"And we're live in five, four, three," Rang out across the studio, with the producer finishing the countdown silently on his fingers and pointing to the two women seated across from each other.
Without missing a beat, program host and media icon Marie Engelsen began speaking, "Welcome back to the Englesen Angle! Today, we're here with breakout star Alyiah Arotica, creator of the song stuck in everyone's minds; Eat It!" Sitting across from her was the latest interview subject and popular musician and performer, Aliyah Arotica. Known for her equal parts vulgar and creative flow, Arotica had become an overnight sensation among the nation's youth. The pair paused for a moment to allow the applause from the studio audience to die down before continuing.
"Thank you so much for having me! I've been a huge fan ever since you were just starting out, so being here is absolutely unreal!" Gushed Aliyah, unable to hide the excitement in her voice.
"Likewise, I've been a fan since your first single, Galahindan Goddess. There's nobody out there that's creating music like yours." Replied Marie, a similar tone of excitement creeping into her otherwise professional cadence, "What inspired you to cultivate such a strong personality within your music?"
"Well Marie," began Aliyah, "I grew up in an Ecumenical family, and I felt very stifled by the rules and the messages they taught, so after I moved out and felt true freedom, I felt like I should really begin to express how much, for me, religion is less serious and should be critiqued."
"So, are you a religious person?" asked Marie.
"Not traditionally, no. I'm actually a member of the Society of Saint Lucia." Responded Aliyah
"And for our international listeners who may not be familiar with the society, what do you believe in?"
"Our beliefs are rooted in the idea that at the end of the day, we're all going to die, we can't control that. What we can control is the amount of experience we gain over that short lifespan. We're focused on sensation and what it means to truly be alive."
"Do you feel that those values are reflected in your latest song?" Queried Marie, shifting forward in her seat.
"Yes, I do, especially in the imagery and lyrics that we use for our music video, releasing later today."
"I see, do you think we could see a clip from the video?" asked Marie.
"Of course! I brought one along just for you." Fired back Aliyah, turning to watch along with Marie and the audience.
On the large LCD screen behind the two, the clip began to play. Chairman Yiu Amistacia appeared on the screen, much to the audience's enjoyment. The chairman was wearing an extremely tight black latex suit blazer with matching assless chaps. Within the chairman's hand was a rhinestoned chain attached to what appeared to be Tagmatium's leader, Kommodos III. The man was wearing little more than a black loincloth, leather harness and was bound at the wrists and feet by the same chain held in Yiu's hand. Around the man's neck was a black latex collar with the MYNE logo emblazoned in gold. The video's audio began playing from the studio's speakers, with a heavy beat accentuated by a harsh snare every fourth beat. The chairman's voice could be heard over the top, stating, "If there was a god, I would make him eat my pussy." The lyric was accompanied by another crash, as Yiu yanked the chain attached to the man's neck, forcing him onto his knees, roughly at crotch height. "What that mouth do kanga go make it gushy." continued the chairman before the scene switched.
Immediately following a scene of the camera panning into what appeared to be a Tagmatine church was Aliyah wearing an extremely low cut ceremonial robe. The robe was covered in rhinestones and had holes cut, exposing her cleavage. The artist began rapping, draping herself over a ceremonial altar, words building in intensity. "She's got that Apocryphal pussy, Personally condemned by Kommodos Pussy. She's got that Ignus Dei Sexcommunicatorum Pussy. What you waitin for kanga go make it gushy." Following the lyrics, Aliyah tore off the robe, leaving her in nothing but a set of nipple pasties and a pair of panties reading "Eat It!" before the clip ended and the studio's lights returned.
"Wow, I love everything I've just seen, and I cannot wait to watch the whole thing later today." Began Marie, beaming, "Now, I spy with my keen eye, a couple of familiar faces, am I correct in saying that was the Chairman and Kommodos III?"
"You're partially correct, that is actually Chairman Amistacia. However, Kommodos III is actually an excellent look-alike, with some digital trickery to enhance the effect." Said Aliyah, waving her hand to indicate the pair currently on screen.
"I would never have guessed. The recreation is almost spot on! How was it working with the chairman?"
"The chairman was lovely to work with, they're fantastic on camera and took great direction."
Nodding, Marie asked, "Now, I'm no fashion or cultural expert, but am I correct in assuming that the outfit you wear during this scene is not traditionally Galahindan?"
"You are correct, although it was made here in Galahinda by Yiu, it's actually a take on the traditional ceremonial clothing worn by Tagmatine priests," answered Aliyah.
"It's very edgy which I love. Given the video's content, how did you manage to get permission to go into a Tagmatine church to film this?"
"Oh, they didn't give us permission actually," replied Aliyah, laughing nervously, "we went in under the guise of being there for a documentary, and filmed what we needed without me, left, and inserted me in post."
"I can't imagine that'll make them too happy!" Englesen chucked to herself before continuing, "Now, anything else you'd like to tell us before we wrap up?"
"I would like to thank all of my listeners for helping get to this seat, and for everyone involved in the production of the song and video for making something so cool!" responded Aliyah, turning directly to the camera.
"Thanks again for being here, Aliyah, and make sure to watch out for the release of the Eat It! music video later today." Said Marie, turning to the camera before continuing. "Coming up next, we'll be looking at the perfect colors to paint your living rooms for the upcoming fall party season. We'll be right back after the break."
Cascadia Bay Area Transit: Formed in the aftermath of Agglomeration in 1985, Cascadia Bay Area Transit, known locally as C-BAT, maintains the public transit system of Cascadia the Greater Cascadia Metro. Currently operated by Pierce Winden, it is the least profitable corporation to maintain a seat on the Corporate Board.
CEO: Pierce Winden
Androni commercial solutions: Androni Commercial solutions is the glue holding the corporate board together. By coordinating the manufacture, marketing, and sales of nearly all goods within Galahinda, CEO Lynne Androni has managed to prevent any major conflicts between board members, and maximize profits across all sectors.
CEO: Lynne Androni
Bitmann Financial Holdings: Founded in 1930 by Fontaine Bitmann, it was the only financial institution to maintain credit during the financial collapse of 1985, after which Bitmann served as Corporate Board Chairman from 1993 until his replacement in 2016 by MYNE creative director Yiu Amistacia. Immediately following this replacement he resigned and ownership was transferred to then CFO Marina Chun.
CEO: Marina Chun
Klynne Security Group: In the absence of a formal military, Klynne Security Group has become the defacto defensive force within Galahinda. Private security contracts are able to be taken out in order to protect customers from a wide range of threats including home security, personal protection, and asset security and reclamation.
CEO: Spencer Klynne
Consort: Consort is the primary contractor for construction within Cascadia, managing 90% of the construction projects within the urban core. Current projects include various Veridi vertical farms, construction of the Atelier Manufacturing Industrial Park, and extensions to existing C-BAT tram and train lines to suburban Cascadia.
CEO: Nathan Braun
Spai Computing: The newest member of the corporate board, Spai Computing is the primary provider of electronics for the island. Currently in the midst of a PR nightmare due to an ongoing rivalry with MYNE Creative Director Yiu Amistacia.
CEO: Richard Spai
Horizons Energy: Providing the power required to keep Cascadia lit and the citizens happy. Horizons Energy powers the island through a combination of wind, solar, and geothermal power plants in an attempt to prevent the blackout leading to agglomeration from happening again. Horizons also operate several desalination plants in order to supply the island with fresh water.
CEO: Damien Trujillo
ASC Legal: ASC Legal is an exclusive law firm covering members of the corporate board, and wealthy clients. The firm maintains exclusive legal representation of the corporate board, it’s members, and members of Galahindan society deemed either notable, influential, or wealthy enough to make full use of the services provided.
Lead Partner: Aya Saint-Claire
Telegram International: Telegram international is the leading provider of the islands’ postal and internet infrastructure. Recent initiatives to provide free public WiFi within the urban core of Galahinda have been met with widespread support from both the public and corporate board.
CEO: Hazmah Ramirez
MYNE: The face of Galahinda, MYNE is a fashion company unlike any seen on eurth. Creative director and current Corporate Board Chairman Yiu Amistacia has moved the fashion house into international acclaim with unmatched quality and design.
Creative Director: Yiu Amistacia
Thorn Waste Disposal: Thorn Waste Disposal is the only company on the board to be publicly funded, with lower house contracts maintaining profitability and position on the corporate board.
CEO: Christian Thorn
Cascadia Property Management: The largest realty conglomerate on the island, Cascadia Property Management handles land and property sales, with 80% of all property sales during 2019/FY36 being handled by the company.
CEO: Adrian Atkinson
Veridi: Veridi is the primary provider of fresh produce for Galahinda. As well as maintaining the green spaces within downtown Cascadia, Veridi has begun several innovative vertical farming initiatives within Galahinda.
CEO: Constance Blum
Atelier Manufacturing: Responsible for basic manufacturing of goods, Atelier manufacturing holds the majority of the island’s heavy industry within the northern sector of the island. Construction of an industrial corridor stretching from the center of the region to the ports on the northwest coast are is underway.
CEO: Kira Sandoval
Laxcomme International: Managing the import and export of goods for Galahinda, Laxcomme International has maintained one of the highest revenue rates out of any corporate board member. Headquarters is currently housed alongside Pier 8 at the Galahindan Central Harbor.
CEO: Beneda Laxcomme
Neurve Pharmaceuticals: Handling sales of pharmaceuticals and private medical services for the island. Additionally, Neurve Pharmaceuticals handles the managing and approval for new pharmaceuticals for consumption by the Galahindan Public.
CEO: Zaharia Neurve
Anvie LTD: Anvie LTD acts as the managing agency for food and drinks. Anvie LTD operates several high-end leisure locations within Galahinda. The majority of nightclubs, bars, and restaurants on the island are either Anvie affiliates or outright owned by the company.
CEO: Fatima Galvan
Pasterre Insurance: Pasterre provides a wide range of insurance packages, covering persons, businesses, property, and medical insurance for the island. Partnerships with Neurve Pharmaceuticals, Klynne Security Group, and Cascadia Property Management mean that coverage prices can be lowered for services provided when bundled together.
CEO: Joel Pasterre
GalFreight: GalFreight is responsible for the distribution of heavy industry and retail goods for the island and works in direct competition with Laxcomme International. GalFreight operates heavy rail, road, and air transport of cargo. Cargo ranging from everyday commercial products to heavy machinery is transported using a fleet of trains, ships, and road vehicles.
CEO: Oliver Brendtholm
Orpheum Media Group: Responsible for a large quantity of Galahinda’s media production, Orpheum Media Group produces media ranging from advertising, news programs, and print media to music and radio. Currently Orpheum Media Group owns and operates Cascadia Current, The Englesen Angle, and a wide variety of marketing deals with companies like MYNE and Androni Commercial Solutions.
CEO: Cynthia Ferroe
L'Avenue was a warzone. Flashes of light erupting every second, and the screams of civilians could be heard clearly in the surrounding blocks. The constant drone of helicopters was just barely overpowered by the pulsing electronic music pouring from speakers dispersed throughout the crowds. Fashion week had invaded the island, bringing the Diamant district to a standstill. For months the elite had been planning parties, drafting invitations, securing performers, and renting out spaces within Cascadia's urban core. The city's skyscrapers were in their full glory, lit up from all sides by floodlights and LED displays. No other night was as important as tonight, and every pair of eyes not staffing an event or working to keep the city running was on an electronic display. The annual MYNE gala red carpet had begun.
This year's theme was "Opulence: You Own Everything." and across the nation, those lucky and wealthy enough to attend the party were looking to one-up their competitors. Chairman Amistacia had announced that the best outfit worn to the event would be added to the national cultural archives, with the owner receiving a place on POSE magazine's cover. Tensions were high among the members of the Corporate Board, with the reappointment of Yiu Amistacia as chairman the necessity of winning their favor could dictate the company's success for the year to come. Already an influential member of Galahindan nightlife, Yiu's appointment marked the begging of a new era of Galahindan culture, and the country had progressed into a state of hedonism never before seen on the island. Nowhere was this more obvious than the parties thrown almost weekly by the current chairman.
The public adored these parties. Despite only the wealthiest and most influential members of Galahindan society being invited, years of work as a socialite and creative director of the largest fashion house on the island, if not on eurth, had left Yiu a master of public relations. The public's favor was not reflected by the Corporate Board, however, with tensions between the members and the chairman becoming increasingly hostile. Just last week, the chairman had publicly rescinded the MYNE gala invitations of Richard Spai and Spencer Klynne. Accusing the two Corporate Board members of homophobia, after they had voted against the reappointment of Amistacia as chairman. The move led to public outcry against the two, with stock prices falling four percent after the accusation was made. The implications were clear, Amistacia wielded significant power over public opinion, and was not afraid to use it.
With the release of a new collection of MYNE clothing Amistacia could do no wrong in the eyes of the elite, with the members of high society vying for praise from the fashion magnate. The rich knew that even a small gesture of favor from the leader would catapult them higher in the hierarchy of the island's movers and shakers, and any sign of displeasure could lead to them dropping off the social map. Nowhere was this as evident than with the fall of William Piner. Once a close friend and trusted colleague of Amistacia, the man was overheard making remarks about the promiscuous nature of the nation's leader and immediately was pushed out of high society. Piner was blacklisted from every official MYNE event for the next five years, and being close to him was considered social suicide as he continued to criticize Yiu. After two years of social ostracization, Piner was found dead from apparent opioid overdose in his home. Rumors began circulating that a member of Yiu's inner circle had ordered the man killed for his remarks. Still, no conclusive proof had ever been found, and the death ruled a suicide.
Tonight was exactly the kind of night that would make or break someone's entire life. All eyes would be on the chairman, and they knew it.