The Mogul leaned his weight onto the armrest of his seat, opposite The Bureaucrat sitting beside him.
Splashed in front of them was a projection of a Professor explaining the current progress of her research.
She was not an orator, very monotone and with rigid body language, however her expertise was unquestionable.
The Professor was explaining how her team worked around a roadblock on their project, developing an artificial intelligence.
The specific purpose of this intelligence was not known to The Bureaucrat and barely known to The Mogul. However, The Mogul was playing the role of salesman. No need to truly understand the product.
Leave the talking to the projected Professor.
The Bureaucrat did not understand a word that was being said, but it did not matter. At the end of the presentation, she knew The Professor would deliver the conclusion.
The Mogul sat up again, as the presentation neared his desired timestamp.
And then, on cue from The Professor.
"How is your progress on the policy going?", referring to Policy 858, which regarded the Unions ability to use independent contractors for intelligence development.
The Bureaucrat gave an indecisive smug, obviously practiced.
"It will be passed, easily"
The Mogul noticed a hesitation, which again, almost seemed rehearsed. As if The Bureaucrat had been trained to have this exact conversation.
"But the real dilemma is who will gain what. All parties with a stake need to be satiated before the policy is passed."
The Mogul could taste the bait. Both The Mogul and The Bureaucrat knew the purpose of this meeting. The Professor's voice still echoed through the empty theatre.
Big enough for corporate training, yet out of the way enough for private meetings.
"Well, I assume those Herzon Brothers are all over you, same as I am right now".
The Mogul didn't shift his gaze from The Bureaucrat until she acknowledged the statement. Both understood the unnatural circumstances of their conversation.
Both trained and rehearsed, The Bureaucrat with canned responses and The Mogul with scheduled inquiries.
The presentation neared its close, as The Professor neared her conclusion on the project.
"Who owns the research she is doing?"
"There is a contract in place with her, however that is not something you need to worry about. As soon as it is ready you would have it."
"I need to see the contract."
The Mogul picked up his tablet from the seat beside him and flicked through the contract. The Bureaucrat's tablet pinged. She also flicked through the contract.
"You don't own this at all."
"The Professor was crafty with her negotiations; she is shrewd and calculated. But I have the tools to shift her focus."
"I expect that you won't tell me this plan?"
The Mogul smirked at the inquiry but gave no reply. The Professor began making her conclusion.
"We have reached a milestone on BINTek that will finally allow us to begin practical trials. However, this will require immense human resources which our department just cannot spare.
As such, we will be shelving our research for later development."
The Professor's final expression barely changed, but her sorrow was evident. The Bureaucrat's eyes lit up at this final statement. She understood The Mogul's plan now.