Tag Archives: briefing

Fiction: The briefing (from The Demon in Business Class)

WordPress doesn’t let me tag non-blog posts (the links in the header row), so I post excerpts from my novel to let potential readers find me by searching. Today’s excerpt gives Zarabeth her chance at revenge on the man who woke her heart, then broke it. I also have another reason for posting this particular scene, that you will read in my next post. ‘Til then, enjoy!
Straightforward’s Hong Kong office was in one of Central’s sleek skyscrapers, two MTR stops and a century west of Wan Chai. At seven in the evening, the office was quiet. A staffer led Zarabeth to a bamboo hallway and offered her tea. People passed her, heading out. Everyone ignored her. Her feet pulsed from the heat.
At seven-thirty her telepresence session started, in a half-oval walnut-brown room with only a table and chair. On the wide screen, her boss Magda, pale-white pie-crust face as big as Oz. The staffer resized the image. Now Magda sat in gray clothes at a similar table in a similar room. Except for the floating time code window, the illusion of one place was convincing.
The staffer presented Zarabeth with a thumb-scanner wired to a secure interoffice pouch. She scanned. The security lock snapped off. The staffer left and locked the door.
“That’s to take with you,” Magda said, once they were alone. “Sit down, stranger. Flight ok? Settled in?”
“Fine thanks,” Zarabeth said. “This is spendy.”
“Corporate telepresence comes with hourly bug sweeps and physical soundproofing. Why reinvent the wheel? Now listen. Continue reading