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"Welcome back to the Engelsen Angle! Today I have a guest who has been making waves in the already choppy waters of Cascadia's nightlife, Yvee Bloom!" Speaking directly to her audience, Marie Engelsen was in her element. She knew that behind the lenses of the cameras that panned across the edge of her stage were millions of Galahindans who were starving for the latest in pop culture, style, and celebrity gossip. Joining her today was someone she hoped would provide all three. Yvee Bloom, oldest (and only) daughter of Veridi CEO Constance Bloom, was a scoop Marie couldn't miss. Constance and, by extension, Veridi had garnered a reputation for neutrality in the age of increasing corporate tension, hearing both sides of any policy argument before even beginning to make a decision. She was the final member of the corporate board to release a statement regarding the email sent by Richard Spai. She had made it known that her position on the diplomatic incident regarding Tagmatium was entirely neutral. While looking for professional protection for her daughter, as was typical for corporate board members and their families, Constance had brushed aside both the PMC heavyweight Klynne Security Group and the newly formed DAUFA in favor of the foreign organization, Monarch. Marie was looking for answers, and when Constance had declined an interview, she set her sights on the next best option. 

    Yvee Bloom was a rarity amongst the children of the corporate board leaders; she hadn't been crushed under the weight of expectations to lead a business empire as her mother was young enough to avoid the existential dread that could only be solved by grooming an heir. Unlike some of her peers, her mother was loving and attentive, taking care of Yvee herself for the most part once her father had died. Save for the occasional long business trips, the pair were inseparable. During these trips, Yvee had found herself under the watchful eye of Auntie Lynne and in the glittery embrace of Yiu Amistacia. As a result of these visits, Yvee had learned from the best how to style herself, carry herself, draw attention to herself, and how to command a room. These defacto tutoring lessons had equipped her with everything she needed to make a name for herself within galahindan nightlife, and at the age of 18 had become the youngest person ever to attend the MYNE Gala on an individual invitation. Now, at 20, she had firmly cemented herself as one of the city's "it girls," commanding a small army of loyal followers online. She knew the game, and she knew how to play it, so when Marie Engelsen had reached out to have her as a guest, how could she say no?

    As soon as her name was called, Yvee began strutting onto the stage, dressed in a white floor-length (faux) fur MYNE coat belted at the waist, black pleather bustier, miniskirt, and pumps. Ignoring the clapping from the studio audience, she made her way towards Marie, stopping only to exchange a kiss on either cheek with the host. Unbelting the coat and sitting down, she crossed her legs to provide the cameras and audience an ample opportunity to gaze enviously at her, just as Yiu had taught her. Marie was the first to break the silence, "So excited to have you here Yvee, the last time we talked was all the way back at your birthday party!"
Without skipping a beat, Yvee responded, "Yeah, totally, that was so fun, thanks again for being there," her voice thick with vocal fry. 
"I wouldn't have missed it for the wurld. It's always lovely to see you," replied Marie, warmth emanating from her face. "But a lot has changed since then; we've had two MYNE fashion seasons, a MYNE gala, and quite a few scandals. How are you and your mother holding up?"
"I'm doing well, my mom is stressed, but like, when is she not, and she's totally worried about this DAUFA and Klynne drama."
"I see. Well, tell her I said hello if she isn't watching. And if you are watching Constance, you owe me at least two coffees!" Joked Marie, laughter emanating from the crowd in response. After allowing the laughter to die down, Marie continued, "I'm glad to hear you're doing well, I've been following your feed, and you seem to be at a party every night. What's your secret?"
"I'm like, totally not sponsored or anything, but I've been using the caffeine YUUL pods for a while, and like, they're really fun!" Responded Yvee, smiling internally, knowing that at that moment, a PR intern at Androni Commercial Solutions was putting together a YUUL Gift package for her. 
"We've tried the YUUL on the show before, and we really enjoyed it. So I'm glad you're having so much fun with it!" volleyed Marie before shifting into a darker and more conspiratorial tone, "Speaking of the feeds, I've seen a mysterious man by your side quite a bit online recently, are we seeing a new boy toy?" The comment drew a barrage of ooohs from the crowd; those in attendance were always keen to latch on to a bit of gossip.
Yvee gave a short, breathy laugh before answering, "No, not a boyfriend. He's like a bodyguard, I guess. He's a Seylosian from Monarch." 
"That's so interesting. Why not go with Klynne Security Group or friends of the program DAUFA?" asked Marie, not willing to let the moment pass.
"I don't know, my mom hired him, but I'm not dead, yet, so like, he's doing his job." Answered Yvee, fully aware of the game being played. "He's here if you wanna meet him." Continued Yvee, willing to give Marie what she was after.
"Is that okay? I wouldn't want to inconvenience him," responded Marie, lying through her perfectly TV white teeth.
"Yeah, totally, it's not like he's doing anything right now, you're not like, trying to kill me, right?" said Yvee, matching the playfully dark tone from earlier.
"Time will tell my dear, as long as I keep getting those birthday invitations, you've got nothing to fear." quipped Marie, adeptly responding to the joke with one of her own. "Why don't we take a quick break to get set up for him to join us on stage, so those at home don't go away! We'll be right back!" As soon as the all-clear for the commercial break was given, a burst of activity consumed the set, with hair and makeup teams coming to refresh the two women while the cameras were off. A second armchair was placed on stage to the right of Yvee's, giving the camera a perfect angle to watch the Monarch hire speak for the first time on Galahindan Television. 

Edited by Galahinda (see edit history)
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On screens across the nation, advertisements began to play. 

A black screen backed by the sound of the Adlantic ocean crashing on galahindan shores, then the deep thumping bass of a nightclub exterior, finally the sound of a woman softly moaning. Slowly an ornate art-deco perfume bottle fades into existence. Made of green sea glass with the name Olympé delicately etched vertically in gold along the center, a soft female voice whispers, "Olympé by MYNE, liberation, now."

The scene changes immediately, the calm, sophisticated background getting replaced by a rapid-fire sales pitch.
"Are you tired of slow internet? Are you tired of crazy bills? Look no further than spai computing! Servers and hosting now available for private use; call the number at the bottom of your screen and get a quote today!"
As the narrator spoke photos of a woman in front of a laptop tearing her hair out, a man looking shocked at a piece of paper with BILL in bold red letters with four bit symbols underneath, and a photo of a squat concrete building on the outskirts of the warehouse district appear on the screen, coinciding with the appropriate phrases. The entire time CALL NOW: 1-800-432-5555 flashed along the bottom of the screen in bold, obnoxious yellow lettering. 

Following this, the screen is overtaken by a clean, minimalist corporate-styled advertisement, accompanied by a pleasing upbeat backing track. A cartoon depiction of a blue woman with a high bun was sitting on a couch with a laptop on her lap before a burst of color emanates from the screen. A pleasing male voice begins speaking,
Narrator: "The future for your business starts here." 
The colors wipe the scene and forming a cartoon businessman running towards a taxi with a briefcase in one hand and a mobile phone in the other, papers trailing from the briefcase.
Narrator: "Ditch the paper and set you and your business up for success."
 A piece of paper blows towards the camera. The scene transitions to an ambiguously gendered construction worker with a piece of paper on a clipboard, pointing to a scaffold and building under construction.
Narrator: "Whatever it is you do, we're here to support you."
The building rapidly completes construction, and the camera pans to the top floors with many cartoon businesspeople sitting at a boardroom table.
Narrator: "Taking your business to new heights and new possibilities."
The camera pans upwards to the cartoon sky, where a few clouds and an airplane flies across the screen. Text reading "GalCloud" in mint green bubble letters fades onto the screen.
Narrator: "GalCloud cloud computing, powering the future, today."

A black screen replaces the current one, a black background with three gold ///'s the ///'s expand to read /MYNE/DAUFA/ with the Minimalist MYNE logo contrasting with the ornate DAUFA logo. Immediately an upbeat electronic song begins to play as the logos collapse back to /// before fading. 
Female Narrator: The newest tech.
Scene: rotating shot of the three new Galahindan weapon models, the DV-60 rapid fire pistol, the DL-2a SMG, and DH-3l rifle. The scene transitions to an indoor firing range where the weapons are being fired by uniformed soldiers.
Female Narrator: The best gear.
Two models, one male and one female standing back to back with their arms crossed as the camera pans past them, the male wearing Urban camo and the female wearing a more fashionable dress variant with beret and sunglasses.
Female narrator: The best you.
Footage of a large, heavily muscled, shirtless man covered in sweat lifting various weights, lit from the back left, unclear whether he's got pants on or is just naked.
Female Narrator: Whether you're at home.
Footage of a woman wearing an elegant gown on the red carpet standing next to yiu amistacia, DV-60 attached to a thigh holster as cameras flash.
Female Narrator: Or on the open waters.
shot of 3 speed boats zipping past, showering the camera in water, and transitioning 
Female narrator: DAUFA has your back
A Group of soldiers seen throughout the advertisement standing in a group, muscle soldier has pants on, looking directly at the camera. Fade to black, /// reappears, expands to /DAUFA/ENLIST NOW/ with the URL DAUFA/Enlist.Gh on the bottom of the screen.

[ Song link here. ]The first lyric begins, "You can sun if you want to, Fun if you want to, Stay in the shade all day if you k*nt too." 
Aliyah Arotica appears on a festival stage, performing her newest song, "Ahroman Holiday," a drone shot of giant crowd dancing, drone pulls out to reveal the broader landscape.
"Villa with shore view, 'punzle I adore you, b*tches rock whatever she say they can afford too," drone shot continues, revealing a sprawling complex of white stone villas forming a private resort.
"What'chu know about going out Cas' west? Relax, recess, all up on the beach yes" more shots of people enjoying the white sand beach, drinking alcohol, and dancing
"Feet sandy, look at little Bambi in the two-piece set looking like a banjee."
Aliyah is sun tanning in a lounge chair while singing, wearing a completely transparent PVC bikini; nothing on her is censored. 
"Can we kick it in the Camptin" footage of Aliyah performing inside a large nightclub, neon light dancing across her skin.
"Residing where it's fancy, Quart of Pino or the champagne, She a leader and a champion" Footage of Aliyah and Yiu popping a bottle of champagne, Yiu is wearing a very low cut bikini bottom and no top (masc chest, no breastplate)
"Coco dream things, aqua green scenes, Palm trees Galahindan queen."
Time-lapse drone footage of the sun setting and the beach lighting up, and parties continuing. 
"A paradise with me is so amazing, So elevating, sit up on the beat and sing"  Footage of a yacht lit up at night, partygoers watching as fireworks go off in the distance, the screen fades as the sparks from the fireworks coalesce into the words "West Cascadia Resorts, Opening June 20th, 2021 FY 35" as the song ends
 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tyler Cliffton had joined Monarch to get some action in his life. After the Seylosian military had rejected him due to his psychological test, he had turned to the next best thing. Now, instead of fighting alongside his brothers in arms in Ceris or protecting a valuable caravan halfway across the wurld, he was stuck babysitting this Galahindan brat. At least there's no way to f*ck this one up. Tyler told himself, trying to keep himself amused while the two women chatted in their rapid-fire Galaçoise. He spoke the language, of course, but not fluently, and didn't see the point in wasting the brainpower trying to translate whatever the two women were babbling about. Shoes or makeup were the obvious choices, and Tyler didn't care much for either. As soon as the pair stopped talking, he immediately perked up, hoping that the interview was over so they could move on to somewhere a little more interesting. Instead, he was met with a trio of techs who, despite the resistance coming from the much larger man, clipped a mic onto his shirt, mic pack to his waistband, and pointed at a chair that was being carried onto the stage next to his assignment. Tyler had told himself from the beginning that she was just another assignment, nothing more, but despite his best efforts, the girl had managed to grow on him. 

As the commercials began to wrap up, the activity within the studio followed suit, hair and makeup techs placed the finishing touches on the two women, cameras returned to their designated marks, and the production countdown began. As the producers finished their countdown, the conversation resumed. "Welcome back to the Englesen Angle!" Began Marie in Galaçoise. "For those of you just joining us, we're joined by our friend Yvee Bloom, and we're talking about the question on everyone's lips, DAUFA or Klynne?" Pausing for the cameras to pan out and show her conversation partner, Marie continued, "I know my choice, but our friend Yvee here has made quite a stir with her choice. Joining us on the stage is Monarch hire, er, I don't think we've gotten a name!" concluded Marie, laughing nervously. The producers took this as their cue and motioned for Tyler to make his way onto the stage. Not wasting any time on theatrics, he crossed the stage and sat down within the chair, his large size completely filling the armchair that dwarfed the two women that occupied them. 

"Do you speak Galaçoise?" Was the first thing Marie asked her newest guest, in Galaçoise, of course. In the moments that it took Tyler to consider the possible tactical advantage of feigning ignorance, Yvee had already begun speaking.

"Of course he does. We wouldn't have hired someone who didn't." Tyler barely resisted the urge to facepalm, making a barely disguised grimace instead.

"I do, yes." Was his curt reply, hoping to keep the interview as brief as possible.

"Wonderful darling, although if it's easier, it wouldn't be hard to switch to anglish." Interjected Marie, "Just let us know."

"This is fine, thanks." Replied Tyler, mentally kicking himself for letting his guard down to the point that they had roped him into this. He remembered the line that had been drilled into him during training, name, rank, serial number. 

"Lovely, now, why don't you introduce yourself?" asked Marie, hoping to dispel the rapidly growing awkwardness within the studio. 

Name. "Tyler." 

"So you're from Monarch?"

Rank. "Correct."

"How are you enjoying Galahinda?"

Serial Nu- "Oh, well, it's fine." Responded Tyler, momentarily thrown off. Monarch interrogation techniques didn't typically involve asking someone how they were feeling.

"Care to elaborate?" pushed Marie, hoping for more.

"You people are very much, almost too much." began Tyler, choosing his words carefully. Immediately noticing the shift in "vibes" as the Galahindans were so fond of calling them, he continued. "Nowhere else on Eurth is there a city quite like this one. Every day it seems things change." 

"It's true, we really live life to its fullest here, right Yvee?" asked Marie, hoping to redirect the energy of the conversation. 

"We really do," answered Yvee, thankful for the opportunity to prevent further damage. "When you can go from a party at Yiu's estate to a rave in the warehouse district, then to the rooftop of a skyscraper in the core all in one night without stopping, foreigners might not be able to keep up."

"So true," replied Marie, "Speaking of Yiu, there's a MYNE show coming up. Can we expect to see the two of you there?"

"Of course, we wouldn't miss it for the wurld!" Replied Yvee excitedly.

We're going to have to have a conversation about intel security, thought Tyler to himself, annoyed at the mounting security risks.

"Are you into fashion, Tyler?" shifted Marie, hoping to get more clips of the Seylosian muscle man's awkwardness for the social feeds. 

"No, not particularly." Responded Tyler, drawing gasps from the studio audience

"Well, hopefully, this MYNE show will be enough to change your mind."  expertly countered Marie, "Now let's get to what we all want to know. Being a mercenary, how do you feel about this DAUFA vs. Klynne rivalry?"

"Neither compares to Monarch," said Tyler, hoping to stop the conversation then and there. 

Sensing that she wouldn't be getting any further with that line of questioning, Marie decided to end the interview there. "Well, that's all the questions I've got for the two of you. Yvee, it's been a pleasure as always, and it's been lovely to meet you, Tyler." Pausing to shake Tyler's hand and exchange cheek kisses with Yvee, Marie turned to the camera that was steadily zooming in on her, allowing her two guests to exit the stage. "Up next, we'll be talking with fashion correspondent Olly K about what we can expect to see at the MYNE gala this Saturday. Stay tuned!"

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  • 4 months later...

Nobody was ever invited to Ostera's parties; the man had a reputation for anyone that could find their way into his estate, was welcome to drink until they couldn't. And so, once a week, every week, the city of Cascadia would pile into trams, metros, cars, and even bikes and make their way to the Ostera estate, spilling through the wrought iron gates that were perpetually open. A parade of millionaire upper management and their myriad nurses, Fiyd stars comparing follower counts and brand deals on Ostera's beach, fashion bloggers alongside the models they lauded, Execs and interns exchanging telephone numbers and business cards, corporate protectors, university defectors, and the sea of waiters carrying exotic liquors of every hue imaginable. These events had a theme, and tonight's was "Ovah!" a celebration of camp, opulence, extravagance, and excess.

 

Yvee loved these parties and made a point to attend one at least once a season, if not to remain in Ostera's good graces. After all, the man seemed to have a hand in every pocket on the island. Nobody knew exactly how Ostera had managed to accrue his fortune, and the explanations ranged from family inheritance to him being an exiled royal from the Europan continent. All anyone knew was that he was rich, he was throwing a party, and there would be booze. Yvee was well versed in the night's theme but had opted to subvert expectations; everyone there would be dressed as the aristocracy of centuries past. Instead, she was wearing nothing more than a floor-length clear iridescent trench coat and three tattoos. The Veridi logo, positioned on her left collarbone, the phrase "I do not dream of labor" on her right collarbone, and a barcode on her left buttock. Dressing Tyler for the event had been a struggle; the man had refused to match his charge's hyper minimalist style, refused to wear a corset and heels, and demanded to keep at least one weapon on his person. Eventually, after a day of back and forth arguing, the two had managed to reach a compromise, leaving Tyler in a suit that appeared to be made of a priceless rococo era oil painting, torn from its frame and fashioned into clothing. And so the pair set out, arriving as the party was in full swing. 

 

Tyler was absolutely overwhelmed. From the moment the duo had arrived at the gates, they'd been surrounded by a sea of partygoers, dressed, as Yvee had predicted, as the aristocracy of old. Towering hair was combined with machined fabrics and modern cosmetics to create a party seemingly lost in time. Yvee's decision to think outside the box had paid off, as she was bombarded with shouts of approval, finger waves, and envious glares from those unable to afford the risk of failing to impress. "Werk b*tch!" was as common a greeting as hello, and as the pair made their way inside the building, the crowd only became denser. Now surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colors, a haze of perfumes, and the pounding feeling of bass as the music seemed to originate from all directions, Tyler was struggling to keep up. He'd been to parties across Galahinda, from the smallest hole-in-the-wall speakeasies to the largest music festivals the island had to offer. The devil, as he always is, was in the details; before, Yvee had been in VIP zones, surrounded by enforcers of the social order. Now, in the chaos of open doors, that social order was scattered. The island's most influential were mere arm lengths away, and often less, from those who idolized them. The potential for harm was astronomical, and Tyler was constantly on edge, and when a voice called out for Yvee, electronically amplified, his hand was immediately on his weapon as he scanned the crowd for the source. It didn't take long before his eyes landed on a lithe man, gracefully making his way towards the duo with surprising grace, a microphone in hand. The man was wearing a suit with an ornate golden pattern embroidered on the jacket, which featured a ruffled collar around his neck. The man was extremely tall, his already impressive height extended by the stilettoes on his feet. Tyler glanced over at Yvee, softening his grip on his pistol as recognition and excitement danced across the woman's face. The man came to a stop just inside the circle of partygoers that had formed. Tyler estimated that the man was nearing seven and a half feet tall. 

"Yvee f*ckin Bloom, in the flesh," Boomed the man in the Galaçoise, the microphone in his hand carrying his voice across the cavernous main hall and drawing the attention of the rest of the party. Tyler watched with apprehension as the man leaned over to exchange a kiss on each cheek with Yvee. A gesture that Tyler was not a fan of, regardless of cultural significance. Yvee happily returned the gesture before pulling back and holding the man at arm's length. "The legendary Wes Leigh, gorgeous as always." Said Yvee, waving her hand at the outfit being worn. 

"Says you, you have the audacity to look better than every single doll at the function." Replied Wes, twirling his finger for Yvee to provide a 360-degree view of her outfit and began chanting into the handheld microphone, providing the ballroom commentary he was known for.

"Let me see you, werk b*tch! Let me see you, serve b*tch! Let me see you, spin b*tch! let me see you, werk b*tch!" 

Yvee obliged, providing the gathering crowd and cameras a full view of the outfit being worn- knowing full well that Fiyd would be flooded with images of her in mere minutes. After taking a moment to let the resulting dizziness pass, steadying herself on Wes's outstretched hand, Yvee was assaulted from all directions with calls to pose for photos. Before she could respond, Wes had leaned down and begun whispering in her ear, "My darling, shall we make our way upstairs? Ostera would love to see this." Yvee could only respond by nodding. Immediately Wes began making his way upstairs with Yvee, leaving Tyler behind in the dense crowd. 

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