Tuesday, May 28, 2013

44. Lutece: Heat

“Fix it.” Rosalind called in frustration.

“I’m trying.” Robert’s frustration matched hers.

“Well try harder.” She snapped back. He had gotten them into this mess, so he had no right to turn anger towards her.

The device had malfunctioned. They had protocols to offset the rising temperature that often caused it to short out, but for whatever reason it was failing. And the residual heat from the grinding mechanics had turned their laboratory into something of a sauna. Robert had discarded his jacket, waist coat and tie. His sleeves were rolled to his elbows, and he was kneeling before the broken motor with a perplexed look on his face. The cover was off, and he had tools at hand. But he was busy scratching his head with the spanner to actually use it.

“I told you.” Rosalind shot out through the silence.

“You did tell me.” He repeated with a grimace. “I wish you told me sooner.”

Had I told you sooner, you probably wouldn’t have listened.”

“Again.” He rolled his eyes.

“Exactly.” Rosalind denoted, dragging the tan jacket from her own shoulders. Even she couldn’t remain stoic in such heat. She pressed her hands to her cheeks, noting the temperature rise and supposed flushed colour they now produced. “Go over the notes again.”

“I don’t need notes.” Robert snapped, “I know what I’m doing.”

“Ah. You said that when you proposed the idea that tampering with the motor fan would increase its cooling rate.” She replied, knowing her tone was rather smug.

“Your tone is rather smug.” He pointed out.

She left him for a time as she turned her gaze towards the buttons of her waist coat and proceeded to untangle them. She hauled it from her shoulders, tossing it in the same direction as she did her jacket.

“Is this a constant with male Lutece subjects? Or are you a stand out against the cut of normality.” Rosalind asked, unbuttoning the cuffs of her shirt.

“It is not simply a constant for Lutece males, but all males.”

“Ah.” She replied, rolling her sleeves up. She raised her hand and pulled at the circle of her own tie. “Women prefer genuinely searching for the answer in their notes?”

Lutece women, yes. See, most women don’t willingly transform their kitchen into an operating room.” Robert replied, exulting a laugh. “They prefer to cook for their men in it. Therefore, they require a clean surface.”

“Operating rooms are always sterile.” Rosalind replied, knitting her eyebrows together. Of course it was clean. It had to be. Robert only laughed more, tinkering away with the motor.

“Nevermind.” He finally replied.

There was no need to further explain that Rosalind Lutece was no ordinary woman.
Word Count: 459

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