Welcome to LifeCast, by Neurogem.
You are: The Idol, Voxonica Aslanian.
You see the Idol, Vox, through her own eyes. She stands before a full-length mirror in a brilliant gold wedding dress. You can't influence Vox's actions or feel what she feels, but in this moment, you inhabit the Idol's life.
Stylists pull your lavender hair into place, add finishing touches to your makeup, and spout platitudes about what a perfect canvas you are. Whenever your champagne glass gets low, a composed blonde man in black formal attire refills it without a word.
Your dressing room door crashes open. A tall woman with broad shoulders enters. Her bright orange dress robes float as she speedwalks into the room. The woman shouts to herself in a furious, one-sided conversation.
"15 minutes until showtime!" the woman calls out. "Idol Aslanian, this came for you."
"Don't you know it's bad luck to open gifts before the ceremony?" you ask. "What kind of handler are you? Put it with the others!"
"Idol Aslanian, it is customary for the bride and groom to exchange small, meaningful trinkets before they meet down the aisle. Judging by the slate box and turquoise ribbon I assume this is from your fiancé."
"In that case, give it here! Stylists, scatter!"
The stylists scurry out of sight, while the handler breaks into another hurried conversation with someone unseen. You're left alone with the box.
"Valet!" you beckon, and the blonde man in black formal attire appears at your side. "Hold my glass."
"Yes, Idol Aslanian."
You pull the turquoise ribbon and let it float to the ground. With both thumbs you slide back the box's smooth stone top. A flash of bright white light envelops you.
"... and you, get a cool washcloth! She can't breathe, this dress is coming off!"
"We don't have time to redress her, Valet! Try another dose!"
"She isn't responding to the drugs!"
"You don't know what you're doing. Where's the medic?"
You hear a loud rip. Your eyes flutter open.
You're on the ground. Your gaze darts between all the faces staring down at you. You hear quick, panicked breaths. They're your quick, panicked breaths.
You examine the details of your dress as though you've never seen the garment before and look straight ahead. The mirror that previously reflected a confident girl at the center of everyone's attention is gone. She's been replaced by someone broken, crumpled to the ground, with a terrified expression.
"Idol Aslanian, are you all right?" the handler asks. "Can you go on?"
"Why am I wearing this?" you ask. "Where am I?"
"Idol Aslanian, this is no time for jokes!" the handler snaps.
You look around with more urgency than before, pop to your feet, and race out of the dressing room. Your long legs take you to the end of a hallway where you burst through a pair of huge double doors.
You find yourself in an open-air garden that overlooks several smaller stratoscrapers. A long white aisle extends before you. Rows of guests in chairs flank the aisle. All at once, the guests rise to look back at you. Their faces blur as tears well in your eyes.
You wipe away the tears and scan the guests' faces. They're all so beautiful, the most beautiful people you've ever seen.
No one moves to help you. A din of murmurs rises into the air. You fall to your knees.
"Why is this happening?" you shout. "Help me, please! Where are you?"
Sweat-drenched locks of lavender hair hang slack over your face. You brace yourself with open hands on the ground. Every blink drops more tears onto the aisle.
The shadow of someone approaches from behind. A large hand wraps around your shoulder. You brush it away and spring back up.
The guests' murmurs turn to screams as you climb onto the garden ledge. You stare down into the swirling layer of indigo mist far below. Dozens of camera drones hover in place around you.
Frantic pleas come from the guests. Once again, you scan their faces but don't linger on any one. You inhale a long, deep breath and release a shaky exhale.
"I'm sorry," you say. "There's nothing left of me to give."
The guests drop out of sight as you fall backward. A vast sky of bright stars opens before you until your body turns. You plummet straight down toward the mist.
Hysterical laughter overtakes you. Your arms flail. The only sound you hear is the air as it rushes past.
Light tendrils of mist kiss your still, outstretched hand. Frosted borders form at the edges of your vision.