“And voila!” Jack made a flourish with his hands. “The life energies of the mice have been switched. Isn't it amazing?”
Barbara didn't want to come off as stupid or uneducated. Because, truth be told, Barbara had been taught by the best tutors available. She was fluent in several languages and was passible in at least 50. She knew the location and language of every known country. But she had no idea how this machine worked. Not that she wanted Jack to know this.
“I know what you're thinking,” Jack said, interrupting her thoughts. “You were probably told about me and you are wondering why the machine hasn't exploded.”
“I wasn't thinking that, although I am now. Do your machines explode often?” Barbara took a step back from the machine.
“I would rather not say. Regardless, I am very confident that this machine will not explode.”
“Oh,” Barbara breathed out slowly. She began to slowly walk around the machine, examining each part as she came to it. There were a lot of gears and hinges and pullies. There were suction cups and beakers. Everything seemed to be connected in some way, but she still didn't know how the machine worked.
“You still seem hesitant.” Jack swallowed, his adam's apple bobbing up and down.
Barbara smiled at him, trying to alleviate his fears. “I am just wondering how your machine works.”
Jack's smile seemed to light up the room. “It is really quite simple. You pull this lever which moves the rope on the pulley allowing the water to fall into this beaker which is heated by this flame here...”
Barbara tuned him out as he went on about the function of every part of his machine. It was really quite endearing the way his eyes lit up as he talked.
She shook her head to clear those thoughts out of her mind. There was no time for thoughts like those. And besides, she would be leaving soon and Jack would be staying here.
“And then these suction cups take the life energy out and send it down this tube here to be passed through these suction cups into the recipient.” Jack took a deep breath. “Of course, with mice it is a fairly quick process as their life energy is smaller than say, that of an elephant or even a human. The larger the life force, the longer the process.”
“Oh, of course.” Barbara nodded, watching as Jack's smile grew.
Well, the ship wouldn't be leaving for another day or two. Maybe she could spare some time for those kinds of thoughts.