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A yawn escapes me as the PR pitch drones on, way beyond being a reasonably succinct and illuminating presentation. It’s ten minutes since the last opportunity for a concise speech, and it’s bloating to match Marsters’ self-importance. He appears to expect a round of applause when he finishes, which seems unlikely since most of the press use the remote camera fixtures in the room.

Having heard a rumour that PR fluff can rot your brains, I feel it’s safer to zone it out, given the improbability of actual content. It’s being recorded, so I’ll assign an intern to tell me anything I’m missing.

It should be nearly done, as Marsters seems fit to burst, and he’s usually well-paced in his inflation. I’d better start listening again. “...with these upgrades automatically uploaded to our customers phones tonight. Implementing the latest technologies, we’re confident our customers will find a noticeable improvement to our already leading-edge systems.“ After a pause for applause, he continues, unfazed by, and possibly unaware of, its absence. Outside his head. “I’ll happily answer as many questions as time will allow.”

“Mister Marsters,” a camera squeaks, its operator selected by Mercuris Communications’ systems as a preferred reporter. “James Tremaine of the Globe, sir. Can I ask how excited you, personally, feel by the technological innovations your company is pioneering?“ That’ll really tax Marsters’ rehearsed responses. Why not ask his hat size? Bland questions from bland questioners, receiving plastic replies. As the parade of uninteresting questions bleat forth from the assembled press, I abandon any attempt to stifle my yawns.

Finally a camera within reach lights up. “Mister Marsters, Marian Weatherly of the Mirr...” The question dies with a squawk as I stand, discarding the yanked wires.

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