Fame Blues (Part V of SkiFi)

Being a minor celebrity isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Oh sure, you get a mad lot of attention, and all the stalkers that come with it. But no respect from any of the big stars. So when Remus Piddleberry made a pitstop at Suro Grafity and saw my show, something bad was bound to happen.

It all began when I walked off the bridge amid the burning wreckage of what used to be Freddie’s ‘safe place’. I spat on some bar napkins being stuck in front of my face – I am told many of these are now framed in fancy homes all over the galaxy – and, as had become my custom, I lifted the edge of the skirt of the prettiest bystander around, and wiped my grimy, sooty face on it. Occasionally, this was followed by her sighing and collapsing into my waiting arms, but more often than not I felt the refreshing splash of a Choconilla Spritzer being thrown in my face.

Today, surprise surprise, it was a Flaming Pagan – a villainously acidic concoction which stung my eyes, and proceeded to set my tunic afire in a bright blue plasmic haze. I fell back, heroically resisting the urge to scream like the lithe beauty that had just doused me in hellfire, and rolled around a few times till it went out. Two eyes were now readjusting to reality, and I took a closer look at my assailant.

She was stunning.

While stumbling out of my ship I’d only caught a general glimpse of her, being in disdain of all the attention and all. I’d just walked up to her, casual like, grabbed her skirt, and mashed my face in it. On autopilot.

Now that I could see her better (the other two eyes decided they wanted a look too) I could tell that there something not quite right about her. Her image was mesmerising, it was spell-binding. It was perfect. It just didn’t seem real. It would take the best mind and the best computer in the universe to design her. The only bit out of place was a Pariah’n face-blotch on her shimmering silver skirt. That, and an odd metal bracelet which didn’t quite go with the rest of her. It looked a bit like a Personal Space Manipulator.

“How dare you touch…”, she began, in a shrill tone of female outrage that I was altogether too familiar with by now, as she pushed a button on the metal bracelet. Her image blinked out of existence.

“…Remus Piddleberry”, concluded the baritone of the tall, skinny, heavily armed visage of the Heir to the Universe who now stood in her place.


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