Marionette - A book by Stephen Cote(10)
Author:Stephen Cote

    Hyperionsmiled. “I know I’m full of myself, but I don’t know where I’dbe without you, both of you, looking out for my well being.”

    “Don’tlet Chaz and Zud try to guide your art,” Vickette said. “You’rethe artist.”

    Theelevator opened to Chaz and Zud peering through the doors. Vickettecoordinated a dimensional shift, whisking them to the lobby andleaving behind a cloud of pink mist.

    Oncematerialized in the lobby, Vickette extended her hand. “I have MaxRhetric on hold.”

    Mitchclasped his hand over hers, feeling a communication device emergefrom her wrist and press against his palm. He grasped the squashedovoid and closed his fingers around its cool metal. Audio andthree-dimensional video infused his senses, and he beheld a clearrepresentation of his boss.

    Thesight and din of the lobby bled into Mitch’s peripheral vision, andhe became ensconced in iridescent lacquer applied to vinylwood-grained walls. Mitch couldn’t tell if Max was beingcaustically cheap, or if he was taken in by a new trend in bad taste. Max’s humorless demeanor shone through his white cotton toga.

    Maxpushed the single button perched atop a speaker box. “Vickette,bring in the latest.” He released the button, and analyzed rows offactoids unreeling from Vickette’s hive mind.

    “What’sall of this?” Mitch asked, waving his hand around the room andpointing at Max’s clothes. He realized his moving while communingwould look foolish to anyone in the lobby.

    “Officeparty,” Max mumbled, sifting through the information. “Themisses redecorated the office last week. Thinks faux-wood in vinylis coming back.” Without missing a mumbling beat, he murmured,“So, Chaz and Zud are making a play.”

    Maxremained silent.

    “Thatwas a question.”

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