Lit Fusion, NetVegas Tour

"Here we are..." PhotoMan spoke far too quietly, so quietly that SplashLady could not possibly here over the roaring volume of whoever was practicing their drums on stage. Clearing his throat, he tried again...


With that established, he guided her towards the backstage entrance. The stage itself was something to look at; the tremendous structure was painted in glittering red and pink. Rainbow colored pyrotechnics were shooting up at regular intervals, creating noise that mixed with the sounds of the one playing. No audience was present; SplashLady could easily imagine that if they were also there cheering, the noise would be unbearable at this proximity to the speakers.

Finally, they managed to get over to the gated backstage area where it was just a little quieter. No bouncer was around of any kind, however. The gate was not locked. "... Should we just go on in?" he asked, tilting his head thoughtfully.

"I've fought Tromby viruses before, and they were nothing compared to that! Ugh!" The mermaid Navi snapped a few times next to her ear covering, making sure she still had a total of 5 senses. It was still loud, sure, but not deafeningly so. "I guess we might as well go in. Best case, we find Strum and can get started. Worst case, we can ask for directions, or something!" ...Hmm. Not wanting each other to get separated for some reason, she grabbed her partner in not-quite-a-crime by the hand, and motioned with the other to follow her. "Just follow me! I'll take point for now!" And with that, she ventured inward, other Navi in tow, in search of their target.
"I'm sure it sounds better when you're in the audience seating. Right next to one side's speaker is a terrible place to listen to any concert, I'd imagine," PhotoMan reassured SplashLady. Any way you looked at it, though, it was hard to imagine a guy like PhotoMan sitting in the audience, jamming out to any form of music. He was a visual medium kind of guy, literally.

PhotoMan's eyes sparkled again as SplashLady took his hand, but he said nothing. "Yes, let's go together," he agreed. "Thanks to my photographic memory, becoming lost would be impossible. I will use my telescopic heat vision to seek out the target we are looking for..." he continued, somehow only just remembering that he had something as nifty as telescopic heat vision.

The backstage actually opened into something like a trailer lot, far less glamorous than a party or a reception. "There are many heat signatures, although most of the navis are inside the trailers. I believe we should check the tour bus, far off in the distance. That seems like the most likely place for the girls to spend their backstage time," he proposed, walking along quickly with SplashLady.

"There are two navis inside: one in the front, one in the back. There are several entrances: a driver's side and passenger's side door, as well as the trailer entrance door. I think that the trailer entrance door would be the most suitable for this purpose. There is also a windowed opening on the top, but using that would certainly make us seem sus-"

"Somebody talkin' out theh? Y'wanna come on up and spill ya yap?" an oddly accented female voice came from inside, not in a rude tone, but definitely a surprising one.

PhotoMan kept quiet for a moment, and then whispered to SplashLady: "Strum is also her band's vocalist. It seems very unlikely that someone with such a strange voice could be her."

Unfortunately, the fact that PhotoMan was failing to answer the girl inside was only making them more suspicious seeming...
Photographic memory...heh. She might've known. The other thing, not so much. "Wait...telescopic heat vision? Neat! Too bad you haven't had a chance to bust that out before now!"

After an inspection, he decreed that they should check out the tour buses. Well, it was as likely as anywhere else. Simply nodding her agreement, SplashLady led the charge over, where PhotoMan gave a detailed description of the bus. Since they weren't hijacking it or anything, the front doors were best forgotten...and the top was right out, barring an extreme emergency. Well, might as well walk on u-

What the? What kind of accent was that, anyway? She honestly couldn't tell. And why did PhotoMan start whispering? That just made them look like random fanatics, of which they were neither. "There's no real need to sneak around, ya know. Let's just ask her." Though, if PhotoMan couldn't tell based on voice, it was pretty clear he wasn't a fan of Strum musically. Somehow this didn't surprise her in the least. Oh well. The mermaid Navi dragged her photographer ally out from the shadows, revealing the two of them. "Hi! We're looking for's very important that we find her! Do you know where she is?"
"Strum? Oh, yeeeeah! She's in the back roight now, but I'm sure she won' mind a bit if'n ya go back theh. I think she's jus' listenin' to some of ouwah old albums fah samples and so'furth," the woman continued, then finally opened up the door to greet the two.

"Thank you. That would be excellent. Your name is Washburn, is it not? The bass guitarist for the group. As I recall, you changed your name just recently, from Ba-" PhotoMan ventured, but the girl cut him off halfway through.

"Yeah, well, it tunn'd out theh was a little copyroight spat goin' on theh 'at I just didn' really cayeh to be a pa't of," the voice sighed. "Now cumm'on up heh and lemme get a good gawk at'ch...

When the two made it to the top, they finally found the source of the voice: a very tall woman with green hair in a bizarre, very solid bowl around her hair, almost making her look sci-fi. She wore a black, sleeveless navisuit with a purple miniskirt and might ordinarily wear other pieces, but was currently only dressed in those two garments (unless that odd hairstyle was a wig). Doubling the oddness, she had no eyebrows whatsoever and exceptionally pale skin, as well as purple lip gloss and eyeshadow. Her proportions were very thin in general, increasing her alien look.

Her cat-like yellow eyes regarded them curiously as they entered, but didn't leave them even after she'd gotten a good look. She just kept staring that eyebrowless, ceramic stare for a while, then finally spoke up. "Nah, y'can't go in loike 'at. Too squah! Y'gotta be a lil' less squah, mates. Why don't both'a yah dress into 'ese, and 'en come talk to Washbu'n again?" she asked, pausing to bend over and search a drawer that lay haphazardly thrown on the floor of the bus. She threw both outfits to the navis, then gave each of them an unsmiling nod. ""Go on, 'en. Y'can change outside if ya loike. Nice'n dark out 'ere. Nowhere to change in here unless y'don't mind me starin..."

"... I would be happy to stand watch while you change, SplashLady," PhotoMan offered. It was hard to tell if he was being gallant or hoping to sneak a peek while she was off guard.

The outfits themselves were very bizarre, perhaps stage outfits used by some of the band. One was a pair of purple shorts with black suspenders, including two heart-shaped pink pasties, supposedly designed to go over breasts. The other was a weird, sparkling green dress made up of loosely woven-together tiles with a green thong to go underneath. It was pretty hard to tell which she intended each person to wear.

"Thinking on it, only one of us really needs to go in and speak. If you'd prefer, I could change and do so."
"No. No no no no." The instant she got a good look at the outfits, SplashLady vigorously shook her head, apparently bent on...something. "We're a team. Either we both head in there, or we don't go in at all!" After all, they were a decent team: PhotoMan knew about their potential clients, and she had basic social skills. Besides, there was no way on earth she was getting in anything that ridiculous without someone else suffering with her. "You take this one, and I'll grab this one. Be back in a few!"

Heading into the darkness with the dress, the mermaid Navi signed, then began removing articles of clothing one by one. Gloves, boots, helmet...those came off immediately, dissipating back to the PET as they became unworn. Her shell decorations were next, making it quite clear that while she wasn't particularly large up top by any stretch of the imagination, she still managed to fill them quite nicely. Finally, her skirt, with some minor effort on her part, fell to her ankles, essentially leaving her in a skin tight wetsuit, as well as whatever undergarments might be underneath it. Picking up the costume she grabbed, she let out a small sigh. The things she did in the name of customer satisfaction. However, instead of completely undressing, she put the outfit on over her wetsuit, which quickly revealed that while physically possible, it was highly inadvisable to keep things that way. Particularly with that thong; it was rubbing really awkwardly with the waterproof material. Grabbing and stretching the back end of it with one hand a bit to alleviate the discomfort, she snapped her fingers with the other, causing the wetsuit and anything beneath it to instantly vanish. Unfortunately, her hand slipped a bit as it happened...

SMACK! "Yeow!!!"

Rubbing her posterior where the string had hit her, SplashLady walked back to Washburn, getting the distinct feeling that she'd been in a scenario like this before...
PhotoMan went to the opposite side of the cart, nodding with humorous solemness as he took his ridiculous outfit. "I'll return shortly," he informed SplashLady, then disappeared into the darkness.

The two of them took a moment to dress into the totally-not-squah costumes, then re-emerged. PhotoMan looked fairly ridiculous, having opted not to take off his helmet, yet having gone so far as to put the heart pasties over his chest along with the suspenders. "Hopefully this is sufficiently not squah for the tastes of Strum," he greeted SplashLady once more, trying and failing not to stare down at her lower body while he talked to her. The popping and churning of whatever gears lay inside his head made it even more obvious.

SplashLady would have to try not to stare as well, just because of how ridiculous his outfit was. The tight, wedgy shorts did nothing to compliment his skinny, pencil-pusher physique.

"Theh ya go! You gents've gawn from squah to sizzlin'!" Washburn announced, nodding approvingly. Her expression still didn't change, although it sort of seemed like she was trying to suppress a laugh. ""Both've ya're just cha'min, relly. Now head'n back!"

PhotoMan nodded seriously, then turned to head towards the door. ""Don't botha knock'n! Sheh's listenin' to somma theh music samples roight now, wouldn' even hear ya! Just go'n," the lanky girl encouraged them, waving them off with one hand. SplashLady's partner hesitated, apparently unsure of whether he ought to knock or not.
...What the? Was Washburn trying not to laugh at them? Granted, if she saw anyone dress like this, she'd laugh, too...especially PhotoMan's get up. Somehow he managed to look even more ridiculous than her. Then again, he could be wearing the dress..yeah, he should be grateful she elected to be merciful. "Er, thanks. We'll do just that."

And so, another step in their quest complete, SplashLady and PhotoMan approached the door. The latter didn't seem especially eager to just up and enter, and really, that made sense. She should definitely lead in this instance, in case there was...something...going on in there. "You hang back for just a sec. I'll go in first and make sure everything's okay!" That said, there was no sense in not being at least a little cautious. Slowly, the currently not-so-mermaidlike Navi opened the door, rapping against it a couple of times, though it was more of an unconscious thing than anything else. "Hello? Strum?" ...Hopefully the unsquah outfits would help warm her to them, instead of just making them look completely ridiculous. If not, she had some choice words for that other Navi...
As it turned out, Strum heard the knock fine, although SplashLady could hear such loud music coming from inside that it was surprising Strum heard anything at all. "Somebody for me? Yeah, just come on in, but if it's an autograph signing, know that I have totally lost my pen and am just going to have to drop you an e-mail, not that I am not toootally pleased to do it," the voice rambled on, growing increasingly close as the navi moved to answer the door.

As the Lit Fusion lead guitarist opened the door, SplashLady got the strange impression that their target was already dressed for the photo. Strum didn't look like she'd been practicing or anything; she looked mostly like she'd just woken up from a 12 hour nap. Her long, red hair frazzled to all sides at random, not matching her black, pencil thin eyebrows in color. Her face, very unlike her companion's, was not at all painted, except for dark mascara that was smudged in a way like she'd been lying on one cheek without worrying about it for a while. Her outfit consisted of only an undersized black tank-top with the Lit Fusion logo across it, as well as black, unremarkable miniature sweat-pants. Her body was proportionally similar to Armor's, but very lean and pale in comparison, so that the breadth of her hips and breasts stood out particularly.

"Oi, she rehlly don't give'a crap 'ow ya see 'er, do she?" Washburn commented, sounding slightly deflated as she realized her scheme to make them walk in on Strum had failed.

Her face looked at first skeptical, then highly amused. "Douchey is right! Look at how you made these blokes dress, Ba-er, uuh, Wash! Whatcha trying to do to them? Anyways wow, it takes some guts to dress like that, kids; color me impressed! I will totally speak to just one of you. How about shorts-boy stays here, and I'll speak to you in private?" Strum inquired, pressing one finger first on PhotoMan's chest, then on SplashLady's, having no regards to personal space.
Um, Not quite how she pictured Strum. At least she complimented them on, uh, their unsquahness. After all, there was a thin line between gutsy and stupidity...and so far she was walking it beautifully. "Well, actually, we're not here for autographs, it's for something else..." Wait, she'd only talk to one of them? Well, that was an...odd...request. But, if that's how it was going to work least it wasn't a very hard decision to decide who was accepting the invite, especially since Strum herself suggested it. "All right, we'll talk. Don't worry, PhotoMan, I can handle this!"

Now, for the first question. "So, where is it you want to talk? It sorta sounds like you have somewhere in mind."
"The arrangement is fine. I have complete confidence in you," PhotoMan responded, then went over to the couch to sit with Washburn. The two navi's stared at each other with amusingly similar expressions of vacant disinterest for a while, then promptly switched to staring at other things.

"That's lovely! Anyways, I do have somewhere special in mind. It's a place near and dear to my own heart! It's my bedroom. Come on back, chickie," Strum encouraged SplashLady, leading her in and then shutting the door behind the two. Unfortunately for PhotoMan's partner in not-crime, it turned out that the back room was a significantly poorer place to house a guest than the lounge had been. All sorts of clutter littered the floor, including musical equipment, bedding, clothes, food, and even some obscenely personal items.

"Yeah, so, Strum did some thinking and instantaneously discovered that if you're backstage and you're not here for autographs, you must be here for the other thing people do when they sneak backstage. The two of you are so cutesy it's hard to imagine, but what do I know? I'm no master thinker. Lucky for you, however, I am completely lesbian," Strum continued at an alarming pace, reclining on a dingy gray couch at the back of the room in such a way as to spread both legs immodestly. "Wash's straight as she looks, which is possibly not that straight... alright, straighter than she looks! She might be puttin' some action on shorts boy soon. I hope he's not your boyfriend!"

... It was sort of hard to imagine Wash and PhotoMan doing anything illicit together, with the demeanor both of them carried, but the more immediate concern was certainly the fact that Strum was getting ready to pull off her tank top, under which SplashLady could feel fairly certain was precisely nothing. "Groupies, groupies! You all are a silly bunch, but I guess I totally open myself up to you, and I think we all like it better that way!"
And thus was SplashLady in a closed off room with a woman that quite possibly had the hots for her. All in a day's work. "Er, hold up, we're not here for THAT, either!" Yep, if she'd just close her legs up and put her top back down, that would be just swell. Still, she walked up close to Strum, hands folded across her lap, with a rather neutral expression on her face. She'd look like a consummate professional if she was wearing less ridiculous clothes. "You see, the reason we came in..." ...Oh the heck with it. After that, she might as well just blab it out. "PhotoMan and I are working on behalf of the Showbizz Foundation to expand our portfolio of gravure photography. Basically, we'd like to get some pictures of you up on the stage, without wearing a whole lot, playing your guitar. Ideally, there'd also be a crowd of adoring fans around, almost like it's an actual concert! Of course, we're not asking you to do this for nothing. You also get a nice cut of the profits! PhotoMan's in charge of that, so you'd need to talk to him about the specifics."

...Okay, that was about it. Though, there WAS one thing she needed to clear up. "Oh, and PhotoMan and I are just friends. Nothing more, nothing less!"
Strum rose both eyebrows with surprise, then deflated back into her couch; she didn't look upset or embarrassed about her mistake, but more like fed up. "Well cheese it, what the heck are you here for, then?" she asked impatiently, leaning her head on her fist with a sullen look as if she refused to entertain the idea that someone would visit them for any reason other than to collect autographs or loose sex. "Oh? Well! Depending on how little you're talking, that's really just the average concert for me. I love takin' me a snappie, though. I'm totally photogenic, as they say!"

"Any rate, that sounds just lovely, chum. Sure I'll pose for you! So that Photo boy's not your boyfriend, huh? He sure does act like he is. Well, I guess you got nothin to worry about then, even if Wash gives him the old golden stroke. The old guitar-licker, you know what I'm saying? Stairway to heaven, that kinda stuff," Strum continued, seeming amused as she thought of all of the various illicit things that the two might be doing together. "You know what I mean? I mean, she likes a plug in her amp, so to speak, and once that bad boy's in, she cranks it riiiight up, totally to the highest power, far as the knob'll go, right? He's gonna be squeeeealin!"

Having implanted a thoroughly unsettling image into SplashLady's mind, the rock star leaned back even further into the couch than seemed possible. "So, uh, what should I wear? You think it up, alright? My stage costume isn't quite as tiny as what you're lookin' for and... ooh, I got it! What if I wear just the guitar, huh? Oh, that'd be off the charts, my friend. Right off em!"
"Um, yeah..." Somehow, the whole concept of what was going on in the other room didn't bother SplashLady...probably because she didn't find it particularly likely that it was going to happen. "At any rate, you'll need at least a little bit of clothing on. Do you have any skimpy bikinis or anything? That'd be perfect for this! It doesn't have to be a bikini, of course. Anything that covers the bare essentials, so to speak, and not much else, will cut it just great!"

Er, but Strum really did seem like she liked the idea of 'nothing but the guitar'. And quite frankly, PhotoMan probably wouldn't mind, either. "Maybe we'll get you in just the guitar some other time! We'll need something to top the first pictures, after all!" Of course, they could do that just fine without her...hopefully...
"Now there you go, love, just assuming I've got some real tiny bikinis or some leather thong just because I invited you back here with us both just partially dressed and offered to have casual sex with you! I don't have anything like that, really. But you know, what we do have is those costumes Washburn made... ones you guys are wearing right now, actually. That's the one she made for herself," Strum indicated, pointing towards SplashLady's green, tiled dress, "and Shorts Boy is wearing the one made for Skins. Skins is practicin' out on stage right now, just so you know. Anyways, there's one more outfit; go fetch it for me if you would."


As SplashLady left the room, she found Washburn and PhotoMan just as she'd left them. Washburn was busily using some BBS terminal, while PhotoMan was organizing the photos they'd taken of Armor, picking out the best from the batch. "Hello. How did the offer go?" PhotoMan asked. It didn't seem that there'd been any sexual action to speak of...
"Er, I didn't really assume that..." Outwardly, anyway. Deep in her heart, she really expected it to be that easy. "Anyway, I'll go grab the outfit! Be back in a minute!"

And so SplashLady left, what was left of her dignity remaining intact. The fact it looked like nothing happened greatly amused her, given the earlier conversation. "So far, so good! We just need the proper outfit!" She gave PhotoMan a thumbs up, then shifted her attention to the other Navi. "Excuse me, Washburn? Where's the third costume of this set?"
"Wut, 'cha loike 'em nuff 'at yeh wanna 'notha 'un t'take 'ome wit ya? 'At's foine, Skins al'ruddy gave a big thumbs down'n all three," Washburn complied, kneeling down to fetch the third of the three outfits. "'Ey're relleh quiote noice, can't relleh unnerstan' why anybuddy wouldn' wanna wear 'em. F'nctional too! Didja know ya can use 'at outfit for a cup-check? Get 'is guy a lil' 'roused and you'll know roight soon wherr he's worth gettin' inta the pants've."

PhotoMan's eyes shot towards her for a moment, then back towards SplashLady. An odd noise, like plastic sliding across a slide projector, made itself heard, but it wasn't apparently where it was coming from. "You needn't worry about my demeanor, SplashLady. I am fully focused on the outcome of our mission; as such, I will be sure to give this mission the professional attention that it deserves," he reassured her, looking straight into her face despite the costume. She didn't even hear the gears moving inside his head.

The outfit that Washburn brought out was fur-lined black and orange, revealing as expected. The style was that of a bikini, including a low-riding bottom and top. Wearing it would make it pretty easy to see down either portion's cleavage, given proper conditions. The pattern was actually that of a tiger. "'Is one's feh Strum. She oughtta wear't all the toime, relleh, but she don't like'ta. N'why not? I putta lotta time int'a desoignin' 'ese!"

((The formatting of this post was lost to a tragic accident))
...Did she REALLY just imply that she liked these ridiculous outfits? She'd rather walk around the Net naked than wear this thing. But, since it was sorta her mission to be nice to everyone here, SplashLady just smiled and accepted the costume wordlessly. She could certainly see why Strum suggested it, though. It looked like it'd be perfect for this.

"Don't worry PhotoMan, I know you will!" Admittedly, the lack of gear sounds was a little comforting...and all the more reason to trust him here. "With any luck, you'll be able to do your thing soon!" And with that, she headed back into Strum's room, braced for (just about) anything.

"I got the outfit you were talking about! It looks like it'll work just fine!" Actually, it looked good for quite a few things...and yet so few of them were a good idea to do on a stage in front of thousands of people.
As SplashLady had perhaps expected, once she stepped back into the room, Strum had gone full naked, sitting in a chair by her recording station in the darkness so that most of her naughty bits were still hidden from view. "Alright, that's cool, chickadee. You know," she muttered, spinning the chair around so that her breasts were just barely covered by the headrest. Both legs were spread, hiding her nether regions only by virtue of the chair's back column. "I said I didn't really like this thing at the time, but I guess I was just being moody and just trying to go along with Skins, all that rot. These are actually pretty good! I don't mind wearin' something like that, it's actually rather excellent for my purposes! Wild, kitty! It's wild~"

SplashLady had had plenty of time to turn around now or cover her eyes if she wanted to, so Strum felt no guilt in hopping up from the chair and strolling over to grab her new outfit. Taking them with a quick snatch, she shoved SplashLady on out and called through the door at her. "'Don't worry, girlie, only gonna take about three to four to maybe one minute for me to get dressed in this! Ain't a lot of dressing to do , is there? Gotta put on some make-up though and get my hair a little less natural, little more doll!"

PhotoMan did not turn his head to look at SplashLady as she was pushed out; he continued staring aimlessly forward with one hand on the couch's armrest and the other at his side. He didn't say anything either...

"'Well c'mon, gents! Gotta get'a stage readeh f'ya! It'll mean pushin' Skins offa 'ere and raisin'a crowd, some'ow. S'not hadd to getta lil' crowd goin, though! Easy b'sness," Washburn professed, getting up from her seat to head out the door. PhotoMan rose up to follow her, moving very slowly and deliberately for some reason... with both arms extended out in front of himself, as though he couldn't see.
Um...yeah. Good thing she braced herself. Though SplashLady couldn't stop herself from blurting out the obvious question: "W-Why are you naked?" Hopefully she wasn't, well, interrupting anything. Either way, her eyes were now shut tight, having no interest in that sort of thing. A little bit later, she felt the clothes being grabbed, which was her cue to exit. She ended up with a little help in that regard by Strum, but it wasn't really needed, as she was on her way out with or without it.

"Okay, she's, er, changing!" Could you really call it that when she wasn't wearing anything? "She should only be a minute or two." ...Get the stage ready, right. She almost forgot about that for a sec amidst everything that happened. Though, the way PhotoMan was moving, they could have an entire concert before he'd get there. "All right, PhotoMan, let's pick up the pace a little!" Grabbing him by the shoulders, she gently pushed him forward, doing her best to keep him from either walking into something, or good ol' fashioned falling down. "Watch out, step's coming up! There you go!"