IIChad was the grandson of Ted T. Powell, a local agri-business magnate. Ted T. made his fortune on government contracts. Produced freeze-dried foodstuffs for the armed forces. In another time, some might have called him “tycoon.”
Spenser disliked Chad. Chad was petty, sycophantic and—worst of all—had a self esteem far outstripping his actual level of competence in most fields. Like so many in his peer group, he felt no impetus to improve himself through reflection and principled behavior. He figured he could get by on his charisma alone—a circumstance over which Spenser frequently shared a silent chuckle with himself.
As Chad entered Spenser’s office, the prominent overhead lighting agitated his glossy hair product. This crowned his tan head with a strange platinum halo. Spenser, pale with parted hair, stood hunched over a cardboard scale model of the city center.
“Those kids finally finished it,” Chad grinned.
“I like this little wine shop myself,” Spenser pointed at a proposed storefront on Ninth. “We’ve been tossing around a little DIY incubator and teaching vineyard out back, too.”
“A whole vineyard in the heart of Sunnyside,” Chad shook his head incredulously. “The City’s lucky to have you, Spence.”
Spenser didn’t need his ego stroked. And he certainly didn’t need Chad hanging around. But what difference did it make? The business major seemed largely benign. Spenser didn’t like to be addressed by an abbreviated variation on his surname, though. Still better than “Corporal," he thought...