You sigh. Checking out the Pond does sound interesting, but your recent ass-kicking is still on your mind. If you're going to avoid repeating the experience you need to get better equipment.
"All right, let's see about starting those upgrades, if you don't mind," you decide.
"Sure, sure. Lemme see your compensator."
"This coming from you, saber-boy?" Smirking, you hand off your lance to Em, who immediately begins inspecting it intently (making you smirk harder).
"Yes, that's right, sabers. It's not size, it's what you do with it. Oh, that reminds me."
"No, seriously. The other thing you have to do around here. Sparring. Training. That shit. We've got some facilities around back at the range."
"Yeah? Maybe I can give that a look later." Weapons are good and all, but practice is probably even more helpful.
Em doesn't answer as he starts to disassemble your lance, carefully unlocking the casing and removing it. He's clearly walked the hall blind like this before. He mumbles stuff about the conduits and the magnetics as he goes, sounding vaguely interested. You eventually make it back to the labs at your slowed pace.
...only to find a handful of reploids already inside. One looks up. It's a Lanceteamer Bingo, the same generation models Guns had as his honor guard. He locks eyes with you, nods slowly, and goes back to disassembling his buster rifle. Beside him, another doesn't even do that, organizing a set of small tools and occasionally handing one to his partner, without so much as a word.
Em doesn't seem to notice or care, picking a clear space.
>What is this I don't even. I'll just go do something else (?)