Cassandra: Smile you're on camera
Where: The Ambassadors appartment
When: About five hours after Brittany's earlier speach
Regarding her reflection in the glassteel window, Cass tugged her suit straight
and twisted first one way and then the other before turning away with a swish of
unfamiliar blonde hair
"Press conference in ten" Cassandra called from the other side of the room where
she was lounging opposite Mr. Butler on one of expensive sofas adorning the
"Yeah, yeah" Cass muttered, trying not to curl her lip at the thought as she
turned back to the window to gaze at the view of deep space outside
The last few hours had been more than a little hectic, she reflected
There had been the shouting, the questions and the dozens upon dozens of calls
from media organisations, along with the hundreds of others from perverts,
psychos and other assorted stalkers, and one near apoplectic voice mail left by
someone senior in the Space Corp that Cass was pretty certain had been
associated with Brittany at one point
She had expected all of this, but now that it was actually happening, even she
was somewhat taken aback at the momentum of this thing she had caused
The room's main terminal chimed, interrupting her reverie with an incoming call,
but Cass just ignored it, staring resolutely out of the window and letting it
chime again until Cassandra finally intercepted and screened the call
It was probably just another pervert anyway
"Shit" Cassandra barked, suddenly sitting upright, her fingers dancing over her
handheld "Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit... Take this call!"
"Oh, what now?" Cass turned, tight lipped, to quizzically regard her former self
"Ultra secure line. It's the Prime Minister" Cassandra hissed, her eyes
Cass grimaced, but walked as casually as she was able across the room to take up
position in front of the main terminal
"Ok, patch him through"
The screen shimmered to life a second later, showing the cadaverous visage of
the British Prime Minister, Mr. William Liar; a verminous creep of a man with
steel grey hair, a colossally insincere smile and reputedly fewer morals than a
particularly untrustworthy snake
"Prime Minister Liar" Cass inclined her head, acknowledging him coolly
"Your Highness. If that's who you really are..." the Prime Minister sneered in
mock deference before, apparently unable to contain himself, he exploded "Just
what the hell do you think you're doing!? You can't go declaring war on an alien
species just because you smegging well feel like it you stupid trollop!"
"I've put up with some crap from Brittany in my time, but have you any idea what
you've done with that little speech of yours?" he continued "You've ruined years
of careful diplomacy and could well have jeopardised the lives of millions...
no... billions of people; and all for what!? Some sentimental attachment to that
rusting blue hulk and it feckless reprobate crew that you... Brittany... whoever
you are - seem so enamoured with?"
Liar paused to collect himself before continuing in a low venomous voice
"Well let me tell you this 'Brittany'! While my lazy, incompetent cabinet
colleagues may well have elected to take your claim to be the Queen at face
value, I've managed to persuade them to require you to undergo a series of tests
to assess the verisimilitude of your claim"
"Have you quite finished, you odious little man?" Cass snapped
"Not quite" Liar smiled evilly "A team of specialists have been dispatched and
are en route on a Space Corp cruiser, although between you and me, I'd say that
it's highly unlikely you'll be passing their tests, even if you really are our
'beloved' Queen... I'm sure you get my drift"
"Quite adequately, Mr. Liar" Cass replied breezily "You seek to discredit my
legitimate claim in petty retaliation for my earlier speech, or more likely to
further your own ambitions. Well know this sir: I will not be swayed from my
"The Hymenoptera are an utterly implacable foe" she continued "To them we are
nothing more than inconvenient food or base vermin to be exterminated or
murdered en masse; and while those in power waste years in attempted
appeasement, these creatures continue to rape our worlds with impunity,
massacring untold millions of our citizens."
Cass paused for effect
"This, Mr. Liar, will stop. End call"
The screen flicked off and Cass turned away
"Slave system get all that?" she asked Cassandra
"Of course" the other woman replied "Every bit of it. I'm surprised he let his
guard down sufficiently to make those threats, although that could be part of
another plot of his"
"Perhaps" Cass frowned "Or maybe he just didn't anticipate me having subsumed
the Dwarfs comms systems?"
"Hmm. Either way: Tread lightly 'Brittany'; same with that test if it ever comes
off. I know falsification of evidence, threats, bribes, torture and even murder
will see you clear, but this is a critical juncture. You can't be too careful"
"Yeah, yeah. I know" Cass sighed "You think he swallowed all that Hymenoptera
"Hard to say. He's smarter than most, and has probably figured what you're
trying to do with releasing that speech onto the net. "
"Yeah, that's what I thought" Cass muttered, glumly reflecting that the main
problem with chatting to a duplicate of yourself was that their mind worked in
exactly the same way as your own, and as such conversations tended to be very
much like an internal dialogue
"Anyway" Cassandra smiled "Our internal dialogue aside, the press conference
begins soon. We should be on our way..."
Standing behind a lectern in the conference hall some time later, Cass surveyed
the assembled ranks of mostly holographic reporters who had been transmitted
over via tachyon comms as soon as her speech had hit the net. The conference had
gone well, and she was just fielding the last few questions from the floor
"Yes" she said pleasantly "Next question"
A young female reporter stood up
"Bethany Phillips, Galactic Herald" the holographic woman began "Some
commentators have raised questions about..."
She never got to finish her question as a commotion suddenly erupted outside the
hall, and the doors burst open revealing a dishevelled Seymour in an ever so
slightly too short women's dressing gown, grappling with a couple of security
guards who were trying hard not to pull the already gaping garment open any
further while at the same time trying to restrain him
"My Queen!" he bellowed plaintively as assembled ranks of the galaxy's film
crews turned their cameras on him
<tag>Seymour ;) </tag>