Stanley Court Mall, East Wing

Recently, Stanley Court Mall had been the recipient of a mad-scientist-attack, a hostage / ransom plan staged to look like a PR event for Starborn comics. As if ignorant of that fact (or perhaps feeding off the reputation), the new PR manager for Craft Comics had decided to host another event: the Starry Night Collection Night Apparel Expose, the most grandiose-named, star-themed event to ever be hosted by someone other than the net event mogul, Showbizz.

The event stage and backstage were both veiled in a heavy, dark blue curtain, dappled with luminescent white paint (with the lights out, it would look like stars). The size was very large, large enough to cover the whole circle outside Velc's; anyone looking to shop there or in surrounding stores basically had to walk around the mall.

Bouncers were waiting at various points around the curtain... they weren't turning away the uninvited, but rather, politely informing parents with young children that there was going to be a risque lingerie show taking place in just a moment. Like at any Starborn event, many fans had assembled nearby to get ready to watch. Criticsand professionals of both the fashion and comic industries were also in the crowd. There was also a large turnout by girls interested in fashion or guys "interested in fashion," of course.

Maintaining it all was a tall, middle-aged man with sunglasses and a bright orange suit, making him look more like a DimensionMan fanboy than a PR manager. His hair was brown and thick, combed in a way that made it look wild (which takes some talent to do). More importantly, his heavy moustache and heard were the same, curled ever so slightly upward at the tips. Although his face was grinning (revealing a pristine, almost too-white smile that looked like it must have taken a lot of dental work), he was barking orders nonstop and with little patience. His skin had a thick tan as well... he was definitely a man who cared about his appearance (even if he chose to wear an orange dress suit).

Despite the GNA's claims, he was far too busy to look for Ariel. Luckily, he would be easy enough for her to spot.
It didn't take very long for Ariel to find where everything was set up. She was quite familiar with the mall's layout, from spending a fair amount of her high school days hanging out there, chilling with friends, getting chatted up by guys, and every so often, doing it with said guys in one of the lesser used bathrooms. Good times. Actually, that seemed like something that'd be fun to do some time, for nostalgia's sake. But not today, since she had the important duty of strutting around in extremely little clothing for fun and profit.

"Now let's see, where's that Mr. Fawkes guy..." Here and there, people were actually stopping and staring at the pilot as she scoured the area for her temporary employer; she might not be dressed for the part, but with her figure, she certainly looked like she belonged at a saucy lingerie show. Now let's see...if he was the PR director, he'd probably be one acting in charge...aha, that guy in the orange suit fit the mark. Though, eww, orange suit. Yeah, she was wearing a light blue body suit, so she wasn't quite the right person to complain about fashion sense, but at least she accessorized with dark colored stuff. This was just orange eye pain.

But, he was the boss, so no saying that to his face. "Hi, you must be Mr. Fawkes!" Phew, easy Freudian slip averted. "I'm Ariel Fuujimoto, and I'm the one the GNA sent over to fill in for your show! I promise that me and my Navi won't let you down!" Though, the only immediately apparent way she could possibly disappoint at an event like this would be if her hair ended up completely blocking her rather shapely buttocks from everyone's view...
"Well heeey, sheee-yugah dumplin!" Bill began; a great way to address anyone you were meeting for the first time. His country accent was so thick that it would almost be hard to believe he was the same person who had wrote the curt and official sounding mission description. "So ya know me? Well, I damn sure wanna know you, ah hee hee heeee!" he guffawed with too much energy. "Eh, enough shootin spit, lemme take you back over to the boss girl. You two'll get along like two Ds in a- uh, les' just say like two real large peas that have a hard time shoppin' for pods!"

He signalled over to a huge, bald, surly fellow in a cheap suit. "Ya'll keep a lookout here, son!" he urged the man, sounding each time he talked like he desperately wished to spit, despite his earlier words. "I've got to see to the ladies, Buzz. You take the wheel," he ordered his subordinate. "And no lip from you, you git gone, Buzz!" he further demanded, losing his battle with saliva and spitting on the unfortunate underling. For what it mattered, Buzz looked like a man of few words, so it would have been surprising to hear him complain. "That ol' polecat, Buzz! He's a good feller, just gotta keep'em in line," Bill snickered. Ariel could easily imagine he said that about a lot of people.

Keeping his hand glued to her shoulder, Bill led Ariel through the curtain and towards the backstage. Various helpers were running around but no models, making it impossible to get a preview of what she was going to be modelling. "Lemme explain our pre-dic-uh-ment," he continued, saying each syllable deliberately. "I let Cornelia cast her own models for this show. There's sizes A to DD goin' on and what does she do? She casts herself as DD! Well spit in my shoe, I can't have the Craft girl herself prancin around in this stuff, much as I wouldn't mind seein' those chocolate bunnies outta their wrappers! Naw, people'd think she's even crazier'n she is. So that's why yore here, dallin!"

A few people passed by, this time carrying outfits...The fact that Ariel had to look hard to distinguish them from handtowels or napkins made it clear what kind of nightwear she was getting into. "Just so y'know, this's'about more'n just gettin guys like me their jollies. Here in this test run, we're testin actual merchandise, created by fans of Craft Comics! What's more important is that we're eatin the cost and collectin charity all at the same time. See, while you parade on the catwalk, usin those great big talents God gave ya, the audience will be puttin cash up on the runway! That'll tell us whether or not the skivvies have em some perceive-ed value or what not. If you gets lotsa money, I give you some nice chips in return. Windy chips like yer askin fer!" Ariel may or may not have understood that having money thrown at you while wearing skanky clothes and showing off your body wasn't exactly a "fashion show..."

Finally, they reached... another curtain. As it turned out, they'd been navigating the crowd more than any actual walkway, and this looked to be a makeshift little tent to hide the event organizer, who was said to be a hermit... although, what kind of hermit wants to model intimate apparel? "Cornelia Craft, in the flesh, waitin just behind that door. She tole' me t' keep out, so that's what I'm doin, even if I wanna be crammed in there with ya'll like vanilla in a ice cream sandwich, all smushed up... with one chocolate side and one smooth vanilla wafer... Aw dag nabbit, gotta stop by uh... food cart, what with that on my mind now," he cursed, walking away bowlegged and clearly heading towards the bathroom.

"Cornelia Craft wanted to meet her model, the one giving animation to the hopes and dreams of her fans! 'Come right in!' Cornelia bid Ariel, quivering in anticipation and also perhaps with a slight chill. She wished that the mall was just a little warmer for the event," a voice rambled... although it spoke in third person, the voice clearly belonged to the one it spoke of; Ariel realized this must be the case when she entered and found only one woman.

The woman in question was a tall, dark skinned beauty with a body very similar to Ariel's own; namely, busty. Her jet-black hair was drawn into a sort of outward-oriented folding fan shape at the back, bristling out. Her face had a charismatic smile... and a mask. A blue mask that obscured her eye color into full white. She was apparently already dressed for the event, as her only clothing consisted of three things: a blue "tube top" that really only covered the breasts, connecting with a piece of silver, starburst-shaped jewelry in the center of her sizable chest... a pair of blue bloomers, possibly several sizes too small for her... and a black thong beneath, visible by its straps rising up to the swell of her hips.

"Cornelia was amazed to see that her replacement had such a striking resemblance to Red Nova, her most scintilating comic book character..! Perhaps a little less in the chest and different eyes, but otherwise, wow! Cornelia was ready to turn Ariel over to the costumers and show ZephyrMan the judge's seating, but first... she had an important question..." the woman began. She looked both ways,stepped around Ariel, and shut the curtains. She drew close enough for Ariel to smell her perfume (something tropical) before speaking. "Do you think Bill is evil?" she whispered, dropping her overly theatrical voice.
In a rare moment, Ariel actually became somewhat uncomfortable about someone talking suggestively about here. Part of it was probably the 180 between how the request sounded and how the guy actually sounded, but he reminded her of that guy at the bar that always got drunk early and kept making lewd remarks about her that the entire building could hear, even though she'd already politely, then not-so-politely declined anything more than that. And then he'd accidentally get spit on whatever it was she was munching on, so she couldn't even drown her annoyance in food, so she'd have to go extra heavy with the alcohol, and then the next thing she knew, she was waking up naked in a strange apartment, sandwiched between a guy of questionable looks and another girl. Hopefully the end result here would have slightly less awkward results.

...Hmm, the woman in charge wanted to model for this? She could see how that could be a problem. Though, now she was curious what this Cornelia looked like, if she was confident enough to parade around in scantily clad outfits. And hey, that person was carrying around napkins. Guess they were doing some catering for the show...wait...on closer inspection, those weren't napkins. That was clothing. Possibly something she herself would have to wear later. She didn't mind being scantily clad in front of lots of other people, but dang, that'd barely qualify as scantily clad...but at least it was all for a good cause, if this was for charity. Though she DID have to wonder at what point it stopped being a sexy charity event and started being an event where young ladies were whoring themselves out for money. She didn't mind, per se, but it was a bit odd.

After being escorted, the 'delightful' Bill rushed off, clearly headed for the bathroom instead of the food court. Not only did he just contradict himself, but as she knew from experience, people rarely used that particular men's room for purely bathroom purposes. So, unless this was the first time he'd ever been to this mall, he either had a girl waiting for him there, which seemed unlikely to her, or he was going to head in one of the stalls and...oh. OH. ...Eww. That was a mental image she wanted out of her head ASAP.

Luckily for Ariel, her mind was promptly distracted by voices speaking in third person, beckoning her to enter. And so she did. And...THAT was a comic book artist? She looked a lot less...nerdy than she expected. And then she immediately got complimented on her body. "Um, my jumpsuit actually restricts me there a bit, so I'm actually a little bigger than I look! And gray eyes aren't exactly common, especially for an Electopian. And-" Before she could continue, she was questioned about Bill's...evilness? That was...a little unexpected. Unless she was somehow involved in that giant robot kidnapping, in which case it did make sense. "Um, I wouldn't say evil...I'd say he's more, and pardon the language, but...the man is...well, I'll just say it in Electopian...kare wa seikō to shite bukimidesu!" She shivered, which could potentially be taken as her being a little chilly like Cornelia, but was actually just a sign that she really meant what she said.

The entire time, ZephyrMan was watching what was going on intently, with a raised eyebrow. Just what had they gotten themselves into? And why was a respected comic book artist dressed like...well, like that? He didn't flat out object to it or anything, but it was weird...
"Cornelia was relieved to hear that she and her model shared the same ideas on Bill! Ariel would come to learn that Cornelia's former PR manager, Wilhelm Jacques, had turned out to be an international criminal. He'd been charming at first, but revealed his true colors when he attempted to kidnap her and hold her for ransom. That's why this time, Cornelia chose to go with a guy who looked like a despicable scumbucket from the very start, hoping that he'd turn out to be the reverse of his personality as well! Only... it had turned out that Bill was exactly as advertised. Still, better than if Bill had turned out to be an octopus-obsessed mad scientist," the comic book artist laughed, easing up a bit.

With that important question resolved, Cornelia sat down at a small, backless stool. She waved one hand at the small, backless stool opposite from her to indicate Ariel should sit down. "Cornelia was now ready to explain the necessary procedures to Ariel. First off, Ariel would need to visit the costume manager. It ought to be easy enough, Cornelia suspected, since the costume manager would currently be handling the wardrobe for several girls. Next, the costume manager would begin her work of dressing Ariel, with Ariel's assistance. At the same time, ZephyrMan would jack in and take his place as a contest judge. The value of each outfit would be judged upon two criteria: a composite review of scores given by judges, as well as the dollar value that the model received for their display. The highest rated lingerie would go on to become official Red Nova merchandise! On the other hand, there might be a bonus in it for models who generate a lot of revenue... but at the same time, Cornelia would be on the look out for any foul play! If the discrepancy between money and judge's scores is too high, Cornelia might have to suspect something... in which case, the judgment would be void. As would the bonus."

"Finally, the meat and potatoes: Ariel's job, once her wardrobe was finished, would be to do her best strut out onto the catwalk. At minimum, you must move all the way to the end, turn, and come back. But to really generate revenue for the charity, Ariel would want to make sure she was fully utilizing her lingerie and that erotic body of hers... in whatever way seems appropriate!" Ariel's employer finished, smiling broadly. Ariel had to wonder if Cornelia had really been up to doing all of this herself before Bill talked her out of it... and how painful it must have been for Bill to talk her out of it. Maybe he wasn't such a bad PR manager...? Maybe. "Ariel would model two outfits over the course of the event: the Red Nova collection, based on the hero, and the Utopia collection, based on the new rival character introduced in the last arc. The Warp DD collection was er... well, it turns out these things have to be cleaned and in mint condition prior to the show, and someone had gotten overeager and tried it on beforehand. But no matter! Warp was never meant to be DD regardless. Warp is Cornelia's precious little A cup angel!" Cornelia finished. "With all of that said, was Ariel ready to begin the quest of the starborn?! Or did she require further guidance before setting off?" The artist crossed one leg over the other and smiled with confidence, projecting an image of professionalism that didn't match her outfit at all.
Hmm, either Cornelia could speak Electopian, or she forgot to turn her translator off. Either way, oh well, she agreed. "Yeah, I can see how that'd be a problem!" Well, in the sense that no guy worth his salt was into sea creatures. Or was a mad scientist. With that thought, Ariel sat in the other stool, and daintily crossed her legs, even though her skirt wasn't really hiding anything. Really, it was more an accessory than an actual article of clothing...

As for her role, it seemed simple enough. Get changed, walk out, strut her stuff, raise money. Though, she did have to wonder why ZephyrMan was going to be a judge. Wouldn't he be biased towards her, for obvious reasons? Oh well, one less thing to worry about. Also, maybe Cornelia really WAS going to do this herself, if she hadn't been talked out of it. She couldn't imagine that PR guy doing it, though...but if actually was him, maybe he actually wasn't a total perv after all. Maybe. "Sounds straightforward enough to me! So, where's the costume manager?" So, superhero themed lingerie. She really didn't know anything about superheroes, but at least she knew a thing or two about parading herself around in her underwear, and that was probably the more important thing to know for this.
"Cornelia was pleased to see that Ariel had no complaints, for she could easily fear a few in such a situation. She instructed Ariel to look for the line of costumes over to the right; nearby would be a woman giving out instructions; that woman would be the costume manager Ariel sought. Ariel would also notice there were no dressing rooms; due to the tight budget, Ariel would need to change in the women's bathroom nearby costuming. Cornelia knew that might be disagreeable for Ariel so she kept her mouth shut about it, leaving it for the manager to address herself," the artist explained/narrated. She bid Martia goodbye with a flashy pose that Ariel couldn't expect to recognize without being a comic buff.

No sign of Bill as Ariel made her way to wardrobe. That didn't really matter. What did matter was that there was no woman giving instructions in sight, only a man in a cowboy hat and big aviator shades. Other than that, they looked pretty young and slick, with a white button-up shirt, black tie, and matching slacks. They also had a very classic rocker haircut, short but bushy. The guy was dressed like he belonged to Bill's crew but he looked pretty... pretty. He looked pretty darn pretty, even with his sharp, well-kept moustache.

The guy had a somewhat quite voice and was busily moving from girl to girl, fixing up various elements of the outfits: a little shadow here to add emphasis, a little inviso-tape there to make sure a vital piece of coverage didn't fall off during a critical moment. To his credit, he didn't seem terribly excited about the girls... but he did look downright nervous.

Ariel noted only two models: a slender Electopian with dark hair for A-cup, a brunette with a pinup-style figure for C. B was missing and either so was D or she was basically carrying the burden of representing large breasts in general. Both were dressed in outfits that could be described as cute and creative by a certain crowd and skanky by another. The matching red colors implied that the first reveal would be all about Red Nova.

The guy turned to face Ariel, looking even younger and prettier now that she got a good look at his face. "You must be the DD model," the costumer confirmed. "I've got to hurry and get you ready so we can get the B model ready, so..." they continued, searching trough racks of clothing as he talked. "Please take these and go get dressed. If too have any trouble... getting them on... please knock on the outpost door and I will come in to help." Maybe this was another perv after all... a guy probably shouldn't be the one helping models put on their lingerie, at least not in the case of untrained amateurs.

"While you do, we will need to jack in your navi for contest judging. You won't be able to operate him for a while, but I don't think there will be any need. For extra assurance, we do have security navis watching the judges, but I highly, highly doubt anyone plans to upset civilian judges at a non-profit lingerie expo. Still, if some mad scien- er, mad man, tried something, we'd be ready for them this time," the costumer assured Ariel. "So your navi won't be in any danger regardless while unoperated. To get him into the network, use one of those podium-like structures set up for guest registration."

Said podiums had not stood out before, but she spotted them now. There were so many set up that it would be easy to find one no matter which direction she faced. "Once you jack your navi in, we'll make sure your costume is the right fit, then you can go change."
Ariel shrugged at most everything Cornelia said; she'd done far more questionable things in a women's bathroom than strip naked and put on superhero themed lingerie. But, go right and find a woman giving instructions. That was simple enough. "All right, I'm off! Don't worry, I'll put on a great show for everyone!" After all, like she'd said in the request, a fair few people thought she could do this for a living. Namely, pretty much everyone that had ever seen her in her underwear.

All right, turn right, and look for a line of costumes...there. Let's see, woman giving out instructions...well, there was a man giving out instructions, but that couldn't be it. He even gave her something to change into, but...was it okay? Cornelia did tell her that the costume manager was a female, and that seemed like something that was hard to screw up. "Umm, where's the costume manager? "

"Hmm, strange." ZephyrMan popped up on his operator's shoulder, and took a look around. Despite there being two perfectly attractive women in questionable outfits in sight, his visual search for anyone that matched what little description the pair had to go in. In his defense, years of being Ariel's Navi had in all likelihood desensitized him somewhat to women in trampy get-ups. "I don't see anyone that fits the bill. Perhaps we should inform Ms. Craft?"

"You think? Though, she didn't seem all that busy..." Hmm. "Er, can you hang on for a sec, guy? I need to go clear something up." With that, she walked right back over to where Cornelia was being 'hidden', and assuming she was there, she'd come right out and say 'I couldn't find the costume manager, just some other guy in a cowboy outfit. Any other places she might be?'
"Cornelia bid Ariel good luck! She secretly wished she could go out there too... at least just to watch," the artist sighed, although, based on her outfit, that was no secret at all.

Ariel left her forlorn employer to meet the costume manager, but found no woman in such a role. Instead, she spotted a guy, ostensibly performing more or less the described role. "Wait, you've got that wrong. I'm the costume manager," he defended, but his voice was far too soft to call back Ariel, who had already gone to consult the boss. "Fiddlesticks... I don't have time for this," he sighed, marching in that direction after Ariel.

"Ha ha ha, Cornelia laughed!" Cornelia laughed, ha ha ha. "She had tricked Ariel! The manager's name was Heidi Mansworth and she's a master of disguise. She habitually dresses as a man, Clyde Small, in order to stay in practice. Ariel would see what Cornelia meant in a moment..."

As if on queue, the cowboy entered. "Excuse me, ma'am, but I'm trying to get a hold of one of the models," he announced. Cornelia beckoned him over with one finger, smiling with her eyes closed behind the mask. "Yes? What do you need?" Once the guy was in range, Cornelia grabbed his pants and yanked them down, pulling the belt along with it. "M-Ma'am!" the person of dubious gender squeaked, trying to tug them back up.

In the end, not much had been proven. The person was wearing a pair of blue-and-white striped men's boxer shorts beneath, although they did have some unusually thin, hairless legs. "My my, Cornelia sighed. She hadn't expected that the costume would be so thorough, considering you own bras," the artist commented. Ready for round two, she started tugging at the undershorts, which her victim protected for modesty's sake.

"Wait, stop! I'm a girl, I'm a girl!" Heidi admitted; her increasingly exposed body was starting to make that apparent.

"Modesty by Heidi was a waste! Heidi was being paid to act as the B model for the event, so being shy at this moment wouldn't make much sense," Cornelia chortled. It seemed like the author enjoyed making things complicated just for the sake of her own fun.

"When you called, I thought you wanted me to work security... but I need to be paid," the costume manager / model / would-be security sobbed. Apparently, she was in some financial straits. It would probably be hard for her to see all of that money she was going to be using her body for go to someone besides herself. "The freelance detective and bounty hunting business hasn't been putting much on the table, even after capturing that mad scientist I was looking for..."

"That was a valuable lesson in organizing payment before services rendered for Heidi, Cornelia speculated," the artist chuckled. "It's probably best it your criminal's crimes aren't mostly secret ones before you turn him over as a bounty."

"Well, we've spent enough time on this," Heidi finished, straightening her belt (which was again at her waist), then her fake moustache... which seemed like a waste, seeing as she certainly needed to go ahead and start changing as well. Unless she was going to wear a moustache on stage... which, hopefully, wasn't happening. "Please, go ahead and jack your navi in. Then head straight to the bathrooms... I will have to change along with you, since we're running out of time."

"How scandalous!" Cornelia interjected.

"There are stalls..." the other girl murmured, trying fruitlessly to kill her employer's buzz.

((Topic opening soon in NPC homepages))
"Say what?!" Cornelia was right, as Ariel was completely, 100% tricked by the get be fair, it was hardly the most obvious thing she ever overlooked. "But-" But before she could get another word in, the person in question walked in...and immediately got pantsed. The results were inconclusive, but what kind of sissy man would have completely hairless legs like that? Plus, there was absolutely zero bulge in those boxers...fortunately, the truth was revealed shortly after, confirming that everyone was telling the truth. That was...kinda weird...

Oh well, at least that was all sorted out. "All right, can do! I'll head right over, and you can just bring both our outfits!" Without waiting for a response, the pilot walked right out, and back to where all those jack-in ports were. "That's a lot of ports. Wonder why there's so many?"

"I couldn't even hazard a guess...but at least it makes jacking in a cinch!"

"No kidding. Well, if you're all set, let's get started!" Point PET at random port, and..."Jack in! ZephyrMan, Execute!" Now, let's get to that bathroom, and wait on the woman that was dressed like a man for whatever reason.

(Jacked in)
Ariel left the tent first to reach the "changing rooms." All in all, a neat and tidy bathroom... but still a bathroom. There were four stalls, all occupied, as well as other predictable women's bathroom features: mirror, sinks, that sort of thing. There wasn't much to look at. Thankfully, Heidi (still dressed as Clyde) arrived soon enough. She entered in a quiet, sneaky way, shutting the door silently... probably so nobody would see a guy entering the women's restroom.

She went ahead and lost the moustache before continuing. That one small action destroyed a lot of the illusion she'd constructed, not that it had mattered much to Ariel. "This set is yours. I think everything will be easy to put on... the next set, not so much. There is a hair-tie in there, so let me know if you need help making a braid or tail," she finished, handing over a soft, cottony bundle of red and white clothes. "The theme of this set is 'girl next door,' according to the creator," Heidi explained, trying very hard to take her role seriously despite the nature of it all. "After you're dressed, head out and wait for the other girls to take their walks... there will be three, self-included." Presumably being the second in line, Heidi had already entered a stall and started stripping, for the sake of not being late, although it didn't sound like the show was underway yet. "Don't be nervous. I don't believe there's really anyone here who can provide a valid critique of modelling work regardless... and as I mentioned, we needed up security. If you're ever in any danger or someone's making you feel uncomfortable, motion to one of Bill's guys and they'll take care of the threat. Unless it's Bill himself harassing you... then you may be on your own. But he has a job to do, so hopefully, he won't be at stage-side."

"I believe you heard this earlier, but the only rule is you have to go to the end and come back. Besides that, it's up to you. You will get more rewards if the crowd likes it though, I heard..." Heidi continued. It sounded like she was weighing potential money (which she apparently needed) against her dignity. "Because our Warp outfit for you is no good, you'll have a break between acts 1 and 3, during which you can do whatever you like. I'm sorry that I don't have a locker or a duffle bag for you... you'll have to just leave your clothes somewhere and pick them up later."

Ariel finally had a chance to get acquainted to her new clothes or lack thereof. The outfit consisted of five parts, of a white t-shirt, bearing a simple, red, five-pointed star on the bosom. It looked like it was designed to be a very snug fit. Next was a pair of red pajama shorts, about the size and coverage of a pair of hot pants. Although both were going to overdo it a little with the aforementioned snugness,they were otherwise comfortable cotton. A pair of knee socks with red toes was included to maximize the "girl next door" appeal, clearly.

Slightly less girl next door were the undergarments. Both were cotton, simple enough, but the basic look wad that of a string bikini... more string than bikini. Each part was composed of fabric that would circle the back or hips respectively, then fasten into a front piece with two tiny, white, marble-like buttons, shaped like stars. It wouldn't be uncomfortable to wear, but it also wouldn't he much to wear.

Apart from all of these, there was also a red ring of fabric that Ariel would be relieved to discover was a scrunchie and not more some exotic body piece she was going to have to figure out how to squeeze into.

Heidi came back out of her stall with a straight but very red face, doing her best to treat the outfit as just another costume and clearly failing. Her outfit consisted of a strapped-on top, red and in the shape of a star with white lines around the border.... a red, semi-transparent fabric fell from that, only partially concealing some sort of red-and-white, tight fitting bikini bottom... not made of cloth, but rather, something shiny. "In case you were wondering..." she sighed, then flopped the light switch. The white parts of the outfit continued glowed, while the red remained dark. "The theme of this set is glow in the dark. I think you lucked out..." With that, she slid carefully out of the bathroom, hoping not to draw attention.

Ariel could hear music begin to play and the voice of an MC; presumably, the show was starting with the first model now.
As Ariel wasn't entirely surprised to find out, the bathroom they were using was in rather good shape. Nice and clean. As she recalled, for whatever reason this one was rarely used for any sort of purpose, to the point where one wondered exactly why they even kept it open. She didn't have time to think about anything else, as the woman dressed like a man snuck in. That had to be weird, having to sneak into the bathroom you're supposed to use. She accepted the clothing (such that it was), and tried to look it over...but it was hard to make out exactly what it was without separating it. "Girl next door, huh? Neat!"

With that, she headed into the next stall over, and started removing her non-vital parts of her outfit. Her gloves, off. Earpiece, off. Flight goggles, off. Vest, off. Skirt, off. Boots, off. Socks, off. And now, she looked like less like a pilot, and more like just a regular woman in a near skin tight jumpsuit. As she reached back, to move her hair out of the way so she could unzip the back of her suit, she decided to speak about what she'd been hearing; she had been paying attention, she'd just stayed quiet. "Actually, I'm not nervous at all. I think it'll be fun!" Granted, with a body like hers, it tended to be easier to get pumped about showing herself off in strange, revealing outfits. "And I'm not really worried about anyone stealing my jumpsuit. It's custom made, so it would only fit someone with the exact same figure as me!" As she often did, it completely failed to dawn on Ariel that the jumpsuit probably wouldn't be the article of clothing that most thieves would go after.

And with that thought stated, said jumpsuit fell to her ankles, revealing a surprisingly non-frilly black bra and panties. And either they were also custom made for her, or she spent a lot of time and effort shopping for her underwear, as they fit her body perfectly; snug, but comfortably so. Almost instinctively, she reached for her panties and pulled them down, bending over as she did so. At this point, Ariel began to notice that it was awfully light in the stall...and sure enough, a look over her shoulder revealed that in her hurry to get changed, she'd completely forgotten to close the stall door. In this case, it was a good thing that she had long hair; if it was shorter, anyone in the bathroom for any reason would be seeing much more of Ariel Fuujimoto than they (probably) ever wanted to. Of course, being seen like that certainly wasn't the worst situation she'd been caught in a mall bathroom, so she casually turned around and closed the door, not particularly caring about getting seen despite wearing absolutely nothing other than a bra at that moment. And as soon as the door was locked, she reached back, unhooked her lone remaining article of clothing, and removed it from her body. Most would probably be at least a little nervous at being completely naked in any public area, even one where they couldn't be seen, but Ariel was hardly self-conscious about that sort of thing, so she just casually raised her arms and stretched for a moment, as though she were in her very own bedroom. She looked over at the bundle of clothes she was supposed to put on, and tried once again to figure out what on earth they were. Hmm...maybe that was a T-shirt? A little hard to tell, though.

With that, she finally started to separate the articles of clothing, since while it would probably yield a pretty good response, the job did specifically mention modeling clothes, and not just modeling. Let's see...yep, that was a T-shirt. Ooh, she kinda liked the short shorts. Looked like something she might actually wear to bed on nights she wore something to bed. And both felt like they'd be comfy to wear, too. Socks were, well, socks, though she certainly knew that some guys were nuts about girls wearing long socks. But, what was with those bits of string? That one looked like a scrunchie, and immediately made its way to her wrist, but those were too big to do that. Actually, they looked like they'd fit perfectly around her...oh. OH. Was that was the underwear she was supposed to wear? Hmm...well, as long as she wore them correctly, they'd cover her where it counted. Probably, anyway. Now, let's see...the one with the stars attached were probably the top, since she didn't see anything lower that needed two stars to cover. Hmm...was this REALLY going to cover everything? Only one way to know for sure...all right, it was on. It didn't leave much to the imagination, but it was indeed covering the required areas. The bra...definitely wasn't going to provide much support, much to her dismay, since that was one of the main reasons she wore them. It almost looked like it'd be more comfortable to just put on the T-shirt and ignore it...but, again, she'd signed on for better or worse, so, on it went! Hmm...actually, that didn't feel nearly as bad as she was expecting. Though, as she expected, it did precisely squat to actually support her breasts. Fortunately, she was actually fairly perky there, especially for her size. It'd do for now.

Getting on the T-shirt and shorts were extremely easy and not even worth thinking about. They were a fairly tight fit, but she actually liked her clothes to be snug, so that part was good. The socks went on, each managing to cover more of her body than anything else besides the T-shirt. And more importantly, it got her bare feet off the somewhat chilly floor. And finally, to apply the scrunchie to her hair. It wasn't exactly hard, but it did take a few moments, given her hair's sheer length. And, there. A ponytail longer than most actual tails of ponies. Since she was supposed to have a 'girl next door' vibe, and she was clearly in an outfit made more for relaxing, it'd be best if she had an extremely simple hair style. Or so she figured.

WIth that, both women walked out of their stalls at the same time. And one was significantly more relaxed than the other. "Wow, you look like a totally different person in that!" In that she actually looked like a woman. "Glow in the dark? Neat! Though, that material doesn't look very comfy..." Overall, Ariel herself was actually quite comfy in her get up. More so than she would've expected from the looks of it beforehand. Yep, she was ready to show the world!...Or whoever bothered to show up to this event. Speaking of which, that music was probably her cue to head into position. And out she went, without a care in the world. Somehow, it wouldn't be surprising to most if the other models were a bit jealous of her laid back state as she prepared to walk out in somewhat revealing clothing...
After what likely would have seen like ages of bliss to any voyeurs lucky enough to get a peek, but was really only a brief moment, Ariel emerged from her stall, not counting the earlier unintentional emerging. Thankfully, Heidi didn't seem to be the same skirt-chasing type (unlike Bill... or possibly even the artist, if she wasn't just joking around earlier). A brief peek at Ariel's long hair acting as a curtain was all she wanted to see before turning around and pretending she hadn't seen anything. On the note of her own outfit, Heidi sighed. "I assure you, it's no more comfortable than it looks..."

The two headed back out, one looking comfortable and inappropriately dressed, the other looking much less comfortable and even less appropriately dressed. On the walk over, she did her best to correct her attitude, slowly transforming back into a professional, despite her outfit. "Alright, it looks like the first model has already gone out. You should try to focus and plan while you wait for your turn-" Heidi warned Ariel, only to be interrupted by the brunette model, who was watching just around the curtain out to the stage.

"There's a lot of money!" she remarked excitedly. "That's more than I make on my pastor's salary each month, right there! Do we get to keep it?" She both looked and sounded like she was drunk. She was dressed in a red latex suit, one piece and highly form-fitting, that certainly didn't look like anything a pastor ought to wear.

Heidi frowned, looking unamused and already exhausted. "P-pastor? Er, that aside, no. The money all goes to charity ,although the dollars that you earn as your costume will count towards voting and towards your compensation... though not as direct 1:1 payment, as mentioned earlier," she explained.

"Aw... I could tuck in some of it away and then sneak it out though," the model mused out loud.

"Please... as a pastor, please don't steal from a charity," Heidi scolded her. The first model arrived back in, signaling Heidi's queue. "Alright... Just think of this as another disguise," she coached herself... In doing so, she managed to completely 180 her face from nervous, socially awkward crossdresser into sexy, ready to earn some money temptress. The change was startling, like she had changed her identity entirely.

"How was it?" the pastor asked the Eastern girl, who had ended up dressed in a legless, short, glistening-red china dress, dotted with white stars. She wore matching leggings as well. Hopefully she hadn't just been given that outfit due to her nationality, of that'd be some pretty shameless stereotyping.

"Hmph. It's just a job. I treat it like any other work I take," she claimed, crossing her arms like a badass regardless of the truth that she was a short, relatively underdeveloped girl who looked uncomfortably like a child.

"That's admirable! You do this sort of thing a lot, huh?" the pastor asked, seemingly asking a serious question rather than a joke.

"No, simpleton, I do not. Now be quiet, unless you wish to taste a sampler of my wushu, you will calm yourself," she demanded... but that didn't deter the other girl.

"Mushu?! Mushu pork! Do you have some? I'm hungry!"

As that exchange went back and forth, the curtain was unoccupied, if Ariel wished to watch Heidi to see how she fared. And could also try to get in on the fascinating conversation backstage. It might be worth getting to know the other models... if nothing else, there had been a lot of talk about evil scientists going around, so one might understandably wish to know a lot about one's coworkers. Bill was still missing, but she spotted security here and there... And they spotted her, obviously gawking despite their shades.
Alas, focusing and planning were two thing Ariel wasn't particularly good at, unless it involved something that could fly, or involved putting something in her mouth. This wasn't helped by the other model being more than impressed at the amount of money on the stage. She took a quick look, not paying attention to details, like that the person saying it was a pastor. It probably looked like a decent amount to most, but considering her background, she herself wasn't overly impressed. ", I guess that's not too bad. I dunno if I'd call it a lot, though...I'm pretty sure when I was younger Daddy spent more than that on me in a day, and that's when I wasn't acting like a spoiled brat!" Her thoughthful look made it fairly clear that she wasn't actually boasting, and just making a casual observation that her parents were filthy rich.

With that, Heidi went off to do her part, in a rather scary transition. She had to be a pretty good actor to pull that off. The pilot/model thought about seeing how she modeled herself, but instead went over to the other off-duty models to chat, apparently about food. "Someone has mushu pork around here? Cool! I haven't had Yumlandian in forever! So, where is it?" She wasn't really all that hungry, but she wouldn't mind a taste if it looked good.
"WU-shu! WU-shu pork!" the shorter girl sighed, accidentally turning her martial arts into food just like the other girls had. She then crossed her arms and walked away, headed towards the changing room.

"Well, someone's got a bug in her butt," the brunette sighed. "And now I'm hungry too... Hopefully that won't distract me...Well, I'm also a little thirsty," she rambled, although somewhere along the line she'd clearly had plenty to drink already. "Oh well."

Ariel could hear the MC saying some lines that seemed to indicate that Heidi's turn was coming to an end. Sure enough, she showed back up... she still had her whole outfit on, which was probably wise where she was concerned, seeing as there didn't appear to be much more than what met the eye on the surface. Her cocky vixen's smile immediately crumbled into a look of bewildered embarrassment. "What was I thinking, agreeing to do this? I've never been so embarrassed," she gasped, cupping her hands over her face. "But... there was so much money... I could have eaten red meat for weeks with all of that.." she mused, painting a far different image of her idea of a large sum of money, in comparison to what Ariel had offered earlier.

"Time to pass around the offering plate, as they say," the third model joked, then disappeared

As Heidi left and the other girl went on stage, with the eastern girl not having returned yet, Ariel was left by herself. She could hear the MC saying some things that painted the outfit as bondage, sado-masochist kind of thing. They also seemed to be throwing in references to her status as a pastor, which Ariel would realize was weird if she gave it some thought. Was the MC acquainted with the model? And even if so, was the audience going to be? It seemed like if she just went out dressed like that, the audience wasn't going to understand the religious jokes the MC was making at all...

The woman came back in soon enough, with her suit unzipped far enough to show her cleavage all the way down to beneath her belly button. Ariel could see a strap wound around the chest with a buckle in the center, which didn't cover very much. She was well-developed up there... not as much so as Ariel, of course. "Look! I snagged some while nobody was looking!" she laughed, lifting something shiny out of the bottom of her suit. Upon closer inspection, Ariel would realize it was just a handful of zenny, which probably wasn't worth the pastor's effort to steal, even if she was rich. "Alright, get your booty out there," she finished, heading for the restroom.

Ariel could only assume that Heidi had moved the costumes into the bathroom, since nobody was stopping by the costume rack before moving on. She didn't have time to worry about that, though; the audience was eagerly awaiting her (well, or any scantily clad girl they could throw money at, really).
Seeing the other two women lament their lack of cash made Ariel scratch her head trying to figure them out. Granted, she'd never been a financial expert - that's part of the reason she went off to live on her own, to fix that - but she honestly didn't find the amounts of money they were talking about very big. But, she shouldn't say any more about that, since then they might ask her for money, and her parents were getting tired of dealing with that sort of thing. "Um, don't worry, you did great! I'm sure you'll get lots of cash for that!" Okay, she hadn't seen her out there, but better to be encouraging than just shrug.

And with that, she was by herself. By now, she was just anxious to get started, so she started to bounce up and down a bit to wear off her excess energy, neglecting to account for the fact her undergarments weren't her usual ones...but, she didn't notice anything, so she just patiently waited for the other model to get back...oh, there she was. And, uh..."Er, it's probably not a good idea to take that..." Alas, her remark fell on deaf ears, and again she found herself alone. But this time, it wouldn't be for long, since it was her turn to take her turn on the catwalk...such as it was. She took a deep breath, puffed out her chest a bit, and put on her best model face...

...And immediately discarded all of it, as she casually walked out with a smile. Ariel waved to the crowd as she made her way to the pole, and grabbed it and slowly did a spin on it. Whee! It was kinda fun, though she wished she could do it faster. Too bad she had an outfit to model. ...Okay, she didn't have a ton of time to show everything off, so she'd better get in gear. She turned her back to the crowd, moved her ponytail so it wouldn't cover anything, and pulled the rear of her shorts down a bit to show off what passed for her underwear. As it turned out, her shorts were sufficiently short enough that doing so basically meant pulling them down completely, but it didn't bother the pilot much, almost as though such a thing had happened to her before. She gave the MC long enough to make a comment or two about what was underneath, and pulled it back up. Now, for the top. She reached downed, and yanked the T-shirt up to about neck level.

...Unfortunately, her earlier bouncing had knocked the 'bra' out of place a bit, so that when she pulled her shirt up, it went with them...essentially causing her to unintentionally flash everyone. To compound matters, she herself completely failed to realize her state beyond a vague sense of it feeling a bit drafty, and happily did a small amount of bouncing as she let a bit of time pass to get the description out...if a description was even possible for the MC at that moment. But alas, all great things had to come to an end, and Ariel's fully exposed DDs became fully covered DDs. On the plus side for much of the audience, the exposure did allow for her nipples to be clearly visible through the T-shirt, so not all was lost. Well, for a moment, anyway, as with her work done, she turned back around and headed for backstage. Before completely leaving, however, she turned back to the crowd, and blew a kiss at them, and only then did she leave the public eye, completely unaware of what she'd done...
Fortunately, this wasn't the kind of audience that didn't want to see Ariel's bouncing, naked boobs; anyone who wouldn't want to had already funneled out during the second act, while others had funneled in. As such,the reaction was uproarious applause with no perceivable consequences. "Well... with a girl like that next door, you could just buy a spyglass and save yourself a trip to the video store! I'm sure the bra is designed to do that," the MC announced, sounding awkward. Luckily, nobody wad paying her much attention right now regardless. Enough zenny was hitting the stage that it was seriously a shame Ariel didn't possess a casual understanding of the value of currency to the average person.

When Ariel got back, she found the easterner waiting with Heidi. They both stared at her, wondering if she realized what had happened... either out of pity or not wanting to spoil her amusement, they kept their mouths shut about it. "Ah, g-good job... You really upped the ante," Heidi encouraged Ariel.

"I hope that audience calms down before we start the next walk..." the other girl murmured.

"Oh, that reminds me! You won't be participating in this walk, due to the earlier incident with Cornelia. You can feel free to do whatever you like until the next round starts... I would suggest, uh... maybe start by going to change clothes? You can wear your regular suit for now if you want or get dressed for the Utopia act. You may also want to speak to your navi, which is fine. You can do so from any backstage terminal. I would also look out for Bill... no one has seen him since this started and I can't help but imagine he's peeking through a hole in the men's room as we change or something..." Heidi finished with a shudder. "Just done leave the backstage or bother any of the workers.

Taking a moment to digress, Ariel realized that the little girl was dressed in a flannel shirt that was far too long for her, dark blue in color. The key was probably whatever she had under it. Heidi was still dressed in her odd, light-up outfit from the last show. Ariel spotted the pastor in the distance, approaching them slowly in a drunken way; she was dressed in a white and blue, Electopian student's sailor suit, short enough to show off her belly and a lot of her thighs; again, probably with something flashy underneath. It almost seemed like the oufits of the girls were mixed up... hers was too small and the other girl's too large. Her vaguely pedestrian brown hair was pulled into two short tails behind her head and parted, which almost fit her a little better than her earlier mom-cut, since she didn't act like much of an adult.
The comments from the other models made Ariel look back out at the catwalk; sure enough, the crowd looked pretty rowdy. Also, though she might be wrong, it looked like she drew more zenny than the others did. Neat. "Thanks! Sorry about the crowd, though...wonder what made them go so berserk?" Yeesh, apparently that crowd really, REALLY liked her. "I guess I'll go change back for now...and if I see any peepholes, I'll stick something through it!" Something that definitely said 'quit looking through this, ya perv!'. So, something sharp, maybe. "Anyway, good luck!"

With that, she headed back into the bathroom, and once again found herself getting undressed. One could only imagine how much money she'd bring in if she did such a thing on stage. Before long, she emerged from the stall, in her jumpsuit and normal boots...and, if one looked in and checked, they'd notice that it was in fact all she was wearing. And if someone checked Ariel herself, they'd see a couple hints about that fact: not only were her nipples somewhat visible, but the cleft of her buttocks was quite obvious...too obvious, considering she wasn't wearing a thong or anything of that sort. Of course, such details paled in comparison to her innate obliviousness. "Hmm, guess I oughta check in with ZepyhrMan while I can." With that as her only thought, and not the equally relevant 'could anyone see anything of hers right now', she left the bathroom, and headed to a nearby terminal. She had to check on her Navi, after all. All right, re-establish the connection, and...there. "Hi ZephyrMan!"

"Mmm? Ariel? Not that I mind, but do your really have time to talk to me?"

"It's okay, turns out I have a little downtime, so I thought I'd check up on ya! So, how do you think I did?"

"It...was something I doubt anyone will forget any time soon!" Well, he wasn't lying, per se...

"Really? Great! You know, it was fun, but when I pulled my shirt up, I got the chills all of a sudden. Especially around my bust I wasn't wearing a bra at all or something. Weird, huh?"

'Not as weird as some would hope...' was what the Navi truly wanted to say, but..."...Indeed. But, it was a rather skimpy one, wasn't it?"

"Yeah. That's definitely not something you want to wear in the dead of winter unless you've got really good heating!"

"Er, not to change the subject, but..." Well, he was completely fine with changing this subject, but there was something he needed to ask. "Have you seen Bill around?"

"Uh...I haven't seen him since before the show began. Actually, I heard that no one's seen him since then. Everyone's best guess is that he's off perving from some secret spot or something. Can't say I'd be surprised if someone walked in on him while he was touching himself...sorry, I know no one wanted that mental image. So, why do you ask?"

"Just curious, is all."

"Oh, okay. Listen, I'm gonna go check out the show, okay? I'll try and check in before I go on stage again, but I can't promise. All right?"

"You needn't do that. If one of us really needs to talk to the other, though, we can just send an e-mail, so the other will know."

"Okay, sounds like a plan! See ya!" With that, the pilot disconnected the direct feed to her Navi, and went over to take a peek at how everything was going on stage.
After dressing back (partially) without interruption, then contacting her navi, Ariel saw that the stage was now occupied by the short, wushu-toating girl, who was now doing fairly well, at least amongst the crowd that likes jailbait, eastern girls, and moody glares. Of which there was a decent number in attendance. She'd found her niche!

Perhaps more important to the task her navi was charged with, she noticed Bill had moved a chair riiiight up to the next of the stage. He was chewing on something like an absurdly-sized couny fair corn dog while hemming and hawwing with his boys in security. He seemed to be the open-minded type, as he looked like he was enjoying the show, even when it didn't feature considerable assets like Ariel's. He also looked like he was giving those good ol' boys their fair share of insufferable jokes and innuendos.

Anyways, that solved the question of where Bill was. She also noticed that the event's MC was no longer talking... she was now spelling out messages on the bigscreen. Perhaps she was getting horse? Or embarrassed . Who could say? The current message read:

"Simple work clothing becomes cozy, inviting sleepwear!
Of course, the accent is again on the legs.
Still covers the chest when unbuttoned. Classic!"

The pastor was also still backstage, watching along with Ariel. "Hey, what do you think guys like better? Like... should I act like a kid when I wear this or do I act my age? Or... well I was gonna say 'do they like older women,' but I guess I'm already the oldest one of us models, aren't I? All you kids and I'm the one who ends up dressed like this! But maybe that's the point," she hiccuped in her usual drunken rambling.
Looked like the show was going well. Cool. And as soon as she noticed Bill, Ariel whipped out her PET and sent her Navi an e-mail on the matter. Another mystery solved! It looked like he was really enjoying the show, which was good and all...but would it kill him to look a little less obviously like a perv? That was the one thing that made her nervous doing things like this...

Speaking of the show, it seemed a little quieter. It took a moment, but the pilot realized it was due to the lack of narration. Instead, the MC was putting up messages on the big screen...nothing so interesting as to maintain her attention, though. Hmm...ahh, what the?! That pastor lady snuck up on her...almost scared her right out of her jumpsuit. And that...would not be good. For her, anyway. The audience and Bill would probably love it. Oh well, at least she didn't scream. Now, to answer the question. "Umm...well, honestly, I think as long as you have lady parts and know how to work them, it doesn't matter which way you, and how old are you, anyway?" For some reason, she was finding it really hard to nail down an approximate age for her...maybe this would shed some light. And come to think about it, just what was she the pastor of, if she was able to be drunk off her gourd like that? Most of the religions she knew frowned on their officials doing...well, pretty much anything this woman had probably done in the past several hours. She sure was a mysterious one, now that she was really thinking about it...