July 10th, 2009
Angel Falls, USA
Fantastic Lin jogged through the park, enjoying the clean, crisp feel of the rain as it fell. The smell more than anything awakened all her senses. She moved quickly past the people hurrying to get out of the weather, unfolding their umbrellas or sprinting for their cars. Lin tossed her head back and opened her mouth in a slight gasp as the rain splashed upon her face. She felt truly alive, in the rain, in this city. In the last three weeks she had single-handedly stopped about a dozen crimes, both major and minor, and turned disasters into a chance for life again. The people here watched her hurry past them with heavy footfalls and a few of them cheered or stopped to wave, despite the downpour. Lin was one of the most beloved, admired and respected heroines in Angel Falls. Everyone knew who she was and that if she arrived on the scene, when it seemed like all hope was gone, she would rekindle those fires and turn tragedy into triumph. She graced the covers of all the trendiest magazines, websites and news channels with her rapier wit and quick smile. Little girls held her action figures high when she made public appearances and wanted to be just as strong as she was. The other heroes, heroines and metas who fought to protect the city all respected her and were proud to call her their friend. Villains swallowed hard and cursed her name when she arrived, always just in the nick of time. As she made her way through the foot path around the park she looked around from side to side for the person she had come out in the weather to find. When she finally spied the distinctively-dressed individual she sought she stopped jogging and walked slowly over.
The Soviet Superwoman sat on a park bench, seemingly oblivious to the downpour. Her head was drooped downwards, the rain drizzling down off her thick black hair to pool at her boots. She was completely drenched, but like Lin she didn't feel the chill of cold from the storm. Her gloved hands lay across her lap as she sat hunched over. The powerfully muscled Russian was still in her full costume and regalia with her scarlet cape fluttering over the back of the bench behind her. As Lin approached, her black boots crunching on the gravel path, Olga looked up with her pale, blue eyes. She appeared momentarily startled at the woman. Lin stopped a few feet from her and smiled warmly.
"Hello there," the muscular Asian woman began, "I didn't mean to startle you."
"It is alright." Olga replied, regaining her composure, "You must be the one called Fantastic Lin. I have seen your picture around. You are the heroine from the Empire of Japan."
Lin had a bit of trouble following the woman's English. It was broken in places and it was obviously not a language she was accustomed to speaking. Her breath also had the distinct odor of vodka, but a quick glance around didn't reveal any bottles.
"I am Lin, yes, but I wasn't around when Japan was an Empire. You must be the Soviet Superwoman I've heard so much about. I saw on the news where you saved all those people from that fire a few days ago. Pretty impressive."
"It needed to be done." was her only response.
Lin put her hands on her hips and glanced skyward for a moment into the pelting rain before looking back at her.
"It's not the first selfless thing I've heard about you Miss....or is it secret?"
The Soviet woman shook her head slowly. "It is no secret. My name is Olga Yezhov."
"Well Olga it seems like you are making quite a name for yourself helping people."
Olga chuckled and looked back down at the muddied ground. "I am not here to make a name for myself. It needed to be done. I am not a glory-hound."
Lin twisted her lip. "That wasn't what I meant. I mean you seem to be a genuinely good-hearted person. A real heroine. It just strikes me odd that you would be out here sitting in the rain looking so miserable. This isn't the first time either is it? Sitting out here for hours by yourself I mean."
The Soviet juggernaut looked back up at her and threw up her hands, flinging water in all directions. "I cannot go home. I am trapped here, in this dimension while my own is destroyed...or has already been destroyed. The best minds in your science cannot find a way to send me back."
Lin nodded. "I heard...from Freedom Star. I don't even want to imagine what you're going through emotionally right now. Stuck here, in another time and another place...not knowing what is going on with your own home. You've been through a tremendous ordeal Olga and I really feel terrible for you. That's why I'm here. Have you got a place to stay?"
"Da...the men from the science company put me up in an apartment and collect groceries for a bit because they feel bad for me. It is not far from here and far larger than anything I had back in Moscow. I am very thankful to them."
"Well that's good, at least you have a roof over your head and food in your stomach."
Olga nodded, her powerful arms still hanging limp at her sides. Fantastic Lin held out her gloved hand to the Russian woman.
"I wanted to thank you...for helping all of those people. Maybe the citizens here in Angel Falls don't understand you yet. Maybe they are afraid because of the symbol you wear on your chest and the fact that you aren't from here. Maybe they think you have an agenda to do them harm...but I've always tried to judge people by their actions and their deeds more than the costume that they wear and the country or place they call home, and I think I understand you. You honestly want to help those in need. Selflessly, asking nothing back in return. You've been handed a series of terrible blows Olga and while most people would become angry or lash out or give up, you still put on your costume day after day and help people who can't help themselves. Those who don't have our amazing powers and abilities. The news and media might brand you all manner of names, but I wanted you to know that I support you, I thank you and I would like to call you my friend and in time I hope all of Angel Falls and the world does as well."
The Soviet Superwoman stared at her for a long moment. She seemed hesitant to take the hand being extended to her. Her lip trembled and tears had began to form in the corners of her eyes.
Lin smiled down at her and winked. "Please. I want you to come have dinner with me and my husband tonight. He makes a mean teriyaki chicken and it isn't all that far from here."
Olga smiled back, letting out a burst-like emotional chuckle. She took the woman's extended hand and used her free hand to wipe the tears back from her eyes and the water from her face.
"There! That wasn't so hard was it? I think this is the beginning of a long, beautiful friendship." Lin said in her best Bogart impression.
"Casablanca! I have seen that film!" Olga exclaimed as she rose to her feet.
"Wanna watch it again?" Lin giggled.
"I would very much like that Lin...and thank you." Olga said gripping her shoulder firmly in a sign of friendship.
Lin took hold of her hand and looked deep into her eyes. "No need. I just want to help those in need."
As the two heroines made their way down the rain-soaked path together Olga cast a side-long glance to Lin and smirked.
"Perhaps you can tell me about an incident with a cruise ship I read about?"
To be continued...
First, let me personally thank
for this wonderful piece of art. It was difficult asking him to create this, but I am very glad that he decided to say yes and I hope my words did it justice.
This was a chapter...a tribute
& I felt absolutely needed to be told. Lin has been and always will be an influence and friend to Olga. Her inclusion in the origin story of my character is something that the both of us had always wanted to see happen. My only regret is that Vince didn't get to see it through to it's conclusion. Vince if you're watching buddy I hope you enjoyed this.
for working so closely with me on this. You have been a true friend.
Fantastic Lin was of course
's muse and inspiration, a character created by
is currently her custodian.
Soviet Superwoman and the story are both my inventions.
This takes place in