Working Out the Kinks
Juthungi Janka was very understanding as Tex explained, while being divested of his robes, that his memories were not complete, and that this body had not yet been broken in. It would take some warm-up to unleash its full potential, but this only seemed to encourage Janka further.
The first discovery they made was that Tex would, at some point, need to see about having his beard sculpted away at the Vats. After Janka offered up heated and unflattering comments regarding her fellow technician, Eudose Seuka, Tex was able to reach Heralding Academician and procure topical analgesics. Application of these medications did much to restore the mood.
The second discovery they made was that Tex’s physical precision and manual dexterity augmentations were fully functional. Though Tex was content to continue demonstrating his capabilities in this regard, Janka was extremely insistent on moving to the next phase of testing.
This insistence, while initially flattering, came to perturb Tex. It seemed different from his memory fragments, different from what his programming suggested was common. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he was just a means to an end for Juthungi Janka. That was fine, really, though it wounded his pride slightly. His catechismal database proffered up a suitable aphorism: “The Gear thinks only of turning, the Piston thinks only of pumping. When in doubt, subsume yourself in your task. Dedicate your work to the Great Maker.” And so Tex got to his subsuming.
The third discovery was that Tex’s mobility, flexibility, and endurance augmentations were active and working well within design parameters. This line of experimentation was continued for some time, and seemed to greatly relieve much of the stress that Janka had been showing, at least for the time being.
Later experiments included suspension via para-magnetic force beam (deemed novel, but distracting), and high-speed interception using Tex’s motion-tracking software (noted for further experimentation in the future). Janka also suggested that any further testing should involve swapping out one of Tex’s combat Charms for installation of his Pain Suppression Nodes, or recording certain poses in conjunction with activation of his Patriotism-Provoking Display systems.
It was only several hours later, when Janka slept beside him, that Tex allowed himself to consider his previous misgivings. As Janka herself had said, this was not just recreation, but some sort of driving need. This was not healthy, and Tex had already determined that her behavior was harming her chances for advancement, as well as her working relationship with her fellow Technicians. This could not be allowed to stand. As an engineer would work to maintain a failing piece of machinery until a lasting repair could be effected, Tex would need to keep Janka from further damaging herself until he could find a cure.