(Q&Q) brands in need of wanton engagement

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They both look over at Qannen, who's pulling the top of her dress down to show Sydrifase the words ON BUTTON tattooed around one of her nipples. "I think we both know that's not true," Qynka says.

"Well the TL is better when you're on it," Truuuly says, which is the highest compliment any of them have ever heard the heiress give.

Qynka attempts a smile, mostly with her eyes. "I don't feel like I'm back. I feel like everything's different and I landed somewhere new. What the f*ck club even is this, what happened to Aspects of the Moon?"

She steps back, looking up at the sign that reads ANGELWAX. There are zonnys parked just beneath it, clinging to the side of the building, watching and recording everything happening below them with their multi-camera eyes. Another half-dozen or so hover silently over the line of people waiting behind the rope to be let into the club. Post-babies and NPCs, no one interesting. Some of them are openly taking pics of Qynka, some are already refreshing their timelines to see how many Likes the candids they just posted of her are getting.

"You were gone for a whole season, sweetie," Truuuly says. "Sh*t gets rebranded. It's better now. More scientific chemicals, more explicit authenticity to the vibe, a more holistic approach to interior mood zones. The experience offers like 90% more value. My father is going to use their designer for our next product launch."

"K," Qynka said. She holds her screen up and takes a picture of the new logo. Then she turns around, putting the logo behind her. Without a word the three friends crowd in around her and hit their angles. Qynka gets the picture in one but takes 5, posting the best one to the timeline with the caption Nodus Tollens: A Treatise on the Ineffability of Asynchronous Orbits.

Truuuly and Sydrifase head into the club, skipping the line, the bouncer scanning their screens and waving them in. A zonny zooms down to alight upon Truuuly's shoulder just before she disappears inside.

Qynka is about to follow when a weird message pops up on her screen. "come baccc_k" it says. With [(void)] as the from. She stares blankly at it until Qannen appears at her side.

"You OK my darling?" Qannen says, her voice low. The zonnys will still pick up her words but at least the people in line won't. "We can skip if you want. There's an infinite number of brands in need of wanton engagement."

"Daddy put this on my TDL, my first labor. Club appearance & light brand engagement. My mild re-entry into polite society."

"What particular brand are you to engage with tho."

"I assume we find out inside. Anyways it's fine. It's not like I want to go back to that depressing hovel where we live now. This is where I need to be. It'll be fine. All I have to do is not f*ck it up. I'm OK." She wasn't, but she had disappointed her sister enough for one lifetime and they both knew it.

"I'm right here with you," Qannen says, squeezing her sister's hand.

But she isn't. As soon as they get inside some chick with black and white checkered eyes and a tattoo of a tree branch snaking up between her tits and around her neck appears out of nowhere and glomps her mouth onto Qannen's.

Qynka holds her screen up to get the girl's ubi - Xannika, 40K followers, aspiring costume designer. Qynka films as the pair make out furiously for 9 seconds. Then Qannen lets Xannika pull her deeper into the crowd without a glance back.

"Well, bye," Qynka says.

"This way bb," Sydrifase says, reaching for Qynka's hand and pulling her along as they follow Truuuly to the VIP. The club is jammed, a maze of bodies, white-hot sodium flares zig zagging around the gloom, and the deepest, loudest electronica beats thwomping everyone in the brain. Truuuly is perfect for situations like this: her attitude is a bitch-proof forcefield that automagically parts crowds. Not that Qynka needs it - everyone who sees her pass by double-takes, all these nobodies with thousands of followers like Wait is that her, is she her, omg that's literally her. There was a time they would have rushed towards her, begging for some sort of interaction. Some participation in her energy. Not anymore. Now they're not sure what to do with her.

Qynka holds tightly to Sydrifase's hand and follows them through the bodies, letting the light and heat and noise choke her brain out.


Thanks for reading everyone. The TL is better when you're on it 💜

 The TL is better when you're on it 💜

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