A Plan Interrupted

From the Story Arc: The Weight of the World

Previous Story in the Arc: Fire - Part II by Bestial Boy (Sunday, July 17, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: The Day Has Ended by Bestial Boy (Thursday, August 11, 2005)

(posted Sunday, July 17, 2005)

Zach had had a good workout, and Bestla had headed “home” for the night. Bestla used to sleep in the park, and Zach presumed that was where she was headed again, although she wouldn’t say. He was just about to head back home when a message came in from his contact that there had been a break in his investigation into a Rikti internal conflict. Apparently the Rikti leader they had captured was finally talking, and had revealed the coordinates of the Restructurist factions’ latest target.

Zach had to get over to Portal corp., and fast, but he was going to need help. Bestla was exhausted, and knowing her previous medical condition Zach was afraid to pull rank on her and force her into overdrive. No one knew if she could survive pushing herself like that, and Zach’s conscience was heavy enough without killing a comrade.

Zach sent out a message on his comm..” Attention all active units, is there anyone who can assist me with taking out some space monkeys?”

“Commissar! I….Its Belladonna, I just came on duty. I’d love…I mean, if you think I could help you, I’m free.”

“This was not how the day was supposed to go”, Bestial Boy thought to himself. “You had a very clear plan, come home, work out, go home and talk to Carpathia. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES were you to go see Bella beforehand.” Zach noticed he was talking to himself, never a good sign in a superhero.

Plan or not, Zach’s girl troubles had to take a backseat to his role as Commissar. A crisis loomed, and he had to take it on. If that meant pairing with Bella for the duration, he could stay professional. Just had to remember not to stand too close, not to say anything inappropriate, and not to take her literally when she yelled “Hug the healer!”, as was her style. Professional. Cool and collected. Like a true commissar of the CCCP. Wouldn’t be so hard, right?

“Piece of cake,” Zach thought, as he sent over his coordinates to Bella over the comm. unit. Zach was sure he could take care of this, keep emotions out of it, and then talk to Carpathia as he had planned.

Zach was wrong.

***

Although Zach had stopped talking to himself out loud, his internal dialogue continued throughout the evening. They were hot on the trail of the Rikti leader, but Zach kept thinking about some of-hand comment Bella had made about hanging out with some hero named, “Kid Crisis.” Sure sounded like they were getting pretty close.

“Well, she deserves it,” thought Zach, “and you couldn’t decide whether to shit or get off the pot, so you blew it buddy-boy.”

Suddenly, Bella turned towards Zach, her thoughtful blue eyes looking serious. “You didn’t blow anything, you know.”

“What?”, said Zach, “Did I say that out loud? Or did you read my…..” Bella just blinked at him, as though confused about what the fuss was about. Zach wrote it off as his long day catching up with him, and together the duo plunged into a mass of Rikti soldiers.

Zach’s murk sapped their energy, fueling his frenetic fighting style, while Bella stayed close, keeping him energized with healing radiation and slowing their foes. The bounded from group to group in tandem, working like a well-oiled machine. Over the past few months Zach had worked very closely with Bella, first on getting the office up to 21st century tech standards, then on his meetings in DC, and then in the field. And she smelled so….

“Stop thinking like that!!!” Zach chided himself, and he was sure Bella suddenly turned, as though she had heard someone yelling. As Bella zoomed in close to him to send forth another blast of enervating rays at the Rikti, he realized that he was having trouble keeping his mind on the task at hand.

The conflict between his duties and his feelings just made him angrier, though and he took his frustration out on a Rikti Mentalist. As the Rikti focused its mind, sending bolts of mental agony at Bestial Boy, Zach laughed it off. “Ha! I’m thick as a brick! Good luck getting mental blasts through this skull!”

Unfortunately, more subtle forays into his mind seemed to be working, and he looked over at Bella, he realized that he had no clue how to protect himself, or even if he wanted to anymore.

***