July 16, 2009.
The deep bass and blaring horns of swing music kept the noise level of Xiao’s Ballroom high. Waiters and waitresses made their way speedily through the crowded room on roller skates, shuttling hors d’oeuvres and drinks to all the gathered engineers and salespeople.
Thankfully, Stephen found at least one familiar face in the crowded auditorium; Aarti was standing by herself watching the spectacle around them. Still on a high from his conversation with Sebastin, Stephen wasted no time in telling Aarti about his project and his results.
He spoke too fast and too loud. He hadn’t even started in on any of the details when she pulled him closer to warn him “I’m not sure you should be talking about any of that here. It’s ...