Nancy was searching through the previously-locked cabinet in Niko's office. She snagged the thumb-print conveniently on one of the little devices inside, and she jumped when she thought she heard Victor coming back, knocking over the shelf. When it turned out to be just her over-active imagination, she relaxed and moved to put everything back as she had found it. Strangely, a small audio card had fallen out of one of the books, and she picked it up.

"Personal Diary," was written on it in that surprisingly-neat handwriting she had come to recognize as Nicko's. Intrigued, she pocketed it and walked over to the large desk. Slipping it in the player, she hit play.

September 8, 2010

I have been noticing a disturbing change in my working habits now that Ann Franklin has been working with me. I am at a loss to explain it. I find myself desiring to prove myself, but I am unable to concentrate when she stands too close. The crew has been teasing me about it, but I do not understand what is the cause of their jokes. As Gray has informed me bluntly, I do not understand most social situations.

I shall have to keep tabs on this situation.

September 12, 2010

Ann worked up the nerve to ask me to coffee. I agreed to pursue this issue to its source. It was perhaps the least social thing I have ever had to sit through. Even the Nobel Prize has an element of socializing. Ann and I didn't talk. She seemed content to sit quietly. I had nothing to talk to her about. Gray has been pushing for me to make small talk with her. I fail to see why, but he has not been wrong in the past in the social arena.

September 15, 2010

I am unable to explain the mass of new feelings washing over me. I do not have words for them, and judging by the way she stutters, neither does Ann. Of course, that just might be my influence.

Grey has become indispensable in this matter. He has become my guide to this new realm and acts as my interpreter. He has been pushing me to ask Ann to go to dinner and assures me she won't say no.

Meanwhile, the rest of the crew is whispering. Mason has been winking at me, and Ellie and Ryan have been clearly gossiping. I have informed them they must focus on their work, but they have paid little attention.

September 19, 2010

I submitted to Gray's urging and asked Ann to dinner. We went into town tonight, because Ellie heard and insisted I could not just make Ramen in the lounge and gave me the name Bambino's in Colorado Springs. It was quite tasty, but the conversation was far from stimulating. Yet in spite of myself, I actually had a good time.

Nancy's eyes widened. She had never heard of this Ann. She had some asking around to do.