Kyle nodded, “Just a bit more setup, stand there, if you would.” He gestured at a spot of empty carpet in front of Taylor’s desk, large enough that both men could stand in it and still have a bubble around them free of office furniture. While Taylor moved into the spot with a bemused expression on his face Kyle shut off the office lights and closed the door. That made the office dark enough that he had to pull out his cell phone for light as he walked back to Taylor. Once they were both standing together he triggered the program he already had queued up on his palm size autocaster.
A ball of light swirled into being, and then resolved itself to a globe. Looking at it he realized his program had moved where the band of dusk fell as well. Now it was somewhere over England that the world turned to night and lights rather than visible contents picked out the land. Kyle didn’t know if that was the correct place for night to be at this time of day, and he assumed the patches of light and darkness were in the wrong places, but it still looked good.
“That’s pretty good,” Taylor said, sounding a little less impressed then he had been by the light absorption earlier, “You did that all with the hand unit?”
“I see you’ve been working with your photomancy. This was, what, probably created with the spells licensed under the ‘Thomas Illusions Home and Small Business Kit”? It’s pretty good, I’m surprised you managed to get it up that quick working with those tools, and typically stuff done with those effects waver and glow just a bit. Have you added some other new effect? I’ve got that meeting, but I think it might be good if I introduced you to some of the boys in our production shop and let them show you what you can do with the full professional license kit.”
Kyle shook his head slightly. That was pretty much a brushoff, but it sounded like a positive one with a job offer wrapped up in it. He could work with that reaction. He smiled though perhaps it didn’t come across in the still dark room. “Well, that would be great. But I didn’t use any public license.”
“Oh, really?” Strangely Mr. Taylor’s tone had changed to one of mild disappointment. “Well, this is sterling work for someone coming up with things on their own. Now, we’re pretty solidly aligned under Thomas Illusions products here, but I bet you could do great things with those tools. If you you’d like to try it out.”
“Sure, but you might want to see this as well.” Kyle tapped the next button on his autocaster display. The last phase of the spell triggered with the small spell shattering and glints of light flying out and around the office. Lights swirled for a second and then they were in the Alpine forest. Kyle, stood under a tall pinetree thickly weighted with snow, still wearing his best interview suit. Mr. Taylor stood a few feet away his feet vanishing in a drift. Only one set of tracks lead off into the forest, they were Kyle’s and they seemed to indicate he’d walked further for this meeting then he actually had.
Taylor’s mouth opened. The gesture was slight but it was clearly visible in the bright, if fake, sunshine of the forest. He looked around for a long moment taking it all in. It took him a moment to hide his surprise and come up with something reasonable to say, “I think I recognize the forest. It’s a modification on a Real Dreams stock image, but are you really running this all off of the palm unit?”
“How many minutes can it manage?”
Kyle brought up the auto caster’s magical charge display and silently handed it to Taylor. The executive looked at the flow numbers. Muttered something, looked at them again, and mumbled again. “You must have new spells for every color in the illusion matrix. Astoundingly efficient ones.”
“How did you find them all? That should have taken…” He trailed off. It should have taken lifetimes.
“Well, that’s the new bit. I mean, obviously I can’t discuss it in detail, but lets say I’ve come up with a new technique.”
Taylor nodded and handed back the autocaster still looking half dazed, “So, of course, there are no other casters, at the moment, to trigger non-scalar effects.”
“I actually might have found a way around those totally.”
Taylor’s eyes snapped up, locking with his own. “Are you trying to con me?”
Kyle shook his head keeping his expression open. “It’s part of my new technique.” Thinking now was the time to close in for the kill he deactivated the autocaster, and mentally dispelled the blackness across the windows. They were in an office again. “You’re the first one I’ve shown.”
Taylor’s reaction, again, was off. He shook his head as though trying to clear it. Then scowled, looked at the floor, and muttered something about, “…for this I almost would…” Then walked back to his desk chair and sat heavily. After a moment of glaring at his desk calendar he looked up, “I’d really like to do business with you.”
Kyle felt his face fall, then fought disappointment, and tried to salvage the meeting that had just gone so suddenly and strangely wrong. “But for some reason you can’t?”
“As I said, we’re a Thomas Illusions shop. We’ve got a contract that gives us incredible prices on all his products, but it binds us up. We literally, can’t buy your license. At least not without paying a huge early termination fee. I’ll talk to the legal department, but I’m not sure there’s much I can do.”
Anger flared, Kyle let a tiny amount of it through into his tone. “You know, I’m going to be meeting with a number of people.”
“Well yes.” Taylor sighed then shook his head slightly and looked at his watch. When he spoke again his professional smile had snapped back into place hard “Actually I wish you luck. This industry,” he shrugged, “for all our flash, we’re pretty hide bound. But if you make a splash, and you’ve got the juice, you just might, maybe I can talk my bosses and my legal into doing business with you.” He frowned looking honestly sad, “However, I’ve got a client to wrangle in about five more minutes, and you don’t want to end up running late either. It was a pleasure meeting with you.” They shook hands, “I expect there will be no problem with you walking out unescorted. I doubt we have any trade secrets you’ll be interested in! The best of luck.”
Taylor didn’t ask for a business card or contact information. Fuming, Kyle didn’t offer it.