Sofija Tesla (patentprogeny) wrote,
Sofija Tesla
patentprogeny

Nikola

She's in the lab, with the cat--all white and with bottle-green eyes, a foundling as a kitten. Her legs aren't quite long enough to kick the first rung on the stool she's perched on, watching her father make something she can't identify yet, involving wire and a lot of sparks.

She hasn't been able to make sparks like that yet. Not like he does.

So far Jasmine's job has been to watch and keep the cat purring and out of the way.
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She does an excellent job of both, though Nikola isn't likely to tell her so any time soon. He isn't any more generous with his compliments to her than he has been to her mother.

Still, on occasion, he does glance over at her with something like a smile on his lips. When he's finished with the dangerous bits of his work, he turns to her.

"Well, svitac, what do you think?"
She takes a long time to study it without comment, gently shoving the cat aside to stand on the seat so she can see better. Jasmine doesn't immediately say she likes it, because she doesn't know if she does yet. The girl looks at it with a mix of expression, both curious like her mother, and analytic, like her father.

"What are you intending it to do?" Because all it's done is spark.
Nikola laughs quietly. She asks the question as though she isn't sure he'll be able to accomplish whatever it is he intends.

It's very like him.

"Well, eventually, it will be a power cell for James' suit."

He never calls James her uncle, though he doesn't mind that she does. It's an odd family, but it seems to have worked so far.
She looks between him and it for a moment, very seriously regarding both as she switches to the stuffed fanged rabbit she carries around, now that the cat has left. "I think it shouldn't spark like that in his suit. It would burn Uncle James." The unwitting sarcasm comes form both parents, and is likely influenced by the rest of the strange sort of family.
Nikola smirks. "James might actually enjoy that," he says, forgetting, as he often does, that some remarks are not suitable for the ears of children.

"But it won't spark by the time I'm finished."
Jasmine only blinks once at him at the comment. Sometimes her father makes the oddest remarks. "It should work, then," she says with a nod, slipping off the stool to push it closer, around the corner of the table.

He'd made her sit on the other side while he was working on it, but he'd started talking to her now, which usually meant it was okay to move. "Is Mama home yet?"
"I don't believe so," Nikola says. "She had some business to attend to for Helen. That usually means late nights."

He shifts on his own stool so that he's facing her a little more even as he turns back to the power cell to finish it up.
Jasmine is currently weighing the odds of her father getting angry if she climbs into his lap versus the ones of him simply moving her back off. She opts to try the experiment and climbs under his arm, careful not to jostle him, and settles back against his chest.

"How long will it last?"
Nikola is feeling rather generous this evening, and Jasmine is merely shifted to his right knee so that he can still work with his left.

"If it doesn't explode," he says, smiling to himself, "It should last him for several months at a time. And if it does, I may sell the patent to a computer company. It'd be a great boost for laptops."

He talks to her more like an adult than a child, because she's his child, so of course she'll be able to understand.
She takes the shift rather well. At least he didn't set her on the floor. "Like the power mat one?" Jasmine knows how that one works; she watched him explain it. And there's one sitting on the dresser in her room for the little game player Henry gave her.

"If it works for all of Uncle James' suit, would it make the laptop explode? They're an awful lot smaller." For all that she is Nikola's child, undeniably, she is still rather young.
Nikola smiles. "Not at all. The battery doesn't release all of the power at once. If it did, it wouldn't last very long at all. The suit, or the laptop, draws as much power as it needs and no more. And you can adjust the voltage that is released at once. If I end up selling it, I'll use a much smaller cell. Still enough to power a laptop for months, but not enough to even begin to overload it."
She nods, listening. It fascinates her in a way she can't begin to describe, how something that started out as wire and metal bits and screws can power something and make it go. The fact that that it's her Uncle's suit that keeps him alive just makes it more necessary to learn.

"Oh. But you'd still have to make ones for Uncle James?" She reaches for the cell curiously, to touch some loose wire end that's poking out of the side. It doesn't shock her, but it does scratch her fingertip. Not enough to draw blood, but she does suck it into her mouth almost immediately.
Nikola never chastises her for touching things she shouldn't (unless she breaks them, then he yells), figuring she'll learn better by experience.

"I think we're still a few decades away from anyone mass producing batteries for something like James' suit."
She usually does; there are several things in Nikola's lab she has learned to never touch. "Can I help with this one?"
"You can, and you may," Nikola says. "Hold this here," he picks up one of the wires and offers it to her. "And this here," offering her another wire.
She takes the wires with a small smile; getting to help make things was always fun. Jasmine settles against his arm around her, so she won't slip off his lap when she leans forward to hold the wires more comfortably.

"Thank you, Papa," the little girl says quietly, not to disturb him, but she has been taught to be polite, at least. She's a little tired, so the thanks comes with a tiny yawn, but she's studious about holding the wires steady.
"You're very welcome, svitac," he murmurs, kissing the top of her head. "Thank you for helping me."

He works around her hands as well as he can, though it's clear he needed her to hold the wires out of the way for him.

"Have you had your nap today?"
She shakes her head. "Not yet. I was helping Henry." If he tells her exactly what to move and where, and what not to touch, then she can work around with the computers, with her small hands.

"I was reading with Miss Helen after that."
"And of course you didn't tell Helen that you hadn't had a nap," Nikola surmises. He doesn't sound upset by this, more amused than anything. Faintly approving, even.
Again she shakes her head, but doesn't take her hands off the wires she's holding. She is tired, but around her father she doesn't like to show it. "Uh-uh. Not tired...don' need a nap."

Of course, it's rather obvious this isn't true when she starts dropping parts of her words.
"Yes, you are," Nikola says, almost gently, though with a little sternness. "When we're finished here, you're going to take a nap."

Of course, that's assuming he doesn't get utterly caught up and forget all about it, which has been known to happen.
Jasmine only nods; she knows better than to argue when he uses that voice. She'll lose whatever argument it is. "Wanna watch...learn. Ducky keeps callin' me a soldier. He doesn' think I'mma scientist."

The way she says the word 'soldier', almost as if it were a bad thing, is kind of comical coming from a five-year-old. But then so is the assumption she's a proper scientist. She blinks, squeezing her eyes shut hard and reopening them, hoping she'll be less tired.
"Well, Ducky doesn't know his ass from his elbow," Nikola says.

Watching his language is another of those things most people are aware of around children, but Nikola isn't.

"If you can't stay awake enough to hold the wires, you're going straight to bed," he warns her. "But as long as you keep them out of the way, you can watch and learn."
Bribery, it works; most times at least. Jasmine holds them away from where his hands are, concentrating on what her father is doing and trying to guess why.

"Tell me how it works, Papa?"
Nikola chuckles quietly and gives her a basic outline of the principles behind the device. He doesn't talk to her like a child, but he does simplify the process in the way he would for pretty much anyone not part of the Five.

As he speaks, he makes a few adjustments to the power cells.

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*snickers*

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:D

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