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207 Suiting UP 2.0

 Dave white-knuckled it for the entire ride. It was evident that Zoe's excitement at the prospect of shopping brought out the worst of her driving habits.

The robo-cars that crowded the streets of the city avoided them when the Lambo got too close, letting her pass from the wrong side, cross over street lines and blaze through red lights. She payed more attention to what was playing on the radio than to the street. She switched stations incessantly until 'Pump It' by the Black Eyed Peas came on. Then she bounced in the driver's seat and turned the volume up all the way.

"I love this song!"

Dave felt his insides vibrate in time to the music. He swallowed again and cursed whoever designed the car with the wholly inadequate seatbelts instead of six-point restraint harnesses.

"Don't worry, Davey. We're gonna get you set up right, you're gonna feel like a million bucks!"

Dave held on for dear life as he gritted out, "I don't know if I can get to a million judging by how I feel right now, which is...ooooh, nauseous."

He paused and swallowed as they took a blind corner without slowing down. Finding he was still alive a few seconds later, he cautiously opened his eyes.

"Is all this really necessary? I'm a jeans and shirt guy. You said it was 'just dinner.' Are you going to make me wear a tux?"

"YES!" Zoe shouted as she spun the Lambo in a hand-brake turn and drifted the car to a stop in front of the valet.

Dave stumbled out of the car. He took deep breaths of the oh-so-fresh city air and fought the urge to drop to his knees and hug the asphalt. Lone took the offered ticket as the valet got in the lambo to park it.

"Let's go, we have places to go and shopping to do!" Zoe strode down the sidewalk like she meant business, Dave followed behind her.

She walked into a corner store with suit-and-tie dressed mannequins in the front windows . Dave gulped, the sign said Giorgio Armani.

Zoe marched directly up to the manager and started speaking with him.

Dave started, the man resembled someone else he knew who wore a dark suit.

'Skynet is not real, skynet is not real. That's just someone in a suit who looks very much like Alfred.'

"Dave! Wake up. Come along."

Dave and Zoe followed the manager to the fitting area where a bald man was was putting pins in a piece of clothing. Th manager spoke softly to the bald man.

"So this is where your dad gets his suits,"

"Yes, he likes how Armanis look and fit."

The manager brought the bald man over to them.

"Vincenzo, you remember Zoe Silvana? This young man needs a dinner jacket for tonight."

"Not just a jacket, a whole new wardrobe, Vincenzo" said Zoe, "But we need a dinner jacket ensemble for tonight."

The bald man whipped the measuring tape from around his shoulders as he moved toward Dave.

"Well then, we should get started, yes?"

The man began using the measuring tape on Dave none too gently. Dave's eyes narrowed when the man measured his inseams, ready to jump away at the slightest hint of 'cupping.'

Zoe snickered but didn't say anything.

Finally the man finished taking all the measurement. He called over an assistant and gave him instructions, then turned to Zoe.

"I think we can manage something for tonight. Tell me, is this for a formal event or a social affair?"

"Social," Zoe answered.

"And what style?"

"Italian."

"How many buttons?"

"Two."

"Trousers?"

"Tapered."

"How about the lining?"

"Tactical," Zoe replied, grinning.

The man chuckled.

Dave looked at Zoe strangely.

'How does she know so much about shopping for men's suits?'

Vincenzo looked up from scribbling in a little notebook, "I think we can have something appropriate ready in a few hours. I would like him to try on a few jackets and pants. Then my assistant Joey will take you to choose a selection of shirts, ties, shoes and all the rest."

After putting on and taking off more changes of clothes than Dave normally wore in a week Vincenzo finally decided he had enough to go on.

"Alright, I think that will do. It would be best to do a final fitting. Should I deliver these to the Silvana residence?"

"No, We're going to run some errands after we finish here. We'll come back and pick up the outfit for tonight, say at three?"

"Very well, I will start right way."

"Great! Thanks Vincenzo, you're the best!"

Dave spent the next exhausting hour picking out ties, shirts, socks, underwear, belts, shoes, pocket squares and men's jewelry. Or more accurately having them picked out for him. He'd never heard of Hermey or Phil Patek, but they charged outrageous prices for their watches, enough to buy a car. His phone had a clock in it, he didn't know why he should strap a chunk of metal to his wrist if it ONLY told the time and date.

"What now?" asked Dave after picking a few of the final round of offerings, pocket squares this time.

"Now, we'll eat something while we spa break."

Dave tilted his head, "Spa...?"

"Do a spa break. You know, get pampered; get a mani-pedi, a glass of bubbly, a massage, a bite to eat, just kick back. It's very refreshing."

'W-T-F? Spa break?'

***

Emile Kada was still trying to clean up some loose ends after the Alfred incident. Thankfully, because the Undead Expansion hadn't yet occurred there were not a lot of active plotlines and ongoing quests and the system was doing most of the work for him, just as it should. He just had to keep an eye on how the gestalt adapted and make sure it didn't destabilize anything. He was seeing some strange activity related to his project, there was a big uptick in processor cycles and memory draw his area. He'd even gotten a message that more servers had been added and a call from Margaret asking what the hell was going on down there.

He checked his messages and saw one from David Ruster. After reading it he sat back in his chair, rubbing his chin.

"Fascinating."