile.  "I guess robotics and computers are more my forte."


She stepped back from the centrifuge, setting down the small multi meter she had been using.  "So are you feeling a little settled?  I know the first day can be more than a bit overwhelming.  At least you came in on a Friday night.  You got the weekend to adjust and figure out where everything is."


Behind her the machine beeped, she paused speaking, still facing him as the small screen went through several options before spinning back up, "now... what was I saying?  Oh yeah, it's nice to come in on a weekend.  So boomerangs?  That's quite a specialty."

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Your personal stuff is quite remarkable," he said looking but not touching. He didn't know what would happen if he messed with it. While robotics was a different field than his, he couldn't help but wonder what he could do with such knowledge. Little boomerang throwing robots? He made note of it to give it some study later on. Or with Alexa, she seemed like a good teacher.


He nodded when she asked about feeling settled. "There's not a lot of guys in boys dorm. They're either to them own selves or put off by my studying. I think I was supposed to have a roommate, but he never showed up. Then, as you said, it was Friday night. I'm not privy to the nomenclature around the grounds. Maybe next week." He smiled, "My weekend plans however," he went digging for his notes.


"Yeah, boomerangs," he said pulling out his notes. They were the same from yesterday, but with edits and a few more pages of technicalese, some of it written in Latin. "It was the first toy I enjoyed," he said pulling out a one to show to her, "It's aerodynamic and it always returns. I made sure. Down to the minuscule percentage." He snapped out of his glazed eye trance, looking at a prototype. "Um, yeah. I didn't bring any cartridges. so this one is inert."

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"Thank you!" she replied with a smile to his compliment.  It was always nice to have someone look over her inventions and give positive critique.  


She then sighed, "I do know what you mean by the lack of guys in this years class.  It can be a little discouraging at times.  I mean, I could tell you about my Valentine's day, but let's just say it wasn't very conventional... or romantic."  For a moment, a sly smile crept onto her face as she shared some personal memory of the event.  "But, I guess that's okay anyway.  I mean, I'm here to study and the other stuff is kind of secondary.  Still, you might end up with a roommate, give it some time.  If not, next fall there's a whole new class that will be coming in."


Checking a few settings on the machine, she keyed a few commands into it then turned back to Rang, gave him an appraising look, "so... I'm guessing you use the boomerangs for more than sport?  I mean, you don't have to answer, but it does seem a lot of students here manage to get into a little bit of trouble from time to time.  Me... well, I'm hopeless at throwing things and I prefer not to fight.  So, science kind of had to be my thing, right?"

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He remembered his Valentines Day as well. It was in a lab, experimenting with new chemical cartridges for his boomerangs. Let's just say they're not all winners. Hallucinogenics were hard to get a hold of enough in large quantities. And when you messed up, well, you had to explain to yourself that there's no such thing as a brain in a jar telling you to conquer and dominate everything in your path. Yeah, it was a weird day.


"Boomerangs are my 'gimmick', as you might say," he said perking up. "Sports are only a small thing you can learn from this little beauty." There was an awkward pause there. "The the the boomerang, I mean," he laughed. He quickly tried to avert the conversation, "I have cartridges that make them carry chemicals. So each one can vary by effect. Or they can be just regular boomerangs." He handed her the boomerang, "if you want to look at it."

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Zhu giggled and nodded, while this wasn't the strangest conversation she had ever had, it qualified in the top 10.  Still, it was not unusual for people at Claremont to fixate on their abilities and what he had invented certainly seemed pretty cool.  Setting the boomerang on the counter, she turned back to him.  Her invisible cloud of Nanites were busy scanning it and giving her a very detailed explanation as to what it was about and how it was made.  That was something she really appreciated since eyes and natural senses were only so good.


"Well that's pretty cool, what else do you like doing?" she asked.  "I mean, I'm really into movies and I love dancing.  Then pretty much anything with a computer too, but that kind of borders on obsession for me."

Edited by BlazingCoconut
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Tony froze a bit when Zhu ask what he liked to do. "I, uh, hm." He picked up the boomerang, holding it at one end and tapping it on his other hand, while looking at it. Almost like he was asking it for answers. "Reading," he said, "I like reading scientific reports. I also like," he was thinking, obviously trying to pull more out of nothing, "i can take stuff apart and put them back together." He looked at her, doing her thing, "movies. Dancing. I, I... those are good too." He rocked on the back of his feet. Trying not to look awkward. Failing. Mentally he flogged himself.

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Well... there was another first for her.  She realized, surprised that for a change, she was not the one looking awkwardly at someone else.  She wondered if she looked like that when she got flustered and concluded that she probably did.  While she was talking, she was actually impressed by the feedback her nanites were giving on the small aerodynamic weapon that Tony seemed very fixated on.  If he had designed it, he knew what he was doing.  The pitch and angle of the blades were as optimal as they were going to get and weighting was practically sublime.  


"Hey, relax, it's no big.  I get it.  You're focused.  If anyone had asked me what I liked before I got here, I probably would have struggled too.  I guess I just got lucky having a really cool roomie who pretty much not only drags me out of my shell, but manages to shatter the whole thing in the process.  She's not someone you say no to easily!"


Picking up the boomerang again, she handed it back to him.  On the counter, an inert replica of his boomerang began to appear, materializing layer by layer, "it's pretty impressive.  I can see why you've obsessed.  But... take it from me, a fellow obsessionist, take some time and enjoy some other things in life too.  Walks in the park, or whatever, aren't going to get you in college at the top of your class, but they will keep you sane."

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