>>33968927>To experiment, she drew her filament-bow across the strings, bending them into discordant, ugly shapes and filling the flotilla's observation hub with an awful screeching racket>Maud didn't react; she neither showed disdain, nor did she applaud
"Hmm. So you do have some semblance of taste.">"I am able to discern when you are genuinely trying, mistress."
"It would seem so. I suppose you're programmed to cheer me on regardless.">"I applaud when I deem it would be appropriate to do so."
"Of course, of course. My own one-woman cheerleading squad.">Octavia deactivated her cello, and its image disappeared into a hazy afterglow
"We'll be landing soon, I expect?">"We will."
"Make certain the ship makes it smoothly. I'm going to draw myself a bath.">Maud bowed>"Understood, mistress."
"And you will attend me with fresh towels when I'm finished?">"Of course.">Octavia's bath soothed her as much as it could, though she still felt troubled as she stepped from the tub>As promised, her MAUD stood just beyond, waiting obediently with a towel over one arm and a robe in the other>Her face regarded Octavia blankly, waiting for instructions>Maud's eyes trailed down to Octavia's feet, then back up to the musician's face>"Is there anything else I can provide?"
"No. Well...">Octavia took the towel slowly, scrutinizing the MAUD's cold expression
"What do you think of me?">"I regard you with utmost respect, mistress. You are uniquely talented and have treated me exceptionally well."
"That's not quite what I mean."