[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.Farm boy here hadn't even recognized her.He acted as if he couldn't care less.Had Mac set this up on purpose? It sent an audacious message: We don't even have to try.This kid had better be good, or she was going to be annoyed.And irritating Ricki Varento was a good way to crash and shatter in this business."You're a long way from the farm," she said."Never far enough," he answered in a low voice.Interesting response."So did you bring your music?" She didn't normally ask, but given how unprepared this guy seemed, who knew what he had with him?For a moment, he looked startled.Then he tapped a ticker on his belt."Here, yes, I bring music.""Great." She gave him one of her high-wattage smiles and motioned at the studio below the window."Let's hear what you can do.""Just like that?" he asked."I can go down?""Yeah, sure." Ricki held back her frown.The kid didn't come across as stupid, but his inexperience was obvious.Either Mac was losing his edge or else he was playing hardball at a level he had never done with her before.She pointed the lift out to Del, then stood and watched while he left the booth.The lift hummed and a moment later he walked into the mesh-tech studio below.Greg Tong must have been waiting in the cockpit, because as soon as Del appeared, Greg opened a door across the room and walked in.He hadn't turned on the audio feed to the booth, so Ricki couldn't hear them, but Greg was plainly introducing himself.Although she could have switched on the audio, it intrigued her to watch their body language.Del seemed relaxed and curious, not keyed up the way most artists were before an audition of this magnitude.Greg took the ticker from Del and went to the wall where the michaels, bobs, and janes hung.After choosing a bronzed mike, he brought it over to Del.And that was it.Greg returned to the control room they called the cockpit and closed the door.Ricki flicked on the line to the cockpit."Greg?""Heya," he said."What was that all about?""I asked him what he needed when he sang, what configurations, all that.The usual." He snorted a laugh."You wouldn't believe what he told me.""Try me," Ricki said." 'Nothing.' Just play the music on his ticker.""That's it?" What was Mac doing, wasting her time with someone who wasn't ready? She was tempted to tell Del to forget it.She had worked with Mac a long time, though.For the sake of that relationship, she would give this kid a few minutes."What's he going to sing?" she asked."I don't know." The comm crackled the way it did when Greg shook his head and his hair brushed the oversized collar of those metallic shirts he wore."He's going to, uh, warm up.""Well, hell." Ricki couldn't believe this."He couldn't be bothered to warm up before his audition?""Can't say.It's not like he doesn't know what he's doing.He isn't nervous at all.It's weird.""Why does he need a mike? The studio can pick up his voice.""He wanted something to hold.""Huh." Ricki didn't care if he wanted a michael, mike, or mic as it was historically called, after the antique word microphone.Added to everything else, though, it didn't help her opinion of him.Down in the studio, Del flicked on the mike."Hello?" His voice rumbled with a sultry quality.It sounded good even when Ricki was pissed off.She put a comm in her ear that linked to the cockpit so she and Greg could converse without Del overhearing.Then she switched on the audio to the studio below where Del waited."Go ahead and start," she said.Del looked up with a jerk, then glanced around, obviously trying to figure out where her voice came from.Ricki swore under her breath."What did you say?" Greg asked over her ear comm.she answered.She formed the word without speaking.Sensors in her body picked up her throat motions and transmitted signals to the plug in her ear, which converted them into words and sent them to Greg.Ricki wondered if this Del had lied about being with Mac.The front-liner wasn't even here.One minute.She would give Del one minute to convince her otherwise.Then he was out.Del sang a note, and his voice came out clear and full.Great.He could do one note.She ought to jump for joy."Greg, could you play an E4?" Del said."Sure," Greg said over the studio comm.A tone rang out with the same pitch as Del's note.Del tried a few more and had Greg play notes afterward [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]