There's a bustle of activity for about of page, which boils down to the mansion staff preparing a stage and throne, decorated with about as much restraint as you can expect given previous chapters. Madison continues to sit, chained to a chair, spittle still oozing down his face, an angry alien with an electrically-charged axe standing guard over him. A good time to reflect on one's life and situation, in other words, and maybe try to wipe that goo off your face with a hanky... wait, he's been shackled...
"Sit still!" snarled Hammer and blocked his motion with the axe. Madison froze: little chains of sparks were racing up and down that blade, giving off the odor of ozone. He recoiled: It wasn't just a ceremonial axe as he had thought--it was an electric weapon. Gods knew what it would do! Would the sparks jump? He hoped it wouldn't touch his chains: it could electrocute him! He let the spittle drip. Maybe they were tears now, for he certainly felt like crying. In all of his career as a PR,
Did I say "reflect?" Because I meant "launch into a page-long, rambling paragraph."
he had never felt quite so dejected--except maybe that time he had accidentally wrecked the country of Patagonia, or perhaps that afternoon he had icily been dismissed by the president of an international airline Rockecenter had told him to PR, or possibly the dreadful day the presidential candidate Bury had given him as a client suddenly announced he had gone insane. Unaccountable failures dogged his life. He certainly hoped that somehow he would not fail again on Heller: it was his only hope. Or did
Mr. Hubbard, tear down this wall of text.
he have any hope left, sitting here in this overwhelming hall waiting on the whim of a juvenile delinquent from New York? Would that little pathological liar and infant con artist really try him and sentence him to death? He decided she would. Maybe if he threatened to expose her and tell these Voltarians that "movie queen" was just an expression, not royalty.... Oh, no! They would kill him if he even so much as looked like he was being critical. She had even taken care of that! He could think of no way to reach her. Actual tears began to mix with the spit.
Yeah, I always think of Mission Earth as a cocktail of various bodily excretions too.
The servants start leading guests in, "handsome and pretty" young boys with shiny page badges. Madison reminds us that "They appeared to range in age from eight to fifteen, but one couldn't really tell with these long-lived people," because I guess at some point someone explained that Voltarians lived longer than humans. But doesn't that make it all better? See, these guys are all probably over 18 Earth-years old. Sure, by their planet's standards they're still minors, and sure they're about as physically and emotionally developed as our 13- or 15-year-olds, but technically they're of legal age, or would be on our planet, so it's all okay! Nobody gets to go to jail!
Once two hundred of the kids assemble in the chamber, a spotlight goes on to illuminate Teenie, now in a scarlet military uniform with gold crown, trim, cape, scepter, etc. She makes a big entrance among much fanfare - horns, cymbals, instruments playing "a stately air of celestial majesty," good normal music like you'd hear on Earth, and happened to be in the West. No alien equivalents to the erhu or bagpipes or anything, that wouldn't be classy at all.
After ascending the throne with the help of her two boy toys from earlier, a seneschal announces that there are virgins among the audience tonight! Good for them? Teenie gives a big smile, the whole crowd sighs in ecstasy, and Teenie begins her address in a courtly accent amplified by a microphone hidden in her throne or something.
"Welcome, welcome, my dear, loyal vassals and sweet friends. I spread my love upon you and accept your kisses on my feet. May the blessings of a thousand Heavens rain into your waiting lips." She paused and gave a sly smile. "And into your hips as well." There was a patter of applause. Teenie smiled more broadly. "I thank you from my bottom."
Instant cheers broke out.
Then the boys were throwing her kisses.
Teenie beamed. "I love you, too!" she said.
Wait, I thought these kids were catamites? Homosexuals, in other words? Guess it's all platonic, non-sexual love. Conveyed through sexually-charged language.
Teenie announces that it's time to start her lecture, and the crowd goes wild with anticipation, while I experience the exact opposite reaction.
Madison wondered what in heaven she was going to talk about.
Nothing to do with heaven, I assure you.
Like all good PRs,
Madison certainly is the best of the Public Relationses we've seen so far.
he was an expert in presentation and stagecraft, and up to now he had been struck with awe at how well the page school had trained her and how she must be working under the guidance of an expert palace staff with all the expertise that they must have.
What does any of this have to do with fetching coffee, carrying notes, or doing tedious paperwork?
A technical lecture after this? Surely Teenie, now on her own, was going to blow it. The foolish girl: good heavens, how she needed his help! And, oh, how desperately he needed her assistance to finish his job with Heller!
Madison + underage slut = Heller is famous!
So there's our chapter cliffhanger - will Teenie successfully deliver her technical lecture, or will she blow it? The answer is... uh, yes.
Back to Chapter Five