Kranz 17, Russian Army Base
Siberia, Russian Federation
Colonel Sergi Chernecko swore under his breath as he and seven other soldiers searched the long since abandoned base. Chernecko swung his flashlight from the left to the right, nothing. Old 1980 era computers, lab equipment, and furniture decorated the labs and rooms of Kranz 17. Each Russian soldier was clothed in winter uniforms and coats. Most Armies had learned the hard way to prepare their troops for winter conditions. Russia hadn’t, as old as the country was her soldiers were prepared to deal with the cold.
Although Siberia was pushing it, even with thermal coats, long johns, thick classic Russian hats, they were still freezing.
“All right, do the search and then let’s get the hell out of here!” he ordered. The privates mumbled a reply and followed his orders. Like most soldiers in the Red Army (Even though they weren’t communists, the name stuck) they were hardly paid and lack enthusiasm for their line of work. Chernecko grunted remembering the old days of his youth.
He had no love of the socialist system, but at least the world respected the Red Army then. Now their equipment was considered second rate, their Army and Navy a joke, only the few new fighters of Frontal Aviation (Air Force) gained respect for the new Russian armed forces. With no money to spend on them, the armed branches had to deal with it. In an attempt to save more money, Moscow was mothballing installations left and right. This one had been on hiatus since the coup attempt in Moscow in 1991. His men were to check it for anything vital then the rest of the stuff would be stripped and sold to other nations with money.
‘Probably some black ass Muslims with too much money’ He thought referring to Iran. As he dived deeper into the facility Chernecko found more equipment that was in line with this base’s line of work. Kranz 17 had been a genetic facility, messing with human genome. His brief said that nothing of importance had come from the base, only built to keep in line with some other American project during Regan’s years in office. ‘Damn actor’ he thought, ‘he makes us spend billions to keep up with Star Wars and secret projects, and now we can’t even buy more than fifty new tanks a year, bastard’.
Coming to an end of one of the labs he saw a strange door, it was labeled DANGER in Cyrillic letters. Curios he stepped closer to the door, he saw a latch on the front, gripping it he pulled upwards and the door opened. Pulling it back, he was shocked to discover what he found! A woman.
She was wearing only a thin skin tight white garment that had tubes and stuff attached. Thick green liquid was all around her. Started he called for his men, none came. Determined to do something, Chernecko found a set of instructions on the inside of the door. Quickly reading he found the appropriate buttons that were labeled drain and shock. Pushing them in that order he saw the liquid begin to drain from the tube. Where it went he didn’t know, but soon he was too distracted by the woman, she was convulsing. He could hear the sounds of electric shocks. Soon it stopped. The liquid was drained away and nothing moved inside the glass.
Worried he killed the girl he went to yell for his men again when the glass shattered and the woman stepped out knocking him down. He looked up at her. She was gifted with a fine body. Although not a body builder she seemed to be athletic. Long blonde hair came to the shoulder blades. She also had piercing green eyes. Without even thinking she demanded him to come to attention.
“Excuse me?” he laughed.
She frowned and then reached down, lifting him off his feet with one hand. Chernecko’s eyes widened in horror, she was a metahuman. ‘My god Moscow messed with that!’
“I have the rank of General in the KGB ‘Colonel’, I suggest you show me proper respect!” she hissed.
“Um…yes Sir, but there is no more KGB…” he said. She screamed and threw him across the room. He slammed into an old table and it collapsed under his weight. She threw her hands on her hips and stared him down.
“Care to explain why you indulge me with tales of fantasy?”
He gulped, “The KGB was ended in the nineties…there are two new organizations sir, the SVR for intelligence and the FSB for state security.”
She seemed pause to think, a small look of worry on her face, it was gone quickly, “Who is the General Secretary of the Communist Party?”
“No one…the communist party is gone.”
“LIAR!” she speed over to him in seconds and proceeded to snap his neck, Chernecko never knowing what happened.
One of his privates came in holding a ten year old bottle of vodka; he then noticed the strange woman and the dead Colonel. Raising his AK-74 rifle he tried to fire only to be killed without even knowing what killed him. All six other soldiers met the same fate.
Two weeks later
The Russian President sat in his office looking over countless documents. His thin balding appearance had not been aided by the crisis’s he kept facing. Checyena, the Kursk, the War on Terror, Iraq, all had taken their toll. Plus his harder line measures hadn’t earned him a place in the hearts and minds of other world leaders.
A briefing book on the situation the western sections of Russia was the next item on his agenda, till he noticed the woman in red in front of him. She was tall, blonde, athletic and he had seen her once before, in fact twenty years earlier, she hadn’t aged a day.
“Tanya Lvov?” he asked in shocked. Two questions in his head, how this woman was still alive, and the other how she got past his security.
“Yes comrade Colonel.” Referring to his old rank, “I indeed live; live to find out that the nation I served has collapsed like a Leningrad hoar house.” She stepped towards him. He reached for the phone only to have it smashed as her fist slammed down onto it.
“You have grown weak Colonel! What happened! This was once a strong proud country, now we are not even second to the Main Enemy!” she referred to the United States.
“Tanya…please the world changed while you slept….” He wasn’t allowed to finish.
“Please comrade Colonel! What happened to Red Storm, the success of the USSR over the USA, thrown away because of money!” she sneered.
He didn’t have an answer. Suddenly he was lifted by the arms of Tanya. She pierced his soul with those eyes, “I will fulfill my mission, and now I will be punishing the United States instead of crippling her. When I return Comrade Colonel, we will discuss how to bring Russia back to glory.”
The Russian President thought he was going to die then he landed back in his chair. At the same moment a dozen of his security personnel entered. All carried pistols; they were soon backed up by Spetsnazs, Russian Army Special Forces carrying the new AN-94 rifle. His chief of security came to his side.
“Sir! Are you alright? She knocked everyone out, the support staff, troops and my men!”
The President nodded weakly, “Yes…get the Defense Console, now!”
“Impossible!” cried Marshal Rohikin commander of the Russian Army and Defense Minster.
“It is true Andre, she survived.” The President said. The four men with him were the only ones who knew of the RED STAR project of 1985. The Foreign Minster was next.
“Surely…she still can’t believe…”
“In communism…I don’t know, but she believes in the state. She wants the Soviet strength again, I wouldn’t know about the ideology.” The President answered staring out a window at St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Rohikin sat down, “But her mission…in conjunction with Red Storm…”
“Yes to cripple the United States hours before we launched our attack into Germany and Europe, she is going to do it. I feel though Tanya will do more than cripple, she will destroy.” The President answered as he turned to take a seat. Each man shared the same face, now what.
“Surely she is no match for Comrade Supergirl.” The Foreign Minster said in a more hopeful voice, “We had designed her to take on the heroes and heroines of the 80s. None of them equaled Supergirl.”
“True Alex, but the esteemed Comrade Supergirl isn’t here.” The SVR Director said. The three others turned to look at the intelligence man. He continued.
“Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Wondergirl have all left for a mission in deep space. Some threat on Mars or something. They should be gone for three weeks.”
“THREE WEEKS! Red Star will lay waste to Washington in that time!” Rohikin cried.
“True…I have a suggestion.” The men listened to the SVR Chairmen. He outlined his idea.
“I like it but, should we not warn the Americans. They could secure some of their government.” The Foreign Minster suggested.
“No, it would mean we admit to violation of international treaty and secret agreements not to mess with metahuman DNA. How will that go over?” Defense added.
“And how will it look when a Russian weapon destroys the American Congress!” the Foreign Minster yelled.
“Enough! Director, initiate your plan. Rohikin find everything from the Red Star Project and look for a way to kill this mistake.” The President decided. Tanya had been a good friend, even one time lover, now she needed to be dealt with.
Elena Borodin was just finishing her Moscow Ballet routine in the small dance studio in her home when she heard the phone ring. Stopping she walked over to the phone in her pink leotard and white tights.
“Yes…my god…yes I’ll come at once!” she ran for a special window in the studio. Opening up, it revealed the uniform of Red Star 2.
“Would you like some more tea?” asked the Russian flight attendant. Tanya shook her head no. The flight attendant walked back down the aisle, her pantyhose showing runs. She shook her head, ‘she can’t even afford decent stockings, pitiful’. Looking out the window she could see the coast of France. ‘France D+20, expected to fall quickly with NATO defeat in Germany’ was the first thing she thought of.
She had served the state for many years first as spy, in Berlin, Tokyo, then the heart of the Main Enemy, Washington DC. Her final assignment was in preparation for the attack on the West. She was given drugs, DNA treatments, exposed to radiation. Her strength increased and speed. The fine Slavic skin white from her slumber could stop a 12.7mm AP round. Trained by the best combat experts in the Soviet Army, she was more lethal than a T-80 main battle tank.
She had been put into storage to help her ease into transition of her powers. Then she would be used on the West in support of the liberation of Europe an attack, which never came off the drawing board. So she was left to sleep in Kranz 17. Now she was freed, only to learn her country was no more. Poland, Ukraine, even Belarus! All now their own countries, and most of them members of NATO! Russia had been a superpower, now it was barley above the status of a 3rd World nation.
‘I will correct this. The American Military, Government, and public will pay’, she thought. Her first target was the American President. A cowboy the European papers called him. As much as Tanya wanted to crush this ‘Supergirl’ that she had found on the ‘internet’, the blonde American bitch was gone, along with another heroine who wore the cursed American red, white, and blue. Yet she would be able to crush an American heroine who wore the colors that symbolized their country, this ‘American Star’ would be receiving a medal from the President. Red Star would be there.
Allison made sure her hair was just as she liked it. It’s not everyday you get to meet the President! When news had came that the President would be giving her a medal for her rescue of the Secretary of State, Allison nearly died. Her parents were overjoyed and Allison was psyched. She had showed up at the White House fifteen minutes earlier. Now she was changing from the costume she had ran over in, to a brand new fresh from the supertailor.
With her red and white leotard, blue tights, and red boots were all clean without any stains of crime fighting. She finished with her red lipstick and placed her mask over her eyes and around the back of her head. American Star returned from her trip to the bathroom and joined a Secret Service agent who led her back to a room near the White House lawn being used as staging area.
“Ah, there’s the lady of the hour.” The President smiled in his Texan accent. Allison took his hand a shook it. They made some small talk for the next five minutes while the Press Secretary made sure everything was ready with the press. She went out a few minutes before the President and took her place near the podium. Soon the President was next and the formalities began.
While the event was going on at the White House lawn, another meta-human arrived, she wasn’t a heroine. Tanya was wearing a large overcoat to hide her costume underneath. She stared at the source of Russia’s suffering. Pigs, she thought. Feeding her anger she walked forwards, her steps taking her closer to a small security gate with a guard booth.
Two Secret Service police watched as the woman came forwards. One noticed the dark red boots on her feet.
“Can we help you ma’am?” the first asked.
She smiled, “Please open the gate.”
“Listen do you have an appointment?” the second asked. Tanya shook her head no. Both men were suspicious. Was she a just a wacko, or a suicide bomber with Semtex or C4 under her coat.
“Ma’am…” he began slowly reaching for his sidearm. Tanya never let him finish. She lanced out with an arm, her hand forming a fist. Slamming it into his chest, she almost broke his ribs. The bullet proof vest he wore protected him some, but knocked him right into the shack. Guard number two had his pistol out only to have it knocked away and his head hit with a punch. Both men were down and Tanya dropped her coat revealing her costume.
It was a solid red catsuit, going from her neck to her feet. She wore dark red gloves and boots. A yellow hammer and sickle symbol over her left breast showed her old nationality. Putting her hair quickly up, she ran at superspeed into the White House interior. Alarms rang out as the Secret Service reacted. Assault teams in black spandex and body armor rushed out from the response room. Armed with M4s, M249 SAWs, and a grenade launcher they formed the heavy fist. Typical agents in their suits were the first. Each one pulled out a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol as they heard the CRASH call on their radios.
A red blur hit those agents knocking them on their asses out cold. One female agent got a shot off but hit air, then was rewarded with a broken arm from her impact with the wall. The Response team now stood in front of Red Star and the President. They too had little success. Although a bullet did bounce off Tanya’s invulnerable skin, she had disarmed and defeated the team in less than ten seconds. In less than a minute the Secret Service had no way to stop the woman.
Allison was all smiles as the President placed a medal around her neck and she shook his hand. Then she heard the first gunshots! Agents rushed the President and began escorting him toward the PEOC or Presidential bunker under the White House. American Star followed the agents and watched as each one was thrown aside or knocked down. The President was now in the arms of tall red costume wearing woman. Without a second thought Allison rushed forward.
She slammed into the woman and caught the President as he fell. Not stopping she went at superspeed through the White House depositing the President at the first agents she encountered. They nearly shot her taking Allison as the intruder, but the President stopped them. With the President heading for the bunker Allison returned to the fallen intruder.
Tanya swore in Russian, and then heard in just as good Russian, “What are you doing here?”
Turing she saw the superheroine in front of her. A child! Tanya thought. Her twenty-eight years to Allison’s nineteen was not a shock, she knew the American was young but still.
“Very good Russian, although your accent reeks of Leningrad.” She answered back in her native tongue.
“Thank you, now why did you try and kill the President?” Allison demanded in Russian.
“I am avenging my country.” Tanya answered in English.
Allison struck a powerpose, “As far as I remember the USSR collapsed? Little behind the times I see.”
“Yes, but soon things will be right. Russia will be a proud country, no longer a source of American amusement.” Red Star said now standing and striking her own pose.
Allison hid it well but was nervous, ‘Yikes! Yes’s strong, and trained…oh and I thought Vigor was tough’. Allison now broke into a fighting stance, knowing where it was going. “You’re not going to be doing anything.” American Star said.
Both charged one another. Grasping each other’s arms, Allison and Tanya locked together. It was a bad move on American Star’s part.
‘Damn…she’s four times stronger than Vigor…and six times stronger than me!’ Allison sank to her knees quickly.
Red Star laughed. “Already you are on your knees, American Star even the French last longer than that.”
Allison knew she couldn’t out muscle her, so…releasing her hold, Red Star fell forwards slightly since she was still pushing forwards. Disappearing in a blur, Allison got behind the woman and took her into her arms, use speed.
Allison then speeded away from the White House grounds, entering the Washington Mall. Red Star was not idiot and could see what American Star was doing. She slammed her feet to the ground using her superior strength to stop them. Allison went flying to the ground, and Red Star came to a halt. Stunned by the sudden stop American Star was slow to react to the woman who pulled her up by the back of her leotard. Holding her, Red Star spun her around and then punched Allison across the face.
Sent flying by Tanya’s superior strength she crashed into side of the Washington monument cracking it. Falling to the ground Allison was hurt. Red Star came over at superspeed and lifted the weakened heroine back up.
“Time for a demonstration of Russian version of ‘Shock and Awe’” Red Star smiled. She unloaded a series of faster than human punches to Allison’s midsection, and followed that up with a soccer kick that sent American Star flying.
Unable to react, too dazed from the blows, Allison landed right in front of the Lincoln Memorial. People scattered and were shocked to see DC’s second best know heroine helpless on the steps. Getting up Allison was offered assistance by several concerned people.
“NO…get out of here…she’ll be…” Allison didn’t finish, Red Star was right next to her once again. People quickly surmised that this woman was the one who just kicked the piddle out of American Star. One angry man a US Marine on his Pentagon lunch break stood in front of the heroine while she recovered.
“You’re not touching her without touching me.” The Marine said. Others soon joined, Tanya wasn’t impressed by the Americans unity, “Fine, enjoy your deaths.” She began to go forwards when Allison yelled a no.
Getting to her feet she stood and looked the Russian in the eyes, “You want me, come and get me.” With that Allison was off in a blur of speed. Red Star laughed she loved a good chase and followed.
American Star was in her element, running. Looking behind her she could see the Russian woman chasing after her, good. Allison may not be as strong as the Soviet meta but she was faster. Tanya knew this as well and was not enjoying the chase. American Star was faster than she looked so how to get her to stop? Allison was almost at the city limits when she turned to see that Red Star wasn’t behind her. A scream sounded out, ‘Oh no!’
Red Star held the bus by its bumper. The public bus couldn’t move and the driver was screaming at the crazy woman to let him go. She just smiled and waited for the baby superheroine to show up. American Star arrived shortly. Allison was shocked to see the scene.
“Let them go!” she demanded. Red Star laughed.
“In war, casualties are expected. Russia suffered 40 million losses because of the Germans in both wars my dear, what’s thirty people?” Red Star lifted the bus up and threw it at her second target, an apartment complex. Allison ran and managed to get in front of the bus but wasn’t sure if she could stop it. Holding her hands out, bus and her collided, pushed backwards Allison’s boots kicked up smoke and she slowed the bus, only to be impacted against the apartment.
The Bus’s occupants looked to see that they had crashed into the front area of the apartment, but no further. While there was face damage to both the bus and apartment, no one was hurt, except American Star. Buried under the ruble of the front section, a lone red covered arm hung out. A golden bracelet lay at the side, detached. Allison’s powers were cut in half by the loss of one bracelet. Her already taxed healing powers were now weakened.
Tanya climbed past the wreckage and lifted the golden accessory up. With a smile on her face she crushed the golden metal, one of the sources of Allison’s powers were gone. Digging her out of the wreckage, Red Star lifted American Star out and held her high. A stunned group of on lookers watched in horror as Red Star reached for the other bracelet. Allison struck. Putting all her remaining strength into the blow she hit Red Star across the face. She released Allison as Red Star stumbled backward, American Star than kicked but with only the force of a nineteen year old. Her powers were fully focused on healing her, so no strength or speed remained.
Red Star laughed knowing American Star’s precious powers were useless. She lunged out with a kick of her own, knocking Allison out of the wrecked apartment lounge. American Star landed and was in too much pain to do anything else than moan and grab her bruised ribs. Tanya picked up a piece of broken rebar. Sharpening the end with her strength and speed to melt the metal, she slowly walked over to the fallen heroine.
“Now you die. You’re weak just like you’re nation. Russia begins anew here.” As she brought the impromptu knife towards Allison’s heart, a blue beam lanced out and struck the metal. Red Star dropped it and then heard clear natural Russian.
“This ends Tanya.” Red Star turned and saw the source of the attack. It was a woman twenty-three, 5’8 wearing a costume like American Star’s. It was white on the shoulders and sleeves going down to her nylon and lyrca encased hands. Red covered the mid section and blue tights graced her legs. A thin almost piece of fabric blue mask hid her identity. Floating above them she looked down at the two.
“Russia has changed Red Star; I’m a symbol of that.” The woman said as she drifted down to the ground.
“And you’d be?” Red Star asked only slightly impressed.
“Freedom Star. And you are going down.” Elena Borodin said, and threw a fist.