“I better go first. I better go number one.”
Moshe Vanderkellen was twenty years old, the league-leading MVP for Ares War College, and a top-notch fine-line-walker of confidence and arrogance, all too often tripping into the latter. He was still young, though, and even he couldn’t hide signs of nervousness. Angled forward in his seat, he rubbed his hands together while his legs bounced up and down like rapidly firing pistons.
“Well, hold on,” Cassidy said, setting down her pour of neat Lothian Scotch. She leaned toward him and into the armrest of the crinkling leather chair. “We talked about this and it should be obvious given their position in the draft. Neptune Company is not a winning team. I don’t give a damn how good you are, there’s no way you can carry them to victory and there’s no way they’d have your back in a sticky situation. I don’t want to see my friend go down in a shitstorm because he’s only thinking about the number.”
They had thirty minutes until the first round kicked off. Reflections of ten different newscast holograms reflected off Cassidy’s whiskey glass while the spicy scent of Robusto cigars and hum of media socialites floated all around them. Facilities crew members performed equipment checks on the empty stage in front. Moshe’s father was pacing the floor behind his son like an agitated steer, occasionally pulling a jumbo shrimp from the tiny white plate in his hand and biting its head off.
The mother wasn’t there. They rarely ever were.
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