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A Bad Idea 121

Shade took another drag off another cigarette. “You have a lot of weird stuff in here.”

“Hm?” Anne said.

Shade pointed her cigarette in the direction of Anne’s workbench. Several gizmos lay there: the laser saw; a big, metallic gauntlet; a harpoon; a strange-looking pair of boots.

“Yeah,” Anne said. “I guess I have a weird hobby?”

“It’s kind of cute, I guess,” Shade said. Then, thinking about it for a second, she thought about how useful some of this stuff might be if she got into a tangle with the cops. “Really cute, now that I think about it.”

“Really?”

“I like a girl who can beat the shit out of people.”

“I’m not really supposed to be making this stuff, I mean technically. Because of the giant robot I made and stuff. But I could put this stuff together for a much smaller robot. So that’s not so bad.”

Anne continued, “The government says I’m not supposed to be making stuff but if we’re being real it’s more a wink-wink-nudge-nudge sort of thing. Like every once in a while some sketchy person with a fancy-looking badge comes over and is like ‘Hey show us what you’ve built.’ And that’s how I’m able to afford this dorm. Do you know how expensive it is to live by myself here?”

Shade smiled, which led Anne to ask, “What?”

“You’re just funny, is all.”

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