The Light That Failed Pt 1

From the Story Arc: A Fine And Private Place

Next Story in the Arc: The Light That Failed Pt 2 by Belladonna Aura (Saturday, October 08, 2005)

(posted Friday, October 07, 2005)

Bella stopped in the Medbay long enough to grab a couple of ibubrofen before she went out on patrol. This first patrol of the day was going to be a bit different than usual; rather than going out to assist the really high security-level members of the CCCP, she was going to help out some of the "lowbies."

It would be something of a relief. Even more so would be the lack of suspicion in their eyes. When she'd met with them earlier this morning, they'd all looked her straight in the face, without a hint of concern that she might be scanning them, and a candor that was quite refreshing. Soviet Wing, Last Avatar, young Shen, and Commie Cowgirl; it was a good mix, and she would be able to help them discharge some of their more difficult assignments.

The first was in the sewers, and she wrinkled her nose as she read that off her PDA. Why was it that every villain in the city seemed to think it necessary to take up residence in the sewers?

Oh well. It could be worse, she supposed. Faultline, for instance. It was hideous, trying to get around in there, even for someone who could fly.

She smiled at Oksana, Commie Cowgirl, as she gathered them up before sending them off to the tram. She liked Oksana, liked her quite a great deal, and it was a pity that there was no way to assign Commie Cowgirl out to one of the cities in the Western States, or even to get her a horse. Poor Oksana missed her horse more than just about anything else, but a horse would fare poorly in Paragon City, and so far Bella had been unable to find a stable near enough for Oksana to travel back and forth on any regular basis.

Before she and Zach had become so close, she'd intended to take Oksana home with her on her next visit, but now—well, now Zach had priority there. She wanted her folks to finally meet Zach, and wanted him to meet them. There was such loneliness in him whenever she talked about home and her parents…

He never talked about his. Whatever had happened between him and them had scarred him deeply. If meeting hers could do anything to ease that for him—

Well, at least she had a surprise for Oksana this morning, one that would make Commie Cowgirl light up like a Las Vegas night.

"We're going to be passing a movie crew this morning," she said to her group. "They're filming a remake of Cowboy In The City right here in Paragon."

Just as she'd suspected, Oksana lit up. "From what I've gathered, the plot is about the next generation hero to take up the mask, and they've gone so far as to hire the original actor, Kurt Taylor, as the mentor for his successor, so Taylor will be on the set as well. We might see him this morning on our way to the assignment."

"That would be bolshoi good!" Oksana said with enthusiasm. "Davay, davay, pardners! What we are waiting for?"

#

Bella realized ruefully that she should have known better. There wasn't a chance that Oksana would have passed that set quietly—

No, she was all over the place, trailing the rest of the group behind her. Fortunately, most of the actors hadn't arrived yet, or were still in their trailers. Only Kurt Taylor was actually on-set, and it was equally fortunate that he was almost as happy to see and talk to Oksana as she was to see and talk to him. He was flattered by the pretty girl's attentions, that much was obvious, and equally flattered that not only did she know every one of his movies, she could quote from many of them.

He was so flattered, in fact, that he actually took Oksana to see the one thing she hadn’t been able to bully or wheedle access to.

He took her to see the stunt-horses.

And Oksana was in utter bliss.

Taylor, who clearly shared her love of all things horse, introduced her to each by name, told her the stunts each could do, some of the movie, television and commercial-work each had been in, and it had only been the start of filming that had parted them from the horses and from each other.

"Here—" Taylor pressed one of the covered "all-access" cards into Oksana's hands. "Come back after filming is over for the day if you can."

Oksana favored him with a smile that could have won her an Oscar. "Horosho!" she exclaimed. "I will be taking you to drinking!"

Bella only rolled her eyes. Older men…pretty young women. She only hoped that Taylor didn't make too blatant a pass at Oksana, or if he did, she'd be as flattered about it as he was with her attention.

Because otherwise…otherwise they would be bailing Oksana out of the "hoosgow" for breaking Taylor's nose.