November 14th, 2005

Mask

The Information Business

Daniel’s thoughts of the man-tank were cut off by what he saw on the veranda. There was a woman in a long dress standing outside looking out at the skyline of the city. Daniel caught himself staring as her hips moved under slashes of pink and black silk. He tagged her on his network and, with a blink, switched off his visual input to the Network. He was still feeding out, but he wasn’t paying attention to the feed in.

He leaned on the railing to his balcony.

“Your hair is lovely. Have I seen it before?” The woman turned, and to his delight, her eyes were a dark blue.

“Probably.” She said. “Currently Laura Love has bought the right to the code for her films, and the code is licensed for private use in salons all over the world.” She held out her hand. “I’m Angel Halaway, of the House of Halaway.”

Daniel silently wished he had waited for a return on his tag before approaching. “You’re a House member?”

“House secretary, actually.”

Daniel smiled. “That’s a high position for a young person. Halaway does consulting, right?”

“Individual image consulting. Of course, the house was built on this hair.” She ran her fingers through the thick mass of hair that surrounded her shoulders, a veil of gold and flashing bronze.

“It’s lovely.”

Angel took a step towards him, and he noticed that her body heat warmed the air around her. “Thick, shiny, with eight distinct highlights.” She shrugged. “At least, that’s what the ads say. Every time someone buys it for private use, we get a percentage. It adds up.”

Daniel opened a limited feed on his eye, and a message on Angels tag popped up. He closed his eyes and shut the input down again. “Angel, are you in the information business?”

“Oh Daniel.” She said, stroking the stem of her martini glass. “Everyone is in the information business.”

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