The All-American High Style World Tour Fashion Competition has drawn two hundred women to the giant Macy-Pelletier complex in New York City. Clelia Johnson, a young Black widow from Millburn NJ, is oneMore The All-American High Style World Tour Fashion Competition has drawn two hundred women to the giant Macy-Pelletier complex in New York City. Clelia Johnson, a young Black widow from Millburn NJ, is one entrant. Her escape through the Hudson River blockade during the great Harlem Revolt of 2015 makes her an Infiltrator, an illegal returnee to Manhattan.
The contest may be the only chance shell ever have to show her son Adrian where she was born.She and her husband George were loners, set apart by their love of rock-climbing as well as by race. You like that? Being on top of the world? the strange woman called Choat quizzes her sarcastically. No, Clelia confesses. On top of danger. Choat is Intelligence. She has been summoned by Clelia s handler, Gregor, who suspects Clelia of being a company spy. Pelletier may be Numero Uno in international garment contracts.
That doesn t mean the competition can t play dirty, he tells Clelia. We re bound to check out oddities like you.Paradoxically, it is Clelia s physical strength and feistiness that carry her to the finals. Amazon That s your image, Gregor crows. It s an archetype. The Right-to-Home Law turned women into dolls. But people still carry the image in their heads. They ll buy it.As the competition proceeds, Clelia is chilled to discover the ways in which she and her fellow-contestants are alike.
They were all pre-selected for beauty. They are also all single heads of households, with one child and no immediate families. All are pensioners, supported by government accounts. And only she seems to mind being sorted through and tried on, like the merchandise they are modeling. She hopes her contrariness will disqualify her. But as the competition winds down she is astounded to learn that, not only has she won Stage Three and a trip to Europe, she is a winner at Stage Two and a candidate for Stage One.
She is World ClassWhere that class might take her becomes more and more apparent in the next few hours. To win is to lose. At Stage Two she is appropriated by the man who owns the supranational Fuselius which owns Pelletier, which owns Macy s. Whether or not she wins World Class, it is horribly clear she must spend an unspecified and unpleasurable time with him.It is also horribly clear that Adrian is part of the deal.What more can she lose?
In her favorite light climbing shoes, a servitor s dress and the down jacket she wore in her free-style competition, with the help of a servitor who shows her the hidden service corridors called Supply-Side and a derelict actress who gives her pointers on disguise, Clelia escapes from Macy s.
A friendly trucker gives her a lift. With his help she learns that Adrian has disappeared. Her only chance to blow the whistle on this multinational commerce in bodies is to flee Manhattan -- again -- and take her story to Federal Security.But at Chelsea Checkpoint the truck is searched. Clelia is arrested. When one of the Port Authority police lets slip that her down jacket was bugged -- that it is not Port Authority which wants her, but Fuselius -- the trucker blows up.
After all us Teamsters done to bail out New York? Which side you on? His leverage gains Clelia another run, this one into Chelsea.Chelsea has been an Enclave, lily-white, since the days of the Revolt. Chelsea is also the last bastion of Manhattan s prekminence in the performing arts, a monument to Theater.
For Clelia, Theater triumphs over prejudice. Two gay partygoers are intrigued by her Amazon image. She is imported talent. They try to smuggle her thro