This was going to be an infuriating flight. Who did this Laura Foster think she was? “Listen, I know you pull a team together, but that was because it was short notice and the company figured you already had everyone in mind. Didn’t you realize when they said not to worry about a botanist, it meant they had someone they wanted to head the show?”
“Look, I am sure you’re a great person and talented botanist Karen,” Karen cut her off curtly before more was said.
“Miss Rask. We aren’t on familiar terms.”
“Sorry. Miss Rask, but you aren’t the one whose father went missing, you’re not the one intimately familiar with his notes and you aren’t the one who organized this expedition.”
“I have studied your father’s notes extensively. Honestly, your personal connection to Dr. Foster is a detriment, not a benefit. You’re far more likely to get caught up in things emotionally and make poor choices.” Several of the others aboard were now leaning in to evesdrop. Just as well. Better that they hear this. “I did not agree to simply be a company liaison. Our primary task is to locate and retrieve a plant that will save the world. I am sorry to say that your father is secondary to that.”
“And you are a botanist, which means you’re the one that matters?”
“Sorry if it is a bit harsh, but yes.”
Karen expected it was about to get very ugly and braced herself for as much. The wave of rage never struck. Instead a lanky man, Grant as she recalled who had introduced himself as the group Entomologist, spoke.
“I am going to have to say, both tasks are connected. If we find Dr. Foster, we find the plant and any research he’d added since the last time he checked in.” Others were nodding.
Karen didn’t like the fact that this whole group had been hand-picked by someone else. Who knew where their talent levels were, let alone their work ethic. At the moment it was annoying enough that they were predisposed towards her rival.
Grant continued “Laura and I may not always see eye to eye, but she will do her best to accomplish the tasks before her with unwavering dedication. That her father is involved with the target only means she will be that much more focused.”
“Listen, I need your skills Karen.” Laura drew in a slow breath. “And I know this situation is not what you would have chosen. When we get there, I will lead the general expedition, but in all things botanical, I’ll defer to you. Fair enough? We’re both on the same side.”
Karen considered briefly, studying the others. The woman had loyalty out of her crew if nothing else. After the dull trudging through jungle was over, almost everything important would be in Karen’s own field. She could respect this woman. It seemed to her that this compromise was Laura’s way of keeping the respect of her team while still giving Karen the proper control. Karen had only one thing to say.