On the runways of the Hall of Fenestration slenderness was next to godliness. The frescos of the Gilt Tabernacle of Mar-a-Gogo depict Museolini, god of the catwalk, being draped in sumptuous crinolines by wingèd benitos whose sheer tights are ruched down the sides. The symbolism is blatant: The fashionist autocracy of Isthmia dispensed influency according to the dictates of dress, reserving outsized wattage for the cream of its waistcoat-and-bustier warriors.
Siddhartha Huff cut a dashing figure even by blueblood standards. His flounced lapels and flair for ironic arm candy had caught the eye of Astrid-bint-Wanda when he was a débutant. The honor he now held as Shootist for the dais pose at the Posse balls was a mark of favor from the doyenne of the Mamasutras. For a rake on the make in the vestibules of sway, the seasonal rites of self-osculation by the duchy glitterati were to die for.
It worked in Sidd’s favor that the mother of all Posse balls, the Lunation Gala, would be non-virtual. Face to face, the lords and lordesses would be at pains to match their avatars and selfie filters; full costume and heavy makeup were therefore de rigueur.
It had not escaped Sidd’s notice that the ragamuffin he had plucked from harvest on the organ farm generally matched his own features and stature. This ostensibly casual yet curiously pointed observation may tip the alert cryptoreader as to where Sidd’s shocking plan was headed.
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