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Aug 21, 2019 4:17 AM
Upload and Daisy
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"Yes, ma'am, we aren't sure what; Master Deskyl went to practice with them and they wouldn't respond."

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"Maybe something got knocked loose in the fight and just fell out. Let me see . . . " she takes the arms and examines them for a bit. "They look fine . . . oh, I bet they need recalibrating! If anything about her distribution of brainwaves changed they wouldn't be registering right."

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"That could be it. Will you need to see her?"

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"Yeah, she'll need to sit still wearing the headband for ten, maybe twenty minutes while I tweak stuff."

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DZ nods. "I think we can do that safely, if you're comfortable with it, ma'am."

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"If you say it's safe, I'm okay with it."

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"Yes ma'am." She takes the arms back and starts heading to the room. "One of the books had some advice on how to talk to her, it's been very useful."

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"I'm gad to hear it. Anything I should be replicating?"

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"I think you'll be okay, ma'am, you won't be talking to her about anything sensitive. But the trick is to use I-statements; they don't sound like you're challenging her as much, and that gives her more of a chance to catch herself before she reacts."

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"Okay, thanks. I'll keep that in mind."

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The room has acquired some decorations since Margaret last saw it; enough paintings, embroidered art, and wire sculptures that Deskyl is on her way to running out of room for them all. Most of them in the main part of the room are abstract, in black and red and gold, evoking motion; a few are embroidered or painted poems, with pride of place going to a six-foot-tall mixed media embroidery of Invictus. The corner nearest the door is nearly empty in comparison, and the art there is entirely different, sketches, mostly in black and white but with the occasional splash of color, nearly photorealistic.

Deskyl herself is sitting at the desk when they come in, doing something with a length of wire and a pair of pliers; she spends a few seconds finishing what she's doing before looking up. Couldn't fix it?

"We think it needs to be recalibrated, is that all right?"

Yeah. She takes the rig and puts it on.

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Upload takes a few long moments to stare at the gorgeous art, then pulls out her remote and starts slowly turning knobs. Interpreting the signals from Deskyl's brain is only half a conscious process; the other half is "what makes the waveform look right" for a definition of "right" she can't put into words.

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Deskyl sits patiently for about a minute, but then picks the wire up again and begins shaping it into a sculpture.

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"I'm getting some interference there; I'll be able to finish faster if you move your arms as little as possible," Margaret mentions, twiddling knobs slightly faster.

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She looks briefly annoyed, but shares a look with DZ, relaxes, puts the wire down and gestures for her to bring her a book.

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Then the calibrations will only take another minute or two. "Done! Your extra arms should be good as new. I can stick around while you test them again if you like."

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Deskyl nods and rifles around in one of the desk drawers to produce a set of juggling balls. She starts with her real arms, then each with the opposite mechanical one, alternating every dozen throws or so. It takes a little time and a few uses of telekinesis for her to be satisfied with her performance, but once she is, she switches to a complicated throwing pattern that uses all four. 

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Margaret has revised her limbs' drives several times during slow periods downstairs, and is incapable of having involuntary arm movements. She's still impressed. 

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She keeps going for a few minutes, and eventually signs between throws: Good.

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"Awesome! I can get out of the way now. I love your art, incidentally."

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Toss toss - give - toss toss toss - Love -

    "Would you like a piece of it, ma'am?"

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"Yes, thank you, that would be lovely."

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A couple more tosses, and then the balls pause one after another at the top of their arcs, freeing Deskyl's hands. Is there one you like in particular?

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She picks up a wire sculpture, one whose shape suggests lightning. "I like this one best."

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Nod. Go ahead.

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