The Belief of Child: A Christmas Story

From the Story Arc: A Christmas Tale

(posted Wednesday, December 22, 2004)

Reds-Star had been wandering all day in King's Row. It was his day off and the thought of him losing another home was almost too much to think about. It was something that Comrade Red Saviour had said about him not being one of the team, because he believed in the season of Christmas like his father had taught him.

Such blind hate for a single wonderful holiday was almost too much to handle. When she insulted him, calling him a spy for the Czarist, his most hated enemy, he thought that he was going to go into a rage and rip Red Saviour's arms off and beat her with them. He thought how strong she is and knows that he would have not gotten far, but the idea of choking the life out of her made him smile a little.

Red Saviour was a hard leader and quick to anger, but Red-Star had seen her softer side as well. Maybe it was that she did not want to show any emotion that could be thought of as weakness. Red-Star did not have the answer; only Red Saviour knew her own heart. Red-Star knew that his time, because of his beliefs, was going to be a challenge in the future.

"I have lost too much. Too many family and friends I have let go because of things out of my control. I have grown to care for these folks as my own family, and just because one member of the team does not see the wonder of this season, I will have to leave. To hell with her and her ass-backward ideals! I am a child of Perestroika, a proud son of Mother Russian. And I believe in the ideas of our Russian Fathers and the Motherland. No one, not even the Red Saviour can take that from me. I know the only course of action is to leave the team, but it will be hard to start over again. Damn you, you uncaring bitch."

Red-Star had a revelation: because he cared, maybe he was more like his American counterpart. Deep down, even with all of the genetic tinkering that the scientist did to him, they could not take away all of the Statesman's qualities he shared. Justice, Truth, Strength, and Honor, even caring about the small things in life. Just last week he had saved a little girl's kitten from a tree. The joy on her face, to see her smile made him warm all over. Here in Paragon City he was a hero for the people, not a weapon being used by the state. Red-Star stopped and saw a picture of the Statesman on the front of Newsweek. "Interesting my friend. Maybe I am more like you than I have thought. All of my life I was raised to hate you. The day we met I was going to plant you into the ground and show the superiority of Russian Might."

Red-Star picked up the Newsweek and paid the clerk. He began to walk down the street. Within several blocks, he came upon a robbery in progress. A gang of Skulls was robbing one of the many orphanage that had opened up since after the Rikti Invasion. Red-Star looked around for some of the younger heroes or the police to take care of this matter. No one was responding to the calls of help from children and Orphanage Director.

Red-Star thought to himself, "As always, these younger snot-nosed punks are off fighting the forces of evil and making a name for themselves, and NOT taking care of the folks who matter."

Red-Star moved into action. In a flash, he was on top of the first two Skulls standing in the doorway. A quick blow to the side of the head of one of them, and a jab to the stomach to the other and both of them were down on the ground. As Red-Star moved into the building he could see that one Skull had the children lined up against the wall. The rest of his crew was in the kitchen in the back stealing food for their hideout. Star moved on the lone Skull that was keeping an eye on the children.

He saw Red-Star and was about to cry out for help. Star was on him with speed he did not know he possessed. A quick blow to the midsection sent the skull crumpled to the floor. Before the children can turn around and cheer, Red-Star placed one finger to his lips and made a hushing sound.

The Director came over and whispered to Star. "Thank God you came. There are about ten more in the kitchen. I had the kids here in the common area reading a story to them when the Skulls broke in and lined us up against the wall. They said that they were here just for the food, and that no one would get hurt. What kind of monsters steal food from an orphanage?"

"I am not knowing sir, but I want you to get the children out. Get them across the street and call for the police I will deal with these scumbags. No matter what you here do not come back in till I come out."

As the Orphanage director got the kids across the street, he could hear a lot of shouting coming from the inside the building. With the kids safe he began to call the Paragon City Police Department.

As he hung the phone up, the last of the Skulls came running out of the orphanage, running in pure terror. A moment later, Red-Star was standing at the doorway watching the Skull run. The Director yelled at him that he was getting away. Red-Star puts his finger in the air giving the sign of "give me one second." At about 100 away from the door the skull was now in a full run. Red-Star threw a can of Soup he had gotten from the kitchen. It flew straight and true, hitting the skull in the back of the head. The thief crumpled down in a lump of flesh onto the sidewalk. The kids erupted in a cry of joy and pure delight.

The children ran across the street to their new hero of the day. The Director came up and began speaking.

"Thank you so much! How can we repay you, Red-Star?"

Star looked at the Director with wonder. "How do you know who I am? I am in street clothes. I did not think anyone knew me as of yet."

The director seemed a little taken aback. "You are well known here, Red-Star. Many of the children here are from Little Russia, here in Paragon. A lot of them look up to you and the CCCP. It was little Natasha over there that told me who you where when we had gotten outside."

Red-Star felt a tug on his pants leg. He looked down into the blue eyes of a little five year old girl. "You must be little Natasha."

The Little girl looked in wonder at one of her favorite heroes. "Yes, I am."

Red-Star scooped up the small child in his powerful arms. "Did the bad men scare you, my little one?"

"Yup, till you arrived, then when we were leaving the building I told the Director who you were, and I knew you would make it all better."

"I am glad I could help, my little one."

"I want to grow up and be big and strong like you and Red Saviour. Since I lost my Mommy and Daddy, can you and Red Saviour and the CCCP come and spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with us? You can read us stories and we can open presents together."

Before Red-Star could respond, the director of the orphanage spoke up. "Natasha, I am sure that the CCCP would love to come, darling, but they are a very important team. They have work to do in the city. I'm sorry, Red-Star. I didn't know she was going to ask you that."

Red-Star saw the disappointment in her face, and the tears beginning to well up in her big blue eyes. It touched his heart. "Tell you what, my little babushka. I will ask if my comrades from the CCCP can come and spend those days with you and your friends here. I know that I will be here." Little Natasha grins and gives him a hug. He puts down Natasha and kneels down near her. "I will see you in a few days little one."

As Red-Star got up, the director spoke up again. "I understand if you can't come back. You're a hero with a lot of other things to do. I'll explain to her that you were busy." As the director and Red-Star watched, Natasha played with her friends, telling them of the upcoming visit that Red-Star had promised her.

"No, Comrade I did not lie. I will be there for her and your children. If you will excuse me, I must now go." Red-Star gave the Director his card "If you and the children need anything at all, let me know."

"You've already done more than most of the other heroes in this city would do. You made a promise that will bring more joy to these children than any trinket or toy could. You have given them hope."

"Thank you comrade. I will see you in a few days. Till then, take care."

"Thank you, Red-Star."

As Red-Star headed out the doors of the orphanage, the Paragon PD had arrived and were cleaning up the skulls. About 20 feet from the door a voice called to Red-Star. "Privyet, comrade Star."

Star turned around, expecting to see one of the CCCP. "Privyet, comrade." Red-Star responds. Shock took over Red-Star's face. He was looking into the face of the Statesman himself.

"How do you know my name?"

"I know a lot about you, Red-Star. I have been wanting to meet you for some time."


"To see how much you are alike, and just to talk," Statesman said. "You see, ever since you walked off that boat in Independence Port, I have been watching you. Wanted to see that you did not become something I would have to stop later."

"You expected me to become a villain?" Red-Star growled. "I am impressed. You think you are the only one that is all high and mighty."

"No, no. You're missing the point. I knew of your creation a few months after you were created. I knew about the Scientist that you called your father. I knew you would turn out a force for good."

"What did you know about my father?"

"I had met him long ago in Germany, just after the Russians had defeated Hitler's Army. He was studying some of the experiments the Germans had been working on in Berlin." Statesman smiled. "He was a good man and a good heart."

"Yes. He was."

"I heard what you did for those kids. I just wanted to say I was proud of you. Look, no matter what happens with you here in Paragon City, you have a friend in me."

The Statesmen offered his hand to Red-Star. Red-Star looked at the Statesmen's hand, and shook it. "Thank you."

"Hey, no problem," Statesmen said. "I will see you later, Red-Star."

The Statesmen took flight, heading off for another mission that would place his life on the line for the people of the city. Red-Star began to walk back to the tram. Today had been interesting. He learned today that the faith of a child could change a heart.

Merry Christmas all.

Comrade Red-Star