" William, that girl is scary," Prima complained, slumping against the doorframe. " I could barely talk to her."

This was an unexpected development, and so William mentally adjusted for it. After a moment, he began to speak, fingers still tapping on the keyboard as he worked on building an encrypted subsystem for the R&D network.

" Good, then that means she's sharp," he said. " Did she have any feedback on the construction?"

" Uhhh... something about live cultures?" Prima said.

" They're a class six biological hazard so we'll only be doing live cultures in controlled single tests and then using pressurized incineration coupled with anaerobic mass deprivation to destroy test copies," William responded. " In other words, it's something that we can't allow to exist outside of test conditions no matter what. I'll send her more detailed handling guidelines later."

" Uh, is it really okay for us to have stuff like that aboard?" Prima asked, skeptical.

" It doesn't matter whether it's okay or not," William said. His alarm went off to call with General Eyre, so he stood abruptly and closed down his holoscreen. " I have an appointment. Go back to surveilling Noctis. I need to be informed on her movements for the time being."

He strode by Prima, purpose set in his mind.

The project proposal had to go through. They had very limited time to put it into action, and any conceptual retooling would be eating up both resources and goodwill. Sector 05 was only the first obstacle.

They would have to return to Sector 27 and participate in political affairs fulltime.

R&D would mean nothing if he couldn't obtain the support of the Sector's Council and Executive Council.

In order to secure his freedom, he had to go back home.