The flashing red light above the door to Nathan Hempstead’s office indicated he didn’t want to be disturbed. Mai pressed a button to alert Nathan he had a visitor and looked into the camera above the keypad.
A sexy, computer-generated female voice responded, “Mr. Hempstead is unavailable.”
Mai entered her security code on the keypad by the door and punched in the override command. The door cycled to unlock, and the light over the door switched to green. Mai went into the office and closed the door behind her.
Nathan’s office was dark except for the illumination from a half-dozen computer monitors on stand-up desks. The monitors showed only screen savers, all of them scenes from the various Star Trek television shows and movies. Nathan sat at his regular desk, dark face awash in blue light from the monitor there. When she approached, he turned his monitor off, leaving him a shadow in the dim room.
“This is very James Bond-ish,” Mai said. “Are you Blofeld now?”
“Didn’t those fancy English tutors teach you how to interpret a ‘do not disturb’ indication?” Nathan asked.
She tensed at his tone. At the least opportune times, Nathan employed vernacular that was a cross between Gone With the Wind servile and rapper trash talk. She was not in the mood for that right now. She was never in the mood for it.
“You were the one who insisted I have the override capability,” she reminded him.
“What the fuck you want?”
That wasn’t servile or trashy but raw anger.
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