The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, which was a huge relief to Momoko, who was finding herself utterly exhausted from her strange dream and lack of sleep. She even snuck in a nap when Sylvia returned to her study after dinner, so she was awake and feeling peppy when Grisla knocked on the front door, promptly at nine.
"Mo!" Grisla was wearing a white crop top with a rose gold leather jacket with spiked shoulder pads, a matching leather mini skirt, and knee-high red boots. She had completely changed her hair, the bouncy curls chopped off to a short crop, and the lime-yellow was now an electric blue.
Momoko tried hard not to look completely shocked as Grisla wrapped her in a bear hug. "Grisla, your hair—"
"Don't you love it?!" The taller girl released her and gave a twirl. "I think it's just the edge I needed to get the magazine contract next week!"
Momoko blinked, at a loss.
"Anyway," Grisla winked. "It's definitely going to look hot for tonight!"
"Yea." Momoko agreed, it was definitely a statement look. What kind of statement Grisla was wanting to make, she wasn't sure.
She sought for a genuine compliment. "The blue hair looks really good on you."
"Thanks girl! By the way, I love your dress! Too hot! If you don't get a few guys' numbers tonight, there's no hope for this world."
Momoko laughed. "If you say so, let's go."
She pulled Grisla down the stairs into the waiting car. They sped through the streets heading uptown, Grisla chatting Momoko's ear off about everything she was missing at practice, and all the new tidbits that had come out in the newest issue of NY Fashionista. Apparently, electric blue was going to be the new "it" color, so Grisla had immediately phoned up her favorite Geno-stylist to get a permanent fix. When she suggested Momoko do the same, Momoko had a hard time biting back the explanation of why her green hair would always be green. Luckily, just then the Deluxe gate came into view.
Momoko marveled at the multi-story crystalline gateway that lead into the smaller dome within the dome of the citiplex. Since the area beyond the gate was built above street level, the gate acted as both the bottom level security access point and bridge. The street level into the dome was only accessible by car, but the higher levels also had walkway security check points. The higher you got, the harder it got to get to the next floor. As far as she knew, only the richest people in the world and the President could access the penthouse level.
"Wow." She breathed, taking in the intricate detailing on the archway overhead as the driver rolled down the window to hand the guard their access card.
"I'll live here someday." Grisla sighed wistfully. "In the crown jewel of New York."
Momoko nodded, watching the scenery as they passed under the arch and onto the antique-style iron bridge that curved into the first level of the dome. She craned her neck to catch a glimpse of the glass walk ways of the second level, where the residential high rises started. Beyond that was a nano-ceiling that gave the illusion of the sky, but she had no idea what the next level looked like.
"Is this club on the first level?" Momoko asked, marveling at the expensive shops they were passing, most of them with foreign names.
"Would B-K frequent a first level club?" Grisla sniffed in mock offense, taking her makeup compact out.
"You're kidding." Momoko gasped. "We're going higher?"
Grisla dabbed some metallic shadow to refresh her eye make-up before responding. "Level four."
"Holy cow!" Momoko clapped her hands with glee.
"Play it cool, girl." Grisla closed her compact and tossed it to her, which Momoko caught easily.
"I'm sorry I ever doubted you." Momoko teased.
"Whatever." Grisla laughed, pulling out a lipstick cylinder. "Now bring your make-up game up; at least try to keep up with me."
"Okay, fashion-master." Momoko laughed, but she took the advice, dabbing on eye makeup as the car climbed through the third level's wide streets full of large homes and artificial yards.
"So this is what it looks like." Momoko smiled. "It's like something out of an old movie... what's the term? Suburbia?"
"Looks boring." Grisla pursed her re-glossed lips. "I prefer the high rise luxury condos on six."
"How many levels are there?" Momoko returned her attention to her makeup.
"Eight. Or so they say, the highest I've gotten is six. The next levels are exclusive beyond reason, since there's not many people that can afford to live there."
"I bet from the penthouse level you can get a panoramic view of the whole mtro-dome!" Momoko sighed wistfully.
"Look at you." Grisla grinned. "Greedy little Clover."
"It's not like we'll ever see it—but I love the idea." Momoko grinned back as they passed through another security checkpoint, which required Grisla to flash the passes to the club and they were asked to exit the vehicle.
"This is as far as the car pass we have goes." Grisla explained.
They complied, and the driver turned the car around in a small U-turn area. Momoko and Grisla continued on the walkway, the street was full of classy restaurants, bars, and a few clubs. About two blocks up, Grisla stopped in front of a silver building with a black script sign.
"This is it!" she grabbed Momoko's arm.
"There's no line." Momoko blinked in surprise.
"Of course not!" Grisla grinned wolfishly. "It's invitation only!"
Grisla led her into the building, where a bouncer checked their passes and IDs, then he slapped a holograph tag on their hands, and they were in. The Almond was a large stadium like room with various stages set up. Crystals dangled from the ceiling, refracting the multi-colored lights that lit each stage. The noise level was surprisingly low, and it took Momoko to realize each stage had a shimmering barrier around it. Surrounded by these "rooms" was a central round-bar with three bartenders trying to keep up with a heavy crowd.
"Each stage is in a sound-proof nano-cell area, it keeps down the noise for the socializers, but whatever music you like—you can jam to!" Grisla moved towards a stage room flashing blue and purple.
She waved her hand in front of a sensor tower and an opening slid apart, releasing the heavy thrum of rock music. Momoko followed her into the crowd, getting lost in the music and dancing bodies. It didn't take more than a couple of songs for Grisla to start yelling for drinks, though, so they made their way back to the quieter central bar area.
Momoko fell into a bar stool with a breathless laugh. "Which one you want to check out next?"
"Drinks first, then bad decisions." Grisla laughed, flagging the bartender.
They both ordered drinks, and Grisla showed Momoko how to start up a tab. Then, they went over to a stage room with orange lights that Momoko poked her head into and was met with blaring old-country.
"Nope." She shook her head, and pulled Grisla to the furthest stage room, bathed in a rose light. Something tugged at her brain as she watched the people dancing in the pink hue. Her instincts whispered this was where she needed to be. She unconsciously grasped at the egg hanging from her neck. Grisla waved the door open and the pop music of B-K deafened them.
"YES!" Grisla screamed, pulling Momoko into the pulsing crowd.
They pushed their way into the middle of the crowd, and Momoko could see the DJ decked out in crystals waving at the crowd from the stage, his outfit catching and throwing light like a disco ball. Grisla caught the beat and started dancing, pulling Momoko from her stationary place.