Teal and Josh were
building insects in the playground on the top level of the BosWash arcology.
Beyond the tesselated windows of the observation dome a winter storm lashed at
the Atlantic, but inside it was warm and
softly scented with tropical flowers.
Teal activated her latest creation. From the chaos of the components in the
First Level Robotics Exploratory Learning Kit (Ages Six Through Eight) she had
assembled a machine with translucent wings attached to a shiny blue carapace
covered with tiny light-sensitive sensors. The structure rested on three thin,
With a click and a buzz the insect flew in an awkward spiral to the top of the
dome, where it wandered from place to place in response to the photons from the
lightning that filled the sky. Soon its hectic motions had nearly depleted its
main energy stores. Its survival programming directed it to float back down to
the floor and rest.
"What a stupid bug," Josh said.
"I think it's pretty." Teal rolled on her back to watch the storm.
"Only three legs. Insects have six legs."
"Not if you make them with three legs."
"You're silly." Josh picked up the machine and shook it. One of the
wings fell off and fluttered to the ground.
"Stupid bug." He tossed it on the floor. The legs shattered as it
landed. "You don't know how to make them strong enough."
Teal stood and tried not to show her anger. She realized that Josh was just
jealous. She had learned all about such things in her SocPsych lessons.
"I'm not going to play with you anymore," she said with great
dignity. She walked behind him, reached under his tunic to the small of his
back, and switched him off.
2011-09-12 16:20:53 What an absolutely perfect little story. I loved it!