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 Just last week, the chairman had publicly rescinded the MYNE gala invitations of Richard Spai and Spencer Klynne.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.