Four days before the researchers at Rayki Weapons Lab discovered that it’s easier to induce matter-to-energy projection than to control the results, Mirget Kostak was downside. She had personally escorted her son and daughter to the exclusive schools that would continue to strain the Kostak family budget in the short term, but yield (she hoped) considerable dividends in the long term.
It was disappointing, she fumed, to find that so much had changed in the formerly-exclusive Deb Argosy shopping complex—though not unexpected. Trends came and went, and it was more than fifteen years since she’d spent a good part of her Presentation Year flitting giddily from shop to shop, trying to get every credit’s worth of fashion from her (in her opinion) miserly Presentation Allowance. She’d thought then that The Tarvine should have made a more generous investment in a great-niece whose beauty and education promised as well as hers.
There were few Boardsman-class establishments left here now, she decided, looking down the long arcade with its central aisle of huge potted palm trees. And those few remaining were unlikely to remember her, and fudge her Purchasing Credentials on the strength of old acquaintance. In fact, she was probably, she reflected gloomily, exactly where she belonged. Most of the shops displayed the scroll-design that designated them as authorized to accept employee-class Purchasing Credentials, and most of the scrolls were silver, although there was a scattering of gold among them.
Really, it was too provoking! Now she’d either have to manipulate one of her sisters or cousins into a shopping trip—and they’d certainly know exactly why she was doing it, which would be appallingly humiliating—or settle for using her Kostak Purchasing Credentials, and buying something from an emp-class shop to wear to the Pykalt Cultural Affairs Gala. Even if two childbirths had left her figure exactly as it was before she’d married, all of her clothes from then were hopelessly outdated.
And it would be worse to show up in outdated boardsman-class finery than to show up in the best possible employee-class gown she could manage. Oh well, maybe something from a shop in one of the most prestigious downside communities would be better than anything she’d find upside, even if it cost more. It was always worth it to dress well when you had a position to maintain. And even more so, when you had a position to aspire to.
She’d find something, somehow. Anything was better than having to ask Partel for help and be condescended to.