Hilton Boston Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts
“It’s your money I’m throwing around,” Arthur jokes. Thomas is right, the hotel suite Arthur, Thomas, and Sean Patrick now share seated around an oversized coffee table has that was-a-smoking-room tinge. Arthur cashed in a major favor, but with the biggest symposium in Earth’s history taking place across the street, and a public announcement in Government Center expected to draw millions the following day, people were grabbing up anything that wasn’t nailed down, whether that be cups of coffee, T fares, or hotel suites. With Earth’s longevity now clear, there wasn’t much point in holding onto major favors, and he took what he could get.
“Don’t worry,” Sean reassures Thomas. “We hired a team to shoot Professor Grossman’s keynote. We’ll have the video uploaded to your DropBox immediately after our meeting with Liv.” The three of them had been tied at the hip since Grossman’s MIT lecture, preparing for the public announcement tomorrow. Still, these little details always caught Thomas pleasantly surprised.
Thomas gets to the point. “My team has been through your write-up on Ms. Liv. They tell me you’re source is fast.” It felt strange to compliment a person’s source for background checks, yet the speed of the vet was spectacular. “Then they tell me there’s significant holes. Periods where there’s nothing even mentioned.”
Arthur nods. It was fact, the girl had spans of time off the grid.
Thomas continues, “Where are we with the on-air faint?”
“Checked with a source at Boston General. It’s a non-issue,” Arthur responds.
Thomas questions the response with his eyes. “I know I don’t need to remind either of you how big this thing is. Your agency added as much input here as we did. After tomorrow, we’re committed.”
Arthur stops him. “We use the best. There’s nothing our people don’t uncover.” The consummate salesman. “If it’s not here,” he points at a bound copy of the report, “it’s not ever going to be there,” he points at the suite’s flatscreen. “And what is here is a lot of moving around, across countries, continents when she was younger. Places where the insatiable documentation of life online doesn’t exist. That’s why we have holes.”
“And you’re sure they’ll remain holes?” Thomas continues. “Because the second she’s introduced, she won’t just be trending, she’ll be the only thing searched. The world can be an ugly place very quickly.”
Patrick chimes in. “We’ve got the best PR team in the world on standby. If something slips past the vet, it’ll fall to them. And if they can’t clean up, we’ve got lawyers, forensics, and SEO that will very literally remove it from public domain. You partnered with Patrick Bale for our attention to detail. Believe in what we do.”
It would have brought a tear to Arthur’s eye if he hadn’t seen this setup-closer shtick a thousand times. He and Patrick built their agency off it. Humans need validity. Validity can’t come from a single source, that’s called an opinion. But two opinions in unison, that’s validity. And when you build validity every time a client questions, that can add a lot of dollars into two people’s pockets.
Like clockwork, Thomas concedes to Patrick. “Ok, bring her in. How do you think she’s going to respond?”
Arthur looks at the dress hanging on the back for the door, waiting for hotel pickup to be pressed for tomorrow’s event. “We bought her a new dress.” He pauses a beat. “Incase she shits herself.”