Point blank, she couldn’t get more serious. It escaped her why the Consultant demanded a sharper certainty. Only the misled could reach the need for consult off the mark. And she was anything but. The guides and referrals were far too careful to send a wannabe to the final sherpa, the wizard behind the curtain, to Door Number Three. She knew the Consultant arranged the pathways and the people, and vetted them at every step. Or the highest; she figured the Grand Poobah herself must have minions on the staircase.
Which, she realized, colored her unimpressed. The Consultant, she mused, doesn’t trust her own process? Why laser-focus the network only to find laxity in its results?
She did not realize she had seen lions before, yes, in picture books as a child and from the comfort of her den.
“Come,” spoke the Consultant after a long pause during which she stared at Breune, bemused without letting it show of the newest recruit’s bemused look in the face of the greatest honor that so many hoped to acheive, the opportunity of a lifetime, or nine. A small beat and she was off, swiftly, to the back offices, to the high, floodlit studio. She needed not to glance behind; not even a fool would not follow. Not that fools had ever stood before her in this atrium. But one could never be too sure.
But she would deal with that later.
The new recruit followed, with urgency, oh yes, but with a touch of something, not the swiftness of her own smooth feet and brain. Already the recruit might be annoying her; it was an eagerness that displayed itself unseemily. It was on the verge of sloppiness, the Consultant determined, and that is what bothered her, struck her nose as ugly. But posthaste, of course, she continued on. Slightly she increased her speed. Her shoes, though with soles of soft material, slapped on the tile floor, until she felt as though simply by walking she’d swept the entire hallway.
They reached the studio archway.