Chapter Fifty Three - Armand Laker
If Hooker hadn't been playing the wives of people I had to keep on the good foot, Passing Perfect might have been completed earlier.
Where he found time to exercise, to be on the set giving advice, writing a script, while intimate with with every female within a ten klic radius...
I got rid of him soon as I could, though Pine was 'bereft'.
Pine might play marauders, but Hooker was.
Pine, good as he looked, was only a prettified Normal.
I needed to morph Pine's image in Tamerlane to gain what I wanted. In the flesh;
he was without form and required direction. Though he imitated Hooker's
expressions, movements and tone...he wasn't a Gennie.
He was not a Eugenic, merely an actor playing a Eugenic, obvious to any eye.
To Be Perfect
When I first saw Hooker I had been underwhelmed. He was any guy I'd see
coming out of a gym or a stadium.
As days passed, as he performed the activities that made him resemble
a Eugenic, he became one. Within two weeks, I was treating him as if he
were a Gennie, surprising myself each time.
Passing Perfect had been released to great expectation. Coming so soon
on my Academy Award winning Tamerlane, if I'd had more time, I'd of held
it back, released a small flick that would need the washback to make the
numbers. But, with hostilities so near, I couldn't wait, and got it into theatres.
A little too early to suit me; war.
War was a great publicity stunt, would have been useful if the flick had
come out two months ago and had to be re-released. It was a must see now.
Customers attended to get that insight into how Gennies behaved.
There wasn't much 'meat' in Hooker's original recording. He concentrated
more on scenery than on the Gennies. I was wise to bring him on board,
for the script I'd written was bare bones, and some of them didn't fit.
I had tossed the script at Hooker, who did impress me. I gave that he was bright...then I realised he had a Doctorate. He really was near genius, if only he could of kept his pants on....
Hooker couldn't keep his pants on...Pine didn't want to take them off.
The prep scenes, with him naked, would get the fem and gay eye.
Unlike Hooker, who enjoyed exposing his perfect body, (those who
have met Gennies admit exhibitionism is normal for them), Pine was
shy. He balked at all the scenes where he stands naked in front of
a mirror, but when a man is drowning, he can't complain the colour
of the life preserver clashes with his eyes.
Keith Cooper wouldn't have done it, he was not particularly well
endowed. Pine had nothing to apologise for, save thinking himself
a 'serious' actor, held nudity 'cheapening'.
The critics had a difficult task.
What Hooker had shot on Tellur was authentic. They couldn't debate that.
There was no way to go back and change an angle or a filter.
I think they felt Pine was doing the best he could in the circumstance so
were not unkind..
I'd made my money and profit, so in no pain.
Save the problems Hooker created.
The question on everyone's lips;
Who was the Gennie who mentored Pine?
His name didn't appear.
As 'consultant', (among others in small type), was Dr. Douglas K. Hooker,
whom was probably thought some science guy.
I didn't know if I should tell the truth or lie, so let it go. Until the lawsuits.
Whatever Hooker was, he was virile, and every other starlet made her claim.
I decided to say KrimValdonParnScoto of Molbe had been the advisor,
after my arm was twisted.
Hence, to where would one direct their demands?
Despite the war, I better get myself out of the city, off the planet, because
when tests were done, Hooker was no Gennie and his DNA would prove it.
I've been successful in my life by never admitting the truth unless it was
absolutely necessary. And it was never absolutely necessary to tell the whole truth.
Hence, despite the war, I decided to leave Earth.
There were no questions I wished to answer.
I looked at the holo of my wife. Although I have been married five times, it is
only the first that mattered. Vashti had been my soul mate. We were married
for fifteen years. Then she died. And she left me a recording, which said, in
essence, 'do not be alone.'
I was forty when she died, my producing credits minor. We had lived a small
life, but a happy one. Her death tied my emotional life into a single ribbon.
Though I would obey, and not be alone, I would never be truly with another
person, as I had been with her.
Had she not died, I would be content to work for a minor holovision studio
and produce minor programs for the remainder of my life.
But she had died, and work would fill the hours. Work and reasonable women
who had their own lives and didn't need me.
My divorces were always easy. My wives would find another man and terminate.
I would have no children. My productions would be my progeny.
I suppose I found Hooker odious for he was as those my wives selected.
All four of my ex-wives subsequently divorced the man who prompted their
separation from me, for those men, like Hooker, found the idea of monogamy unsustainable.
I set course for Smudge. I needed to be out of sight. Further, I wanted to do a bit more study of 'Steel', the planet Hooker described, as being the impetus for stolen keys. This would be the perfect follow on for Passing Perfect.
I would need to pay Ahmet a visit to get the data. He'd like the gossip I would give him. He'd
done me a good turn, for whatever its flaws, Passing Perfect was important.
And that is the center of it all; importance.
I moved into the bathroom, shut the door when the pilot's voice came over the intercom.
"Mr. Laker, there are warships approaching quickly..."
"Warships? Well, they have nothing to do with us..."