“Enjoy your night Mister Kubrick,” muttered a bulky obsidian scaled primian in an ash grey suit with a black turtleneck. His eyes had a neon glow to them as contacts scanned each invitation for forgery.
Mallory gulped slightly and nervously smiled back, thanking him as he tucked the invite back into his coat pocket. He had intended to arrive as his alter ego, the Kupopolis Knight, but the invite had his normal name on it.
Was that normal for espionage? He had recalled seeing a movie about a ZAPS agent who introduced himself as Nathan Hound. He had bulldog good looks, thick perfectly groomed chops on his cheeks, and always had a beautiful woman holding onto his arm.
Was that the type of secret agent he should be? Was he a secret agent? Mallory Kubrick caught himself scratching his head and he walked down the burgundy carpet that led into the ballroom.
“Who let a mongrel in here?” muttered a photographer, breaking him from his thoughts. He had wondered if he heard it due to some the stealth super suit he wore under the button-up shirt and slacks, or if the man spoke it loud enough for it to be audible.
There was a guest washroom near the entrance to the lavish home. Kubrick walked inside and grinned a little to himself. He was going to do a superhero transformation like in the comics! He darted his eyes around and dashed into the bathroom stall.
He tore open his button-up to expose the skin tight espionage exosuit underneath, only to lament a little as a button flug into the toilet with an audible plop. His shoulders sank. He calmly removed his dress shoes and slacks, placing them behind the toilet.
He wasn’t sure where the exosuit came from, it had been sitting on his bed drycleaner’s package on his bed one day. The voice on the phone had mentioned that a delivery would be arriving for him after he agreed to work. No explanation as to how the suit worked or what it did. It was only after a few outings did he even discover that the suit itself could change appearance.
Moonlighting as a corporate spy was really cool.
“It’s time for The Kupopolis Knight to Shine!” said Mallory as he raised the suit’s hood over his head. The Diamond company esponionage exosuit transformed into a perfectly tailored tuxedo, lifting him off the floor an inch with shiny raised loafers.The suit’s hood molded itself into a pearly iridescent mask with a white pork pie hat and small feather.
His chest puffed up as he exited the bathroom stall and headed to the party. He heard a small cough. He turned to see the washroom attendant glaring at him. Mallory turned back around and washed his hands, using extra soap. The moggle attendant reached up and handed him a towel. He gestured with his small lima bean like eyes to a small tip tray.
“Oh. Uh… I don’t have any cash on me. Uh… Sorry.”
“Lady Kupricia, it is a delight to see you again my dear, “ spoke Anu Foster as he bowed down to kiss the paw of a portly old moogle in a bright blue cocktail dress.
“Oh my, gracious, kupo!” muttered the elder moogle and she blushed. He fanned herself with an elorgabote silk fan. A young man stood next to her with an embroidered purse, reaching for a small bottle of pills that the woman gestured to be dismissed.
“A little bird told me that this was your last year on the neighborhood council for your quarter. I have to say that watching you bring up your community has been a delight over the years.”
The Lady shined at the words, standing her arched frame taller and huffing out her chest. “Those words mean a lot to me coming from you, Mister Foster. Thank you.”
The elder moogle placed her hand on her consort’s shoulder to help hold her fragile frame up.
“I remember when you first came here Forster. I was a little girl. It was right before the Great war, when the Gods still walked the streets amongst us. Do you remember the old pharmacy, Anu? The one on the corner of Broadway and Butcher Street. I remember. I would go there with my sewing money and buy a malt shake and talk to the soldiers and adventures coming through the gates. Sakaguchi’s. Do you remember Sakaguchi’s Pharmacy?”
The Vampire nodded. “I remember Sakaguchi’s.”
Lady Kupricia grasped her consort’s coat tightly. “Sometimes I think about them. The boys who used to fight the empires. Handsome men who thought they could tear down a system with their bare hands. Where are they now? Do they think of that little girl drinking malts at Sakaguchi’s?”
As she spoke a tall young man with a white tuxedo, mask, and pork pie hat turned around from the catering table with a plate full of El Nidan street tacos. “Oh my dad used to work at Sakaguchi’s! Did you know they had a blacksmith just to make custom ice cream scoops?”
Lady Kupricia gave a small gasp. “Oh yes! The cylinder scoops that fit the ice cream perfectly into the bowl. I remember those!”
Anu Foster looked over the peculiar young man. “I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure…?”
“Oh! I’m sorry, I don’t get to those types of shindigs too often. I’m The Kupopolis Knight. TK works too.”
The Vampire’s brows furrowed. “Are you some sort of Kip Kop performer?”
Mallory chucked and elbowed the eons-old vampire in the ribs. “Oh I wish buddy! I guess I do kind of look like one! But I promised my mother not to get any facial tattoos if she let me go through art school. You listen to Flamie Five Oh?”
“No, are they recent? I’m afraid I tend not to keep abreast with the voices of current artists.”
Mallory tilted his head back slightly, sizing up the vampire. “Clearly you know Kip Kop though. You strike me as a Shorty Shogunate fan.”
Foster smiled slightly as he took a taco from the Kupopolis Knight’s plate. He bit into it and washed it down with a sip of champagne. The Vampire’s impish delight distorted his face to seem flush with color to appear almost elvish.
“Shorty Shogunate is for the people.”
The Kupopolis Knight beamed a wide grin.
The group turned as an announcer’s voice boomed across the large theater-sized chamber. “Please, come forward, and get a hand sign to begin your bidding! You will not want to miss our first item, a true rarity, which is–”