"Aww, come on. Again?"
Velair screws up her eyes, taking in the chessboard. Sure enough, her king was in check by the black queen. "I should have listened to my dad. I don't think I'll be able to beat you."
The synthetic woman across from her smiles. "Maybe. Maybe not. I have found that it's the unknown that makes the game fun."
Velair puts her hands to her temples, gently rubbing them. "That's easy for you to say Aunt EDI. You've already played through your next hundred moves in your head. I'm stuck barely holding my own."
Noticing Velair's obvious frustration, EDI tries a different tactic. "If it makes you feel better, you are doing far better than your father ever did. She would always take the offensive, and end up getting crushed."
Velair looks up at her, "Heh, that does sound like dad. Be honest though, no one's ever beaten you, have they?"
"You'd be surprised. Your mom is actually the only one to date that has successfully beaten me. So don't lose hope Velair, even I make mistakes."
The young asari's eyes move back to the board, as if willing the board to give her a solution. She doesn't even notice her mother come up behind her and give her a kiss on the cheek. "How goes the game sweetie?"
EDI smiles, "She's definitely better than Shepard."
Liara giggles, "Kaycee's never been good at having the patience to think ahead of her opponent." Bending down, she whispers in her daughter's ear. "Move your rook in front of the queen."
Velair glances at the rook and back to her mother, who nods. Taking a deep breath, she makes her move. The piece blocks the queen's path. EDI nods, impressed. "That was the best move to make in this situation."
She takes the rook with her queen. "Check."
Velair's eyes widen. The queen was open to attack by her knight. She thought to herself, Did she mean to do that?
She takes EDI's queen. Looking up in triumph, she notices the surprised expression on her face. "Hmm.....I didn't expect that....."
The game had turned in Velair's favor. For the next hour, the game marches on, each player refusing to give ground. Liara watches from the kitchen, seeing the sheer determination on her daughter's face. She smiles to herself. She has her father's drive.
The game ends suddenly as one of Velair's pawns makes it to the opposite end, becoming a new queen. "......checkmate!"
EDI glances at the board before breaking into a wide smile. "So it is. Congratulations Velair. You obviously have your mother's tactical mind."
The child's eyes look alight with wonder and delight. She hurries over to EDI, wrapping her arms around her. "Thanks for the game Aunt EDI! Rematch this week?"
EDI returns the hug, "Of course, I have to redeem myself don't I?"
Liara calls out, "Velair? Why don't you tell your daddy the good news. I'm sure she'll be so proud."
As she watches her daughter go tearing out the front door, she glances at EDI. "You let her win."
The strands of her hair blow gently in the breeze from the open window. She turns to Liara. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"You may have fooled my girl, but I know better. You don't lose like that, and I would know. It took me almost fifty games before I was able to win."
EDI doesn't respond immediately. She instead watches little Velair almost bouncing with joy in front of her father and Jeff. "EDI?"
"She.....I.....needed her to."
EDI turns to Liara. "The look in her eyes. That fire. That drive. I needed to see that."
Liara walks over and puts a hand on EDI's shoulder, feeling the slight hum from the generators inside the frame. "Something wrong EDI?"
"I have been thinking.......about having children of my own."
"You mean adopting?"
She nods, "I am unsure of what Jeff would say if I brought up the subject. He'd probably make a wisecrack or two, but after that, I'm not sure."
Liara's grip tightens. "EDI, Joker.....Jeff loves you. I think he would support you through anything if it meant you were happy. I personally think any child would be the luckiest person in the galaxy to have you two as parents." Her hand moves up to the synthetic strands of her hair, feeling them. "You know? I don't think I've ever seen you with your hair down before."
EDI gives a small laugh. "Jeff made the point that the solid mold was no longer necessary. Plus I think he likes it better this way."
"I'm not sure I wanted to know that last part."
"Are you sure? I could give you the list of reasons why."
"As you wish." EDI starts to reset the board for a new game. "In that case, care for a rematch Doctor?"
Liara looks out once more at the sheer joy on her daughter's face before taking her seat. "Bring it on, EDI."