“Is that him?” Gini asked quietly as the massive beast of a male stalked out of her boss’s office.
Her supervisor, who had escorted her to the waiting room, nodded solemnly.
“And you want me to work with him by myself on Occa Lake?” Gini asked, knowing that Occa was a small body of water on top of a mountain ridge about six hours away. Secluded and without modern technology. Not a place to get stuck with a male like that.
Gini winced as the yellow-skinned Krant stalked down the hall as if he were a shark. Two people had stopped and pushed themselves back against the wall. One male saw him and turned all the way around, taking the first hall to get out of the way.
“Well, I’m not a genius or anything,” Gini started, “but he doesn’t look like the kind of guy who works well with others.”
The director stepped out of his office. “You’re Andy?”
“Gini,” she corrected as she stood up.
The director’s dark blue eyes peered down her body. “You’re the swimmer, right?”
That was one way to summarize her race, sure. But still…rude. “Yes.”
He nodded his head, which was a feat considering his short, thick neck. “Good, good. I need you to fly out to Occa Lake. The quantum network connection is gone. Destroyed over a year ago. Deo, your partner, will identify where the cables are bad, drill the lines, and lay the cable. You will uplink the network and notify me the moment it’s up.”
Sounded very routine. It made no sense that it would take a specialized team to fix it. The foreman also didn’t explain why he needed her swimming abilities in this situation.
“And if the lines are not up and complete, our contract terminates, and we will have a massive fine to pay to the Federation—which means lots of people will lose their jobs.”
Gini lifted her eyebrows as if she were interested in the fate of the company. She wasn’t, but it was impolite to say that. “I understand. You need…” She tilted her head towards the hall because they both knew who she was referring to. “To dig the trenches and lay the lines. You need me to check the hub and get the station working.”
The boss’s face crinkled as he smiled. “That’s exactly what I need you to do.”
Again, what did being a swimmer have to do with this? Why her? There were plenty of electrical engineers who knew how to secure a station.
“Great. Is there anything else I should know?”
The boss looked down at Gini’s supervisor. The way their eyebrows moved, Gini felt as if they were having a conversation.
Interestingly, the boss’s lips pulled back in a tight smile. “No, I don’t think there is anything I could say that would help.”
The jerk was going to let her walk into this job with no preparation.
“Is there a reason you picked me to go?”
“Your…reputation with working with difficult people is why I chose you.”
She had a reputation for working well with difficult people?
That was what she was known for? Wow. That hurt.
She expected at least a: you’re a hard worker, and no matter what, you get things done. Because that was true, too, but apparently, being a hard worker wasn’t a good enough quality.
Internally rolling her eyes, she grabbed her pack from the other chair and swung it over her shoulder.
“Oh, and Andy?”
Good Seth of Stars, he couldn’t even remember her name. “It’s Gini.”
“Right,” he said dismissively. “The thing to remember is, you have exactly one week to complete this job.”
One week? It would take two weeks with a team of five people. How the hell did this bastard think she was going to complete it in seven days?
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