Down the stairs came a striped pair of legs. Impressive legs, robust yet cultured, bearing a staunch yet fashionable gait.
Gullet: Representative Piper.
From behind the Representative emerged a companion who seemed more concerned about the process of walking than its results.
Gullet: Madam Piper.
Eastman: [Nodding] Quite a show we seem to have here.
Gullet: The show is yet to begin I assure you.
Gullet waved his hand in the direction of a wall, where Elfonso Coconautica could be seen frantically spinning cartwheels. A well-heeled waitress skipped out of the shadows to take the Pipers to their table. They walked through the tumble of little people, having little discussions, along the moat-like circular ramp, and into the glammed out central area that contained the main Guest Table. Each Piper was gentle ushered to a golden bucket and, after some confusion, guided into sitting on it.
Gullet: [Acknowledging Rafaella Ellison who had just arrived] Ms Ellison.
Rafaella: My husband, Grigor Xanxes. The mathematician.
Gullet waved and the two were taken off to their buckets.
As Rafaella and Grigor were seated they were greeted knowingly by Eastman Piper and Lady Piper.
Eastman: [Partially Rising] Nice to see you here, Rafaella. You have met the Lady Piper.
Rafaella: Indeed. And you know Grigor Xanxes. The mathematician.
Lady Piper: Everyone loves a mathematician.
Grigor: That is because we are deemed harmless. Nothing a mathematician could do could ever hurt you.
Rafaella: I assure you, Grigor is the exception.
Grigor nods sheepishly.
Meanwhile, another guest is being seated. A rather tidy looking gentleman in a suit, with a dark complexion yet a fair outlook.
Gent: Genotithia LeMan. Some people call me ‘Gent’.
Next to join the table were Jeb Smithikins and his partner, Jezzabel, taking Rafaella somewhat by surprise.
Rafaella: What’s your involvement here Jeb? I’m barely sure what mine is, and didn’t know you even….
Jeb: Fife! Private Client, you know! All under the quilts. Under hats too, if you get my drift! [Motioning to a chair and Jezzebel] You good there? [As she nods and begins sitting] It’s a wrap! [To the air] Whisky!
Jeb: [To Gent] What’s your story, man? From out of town? Wait! [Everyone waited for a full 10 seconds] It’s okay! Having a flip-out! Dry as a bone from a dead dog! Where’s my whisky?
Jeb: This is more frustrating than a bottle of frustration pills! Pills I can’t get the lid off! Argh!
Back at the entrance, Mr. Gullet was meeting Phaorette Muharajerin who was dressed in a stunning cut of silver designer cling-wrap, sliced provocatively at every conceivable angle. With minimal banter, Gullet proceeded to escort her personally across the room towards the main table.
They reached the table and both took buckets, coordinated by Gullet. The table was now full, except for 3 positions on one end, one at the head of the table and one on either side.
The lights lowered.
The crowd hushed.
The screens began flashing the message: Remain Seated.
A low, slow, siren song faded in featuring a detuned saxophone with heavy cello backing and suddenly there were solo dancers on each of the three stages.
From the side of the room a door burst open.