Like a Thief In the Night — Part II

This is Part II of the story which was begun yesterday.  In Part I, Ellen entered into a slightly shady “gene-jig” clinic to prepare for a “job,” the details of which we don’t know of yet.

But we shall shortly….

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One month later —

The evening sparkled, as it always did at the Hotel Capulus, in the Resort Districts of Metroplex 84. No matter the actual weather conditions, the night sky twinkled with stars and a bright full moon, and the sun was always warm in the daytime, thanks to the hotel’s climate-controlled dome. The guests glittered as well — only the elite’s elite (there were always super- and substrata in any social class, even if the levels were as shallow and artificial as wealth and social or political standing) could get a reservation here. Daytime or nighttime, men and women came to the Capulus to relax, to meet, to transact business or attend events, and always to dance and preen in the time-honored game of “king of the social hill.”

You needn’t even worry about being born with the requisite charms anymore, not when biosculpting was so easily available to the right people — the “right people” being the ones who could afford the procedures. Most of these folk belonged to the families who controlled the megacorps that operated the Metroplexes themselves, and were not only the cream of the economic set, but of the political world as well.

Ellen 8

Like any hotel, the Capulus derived a great deal of income from special events. Such an event was taking place now in its cavernous convention hall, an exhibition of holosculptures by an artist famous across fifteen planets besides Earth. Single persons and groups were scattered about the hall, wandering between displays and the refreshment tables, admiring and discussing the works during the evening’s gala première. Among these super-elite spectators, one couple passed about quietly, speaking mostly to themselves. The man, an industrialist named Ewan Reed Wozniak, was dressed in a white evening ensemble trimmed and jeweled with gold flowers on the jacket, a gold lamé vest and a white shirt with frilled cuffs and evening stock, the tie pinned in place with a diamond stock pin. The significant things were that the diamond on the pin was as large as the man’s thumbnail, and the gold flowers were part of a solid gold chain draped around the man’s neck and shoulders. Completely for show, Wozniak carried about a walking stick of solid gold, capped with a faceted crystal head only a little smaller than his clenched hand.

His companion, Tamzin Buckingham, was the chairwoman of one of the oldest family-owned interstellar shipping lines. She was even more delightful to behold than Ewan — wealth did have its privileges, after all, especially when the size of the wealth would have purchased a fistful of the ancient country-states of four centuries ago. Their companies were both based in Plex 84, which had led to their meeting a few months ago. He was now escorting her about the exhibition prior to leaving for dinner at one of the local restaurants. She herself made a fitting companion for the arm of one of the wealthiest men within several hundred kilometers. For the night, she was dressed in a strapless gown of old-rose satin, overlaid with a black lace netting that cost several thousand credits by itself, the workmanship was so rare on Earth anymore. A silk stole was wrapped about her arms, and a fortune in family jewels shone from her throat, ears and elaborate coiffure.

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Another guest seemed to have an enormous fascination with the pair, observing them from behind more than the sculptures about them. And, in a place that had seen many an exotic hothouse flower, this woman was perhaps the most exotic of all. Perhaps it was, in part, due to the tight red sheath and evening gloves she was clad in; perhaps to the rubies and pearls adorning her; maybe in part it was the huge starburst pin that secured the fascinator hat perched on her head. But mostly, it came from the icy cool silver of her skin, and the glittering glow of emerald in her eyes, and the elaborate palette of eyeshadow she seemed to wear without a thought, as if it were a natural thing to her. She had arrived at the resort from offworld five days before, and whispers were flying around that she was her planet’s equivalent of at least a countess, if not higher up in the noble orders there. The double allure of exotic beauty and nobility of birth pulled in the attention of every man she passed in the room, though she was no more than coolly polite to anyone else. She only had eyes for the man in white….

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…and, when she judged the time right, when she was sure she had caught Ewan Wozniak’s attention, Ellen turned to introduce herself to him — and, incidentally, to the blonde who was his companion. If all went to plan, she would soon be knowing Wozniak much better — and that would lead to obtaining the codes she needed to unlock his financials and make a small transfer of funds through laundering links to her clients — and to herself as well.

Yes, it had been expensive to set this up — but oh, darling, what she would get from it in the end!

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Ellen 14

Conan (as “Ewan Wozniak”):

  • Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins Elijah (Cotton HB)
  • Eyes: EDDESIGN HD – 2010 Acqua eyes (dark blue sky eyes 40
  • Hair: A&A Gao
  • Attachments: SLink Avatar Enhancement Hands MALE (Relaxed)
  • Suit: Utopia Edward (white)
  • Shoes: Utopia Dakota

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Ellen 15

Jem (as “Tamzin Buckingham”):

  • Skin: Amacci Skin Tyne (Cream) (added blonde eyebrows)
  • Eyes: Avi-Glam Ada Eyes (Green – S)
  • Hair: Zibska Kiki
  • Attachments: SLink Hands (R: Elegant; L: Casual) and High Feet
  • Gown: PurpleMoon Charlotte Dress and Wrap (Pink)
  • Shoes: KC Couture Grace
  • Accessories: Chop Zuey Diadem of The Superb Bird of Paradise (Diamonds); FaiRodis Jewelry Diana earrings, necklace and ring
  • Makeup (application order):
    • NOX. Coma Shadow (Teal)
    • FIAT LUX Pin Up Eyeliner
    • MUA All the Ways Eyeliner (Pack 1 – 1)
    • MUA All the Ways Eyeliner (Pack 2 – 4)
    • Amacci Eyelashes (3)
    • MUA Counturing Blush (Normal – Full)
    • Senzafine Color Theory: Shift Full Lipstick (RtG 03 [Vibrant])
    • Arte Glamorous Eyebrows (ash blonde)
    • Eye Candi Showgirl Prim Lashes

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Ellen 12

Harper (as “Ellen Kuan”):

In the med center: Cleo skin by Glam Affair (my current standard skin) and vintage outfit by [sYs].

At the hotel:

  • Skin: Fallen Gods Pure Ice
  • Eyes: Avatar Bizarre Crystalline Eyes (Emerald, Fullbright Sm MESH L)
  • Hair: rezology Gala
  • Attachments: SLink Elegant Hands and High Feet
  • Nails: FORMANAILS Stiletto Nails (silver on black, for SLink Elegant hands; be sure you buy the right package, or there will be sadness)
  • Gown: PurpleMoon Cameron (Red)
  • Shoes: PurpleMoon Satine Heels (Red)
  • Accessories: Adam n Eve Latex Gloves (Scarlet); Anachron Cigarette Holder (group gift); Lazuri Dulcina La Rue jewelry suite; Chop Zuey Working the Nebula Fascinator and Star Pin (Scarlet)
  • Makeup (application order):
    • Oceane Body Design Boho eyeshadow (Padmini)
    • White~Widow Reglisse (Turquoise/Purple w/ eyeshadow)
    • White~Widow Cancer (Black/Gold w/eyeshadow)
    • MUA Magnetic Eyeshadow (Iris); Senzafine Safira Eyeshadow (Gold)
    • MUA Eyeliner All the Ways Pack 1 – 1
    • Arise Eye Dots 1 (tintable)
    • StrawberrySingh.com Eyelashes (1)
    • *BOOM* Liquid Glaze (Lashed Yellow [vintage])
    • SlackGirl LineUp Lipstick (03)
    • MUA Cheeks Contouring Color Pack 1 (Light Blue)

Most poses for all of us by PosEioN; others are usually vintage

Complete, full-size PNG photos available in the album at Flickr

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Photographed at my space station, and at Metroplex 17 region, a role-playing sim set in 2086 with a very stratified societal theme. If you join the Metroplex 17 OOC group, you can walk about the sim after teleporting down from the M17 welcome center. If you have a taste for futuristic neo-revolutionary roleplay, check out their Web site and learn about creating a character. Apartments are available for rent in the region to the south of the main business area.

Some notes:

  • Thanks to Poulet Koenkamp of PurpleMoon, whose deep well of creativity came up with the two featured gowns so close together. Poulet is definitely one of the old, established brands now; I remember her in the early days with a far different store and a far smaller collection. Look at where she’s at now, with a devoted and passionate client base, and clothes that are to die for!  The genesis of this story came from these two gowns, as it works out (along with Belle Roussel’s fascinator), so double thanks, Poulet!
  • Thanks also to Zib Scaggs of Zibska, creator of makeup, but also of extraordinary hair. When Jem saw the high, curled wig at Zib’s store, she suggested it to me for introducing Tamzin’s character (which is only minimally described in this article); I added in the diadem as a gift to Jem to wear with the character (see next).
  • Since we’re talking about extremely rich people here, the jewels much be rich as well. Lazuri (Zuri Lyric) and Chop Zuey (Belle Roussel) are favorites; however, serendipity struck and led us to pick up a suite of necklace, earrings and ring for Jem from FaiRodis Jewelry (FaiRodis Aviatik), who has a small collection of fine pieces such as tiaras and diadems. I gave the landmark to her in-world store, but she also has a Marketplace stall.
  • When I think of future fashion that doesn’t involve a posting of some kind, I tend to think in “controlled excess.” Fashion is cyclical; as the economy rises, the styles become more extreme, in clothing, hairstyle and makeup, as disposable income seeks a place to dispose of itself. The in-world story of Metroplex in 2086 has the wealthy elite going to excess — imagine what would happen if trade with other planets was opened up, how much spendable money there would be then! (Bernie Sanders would probably be shot for treason in my 2236.) This resulted in Jem’s character of Tamzin having a particularly dramatic hairstyle and makeup palette (five layers for her eyeshadow alone).  Add to that Ellen’s role as an alien noblewoman, with tastes and traditions influenced by her home world, and you’ll see why the Countess has eight layers for her eye makeup, before we get to the other two layers for her blush and lipstick!

This also would have not been possible without Jem’s and Conan’s help; they’ve been working with me on storyboarding the larger short fiction this article is derived from. As anyone who’s put together an activity between three or more people knows, it can be a stone bitch to coordinate schedules; but Conan and Jemmy really have become partners in the blog here, working with me to create the photos, looking for locations, going through clothing choices and posing sessions, critiquing the photography and making suggestions, etc. It helps that we’re very simpatico in interests and likes — though Conan’s had to stretch his boundaries a bit when it comes to putting on funky-colored skins (laughing).

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