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    Andr0gene
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Colorado Game - 13. Chapter 13

CHAPTER *13*

I spent the next couple of hours on the phone, talking to the studio, which luckily was able to put us up. I also snared several of the artists and was able to get a hold of the most key instruments.

Then I went up to the legal department, to pick up the contracts for the individual artists. When I exited the elevator on the top floor, I passed Janice's office, and I waved at her as I tried to find out where the department was located. When she called out to me, I backtracked a few steps and stuck my head around the doorpost, telling her I was in kind of a hurry.

"You can spare a few minutes. Come in," she said, stretching out an arm to a person I hadn't seen when I walked by. "I'd like you to meet Andrew Forester, our vice-president." A tall man rose from one of the chairs in the ante-office; good grief, were all the Foresters this tall? This guy was as tall as Ross, maybe even taller. He was dressed in a grey suit, which was kinda boring, but he was very nice when he introduced himself.

"Hi, nice to meet you," I said, offering him my hand. "Mark Norcross."

"Ah, so this is the infamous Mr. Norcross," Andrew said, shaking my hand. He squeezed it and I stopped myself just in time before I could yelp; another bone-cracker. What a lovely family. "I've heard so much about you."

"None of it is true," I answered, offering him a smile. He returned it warmly, tilting his head.

"I'll be damned," he said after a few seconds, "green and blue, just like he said." I felt like a cow being weighed and sold. "Ross told me about that." I avoided his gaze when he mentioned Ross's name and looked at Janice.

"Right. Ehm... Janice, can you help me out? I'm looking for the legal department." I looked back at Andrew and offered an apologetic smile. "Sorry, I don't wanna be rude, but we're in a bit of a hurry here. Because of this deal, we're pretty short on time." He waved my apology away.

"No, no... please, go on, I have to go anyway. And I know it's short notice, but I'm sure you'll make the deadline. I have every bit of confidence in you. I'm looking forward to hearing what you've made." He exited the office through a door on the left of Janice's desk. I glanced at a similar door on the right.

"No, he's not here," she spoke, softly. I smiled sourly.

"Did you talk to him yet?" I asked. When she shook her head, I felt a bit relieved. At least I wasn't the only one who he hadn't contacted then.

"No. I know Andrew talked to him last night; he just told me. But he didn't tell me where Ross was or what he was doing." I tried to not let it get to me, that he had taken the time to call his brother, so I pretended not to care.

"Right. So... legal department?" I guess that sounded a bit short and harsh but I couldn't help myself. Damn him.

"Mark..." she said, giving me a look that said ‘don't be angry'.

"Janice?" I answered, sending her back a ‘sorry, no can do' look. She sighed and gave me the directions. Then I left her office and went on my way.

**********

I arrived at the studio around noon, a few minutes behind schedule. Already there were several artists inside, tuning their instruments. The rest came in after me. Several of the musicians approached me with notes, scribbled on the sheet music, which I took with me to the mixing booth on the left, where Eric and Joey were already waiting for me. There was no real need for them to be there; their field was individual sounds. Like the clatter of metal you hear, representing weapons in a strategy game? They make those sounds. It's pretty fun to watch them go at it, in an empty studio and with nothing else but pieces of pots, pans, wood, plastic, gravel, wire; you name it, they use it. The official term for the job is ‘foley artist’ but they did more than that; they also did sound design. They go outside with a big microphone, catching individual sounds. Their résumé spanned several games and Eric even worked two movies. Joey had gotten some time in with a TV series which, at the time, was shot near Denver. The reason for them to be here today was pretty much just to assist me; extra sets of ears. With the time being as limited as it was, I could use all I could get.

"Okay, let's get this show on the road, shall we?" Eric grinned, putting on a headset while I sat down at the mixing station. “Let us hear why you earn the big bucks and we don’t.”

"Gimme a few minutes," I answered, skimming the notes. Then I looked up and nodded. "Alright; let's dance."

The atmosphere in the studio was great when we started the session. The musicians knew the music, suggested a few things here and there, some of it good, some of it not so good, but the overall mood was cheerful and we got a lot of work done in the first two hours. I asked each instrument to be played solo at first, recording each on a separate track, enabling me to play around with it. Then, after those first two hours, the idea was to have all instruments play together and record that. The difference by doing it this way was to enable me to hear the end result before mixing the separate tracks together, and pinpoint several flaws in the grand scheme of things.

"Lose that drum," Joey said, "I heard it before but now I'm sure. It doesn't belong there. It sounds too menacing. We already have a battle theme." I nodded, realizing the same thing. I spoke through the mike that we'd be taking a break, because I had to rewrite that section. Then, when I swiveled around in my chair to get something from my bag, I froze. There, standing in a darkened corner of the booth, was Ross, leaning casually against the wall.

"'Hey boss, we hadn't seen you come in. You been standing there long?" Eric spoke, enthusiastically. "So what do you think?" Joey greeted him a bit calmer, his eyes quickly flicking from me to Ross and back.

"I like it," Ross said, pushing himself away from the wall. "Just a few minutes." He had his hands buried deep inside his pockets and tried to make eye contact.

"Can we talk?" he asked, eying Joey and Eric and making a nod towards the door. ‘In private?"

"I... no, I really can't leave now..." I answered, reaching for my bag. When I glanced up, he just raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms.

"I'm not really asking."

"Ross, I was told that this stuff must ready by five, so you'll just have to wait, alright?" I said a little irritated. God, his timing was way off. "I only have like, a few hours left." He sighed and impatiently combed his hair with a hand.

"This is important."

"So is this."

"Since I'm paying for it, I think you should do as you're told," he replied roughly, "now." At that he turned and stalked out, slamming the door shut behind him. It stayed silent for a few long seconds and then Joey softly spoke.

"Mark, you better go. This can wait for a few minutes." I looked at him and he smiled apologetically. "Now is not the time to get even. I know you're angry with him but he clearly wants to talk to you. Go."

"Wait a minute," Eric suddenly spoke up. "What the hell is going on here? What did just happen, did I miss something?" I nodded to Joey, who looked at me questioningly while motioning to Eric. Then I pushed myself off from the mixing panel and followed Ross out, while he began explaining a few things to Eric.

Minor edit; some explanatory lines added. Minor corrections.

andr0gene 2004-Present; All Rights Reserved
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I thought Mark was a bit of a dick and then I didn't but now I do again. Make up my mind for me, will ya. I need vindication - should I or shouldn't I. Yeah.

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Mark had every right to be angry after days of non communication , anybody in that situation would feel used. A good airing of feelings is necessary . 

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