The buzz on thriller Nine Scorpions, just acquired by Pocket v-p/executive editor Julie Rubenstein and senior editor Gary Goldstein, in a six-figure, hard/soft deal negotiated by agent Al Zuckerman, was that it was a Striptease/Pelican Brief hybrid. Rubenstein told PW it's not quite that but the story by Paul Levine, previously author of Morrow's Jake Lassiter series, is about a sexy woman with a troubled past who is planted as a Supreme Court clerk by an airline that has a pending court case. She then falls in love and g s on the run with the youngest of the scorpions, er, Justices. Zuckerman told PW that Stephen J. Cannell -- whose own King Con is in stores now and who has signed a new $1 million, two-book deal with Morrow -- has taken an option on the book. Pocket plans a summer 1998 publication.