"Try not to get too much prototype on the cat hair, geez," you say.
"Why?" says Ali as more rubs off her sleeves. "Are the electrical properties of cat hair something we need to worry about?"
"I... don't know. Possibly? Static electricity, I guess. And it makes it look messy."
"Yes, that is totally the cat hair and not the bundles of zip tied wires."
Sean, who had emerged from the lab without you noticing, opens the driver door and takes his seat. He sets something on the floor before you get a good look at it.
Ali saw it, though. "You were all fluffed about being late, but you just had to find a lint roller? You're s—"
"It has a sharp tip," he interrupts. "It could probably be used as a stabbing implement. If you want to keep talking, we could test it. For science."
Her eye roll in response is only caught by you and the prototype's camera. He starts the car and pulls out onto the road.
"Wait, what if I just pass it the— no, wait, that'll..." You look over at Ali, muttering to herself. One hand holds her phone, apparently thumb-typing, while the other hand traces through the tangle of wires you wove through pieces of the prototype.
"Why are you doing that on your phone?"
Without looking up, she tells you "I found an APK for a half-decent IDE on XDA and figured out how to get it to use a local WAN thingie to talk to the 'bootloader' I stuck on all the controllers so I can push test code to 'em without having to plug in. Doesn't hold through reboots, though."
"I said 'why', not 'how'. Also... words."
"Oh. My lappy's in the trunk, this was convenient, and I type basically as fast on here as I do on there. Custom keyboard, see?"
Still not looking up from your wiry maze, she shoves the phone out at you for just long enough to see that half of the screen is flat black with a couple of small blue circles spaced randomly. "Yeah, I... sort of remember that. Wasn't it... red before?"
"Mhm, sure..." she breathes absently, settling back into the 'zone' or whatever.
You yourself settle in for the car ride. Lacking anything in particular to think about to keep your mind off the mild, baseless panic of the upcoming presentation, you decide that now would be a good time to ask yourself any deep probing questions about the universe or whatever, because that's a thing people do during boring commutes.