Clarence Gupta's House of Mysticism

When Ariel arrived at the address she'd been given, she would undoubtedly think that the GNA handler had accidentally given her the address of the place across the street from her correct destination. On the opposite side of the street, she would see a fabulous hotel, complete with lit skylights and pink neon signage, including one such reading "Gupta!" on a large, illuminated plaque out front. When the car in front of said plaque started up and drove out of the way, however, she would realize the full text of the sign read "Home of the Father of All-Future Sight, Vinzez Gupta!" It seemed that apparently her employer didn't warrant such high acclaim, because she wouldn't have been able to find Clarence Gupta on this street if she hadn't had the address on her PET.

The building she had been correctly directed to was, from the outside, a small, red wall, scrunched between a larger glass storefront (a fashion boutique) and a barred-up, gold-bricked storefront (a pawn shop). The image of an open, single eye with the word "OPEN" flashed next to the velvet-curtained doorway. Behind the purple doorway, however, was an actual glass door. Beyond that, however, was total darkness...

Over the open sign, another previously unlit one suddenly sprang to life, reading "CLARENCE GUPTA'S HOUSE OF MYSTICISM." It was almost as though it had sensed her approach! Interestingly, it seemed as though Clarence worked the same block as his father. There was no way he had a theater inside that tiny building, though... and if he did, he certainly wouldn't be seating "tens of thousands" in it. In fact, it would be an act of mysticism altogether if he could fit a small fraction of that number inside his place of business.
"...I swear, it's like on the day you were born, every lucky star in the sky was trying to shove each other so they'd be right above you..."

"Let it go, ZephyrMan!" Unlike the modest forms of transport she used back home, it was a limo that Ariel found herself using to get to her mission. Given her complete lack of fascination of being in it, it was fairly safe to say she'd been in one before. "It's just a coincidence that one of my parents' biggest clients had a major issue with his private jet that no one can fix, and it happened to be here in NetVegas! Sending me to get things working to earn some brownie points was just common sense!"

"Yes, and it turned out to be something incredibly obvious that a half dozen full-time mechanics overlooked. Granted, you know the workings of an airplane better than your own, and most likely better than most professionals..."

"That's the problem with professionals. They always assume it's some really obscure thing, even when it's not!"

"I suppose in the end it was a boon for us, since it meant we got to come over here without even having to explain to your parents why you wanted to come."

"Oh, you know they can't say no to me! Sometimes to the point where it's really a pain in the butt, but it's nice when you need to make a quick day trip to another country!"

"Miss, we're here." The driver's voiced blared loud and clear through the car's intercom. "I'll be waiting here until you're ready to head back."

"Okay, thanks!" The pilot popped out of the limo, taking a moment to take in the sight before her. "Wow, nice place! This guy's definitely at the top! Oh, is all the grease off my face? I washed it really good before I left the airport, but it feels like I've still got some on me..."


"What's up, ZephyrMan?"

"That hotel's nice and all-"

"Isn't it though?"

"...But that's not our destination."

"...It's not?"

"No, our goal is directly across the street."

She did a 180, and visibly flinched at the sight. "...THAT'S the place? Am I the only one thinking we just got scammed?"

"No, you're not...but, the GNA wouldn't send us here if the person wasn't at least somewhat trustworthy. So, we might as well see what we came all this way for."

"I guess...say, can you do me a favor?"

"That being?"

"If I have to change, can you do me a favor and remind me to not lose my flight goggles? I'm still kinda bummed that I lost that one pair on the last mission. At least it wasn't my lucky pair, but still..."

"I won't let you forget! Now come, we have to find out what this is all about!"

"All right..." After looking both ways before crossing the street (she wasn't a hooligan, after all), Ariel approached the mysterious building, stopping for a moment to look at the sign. "Clarence Gupta's House of Mysticism. This is the place, all right...and I still think we're getting scammed here..."

"Mmm, and you needn't have special powers to come up with that..."

All right, time to head into the darkness, and see what was going on.
Ariel and her navi heard something like a barber shop's door chime as they came in only instead of a bell, they were greeted by something like the low thum of a series of wooden pipes being blown into. The darkness was such that it was difficult to tell whether there was such a device to produce that noise located anywhere above the doorway.

The darkness was so thorough that the two could make out almost no features of the room. The only feature they could make out was a single, large square of light near the back center of the room. Gray and black specks flickered across its surface, gradually overtaking it entirely to produce a sheet of black, before converting back to its regular form. If they were supposed to walk straight across the floor, someone was doing something wrong, because the first cautious step would nearly result on tripping on a cord of some kind. Finally, a booming noise rang through the room, like someone beating on the side of an old machine. As a voice started and the lights suddenly came on, the two would realize that what they'd thought they'd heard was indeed what they'd heard; a man was standing near the back of the room, slapping an absurdly outdated TV with one palm while using his other free hand to find the light switch.

The man was fairly tall with deeply tanned skin, more in a nationality way than a deliberate one. His dark hair was combed back from the front, with the rest below his cap close shaven. It was a unIque style that did not particularly favor him, as it showed off the characteristic thinness and rectangular shape of his head, as well as the outstanding size of his ears (one was pierced with a thin, gold ring). His eyes were bright and brown with an intensity that, when paired with his pencil mustache and beard, made him look like a cartoon character, somewhat. He was dressed in a red outfit with baggy silk pants and sleeves, as well as a white turban and black shawl, which looked something like a cape while standing. His shoes were also black with pointed toes, perhaps curled by the forces of mysticism that he subscribed to. Oddly, he wore no rings or baubles on his wrists or fingers... odd only because he looked otherwise so stereotypically magical. He also looked fairly young, likely in his early 20s.

He turned around, spotted Ariel, and then withdrew slightly, curling the end of his cape with one fist and using it to shield the lower half of his face like an evil vampire, hiding from the sun. "You must be Ariel! I've foreseen your arrival, but you are here earlier than I had anticipated. Welcome to Clarence Gupta's House of Mysticism!" he announced in a voice that suggested theatrical experience, by its volume and confidence. "Before we begin our journey into the wonders of superhuman precognition together, I urge you to sign this form, which states only that you promise neither to reveal my trade secrets nor any information regarding the mysterious Ritual C, which we will conduct together during your time here. I, in turn, will disclose fully unto you the mysterious nature of Ritual C. Besides this exclusive chance to participate in a pioneering new experiment in mysticism, I also plan to reward you with battlechips from my extensive collection, ones possessing a quality worthy of the services you shall render. This contract does not bind you from leaving during our intense and untested ritual, which may waver your resolve, I must confess. It only restricts you from revealing those secrets. Magic, and what not. 'What happens in Vegas,' I believe they say?" he concluded, handing her a very short-worded document and a disappointingly ordinary, black ballpoint pen. "Your signature will encompass your navi's silence as well, of course."

Looking around the room, it seemed very much as though he was still unpacking. There was little one might associate with the trade of a mystic or fortune teller, besides a large, blue urn in one corner and a small table witg an odd makeup brush (he did appear to be wearing some eye shadow, to look eerier) and a few gold rings spread across it. The rings suggested that perhaps he did normally include more jewelry in his act, but had decided to drop it today for some reason.
For all of her boasting about how excellent her eyesight was, one thing Ariel wasn't especially great at was seeing in the dark. She wasn't bad at it, per se, but she was very much average in that regard. "Yeesh, I would've thought mysticism would be a little brighter than this."

"Just don't trip over anything!"

"Me? Trip? Never!" But before she could prove herself right or wrong, a booming noise could be heard. Sounded like someone giving a really old TV a good thump. And, as it turned out, that's exactly what it was, by the looks of things. But, such a noise was definitely unmistakable. And again, before she could say anything, the man introduced himself as the mission requester, rather loudly at that. He wasted little time in getting the paperwork out of the way, handing the moonlighting pilot said paperwork and a pen. Somehow, the fact it was a perfectly ordinary pen that would be just as likely to be in her own apartment disappointed her a little. She'd heard everything he said, but since she was still processing some of it..."Um, ZephyrMan? What do you think?"

The wind Navi appeared on her shoulder, and looked things over. "So long as it's not dangerous to you, I don't see a problem. And there's no disclaimers on that, so you're fine."

"Okay, if you say so!" Okay, signature time! Ar-i-el...G...Fuu-ji-mo-to. As it turned out, while a fairly slow signer, she made up for it by it being both extremely fancy, with lots of dramatic loops and such, and yet was still extremely legible. There was no doubt that the person that signed the document was named Ariel G. Fuujimoto. "Okay, here you go!" As she handed back pen and paper, she looked around the room, and drawing a certain conclusion pretty quickly. "So, did you just move in? Believe me, I know how big a pain unpacking is..."
Clarence reclaimed the papers and pen, rolled up the paper, and stuck both inside one of the boxes (one could easily surmise that he was just getting it out of the way rather than carefully filing it). "Your navi, I see! He is quite correct; these rituals should not be physically harmful in any way and, if they were, I would retain all liability. The form is only to make certain that my trade secrets aren't spread around. Of course, if we do achieve a heightened awareness of the hidden realities of this world, it will be my duty to spread that knowledge... but I believe a certain finder's fee will be owed to me as well, and that will be impossible to collect upon without protection of intellectual property," he chuckled. The chuckle left him as she mentioned the boxes all around the room; his shoulders slumped in a way that showed off his weak frame. "Yes, I had just started unpacking my possessions. You see, until this very night, I have resided within and operated inside of that hotel across the street. All of that privilege was granted to me by my father, who you may know as Vinzez Gupta. Well," he huffed, then puffed out his chest, "I decided that, in order to cement my own mystic legacy, I could no longer remain under my father's shadow. So, I've taken flight, spreading my wings so that the feathers of wisdom may rain down upon the world." He sounded surprisingly convincing... but he sure hadn't moved very far out from his father's shadow. And if this was all he could afford, then he couldn't be much of a popular magician.

"My muted but ever present gift of mind reading ability is telling me that you are wondering why the Master of Mysticism, Clarence Gupta, is occupying such a meager place of business? A valid question," he addressed her, closing his eyes and folding his arms. "Let me differentiate between myself and other magicians, to answer your question. My father is a magician... a STAGE magician," he continued, visibly cringing at the label. "He knows how to entertain others with tricks and shams. While people pay for that and it's all well and good, I am not interested in STAGE magic. No, I turn to my late grandfather, Alejandro Gupta, for guidance in my life's passion: REAL magic! Derived from the hidden energies of the world, the enlightenment of spirits and deities, and even darker contracts of sorcery! All of these arts are hidden from our modern understanding... but my grandfather was a real magician, with TRUE magic. And this brings me around to my starting point..."

He dropped his hands dejectedly, ceasing his grand, flourishing gestures. "I have not made very much money off of my trade. I deal only in REAL magic, but, truth be told, I am not a REAL magician. My only skill is mind-reading and premonition and let's just say... it's fifty-fifty," he murmured, looking aside in a way that admitted guilt worse than "fifty-fifty." He reminded himself of his purpose and brightened up again, placing one hand onto Ariel's shoulder (the one without ZephyrMan) and sweeping his hand toward the TV. "But my life and the human understanding of Mysticism are about to change! For you see, I have uncovered something in our grandfather's library... an ancient video file containing actual rituals performed by my grandfather! They can only be played using this ancient device, however, and that's why you see me involved as I am now," the young magician laughed laughed, slapping the TV again. The TV looked literally ancient, but a quick read on the back panel would reveal that it was only modeled after an antique... but still, unfortunately designed only as a player for a very esoteric file type.

"The tape is called 'Rituals and Practices of Precognition,'" he continued. He pulled out a container with an old PET in it; on the front, she could read the title... well, sort of. Some letters had faded so that it now only said "Ritua__ __d Practi__s of Preco______ion." "I've only been able to watch the very opening minutes so far, but they've revealed a lot already... several necessary tools as well as bits and pieces of a certain technique," Clarence explained, looking more and more excited. "It's not working right at the moment, but soon, we can watch the rest and follow the instructions. As for your navi, let me introduce him to Seer, my navi compatriot in the pursuit of the lost mystic arts!"

Another navi appeared in a hologram to match Ariel's own, taking her place upon the table rather than anyone's shoulder. She wore a red robe with that faded into a deeper purple shade on the broad hems of the hood, sleeves, and legs. Most of her form was enveloped, such that none of her actual flesh was visible, due to a heavy shadow cast over he face by the cloak. Despite the blackness of that shadow, her eyes shone brightly out of the hole: they were large with red-purple pupils. Most notably, there were three of them, with the third occupying the upper middle part of the hole, presumably where her forehead resided. Her robe was fastened at the waist with a belt sash, onto which was clamped a shimmering silver buckle in the shape of an eye, with a plain, staring, perfectly black pupil. Several more of these were clipped onto her sleeves, binding the cloth to her forearms. Her hair, which was a bright, lilac color, held two more of these clips (at least), visible by the two tails drawn through her hood and over her shoulders to rest upon the breast of her robe.

"Greetings, fellow devotees of the mystic arts. I am Seer... and it will be my honor to journey into the deepest realms of a world beyond the perception of modern humanity with the two of you," she introduced herself in a voice with no less showmanship than Clarence's own.

"She's as excited as I am! Now, while I get this working, I would like to know more about the two of you. According to the little bit I've seen on the video so far, an intimate understanding of the mystic's partner is necessary for the ritual to succeed. To that end, I want to know everything you're willing to offer about yourself and your navi," he concluded, turning his back while he struggled with the TV set. Thankfulky, he was shaking it rather than hitting it now, as the latter would have made it impossible to hear what she was saying
Wait, he'd just moved today? Odd timing to hire someone. And, if he wanted to get out from his father's shadow, why'd he just move across the street? At least she (mostly) moved to another town to do that herself. Well, whatever, it wasn't any of her beeswax. Eh? He was still talking? Whoops. Stage magic, real magic, okay, she still got the gist of it. Phew. Wait, what was that he just said? "Is it really all that ancient if it has your grandfather on it?"

"Not the point..."

"Just saying..." With that, she saw the title on the PET. Two thoughts occured. First, why would someone use a PET just to record one video? Even to her, that seemed wasteful. And second, wouldn't it be funny if the title was actually something else, but the faded out letters made it look like what he said it was? "Okay, so, we're just going to watch the video, and follow whatever it says?" ...Wait a sec... "...If this some sort of porn plot, you're-"

"Now you're just being paranoid, Ariel. It's extremely unlikely someone like that would get through the GNA's screening process."

"...Yeah, you're right! Sorry!"

With that, Clarence's Navi popped up and introduced herself. ZephyrMan immediately extended and arm and bowed, as though he was some kind of butler. Though in a way, he kinda was. "Hello there! A pleasure to meet you, Seer!"

"Yeah, hi! I dunno if I'd say I was a devotee...but I'm kinda curious about it." Eh? Tell him about herself and ZephyrMan? Well, if it'd help... "Okay, where to start...well, my full name's Ariel Gail Fuujimoto, I'm 24 years old, and above everything else, I love flying! I can't get enough air time! And the suit's not just for show, I'm a pilot for an Electopian tourism bureau! Um, what else...I live in ACDC Town, a suburb in DenCity, near Kotobuki Town. I was born and raised in Kotobuki, in a well to do home...oh, my favorite food's omlette rice! ...Anything else he should know, ZephyrMan?"

"Well, I've been for your Navi for approximately 8 years, and I specialize in using and maintaining airplane cyberworlds. I also serve you as a traditional NetNavi, of course!"

"Yeah, that's good! Um, anything else...oh, right, lots of people wonder about THAT. I'm a DD cup, and they're 100% real! Well, I say that, but lately my bra's been feeling kinda tight in the chest, so I'm thinking about trying out a bigger size."

"...That, he probably didn't need to know for this..."

"Well, he said to share what I could. And I want him to know I've never been under the knife for anything!"

"Couldn't you have just said that...?"

"I guess I could've, but too late now!" The pilot smiled innocently at the mystic, having once again displayed a lack of ability to figure out what was and wasn't a good thing to share with a stranger. "Anything else you wanna know?"
"Okay , so it's not exactly 'ancient,' I suppose, but hyperbole is an important part of being a magician," Clarence admitted, although he clearly favored the art of exaggeration a little more than most. His face flushed a bit as he suggested they were about to accidentally play out a porno, the color spreading to his uncovered ears. "Well, I can't be one hundred percent certain about the origins of this video, but it would be pretty gross if this was my grandfather's porn stash. I don't think he'd leave that in the special hiding place I used as a child, the one only I would know about! That's where I found this and it's irrefutable proof that my grandfather wished to pass down his legacy as a master sorcerer to me, his most ambitious grandchild, who harbors his great love of the arcane arts!"

"It was in a torn part of the wall, between two of the shelves," Seer further elaborated. "It was a feat of magic that my master managed to squeeze his imposing form into such small quarters to retrieve this artifact!" Again, hyperbole. Clarence was tall, but imposing he was most certainly not.

"I'm quite flexible," he boasted, making another vampire cape pose as if he'd just given more proof of his mystic abilities. "Sorry, I interrupted. Please, continue," he urged her. He watched her from behind the TV while he began hitting it from the other side. "I see... the suit isn't just for show," he repeated her words, unable to stop his eyes from straying. "Ah, yes, it's quite apparent that you're a aeronaut," he agreed, nodding quickly. His eyes opened with surprise as she continued. "Oh, of course, that... could be somewhat under the size you need, perhaps," he agreed, his hand no longer slapping the TV as he stared distractedly. "Yes, but I believe the time has come to give this another test. I'm quite eager to get started."

"I as well, master," Seer added. "My third demands to witness the secret techniques of a master mystic!"

The two seemed to feed off each other a lot; neither could stop being hyped because the other responded so favorably to their exclamations. "Agreed! Let's see what secrets my grandfather has to share with us..."

The static on the TV slowly began to subside as he connected the old PET and turned a knob on the set. "Ariel, please jack ZephyrMan in to the television. I'll jack Seer in as well. As I understand, this is a ritual for both operators and navis. Only a fool would discount the potential links between the virtual world and the mystic arts!" he declared. Seer nodded along, as she had quite a personal stake in that being the case. "Aha! The picture and sound, it's beginning to become clear to me!"

A figure appeared on the screen, which now seemed clearer than one would imagine from an old tv like this one x even if that old tv wasn't as old as it looked. The figure looked a lot like Clarence himself, but dressed even more fantastically, with a gold cape and flared gloves, along with a golden headband holding an immense pink feather at the back. A series of hooped, gold rings lined his ear, dwarfing Clarence's single clip. He had a more handsome build, with stronger shoulders and less of a weak chin, but the outfit was even worse, do maybe that balanced out. "Salutations. I am speaking for Alejandro Gupta, the master magician, and shall hitherto adopt his person. The two of you and your navis are about to embark upon a voyage that should not be undertaken lightly, but if you're watching this, my son..."

Clarence's eyes lit up as his name was mentioned, proving that he had been meant to find this secret.

"... then I know you've already watched the opening segment of this instructional session and have procured the necessary tools. Two magician's assistants, most importantly, as well as my potent magic stimulant salve. The rest of the preparations, I imagine, did not hinder you," the representative of Alejandro chuckled. Clarence puffed his chest out proudly. "Then the adventure may now begin. As you well know, the proper attire for sorcerer and assistant is critical to performing Ritual C. I recommend both operators perform a complete check before going any further. The navis need not worry about this aspect."

Gupta paused the video character on screen immediately. "I nearly forgot!" he exclaimed, although, in reality, he had totally forgotten. "Yes, I've prepared wardrobes befitting the ritual. I'm already in mine, as you can see. Please, look through the boxes in the back room and find whatever suits and fits you. I'll wait here!" the magician finished, crossing his arms. Fate seemed to enjoy playing dressup with Ariel.

In the back of the shop, behind the door he'd opened and the curtain beyond that, she spotted several boxes of clothing. They all looked like various costumes for Vegas stage performers, including legless bunny suits, jeweled eastern outfits, and some sort of vaguely occult looking dresses. Notably, every one of them was made of silk. Also notably, almost all of them showed the majority of the legs and a decent amount of the bust. Further in, she would spot a crate of undergarments, all also made of silk, both fashionable types and costume oriented pieces. "At this point I should offer further explanation," Clarence spoke up, now visibly sweating as his ritual had begun to take a turn for the shadier. "Ritual C specifies that only silk and jewelry should be worn. With such specifics, I imagined that the best thing to do would be to borrow some of the outfits from the collection used by my father's show girls, all which handily fit the criteria. I gathered quite a selection, since I wasn't certain what to expect that you would want and, as the opener explained, comfort and confidence are important to the success of this ritual. Take as long as you need deciding," he beckoned her, then turned his back again to show that she needn't fear him peeking.

Ariel could presumably put together whatever costume she wanted now, so long as it 1) could be formed out of stock Vegas show girl wardrobe pieces and 2) was made out of ostensibly only silk and jewelry.

((Topic opening soon in NetVegas Net))
Fortunately, Ariel wasn't the overly suspicious type, so any and all questions to the legitimacy of what would happen were completely erased by the magician's assurance. "All right, let's get this show up in the air!" There was definitely a certain excitement in the air now, even from the not mysticists, as the TV's image began to clear. No matter what the subject, there was just something about seeing something that had never been seen before. Wait, jack in? "All right! Are you all set, ZephyrMan?"

"But of course!"

"All right, off you go! Jack in! ZephyrMan, Execute!" And one infrared beam of light later, her PET was short one Navi. Now, let's see what this whole thing was...

...Apparently, something she couldn't do in her usual get up. Wardrobes? What? "Um, why do I have to change outfits?" Seriously, it was like fate was going out of its way to get her to dress in skimpy, form-fitting outfits. The explanation seemed...a tad iffy, even by her standards...but on the other hand, why be a lovely assistant when you didn't even look the part? All right, let's see what was in there...

"Hmm...nah...nope...ooh, that could be nice!...Eh, on second thought, that'll never fit around my bust line...oh, now THAT'S perfect! Yep, and it'll fit and everything!" Ariel's musings quickly died down, though exactly why was impossible to tell, especially if one was only hearing things instead of looking. The sounds of movement were clear, though, and the sounds of articles of clothing hitting the floor could also be heard. Once they stopped, it was safe to assume that Clarence had a naked woman in his back room. Now would be a pretty terrible time to get a customer.

About 10 minutes after going silent, the clicking of a pair of shoes could be heard, as the Electopian woman walked out her in new get up for the mission. "So, think this'll work?"

Ariel had gone with what looked like a skimpy pink one-piece bathing suit. While it did manage to entirely cover her breasts, it remained a nice, snug fit, to the point where one would think it was just body paint unless they took a closer look. The lower area had a similar design, and while it was sufficient for making her presentable to minors (in theory, at least), the entirety of her hips were visible. Or they would've, but a white half-skirt managed to cover just enough of them to leave a bit to the imagination. It puffed out enough that it about doubled her width, but that would only matter if she had to walk through a bunch of doorways. It only covered her back half, anyway, allowing full access to her legs. Down on her feet, there were a pair of rather tall, maybe 4-5 inch heels; while they looked like they were made of plastic or some similar material, they were designed to look like they were made of solid gemstone, most likely ruby, given the bright red color.

Completing her outfit were a pair of white gloves that extended halfway up her forearm, and a headband with some rather large pink feathers extending from it. If she was anywhere else besides NetVegas, she'd be getting some odd looks about now.

Clarence Gupta seemed to be genuinely ecstatic to see Ariel's costume. At first the easy assumption was that his enthusiasm stemmed from the fact that he had ostensibly tricked a hot girl into wearing a skin-tight bathing suit... but as he admired the plumage and covered his mouth in awe, it became apparent that he was excited for more than the eye candy. "My first ever magic assistant... B-Besides Seer, that is... It's a dream come true," he gasped, seeming overcome with emotion. "I must say, you wear it better than any of my father's assistant. Clearly, fate has chosen you to lead me on the road to surpassing my father! A true magician's assistant will be the beacon to light my voyage to true magic!" he proclaimed, raising his finger in victory at this grand realization.

As he stared a bit longer, a thought him. "Oh, I should probably..." he murmured, walking to the front of his store. He turned off the "OPEN" sign that had become lit earlier. "I'm all for business, but it can't be allowed to interrupt this... our experience here is the vessel by which mankind sails into the seas of mysticism... and this is her maiden voyage!"

A cough came from the TV, as if trying to drag Clarence back to the task at hand. "I'll assume the two of you are now prepared to begin ritual C. Excellent... Next, we'll need to utilize the item you procured earlier. If you have the urn, please access its contents now," it bid Clarence. The magician was all too eager to accept. He scurried over to the large urn Ariel had seen earlier and grabbed it up with some difficulty, moving it closer to the television. "At this point, I'm going to ask you to leave the room, Clarence. I have something important to discuss with your assistant. You may return to the room when you hear her knock on the door three times," the voice on the TV explained. It seemed to take for granted several elements of 'the room.'

Clarence looked somewhat deflated to be excluded, but still eager to carry on with the incomprehensible Ritual C. "Very well. Please inform me as soon as I may return. I will stand outside," he urged Ariel, then quickly stepped outside, still dressed in his silken magician outfit (which, granted, was more appropriate for the night air than Ariel's would have been).

The man on screen paced a moment with his hands behind his back, then moved his hands to the front and clasped them together. "Assistant, you should not think lowly of Clarence, but I'm afraid he does not have my gifts. When the time comes to perform Ritual C, he may underperform... he may fail to complete the ritual altogether. Please do not think harshly of him. This gift I'm giving him is what he needs most in this world, I'm sure of it... It is also vitally important to continue the legacy of magicians in the Gupta family." He began pacing again and raised one finger with a grave expression. "I know it may be a lot to ask of you, but I need you to follow my instructions as well as you can. The most important step in securing the success of Ritual C is to build the confidence of the magician. As we progress through the ritual, I want you to make Clarence feel as confident as you can. It may be difficult at times, but I believe that you and he will both benefit greatly, as will the outcome of Ritual C, if you devote your whole efforts to ensuring his confidence in his abilities." He lowered his hands again and ceased pacing. "Now, please call Clarence back inside."

The urn was still sitting nearby. With ostensibly only herself and the figure in the recording occupying the room, Ariel may have some time to investigate the room and see if anything else shady popped out at her. Several closed boxes still sat around the room, but the urn, which was emitting a sweet smell while still unopened, seemed the most suspicious.
"Glad you like it!" Ariel didn't really know about the whole fate thing...but hey, he seemed happy. "Let's get started on this whole Ritual C thing already!" Yep, now that she'd changed, she was definitely getting more into it. But first, Clarence had to switch off his OPEN sign. Yeah, it'd probably look weird if someone came in now.

But after that, it was time to delve into the world of mysticism...whatever that meant, exactly. And naturally, there was another interruption, this time from the video itself. After waiting a moment, she was alone, and got to hearing out the message. Which was basically 'my son sucks, but don't let him know that'. Gee, what a great message. "Um, ouch..." Once the message was over, she hit the pause button, so she could go summon Clarence. After all, it was hard to walk in heels this high.

As she started heading for the door, the lovely assistant looked over at the urn. She felt like she'd seen it earlier, but she couldn't really place it. It had a sweet smell...she'd dismiss it as some sort of incense, but it didn't look like it'd been opened, so how could it be that? She'd learn soon enough, probably, so there wasn't any need to pry deeper.

Upon reaching the door, she reached over to open it...but managed to remember the recording in time, and rapped on the door three times. Time to let the ritual begin in earnest...she hoped.
At the sound of Ariel's knocks, Clarence returned into the room that compromised the majority of his House of Mysticism. "Thank you, Ariel. I hope you're as excited as I am for what's to come," he greeted her again, rubbing his hands together in anticipation. His mood would indeed likely be ruined if she revealed to him that his grandfather had told her to be wary of how much he sucks at magic. "Let's start the recording again!" But the recording had never actually been stopped; it was just waiting for them to both re-enter the room, somehow. Was it possibly they were actually seeing a live figure? Or perhaps the "precognition" Clarence was hoping to inherit allowed his grandfather to record the instructions so far ahead of time? Regardless, the representation of Clarence's grandfather began speaking again.

"Now that the two of you are back, I believe it's time we moved ahead. The contents of that urn are a special concoction I have always used when performing Ritual C. It finds its origins in Yumland and was used by pr--- p-p ---- purpose is t--- magician and assistant will commune more easily and Ritual C will see fewer obstacles. The cooling sensation, you will note, is sup-sup-sup-sup-"

At this point, Clarence began whacking the TV again, as it was obvious that either the antique player or the recording was showing its age. "Hrrrrgh," he grumbled, clasping it in both hands and shaking. The stuttering seemed to abate somewhat, although that was likely simply another peak in the quality of the recording, rather than the result of Clarence's efforts.

"... the assistant shall gather a significant quantity of the liquid into her hands. For added effect, I would recommend the assistant lathers their own body with the concoction as well, but it will be especially necessary for the magician to be fully coated in the liquid, and the assistant must apply the liquid to his body. The optimal effect can be experienced if the assistant uses her whole body to apply the concoction to the body of the magician, creating as much surface area contact as possible. Please remain partially clothed, however, or Ritual C may come to an abrupt end before the intended purpose has been realized."

"... Ariel, at this point, I should remind you that I have not bound you to see the ritual to its completion. I had not played the entirety of this tape and I must admit I haven't gone through all of the preparations I perhaps should have, nor did I properly explain all I should have when I posted the mission. I also should mention that I didn't have any information of yours when I hired you for this mission, so I wasn't aware of your physical appearance or any such attributes," Clarence continued, closing his eyes and looking as calm as he could manage. "HOWEVER! If you are willing to continue the ritual despite these unforeseen circumstances, I and all of my magical powers will be forever in your debt! This could be an untold opportunity to advance the human understanding of the mystical realm. Please, think carefully and consider every consequence before rejecting the continuation of Ritual C!" he begged her, spreading both arms and his cape around himself in dramatic fashion. His eyes shot open, showing a surprising intensity. However, 'begged' was a good word. "I'm not sure how I'm going to finish this ritual without you... so... if you're not terribly opposed... Let me be perfectly clear, I'll do ANYTHING that I need to to complete this ritual short of acting against my fellow man or woman... but if you ARE still interested... I have absolutely no shame in participating in the ritual and I will harbor no ulterior motives as we progress... My mannerisms will not be perverse or unseemly, but rather, professional and reverent, as we journey together... So please, as my magic assistant?" he begged, now clasping his hands together earnestly. His hands were shaking like he wanted to grab hers now too, but he was especially careful not to, because the situation had already become a diplomatic mess and acting like he wanted to capture her certainly wouldn't help things.

"Yep, I'm psyched!" Though, Ariel had a more pressing concern, as whatever she had hit to stop the recording, it wasn't the stop button, as the figure on the screen kept going without any sort of further input. It was kinda freaky, like he knew exactly when to restart...were they sure it wasn't live? She kinda hoped so, because otherwise it'd be the sort of thing that made one's spine tingle.

Unfortunately, as the recording continued, she didn't get to find out too much about just what the stuff was in the urn, due to technical difficulties. She would've thought the recording would've held up a little wasn't THAT old, was it?

...But maybe it would've been better if it continued to deteriorate, considering the instructions that were given. What was this supposed to do, exactly? However, Clarence's exposition proved oddly reassuring, which was a nice change of pace from usual. Usually, when guys tried to talk to her about covering them with strange fluids, it just made her worry. "It's okay, really! I've done a lot worse than this to people that were a lot less nice than you, so I can handle it! All right, so, if I need to cover you up with as much as my body as possible, I might as well cover myself first."

She peered into the urn, noting that whatever it was that was in there, was pink and really sweet smelling. It wasn't exactly bad, but it was pretty strong. She took her gloves off for a moment, and stuck a finger in there, noting that it was kinda cold to the touch...and goopy. Sorta like gelatin that was starting to melt or something. She proceeded to stick her hand in, and grabbed a handful, and started to rub it all over the non-covered parts arms. And her back. And her neck. And her legs and hips. She wasn't exactly trying to do it sexily, but considering her legs were entirely bared, it was just about impossible to not come across as a little sexy, to those who appreciated the female leg, at least.

"All right, except for my face, that's everything that isn't already covered. Think I should get some spots inside my costume before I start covering you with this, or do you think that's enough?" At this point, Clarence would probably take a moment to thank the heavens, not only for providing someone with Ariel's looks and figure, but with the ability to take the entire 'cover yourself and others with strange pink goop' thing seriously.
The younger Gupta decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and ask what sort of more suspicious situations Ariel had been in than this one, although his expression showed that he was momentarily curious. He quickly returned his attention to more important matters. "Outstanding! I'm fortunate to have such a courageous assistant in this endeavor," he sighed with relief, his chest seeming to visibly shrink in as he exhaled a large, anxiously held breath.

Fearlessly, Ariel began to apply the liquid as instructed. It took her a bit to realize the chief issue with the liquid's application... it went on cool and soaked in hot, like what you might expect an a relief cream. The heat, however, was neither a soothing warmth nor an intense burn. Rather, it was something like a very mild fever. For those familiar, the newfound feeling would be recognizable as the drunken buzz of a mild aphrodesiac. The effects intensified with the amount soaking into the skin and seemed dizzying, just by the scent alone.

Clarence stopped watching as she worked her legs, out of either respect, chivalry, or intimidation. He gulped audibly at her next question and continued to face away, crossing his arms across his chest. "I don't see why you would need to, unless you're planning to take anything off," he answered in a noncommittal way. His gumption to learn about magic seemed to be losing its fire, due to his nervousness. He also didn't appear to be in any rush to make himself suitable for applying the liquid to. For the moment, he was still dressed from head to toe in his silk costume.

The tape remained silent with the elder Gupta crossing his hands behind his back and watching. It was fairly creepy to see him doing so.
It took her until she had already finished applying the strange substance to the uncovered parts of her body, but Ariel eventually began to realize that it wasn't so much cooling her off, so much as warming her up. It actually felt like she'd had a few, and was about go trolling around for the best looking guy she could find. ...Well, that was an oddly specific feeling to have from it. At any rate, it was definitely a good idea to not apply more to other areas unless absolutely necessary. And on the plus side, this wasn't a particularly foreign feeling to her, so she'd manage for now. Mostly.

"Well, I guess it couldn't hurt if everything's covered, so I guess I'll just take everything off real quick and cover myself with it!" She placed her hands firmly on the highest area of her costume (which happened to be on the sides of her breasts), and made a forward motion, revealing it all...though in this case, 'all' meant absolutely nothing different from before. She just faked it. "Just kidding!" ...Maybe she wasn't as in control as she thought, if she was willing to tease Clarence like that already.

"All right, now we need to get some of this stuff on you!" Except the magician wasn't exactly volunteering for the task. "...Hey, come on! Don't make me come over there and do the entire thing for you!" Good thing the shop was locked; one could only imagine what would happen if someone walked in on Ariel forcibly removing a man's clothes.
Clarence turned around now, opening his mouth to protest and raising one finger, until he realized that Ariel didn't actually intend to take off all of her clothes. "O-Oh, yes, of course. A joke," he sighed, probably out of relief rather than the lack of a climax. "You're quite right, though. It won't really be possible to carry out the ritual in my current attire," he agreed. For a second it looked like he was contemplate asking her not to watch, but it was pretty obvious to both of them that such a request would just be delaying the inevitable in this case, so he thought the better of it. With little ceremony, he began removing his silky outfit, starting by quickly unclasping his cape. The turban had to come off next in order to get the shirt off; pulling off his hat revealed his short hair, which looked like it wanted to spike but was instead parted (and only on top, the sides were shaved). He removed his shirt next, hooking both hands beneath the hem, which was tucked below the waistline. An undershirt or something beneath would probably have made him more comfortable, but seeing as he was so devoted to the ritual and there was no such thing as a silk tank top for men, he wasn't wearing one. His figure was about as lean as she'd figured and his arms did look sort of scrawny without the billowing silk shirt on.

For a moment he again hesitated, clearly not wanting to take off his pants. But with those still on, getting his legs would be entirely impossible, not to mention much of his waistline, seeing as the pants rode so high on his body. Thinking that she might protest, he closed his eyes and apologized. "Thank you again for going along with this." He leaned his hip against the edge of his table, then pulled off his curved-toe shoes one by one, revealing his amusingly large feet that would undoubtedly look silly on his scrawny legs. Without the shirt tucked in and having removed the shoes, the pants almost came off by themselves; again, like the shirt, they added a lot of volume that wasn't really there. In keeping with today's instructions, the last garment he was wearing (probably) was a pair of silken, short trunks, like boxers but composed of cream-white silk. He was now, perhaps, more indecently dressed than Ariel, in a way, since his was underwear and hers was at least a costume.

"Alright, that should be good," he finished, sitting himself on the table and placing both hands in his lap as inconspicuously as he could. "Er... should I stand or stay seated? I really wish I'd known these instructions before-hand... There's er... I don't have a couch or a bed or anything in here yet, so if I need to lie down, we'd have to use the rug... I-I'm assuming you're going to apply the liquid, that is," he coughed.

The older man on the screen continued watching them without saying anything. He probably wouldn't speak again until there were further instructions to give.
Ariel silently nodded as Clarence got around to removing his clothes, mostly as if to say 'will you hurry up already?'. If anything, his stopping and thanking her seemed to annoy her more than anything. "Will you relax? I'm not going anywhere. I wanna see what this ritual is, and I'm not leaving until it's done!" She waited as he finished, at which point he was in his underwear. Hardly the first time she'd seen a man in that state. Admittedly, usually, it was en route to wearing even less with her.

"Okay! Let's get this stuff on you! And sitting's good for now!" With that, she dipped her hands into the urn, coming out with some of the sweet smelling goop, and started to liberally apply it to the requestor's arms. Though, the assistant couldn't help but feel like she was forgetting something...oh, right. "Oh yeah, that guy was talking about surface area and whatever, wasn't he? Well, he's the boss!" She applied all the extra stuff to her own arms, then starting rubbing them on the mystic's. Shoulder, elbow, forearm, upper arm, all came in contact with each other.

Now, for his chest. After a moment of thought, Ariel decided that more than her arms were needed. She moved all of her hair to her front to free up her back (naturally, this took a minute), then took some more stuff and really slathered it on. She got in front of the other participant, backed into him, and started moving around, applying it without even looking. At this point, it wouldn't surprise her if ended up being a bit less relaxed, particularly in certain areas. But it'd take more than that to freak her out, and so she continued...

The back was next, since she was roughly going from the top down. She took a look at it, and decided that her own back just wouldn't cut it. The assistant got behind him, and once she was sure he wasn't looking back...did what she had been merely kidding about a few minutes ago, and made the part of her costume above the waist fall. Naturally, she put a bunch of the goop over the newly exposed area, and began applying it by rubbing his back with her chest and belly...though, given her physiology, the top half of her torso was doing most of the work. (Un?)Fortunately for Clarence, it didn't take overly long, and as soon as his back was covered, so was Ariel's front.

She moved back in front of him, and immediately crouched...and looked at his underwear. "You know, he DID say you needed to be fully covered..." Of course, even though she was all nice and warm (and feeling...sensations), she had enough sense to know that would be met with serious objection. In that case, she'd just move on to the legs, which she'd cover with her own legs, and a little bit of the buttocks. And if that was all he wanted covered, she'd live with it. It just wouldn't be optimal, like the man said.
"Of course, of course. Believe me, no one wants to see this secretive ritual come to its head more than I do," Clarence responded to Ariel. "My eagerness to further our understanding of magic as a whole is matched by my trepidation, however, at the bizarreness of this ritual. In all of my long days of magic studies I have never found myself beholden to such a strange practice." Talking in fancy sorcerer-tongue seemed to give him a bit of confidence again, so he nodded and let her continue as he sat down upon the table's edge. His lanky legs nearly reached the floor off of the table.

The wannabe magician's facial expression showed that he also noticed the strange heat of the liquid, because he looked down at his arms and frowned once Ariel began. He didn't seem like he'd been in the saddle much up to this point, so to speak, so he probably didn't know what to equate the warmth to. "Yes, he did mention that," Gupta affirmed, as Ariel recalled the instructions from memory. "That's very good of you." His lips tightened as he tried not to make his heavier breathing too obvious; she'd notice if he was breathing heavily at this proximity, he figured, and most woman would probably find that creepy in such a ritual, which needed to be as professional as possible.

Professional behavior went out the window as Ariel tied up her hair and lathered up her back, then used it to start on his chest. He didn't quite understand what she was doing until she was already doing it, and didn't protest, but did let out a surprised gasp. Of course, the back to chest wasn't what he was thinking about, but rather, where her backside had ended up as a result. She'd been correct when she'd presumed he wouldn't be relaxed. His mind wasn't relaxed, his breathing wasn't relaxed, and that particular area certainly wasn't relaxed. "E-Excuse me," he murmured, thinking that he ought to apologize immediately for that, but not specifying what, for decency's sake.

Like professionalism, decency also went out the window as Ariel went topless for the next portion of the preparation. This time Clarence nearly jumped out of his skin and became stiff as a board, not moving an inch as she progressed. "You don't... have to-" he piped, sounding like his voice was leaving him. It was abundantly obvious now that he didn't have her level of experience concerning bodily contact with the opposite sex, or, possibly, any experience at all. He shut his mouth as she moved around in front, then squat in front of him. His eyes widened, then he turned them to the ceiling, desperate to avoid staring.

Clarence's thin fingers were now gripped extremely tightly around the table's frame and thus not covering his front, which made his current condition as almost obvious as it possibly could be (he may not have the experience, but he appeared to have the equipment). He nearly jumped again, then crossed his hands in front of his groin self-consciously. "N-No, I believe he said... we should remain partially clothed or else the... the ritual would end prematurely. I believe that's what he said," the magician answered, possibly to preserve the rules, or possibly because his ghost was already about to start rising out of his mouth with how nervous he was.

The sexual whirlwind that was Ariel abated on that front, but continued its onslaught regardless, as she rubbed her lower body against his own. He let her finish up, still looking at the ceiling the whole time, then gave a long, unhidden sigh when it finished, seemingly exhaling all of the air in his lungs in one big gasp of tension. It was definitely not a sigh of boredom, but rather, relief. The sigh was more trying to convince himself that he'd relaxed than an actual symptom of relaxation, however. This was obvious not only from his aggravated physiology, but also because no one could be expected to calm down after getting all that aphrodisiac substance rubbed onto them. "Thank you, I believe that should be excellent-"

The elder Gupta's voice spoke up from the TV again. "At this point I presume the magician and assistant are both fully coated. Both of you have been transformed in mind, through this process, and will be more ready to initiate the climax of Ritual C. The next step may seem superfluous, but I believe it's an important one to go through to properly enact Ritual C... and also, it is the last step before we reach the crux of this instruction. I want the two of you seated, facing one another and establishing eye contact."

Clarence did so reluctantly, because did so meant having to face Ariel's state of undress. But he finally managed to and maybe even calmed down a bit, like a child who realizes that going down a water slide with his eyes closed just makes it scarier.

"Good. Now, you should both close your eyes."

He did so. He, of course, had no way to ensure or verify that she did so.

"Now, one after another, and this is my strong recommendation... I wish for each of you to reveal one of your strongest sexual fantasies to one another. In as much or as little detail as you wish. There is no need to be embarrassed, for we all have them, but rarely do we share them... airing out the subject will increase the relationship between you and your assistant, Clarence. This is the last step before we enact Ritual C."

Clarence still had his eyes closed, but he was now making a mortified face, perhaps trying to figure out what this had to do with magic or perhaps because he had some truly awful fantasy to share.

"Assistant, I would recommend you begin." The man on screen didn't say it, but just remembering their last exercise, Ariel could be fairly certain the reason she had to start was because Clarence would never begin otherwise.
Ariel wasn't really sure why Clarence had trouble looking at her in the eye, considering she'd refitted into her costume before he could even see her topless. Was he just nervous about his boner? Because usually men only tended to get nervous when they DIDN'T get boners from her doing things like that. Eh, whatever. She sat down, and had little trouble looking her temporary boss in the eye...even though the strange fluid covering her wanted her to look down a bit. Okay, that step was done. Next up...closing their eyes? That seemed kinda weird, but there was undoubtedly some deep meaning to doing it after making eye contact that she didn't get at the moment. Closed they were.

And now...wait, what? One of the lovely assistant's eyes reopened to look at the screen and momentarily stare at the man within confusedly. But, soon it was reclosed, since not sharing such details was relatively low on her priorities, even when she wasn't being made warm and tingly by strange goop covering her body. She should go first? On it. "Okay, one of my big turn ons? Doing it in an airplane? Now, that's hardly the only reason I'm a pilot, of course, but for me, flying and's like chocolate and peanut butter! Especially when it's a small, cramped plane. It really feels like two people becoming one in the sky...I bet it's how angels feel when they make love! Actually, this one time..." What followed was an incredibly detailed account of Ariel and an apparently well-endowed young man, as they engaged in the oldest of arts while ZephyrMan practiced doing dives on autopilot, especially resulting in it happening in freefall, and Ariel's exact thoughts on the matter.

"...So yep, freefall makes it absolutely amazing! Okay, that's enough from me, you go on!" It was a good thing this wasn't a game where one had to tell a story that topped the other, because there was no way Clarence was going to be able to best Ariel at sexual fantasy and experiences. Though, now she was curious. What WAS he into? She'd find out shortly..
Gupta did his best to follow the instructions and keep his eyes closed, but it was difficult, because ordinarily he'd be pretty wide eyed at the account. "Sex WHILE piloting an airplane?! In free fall?! Even with autopilot, that defies all logic!" he gasped, not sounding appalled but definitely alarmed. "It... It's got to be tied to magic somehow, I'm sure of it. You were brought here because you are connected to magic, Ariel! It's plain to see!" he exclaimed, injecting an ill-needed and presumably unintentional pun into the dialogue.

Hearing that, he felt somewhat more confident telling his own story, since it'd be pretty hard for anything to sound crazy next to having actually had sex in a plain during free fall. "Well, it's not quite the same, but I've always wanted to have sex in my father's penthouse... w-with one of my father's showgirls," he further elaborated, cooling his heels as he began to doubt that revealing this to anyone was a good idea. "I mean, I gather that a lot of them are pretty into him. I've never had anyone like that, since I'm not, er, a conventional magician." Meaning, not much of a magician at all, at this point. "Besides that, his penthouse suite is just fantastic. So I always thought, that'd be a way to really... you know, stick it to him! Show him who the superior magician is. If I could have one of his showgirls in his fancy penthouse suite, I always figured that would be as high as I could go. But now... I'm thinking that was pretty petty of me. I don't want to know true magic so I can get girls and have fancy things... I want to learn about it so that I can be a great magician and spread it to the world!"

"It's okay, Clarence," the voice on the TV interrupted him. "We're discussing fantasies here, not what should be. If you fantasize about having your father's women in your father's penthouse, then that is what you must acknowledge."

"No, I... I don't really want to do that any more. It just feels sort of cheap. I mean, I'm not focused on sex to begin with... b-but if, say, I was... I'd probably want to outdo my father. Have my own house of magic, not just a suite in someone else's hotel, and when I have sex, I'd want it to be with true devotees of the mystic arts... IN THE NAME OF MAGIC!" he declared, raising his hand into the air.

The voice on the TV went silent. "I understand. You both may open your eyes now. I believe you're ready. Before we go any further, I'd like to thank you again, assistant, for making a man out of my grandson," the voice spoke back up again. "You've now completed Ritual C, the ritual of Pre-copulation. I'm glad you've accepted the instructions and hope they've proven useful to you in understanding the magic I speak of: a carnal relationship with a partner who accepts you. Before you begin in earnest, I offer one last piece of advice and will not judge you one way or another: use protection, unless you're ready to assume the mantle of fatherhood. It's a great pleasure, but also a great responsibility. Now, I hope that the two of you will enjoy your evening together. I love you, Clarence, and wish you the best," the figure on screen explained, smiling earnestly.

Clarence was smiling in spite of himself with teary-looking eyes, then suddenly found himself staring dumbfounded. "Wait... Pre-copulation? Ah... Oh nooooooo!" he exclaimed, bolting upright and nearly whacking Ariel in the face with the still-aroused remnants of their previous conversation. "Ariel, the video wasn't... it wasn't magic instruction at all! It was... Oh, I can't believe this..." he murmured, turning around and baring his hands onto the table. "My grandfather wasn't passing on his magic techniques through this video at all. This was... he was trying to instruct me how to have sex! Dammit, Grandad!" he groaned, clutching his face. In all fairness, it was probably good of his grandfather to think about this sort of thing, as Clarence didn't seem to be the type to be able to run through this himself... but his grandfather had sure chosen a strange way of delivering the information to him. "Ariel, this isn't tied into magic at all," he sighed once more with an air of finality. It also begged the question of what ZephyrMan and Seer were getting into on the net side of things.
"Weeeeell, ZephyrMan helped with the piloting then, so I don't think it was especially dangerous. I mean, he's specifically designed to be able to utilize all sorts of aircraft! He wasn't too keen at first, but once he realized just how much I wanted to do it, he gave in!" Perhaps the oddest thing about Ariel's statements was just how...natural she sounded, like it was the most regular thing in the world to do.

She had a similar reaction to Clarence's story, silently nodding as she listened. She knew some people that loved nothing more than putting one over their parents...though she definitely wasn't one of them. Though, in that regard, it probably helped that she went into an entirely different field of work. At his conclusion, as the magician stated his new dream, the lovely assistant raised her hand as well, and let out a "Yaaaay!". Truthfully, his fantasy was a lot more benign than hers, but it wasn't a contest. Which was good, since she totally would've won if it was.

And so, the pair opened their eyes, and Ariel, at least, looked over at the TV. She opened her mouth to say 'you're welcome' to the voice, but the whole 'making a man out of my grandson' bit gave her pause. As it continued, she began to get a little nervous, as she started wondering exactly what her purpose was at this point. He couldn't really be suggesting that they...was he? After all, he was his grandfather...

With her mouth open, she turned to Clarence, only to nearly unintentionally begin the next suggested step as he rose in multiple ways. "'s okay, really..." Well, mostly okay. Admittedly, she was still a little uneasy about the sudden twist. "I think it's actually kinda sweet that your grandfather cares about you enough to give you some instructions on that sort of thing!" And kinda creepy, but she wasn't going to say that.

Beep beep! Beep beep!

"Huh? Guess one of us got e-mail." She hopped up, and went over to grab her PET. "Let's, sweet! I've gotta tell ZephyrMan about this!"