-Outside Dr. Reid's Laboratory, 3:30 A.M.-
Wearing her green, white, and gold outfit with black bike shorts underneath the skirt, Argent Gloves on her hands, backpack of supplies on her back, Ses Revanche in her right boot, and not enough coffee in her bloodstream to make her qualify as fully awake, Leona was standing outside Dr. Reid's Laboratory at a time so early that normally she was not awake unless she was on a job. It was so early that almost no one was on the streets except for people getting home from work or people going to work and there were only a few of those commuters on the streets. Leona would not be here if it were not for Dr. Reid. Around midnight Leona had received a letter from Dr. Reid. The Wizard Saint was asleep in her room and had to be awakened by the staff member who had brought her the letter, which Leona opened and read.
According to the letter, Dr. Reid had managed to fix the Atlas Project slightly earlier than her estimate of a month or more. She had spent many long days and quite a few long nights working on repairing the suit's electrical systems, improving the cooling system, and building a new, more powerful generator just for the Atlas, but now the doctor's project was fully operational. It was up to Leona to test the upgraded Atlas and see if it had finally been fixed or if it would need still more work before it would meet the doctor's expectations. Answering the call with enthusiasm, Leona had gotten a shower, gotten dressed, and had gathered some of her gear before leaving Silver Wolf Guild Hall as fast as she could go, but she had left behind her Silver Longsword... not that she needed it for a job like this.
Speaking of the letter, Leona needed to refresh her memory on what today's password was. She took off her backpack, opened it up, reached inside of it, and fished out the letter, which had been gently folded and placed on top of her folded desert cloak. She unfolded the letter and then read it with the help of her night vision mode since there was not a nearby street light to help her see. Near the bottom of the paper was today's password, which was "Olympian."
Having refreshed her memory for long enough to actually remember the password, Leona put the letter in her left hand, walked up to the intercom grille, and pressed the button to the right.
"Password?" The voice asked.
"Olympian." Leona answered.
"Splendid. I'll let you in!" The voice said with a cheerfulness that was not shared by the drowsy Wizard Saint. Leona waited patiently and was rewarded when the door opened and Dr. Reid was standing inside the doorway. The long-haired blonde looked like she had not slept in several days and her outfit had a few oil stains on it.
Dr. Reid was wearing the same midriff-baring pink tank top and khaki cargo shorts with brown work boots that she had worn during Leona's last visit, but the shorts and boots had a few oil stains on them and the tank top had a small oil stain near the bottom right side. Dr. Reid's hair was also rather frizzy like she had suffered an electrical shock at some point during the repair work. The doctor looked at Leona and the Wizard Saint noticed the beginnings of dark circles around the doctor's eyes.
"Hey Leona! I'm sorry for looking so awful, but I put in a lot of work on my project. Come inside and I'll show you! After coffee, of course!" Dr. Reid cheerfully greeted Leona. The Wizard Saint blinked. How in Ishgar could the doctor be so cheerful this early in the morning?
"Um, sure." Leona said awkwardly. She walked inside and Dr. Reid shut the door behind her and locked it.
-Inside the mini-kitchen-
Leona walked over to the small square table, took off her backpack, opened her backpack, refolded the letter, put it neatly inside, then closed up the backpack and set it to the right of the chair with its back to the garage. Dr. Reid walked over to a cupboard and pulled out two white mugs. One of them was her mug that read "I'll sleep when I'm dead!" in bold black letters. The other one was a plain white mug with nothing on it.
Dr. Reid took both cups over to the coffeemaker and poured two cups of Motor City Nitro. She then took them into her hands and walked over to the square table where Leona was standing and set the plain white mug in front of Leona's seat. Dr. Reid then pulled out the chair opposite Leona and sat down in it. Leona wordlessly sat down in her chair.
"I've got some good news for you." Dr. Reid said calmly before sipping from her mug.
"I read your letter, Doctor. I read that it took a lot of hard work, but you managed to get the Atlas operational again." Leona replied calmly before picking up her mug of Motor City Nitro and sipped from it. Dr. Reid nodded slowly.
"Hard work is an understatement, Leona. It took four days to build the power generator alone. It took about ten days to fix the suit's electrical systems and another ten days to improve the cooling system." Dr. Reid gave a rundown of how long fixing and upgrading the Atlas took. Leona blinked, then took a sip of coffee to buy herself time to think about what to say. After a few moments she lowered the mug and spoke.
"You clearly put a lot of work into getting the Atlas Project operational again, Doctor. I'll be glad to test it for you." Leona asserted. The doctor smiled a little.
"I know that I called for you at a really early hour and I'm sorry for that. But I'm glad you're here, Leona. I'm glad that you decided to help me out with this. I don't have anyone else I can trust and I'm not just saying that to butter you up after how I treated you a few weeks ago." Dr. Reid expressed gratitude for Leona's help. She also gave a sort-of apology for a few weeks ago when she refused to help Leona in her quest to start learning robotics. Leona felt a brief but powerful twinge of resentment over what had happened that day.
"It's no problem, Dr. Reid." Leona said calmly and sipped some coffee. That incident was in the past and it needed to stay there. Dr. Reid was letting Leona help her with a project she trusted no one else to help her with, so the Wizard Saint needed to let the matter drop so that their professional relationship would not be jeopardized.
However, Leona could not help but to feel like she was being deliberately held back by Dr. Reid to reduce the chances of her becoming a competitor to the established robotics expert.
[Post Word Count: 1,180]
[Total Word Count: 1,180/7,000]