Timaeus would stay behind to supervise the efforts of the experimental ship-design effort.
“Automata, your majesty,” he said, shaking his head. “A child’s toy…”
“Can become a weapon. Aren’t the deadliest daggers the ones that look like little bijoux?”
He looked at her and smiled. Yes, she might be queen, but in his eyes she would always be the apt pupil of eleven, who was blooming into something formidable.
And that, in a way, was flattery in excess of anything the kings of the earth could provide in the way of ivory or gold or marriage-offers.
Cleopatra is setting sail to Rome by invitation of Julius Caesar; Timaeus is her (fictional) tutor whom she has appointed to oversee the steam-technology initiative.
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