141 \ 333

Ravl Pliskin doesn’t wear his dress cane out very often; in fact his old injury, from the days when he had to flee Hirylien, barely bothered him anymore. But he was dressed to go out tonight, and in the thick of dealings he felt like he wanted the cane with him, if only for the communications embedded in the pard cat topper. This call had come through just as he’d been ready to go through the door, so he was sitting in layered formals, hat and shined shoes, jeweled chain flashing, rotating his cane in a gloved hand.

“We’re ready to go on this,” affirmed his familiar peer in fast dealings for big business.

“And you’ve already run it through specs and probabilities, like we have? It’s a ubiquitous formula with wide-ranging ramifications, but if it’ll work, it should all work.”

“It’ll work. Our sharpest minds and pointiest heads are nodding. We want it, and we want it first.”

“We’re able to move on this if you are. Ultimately, other markets will become able to incorporate the development. You’ll be taking on the early adopters, along with the early rounds of development and bug fixes.”

“That’s what we want. We’re making it easy for you by accepting your terms.”

“Good, because those are the only terms. This was costly, and dangerous, and may still be, even though we know that it works. Beautifully.”

“Thanks to people who will be adequately rewarded.”

“Enough to go home big or live forever in paradise.”

“That’s what I like to hear – we’re not in the market for technology with ghosts.”

“Then, I’m surprised you’re in the market at all.”

“As am I, every day. But, at least I’ve got friends like you here.”

“With friends like me, who needs—“

“—lesser upgrades?”

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