From The Ashes

From the Story Arc: Little Fish, Big Pond

Previous Story in the Arc: In a Bad Way by October Star II (Monday, May 16, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: More Than the Sum of its Parts by October Star II (Tuesday, May 17, 2005)

(posted Tuesday, May 17, 2005)

Alexei tapped his foot impatiently as the Icon clerk scanned through the database for the order status on her computer. “I’m not seeing you in the system, sir. Are you sure it was this location?”

Da. I am quite certain. I am receiving call this morning saying repairs are complete.” He sighed angrily. “This costume is ochen important. Your salesperson was telling me that it would be safe to leave it and come back.”

A bead of sweat began to build on the young woman’s forehead. “I’m sorry sir, I’m just not finding your order in the computer.”

Alexei banged his fist on the counter, causing the girl to jump and several other patrons to turn and see what the commotion was. “Mne po barabanu! You will look in your system, and you will find my jedushka’s costume, or you will find a number of angry Soviet superheroes tearing apart store to find it ourselves.”

“Is there a problem, Amy?” A sharply dressed man walked up. He was wearing an impeccable suit and had a small silver tag with the word “manager” clipped to his lapel.

“I’m sorry Mr. Brooks.” She held out a hand to indicate Alexei. “Three days ago this gentleman brought in a vintage costume for repairs and restoration. He received a call this morning saying it was complete, but I’m not finding any record of him or the suit in our files.”

The man smiled and nodded as he turned to Alexei. “I understand your frustration, sir. If you can describe the suit to me, I will send one of my people in the back to find it for you.”

“Know you of hero of Great Patriotic War called October Star?” Alexei’s lips drew tight as the man shook his head lightly. Alexei fished in his pocket for his wallet, muttering. Opening the wallet, he pulled a picture of his grandfather that had been on the cover of Pravda when he died. “Here.” He handed the manager the picture. “It is made from reinforced cloth, bright red with golden stars, gloves and boots.”

The man smiled when he saw the picture. “Yes! I remember when this came in. I had Belinda do the repairs.” He turned to the clerk. “Check in Belinda’s out que, and on her workbench. If it isn’t there, look in storage C.” The girl nodded and rushed off, as he turned back to Alexei, handing back the picture. “Belinda is amazing when it comes to historical pieces. She has quite the touch for restoration. She does quite a bit of work for local museums.” He rubbed his palms together lightly. “It’s a beautiful example of ‘Golden Age’ costuming. Cold-war era Soviet costuming was full of patriotic and communist imagery. I’ve seen a few of those suits sell on eBay and at auction for thirty or forty thousand dollars. It’s quite a find. Is it for a private collection or are you displaying it somewhere?”

Alexei’s jaw set hard as he repressed an urge to punch the well-meaning man. “It was my grandfather’s suit when he was a hero in the Soviet Union, and now I wear it.”

The manger’s eyes grew wide in surprise. “Oh my! You actually fight crime in that?” The man tutted and shook his head. “Fifty years ago it was cutting edge, sir, but today...” His voice trailed off as he shook his head. “That suit is a piece of history, and apparently has some sentimental value as well. On the other hand, many heroes who have been around since the 50’s have redesigned their look to match a more modern time.”

Alexei shook his head. “But that is the suit of October Star. One cannot simply wear another costume and call themselves the same.”

The manager smiled and nodded knowingly. “As long as we keep some of the elementary design concepts, and just modernize it a bit, people will recognize you as the newest ‘evolution’ of the hero you bear the name of.” He looked around conspiratorially. “I tell you what. I’ll help you design a new look, and still incorporate the elements of the original suit that matter. The star on the chest. The shoulder pads. The sleek look of the suit. I’ll even toss in a discount for inconvenience with your original suit.”

Alexei rubbed his chin. Petrograd was rebuiling the suit, and had said some of the old systems would have to be totally replaced. New suit, new costume. It was not a bad thing. “Alright comrade. Perhaps it is time to take October Star into the twenty-first century. Let us see what you can do.”

To be continued
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Russian Glossary for unlearned Americanski readers

Ochen – Very

Mne po barabanu – I don’t care

Jedushka – grandfather

Great Patriotic War – World War Two