Friday, July 26, 2013

Champion of Northridge

There are three elements to the prop game: Prop making, prop buying and prop mastering.

Prop Making was the stuff that Sarah Jennings (the powerful superheroine 'Mazing Girl) enjoyed the most. Building objects that people held was a lot of fun. Usually the skill was to make things look like crap. Sarah was good at that, especially with metal. However the stress of her job meant she had to subcontract a lot of this stuff out.

Prop Buying also had its challenges. She worked on a cop show about two mismatched Policemen having comical adventures in very well lit environs.  She figured out prop strategy on the kind of TV show that you would never think of the props...or remember five minutes afterwards. Still it needed to be done. Someone had to buy their traditional not too intimidating guns, the guys magic laptop. And traditional coffee cups (One of the cops was supposed to be a slob... you would have to use an electron microscope to determine which).

Prop Mastering however was the biggest part of her job. And the most boring. For 10 hours a day she would hand out the props before a scene and make sure no one walked out with them. Usually no. Theoretically she was on set to make sure nothing wrong happened with them, and fix them. However it wasn't like you needed much to fix a laptop that was never actually turned on.  Usually she spent the day with her own laptop turned on working on prop strategies for future episodes...or playing Zynga games.

With a job like this, and finding time for sleep, it was often that ‘Mazing girl didn't spend more time jumping around rescuing kitties from trees (which was okay as kitties rarely needed saving from trees) She could theoretically duck out and, you know, fight swamp monsters, however when she was on set... people often asked for her out of the blue..  And when she got home she liked to watch the Sci-Fi network reruns of Battlestar Galactica, or Firefly, and maybe drink.

Still, her job wasn't actually bad, and had some highlights. This year they had an episode set at a renaissance fair, where the mismatched detectives could get involved in wacky adventures, involving tents, and people with bad accents.

It had been fun getting (mostly renting) swords, staffs and jewellery. Some of the stuff had actually been in the original Camelot musical from the 60s. The costume department who made all the fun costumes, and the set decorators who set up all the stuff (there is a distinct and important difference between set dec and props: no I am not going to tell you what it is) had most of the fun, but still fun was had.

They were shooting the episode at a park in the North Valley. It was rather beautiful in fact, how they put up 20 or so fake tents and got dozens of extras in garb. Sarah had been to her share of Ren fairs in her day back in Florida, and with the abundant trees, lack of trailers to manage, heating, and porta-potties, this was a lot more scenic and beautiful then any fair she had ever been to in real life. But that was the pretend business.

She had taken over a small background tent that supposedly held furs and other goods. In reality it had nothing in it except Sarah, some props, and her laptop. She got a thrill when, theoretically, a camera would pan over her. She was mainly busy working on an episode two weeks from now where one of the cops spend the time handcuffed to a criminal. It wasn't that wacky really.

"We’re shooting scene 16 after we lock this one," said an Assistant Director, walking up to her.

"Got it," nodded Sarah. She looked around. In this scene one of the cops uses his cellphone and three maids come up and   /delightedly   chide him. There was a large basket full of flowers, a couple of pails, and a cellphone. Plus a gun, but he always carried his gun (which was just rubber). She got out and went to three guest-stars. One of whom she knew, another one who was reading a play script, and the third who was really happy to be here.

"Wow! I am doing this," she smiled with glee "I am really going to be on the show!"

"Just remember your lines, and don't draw too much focus," she said as she handed her a pail.

"I don’t know what manner of strange device he is using, Sisters."


Sarah shrugged. At least she was in good spirits.

She handed the lead his gun, the badge and his phone. He actually had been on Firefly. Don't meet your heroes...he wasn't a bad guy, but he tended to take acting and the show a tad bit more seriously then it deserved. He also was privately rehearsing his lines. In a way they suited each other. At some point she was going to have to ask him for his gun and his badge and he didn't even think that was funny.

Sarah was halfway back to her tent when she felt it. Oh shit. The little prick on the back of her neck that she couldn't quite ignore no matter what was going on. The fact that it didn't give her a lot of information wasn't helpful.

A cop car was driving up. She walked over towards it. A sheriff came out and talked to the security guard and she listened in

"A kids gone missing from a hike with his parents," the sheriff said.

 "Damn...if we see anything I'll give you a call " said the guard. 

"Kids see something like you guys, you know, people shooting a movie, it’s fun," said the sheriff

The guard nodded, "We’ll keep an eye out"

Sarah groaned. There wasn't exactly a lot, with her set of powers, she could do to find a lost kid. Her senses where a little stronger, but this was a big park and kids were small and  elastic . If he was hiding, well, he was hidden. But like a kitten in a tree, when he got hungry he would just come out. He would get bored and go to the swingset that tents where very cleverly hidding.

Yet something in her said otherwise. The part of her soul that actually was a hero and not a 20 something kid in LA. Fuck.

She went to the Assistant Director. "Hey, I forgot something in my car."

The director nodded, "This scene should take half an hour to film."

She went to the set dec guy. "Cover for me if I am late.”

"Sure, you did me help setup those tents this morning."

Sarah went into her tent. She closed it for a second. It was a good space.

Sarah took off her   glasses  and put them down. She liked them but, well...this was important. Off came the light windbreaker she wore, and her T-shirt, revealing her double-D bra that wasn't quite overflowing, but was filled with her   milkbags. She jiggled them slightly. Sarah wondered if they were shooting this tent...they could be too close to her transformation. Actually they weren't right now, she knew, but what-the-hey.

Her jeans and her Mary-Jane shoes went next, revealing her average length but surprisingly powerful legs. Though overall Sarah was a plump girl, if you looked at her naked you could see that she had a large amount of muscle. Even though she had some meat on top of her thighs, her quads where actually quite huge-larger then most bodybuilders. It moved up to her   poucy  waist...which, however, when she bent over showed that her actual abs were there giving her stomach a conclave mass that that peaked proudly, as it curved to her shapely derrière.

In short, in her Hello Kitty panties and old Victoria’s Secret bra, Sarah was spectacular. Not model thin, but anyone would notice she was, well, a-Mazing in her own ways.  As she stood there for a second...yeah, she got a little turned on. What are you going to do about it?

She went to her bag and pulled out her flats, her pants, her top, her mask, and her small cape. She could move quite a bit faster then most people. And within 10 seconds, she was ‘Mazing Girl.

Then there was a knock on the tent. "Hey!" said the unit production manager, "Aaron wants to practice with his sword for the fight.”

And 20 seconds later she was Sarah again.

She went out and handed him his sword.

"This is blunted but it’s still tricky"

And went back to the tent.

20 second latter she was ‘Mazing girl again.

*****

She ran out the back moving at an easy 80 miles an hour into the forest. She started to rush through the forest looking for the kid. Or any kid. She realized she didn't have a good description. That could have been her downfall; however, she had a general idea of what a 'kid' looked liked. She extended her senses as far as they would go. Not very far, but there it was. It was fun to run in the forest. She was blessed with near unlimited stamina (which wasn't actually a problem in bed) which made running through the area, jumping over brooks and grabbing a tree trunk to get a better view, easy.

Her muscles expanded, filling out the hems of her pants, expanding into giant surfaces of womanly form, her arms grew subtly becoming almost like tree trunks themselves. A she ran her hair moved back brushin, moving faster then any human ever could. 

But no kid.

The forest wasn't actually that big, it was maybe three square miles. It went up a small hill to side of the range separating LA from Valencia. She had told herself she would spend no more then 45 minutes doing this. She had work to do. Terrible attitude, but...

She heard something

It was the sound she sought. It was a voice, but she couldn't quite make out where it was coming from.

She ran up the hill. It was fun to be this fast. A normal girl would have been quite winded, and may have ignored the small rock slide she created. Ahh well.  

She climbed only to realize it wasn't on the hill. Behind the hill was a fairly large valley...kind of a canyon, really. It was kind of spectacular if desert was spectacular.  This was something that Sarah, after spending five years in LA, still wasn't sold on. The cliff was steep though.

And about 30 feet down on the cliff was a guy on a small ledge. He wasn't quite dangling, but he looked quite hurt...and out of it. "Help me," he said, very weakly.

"Don't worry! I'll save you!!" declared ‘Mazing girl.

It was a truthful statement of intent; however, it took her a second to try to figure out how. It was a small ledge, and she couldn't actually fly.  The ledge didn't exactly look stable either, nor did the guys position upon it. This was a bit of a stumper, actually.

She looked down at the cliff. It was maybe 80 feet to the ground bellow and full of spiky plants that didn't look  inviting. It wasn't quite vertical but she wasn't a Mountion Goat(or a fan of the little to twee local band the 'Mountion Goats'). A rock climber could have done it with a lot of planning and effort. However she was better then a rock climber.

She scampered down the mountain, leaping from rock-hold to rock-hold looking for places to grab. She had once done been repelling at a summer camp and this wasn't that much harder. She was, despite herself, having some fun. Sarah kind of liked being ‘Mazing Girl and wished for the 100th time that there was actual money in it.

She was about 10 feet to the right of guy. She looked over. There really wasn't any rocks between. She leaned down a bit and pushed off.  She was hoping to grab the edge of the ledge the guy was on. However, well...she kind of missed.

Sarah over shot her mark, and tumbled slightly. Her left hand managed to grab it by the edge with a couple of fingers, and she dangled  50 feet over the ravine bellow. It wasn’t actually all that dangerous, but, well...embarrassing.

She pulled herself up easily and grabbed onto the ledge. She shimmied onto the ledge next to the guy.

"The...my leg...it...crap.”

The guy looked kind of out of it to be honest. And there was a large very nasty gash on his leg that looked like it hurt a lot. Well, such was life. Exposure to the sun probably wasn't helping.

"Don't worry," ‘Mazing girl said. She looked to tend to it...to figure out how to get him to safety...

When the guy let go of something he was holding on to, and fell of the side of the ledge.

"Fuck" Sarah said.

’Mazing looked at the situation and instantly needed to move. She pushed her leg up against the side of the cliff to increase the speed of her jump, breaking off chunks of the rock, and she dived after him. Falling toward the ground, he was about 20 feet from it when she grabbed him, holding her arms around him. Sarah then turned in mid air at several hundred miles an hour to land on her feet at the bottom of the ravine, tucking her legs to absorb the impact.

Still the guy screamed. Loudly. Did he need to scream that loudly? It was a scream of incredible pain as his leg flopped.

Sarah put the screaming man down on ground. That was one way of getting him down, fuck...as if he wasn't loud enough though. Ahh, well.

His leg was definitely broke. The fall didn't help that. She pressed it straight.

When Sarah had decided to become a superhero she had taken some first-aid classes. Nothing really looked too bad. She vaguely remembered seeing something-and jumped easily 60 feet up to the ledge. There was a small pack.  As she went back down she found it didn't contain a first-aid kit, but did have some water. She gave it to the guy.

In the small of her back was a small cellphone like device. It didn't have a touchscreen, but with a press she could call the in police. She told them what had happened and where she was. They would send a medical helicopter to help.

That would take a while.

She gave him more of the water. He was too out of it, really, to tell her his name or anything, or talk. But he did give a vague thank you. She had saved his life certainly. Actually broken his leg worse, in all likelihood. Still, it was a fair trade.

The device had a small clock on it. It had been about 35 minutes. Sarah looked down at the guy...she had told herself 45 minutes.

First-aid rules said you should never leave a guy like this. But the medical helicopters where coming.

Ahh, fuck.

"Don't worry, help is on its way," she said.

The guy moaned.

"I got a job...don't judge me."

She shook her head and with a mighty leap jumped back on top of the hill and raced through the forest.


*******

She got back on set and found the AD. "One of the girls took forever with her lines. But it looks like we got the scene. We’re doing 45 now. Better prep for 55, and the sword fight."

Sarah really should work to prepare for the sword fight where the heroes clash blades with the evil murderous black lord of the fair (who was missing the obvious joke that he was really a plumber or something...I mean, she should write this stuff but didn't). She hadn’t found the kid.

"I want to see life baby, really give it to the camera! That’s the eyes, baby. I want to see action! Passion!! Romance baby...NO!!! no! You’re doing it all wrong!! Cut! CUT!!!”

Sitting in the director’s chair was a 10 year Latino old kid. He was shooting commands to invisible actors and clearly having the time of his life. The line producer was watching him with a tolerant eye as the actual director talked with the cameraman. Some of the crew was laughing despite themselves at the antics. Even the star was giving him kind of a warm smile. Well, as warm as he ever got.

"Hey," the director said, "Want to work a light in the next scene?" he asked the kid.

"Union rules," said the UPM.

"Ahh, okay," said the director. “Your parents are going to come and pick you up."

"Why so many lights?" the kid wondered, "It’s already so bright."

"Ahh...it’s Hollywood magic."

True enough, thought Sarah, as she attempted to organize a vast melee of extras in armour, with halberds, attacking two guys in suits. True enough. Hollywood magic was her life.

 Well, for the most part. Except for the actual magic.