The Masquerade, Part 2/3 – To the Edge of the Sky Halloween Special Story
I step out of the car, pulling my glittery, loose shirt a little tighter in the cold air.
“Ah, it’s cold.”
I glance over at Five and see him staring at nothing in the distance. I don’t say anything. I know he’s trying to get in character.
It’s not just holiday revelers wearing masks tonight.
I hum an arpeggio scale to warm my throat while I look up at the marble steps.
I feel the corners of my lips turn upward.
Well…I think it suits me, doesn’t it?
I gently place my black-and-silver mask onto my face.
“I’m ready.” Five’s deep voice brings me out of my thoughts and when I look at him, he’s smiling. Or maybe smirking is a better way to put it.
This time he takes the lead as he puts on his own gold-and-white mask.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Inside, the building of glass and marble is even more luxurious.
I glance up at the stars in the night sky shining through the skylight above the crowd. Five and I take one look at each other and grin.
Whatever misgivings we have, I know they’ve faded away for both of us.
Because the mission has begun.
Because tonight we take down KAIROS.
I immediately break away from Five who stops at the man greeting entrants, and head toward the back of the ballroom.
Several people try to stop me, but with only my smile given as verification to my identity, I’m allowed to pass.
I don’t miss the stares directed at me, but I’m sure Five is getting even more.
Even with the mask on, huh…? Is it our looks or could they…? No, they can’t know.
When I reach the back of the ballroom, I’m greeted by a group of women in masks. They quickly pull me into a room, a dressing room.
They chatter excitedly amongst themselves and with me, complimenting my attire, saying they’re looking forward to my performance.
I shyly incline my head and smile, saying thank you here and there until I’m instructed to go up.
It’s my time to shine.
I leave the dressing room, this time directed towards the orchestra pit. I keep my eyes focused only on the mic waiting for my touch.
Sometimes I wonder what I might have been if I wasn’t a PHASe agent. A singer, maybe?
I reach the mic stand, in the darkness so that no one can see me yet. The orchestra begins playing and I take the moment to calm my nerves.
I focus instead, on my augs, feeling the familiar sensation in my throat.
Then, the spotlight illuminates me. My blouse shimmers against the light and I hear faint gasps from the crowd. I open my mouth to sing…
Softly, gently, ever so delicately, I begin singing a story, an opera that slowly enchants the crowd.
Is it because I sing like an angel? Or perhaps a fairy from another world.
Or is it…because of the augs?
I can’t know for certain.
But I do know that everyone in the room is now under my spell.