As she and Imogen cross the plaza in front of the FRAWD building, Lilly suggests, “Maybe we should go see Grom, see what he wanted.”
“Do you want to try to track down him now? I suppose there’s still time for us to go to the science museum tomorrow if we don’t go this afternoon.” Imogen drops her voice, continuing, “Malorn said the job isn’t until the day after that.”
“You have some sort of training going on with Malorn?” Lilly asks.
“Ah…. aye… I do have some sort of training going on with Malorn,” Imogen confirms without providing any other details.
“How long is he staying? Until we do the mission?”
“I think he will be out of here as soon as we finish the job for him,” Imogen replies. Then, feeling that she owes Lilly a bit of an explanation, she elaborates on the training. “I’m hoping he can get me to the point where I can figure out how to get that psi-gauntlet on.”
“Well, you got it on,” Lilly points out, thinking of the mess on Mar Sara that got them through customs.
“Turned on,” Imogen clarifies sourly.
Since Grom’s place is downtown like FRAWD is while the museum is on the outskirts, they decide to check in with him first. Even if he is not free to see them right now, at least they can let him know that they are back in town or make an appointment, even.
Along the way, Lilly asks if they need supplies. “What does Malorn eat?”
“That’s his problem, not ours,” Imogen replies dismissively.
Lilly nods to herself. “Maybe more beer.”
“Aye,” Imogen agrees, considering the slightly more tolerable mellowed-out version of the protoss. Then she wonders what something higher proof could accomplish for his attitude. “Perhaps some whiskey, even.”
* * *
The same young man sits at the reception desk as the last time Lilly and Imogen were here. He looks at them closely for a moment, considering, but he does not immediately recognize them. After all, in his position he does meet and interact with a lot of people. “How can I help you today?” he pleasantly asks the two women. “Are you interested in working here at Grom, LLC? If so, you can submit an application.”
Imogen holds back a laugh, considering the conclusion of their last business dealing with the company. She looks to Lilly to take the lead on this, as Grom is the former soldier’s contact.
“I’m Lilly Washington. I think Grom was looking for me at FRAWD headquarters.”
“You’re going to have to be more specific,” the receptionist replies. “There are several Groms in the company…”
“Oh, right… Uh… Mister… Grom?”
“Grom the Senior?”
“Okay. Do you have an appointment?”
“And what do you need to see him about?”
“He came looking for us, so… whatever he needed.”
The receptionist frowns a bit. “Mmm… his schedule is very locked up right now. Later this week he is having a public question-and-answer session. Maybe you could come back then and bring your questions up to him there.”
Lilly is used to not being recognized. Maybe she needs to jog this guy’s memory. “This is Imogen, and I’m Lilly. We were here…” She looks over at Imogen, and the Umojan steps up to the desk.
“Two weeks ago. We were here two weeks ago, and we had to strong arm our way up to Grom through you,” Imogen says.
“Yeah, you thought we were working for competitors,” Lilly picks it back up. “It was the time he was under special security.”
“The quarterly review…” Imogen prompts.
“Why don’t…” the receptionist stammers out nervously, “why don’t I just check the old appointments here….” He types rapidly for a moment. “Oh! You did have an appointment with Jefferson Grom. And it says…” He glances up at them, then looks back down. “Well, I won’t say what it says, but it was definitely you two.” He offers them a slot at the end of the week, on Friday. Lilly asks for something sooner, worried that they might have to beat tracks if things go poorly at DORF, but Friday is the best he can do. Lilly provides her number in case Grom decides his need is more urgent than that. The receptionist agrees to pass that on. “I will let him know that you are in town. But in the meantime, you have your just-before-lunch appointment on Friday.”
Lilly nods. “I’ll put it on my calendar.” She absentmindedly picks up a pen from the counter, and as she and Imogen turn to leave, she pushes up her sleeve and writes a note to herself on her arm.