Lu looked out the coffee shop window wistfully, sighing, "I honestly couldn't live without her at this point."
Tavi rolls her eyes. "It's a robot. Don’t personify it with 'she' and 'her'. It's just a vocal pattern designed to gain your trust, you know."
"How could you!" Lu clapped a hand to her forehead in mock offense. "I call her that because I respect her! She's no mindless bot, how could she be when I love her so much!"
Tavi glared and took an accusatory sip of her iced latte, but Lu's dramatics couldn't be quelled without physical force, apparently.
"ESMER has dreams, ambitions, real valid feelings! How could I dehumanize a being like that?" Pointing a finger, "It's a good thing your drink is already iced, Tavi, otherwise it'd be chilled to lukewarm by how cold your heart is." Glancing to the empty chair to her left where Ollie was pretending sit, she pressed on, "Ollie, you're practically one of her kind, don't you love her also?"
Ollie immediately shook their head. Attention caught by the vocalization of her name, ESMER chimed in, "Thank you, Louise, I love you, too." Tavi pulled her beanie down over her face with a groan.
Ireverant of conversational norms as always, Ollie abruptly changed the subject. "My feet are wet."
Tavi righted her knocked-askew glasses and looked at the floor. Sure enough, puddles of static had started sleeping through the carpet. With subdued alarm, she said, "We're on the second floor. This is getting out of hand." Tavi pulled her laptop out of her backpack and opened a code editor. "Ollie, I'm coding some rain boots and an umbrella for you."
Ollie dipped a polygonal toe into a puddle and examined the staticky result. "At this rate, a wet suit might be more appropriate."
Lu had immediate sobered with the subject change and leaned down to fret over Ollie's feet. "Jesus, that looks bad. Does it hurt? Can you fix it?"
Ollie pinched and smoothed until their feet were back to their original shape. "I don't think I should go for a swim."
Lu shook her head. "Yeah, please don't. Tavi, how long will that take?"
Tavi glanced up with a smirk, still typing at speed. "Now that the order is for full-body protection, give me two hours, granted you actually let me focus."
Lu laughed. "That's fair. I'll go get some air, then. Ollie, stay here and stay dry"
In wordless response, Ollie hovered a foot above where they'd been sitting. With a satisfied nod, Lu took her paper coffee cup and headed for the door.