“Simple work, maybe,”
“But simple doesn’t always mean easy, and even easy doesn’t always mean fast. We’ll do it the right way, one piece at a time. This place took me half a year to build to my satisfaction in the first place. It’ll take months to fix it up again, what with one thing and another.”
‘One thing and another’ generally meant the fact that something inevitably came up that required her attention - but Teja didn’t sound at all concerned about the possible duration of the project. If anything, she rather looked forward to it - it was good to have something like that going on. It was a good way to focus herself, and she could use all the focus she could find, these days.
“In any case, it won’t be done before the training excursion, nor would I really want it to be.”
Teja did not deign to comment on Manaria’s attempts at renaming it, but the mashups were at least as bad as some of those she’d seen back in the Army. The best judgment she could offer was one that was reserved.
“We want that to be as useful as possible, and that means focusing on what things will be like the majority of the time. Even once AMPERE is working fully, I don’t expect to bring it out much. I would rather hold that in reserve, for when it’s truly needed. The less that’s known about it, the better.”
She’d thought that would handle the situation, but Manaria’s next comment invoked a sudden crackle of static in the air, and a single, firm denial:
The ensuing pause was broken only by the whisper of electricity. For all that Manaria was becoming an astute observer of some things, she had much to learn about others... like that some subjects were off-limits. The static quieted, slowly, even slow breaths pulling it aside.
Nonetheless, Teja shook her head after it was gone.
“Not for him.”
Her voice was iron: hard and brittle. Not with you.
Manara was very capable, and Teja enjoyed her company on the whole - but some spaces didn’t have enough room for another person, and any projects concerning Hector... those were definitely one of them. Her exhalation was as close as she could come to an apology, regretful and slow.
“Leave him out of this. That’s not your place.”
One more lingering look, to the empty table.