The Decline And Fall Of Hollywood


Klaus Schilling


Synopsis


Rating:


PG-13

Disclaimer:


iDon't Own Victorious or any other of the shows or works of arts used for this story. '

Genres:


fluff, family, adventure, mystery, spiritual, drama, friendship, horror …

Fandoms:


The story occurs in the identified universe of a huge variety of current or past live action shows produced for Nickelodeon channel, including, but not restricted to, Victorious, Zoey 101, The iCarly Show, Drake & Josh, How To Rock, Big Time Rush, Unfabulous, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, True Jackson VP, Supah Ninjas, House Of Anubis, Just Jordan … and makes heavy use of a variety of members of their casts.

Timeline:


After season two of The iCarly Show, thus supposing Zoey 101, Unfabulous, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, and Drake & Josh to be terminated long since. Victorious has not yet started.

Summary:


Hollywood turns one hundred years old, and so does Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.

Hollywood and Los Angeles is ruled by a decadent and mutually envying cast of producers and bankers such as Malcolm Reese and Arthur Griffin.

Mystery prophet Nevel Papperman rises from the dead and enrolls at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts for the purpose of preaching the impending doom and fall of the imperium of Hollywood.

It is figured that Hollywood has been built with the help of seven demons. But what will happen with them upon the fall of Hollywood?

Demon tamer Jade West, bearer of the Seal Of Solomon, may be the key to the question, along with a hexed puppet named Regilius Powers.

Pairings:


Jade West / Wayne "Fire Wire", Victoria Vega / Drake Parker, Caitlín Valentine / Lafe — a guest character from Zoey 101: The Curse Of PCA, Beck Oliver / Lola Martinez, Robert Shapiro – Angela Crabtree / a guest character from The Troop, André Harris – Wendy Gellar / a guest character from Drake & Josh: Number One Fan with a surname borrowed from the same actress's rôle in third-party owned Camp Rock, Sinjin van Cleef – Stacey Dillsen

Acknowledgements

The story is written for LiveJournal-Community Tamingthemuse, prompt Corrupt.


Contents


Chapter 1 Pilot
Chapter 2 New At HA
2.1 LockerHall
2.2 The School Administration
2.3 Acting Classes
2.4 Jade's Tattoo
2.5 Reporting Back
Chapter 3 Trinidad's Resources
3.1 Home Of The Vegas
3.2 Quinn And Chase
3.3 Tricky Questions
3.4 Making Things Shine
3.5 Poisoned?
Chapter 4 Victorious Newbie
4.1 Shooting Star
4.2 Up Periscope!
4.3 Regilius Powers
4.4 Binary Poison
4.5 The Corrupted Nerd
Chapter 5 The Revenge Of Fawn Leibowitz
5.1 A Former Student Of Hollywood Arts
5.2 Melinda Murray
5.3 Robbie's Nightmare
5.4 Updown Downtown
5.5 Finally Falling
Chapter 6 Chicago
6.1 Chambrolay's
6.2 The End Of Michael Barret
6.3 Victoria's Insanity
6.4 The Performance
6.5 One day is not enough.
6.6 Zoey storms Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.
6.7 Hypocrisy and Ungratefulness
6.8 Chase is down.
6.9 The Dead End
Chapter 7 The Return Of Regilius
7.1 Magic Malika
7.2 The New Slap
7.3 The Sky Store
7.4 Tickle Torture
7.5 Angie's Intervention
7.6 Consternation
7.7 Victoria runs away.
7.8 The Scissor Girl
7.9 Reanimation
7.10 Closing The Shop
7.11 Robbie's Shock
Chapter 8 Finale

Chapter 1 Pilot

Hello!

My name is Papperman … Nevel Amadeus Papperman, owner of interweb community site Nevelocity. The middlename, though, had not been one granted unto me at birth, but only once my musical skills had been discovered, like, at the age of three or four. And my hometown is Seattle in the state of Washington, also known as the emerald city, probably due to the colour of the green parks of which the inhabitants have been so proud of.

I, on the other hand, connect the emerald with other, and a lot more mysterious things, such as the much celebrated Emerald Tables Of Hermes Trismegistus, an ancient work of wisdom and prophecy from the town of Alexandria, the one and only centre of western wisdom of eternal value. But most of our population was way too shallow minded to understand the great works of the ancient. The corruption of the mind goes way back to antiquity, though, and this had already effected the downfall of many a culture every here and there in the world, every now and then.

And this downfall was now going to happen to the world of Hollywood, the global centre of modern entertainment, and hence to a a whole civilisation that had made the mistake of bringing forth such a degenerate culture.

Hollywood was ruled by conflicting crews of producers of several sorts of entertainment, such as movie producers, television producers, record producers … you name it.

I would not have minded much about the business of Hollywood all that much, until the days after I died.

Oop, so, you wonder what was going on.

Let me say, it was sort of a fatal car accident … I was way too young for a driver's license anyways and did not believe that the car was a car, so, bear with it![1:1]

So, basically, everyone would think that the story of my futile existence was over by then, but it was not quite the case.

And now I was dazed and the first face to see was the one I hated most, videlicet Carly Shay, the girl from Seattle that had indirectly caused my death. The car that I drove to the tomb had been that of her elder brother and guardian, Spencer Shay. Carly had once wanted to be recommended in Nevelocity, but she had begged so in an impossible manner and smeared my face with relished olives, making it go all greasy.

I had won a car in her web show, but there had been no car to be given away in the first place. I had feigned the offer of Don Flanken[1:2]. The goal had been that of demonstrating that Carly did not properly check the sources of things she sends in her web show, and to get the show therefore cancelled. Why I was opposed to the web show in the first place is another story, but one that would gain more significance quite some time later.

Anyways, there was this face, but it was not Carly's cheerful grimace, cheerful for seeing me dead. Rather, the facial expression was cold and cunning. 'Carly' denied to be Carly, rather, she declared herself as one Megan Parker, a remote relative of Carly Shay who happened to look alike. In order to demonstrate that she was not Carly she took an oboe and started playing some cool tune, videlicet medieval penitential hymn Dies Irae, Dies Illa, part of the requiems of fabulous composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi. I liked requiems, too, and I used to play the piano and the fipple flute. Carly's taste for music was way below that level, she preferred Big Time Rush, One Direction, and Cuttlefish to any kind of decent music, so there was no reason for assuming her to be the one person in front of me.

I still did not really know what was going on, and so I was looking for some sort of an explanation.

Megan grinned enigmatically and declared that she was an orphic priestess and had done nothing less than raised me from the dead, just using the power of her music, and this had not been her first action of that sort. I was a bit consternated upon hearing these news, but it made a lot of sense, so … why not?

She had already done so before to no other but Henry Doheny[1:3], one of the most famous escapist artists of all times. His career had seemed to have come to an end when Megan had deviced the plot of letting him die in one of his suicidal performances … like locked into a box and perforated by heavy swords … and then resurrect him the third day, letting him show up alive and safe in front of the funeral audience. This attention had also revived Doheny's career and given him a new job in Las Vegas. Hollywood, the old home of the star illusionist, had been no longer a safe place for the artist, pretty much because the reason for his former decline had been the power structures in that business. And this was the critical point: Those established structures were not just a disgrace, but also a danger for America and the whole of mankind. And there had to be done something about that, and that was my task, according to Megan. There must have been something special about me, yet Megan was not really talking about it, at least not yet. So Megan had resurrected me in order to send me forth to Los Angeles and preach about the impending gloom and doom in order to get people to wake up and turn around before it would be too late.

Alas, in order to perform this task, I needed to pretend to be one of them, an aspiring Hollywood artist, and this implied enrolling at a place of training for future stars in the city of decay and corruption, a school known as Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts. This thought made me shudder for disgust, but it was probably the only way to go ahead, and now there was no way back, anyways. Maybe I would still be able to accomplish mu goal of running my own haberdashery,[1:4] some day, maybe after the word's impending end.


Chapter 2 New At HA


2.1 LockerHall

And there I was in a new world, one that was totally hostile to truth and integrity, and I had to pretend to belong into it, which was not really an easy task. Of course it was not possible to identify me here as Nevel Amadeus Papperman, but I had to choose a different name, and Megan had suggested to use the name "Pavel", sort of an amalgamation of "Papperman" and "Nevel". But I still hoped that it was not too obvious, for that would have been an obstacle, well, on the other hand, there was not much to losse, was there?

So, these were the locker halls of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, well, most schools had got locker halls, but this one was apparently something specials as the students had ornated them, apparently sort of a custom here. I would probably be forced to do the same to my locker, and it was really scary. Some creep had probably taken his own vomit and glued it to locker, well, it did not look like vomit as it was all coloured with polyresines, but my superfine nose was able to sense some disgusting stink underneath. Later would I know the originator of this junk, a certain Sinjin van Cleef, a young aspiring visual artist in exactly the same category as aforementioned Spencer Shay.

Other creeps kept walking past me, one of them being a teenager with a puppet in his arms, making me wonder what was going on in here, for which teenager was going to carry a doll into the public and … talk to her, or him? Well, the guy was Robert Shapiro, and the toy had got a name, too, even a family name: Regilius Powers, but commonly only referred to as "Rex", the Latin word for "king", and, little wonder, the stuffed guy appeared to command Robbie around like a puppy.

A bimbo wench with red hair stumbled across the halls, shouting all excited some news about things to come here at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts. She was also screeching news about some cute but — in most other people's eyes — fairly useless stuff she had just spotted in some interweb shop. Her name was, as I would come to know later, Caitlín Valentine, but the name was not as important as her definitely unbearable demeanour.

The most disgusting discovery was a foul and perverted scene established by some couple making out in a silent corner. The girl was a goth girl with delibverately darl outfit, and the guy appeared like your average shallow-minded movie star, in other words, they did not really fit together, and, what was worse, that guy, later introduced unto me as one Beck Oliver, had got some really demonic aura, typical for a seducer and abuser of the innocents, just like Drake Parker, the elder brother of Megan, who had got his own poprock band and abused girls permanently just for their looks. And this Beck guy was absolutely to be placed into the same category as Drake, which, according to Megan, meant absolutely no good whatsoever. In any way, the two of them were totally incomaptible, and I turned my eyes away from the filthy scene.

Unfortunately, I just stumbled into the next catastrophe, an excessively busty Latina who was strolling the locker hall and claiming that she was clearly the most gifted person in the whole Hollywood business. Her name, as I would come to here later on, was Trinidad Vega, and she was usually just known as "Trina". Of all the unbearable people here at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts she was the most annoying possible, and I better took cover immediately before running into deeper trouble.


2.2 The School Administration

I had not yet received my own locker, so I had to go to the school's administration and request one. It was not hard for me to find the control room of this institution, inspite of all the trouble going on in this school.

The headmaster of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts was Brad Eichman,[2:1] and he appeared to have been already awaiting me, as much as a bunch of other new students here at this school. I had never met this principal, but he was not unknown to me, either … wait, that was it: Over a year ago, the cast of Carly's web show had been selected for a real TV show for children, and its producer had been no other than Brad alias Principal Eichman. Honestly spoken, the TV shows produced by Eichman's were of an even lower level than Carly's work. Eichman had been persuaded by his daughter Morgan[2:2] into giving the kids a chance, and he had messed it up completely again.

Eichman had totally corrupted the contents of the show which had stopped bearing any similarity with the web show. The heart of his creation was a blue dinosaur named "C-Bo" and child star Amber Tate.[2:3]

Whatever, it was to be supposed that his administration of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts was hardly any better than that of his TV productions, and thus this school was by absolutely all means stuck in a constantly deepening morrass of decay and decadence. No matter his difficulties with Carly and her "friends", it was not possible for me to trust the creep. Megan would soon suggest a plot to get rid of Eichman and replace him with someone more competent, but I had to be very careful, anyways.

So, what was my schedule here at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts? Well, playing the classic piano and recorder was not really a skill appreciated at Hollywood, but at this school, classes in instrumentsl music were obligatory, and I suggested those instruments. The teachers saw no reason to object now to my choice and they granted me those instruments, at least for the first year.

But what was my talent for which I was officially admitted to Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts? I guess that haberdashery — professional or not — did not exactly count as some sort of performance art. According to Megan's words, I was here because of my poems, so I was probably sort of an aspiring lyrics writer or even playwright for musicals and verse dramas of some sort. Unfortunately, we students were also forced to take a variety of other classes, such as stage design, costume creation, dancing, and acting.

My homeroom teacher would be a certain Earnest Lane,[2:4] and I was assigned a class room. Finally, I handed the keys for my own locker, which reminded me of the duty of ornating it. Well, here my knowledge in the world of haberdashery would be handsome, as it included some fanct things such as tassels. Not many of my fellow students — or so I supposed — would like it, but it was way less repulsive than van Cleef's vomit in resines.

My first classes of the next day would be taught by some Sikowitz, oh well, already the name said it, I mean … Psycho-witz or Sick-owitz? So I was better preparing to be careful, which was even more valid for the classes in mask design or break dance — classes that made me shudder for excessive discomfort.

Now I returned to my locker in order to deposit some of my belongings and in order to plan its impending ornation.


2.3 Acting Classes

Sikowitz had probably never made it beyond some mediocre rôles in Hollywood movies of the last years, but he appeared to be one of the most respected teachers for acting here at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts. And this was obvious in the very first classes of his that I was forced to attend. And in order to do anything for the public performances here at this school, we were all forced to perform some short, in fact one-scene — play, The Lady And The Bird. It was about a grumpy widow living in the wilderness, only with a bird who would have been able to fly away any day. And when the wench thinks about this mere possibility and starts talking about it in the vicinity of the feathered beast, the bird flies away, indeed.

So, what would the story teach us, and why did we all have to perform such a lame thing? Maybe it was just to remind us that it was better to keep certain thoughts back from the general public?

Oh well, it was not hard for me to memoise the lame text, and I growled the whole thing across the class room. Sikowitz would not like it — or so I guessed — but who cared anyways, it was just my business. I even achieved improvising and shaping the whole text into verses and rhymes. Being done with the stupid scene, I just stomped my feet and walked out, not caring about anyone.

Surprisingly I had passed the bird test, inspite of my lack of efforts and my weird demeanour after the whole thing.

Alas, most of the kids were excited because of some upcoming public event, some musical to be performed by Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts students, Make It Shine!. This work had been partly written by one André Harris, a junior at this school. The main singer was supposed to be afiorementioned Trinidad Vega, the power chica. Alas, it was pretty much evident that she was a poor excuse of a musical star, mildly spoken. There was really something fishy at the bottom of her whole "career", falsely so-called, and I sensed the necessity of finding out. She reminded me a lot of Wade Collins from American Sings[2:5] who had fooled the judges and the spectators alike into letting him pass through all the rounds. At the time of my untimely death, Wade Collins was about winning the show, although I would get to know later on that Carly Shay had stopped his career and forced the viewers of the web show to vote for his competitor Davide Arciuletta, the absolute hearththrob of many teenage girls. OK, I hated the fact that Carly and her creepy henchmen had stopped Wade Collins, but I was sure that he would never have made it that far in the first place without all the corruption, intrigues, and bribery going on in the network of the show's producers and broadcasters. Things can't have been any different in the case of Trinidad Vega.


2.4 Jade's Tattoo

But now the classes were over qnd it was my time for ornating my locker, number 801. Later I would even figure some deeper sense in these numbers, using so-called gematria, the art of discovering hidden meanings of words by analysing numerical values of their letters.

I had recovered some tassles from my former mortal belongings and was now about attaching them to my locker, with the intention of making them form some reagulr geometric figure, but I messed it up to some extent. So, what geometrical figure was I up to choosing? They all had got their own secret meanings, and it was better to take those serious.

Now, why fumbling with the tassles, the aforementioned meanie Jade West crossed my way again, and she deemed my decorations completely lame. Well, she was always in such a mood making her insulting everything as lame, for no good reason whatsoever, or so explained some of the bypassing students. But there must have been something more to this negativist goth lass. Everyone with some sort of a human brain knew that goths were essentially heirs of medieval apocalyptic spirituality and religiosity no longer understood in this modern world. I tried to get her to calm down, but this was not easy, not at all. Fortunately Caitlín Valentine, apparently some sort of a friend of Jade West, seemed to need the goth lady's advice, so the latter just shrugged, stomped her feet, and walked away.

I should have just sighed for relief, but I risked one last gaze at the away-moving goth girl and especially at her right arm which reveiled the tattoo a particular geometric figure, a regular five-pointed star or pentagram. This one was even pretty impressive, and there must have been a deeper meaning to it, in the context of Jade's inevitable fascination for medieval eschatology. Alas, it would be no good if Jade figured that I was snooping, as she was always grumpy and there was absolutely no reason for assuming that she would be in any better mood when finding out what I was doing there.

Concerning my own locker, I decided to go with a circle with a triangle inscribed, but to do this with the help of a template that I would get the next day. This symbol used by the coool ancient sect of the Peratæ.


2.5 Reporting Back

Of cpourse I was reporting back unto Megan Parker, and she admitted to having already had the idea of replacig Principal Eichman with someone more competent, although not really a decent person. But only with my help was it now possible to accelerate those plots. More precisely, she wanted to get Helen Baxter, the owner of California's biggest cinema chain with headquarters in San Diego, to take over this school. Helen had once been a child Hollywood star[2:6] and vas much more competent in judging the value of Hollywood productions than Eichman.

The centre of the plot was that of making one of the following public performances of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts turn into one big catastrophe, which was not unlikely given that Trinidad Vega had got no such thing as a talent for this job. So I had to keep on searching for the reason behind her career and use it in order to make the whole thing fail. Asking other students about the causes of the busty criolla's rôle at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts would be futile, as they would certainly just come up with deliberate desinformations and naïve rumours of no value. But the Latina was certainly sort of a compromise in the power play between the forces governing Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, which included almost all of the leading banks and studio owners of Hollywood.

And I was of course most excited when telling Megan about the pentagram on jade West's right arm which must have had its deeper reason. The problem was just that the pentagram had been already used in several contexts, some of them more significant for the current situation than others. But the most important of all of the possibilities was certainly the Seal Of Solomon. According to ancient lore, the founder of the temple of Zion had harnessed the powers of seven demons which he had been able to control — more or less — with the aid of a seal ring.

This was particularly important because, according to Megan's assumptions, Hollywood and its school for performance arts had been built with the aid of demons about one hundred years ago, and the end was now near due to the accumulating corruption and decadence of the ruling cast. In this case, the demons would be set free, and only the legitimate holder of the seal of Solomon would be able to hold them back.


Chapter 3 Trinidad's Resources


3.1 Home Of The Vegas

So, I was now left with the task of snooping the naïve criolla, and this would not be too hard, but it was certainly going to be like sticking a wooden wand into a hornet hive. Now I had to close my eyes, pant thoroughly, and just go through it.

Of course Trina, inspite of having got the main part of the musical, was not working all alone, rather, André Harris was forcced to practise with her, and he was probably not doing so all voluntarily.

First of all, Trina was already a junior, while André was only a sophomore, and Miss Vega was iuncreasingly arrogant towards younger teenagers, especially, and I would soon come to see it, to her own sister Victoria who was not a student at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts… well, she wasn't yet, at least. Honestly, Victoria's talent was clearly above that of Trinidad, although I did not approve of her taste of music, either. But that was something to bear with at a school like this one, and in a city like Los Angeles. Now I discovered that André Harris's face was not really unbeknownst to me, quite the contrary … his twin brother Harper[3:1] had already been performing back then in Eichman's TV Show abusively based on Carly Shay's web show. Needless to say, Harper had been dismissed by the evil principal, and most likely either also expelled from Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts or rejected. Yet André never spoke about his twin brother, he treated him as not existent. Those were really strange family bonds, let alone twin bonds.

In any case, I wondered why Tori had not yet been discovered, and that was probably because she was too modest, especially when compared to her elder sister, and she did not dare to claim any superiority.

It was so totally easy to sneak into the residence of the Vegas[3:2] and this was absolutely surprising given the fact that David Alejandro Vega, the father of the two brainless Latina girls, was no less than the vice president of Los Angeles country police. Maybe there was a hitch of some sort, and I better would find it before it was too late.

Trina was not only going to perform in the aforementioned musical where she had got that solo rôle, but this was not as important as she tried to make everyobne believe. But the busty lass was also working on her own one man show, Chicago which would be performed in the hall of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, but which was by no means a work of any Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts student. Rather, Trinidad appeared to be hell bent on hiding the source of the drama from her family and her "friends" — if one was indeed inclined toward calling them like that. Well, accidentally I was able to catch one myster ious call probably leading straight to the source.

Trina was talking to a guy whom she named "Chase"[3:3] who seemed to be an old acquaintance, but definitely not her boyfriend or so. Trina talked about how much he still owed her, and that the script for Chicago was sort of a payment. The sound of her voice made it rather look like a blackmail or bribe.

So, who was that Chase, and why did he owe writing a script for a musical for Trinidad's one man musical? Alas, the source of her script for Chicago was not the one and only secret hidden by Trinidad Vega, as her voice was naturally a wholesale catastrophe. She appeared to do indeed something in order to upkeep her voice, and this was really creepy. More precisely, she used strange drops with the effect of smoothening her tongue and her jaw, allowing her to sing better. Of course many things arepromised by vendors of those products, but we all know them as totally prone to less than comfortable side effects. Trinidad did not really care, and she seemed to order more and more of this studff. Even here, Chase appeared to be sort of a middle man. Trinidad commanded him to talk to some Quinn in order to obtain more of those Chinese miracle drops[3:4] right before the upocoming performance of Make It Shine! Like Chase, Quinn appeared to owe Trina a lot, too, and her commands would be almost automatically fulfilled, or so she must have assumed.

But the identity of Chase and of Quinn were now left for me to find out, and I would better do so as soon as only possible, for after the performance of Make it shine! it would be — or so I supposed — too late.


3.2 Quinn And Chase

I was now back from my intrusive visit at the residence of the Vega family and ready to evaluate my observations in order to obtain even more valuable informations. Megan Parker was already waiting.

I used zaplook[3:5] in order to request informations about said Chase and Quinn. Of course those person names were not actually unique, but after adding some keywords based on their supposed activities, such as "playwright" in the case of Chase, or "miraculous medication" in the case of Quinn, I did indeed gather a few hints.

Chase Bartholomew Matthews was nowadays a junior playwright at the Broadway in New York City. He had not yet assumed much fame for this, as he was only nineteen years old and still a trainee.

Quinn Pensky was a student of physics and chemistry at fabulous Caltech, or Californian Institute For Technology. She had not only invented a variety of miraculous medications, but her contributions, so called "Quinnventions", spanned a variety of sciences and technologies. Her goggles, known as "Quinnoculars", were equipped with improved x-ray vision.[3:6]

Those two young adults had got one remarkable thing in common, videlicet they had graduated before the summer break from Pacific Coast Academy, some illustrious boarding school located not far from the gates of Hollywood and Los Angeles, down by the dreamy Pepperdyne Beach resorts of Malibu. A first look at their web site appeared to reveil rather a spa than a school campus. So, this must have been the number one school for spoiled kids of the excessively rich elite of the country.

Of course the campus of Pacific Coast Academy was most likely going to contain a lot of further useful informations about Chase Matthews and Quinn Pensky, including their deals with Trinidad Vega. Now I had to report about all the fuss back to Megan Parker.

The name of the boarding school was definitely not unfamiliar to Megan Parker, for more than one reason, and it looked like she had to tell me some stories about it.

First, she reported that many of the tools she had used in order to prank her "boobs", videlicet Drake and their nerdy step brother Joshuah Nichols, had been invented by some other technological genius studying at Pacific Coast Academy, a certain Wayne Gilbert, usually only known as "Fire Wire".

Second, Drake's first concert putside San Diego county had taken place on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy[3:7] He had been hired for that event by one Zoey Brooks, apparently your average blond Mary Sue, who was also among the graduates of last summer at the same school, and, even more was almost married to Chase Bartholomew Matthews. At least there was a link to an upcoming wedding between Chase and Zoey on Chase's personal page which I had previously researched. They payment for Drake had not been money, but the design for a t-shirt logo for the band.

Third, several of Megan's friends were still studying at the elitarian prep school down by Malibu's wonderful beach. There was one Wendy Gellar[3:8] who had been — and maybe still was — totally obsessed with Drake. Then there was Ashley Blake,[3:9] a little Hollywood Diva. There was also Sandy Kate Baldwin, a former student from Megan's school.[3:10]

Last but not least, Megan had already spent two days here at Pacific Coast Academy, albeit using a fake name: Paige Howard.[3:11]. And it is from this visit that Megan even knew Quinn Pensky and Zoey Brooks. I will have to talk about these circumstances later on.

OK, this was enough for me to digest at once, especially as Megan's remarks had really made a flood of question marks pop up in my head, and there were more to come …

In any case, Megan had got some undercover agent att Pacific Coast Academy, probably able to retrieve more informations about Chase Bartholomew Matthews, and I should have concentrated thenceforth on spying Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.


3.3 Tricky Questions

So, there I was once again in the locker halls of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, waiting for the start of the next lessons. Once more, Jade and Beck walked past me, and they were making out in the most disgusting possible manner. But I was not in the mood of caring, for Megan Parker's recent replies had scared me, especially when it came down to her friend Ashley Blake.

The latter was a little Hollywood diva, well, she had been — or so I believed — a star since the age of four, and this was not about to change. I had grown up with her movies, such as Queen Of Kids, Doc Of Kids, and many more, well, they were pretty shallow, and Ashley did not have to talk much in them, but at least her postures were exceedingly impressive. In any case, Ashley was completely established in the scene, and with someone like her, chances were great that Megan had already got the best possible lever in the Hollywood scene to pull upon whim. But with a friend like Ashley Blake who lived totally in the world of Hollywood as it was, why was Megan up to rebelling vigorously against its structures in the first place? She was going to take away everything that meant anything — as far as it was possible for me to judge — to one of her best friends.

Then, on the other hands, Megan may have recognised how much Hollywood had spoiled one of her friends, even more than her elder brother Drake who was hardly excempted from the whole Hollywood turmoil, being a rock star of some sort. These experiences must have been really horrible for the sweetest venom of San Diego, and she was fighting to sort it out before it was too late.

The day after my research about Trina Vega, I saw her taking once more those Chinese miracle drops she had probably obtained from Quinn Pensky, the young genius. I was really consternated when I discovered that Quinn was from the town of Seattle, well, almost, she was from the wealthy outskirts, but this did not make all that much of a difference. Megan had seen Quinn at the occasion of her visit to Pacific Coast Academy under fairly mysterious circumstances, and now it was time to talk about these. The start of the story was like this:


Geek queen Melinda Crenshaw, the on-and-off girlfriend of Megan's step brother Joshuah, was a student of Pacific Coast Academy for a few days only.[3:12] And this — really — was a long story. She had just been suspended from Belleview, the school of Drake and Josh, because she had tried to get Drake framed for one of her onslaughts on the property of excessively evil teacher Linda zHayfer.[3:13] At her new school, she used a fake name, apparently a totally usual procedure.

And at Pacific Coast Academy, Mindy got very fast into extreme trouble again. She started plagiarising and reselling Zoey's artistical creations, more precisely: the design of backpacks. Needless to say, Zoey and her friends were not going to take this lightly. They would get Mindy expelled after just a few weeks later. The main reason for Mindy's aggressivity against Zoey Brooks was probably the fact that the aforementioned concert of Drake at /pca had just been a few weeks earlier, and Zoey was still one of the biggest admirers of Drake.

While at Pacific Coast Academy, Mindy was also spying on Quinn's scientific research, as she and Mindy were irreconcilable competitors in the race for a Nobel Prize for all sciences. In addition to being a competitor for Mindy's career, Quinn was also a friend of Zoey and thus deserved a double dose of humiliation. Her current scientific project was a cross between an apple tree and a banana shrub, appropriately named "banapple". Those would have the power of solving the problem of hunger in many regions of the world. Mindy was not willing to let the fame for this unto Quinn, and she was sabotaging the project by replacing the maturing fruits of the plant with fake fruits containing obnoxiously caustic chemicals, thusly making the project one big time failure.


But even after leaving Pacific Coast Academy again, Mindy had not been willing to give up on getting back at Zoey Brooks. Two years later, Mindy had won the national science fair, using a fake name, videlicet Paige Howard.


Mindy took the occasion to get her ultimate revenge. She was of course careful enough not to show up in person in the plain daylight, but she used Megan for that purpose.

Megan was not really aware of being onna deadly, let alone suicidal, mission when agreeing to Mindy's plan. She was now on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy, equipped with a microchip implanted into her ear. This allowed her to receive Mindy's instructions and let the latter know about her progress.

The microchip itself had been invented earlier by no other than aforementioned Wayne "Fire Wire" Gilbert and already used by Megan in order to help Drake impress some savvy girl.[3:14]

The first part was really funny. Megan was visiting the physics classes of Bert Beringer,[3:15] a totally inept teacher for science. Usually, Quinn used to talk about the heads of everyone. This time, it was about geosynchrone sattellites which she mistook for geostationary satellites, actually a subset of the former. Megan had to correct her, following Mindy's precise instructions.

Quinn was taking this really ill, and she started doubting her own scientific prowess again, a process to accelerate even significantly during the following hours.

By now it was time for the demonstration of the hellish machine, and Quinn was as depressed as nobody ever before in the school's history. Megan started the whole thing, but in the middle of the performance, some technical detail went awry, either by accident or by Mindy's diabolic provision.

Megan herself was clueless as of what to do, and Mindy's instructions were half-assed, mildly spoken. Fortunately, Zoey was able to get Quinn to intervene in the last possible moment and save Los Angeles from impending physical destruction.


Megan's true rôle in this whole turmoil had never become obvious to the public, Paige and Quinn were still celebrated as great geniuses who have solved a purely accidental technical problem together, but Megan was certainly suffering from remorses, and talking about the whole mess was very hard for her, although Hollywood had certainly deserved getting blown into oblivion. In any case, the almost catastrophe and the salvation in extremis had not got any influence on the moral self-destruction of Hollywood. The latter was, according to Megan, indeed not to be stopped by any genius's intervention.

Thus the only choice left for me was to preach unto those pupiles who represented the future star generation of Hollywood in order to cause them to wake up and pray in order to stop living like the beasts in a world of fake fame and glory that was truly bitter poison.

So, now I knew more about Quinn Pensky, but I was still clueless concerning the question why she owed such a lot to Trinidad Vega, especially the obligation to provide her with scientific means in order to make her voice sound better. And the question concerning Chase Bartholomew Matthews, friend of Quinn and friend of Zoey, and the reason for his debts to Trina were still to be answered.

Here at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, the fever caused by the rapidly approaching public performance of the musical Make it shine! was growing stonger and stronger.

But Megan and Helen were already sawing audibly at the feet of the office chair of Principal Brad Eichman, and the première of the above musical would be the best moment to strike.


3.4 Making Things Shine

And this was the long-awaited big evening here at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, an evening that I had already expected with excruciating disgust, due to all the wannabe divas on the stage. The hardest challenge to bear was most likely Trinidsad Vega, with or without her miracle drops.

By the way, Wendy Gellar remembered having seen Trinidad on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy, using a different name, though, videlicet "Rebecca", and she had been the girlfriend of aforementioned Chase Bartholomew Matthews.

This established certainly a connection between Trinidad and Chase, but of course this did not explain why the bushy dweeb owed anything to the busty criolla. In addition, Chase was definitely by no means the kind of guy Trina would be attracted to, not by any stretch whatsoever. So, a satisfactory answer was still to be found, and I had to concentrate on the events going on on the stage of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.

Helen Baxter, as aforementioned, was hell bent on taking over Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, and for this avail, she had made a plan with Megan. The empress of the movie theatre had sent some spy over here in order to scrutinise the situation at this school and in order to report back valuable informations. Most likely, Megan was only collaborating reluctantly with Helen, which was absolutely understandable given that Helen was an established number in the Hollywood business, and had been so since almost three decades, and was thus part of a network of increasingly caustic decadence and corruption. Her agent was a certain Gavin Mitchel, one of the three main employees of Helen's Première Theater in San Diego. Gavin was around forty years old and not very talkative — at least under most circumstances.

Principal Eichman gave a long and boring speech, introducing not only the musical to be performed in a "few minutes" — actually almost an hour — but also some special guests in the audience, such as the mayor of Hollywood, the vice governor of California, and other people who were probably just habitual bribe takers.

The music had finally started playing, and the dancers were hustlebustling all over the stage. Mr. Sikowitz who was sitting right in front of me did not really watch the performance, but juggle some huge coconuts instead. This was going to be really bothersome for quite a few distracted onlookers, especially those awaiting the great performance of their kids and friends.

And now Robert Shapiro walked past me, placing his puppet onto the adjacent seat and telling me in a penetrant manner to take good care of Rex, and he also commanded the doll to remain silent during the whole performance and not to taklke to anyone, let alone move from his position. I had to shake my head upon watching this absurd scenario, something that repeated itself almost each and every day on the campus of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.

The musical went on for many a minute, and Principal Eichman appeared more and more nervous, so he must have received a notification about things that had gone more or less awry behind the stage. And a little later there was the solution of the riddle: Trinidad Vega seemed to be in a miserable condition, more precisely, her tongue was all inflated, most likely down to the impact of the Chines miracle drops brewed by Quinn Pensky, turning out as a typical quinnvention. So, instead of having an unusually smooth voice, the Latina was now completely unable to sing and needed to be replaced, so where was the substitute?

Each decent theatre planned for unfortunate cases like this one and provided for a substitute for all the important rôles. Alas, this seemed not to be the case in this situation, for whatever reason — was that part of a conspiracy? Well, it looked very favourable for Helen's plan, but the cinema matron had actually not been involved in this incident by any means whatsoever. It was nothing but a typical stupidity and arrogance of Brad Eichman and his incompetent staff. Sikowitz commented "I told you to let Jade West prepare herself as a substitute, but he never listens …" So, Eichman had it really coming, and this incident would certainly — or so I had hoped — be the ultimate nail in the coffin of his career as Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts's headmaster.

But things were about taking an unexpected turn as André Harris appeared to talk to Eichman, suggesting to let Victoria Vega step in for her hapless sister Trinidad. The younger of the Latina sisters had been present during Trinidad's and André's practices, and she knew the whole rôle already by heart. After a few negotiations with the parents of the startlets, Eichman agreed with André.

I had to wonder for a few moments whether Trina's tongue failure was more than just a side effect of Quinn Pensky's miracle droplets. Had André possibly mixed some poison into the sewage? He certainly been outrageously motivated to do so, as working with Trinidad had been a torture unlikely to be found even in the eternal furnaces of hell. And he had probably insisted in Tori listening to the whole scene, and he knew that it was much eaier to work with the little sister of the arrogant criolla. Of course, such an accusation would be very hard to prove, but I would have to report his possibility back to Megan after the end of the show.

The show went on, and it was apparently all brilliant, harvesting a lot of insane applause. The latter — at least for Eichman — was apparently completely undeserved, because without André's intervention, there would have been no substitute for Trinidad at all, and the whole mistake of not assigning a substitute in the first place would have been leading into one of the most disastrous events in the old history of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, probably the worst since its very foundation.

Eichman was now going to invite Victoria Vega over to Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts and — or so I supposed — try to corrupt her into hell. Usually, Victoria wouild never have become a snotty diva, but due to this event, thingd would now inevitably take such a turn, maybe not over night, but over the passage of the years for sure. This had been certainly the case for Ashley Blake, as reported by Megan Parker.

But at least the schemer from San Diego was now aware that the whole thing had been pure luck for Eichman, and that the organisation of Make it shine! had been one of uttermost imperfection and chaos. Maybe she would be able to inform a few suitable journalists, and the mass media would be able to effect the downfall of Eichman. On the other hand, these hopes were still a bit vague as the mainstream press of souther California, and even more the majore news broadcasting channels, were all the way infested by the sponsors of Hollywood.

Now I was tempted to shout aloud into Victoria's face that she would rue the day, until the age of dystopia, of joining Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts. But this would mopst likely have reveiled much too early my real identity as a prophet preaching the doom and gloom of this most obnoxious business, something Megan had already warned me.

In any case, Victoria Vega would soon be a new face at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts and go the very same way as many other Hollywood girls. Even Drake had sung a song about this,[3:16] a song like written for Victoria. She was going to leave now Brewster High, her former school, and take up a new life.

As already mentioned, I had been sitting all the evening next to Regilius Powers, a doll at first glance, but for me, the hand puppet appeared on occasions pretty much alive. It did not twitch or talk or move away, but I sensed some aura which did not let me stay awake, so I decided to mention this in my report for Megan, as I was sure that she was about the only being I knew who would take my observations serious.


3.5 Poisoned?

Megan was very interested by my report, especially the possibility of André Harris having poisoned Trinidad Vega in order to get Victori to jump into the musical scene appeared very intriguing and inspiring. She needed to find a proof for this, as it really underlined her hypothesis that the degenerate Hollywood business was turning nice and innocent young people into excessively ferocious monsters. So, it was necessary to get an expert to analyse the medical reasons for Trinidad's tongue impediment. Megan was wondering about finding a specialist, and she was about to make several suggestions, such as Doc Jeffrey Glazer[3:17] who would later on turn out as an uncle of afforementioned blond Mary-Sue Zoey Brooks.

Talking about the Brooks clan … Wendy and Ashley had got a class mate named Dustin Brooks, the little brother of aforementioned living barbie doll, certainly a good source for informations about the life and times of Zoey and her friends, including Quinn and Chase, but not without a very harmful hitch: Dustin was a strict fan of Carly Shay's web show, and he was certainly aware of my former troubles with his idol. This required a lot of care when dealing with the Mary-Sue's little bugger who, by the way, had once upon a time had a crush on Drake Parker, something that had been an utterly hopeless case back when Wendy had been beyond any sensible measure obsessed with the rock idol.

Another decent expert was Doc Birnbaum,[3:18] the surgeon of Helen Baxter who had already performed some important and dangerous manipulation of her retina.

Whatever the expert, it was absolutely necessary to retrieve some sample of both the drops and of Triniadad's tissues, and this was a both excruciatingly disgusting and downright dangerous task, if possible at all, for the parents of the Vega sisters were certainly already upset and by no means approving of the medications their elder daughter took inorder to improve her voice, thus they will dispose with the miraculous drops as soon as only possible, and Quinn Pensky had probably already either destroyed or modified the formula for the medication, making it impossible to check and compare.

Now Wendy had also watched a movie of the perfomance of Make it shine!, and she had gasped upon seeing Victoria Vega who looked exactly like a recently graduated Pacific Coast Academy student, Lola Martinez … yet another friend of Zoey Brooks, and thus also of Quinn Pensky and Chase Bartholomew Matthews. In any case, said Lola was older than Victoria, and thus most likely not the same person, unless some major deceit had been going on, something which would have incited my curiosity even more, let alone that of Megan Parker. Lola had always been boasting with her acting prowess, and she had been keen on becoming a Hollywood star and winning her first Oscar before the age of twenty. This magical date was of course now rapidly approaching, but this was definitely not my business except that the Oscar awards were probably not quite unrelated to the cliques of Hollywood producers and their closely associated and equally corrupt finance markets.

Why — or so did I have to wonder — had Lola Martinez and Ashley Blake, inspite of being excessively gifted — or so it was said — actresses not go to one of the specialised schools for stars, such as our Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts or nearby Palmwood? I was urged to defer that burning question unto some later point, though, as Megan was by absolutely no means ready to answer it, well, she was only able to answer it for the case of her friend Ashley Blake, of course.

OK, a very important part of spreading the word about the absolute incompetence of principal Brad Eichman was that of contacting suitable journalists, a task that was not easy due to the tight interactionb of the informative mass media of California and the Hollywood industry. This was especially the case for star journalists such as Jessica Warner[3:19] from Backstage Hollywood,[3:20] or Miles Bambridge.[3:21]

Megan had already been looking for some young and yet unmanipulated journalist, but this was not yet an easy task, as the case of André Harris proved that already innoced high school kids were corrupted by the dollars of Hollywood to some not negligeable degree. One the least trustworthy teenage journalist was beyond any doubt Jeremiah Trottman, a recent graduate from aforementionedPacific Coast Academy. Megan already thought a bit about Robert Shapiro, the slave of his hand puppet, but he was probably stuck too knee-deep in the hoopla of the current management of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, especially down to the recent public première performance of Make it shine!

After some thorough research, Megan Parker had selected a certain Angela Crabtree[3:22] from Lakewood High, a school located in the dreamy rural parts of Los Angeles county. She had recently reported some irregularities going on at her school to some local TV station, but did not have sufficient proof for them, probably because those had been maniopulated away. Now she was certainly motivated to pay it back and rehabilitate herself by covering an even more scandalous story.


Chapter 4 Victorious Newbie


4.1 Shooting Star

Mornning had just broken over the city of Los Angeles, and the streets of Hollywood were increasingly filling with people on their way to their jobs, to school, or to the shops.

The gates of the honouravble building of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts had just opened in order to allow for the assault by many a student, and especially in order to receive the latest student, no other than exceedingly celebrated Victoria Vega, the star of stars in the opinion of the management of this school, the biggest hope ever for the Hollywood scene and the cash box of Principal Eichman whose fame and income depended strictly from the fast promotion of new supertalents of the branch.

For me, of course, Victoria Vega was just another potentially wasted life and victim of a cruel scene dominated by remorselessly ruthless agents and managers, such as Malcolm Reese, Brad Eichman, and so on.

Maybe the aforementioned song Hollywood Girl by Drake Parker would have had the power to change her mind, but Drake was now on tour, and not even Megan had got the necessary power to call him back from there and get him to show up in time at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, although this would most definitely be an option for the not-so-far future.

But now this was a bit beyond our possibilities, so I was better putting up with the situation as it was, and this meant the act of Victoria Vega marching in and meeting our students. Of course it was better for me to stay away from her, for she would have hated me anyways for being critical of her choice, and for not being one of those typical welcomers, unlike apparently Caitlín Valentine, the resident bimbo wench who appeared to be sort of Victoria's future best friend, at least in some sense. Victoria made a joke of Caitlkyn's short named "Cat", as if it made her a feline being which she wasn't.

Victoria was also stumbling into hot-looking Beck Oliver and got him to spill his own coffee or something, whatever, she excusedherself which almost looked like the two of them making out or so. Unfortunately, Jade West was observing the scene, and she was of course by absolutely no means pleased biut her boyfriend's adulterous activity and the girl at the receiving end of his almost-caress. Of course Beck was infinitely much more suited for Victoria than for Jade, beyond any trace of a doubt, but this action, even if accidental, was a sure as only possible going to provide for some ongoing trouble between the goth freak and the new star. Things would certainly turn worse a few minutes later when Victoria was to kiss Beck on stage in the frame of some improvisational play, but I would not be a witness of this great scene.

The new starlet was now bound for her first classes here at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, taught precisely by Sikowitz, while I was already starting to think about what to report unto Megan.


4.2 Up Periscope!

I have already talked about a few one sided obsessions such as the hapless one of Wendy Gellar with Drake Parker, and there was now one to add, and this time, it involved Robert Shapiro and Trinidad Vega who had been applying for the main rôles in a play featuring a submarine boat in the second world war, including a male and a female officer and their blossoming relationship in the face of the looming implosion of the vessel. Of course, none of the two teenagers had got any talent in acting, as completely opposed to Beck Oliver, but that was now besides the point.

The topic of the play reminded me immediately of Carly Shay's father's profession as a Air Force officer who was currently crossing the seven seas in a submarine, and this inspired me to suggest that the play should be performed in the front of some competent public, such as marine soldiers with experience in living in being that sharks would call "tin food". Of course the current management, especially Eichman, would not allow for it, so I decided to go to homeroom teacher Earnest Lane in order to ask for the permission.

Lane was a bit surprised, but he deemed the idea not inconsequential, alas, in order to make it come reality, it was necessary to have some good contacts to the air force, the navy, the marines, and especially some submarine commander. Of course I did not know exactly where Carly's father was currently cruising, and — of course — she would not tell me voluntarily.

But there was some hope for finding out, or for finding some appropriate substitute, for Megan knew a girl that had been once upon a time Carly's best friend, and that girl had ever since fallen out of the web star's favour, a girl named Melissa Robinson.[4:1] She was the daughter of one of Colonel Shay's pals for many years, more precisely, they had been serving together as officers at Seal Beach, a location in Orange County, thus not too far from here.

Carly's and Missy's ways had separated when there parents had been sent different ways, and now Samantha Puckett, the worst of all bad girls, had replaced Melissa as Carly' friend. Last year, the lost friend appeared for a short visit in Seattle and tried to save her former best friend from the evil influence of the bad lass, but she had failed and had to leave Carly in a state of decadence and corruption. I was sure that Melissa Robinson would be more than just willing to cooperate with me and Megan. According to the believes of Carly, Melissa was now on a school cruise across the Pacific, but she had cancelled that trip in last minute dur to her nervous disease and was now a student at … oops … nearby Pacific Coast Academy! Oh yeah, the word was apparently so godawfully small.

OK, some competent audience was once thing, abut I had to suggest some other change, and more precisely, I had got the idea of turning it into some sort of musical, featuring centrally one particular song: Up, Periscope![4:2] by no other than Drake Parker.

Admittedly, the song was dirty and chock full of disgusting content, but the average teenager of today would most likely enjoy it, given the extreme popularity of Drake and all of his songs especially among teenage girls. But it was totally suited for the topic of the play, and Drake's presence at the performance would be the top opportunity in order to get Victoria Vega to meet Drake and listen to a performance of another of his greatest song, Hollywood Girl, a song with the true potential of making her turn her life around and refrain from transforming herself into the wretch that she would inevitably become when following a career in a world made of corruption and decadence.

Unfortunately, such a huge framework would be beyond the budget of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts available for satudent performances, and this made it unfortunately necessary for me to find sponsors. Of course this was by no means pleasant, as most possible sponsors were members of the quagmire of pernicious Hollywood business. My first idea was Helen Baxter, and I would ask Megan about it as soon as only possible. Unfortunately, not even Helen was someone to trust all the way, and this was so totally obvious, but she would be most motivated to sponsor and promote some play of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts students which Eichman refused to perform and which would be very successful, thus laying excruciating blame on the principal for not promoting a huge success. And as Helen was particularly interested in promoting the blossoming career of Drake, the inclusion of her idol would really make the cut.

So, this was the envisioned future of the play to be performed by Trinidad and Robert, but the present were the current auditionsa and rehearsals, and those involved a dirty, filthy kiss shared by thosae teenagers. Trinidad was of course absolutely disgusted by the thought of having to make out with someone with the most ugly hair ever, comparable to that of Chase Bartholomew Matthews. This confirmed once momrmem mmtmhamtm my guess that Trinidad, even under the fake name "Rebecca", had never been the girlfriend of the bushy playwright.

Unfortunately the ugly ventriloquist and journalist was so desperate for a girl's affection that he mistook the kiss for a sign of Trinidad's feelings, although it was nothing but compliance with her duties prescribed by the play's script. Now Robert was hankering like a mindless cadaver after the busty criolla, of course against all possible odds.


4.3 Regilius Powers

Megan had done some reseacrh about Regilius Powers, the name of the puppet of Robert Shapiro, and she had made some surprising discovery about someone of that name that had lived long ago … She reported:


During the second decade of the previous century there was one Doc Regilius Powers, an assistant of one of the foundation fathers of Hollywood and subsequently of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.

Regilius was never very much acknowledged, not by his chief and not by his colleagues, because he had always been deemed an unpractical phantast and was really pushing it with his claims about his visions of how Hollywood should look like.

But then Regilius produced a movie studio from apparently no traceable ressources within a tremendously short period of time, and many people were not able to deem this possible. This was seen by some insiders as the possible start of a great career of the dreamer and phantast, but also the source of a huge amount of jealousy and envy.

Whatever, the career of Regilius would not last for a long period, and after a few months, the production assistant would disappear under hitherto unidentifiable circumstances.


Was this just a bleeding coincidence? Had Robert Shapiro named his puppet for the legend of that vanished production guy from the early history of Hollywood and its school for the performance arts? Or was it much more creepy than that, given that I had sensed some cryptic life hidden in the doll known as Rex Powers?

There needed to be a way for Megan in order to find out about the origins of the so-called puppet, and Megan had got several ideas:


The puppet was possessed by the spirit of this underestimated and forgotten co-builder of the world of Hollywood.
The construction assistant had been cursed and was now living in the shape of a doll, until being released from his misery by whatever action such a deliverance would take.

Either of these possibilities were able to confirm Megan Parker's exorbitantly daring conjecture that the whole Hollywood business had been built with the aid of demons, for otherwise Regilius had not been able to realise his plans within shortest time, and that the deal with those must have turned into a pernicious curse for the whole business.

I was not really able to find out on my own, and Megan was looking for an expert, but getting closer to Rex without making Robert Shapiro turn suspicious would be absolutely necessary for that kind of enterprise.


4.4 Binary Poison

As aforementioned, in order to consolidate Megan's courageous assumption that André had deliberately poisoned Trinidad in order to be with Victoria it was necessary to analyse both the medications that Trinidad had taken as the busty Latina's tissue.

Doc Glazer Brooks had now actually been able to get his hands at the laboratory report that had been made by the official medics in charge with trinidad, and he had of course noticed some irregularities, allowing him to insulate the obnoxious substance that had allowed the criolla's tonngue to inflate within a few minutes. The actual substance was a binary chemical, in other words, a blend of two substances which were harmless, each for its own, but, when combined, was leading to obnoxious consequences. The two componets must have been mixed no earlier than the day of the scheduled performance of Make it shine! which — or so I reasoned — made it impossible for the droplets to have contained both components when delivered by Quinn Pensky unto Tinidad Vega. Someone must have added the second cinstituent of the binary poison, or have given it to the victim under a disguise and tricked her into mixing them. It was even possible that the parts had only met iinside the victim's mouth.

There was of course one problem left when accusing André Harris of having committed that perverted and despicable onslaught on the girl's health, more precisely, those kids at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts were poorly educated with respect to natural sciences and thus hardly able to come up wit the idea of a multi-component venom, let alone with its realisation, so there must have been some smart head involved, either deliberately or carelessly.

I was now determined to talk to Quinn Pensky about her product and what had been made of it, as she seemed pretty much innocent here. Of course I hoped strongly to squeeze some more informations out of her, for I had hitherto come to know about her only from the reports made by Wendy, and those appared very hysterical. Even more, Megan had started to compare André's obsession with Victoria with that of Wendy for Drake, which also meant that Wendy was not unlikely to sympathise with the case of the starlet's pseudo-romantic suitor and thence cease being an objective help for Megan's and my quest for the truth behind the decadence and corruption holding Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts ball and chain.


4.5 The Corrupted Nerd

Quinn Pensky was not that easy to get at, but I was able to figure a few informations about that inventor. Once upon a time, she had been an incredible hope for the future world of science, but life at Pacific Coast Academy among a bunch of excessively shallow-minded kids had unfortunately worn down that formerly wonderful nerdy wallflower beyond any sensible reason and thus perverted and corrupted her into some piece of junk also known as a social butterfly. During her first two years at Pacific Coast Academy, Quinn had been living alone in her dormitory room and used it reasonably as her secret laboratory. She had been excluded from the school's official laboratories because aforementioned Wayne Gilbert alias "Fire Wire" had not wanted her in the school's science club for some reason — certainly not the official one according to which girls were not suitable for science. As already said, Megan had contacted Wayne upon several occasions in order to get material for her pranks on Drake and Josh. Well, this luck had changed when Quinn moved in with Lola and Zoey who had apparently had a bad influence on the geek princess, especially Lola, a really shallow-minded future diva worse than even — or so claimed Megan Parker — Ashley Blake.

But Quinn had really hit the very bottom of her honour when starting to date exorbitantly spoiled and perverted dandy Logan Reese, son of aforementioned producer Malcolm. The disgusting sheik must have a bused a very weak moment of the nerd girl in order to start seducing and abusing her in the most shameful manner. The two of them had not even had the guts for showing up together at the beginning of their junior prom ball, but had been hiding behind unwaryt pseudo-prom partners. Logan had abused quirky Stacey Dillsen for that avail, a girl described by Wendy as obsessed with making arts from cotton swabs and white glue ad as of suffering from some severe speech impediment. Likewise, Quinn Pensky had abused Dustin Brooks for the purpose of hiding her abomination. Only during the prom night did Quinn and Logan come out with their foul and decadent relationship, and even then it was not evident why this had been the case.

Zoey Brooks had — and I do by absolutely no means b;ame the blond Mary Sue for this — been by absoluetly no means amused when hearing about the fact that her little brother had been abused in a disgusting manner by her room mate, and this had finally resulted in the end of a friendship lasting for four years during the senior year of that gang. Logan and Quinn were now probably living in concubinacy over in Beverly Hills, and Zoey had broken all contacts with them, although her fiancé Chase Bartholomew Matthews must have — as I concluded from his conversation with Trinidad Vega — still been upkeeping his contact with her and probably with Logan as well. The two of them had been room mates since the start of middle school, along with a certain Michale Barret whom I have to talk about a bit later.


Chapter 5 The Revenge Of Fawn Leibowitz

[5:1]


5.1 A Former Student Of Hollywood Arts

Now I had just left the building in order to walk home when I felt a hand in my neck and I was pulled into some silent and dark corner. OK, I was already officially dead, so what did it matter getting beaten up once more, really … I really gasped when I was finally spotting the face of the person that had grabbed me from behind, and I screamed "Samantha! What are you doing here?"

The girl grinned and coughed, "what? you dare to mistake me for my evil cousin Sam Puckett?" She appeared really disappointed by my confusion, and I remembered the moment when I had faced Megan Parker for the very first time, still unable to tell her apart from her alike-looking cousin Carly Shay. But this did not yet answer by any stretch who that abusive girl in front of my face was really, beyond the more or less apparent implication that she was related to Sam in some manner. "My name is Fawn Leibowitz," explained the infuriated lass with the looks of the worst girl ever, "and I had been a student here until recently, or, more precisely, until …" She tried on and off to touch my lips with her own, but I always twitched and avoided that in time because I did not know what kind of disgusting germs were residing on the lips of Samantha's cousin. She urged me to stand stioll, growling "come on, you know that you want it, a dweeb like you will probably never get another chance on getting kissed by a hot girl!"

I shuddered, as I knew very well that I was by absolutely no means a good-looking guy, but how shallow does a girl have to be in order to care about it? Maybe as shallow as Carly Shay was was now going to march straight into her doom because of the ongoing bad influence of Samantha Puckett? Anyways, Fawn must have had some diabolic second thoughts, otherwise she would not even wish to make out with a guy whom she deemed expressis verba unattractive and whom she had hardly ever met before. At least I was not able to remember, otherwise her utterly striking similarity with Samantha would have disturbed me istantly and make me go all infuriated.

Fawn explained that she had been expelled from Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts in order to allow Victoria Vega to join, and that she was now going to plan to get back at her and at the school's administration. As she must have already noticed that I was very critical of the managemnent of this institution as well, she had probably thought it easy to get me to help her plans of revenge.

I did not really believe in the hypothesis that Fawn had been randomly expelled just in order to make place for Victoria, and that the real reason was a bit embarrissingm, too embarrassing for Fawn to tell, but it was probably deeply involved in the excessively corrupt and perverse management of the school and of Hollywood as a whole, so Fawn was certainly a valuable albeit not wholly trustworthy partner in my quest.

But would this be enough to make us a potential couple? But as tempting as it appeared at first glance, I could not really give in … why? I had not thought about it before, but it felt somehow like cheating on Megan, the first girl … hell, the first person … I had been able to trust everywhere, after all, although she was also reluctant to inform me a bout a few thing, but this was apparently for my own good. Maybe Megan Parker had already got a boyfriend, and I woiuld have been glad for that as long as it was a decent guy, and I had not supposed to be anything going on between us involving feelings. But in this moment I had to decide, and inspite of the above considerations it would have felt like cheating on Megan Parker. So I sighed deeply and admitted to my apparently existing feelings for the person who had made me born again and filled my second life with a mission to accomplish, but I also made it clear that I was willing to cooperate. "You just can't expect me to refrain from asking possibly not so comfortable questions."

Fawn Leibowitz sighed deeply, but she accepted my offer, althouh she had apparently preferred me to follow her unconditionally and without secondguessing her motivations, which I would have probably done in the case of having given into her seductive approach. So, had she already got some sort of a plan concerning her looming revenge? Well, indeed she did, and this involved approaching Victoria, using a fake identity, and make her go all insane because she did not really exist. She had learned this approach from a certain Mr. Takato[5:2], an elderly Japanese guy who had recently driven Pacific Coast Academy student Michael Barret insane, making him flee into the wilderness without ever getting seen again.

I panted heavily, because I did not believe that Victoria was more than just involved into the whole crap, the true culprits being somewhere else. But the approach of "Takato" really made me very curious, and I was going to do my research. Who was Takato really, and why had he ruined the life of said Michael Barret on pourpose? Granted, I had never heard anything about the unfortunate student barring a few remarks by Wendy Gellar mentioning him as a sidekick of Logan and Chase, and that scared me quite a little bit.

And given that I had just discovered having sorts of feelings for Megan it was now better to let her know about them instead of remaining dishonest as the majority of mankind, especially as the vast majority of people involved in and corrupted to no end by the Hollywood business.


5.2 Melinda Murray

At the same time as my encounter with Fawn, Beck Oliver had been in trouble with adult star actress Melinda Murray[5:3] and got fired from his set, something which underlined beyond any doubt that not talent and diligence, but flattering and protectionism, on top of compatibility with the commercial interests of the leading cast like Malcolm Reese, were the really important qualities required for becoming a Hollywood movie star. When Victoria, applying for a cameo in the same movie, remarked that Beck's inerpretation of the script was the correct one indeed, the envious established star turned furious and got Beck kicked out.

Victoria was now tryiong to get her friend back into the cast of said movie by sneaking into the cast and trying to talke Melinda into showing signs of mercy. This would indeed work out because the snobbish star was not very popular among the stage workers, but, unfortunately, the aspiring newborn starlet had missed out badly on learning the one and only lesson she should have learned from the incident. Indeed, Melinda Murray was exactly no more and no less than the person that Victoria Vega, or any of the other aspiring actresses, and with modifications also actors, of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts and elsewhere in the greater Los Angeles area would become one day when continuing to pursue thier dreams of a Hollywood career. Melinda was like ten years older than Victoria, and maybe she had already been a starlet at an age at which the latter's talent had not yet been discovered, but the tendency was certainly there and the process was both inevitable and unstoppable. So Tori had just encountered her future self but was not yet scared by the possibility of becoming sooner or later a copy of the one colleague she was now despising so much. And she was hardly going to take any warning concerning this looming potential anywhere near serious.


5.3 Robbie's Nightmare

At the same time, counselling teacher Earnest Lane had to treat Robert Shapiro for some repeating nightmare in which Regilius was not just a little doll, but a really big one, videlicet huger than man sized, and abusing his "owner" both verbally and physically.

Of course for excessively shallow minded people, Robert was just crazy for seeing some sort of autonomous life in his frenemy made of wool and straw. But I knew that Regilius Powers had really got a life on his own, or at least that he had once got some of this, and that he was thus awaiting the right occasion for turning alive again and get back at all those who had humiliated him back then as a lowly assistant of the founding fathers of Hollywood, and of course who had ever ridiculed him as a doll. Robert had not always been nice to his prima facie inanimate companion, and the nightmares were nothing but a last warning in virtue of the looming apocalypse which would in utter likelihood also feature the return of the living Regilius Powers.

But was Robert Shapiro ever going to learn his due lesson before it was too late?

Earnie Lane was certainly not going to be of any help whatsoever because he was way too stupid to cinsider even the possibility of Regilius Powers being but a hexed human being, and he was most likely going to recede from his limbs in his stupidity.

The "Puppet" was in desperate need of getting analysed by some expert for this kind of curses, something Megan was not. But the latter was now up to contacting her witchcraft teacher, a certain Kreuftlva[5:4] from New York City.

By the way, I had been so close to confessing my feelings unto Megan, but I had failed miserably because, at the same time, Megan had breceived a cellular phone call from Helen Baxter who had indeed been able to arrange a première performance of the aforementioned submarine play in her Première Theater. Megan sensed that I had failed to say something important, but she had not urged me on site to speak it aloud. Well, maybe she had been aware of my feelings for her all the time, even before I had recognised them as such during the encounter with Fawn?

At least Robert Shapiro had by now stopped stalking Trinidad Vega, but he had started hitting on Caitlín Valentine instead, an equally absurd and perverse combination as you will see later on. So the perfect moment for telling Robert had not yet come, and I would better not try to do something until having consulted an expert for jinxed puppets and found a proof acceptable at least for Robert Shapiro.


5.4 Updown Downtown

[5:5]

Now there was a new public performance in sight at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, and this time, Victoria Vega was cast for the star rôle from the very start. She had got her troubles with the bird scene imposed by Sikowitz, but after several attmpts, she had mastered it, which was the very condition for being the first choice in any Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts production, at least in the eyes of Sikowitz. Victoria had been especially looking forward for Moonlight Magic[5:6], but the sponsors had withdrawn their offers for some absurd and foul reason, or maybe that was just an equally foolish excuse spread by the school's administration and Eichman in order to shift the blame. Either possibility was by any means a sign confirming Megan's theory about the corruption of Hollywood having grown to such a degree that an impending dystopia was now absolutely inevitable.

No, the musical scheduled for the impending première performance was Uptown Downtown, and it was really not a product of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, not even of the whole of Hollywood, but it had started as a minor production at the Broadway in the city of which everyone wanted to be part: New York! New York![5:7]. While it had only got a shadow existence over there, its author was most definitely one of the cream of the cream of the Broadway's playwrights, the one and only unforgettable Sophia Michelle.[5:8]

OK, playwrights at the Broadway … had not there been someone touched by my recent researches … oh, yeah, there was that incredible bushhead Chase Bartholomew Matthews, the guy who seemed to have a deal, whose girlfriend Trinidad Vega had pretended to be, albeit using a fake name and fake feelings, who was engaged to the embodiment of the term "Mary Sue", and who had contacts to Hollywood dandy Logan Reese and to the tragically fallen geek princess Quinn Pensky.

And he was also a friend of Michael Barret, or at least had been for so long time, depending on the exact destiny of this lost friend. Wendy had not been able to tell me details about this guy, although she had always pitied him for some sense. Apparently his fate was guarded firecley by the leading cast and board of Pacific Coast Academy, a school, inspite of being a general purpose prep school, was by all means closely integrated into the Hollywood business, given that the main sponsor was no other than Hollywood czar Malcolm Reese.

Fawn knew something about Mr. Takato, but she was not a first-class informant concerning the fate of Michael Barret, rather she had been informed by Melanie Puckett[5:9] who was a cousin of Fawn, a momozygotic twin sister of Samantha, and a current student at Pacific Coast Academy. Lasy year, Melanie's shirt-term presence at Bushwell Plaza had made Fredward get mightily confused due to his lack of ability of telling them apart, and after my experiences with Carly versus Megan and with Samantha versus Fawn I was in definitely no position of blaming him for this shortcoming.

Yet the story — or legend or fairy tale or myth or sage — of Mr. Takato had started fascinating me beyond any limit, and it was not unlikely linked directly to the very destiny of Los Angeles county which was based on the success and failure of Hollywood.

Needless to say, it was necessarily for me to contact Chase, and in order to achieve this very goal, Sofia Michelle would be the perfect man, or woman, in the middle.

So, the performance was around the corner, and, just as in the case of Make it shine!, Helen Baxter would also sent an envoy in order to check the situation, and this time, the chosen one was no other but Joshuah Nichols, the dorkish step-brother of Megan Parker. And I would not be too much surprised if the latter would happen to show up as well upon this great occasion. This made my heart beat immediatly at triple speed.


5.5 Finally Falling

[5:10]

This was the day of the big performance in frot of the eyes of Sofia Michelle, yet the queen of Broadway's playwrights had not yet arrived, something that was about to change any momentr, or so our responsibles hoped sincerely.

Victoria was portraying a young and hot lady forced to decide between two guys, a rich creep portrayed by Robert Shapiro and his hot servant portyrayed by Beck Oliver, slightly to the dismay of Jade West. The rehearsals were now complete and had not caused much of a problem, making everyone look forward to a smooth and convincing première performance.

But there was still one problem, and this was the cute Latina's current looks, well, she had used to look totally cute, but this has changed last night when Caitlín had abuused her friend for an experiment, not a scientific but rather an artistic one, more precisely, Cat had practised making a monster mask for Victoria to wear, as she had been disappointed by her own former products. Well, mask builder was most definitely the best possible occupation for Caitlín in this business, for her voice was too squeaky for serious acting and singing. Unfortunately, Caitlín had used the wrong glue in order to fix the mask, videlicet industrial power glue instead of the usual skin-friendly cosmetic glue.

And now the monster mask was stuck to the face of the futire diva like glue … oops! Trinidad and Caitlín were already on there way in order to fetch some dissolvant, an enterprise that was by no means an easy one given that those chemicals were currently only sold in the industrial plants of Bakersfield where they were produced.

Trinidad Vega had got a driver's license and a car, something which made me think back to my fatal accident with the futuristic vehicle of Spencer Shay that had killed me about a year ago, and of course I had not got a driver's licence. Alas, I doubted seriously, and for good reason, that Trinidad Vega had obtained her licencse in a legitimate manner, and the car had probably been a former second car of the parents.

Of course if the two useless girls were too late and Victoria had to play with her monster mask on her face, the school would be pretty much in trouble, and with some luck this would trigger the dismissal of no other than Principal Eichman, which would of course be a big relief. And the odds were not all too bad for that, for there was one phone call chasing the other reporting delays of the mission of Caitlín and Trinidad, such as one being caused by their urge to by some ice cream from some exceedingly popular wayside ice pub. And, as expected, Trinidad's excruciatingly brutal and careless driving style had not failed attracting the attention of the policemen and most likely got them into some trouble. Unfortunately, the father of the Vega sisters was a policemen himself, and those relationships were not unlikely to get the busty criolla off the hook, something typical for today's thoroughly corrupt world of Hollywood.

I was sitting in the front row, not behind Sikowitz who had been absent, anyways, for whatever reason. Only later would I come to understand that there had been ongoing fights between Sikowitz and the playwright due to events reaching back to the times where our teacher for improvisational theater had been working at the Broadway for some reason. But Regilius Powers was occupying the seat next to me, and it was like a time bomb able to blow up at any moment, videlicet turning alive and reveiling the co-founder of one of the earliest facilities of Hollywood.

Suddenly, Joshuah Nichols stumbled in, followed straight by no other than Megan Parker who appeared to have blackmailed him into taking her along to this illustrious place. Megan found me very fast and she certainly recognised me, but she had decided to feign ignoring me, probably in order to hide me and my task from her evil step boob.

Sofia Michelle had arrived, and this was really exciting for our actors involved in the play, including Sinjin van Cleef who was nothing but responsible for the illumination of the stage, and he was great at that although a bit absent-minded from time to time. She was a bit consternated when seeing Victoria disguised as an uncomely monster of the worst possible sort. Deep underneath her mask, Lola was boing for anger about her sister's and her friend's excesses and delays. With some luck the girls would be back from Bakersfield before the great finals, but no moment earlier.

The industrial glue abused shamelessly bu Caitlín Vega had been invented — and nobody would have guessed it — by Quinn Pensky, the former super genius who had fallen apart and was now stuck in that dirty affair with Logan Reese. Her mental decay had been the reason for the delay of the development of the corresponding dissolvant, and that invention had finally been made by Wayne "Fire Wire" Gilbert, the worst rival of Quinn within Pacific Coast Academy. But I would only know about this fact a bit later from Megan.

The perfect girl was sitting a few rows away from me, as she wanted to fool Josh who, by the way, had been very interested in Regilius and called it a cute doll, comparable with his teddy bear which he had carressed all the time many years ago, well, in fact not that long ago, or maybe this was still one of his obnoxious habits.

Finally Caitlín and Trinidad showed up, armed with the salvific chemicals in order to release Victoria from her ugly mask, alas at a very high price, or so would I come to hear later much later. Indeed, the dissolvant had been created for industrial purposes only and it was most likely not dermatologically neutral, in other wordsa, Victoria's face skin would suffer sensibly or visibly — I did not want to judge which of those two option was worse than the other — or even both on the long run. This was potentially able to ruin the career of the blossoming Hollywood girl star, but she was not aware of that fact and would have ignored the danger due to her obsession with fast success.

Oh, what was the choice of the monster beauty featured in this musical? Of course Victoria, or rather her character, chose Beck's over Robert's, and in the great finale, everyone was dancing on the stage, Victoria with Beck and without her hideous mask.

Sofia Michelle's stern judgment was still anticipated with awe by the participants, and the school was lucky because the supreme playwright sensed a symbolical meaning behind this. "True beauty does come from within, and this is very consistent with the base thrust of Uptown Downtown."

Megan was thereupon walking past me once more, followed by Joshuah, but this time, she grabbed me and pulled me into some hear-tearing kiss that made Joshuah twitch and startle all over the place. He had recently been once more in trouble with his girlfriend Mindy and he had been dumped again, a reason for which he suffered a lot when watching Megan caressing me tenderly,a dnthat had been her intention. Finally, she figured that the boob had suffered enough, and she explained "listen, Josh, I love Nevel for his unique inner values, and not for his looks, and you should finally understand that this is the same reason why Mindy has put up with you over and over again for several years." Josh had thought about some cosmetic surgery in order to make his huge head shrink — or so would Megan tell me a bit later — as he saw the size of his skull as the one and only obstacle to a harmonic relationship with Mindy. Wasn't it great that the play just performed in front of his nose had been taken that turn by the mere accident of Trinidad and Caitlín being late?

I would have enjoyed talking much more with Megan on site, but I was in a hurry because it was necessary for me to contact Sofia Michelle in order to be able to come into touch with Chase Bartholomew Matthews. And much to our favour, Chase had actually accompanied his boss, idol, and teacher to California, and tonight he was now visiting friends that still lived in the greater Los Angeles area, but he was not really in holiday and would have to do some tough work during the next days before their common return to the state of New Jeresey. She provided me with the bushy skull's schedule, and this would allow me to interrogate the junior playwright during the following days about the issues mentioned earlier.

So, tonight Eichman's miserable management had probably not yet been punished duly, but times would sure come when this would be the case, either during Trinidad's one-actor musical Chicago or during the musical about the implosion of the submarine.


Chapter 6 Chicago


6.1 Chambrolay's

Sofia Michelle and their stuff resided during their visit in Los Angeles in a very famous hotel named Chambrolay,[6:1] a chain of hotels spanning the whole world and presented in almost every bigger city of US. The branch mentioned here was located in Santa Monica, not far from the campus of Pacific Coast Academy, and it was to be expected that Chase was visiting some friends that were still at this prep school or that were working or studying nearby, usually in the framework of Hollywood.

The lounge of this luxury hotel was well controlled and it was not easy to get past security in order to visit someone without prior written consent, something I had not got the time for.

Megan Parker had once inhabited the infamous President's Suite in [6:2] after she had accidentally taken a wrong flight, basically due to Drake's fault, and was locked up in Los Angeles for one day. That was a really long story, and one that was without any significance for my mission.

What did matter, on the other hand, was the very fact that the hotel's lounge hosted a classical piano, and I was a gifted pianist — at least to some extent until my premature death caused by Carly and her gang. Of course it was not possible for me to show the management of the hotel a diploma about any of my won awards in that trade, but I was able to convince them anyways. Granted, Megan had been a great help here for she knew still some of the employees very well, and vice versa, allowing her to negotiate and make them give me a chance of demonstrating my skills. All this was working out in the end, and I was allowed to entertain the guests with some good and solid piano music, including the collected works of Beethoven, Verdi, Mozart, and Chopin.


6.2 The End Of Michael Barret

I was performing the same old melody from the eighteenth century when the bushy dweeb stumbled in and picked up his room key from the bellman who was fortunately nothing like Lewbert, a disgusting guy working in the reception of Carly Shay's home alias Bushwell Plaza.

I interrupted the performance and stood up in order to address Chase Bartholomew Matthews on site before letting him disappear into the elevator and his suite … he did not share one with Sofia Michelle, did he? His fiancé Zoey Brooks would have been very interested in getting to hear something about this possibility … well, maybe she would have been even more interested in the business Chase and Trinidad had going on behind her back, whether the busty Latina and Chase had been boyfriend and girlfriend at any point in their life or not. Still I deemed that absurd, given that someone with the criolla's looks and attitude would never consider dating a dweeb like Chase on a voluntary base, no matter what.

Chase looked a bit dumbfounded when i started to urge him to talk about certain things in virtue of the impending première performance of Trinidad's personal musical, and he admitted to not being really keen on it, but "Rebecca" alias Trinidad had forced him to write the piece in turn for …

I grunted, "In turn for kissing you in front of your true crush and make her jealous?" This was going to trigger quite some explosion, but it was absolutely necessary in this case, for time was running out.

Chase Bartholomew Matthews stammered like an idiot, but, according to Wendy Gellar, this was not much of a new thing, he had always been like that especially around Zoey Brooks whom he had got a crush on forever, even when he had feigned to have that girlfriemd Rebecca.

And the excessively busty Latina had not been the only fake date of Chase during this period.

According to Wendy Gellar, Chase had also made out once with a certain Trisha Kirby[6:3] who was really no other than … Sam Pukebuckett! I have already mentioned Melanie's life at Pacific Coast Academy, but the very Samantha had been here as well for a few days, but fortunately she had messed with the wrong people.

First, Sam had seduced aforementioned Dustin Brooks, attracting the wrath of his Mary Sue of an elder sister. Zoey had forced Chase to intervene and dissuade Trisha from dating Dustin, but he had only been able to do so by dating Trisha. In the end, Zoey got Trisha alias Samantha expelled from Pacific Coast Academy for her perverse demeanour. I totally admired the barbie girl for having done so. Every responsible elder sibling would not let some dirty creep like Samantha Puckett hang out with his or her younger sibling, only totally irresponsible ones like Spencer Shay would do so.

Chase claimed that his date with Trisha alias Sam had been unfortunate. "I told her to have more fun with a boy older than herself instead of a little boy … and I happened to be a bit older … so she forced me to date her."

I shook my head, but the girls of the Puckett family were dother than cow leather, as already seen in the case of Fawn.

But now it was time to talk about his long-term best friend Michael Barret and his brute destiny involving some imaginary — or may not so imaginary — Takato. Chase remembered that he had been in England when all that befgan, but Michael had tried to learn driving an old car with a stick switch. "This was obviously so awkward, but an elderly Japanese man named Takato, self-claimed middle school teacher, offered to help him yet in a very obscure manner, making him stomp grapes and stir relished tuna, imitating the movements of stick switching."

I was once more reminded of my death that had involved driving a car, although I had not been old enough top even think about preparing for a license. Bear with it, and I would never ever want again to ride a car, for the rest of my life, or death, or whatever …

In any case, Michael had told his friends about Takato, but none of them who had been there had wanted to believe him, even Chase had not really cared. "But the worst was his girlfriend Lisa Perkins, a pop star, who had not refrained from calling him insane for insisting in his story. I had thought that Michael would give in and drop it, just for Lisa's sake, but I had underestimated the situation, and a year ago, he disappeared into the barren wastelands of desolation near Los AAngeles and probably died at a place named Redstone Gulch, just as fifty years ago a certain Charles Galloway.[6:4]" Chase started weeping, and I knew better than trying to force him into keeping on talking, although I had never heard of Charles Galloway before. But it appeared like yet another story of a mysteriously vanished person, and not unlikely it had to do with the corruption of Hollywood.

Later. Wendy would tell me that it had been a certain a horribly mean teacher named Hodges who had scared Charles Galloway into the desert of destruction. And this was a story that would by all means have to be researched more, as also concluded by megan who was willing to do that.

My interview with Chase was done for now, as he was not in the mood of talking, yet I expected to see him at Trinidad's solo musical's première.


6.3 Victoria's Insanity

Two days ago, I had talked to Fawn about this situation, and she was by no means surprised, as she admitted to discovering new perverse secrets about her cousin each and every other day. Fawn herself had got a really "adventurous" and scary school history. She was nowadays a student at James K. Polk High School in Santa Clarita, but she had been studying at Silver Springs in a nother part of Los Angeles. The official explanation for her expulsions had alsways been the claim that she was crazy, but declaring other people as crazy is usually an excessively perverse and foul lie in order to cover real scandals underneath and diminishing the value of a potential witness. This was most likely also the case of Fawn Leibowitz, although she was not yet willing to talk about the details.

If anyone was truly insane and crazy it was no other than Victoria Vega who seemed to have stepped into some troubles between Beck and Jade, a couple that must have been living in a troublesome relationship for over two years now, even a single day would have been more than enough.

Beck loved lemonade, and thus Jade had once upon a time gifted him a can of that drink for birthday, or for their relationship's anniversary, or something like that. But what had that unthankful bastard done? He had been unhappy about that, a totally illogical and absurd demeanour to be deprecated at any cost.

And now that stupid wench gping by the name of Victoria Vega had even defended Beck's excessively foul demeanour, proving that she was completely corrupted and decadent.

The fact that a school like Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts had dropped a bizarre but sane person like Fawn for the sake of a complete idiot alike Victoria showed that the school's administration was already spreading its fetor mortis all over the land.


6.4 The Performance

I had found a place right in the front row of our theatre hall when awaiting the horrible operformance of Trina Vega.

As usual, Helen Baxter had sent yet another spy over here in order to scrutin ise the situation, a certain Steve[6:5] who was generally considered a psychopath, but this was usually not a problem as seen in the case of fawn, as opposed to complete insaners like Victoria Vega. Alas, the face of Steve made me gasp to no end, he looked almost exactly like Spencer Shay, aforementioned elderbrother of Carly. Megan had already mentioned that they were more or less remotely related, although she did not know the exact bonds, but this was totally striking.

This time, Fawn dared to show up at her old place of acticity, but she wore a capo in order to make it harder to get recognised … officially she was permnanently banned from the campus.

Last but not least, Chase Bartholomew Matthews showed up as well, inspite of not being on friendly terms with Trinidad Vega, but after our conversation, he had decided to show up here in order to see the performance of his work, and maybe even in order to talk to me about Michael and his end.

Trinidad was a mediocre actress and a poor singer, but a remarkably good dancer and body builder, and — not so surprising — an excellent model.

But Robert Shapiro who was sitting not far from me appeared to see things different, and he was yup to writing some bad critics for the school journal. This would — or so I supposed — hardly be received by the busty Latina with appreciation.

After the performance, I wanted to talk with Fawn about the situation, but she had disappeared a few minutes earlier, strangely at the same time as Steve, making me wonder about whether something was going on between the two of them, well, thety would not have been a bad couple, just the age difference was apparently a bit … but even Fawn would turn eighteen one day.

Chase Bartholomew Matthews, on the other hand, had the guts of stepping up to the stage and congratulating Trinidad for her fairly decent performance, for someone with a terrible voice at least. Trina accepted the reverence and apparently indicated that Chase's debts were now finally ammortised — or so I understood the scene.

All of a sudden, Robert Shapiro's camera flashed and caught Chase and Trina in a disgusting hug, a picture with the potential of leading to consequences …


6.5 One day is not enough.

Like most human, Trinidad Vega had got one birthday each year, but she was greedily expanding it into a whole birthweek and expected birthday gifts from everyone, sorry, birthweek gifts. Stoked — inspite of the injust criticism by Robert Shapiro — by her fairly great performance in her solo musical, she was now even a little bit more stuck up.

Victoria also wondered about a suitable present for her elder sister, and this was not really easy, especially as Trinidad had just bought a pair of Cardellini boots[6:6] from nearby Daka[6:7] store, the hugest but most despicable shoe shop in Los Angeles. Two years ago, they had sold so-called techfoots, essentially shoes with a built-in microprocessor, but those devices did not really work as expected, just like so many modern inventions, and the reasons for the failure would become obvious for me just a bit later: They had been designed by Quinn Pensky, but her dirty affair with Logan Reese had already diminished her mental capacity rigorously beyond any hitherto beknownst measure and thus made quality control less reliable than a weather forecast by Megan's step father Walter Nichols who had falsely predicted nice and sunny weather for whole southern California in the wake of the last big rain storm.[6:8]

Oops, there we are back at one of our old topics, that of the relationship between Trinidad Vega and Quinn Pensky, something about which I had been talking with Chase even after his departure from California.

Lola and Quinn had been annoyed by Chase's missing ability of fessing up to Zoey, and by Zoey's failure in recognising Chase's feeligs for her, that they had come up with the idea of hiring Lola's cousin Trinidad in order to fake Chase's girlfriend and trigger the blond Mary-Sue's jealousy, a plan that had not really worked out, though. But the busty criolla had insisted in getting her payment, a musical in which she would have been able to demonstrate her mad skills as a star. Quinn's share had been technical assistance, both by means of medications and other treatments allowing Trina to improve her abilities. The deal was now accomplished, and the old dirty affair should have been forgotten, but was it really?

So back to the birthday week … Victoria would have thought of buying those shoes for Trinidad, but she was too late as her sister had already bought some of them for herself, and now she was looking for something else. Unable to buy something even more expensive than the boots, she was instead up to sining a birthday song … ooops … birthweek song … for her sister, and she needed evidently the help of aspiring song writer André Harris for that avail. It was most likely one of those excessively greasy and flattering songs, and definitely a totally hypocritical one, given the fact that André had probably poisoned Trinidad in order to allow Victoria to get her own career started and switch to Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.

Fawn would have loved to poison André in turn, given that he had been the imdirect reason for her expulsion, but Megan admonished Samantha's cousin to consider a more subtle revenge than that.


6.6 Zoey storms Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.

I had already heard a variety of things about living barbie doll Zoey Brooks, but I had not yet had the honour of encountering the blond Mary Sue in person.

Oops, comparing Zoey to Regilius Powers was not really my intention, I did not believe in Zoey being a barbie doll that had been turned magically alive, this would not have been scary enough, or at least I did not really imagine — not yet.

But the day after André and Victoria had started writing the birthweek song, this was ready to change in a dramatical manner.

I was loitering in the locker hall, circumspecting the situation, when a blonde of eighteen years stormed with determination into our building and jumped close to Trinidad Vega. The similarity with the picture of Zoey Brooks posted on the blog of Chase Bartholomew Matthews was there, but I needed a few seconds in order to determine beyond any doubt the identity of the furious intruder.

Zoey started talking about the pictures she had seen on the web site of our school's journal, especially the one depicting a — as I would say — harmless hug between Chase and Trinidad after the performance. She was apparently — or so I understood the sitiation — either jealous because Chase had been cheating on her or upset because the Latina was trying to manipulate Chase and stealing him back from her. After all, Zoey was not aware of the fact that Trinidad had just been employed by Chase and her other "fine" friends Quinn and Lola in order to achieve aforementioned goal.

Trinidad simply denied everything with the usual words like "I do not know what you are talking about."

I closed my eyes, panted heavily, and started an attempt of clearing up the situation. "Chase has written the libretto of the musical, Chicago, and Trina has just thanked him for having done so."

Alas, Zoey did not accept this explanation, and she was wondering about the name. "Trina? Rebecca?"

I was no longer able to avoid talking about the whole story, especially Chase's deal orf hiring Trinidad in order to make Zoey jealous, something that seemed have to work now better than back when it should have worked. And I also made it clear that the script for the musical was basically Chase's payment.

Zoey was totally consternated, for she had never supposed Chase to do something like that to her, and she would not have supposed Quinn and Lola to even support him there. She had broken with Quinn already earlier on, but Lola's treason was still hurting the blond Mary Sue like a rusty nail in the foot. She decided there and then to cancel her engagement with Chase Bartholomew Matthews, just a few weeks before the already scheduled wedding. Trinidad had not only kissed Chase in froint of Zoey, but alsoe threatened the blonde in the case of not staying away from the bushy dweeb, and she had tried to blackmail and humiliate Zoey afterwards.

Victoria Vega had apparently listened at least partially to the scene going on between Zoey and Trinidad, and she had not yet seen Zoey, either. But she had understood as much as the fact that Trinidad had been hired by someone in order to make Zoey jealous, and she was pretty much inclined to take Zoey's site, had it not been her sister's birthweek.


6.7 Hypocrisy and Ungratefulness

Of course I had not been invited to Trinidad's birthday party, or was it a birthweek party, whether, but I had heard about the outcome one the excessively hypocritical event a bit later.

Trinidad had expected an expensive gift and was not ready to accept the birthweek song, in which Victoria lied how much she loved her sister for all the good things she had done for her — probably nothing but worthless commonplaces, as a proper and sufficient gift for the occasion. Of course André's part ion the whole thing was horribly fake, given his prior onslaught of the busty criolla's tongue, and I would have come out to the public with this accusaation, had I already figured his henchman.

Megan had supposed it to be Wayne Gilbert and thence she had interrogated him in a subtle manner, but this had really not been successful. While "Fire Wire" was by any stretch knowledgeable enough to come up with the plot of a binary poison, he was nowadays too much obsessed with fantasy action cartoons of the Marvel and DC series.

On the other hand, Megan Parker had found an even more appropriet canditate, and this was no other than melinda Crenshaw, the girlfriend — again — of Joshuah Nichols. Megan's reasoning was simple and straightforward: "Mindy has already tried to get Drake framed for an onslaught on the property of evil teacher Linda Hayfer, something for which Drake was motivated, and now she was trying to poison Trinidad Vega in order to get Zoey Brooks framed."

This possibility sounded really cool, but why did Mindy hate Trinidad, and how did she come to cooperate with André Harris? It was better to remain silent about the whole case until finding an answer to those questions.


6.8 Chase is down.

Needless to say, Chase Bartholomews Matthews did not take the decision of his envisioned future wife with extreme ease, especially as the wedding day had already been so close. He had now known Zoey Brooks for five and a half years. After four years, everything had appeared perfect. And now a little mistake had caused the blond Mary Sue to throw away everything ever achieved. Needless to say, the bushy dweeb rued the day that he had accepted the suggestion of Lola Martinez to hire her cousin Trinidad as a fake girlfriend, and he would most likely rue this day until the very dystopia.

But Megan Parker had thought about a way to help him out of his misery. Adelaide Singer,[6:9] one of her best former friends who lived at the East cast in the state of New Jersey and was very much interested in writing song lyrics, something that was apparently one of Chase's professional strengths, as demonstrated beyond any doubt in Chicago. The girl. most inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, was interested in a career as a writer for the Broadway, and this would allow Chase to concentrate on what he is really good at instead of moaning about the loss of the blond Mary Sue.


6.9 The Dead End

As aforementioned, Megan had gone as far as aaccusing Mindy Crenshaw of having helped André Harris to poison Trinidad, but this research had been leading to nothing. And now it was once more Wendy Gellar to help us out, as she had remembered Megan that at the time when she had been hankering after Drake, she had tried to get also Joshuah involved as some sort of mediator, and Josh was by all means a person able to do so as he had already proven much earlier as the author of Belleview's school journal's Trouble Corner, a segment in which he gave anonymously advice to troubled fellow students,[6:10] using the fake name "Miss Nancy". Joshuah's great idol was not, as it should have been, someone like Einstein or Tesla, but a certain infamous Hollywood talk host named Opera Winfree. It was not hard for me to understand that Joshuah Nichols, a runner up of several science fairs, was by all means able to come up with the idea of a binary poison, although Megan was shocked at first glance because she had always thought him too naïve and too remorse-ridden for committing such a fraudulent deed.

On the other hand, almost everyone had believed that André Harris was basically the nice guy next door and not somebody up to such a deed, but, like Josh, this had certainly been the case before being deeply involved in the Hollywood business: André as a student at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, Joshuah as a manager of rock star Drake Parker.

Clearly, Wendy was on André's side because she sympathised with his struggles for a crush that was definitely nort meant to be. She would have done something like that to anyone standing in the way of Drake's career, and she begged for considering allowances in his forgivable case.

OK, that was a cool theory, but was there actually proof for it? This would have been great to present at the end of Trinidad's birthday week.

By the way, the busty criolla had tried to sell her song to Diamond Records, the toughest competitor of aforementioned Gustavo Rocque, but her voice was too terrible, so she had to give up on this, but she was still utterly unable to see that she was stuck in a road leading to a dead end instead of concentrating what she was good for, such as modelling and body building. Or at least that she should have already learned from the more objective criticism of Chicago.


Chapter 7 The Return Of Regilius


7.1 Magic Malika

Talking about New York City … as aforementioned, Megan had consulted her witchcraft teacher, Kreuftlva, in order to find a way to deal better with the cursed puppet Regilius Powers. Unfortunately, the master prophetess was not able to come over and fix the whole thing on site, but she new a really promising expert for reverting curses that turned humans into dolls, and I am ashamed to have to tell you that this expert was from Seattle, yet I had never heard about her.

Malika Ritter[7:1] was a student at Ridgeway which happened to be the same school as that of Carly Shay and her corrupting friends Samantha Puckett and Fredward Benson. She even had already started trying to decorrupt Carly and pry her lose from her friends' obnoxious impact, informed by no other than aforementioned Melissa Robinson. Malika's plan had been that of inviting Fredward to the school ball, a girls' choice, but it had not worked out as well as possible. But this time around, her task was a much easier one, after all.

But how easy would it really be to reaniomate Regilius Powers, and what would the consequences be … for Rex himself, for Robbie Shapiro, for his "friends", for the whole of Hollywood among whose founders he had been, inspite of not getting widely acknowledged for that, for, like Fawn Leibowitz and Charles Galloway, he had been deemed a spaz by those with more powers and more perverted evilness, such as the Reese family and the clan of the Fujisaki.[7:2]


7.2 The New Slap

As aforementioned, Robert Shapiro was working for the school's newspaper, really just an online journal by now, known as The Slap. But the journal appeared to turn more or less lame, and Robbie was accordingly looking for better ways to make sense of it.

Megan had heard about the problem and suggested to let Robert work along with aforementioned Angela Crabtree who had recently been rejected by the major broadcasting corporations, although she did not remember why — something which was certainly just the result of another mean campaign by Hollywood bosses like Malcolm Reese, Gustavo Rocque, Arthur Griffin, or similar creeps. She only sensed the evil cheerio co-captain Hayley Steele behind it, and that was certainly worth a closer examination.

Victoria Vega had suggested Robert to cover more interesting topics concerning the life and works of the students of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, and the journalist freak picked it up in a way that had by no means been expected by the gifted Latina actress, more precisely, he was doing it in the style of a tabloid press reporter, and the assistance of Angela Crabtree was not going to make this any less obnoxious for his fellow students. This was leading to a new, improved, and upgraded version of the good old Slap, a version which would render some students mad at Victoria for having come up with that less than victorious idea.


7.3 The Sky Store

Caitlín Valentine was a totally shallow-minded bimb wench, and she was totally obsessed with purchasing useless clutter just because it looked cute. This made her similar to one of Zoey Brooks's former best friends named Nicole Bristow, just with the fundamental difference that the latter's cuteness tick was usually restricted to boys.

Cat was o Irish ancestry, and in order to express this, she had died her usually brown hair all red, at least as far as possible. The hair colour she had purchased, like so many other items she wasted her parents' bucks on, from some online shop known as Sky Store.

Unfortunately, Robert Shapiro seemed to have started hitting on her since the day when he finally understood that Trinidad Vega was not going to like him, an experience that must have hurt him badly indeed.

OK, that was not my problem for the moment, but I was very much worried about Caitlín's steadily growing debts, well, soon er or later, her parents would notice and probably cancel the credit card, but that would not really do her much good, for she would most likely just use other sources of income, such as … no, even thinking about this had got the potential of making me vomit all over the sinful pavement of Los Angeles, paved with failed dreams, hopes drowned in the permanently raging quagmire of perversion and corruption.

There needed to be a way to do something about it, and I had already asked Megan for that case. But this time, Fawn Leibowitz had got a better idea, although she would have preferred to punish Victoria by letting her best friend slip into a state of hopeless decadence. Claire Sawyer, a senior at her school, videlicet: James K. Polk, was an aspiring future lawyer, and she knew all laws by heart, hopefully even one able to protect Caitlín from sliding deeper into her misfortune.

I tried to make more sense of the sky store and the "goods" sold in there, most of them reminded me quite a bit of the inventions made by Quinndelyn Pensky which appeared to be usually promising, but often leading to way less pleasant side effects, especially those made since Quinn had started squandering her precious life on coxcomb Logan Reese. The catastrophe of the techfoots jumped immediately into my mind, and it was so obvious that the products marjketed by Sky Syore were no less dangerous, but this was a problem fixable by some decent engineer such as Melinda Crenshaw, whereas the problem of ruining the life of girls such as Caitlín Valentine was by no means as easy to repair.


7.4 Tickle Torture

Finally, Megan Parker had found a way to get Joshuah Nichols to fess up to having poisoned Trinidad Vega in order to help Victoria's career, using good oldfashioned tickle torture.

And indeed, Joshuah had never given up on being "Miss Nancy", he had just switched the medium, in other words, he had gone from Belleview's school journal to Backstage Hollywood, a journal run by the Association of Hollywood Trades and tied to a hebdomanary TV show of the same title. He had been drawn into this business when working as a manager for Drake Parker, but the latter had never come to know about the fact that his bigheaded step brother had continued his trouble corner in Hollywood, he had assumed "Miss Nancy" to be dug in the past forever. So, André had consulted "Miss Nancy", and the latter's reply consisted in an exact instruction of how to make Trina indisposed for one evening, something he had not hesitated executing on

That revelation had been really embarrassing for Joshuah, and he hoped that Megan would, among all other people, not tell Drake about his side job as a columnist for Backstage Hollywood.

By the way … Joshuah had git his mean idea of poisoning Trinidad from the way he had accidentally started Drake's big career. A few years ago, Drake had won a rock guitar signed by one of his idols, Devin Malone from Zero Gravity.[7:3] Unfortunately Josh had trashed the whole thing by accident and then bought a new alike-looking instrument for him and got it signed by the established rock idol. Somehow, Josh had injured the right hand of Malone badly, disabling him from performing his impending concert, and he had suggested Drake as a drop in replacement. Drake had really hit the stars with his performance and skyrocketed.

Now, even I believed that this had been an accident hand that Josh had only become such a dangerous "creature" — which happened to be Drake's code name for Mindy Crenshaw — once he had confirmed as Drake's manager, and that had not occured until two years later.

Maybe Josh also hoped to be able to impress his on-and-off girlfriend Melinda by applying the binary poison in order to hurt Trinidad, and maybe he had learned from Mindy to get people framed.


7.5 Angie's Intervention

As aforementioned, Megan Parker had hired Angelea Crabtree from nearby Lakewood in order to cover the scandalous stories surrounding Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, and now the aspiring journalist arrived in order to do so, right in time in order to help Robert Shapiro out of his current crisis. Angie and Robbie would soon release 'The Slap from its current problems by publishing the truth about Trinidad Vega's sudden failure during the première of Make it shine!

The first interesting report had been about Sinjin van Cleef who was maintaining a collection of the most interesting teeth in the history of America, especially those of relatives of former presidents. Then he wanted to switch to zooming in on Victoria Vega in order to exhibit some of her disgusting habits, but the arrival of his colleague from the other end of the county changed his mind. "André has poisoned Trina? Wow, I would not have thought of this, bit it is definitely water on the mills of The Slap."


7.6 Consternation

The last episode of The Slap had gon online the night before due to having been pushed mercilessly by no other than Robert Shapiro, and this morning only a few pupils had read it. But here in the locker halls, this was already enough to make news spread like wildfire, even largely exaggerated ones.

In the sadomasochistically disturbed brains of the kids, André Harris had not just disabled the tongue of Trinidad for one night, but he had tred to murder her, and everything for Victoria's sake, making her look like having even deliberately instigated him.

Jade West was the most interested in these news, for she had never stopped distrusting Victoria and was now glad to have found a reason to get the cute Latina expelled from Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts and thus removed from Beck Oliver's life.

And Victoria Vega … well … she was not in the best mood after finally understanding what all the rumours flooding the excessively noisy locker halls of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts were really about, and of course she knew that she had not done anything bad to her elder sister. And she was torn as of whether to believe Robert Shapiro's story or to believe in André's feigned innocence.

Only flat-broke Caitlín Valentine did not join in the rumour wave, she just wondered "what is all this supposed to mean". Alas, nobody among the students, teachers, or staff of Pacific Coast Academy was now able to give the bimbo wench an objective answer.

The bell called us kids into our classrooms, for me that was another boring class of Arthur Gradstein,[7:4] and this partially resolved the current tensions,


7.7 Victoria runs away.

The big recess had come, and the terrifying noise was increasing once again beyond any sensitive limit. Victoria was completely on the edge, really just over it, and she was finally starting to belive the news spread by The Slap after having loaded the latest episode into her pear phone and read the unadorned truth about Andre' onslaught on her busty sister's health, even though just a temporary one. This truth was apparently too much for her to bear, as she had always had most confidence in the afro american song writer and almost been in love with him since her first days at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts. But his evil deed was not forgivable, so she grabbed the creep and pushed him rudely against Jade, ordering her to cut him into pieces and eat him alive. She had got the latter idea from Jade's habit of talking about cruel monsters, and from the goth girl's obsession with scissors, something to be dealt with later on.

A few kids had to separate Victoria from the rest, but the cute Latina shouted all over the place how much she hated André for his evil deed, and then she ran away like a fury and would not be seen for a few days.

Fawn Leibowitz was also thoroughly pleased because her evil opponent had screwed up completely, although this would not really help her to get back into Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.


7.8 The Scissor Girl

Jade sighed for relief when she saw Victoiria escape from sight, as she had always been looking forward for such a day, well, at least since she had caught Beck and Voctoria making out in front of her eyes. But she just shook her head and refrained from following the Latina's suggestion, as she had decided to be on a low-fat diet, and André was not exactly what she needed.

And now it is time to talk about Jade alias "Scissor Girl" and her obsession with those cutting tools, items that were apparently shortwares and thus sold in a haberdashery.[7:5] Given that I wanted to run my own, at least one day. I was certainly interested in looking up Jade's sources for scissors. And this made me sneak away after classes and follow Jade in order to retrieve the necessary informations.

Unfortunately, I was not careful enough and got caught, probably also because of zooming in — of course just with my eyes — on Jade West's carefully tattooed pentagram. The goth cgirl was — and even I had to understand that — not exactly pleased by my way of gazing at the thing. "Pavel, what are you doing here … or should I say … Nevel Papperman?"

I gasped as she had apparently caught me and figured my identity, but when had she come to know about this? And had she been silent all the time for some obscure reason, whatever it was? I better started treambling, althoiugh I was already dead and was not sure what exactly would happene when Jade would cut me open from uvula to pancreas and … whatever she would do afterwards.

Fortunately, the goth queen had got a better usage for her currently wielded pair of scissors, made of French stainless steel. She was using them in order to cut the bossoms off flowers, and I hated flowers, because they were dangerous toilets for bugs and other creeping things, so I cheered for her activity. She admitted to having seen me on Nevelocity and heard about my obsession with haberdashery, and thus she preferred to refrain from running the blades of her scissors through my guts, as originally envisioned. But she appeared worried, anyways, because I had spotted her tattoo — which was nothing unusual for a pupil of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts — and because I had been trying — most likely unlike anyone else — to make some deeper sense of it.

I mentioned the legend of the seal of Solomon and his deals with seven demons in order to build the legendary Temple Of Zion, according to the Testament Of Solomon. "The demons have been locked into pods, but upon the destruction of Zion, they got released and …" I panted heavily because I knew that the same destiny was awaiting Hollywood. The temple of Herod had been lasting for one hundred years until the destruction by the hands of Vespasianus, something not even John Ben Zakkai, one of the leading rabbis of Jerusalem, had tried to prevent. Zion had to fall in order to let the voice of Jerusalem survive. In any case, the demons had been released and were now haunting mankind again, over and over.

Jade finally broke down and admitted to being practising the commerce with demons in order to become a great movie maker, and one of the demons she was using in order to build her career was Beck Oliver. "He is really disgusting and abusing me, but I have no other way of establishing my reputation as a screenwright for extreme horror movies, especially in virtue of. My first success had been the American version of Japanese horror movie Shinnusha,[7:6] featuring frenzied ninjas using chopsticks in order to stab down everything in their way. And I don't seem top be able to control the demon for much longer … maybe a few years, but beyond that …" She would not have told me and let me get away that easily if she had not expected me, due to my knowledge about the history of the seal of the legendary king ofJerusalem, to be able to maintain the control over the demons, be it Beck or any others she had been invoking. Beck just happened to be the most demanding and most dangerous of all.

I panted heavily, and I had to admit to knowing a lot about the theory and the history of magical seals, especially their geometrical foundations, but I had never been able to dive seriously into the pernicious waters of demonological practice, at least not yet.

But there was one hope in sight, and I remembered that Megan had ordered the assistance of some expert from Seattle, "Magic" Malika Ritter, in order to restore the very humanity of Regilius Powers. With some luck, Malika was also an expert for conjuring and controlling demons, able to support Jade in an appropriate manner.


7.9 Reanimation

Finally, the witch from Seattle had arrived in Los Angeles in order to take care of Robert's jinxed doll, which would not be all that difficult now that the dweeb was distracted by his new girlfriend Angela Crabtree.

Malika also deemed herself to some extent able to help Jade with her problem with the archdemon Beck Oliver whom she identified temptatively as Sabaoth, one of the worst possible demons. "He really leeches on Jade's health, it seems, and will leave her crippled in seven years or so." Unfortunately, Jade would not simply accept a suggestion on the lines of trashing Beck Oliver and giving up on her career as a screenwright for extreme horror films.

But now it was the right time for Malika Ritter to take care of the task she had originally been hired for by Megan Parker, and that was the control of Regilius Powers, now looking like a totally harmless doll that would only appear humanised when operated by ventriloquist Robert Shapiro. She panted heavily and recited some extremely cool magic formulæ from the middle ages.

If someone had been expecting that the doll would explode into a puff of smoke and just leave the live Regilius Powers in its place, he or she would have been severely disappointed. After the process, Malika explained that the co-founder of Hollywood would return to its orginal shape during the following day due to some delay caused by the current moon phase and other cosmical vibrations.

OK, so that was as good as the release of Regilius Powers from his century-old curse would get.


7.10 Closing The Shop

Claire Sawyer had acted fast and scared the living hell out of the irresponsible people running sky stores.

It was not hard to figure that teenagers using their parents' credit cars against their will and without their knowledge were not only unfortunate incidents, but they happened to be the rock-solid base of the customers' body of Sky Store. Two years ago, a certain Lafe Berkowitz had struck record debts due to his purchases of items sold via Sky Store.

Claire was tempted to sue the whole of the store on the behalf of the teenage victims, but she was not really a lawyer and needed an intern's license in order to do anything like that. Megan suggested her grandpa from Yakima, a pensionate shark, as a mentor for the future lawyer. Soon thereupon, the Sky store would start to cancel all the business and to return the money injustly obtained from teenagers.

Unfortunately, Claire Sawyer had also got some unpleasant news for me, but these will be a subject for a later chapter.

For now, Megan Parker had got the glorious idea of getting Caitlín Valentine to meet her fellow victim Lafe in order to recover faster from her addiction to spending money on useless cute stuff.

Last but not least, Claire had indeed discovered a connection between Quinn Pensky and Sky Store, and that was like the following: Her fiancé Logan Reese was still forcing Quinn to make cheap and worthless inventions and spam the market with them in order to keep her busy and not miss her life as a true scientist. Thus the coxcomb was the current owner of Sky Store, and he was now going to face serious troubles.


7.11 Robbie's Shock

The morning after, Robbie Shapiro woke up and saw nobody iother than grown-up Regilius Powers lying in his bed, right by his side. "Rex? Rex? Reeeex!" He started rattling with his teeth and shivering all over, and he hoped for all of it being just one of hos terrible night mares, and he started punching himself dizzy or even to cut himself with shards of broken glass in order to wake up from it, alas, it was not a dream …

At least that was what I imagined because I had not been there when this happened, and the official reason for Robert Shapiro's absence from today's classes was obviously a different one.

But there was no way to giuess that Robbie's experience of seeing a suddenly grown and alive Regilius Powers, and it would not easy for him to recover from the supershock until the great public première of the submarine play with Robert and Trinidad.

The latter was still in a stinky mood and threatened to kill Victoria, should the latter dare to show up near her before she was a big star and maybe ready to forgive.

In any case, the envisioned performance would not be an easy enterprise for anyone at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.


Chapter 8 Finale

This was the evening of the public première of Submarine, and the hall was chock full, including Drake Parker who was here in order to perform his song Up Periscope! as the theme of the musical. It had not been easy for Megan to trick her brother into participating, but it had worked out in the end because she knew the weak spots of the rock idol very well … after fifteen years of experience, this was almost inevitable.

Another song he had prepared was Hollywood Girl, and it was hard to understand that the song had been made by an excessively shallow-minded rake like Drake, and that already four years ago … and indeed, it was not Drake's lyrics, but it had been written by aforementioned Adelaide Singer. Megan had fooled Drake somehow into accepting the lyrics as his own.

So it had been Megan's plan to convince the pupils into seeing the horrible perils of life at Hollywood, and especially Victoria Vega, but the latter had disappeared a few days ago and not been seen again … or maybe she was snooping around in some ugly disguise that did not make her look like the cute Latina she used to be?

As expected, Principal Eichman had not allowed for performing the musical as an official event of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, and this had been the great chance for Helen Baxter to demonstrate that she would have been the better, the one and only really qualified dean of this illustrious school for future Hollywood stars. Of course she was as much of a creep as all the other influential persons in the Hollywood scene, such as Malcolm Reese, Arthur Griffin, Allan Crimp,[8:1] Nicholas Cage,[8:2] Hawke,[8:3] Gustavo Rocque, Jane Kennedy, Brad Eichman, and so on.

Of course as this was not an official event of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, it was not possible to hoist it in the halls of the school, or get a production team to do so. But fortunately Helen Baxter had got the absolutely necessary contacts in the scene and she did not have to fear the high costs of over ten thousand bucks needed for making the performance possible. Ashley Blake had suggested to perform the whole thing on the very campus of Pacific Coast Academy, and this would be a really big event over there. One other advantage was the fact that many sponsors of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts were also involved in the board of Pacific Coast Academy, and this would make it easier to convince them to fire Eichman for his inept policy, should the public première of Submarine turn out as a big success.

Pacific Coast Academy had got a drama club as well, advised by one Mr. Fletcher,[8:4]which was certainly happy to host this very interesting event. He was an old friend of Sikowitz and commented a lot on their glorious past as actors in mediocre rôles in less successful Hollywood movies.

Ashley Blake had now reveiled the reasons why she was not a student at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, unlike Beck Oliver and other star actors. More precisely, Helen Baxter had always dissuaded her ad her parents from enrolling at that school because she knew that Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts was only a stumbling block for truly creative acting, definitely not suited as a trampoline for an astonishing career, only for mediocre actors in mediocre movies. For the same avail, Lola Martinez had never made it there, and Victoria Vega, according to Helen Baxter, should mot definitely not have started to waste her talent like the rest but go to a decent school and fight the hard way. Well, the latter was still not here in order to watch the big performance of her busty sister, or she had at least not been identified by any of us.

Drake was particularly pleased because he was now back at the place of his first public concert outside San Diego county, and although most of the kids he had met there had already graduated, he started immediately feeling at home.

Helen Baxter was now ready to give a long and introductory speech about the virtues of the impeending performance. Unfortunately she took a lot of undeserved praise for herself, and this had already been seen coming by Megan Parker who had only reluctantly chosen Helen as a replacement for completely boneheaded Eichman. Then she thanked also Styacey Dillsen, a recent Pacific Coast Academy graduate who had been responsible for the stage set construction of the musical, assisted by her future husband Sinhjin van Cleef. The submarine's internals were made all of cotton swabs and white glue, which was Stacey's big speciality, combined with industrial resines, which were the unique speciality of Sinjin van Cleef.

Drake was now in the middle of the stage, right in time for performing the theme, and in thsi moment, Robert Shapiro and Trinidad Vega joing in. The criolla was tempted to sing along, but her voice would have spoiled Drake's perfect sound and thus scared away most of the onlookers, and Helen was not willing to risk such a pernicious course of the events. Trina was still angry at her sister Victoria, and she was aklso ready to punch André hard in the face for having destroyed her big chance in Make it shine! Was she still able to perform somewhere near convincingly?

Robert Shapiro had been in an extremely critical situation as well due to the recent reanimation of Regilius Powers, the long-since forgotten co-founder of parts of Hollywood. Still the latter had not shown up in the public and been tamely hiding under the bed of his former puppet master, but he was unlikely to let this occasion slip past.

Fortunately, the untimely mood of Robert and Trinidad would not have any impact on the quality of the musical, as Drake was ready to improvise any time, thus saving the performance over and over again, as the "stars" kept on floundering and missing their proper lines every other moment.

The onlookers started applauding anyways, and more so from minute to minute, making Robert and Trinidad absolutely irrelevant for the whole scene.

The proper musical was now over, but this was not the end of the event, ad Drake announced a special song for a special young lady. "Fife years ago, the song Hollywood Girl just came flying into my face, and I still do not know where it had come from in the first place, and about whom it was about. But now I know who is the real Hollywood girl, as opposed to just an imaginary character in a song. This song is for you, Victoria Vega!" He smiled into the audience and, actually, she was there, using a very uncomely disguise.

Tori's mask fell off, and she wondered how Drake had recognised her, there must have been something magical involved, right? In any case, she smiled and marched to the stage, and shook hands with Drake Parker, and she was even allowed to snuggle close to while during his performance of the song that, by magicalprovision, must have been written just for her. During the following minutes, Victoria understood extremely well that Hollywood was a world that would sooner or later cripple and break her mentally.

The song was over, and Drake whispered into Victoria's ears "I will always be waiting for you!" And indeed, he would never have another girl again until the young pop star would be old ebough to be with him.

Until now, Regilius Powers had been hiding in the audience, but now Robert Shapiro started praising himself for his great performance, and of course this was nowhere near justified. In this moment, his former doll jumped up and corrected him vigorously. They started arguing just as in the times of the jinxed puppet. Helen had to intervene and wonder who he was. Only in this moment did the foundation figure of Hollywood stand up and speak the truth about the history of the imperium of Hollywood, and he pronounced his severe discontent with the ways Hollywood had gone, especially with the inept management of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts. This would certainly be enough to get Eichman removed from his position, but the criticism also attacked the current powermongers like Malcolm Reese and Arthur Griffin, something which seemed to be ignored. Powers especially confessed having used demons in order to build Hollywood, scary creatures that he had tried to control by means of holy sigils, and that he had not been able to control them appropriately, an audacity he had paid dearly for by losing most of his life force and getting his existence reduced to one as a rag doll where he was been suffering for many a decade until now. He hoped his example to be a lesson for anyone trying without having the appropriate prior knowledge. He would soon die because Malika was not able to upkeep his life force for long, but he would recede from his limbs in piece, not in despair like other people.

Jade West was listening with extreme interest, and she sighed deeply as she had understood the warning examplified by the story of Regilius Powers, whence she would give up on Beck Oliver and learn to deal with the power of the pentagram appropriately. She would join a study circle lead by Wayne "Fire Wire" Gilbert who had understood the dangers of abuse of powers of incompletely understood symbols from reading regularly all those cartoons from DC and Marvel, stories full of failed heroes and villains. The last example of such a failure in the world of Hollywood had been Charles R. Galloway, an uncle of Malcolm Reese who had tried to fight the economical disparity of Hollywood examplified by Mr. Hodges[8:5] who had been — and still was — a teacher for economy at Pacific Coast Academy, but most importantly the leading head of Hollywood's financial mafia that controlled the money traffic of the great movie and record producers of Los Angeles.

So, what happened to Beck Oliver, the hot and demonic teenage actor who had been a creeping peril for Jade's mental sanity for over two years? He happened to stumble into his colleague Lola Vega who did not mind that he was a devil, all she saw in him was a good kisser. Well, Lola was probably sort of a demon as well, given that she had ruined the life of Chase Matthews in a diabolical manner by telling him to make Zoey jealous by hiring Trinidad Vega.

Quinn Pensky did also finally find the necessary courage to give up on dandy Logan Reese who had abused her all the time by forcing her to invent useless crap i n order to loot naïve and innocent teenagers, and she would stick to a boy she was able to trust, a certain Simon Nelson Cook from Santa Clarita with whom she would be able to work on really cool inventions.

But I have not yet mentioned the most important visitors, triggered by Melissa Robins, aforementioned old friemnd of Carly Shay that had been dumped in favour of Samantha Puckett. Not only her father, but the whole division of the US American submarince force was present upon this première performance, including no other than Colonel Steve Shay, father of Carly and Spencer Shay, and also of Steve Shay junior alias "Crazy Steve".

Melissa Robinson had told her father and his colleagues that Samantha Puckett and Fredward Benson had got an incredibly obnoxious influence on Carly, and that this was all the way due to Spencer Shay's complete lack of competence as a guardian. And after tonight's activity of a certain young adult rock idol as a responsible pop star, singing wonderful Hollywood Girl, Colonel Shay had decided to transfer the guardianship over Carly to no other person than her big cousin Drake.

The webshow was thus finally busted, especially as also Claire Sawyer had figured that it was illegal to promise new cars to kids under sixteen — and thus without a driver's license — without the consent of a responsible adult. The show was thus declared cancelled, and Spencer would be fined severely for leaving me the car. Unfortunately, the miserable deed of driving without a license would be costly for me as well, and I would have to work in a scissor factory sweatshop for the next five years in order to make up for the damage and the fine. But Megan would wait for me until then, and even until yet another life, if necessary, so nothing would go wrong.

But what about the destiny of Hollywood, the reason for which Megan had revived me and sent to Los Angeles in the first place? Well, since the ultimate speech of Regilius Powers, the words of the prophets were written on each and every wall and street of the city of broken dreams, for everyone passing by to read and to decide whether to ignore them or not, and nobody would ever have an excuse again for not heeding the warnings, regardless of the exact moment in which the final blow would be dealt to this city.

THE END


1:1:


This assumes that Nevel Papperman did not survive the end of The iCarly Show: iGive Away A Car, and all later appearances of Nevel in the canon are but dreams within a dream.

1:2:


Don Flanken is a cameo in The iCarly Show: iGive Away A Car to give away a car as an award for a quiz within Carly's show.

1:3:


Henry Doheny is a guest character from Drake & Josh: The Great Doheny.

1:4:


This wish is featured in The iCarly Show: iGive Away A Car.

2:1:


This identified Brad the producer from The iCarly Show: iCarly Saves TV with Principal Eichman from Victorious.

2:2:


Morgan is a guest character from The iCarly Show: iCarly Saves TV.

2:3:


Amber Tate is a guest character from The iCarly Show: iCarly Saves TV.

2:4:


This combines Earnie from The iCarly Show: iWas A Pageant Girl with Lane from Victorious.

2:5:


Wade Collins and Davide Arciuletta are guest characters from The iCarly Show: iRock The Votes which also mentions America Sings.

2:6:


This is seen in Drake & Josh: Helen's Surgery.

3:1:


Harper is a guest character from The iCarly Show: iCarly Saves TV.

He is also identified with same actor's self-insert in True Jackson VP: True Celebrity.

3:2:


This is evidenced by Robbie Shapiro in Victorious: Stage Fighs.

3:3:


Trinidad Vega is here identified with Rebecca, a guest character from Zoey 101:Chase's Girlfriend et alibi.

3:4:


These drops are mentioned in Victorious: Pilot.

3:5:


Zaplook is a search engine occasionally featured in The iCarly Show.

3:6:


This tool appears in Zoey 101: The Curse Of PCA.

3:7:


This identifies Drake Parker with Drake Bell from Zoey 101: Spring Fling.

3:8:


This Wendy is identified with a Wendy mentioned in Zoey 101: Lola likes Chase.

3:9:


Ashley Blake is a guest character from Drake & Josh: Little Diva.

3:10:


Sandy Baldwin is a guest character from Drake & Josh: Lola likes Chase.

She is identified with Katie from Drake & Josh: Megan's New Teacher.

3:11:


Paige Howard is a guest character from Zoey 101: Paige At PCA.

3:12:


This identifies Mindy from Drake & Josh with the same actress's guest rôle in Zoey 101: Backpack.

3:13:


This happened in Drake & Josh: Honor Council.

3:14:


This is shown in Drake & Josh: The Smart Girl.

3:15:


Bert Beringer is a guest character in Zoey 101: Paige At PCA and Roller Coaster

3:16:


This refers to Drake Bell's third-party owned Hollywood Girl.

3:17:


Glazer is a guest character from Drake & Josh: Little Diva et alibi.

3:18:


Birnbaum is mentioned in Drake & Josh: Helen's Surgery.

3:19:


Jessica Warner is a reare cameo in The iCarly Show.

3:20:


In The iCarly Show: iFix A Popstar

3:21:


Miles Bambridge is a guest character from Bigtime Rush: Big Time Live.

3:22:


Angela Crabtree is a guest character from The Troop: There is no "I" in "Monster Hunter".

4:1:


Missy Robinson is a guest star from The iCarly Show: iReunite With Missy.

4:2:


This is a third-party owned song by Drake Bell.

5:1:


Fawn Leibowitz alias Ponnie is a test character from Victorious: Crazy Ponnie.

5:2:


Takato is a guest character from Zoey 101: Chasing Zoey.

5:3:


Melinda Murray is a guest character from Bigtime Rush: Beck's Big Break.

5:4:


Kreuftlva is a guest character from True Jackson VP: True Parade.

5:5:


This play is featured in Victorious: Tori The Zombie.

5:6:


This play is mentioned in Victorious: Bird Scene.

5:7:


This alludes to third-party owned New York! New York by Frank Sinatra.

5:8:


Sophia Michelle is a guest character in Victorious: Tori The Zombie.

5:9:


Melanie Puckett is a guest character from The iCarly Show: iTwins.

5:10:


This is a third-party owned song featured in Victorious: Tori The Zombie.

6:1:


Various hotels of this name appear in Dan Schneider's collected works, this branch here is featured in Drake & Josh: Drake and Josh go Hollywood.

6:2:


This happened in Drake & Josh: Drake and Josh go Hollywood.

6:3:


Trisha Kirby is a guest character from Zoey 101: Bad Girl, here identified with Samantha Puckett.

6:4:


Charles Galloway and his legend is featured in Zoey 101: The Curse Of PCA.

6:5:


This identifies Crazy Steve from Drake & Josh with the same actor's cameo in Victorious: Jade dumps Beck.

6:6:


This brand of shoes is mentioned in True Jackson VP: Amanda hires a Pink.

6:7:


This shoe vendor is featured in The iCarly Show: iPromote Techfoots.

6:8:


This occurred in Drake & Josh: The Storm.

6:9:


Addie Singer from Unfabulous is here identified with cameo figure Addie from Drake & Josh: Honor Council.

6:10:


Cf. Drake & Josh: Pilot

7:1:


This is guest rôle "Magic" Malika from The iCarly Show: iSpeeddate with a surname borrowed from the same actress's rôle in some third-partie owned show.

7:2:


Mr. Fujisaki is a cameo in Bigtime Rush: Big Time Party

7:3:


Cf. Drake & Josh: The Guitar

7:4:


Arthur Gradstein is mentioned in Victorious: WiFi In The Sky and in The iCarly Show: iLike Jake.

7:5:


This assumes the traditional British usage of the word.

7:6:


Shinnusha is featured in Zoey 101: Drippin' Episode.

8:1:


Allan Crimp is a guest character in Drake & Josh: Really Big Shrimp.

8:2:


Nicholas Cage is a cameo figure in Spectacular!

8:3:


Hawke is a guest character in Bigtime Rush: Big Time Sparks.

8:4:


Fletcher is a guest character from Zoey 101: The Play.

8:5:


Hodges is a guest character from Zoey 101: The Curse Of PCA.