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26 April 2016 @ 04:27 am
_Super Star_ part 4  

           Eldon wasn't surprised to find his federal friends on his heels as he walked up his sidewalk. "I talked Jacob into looking over a couple of my friends. I said they were good at martial arts, so they didn't need to carry guns. I said they'd make the women feel safe. So I certainly hope they can be here at five AM tomorrow. Casual dress, jeans and tee shirt will do nicely. They can mention that they could pull in some more people if Jacob is worried. I gather the Sudan isn't the best place to be running around the countryside. Ask if he wants rifles in case of hungry lions, or if they'll have locals for that. Oh, and I'm going to need a passport pretty quick if this is going to work."

           Mrs. North and Miss Higgins were a perfect nanny/maid/cook combo. Mrs. North wanted to live in, to make getting the kids off to school easier. Miss Higgins lived out, but was willing to work to just about any schedule.

           Betelgeuse smirked. "And I didn't let on that I knew they worked for the Government. So they won't run screaming at the first weird thing that happens."

           Lyle Hemmingway and Perry Zaragosa were on his doorstep at five in the morning.

           Zaragosa briefed him. "Right, we met at the gym where you work out. You came to our dojo a couple of times to spar, but you don't follow a style and started driving up to Sacramento all the time, so you haven't joined the dojo. Got it?"

           "You bet. Hop in. If you come with me, they can't send you away until they kick me out, so you can kick back and try to not intimidate the ladies. You're hitching a ride by virtue of making them feel safe, so make them feel safe." Eldon started the Mercedes and hit the garage door switch. Perry, riding shotgun, looked to be what Eldon was beginning to understand was "Hispanic" while Lyle was one of the extra pale people, who were all "Caucasian," but not all Caucasians were all the way pale like that. He'd just about got it all figured out.

           At the studio gate, the guards had a note that he was bringing people. Their names were taken and then he swooped around to the designated sound stage.

           They were early so he took the opportunity to walk out a couple of his own scenes, hamming up his attempts to charm the Spoiled Daughter. Jacob came in halfway through, then Jack and Margo. Jacob stood Jack, Lyle, and Perry around the stage and had Eldon do it all over again with Margo there. He emoted sex, and fairly purred. Margo radiated appalled horror and thinly disguised terror, looking around for a place to run to.

           Xtreme crowed in delight. "I'll bet Jack accidentally hits you too hard in the fight scenes."

           "Bah. Jack's a professional." Eldon sniffed. "He'll steal my scenes, and relegate me to the has-been bin before I've actually been."

           The kid rolled his eyes.

           "No? Okay, umm, maybe I'd better get all my girlfriends in to spectate, and then He'll realize I wouldn't dare risk getting fresh with yet another woman."

           "I thought you liked Lily?" Xtreme frowned. Hollywood was a tough place for a guy to learn about women.

           "I do, however I am . . . like, a member of a commune, I guess you'd call it, here. I could get a couple of the gals to come and radiate disapproval of my actions. How about that?"

           The boy looked at him cynically. "Does Lily know about this commune?"

           "I told her, but she hasn't met any of them yet. It may be painful."

           "Deadly, I'd say." Jack shook his head. "You just get weirder all the time."


           Lily drove up to Sacramento with him, Friday night. He stubbornly pulled a Corridor along with them. If Heso was going to be so casual about it . . . The kids mobbed him, Betelgeuse hugged him, Heso waved a beer from in front of the TV and Jade looked Lily over thoughtfully.

           Lily was still gawping at all the kids. "Eldon how many of these are yours?"

           "Three. Nightmare, wave at the lady. And the two littlest." Both of whom were doing their best to crawl into his lap.

           The redhead bounced over and leaned against his legs.

           "I'm Nancy now, remember?"

           "Yes, I do. And how do you like Kindergarten?"

           "Miss Reed is really nice, and I have lots of friends. Especially Janie. Miss Reed lets me read lots of books. She says I'm really, really smart."

           "I suspect Miss Reed is correct."

           Betelgeuse worked her way around the horde that was calling for pony rides, and introduced herself to Lily. "Sorry about the mob scene, but Eldon is a kid magnet. I remember doing the same when I was little."

           "Oh, umm, I thought you were a girlfriend, err."

           Eldon looked around, "Hey! Betelgeuse's practically still one of the kids."

           Betelgeuse shook her head. "Eldon's at least a Big Brother figure to me, and if he ever had sex with my mother, I really don't want to know."

           Jade snorted contemptuously from across the very large room. "Fat chance!"

           "Told you this wasn't the standard type commune."

           "Okay, I may regret asking this, but who are the mothers of Eldon's three."

           "Right." Betelgeuse surveyed the group. "Nightmare's mother is Falchion. Who is also the mother of Rampart and Mayhem." She pointed to two more redheads. "Wheeler Dealer's mother is Gauntlet, who is also the mother of Quarrel here." She touched the golden blonde beauty, aged ten, then patted the other baby. "X-Cape's mother is Arrow. She doesn't have any halves on her mother's side. Here. Did Eldon explain anything?"

           "Umm, he got as far as his having once been a member of an inter-dimensional criminal gang. Umm, you guys don't look very gangish." But she snuck a peek in Heso's direction. He was actually more handsome than Eldon, who was a bit too rugged, but he still had considerable loom factor. Black hair and light brown, almost golden eyes.

           "Oh boy. And Eldon seems awfully serious about you. I guess you get the long version. Well, just on our world, Okay? There was a gang of magic users who went bad. Seriously, they were killers, assassins. Eldon had gone to school with some of them and was there when they killed this prince. He didn't know anything about it, but who's going to believe that? Well, it turned out it was the prince's uncle that hired them, and since the old king didn't feel like executing his own son in revenge over the death of his grandson, he didn't execute the gang members either. Now the head of the gang, Ricardo, was killed, then they captured about half the rest of the gang, including Eldon and Heso. They all got tossed into this inter-dimensional prison. The rest of the gang went into hiding, had a bunch of kids—it was all women who escaped—and just kept a low profile until they encountered Rior. I was . . . Umm, five then? Something like that. Rior was a spy from another World, The One World they call it. Except he'd been burned, and abandoned. He got the women talking about how they made corridors, which they knew all about, and gates, which they didn't. So he got them studying the gates. Once they figured out gates, they pulled a raid on the inter-dimensional prison and freed everyone. So after that, they took up larceny across the multiverse."

           Lily looked dubiously at Eldon.

           He squirmed. "I've never killed any Good Guys, but I was present at the prison break when guards were killed, and present and fighting when the dimensional cops raided our hideout and one of them was killed, so I am guilty of the murders, same as everyone else. I'm trying to just help raise all the kids, and not have anything to do with the actively criminal parts of the gang . . . but they keep showing up to check on the kids. Apparently they just had a major fiasco, and Jade and Heso are the only ones free now." He raised his voice a bit. "And no doubt they've learned their lessons and want to go straight now, right?"

           Heso made a rude gesture, Jade raised a noncommittal shoulder and went back to ignoring most of them.

           Eldon sighed. "They—we—have never broken any laws apart from faking IDs, here in your world. And I'm not going to let them. The kids need a stable home, and good examples."

           "We should try to rescue Falchion and Epee. Rior." Heso growled.

           "Right. The three they most want after Jade. Not going to happen." Eldon told him. He abruptly steered Lily out the door. "That's most of the reason I've not thrown myself at you. I'm a wanted criminal, elsewhere, and eventually the D-cops will find us. Betelgeuse helped with a couple of robberies, since she grew up, but not murders, not even accidental ones. She may be able to avoid prison. And the kids need a home to grow up in, so I hope the cops are slow to find us."

           "Eldon . . . I can't do criminal stuff."

           "I know. I think half the reason I brought you up here was to show you that I really am foreign to your society, and to . . . break off our relationship. I . . . find you hard to resist. You're good looking, smart and your personality . . . you practically glow in the dark. You need to run far away from me."

           She blinked damp eyes at him, and nodded. He got up and stuck the end of the corridor onto the back wall of the garage, right in front of his Mercedes. She gave him a hug, without looking at him, and walk through to his LA garage, and out of sight.

           Betelgeuse sighed behind him. "That was sad."

           "Yeah, I knew better than to fall for an honest, decent person." He walked back in, undressing, and turned into a pony for the kids to play with. Nothing like mass adoration and total exhaustion to heal a broken heart.

           He left the single corridor open and spent lots of time with the kids for the next month. They made him figure out how to morph into various zoo animals, and a good time was had by all. Heso was occasionally coerced into joining in. Jade spent a lot of time taking long walks. Hopefully thinking of legal activities, not illegal.

           At the moment he had nine horses. His four pinto mares and five yearlings. He gave the kids all riding lessons on the mares, and worked with the yearlings, getting them accustomed to the saddle and bit, and picking up their feet and loading into horse trailers.

           Then, with the final script beaten out, the troupe headed for Africa. Lyle and Perry had made themselves useful around the set and when they volunteered a couple more martial arts experts, they were all included in the mass exodus. Lily was along as a wardrobe assistant. Eldon Brown's passport passed all inspections, and no one noticed he was stretching a multi-dimensional corridor behind him. With his hair dyed black for the film, he fit into the native scene . . . poorly. His facial features marked him as not belonging to anyone's tribe, and he got many suspicious looks until he opened his mouth and they decided he was an American. Then he got treated like all the pale skinned people.

ekuah on April 26th, 2016 03:29 pm (UTC)
Small question
When does this story takes place?
How many years after Eldon blows up the cannibal world? Roughly?
matapampamuphoff on April 26th, 2016 04:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Small question
Just a couple. He floated around a bit, then emerged in _Nowhere Man_ and this is the direct sequel.

With Jade and Heso showing up, he will eventually have problems with their criminal activities, and Disco will be aware of where he is when they need those two mid-size weapons he's got tucked away.

ekuah on April 26th, 2016 07:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Small question
But somehow it feels like we are missing a book or at least a few chapters between _Nowhere Man_ and _Super Star_
When and how did 'got busted' or 'came out' as interdimensional criminal alien ?
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on April 26th, 2016 08:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Small question
> as interdimensional criminal alien

Check the end of _Nowhere Man_

Chapter Eleven
"So, you're a wizard, and you’re only mostly human?" G. eyed the two bottles of wine, then the smaller bottles of specialized 'potions.'
"Huh. What's with the prejudice? I'm 99.9% plain old human. Pretty stupid to judge by the one tenth of one percent, isn't it? Anyhow, if you use any of those you'll be gaining a few extra genes yourself."

The confession to Lily just posted would be the first 'criminal' mention.

And the terminus is in _Black Point Clan where the Fiend visits him to get advice and potions.
matapampamuphoff on April 27th, 2016 01:57 am (UTC)
Re: Small question
By the end of _Nowhere Man_ the authorities were looking him over, and take your pick of alphabet agencies, were starting to look him over.

All they know right now is that he's got weird DNA, a stolen identity, and zero history anywhere. They don't believe a word of the wizard from another dimension nonsense, but he might be handy for getting some people through a part of the world they're interested in. In a couple of years, when I catch up to this book, I may think of what and why they're in the group. Right now I haven't the faintest idea why my subconscious wanted them along.
matapampamuphoff on April 27th, 2016 02:01 am (UTC)
Re: Small question
yes, these are very rough drafts, written years ago. There will be gaps, holes, continuity errors . . .

He's not known to the authorities as anything other than Mystery Man, Stolen Identity (yet) and he just now told Lily.

He will come out, as you say, late in this story.
hollybambolo on April 26th, 2016 09:39 pm (UTC)
Pam, your sidebar links are missing the newer titles, and I had to dance around sideways on Amazon to get your newer books to show up on the author page--the books I need to buy. I think the Amazon thing is rather more important but probably out of your control. (Did I buy those books? No, I did not: I bought another paper copy of Barton Street Gym for a friend's kid instead. I'll get them later: having read them here makes owning them less urgent.)
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on April 27th, 2016 12:42 am (UTC)
The Amazon series thingie says 18 rather than 24

adding the URL gets message marked as spam.
matapampamuphoff on April 27th, 2016 03:29 am (UTC)
The series bundle is something Amazon did themselves. It just showed up one day. It looks like they did the collection before the brief spate of publishing last fall. So, everything up to and including _Mages at Large_.

Not included is _One Alone_ that I published out of order and gave the same number to as something else because I didn't want to go through and renumber everything. The two Eldon shorts I didn't admit belonged to the series because they are so dreadfully out of order. And the new stories. _Art Theft_ _Triplets_, _Sea Wolves_, _Bad Karma_, _Dark Side of the Moon, _Cascades_.

So there's actually 27 titles published in the series, and then my seven other titles that have nothing to do with the series.

The Amazon bundles are insane. They cost the same as buying them individually, and no one is going to spend that much in a lump on an author they don't know.

I need to do some omnibuses.

Edited at 2016-04-27 03:32 am (UTC)
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on April 27th, 2016 03:39 pm (UTC)
The fun thing about the auto bundle is that it points out (to your loyal readers) which ones they haven't got.

You might ask advice on how to update your author page which then might fix the other.