Natch was impatient.
He strode around the room with hands clasped behind his back and head bowed forward, like a crazed robot stuck on infinite loop. Around and around, back and forth, from the couch to the door to the window, and then back again. Behind him, the window was tuned to some frantic cityscape that Jara didn't recognize. Buildings huddled together at crooked angles like the teeth of old men, as tube trains probed the cavities. Singapore, maybe? Sao Paulo? Definitely a terran city, Jara decided. Every few minutes, Natch would look in that direction and inhale deeply, as if trying to draw energy from the thousands of manic pedestrians ensconced within the four corners of the window canvas.
Natch stopped suddenly and wheeled on his apprentice. "Why are you just sitting there?" he cried, punctuating the question with a snap of his fingers.
"Where is Horvil?" said Natch. "I told him to be here an hour ago. No, an hour and a half ago. Can't that lazy bastard learn to keep a calendar?" Around and around, back and forth.
Jara regarded her employer in silence. She supposed that Natch would be devilishly handsome to anyone who didn't know he was completely insane. That casually athletic physique, the boyish face that would never know gray, those eyes predictably blue as sapphires: people like Natch just didn't exist on this side of the camera lens. Nor did they spout phrases like trouncing the competition and creating a new paradigm without a trace of irony or self-consciousness.
Natch shook his head. "I can only hope he remembers we've got a product launch tomorrow.""I don't know why you're so uptight," said Jara. "We do twenty or thirty product launches every year." "No," hissed Natch. "Not like this one."