Breaking Point

From the Story Arc: Sometimes the Mask Comes Off

Previous Story in the Arc: The Final Straw by October Star II (Tuesday, June 07, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: The Warning by October Star II (Thursday, June 09, 2005)

(posted Wednesday, June 08, 2005)

Alexei spun the council agent around, using him as a body shield against the Vortex machine gunner. A Galaxy came around the corner and immediately began blasting, filling the air around October Star with the familiar purple tendrils. He tumbled forward and caught the gunner with a blast, sending him flying over the ledge and tumbling down a ravine. Another group of six Nebula stormtroopers exited the hangar, and Ocober Star found himself is a very dire position. Soviet Winter’s hyper reflexes had taken him well out of fire range, and Alexei wasn’t sure he had seen Star stumble on the fortified position.

He had been at it for hours. Fatigue had set in long ago and ran it’s course. Alexei was still functioning on pure piss and vinegar. Bleary eyed and aching from constant brutal fighting, his reflexes began to fail him. A sharp kick to the back, followed by a rifel butt to the neck and a flurry of punches, his head swam. As he fell to his knees, he felt the sharp familiar tug of the Paragon Transporter system

As he tried to leave, an intern ran up to him. “Mr. Nikolski?”

Star spun on his heel. “Shto?” The doctor was young, not much older than Althea. “I have work to do, boy. Do not keep me long.”

“Mr. Nikolski, this is your ninth transport in the last twelve hours. Your bloodwork is coming back with low sugars and proteins, and your vitals are strained.” He placed a hand on the hero’s arm. “Sir, you can barely stand. You should go home and get some bed rest before you are hospitalized.”

Alexei rubbed his eyes, trying to clear the fog. “Spaciba for your concern. I will take it under consideration.” Pulling himself free of the doctor’s grip, he placed the bill in his hand. “If you are truly wanting to help, get a few of these charges dropped.” “His eyes narrowed as he dipped his head closer to the doctor’s face. “A teammate was kidnapped by the council. I was last one with her. It is my responsibility to find her. Do you understand?”

The young doctor swallowed audibly at hearing the pain in Alexei’s voice. He looked around to make sure nobody was listening, then whispered conspiratorially. “I can’t do anything about the two before midnight, but I’ll erase the ones since I went on shift, but you have to go home and get some rest. You are going to do her no good if you end up in the hospital. Just a couple hour nap. Trust me.” He pulled a pad out of his lab coat and wrote a script. “Go to the front desk and have them fill this. It will help with the aches and pains.”

Alexei patted him on the shoulder. “Spaciba. The CCCP will remember your kindness.” He turned and took the elevator. As he stepped outside, Star crumpled the prescription and tossed it into the garbage can. The smile he had put on his face for the doctor faded to the dispassionate slate he had grown used to. “I don’t need drugs. Blood will suffice.”

His radio crackled to life. “Comrade Star, did you fall?”

“It is nothing Comrade Winter. It was…it was nothing. I ducked at the wrong time.” Alexei rubbed his stiff neck, and then activated his thrusters. “I am back in route to Striga Isle. My ETA is less than five.”

“That is a big negative.” Belladonna Aura cut in. “Star, your bio-monitor is giving me readings with big red lights on them. When was the last time you ate or got any sleep?”

Alexei growled at the woman’s meddling. Composing himself, he taps his comm. Unit. “Bella, there is time enough for sleep when I am dead. I will stop and get some Mountain Dew, and will be right as rain.”

“Negative!” If she was trying to hide a motherly tone, she was failing horribly. “Alexei, you are exhausted. Your BP is up, your heart rate is erratic and your EKG is a mess. You’ve been going for over twenty-four hours. Come to HQ. There’s a cot and some of Thea’s leftovers here. You are to stand down. That’s an order.”

He knew Red Saviour was right to put the blue girl on monitor duty, but he did not have the patience to deal with her. His mind raced.. The last thing he needed was interference. He had a few solid leads, he just needed to press a few toadies a little harder. “Bella, I cannot sleep on one of those fignya cots.” He sighed with his comm. unit on, to give the appearance of giving up. “I will return home, eat something there and take a nap. Misha is probably missing me.”

“Are you sure?”

He ground his teeth. She was suspicious. If he didn’t go home, she would tack the suit. He would have to leave it if he expected to get anything done. “Da. No worries. I will leave my pager on my nightstand. If you get word, page it, I will wake up.”

“Alright Star. Get some rest.”

Murdock cut in, on a private channel. “Star, don’t worry. I’ll be on duty for a while yet. If I hear anything, I’ll page you. When this is all over, you and I need to go out for a drink.”

Spaciba.” He switched over to the main channel. “Spaciba, comrades. I know she is in good hands with all of you on duty. October Star out.” He floated up to his apartment window and let himself in. He stripped off the suit and quickly jumped into the shower for an icy jolt. He quickly changed into civilian clothing, grabbed his pager and headed out the door.

He mused to himself as he locked the door to his apartment. “If I cannot find my beloved as October Star, I will find her as Alexei Nikolski. “ He quickly ran down the stairs and headed out to Atlas Park. One of soldiers he had beaten had told him of a new operation that was being kept very quiet there. He looked at the address on the scrap of paper, and cracked his knuckles. He didn’t need blasters. They had taken his woman. They would see what a Russian man was capable of.

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Russian Glossary for Unlearned Amerikanski readers

Shto? - What?

fignya - crap, junk