"Tell us everything," Morgance said, clutching her coffee mug tightly in her hands simply because there was nothing else to hold onto.
Rune still looked as though he was recovering from shock. "She's...she's not perfectly composed," he said, shaking his head. "She has faults and feelings. She's not a robot."
The words were spoken with such conviction that Morgance wished she had been the one to confront Vinnia. It had taken every ounce of willpower to keep from insisting that she, and not Rune, should be the one to talk to their trainer. But instead of arguing about it, Morgance had held her tongue - something that had been almost impossibly hard. Perhaps she really could learn to control her temper.
"What do you mean?" Casady asked, snapping Morgance back to the present.
"She just...isn't perfect."
Impatient - so much for self-control - Morgance stomped her foot on the ground. "Yeah, but what did she say, Rune?" she asked eager to hear what Rune had to say and not willing to wait for it. "How did you find out that she's not perfect?"
Clasping his fingers tightly on the table, Rune stared at his hands for a moment before meeting Casady's eyes, but not Morgance's. "I don't know," he finally said. "She said that she'd done something 'royally stupid,' but she wouldn't tell me what it was. I didn't want to pressure her. She looked really shaken, like something awful had happened."
"And it happened at the meeting?" Morgance asked.
"Keep your voice down," Casady said, though not unkindly. Morgance glanced around the room. Good - it didn't appear as though anyone had heard her.
As the gathering of the trainees continued on around the trio, Rune explained just what had happened in the hallway. Morgance listened intently.
"That's it, then," Rune concluded.
For a long time, the three sat in silence. At long last, Casady ventured to say, "And we all thought she was some sort of robot."
More silence. Then, Rune said softly, "That's what I thought, too."
"There's more to all this than meets the eye," Morgance said. "There's more to everything about this than meets the eye. We've got to talk to Vinnia and figure out what's going on."
Casady raised his eyebrows. "Do you really think Vinnia will be willing to talk to us?"
"Her assistant might," Rune pointed out.
"Is he on our side?" Casady asked.
Morgance rolled her eyes. "Have you seen the man? He is as in love with Vinnia as he could possibly be. She doesn't seem to want his attention, though. Just by observing them whenever we're in the same room, I can tell that he really loves her."
"So you think he'd be on our side?" Casady asked.
Morgance twirled her thumbs, deep in thought. Finally, she replied, "I think he'd be our best bet."