The woman opposite the desk glanced wide-eyed at the man seated next to her. "You're sure?" Her voice cracked like thin ice. The whites of her eyes gleamed.
Lady Pierpont vibrated. Her long painted nails flicked the tiny tablet in her hands open. Closed. Click. Click. "What do I do?"
"That's a job for counsel, Lady Pierpont." Stellar Repo leaked breath through stretched lips, gazing at her new client. Thinking.
"Lady Pierpont. May I call you Mabel? Mabel. The suit is a pseudomorph. Oscar Pierpont has been replaced molecule by molecule. You've heard of imaginal cells? No. Anyway. He is a new thing. His apparatus is the same. He may or may not have some remnant of who he was banging around in there. But mostly he's an empty shell named Lord Pierpont. Do you understand?"
"How is not relevant. Irreversible. He is. Gone. You are united in connubial bliss with - let me be blunt - an astoundingly wealthy cypher."
Stella squinted at the shell in the suit. Thinking. Diagnosis got her so many marks. Standard guild stuff. Next steps billed several degrees of magnitude more.
"Lady Pierpont. Mabel. Were your needs being met?"
"Sorry?" The click click of the tab stopped.
"How long are you married?"
"You are much younger than Lord Pierpont."
"I see. Mabel. Think. Blank page. No peccadillos, preferences, predilections. All the same gear."
The two women stared at Lord Oscar Pierpont. The man with no preconceiveds. A new thing.
"Well. Mabel. On your way then. We both have work to do. Will you be paying with credit? Or marks?"