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29 March 2016 @ 01:04 pm
_Star Struck_ part 1  
Did i show you guys the fnished version?

Star Struck

Pam Uphoff

The President of the Empire eyed his daughter. "I'm sorry to publicize your birthday party. Qayg and Urfa both say that I have to get my name in the papers at least once a month, and not in politics! If I don't get some society coverage I'll lose too much of the women's vote."

Paer bit her lip, but the grin slipped out anyway. "What you need, Dad, is a juicy romance."


"Let's see . . . who can I set you up with? I'm horribly short of women friends enough older than me to avoid scandal . . . I don't suppose Qayg . . ."


"Hmm . . . Let me go talk with Xiat. She's got a bunch of high society friends . . . "

"Paer . . . "

"Just a couple of dates, Dad. It'll do you good to get out and just be friendly."

"I . . . " He paused, forehead wrinkled. "It might actually work . . . but I will find my own dates, thankyouverymuch."

"Humph. You can't kid me. You, Urfa, and Qayg will put your heads together and pick a politically expedient list of potential dates. What you need is a vid star."

"I most assuredly do not!" He paused. "Well, maybe one date."

"Rumor has it that they're staging another picture here. Zhy Azteca as the President, and Pixy Savannah, Queen of Sheeba, and Juicy Oslo as the sexy body guards or high society wives. Very well known stars. Instead of avoiding them, like you usually do, go out and meet them. Invite them to dinner, so they see how it is in real life."

"Paer . . . One. All right. That's actually a good idea." The President pinched the bridge of his nose. "I might have caught something about them signing Is Dacca to play Endi."

"Oooo!" Issw Neartuone Dacca was the current teen dream boy. Just a hair darker than average, tall and muscular. Vid stars tended to drop their Oner Status names from their screen names, and use a common sounding first name, which fooled no one, but glossed over the fact that most of them were fairly low strength Oners. And, of course, thumbed their noses at the clans that thought them low class and would have preferred they not mention their clan.

"A few movie promotion pix in the paper will work. Especially if you took one of the Ladies out for dinner and dancing." Paer grinned at her dad's horrified expression. "Or maybe all three of them. Now I'm going to go ride, and I'll be back for dinner."

He waved that off. "I'll come out to Versalle. Nothing going on tonight, thank the One."

The door of the office opened.

Qayg stuck her head in. "The Minister's here."

"See you tonight, Dad." Paer nodded politely to the Minister as he was ushered in.

Orde caught a glimpse of the grins she and Qayg were exchanging.

I wonder what they'll cook up?

Chapter One

15 Safar 1409 yp

"Umm, actually, as you can see, Director Urfa is actually younger than I am." Orde Withione Tarsus Ottoman, the President of the Empire of the One was hard put to not gawp at the inhabitants of his table. At a hundred and thirty-five years of age, he was healthy and active, but quite obviously reaching the end of his prime years. Urfa, barely concealing his amusement, was a generation younger. One, he'd been such a puppy when he'd hitched his wagon to the ambitions of a new Councilman from a small political party. And hadn't run away when the insane Councilman had run for President. He was still in his eighties, a brainy, enigmatic plotter, according to the Media, who were collectively incapable of recognizing straightforward honesty, loyalty and commitment. At least they were right about the brains.

But this vid they were going to make had their ages reversed.

And then there were the actresses. A pair that was going to be presidential guards. A couple to play high society wives.

This is going to be amazingly strange.

I should never have let Paer talk me into this! I know I need a constant news presence, but, getting my picture taken with sexy actresses? Really?

"But I suppose artistic balance or some such . . . "

Iss Dacca—Issw Neartuone Dacca—the actor who would be playing the part of Super spy Endi Dewulfe—waved that away. "It's more a matter of using the audiences' preconceived ideas to carry the story without excessive or heavy handed exposition. The wise elder counselor is an established trope. Massively useful."

Urfa let his grin escape. "Rumor has it that you'll be doing a series of vids, loosely connected to reality, about Endi."

"Yes." A flash of beautiful white teeth. A mannerism he'd no doubt picked up from the hours of publicly available recordings of the real Endi. "The Super Spy of the Multiverse. I've seen the early plans for the movie about his infiltration of the Earth. It will be fantastic."

Urfa blinked. "Earth? I don't know that he's ever . . ."

A laugh from the script writer. "I went to Embassy and asked him. He gave me a tall tale, utterly unbelievable. But with a few more fights, explosions and car chases, it will be perfect."

Orde considered the believability of the things Endi had accomplished here, that he knew had actually happened . . . and kept his mouth shut.

"The woman will have to be much younger, and much prettier, of course."

The vid master nodded. "And of course we'll be using the pseudonym, Endy Dewolf, to avoid any unfortunate necessity to stick to history. Or current . . . affairs." He glanced down the table to the other woman with short spiked red hair.

Presidential Guard Rael Withione giggled. Her default reaction. No telling what she was actually thinking. "Oh, yes, how many women will he make love to in each vid? Or does the number have to climb with each sequel to keep up with audience expectations?"

Her grin looked genuine, and the President suddenly realized that she was probably going to tease the real Endi, AKA Xen Wolfson, unmercifully about it.

Iss Dacca grinned back. Straightening his shoulders, flexing muscles and radiating sex appeal. Did he really think Rael could be so easy? Urfa briefly hid his lower face in his hand. Orde managed to keep a straight face.

This could actually be entertaining. In a very undignified fashion.

Dinner finished, he escorted his guests back to their limo, with several pauses while they eyed the nooks and crannies of Government House at night.

The vid master nodded his satisfaction. "We'll start shooting the interior scenes next month. By the middle of Jumada, with spring well underway, we can do the exterior shots. Wrap everything up by Rajab."

Iss chuckled. "No need to look so appalled, sir. We'll do all the work in two or three day bursts, interspersed with studio rehearsals, or scenes that can be shot in unrecognizable locales. It's unlikely that we'll need to bother you more than ten days total."

"Oh, good." Oops!

Pixy Savannah, slated to play the role of Rael, giggled and bounced on her heels, producing a mesmerizing amount of bouncing bosom before she turned and bounced off with the rest of the movie crew.

The real Rael growled a bit under her breath. "I hate women who can bounce like that."

One of the other guards snickered. "Oh, you bounce much better than that, just not like that."

"I hate women with big boobs."

The pictures in the various media outlets were not bad, even if they did seem to fixate on the shot that made him look like he was looking down Pixy's low cut blouse. He was almost certain he'd barely glanced that direction.

Not that Qayg didn't twit him about it. Technically, she was his watcher, who would report any aberration of his to the One, and deal with it as they suggested. He considered her his first and strongest supporter. A friend from the minute they'd met. She never shown the faintest interest in sex, either with him or anyone else. So far as he'd noticed. She wasn't a prude, she seemed to find sex endlessly amusing as a subject. Her age is starting to show. She's getting close to two hundred. Oh dear One, what will I do without her?

Chapter 2

1 Emre 1409 yp

The first round of recordings was fairly innocuous.

Shots of meetings in recognizable rooms. The domed central hall, the state dining room, his state office—as opposed to the one he used for most of his work—and because Urfa's meeting room was so bare and uninformative, an electronic wonderland of screens and lights that was actually just the building's security headquarters.

"Don't worry." The vid master glanced back lovingly at the blinking lights. "By the time we're done with it, it will be a proper spymaster's lair with info feeds from everywhere in the Empire."

"In my dreams." Urfa shook his head. "But really, the best instrument is the human brain."

Eyes lit up, and scribbling started.

Orde grinned. "I think that line just got written into the script."

Urfa sighed. "Probably."

Orde chatted with the actors, examined the big vidcams and got his picture in the media again. Kept his chin up. So the picture looked like he was leaning away from Pixy, two hundred cems of masculinity intimidated by a hundred and fifty cems of starlet.

It was a bit amusing . . . and a bit painful . . . to see his gestures and body language being used by Zhy Azteca, their "dynamic young president." And the voluptuous Queen of Sheeba with aggressive body language glaring daggers at anyone who came close to her president.

Qayg just shook her head. "Never, even in my wild teenage years did I act like that."

Rael giggled. "At least she's strapped down and doesn't look like a couple of aliens are trying to escape out of her chest when she walks across the room."

Fool, the head of trained princesses of the guards, sniggered. "Rael, do you have breast envy?"

"No. Absolutely not."

"Because you know, the Fallen probably have something for that, too."

No giggle this time. "Are you intimating that I would need artificial enhancement? That my genetics were unsatisfactory?"

"Well, we all know you're the underdeveloped gymnast design, straight from the Prophets. But that doesn't mean you don't want big boobs."

Supercillious sniff, but a smile peeking through. "Actually the Fallen do have a breast enhancement potion. And with approvals coming fast and furious for the non-gene-altering and non-von-neumans potions, any of you who do have a secret desire for larger breasts can get them. I will remain athletic and deadly. Thankyouverymuch."

Fool nodded. "Yeah. Good point. Can you imagine any of that lot bouncing along on the morning run?"

Wsca, being on duty, had been ignoring them, but at that he glanced around. "Oh yes. I'm definitely imagining that."

Orde admitted, silently and to himself, that he had been too.

The next day, Iss Dacca showed up to do his scenes.

Fortunately Orde had a meeting with Interior, and missed most of it.

Zan Lynxzlynx on March 29th, 2016 10:37 pm (UTC)
I don't know if we've seen this version before but I was happy to read it again.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on March 30th, 2016 12:10 am (UTC)
Check 5 December 2015 for the previous version.

"I've seen the early plans for the movie about his infiltration of the Earth. It will be fantastic."

is new.