Flash of Lightning: Bolt Action, the action show star, has been cast in many movies and productions over his time as an actor. He enjoys the challenges, and the opportunity it gives him to exercise his real talent in the realm of flight -- doing the stunts most others would find impossible due to danger. The only problem with his role as an actor is that he is always cast as a villain. In his latest film, he is once more the villain of the story. But when ponies start to go missing on set, and bloody scenes of horror meant to be fake turn into reality, will Bolt be able to survive long enough to discover who is behind the grisly activities in Los Pegasus?
The pegasus stood stoicly over the body of his latest victim, the leather bindings around each of his hooves securing a set of nasty blades to his limbs. The blades on his front right hoof dripped blood as he extended it over the body towards the only other pony in the room.
"Game's over, girl," came his gravelly voice, beckoning with menace. "No where to run... and nopony to save you!" The air vibrated with her scream as the masked pegasus, draped in rotten canvas moved to strike at her. A splash of red fluid was thrown up from the blow, splattering across the mask and pale wings of the assailant. "Your mark is mine!"
"Aaand CUT!!" rang out a voice from beyond the scene. "That's it for today!"
Immediately, the pegasus in the mask sighed, relaxing his pose and flapping his wings to try and rid them of the fake blood that he had just been splattered with, before resting them against his body. He pushed up his mask as his fellow actors moved from their respective places, the pale pegasus with the bloody mane and tail reaching to undo the straps around his hooves as his coworkers left the filming area.
"Good job, Mr. Action, you really brought out the terrifying nature of Blank Flank," gushed the same voice that had spoken the command earlier.
Bolt Action glanced up from his work with the strap, nodding his head imperceptibly at the compliment, before freeing his front hooves of their prop weapons, planting himself on his rear to remove the other parts of his hoof-affixed props. "Glad you seem pleased with the work," replied Bolt, eager to get out of the gear and wash off the dyes and remove the rest of the make-up. "But seriously. Blank Flank? That's a foal insult. Why name a horror villain after that?"
"That may be, but Blank Flank: Call of the Mark is going to be my best work yet." Replied the haggard looking director. He happened to also be the writer of the movie Bolt was playing the titular villain for. "Who wouldn't be scared of a terrible pony that carves out your cutie mark?"
"I just think that you might be better served with another name." Bolt replied, fluttering his wings as he moved over to a bin for the props of his costume, placing the mask and claws inside it, before following it with the canvas that covered his body. His violet eyes glanced back at the director. "I just think you could call him something scarier than a schoolyard insult from when we were foals."
"Well, I appreciate the input, I suppose..." hemmed the director, his red mane hanging around the left side of his muzzle as his equally red eyes narrowed. "But this is my project, Mr. Action. I like your work, but don't question me about it too much," warned the brown pony with the red canister of film-reel as a cutie mark. "I know my job."
Bolt sighed, knowing what he really meant by that was more akin to "shut your mouth if you want to be paid". "Alright, Mr. Red Reel."
"Good. You're a good actor, Mr. Action, but this movie is my -vision-. I really DO appreciate your help, but certain things aren't up for debate. You can head on out now." Red Reel finished, dismissing the actor as he turned to go do the last part of his own job.
Bolt nodded faintly, moving to the area where the showers were kept, slipping in with the other actors for a quick wash-off of the makeup. He sighed as he stepped on the panel that let the warm water flow over his body, stretching out his wings to catch the water before he took a sponge in his hoof and began to scrub. As he worked, the make-up faded, and he could see the dyes washing out of his hair. Fake blood flowed down the drain, along with the rotten green of the dye in his hair, and the red of the "dried" blood that streaked it. It mixed with the pale white coating his form, before that too was washed away under the warm flow.
Finally, when Bolt was sure he was clean of all makeup, he stepped away from the shower, flapping his wings briefly and shaking himself to dry off. Trotting out of the cleaning area, he waved briefly at the co-stars on this horror film. Their response was a brief wave, and a laugh at the way Bolt was shuffling his damp wings while he walked. A couple of them asked Bolt to join them for drinks, but he carefully deflected the offers by simply saying that he was tired, and wanted nothing more than to go home and relax.
In truth, Bolt was far from tired. He was full of energy, but he couldn't tap a single bit of it on set today. The action scenes were not physically demanding, today. In fact, most the scenes filmed the past week had been very relaxed, and mostly free of any strenuous action. He was -dying- to stretch his wings and legs, to really show what he could do. He liked to move, loved to perform, but most of all, he loved to look death in the face and offer it a breath mint now and then.
It was an exhilarating feeling, to be sure. And Bolt had been aching for another experience, something he usually got while on set. But this project had done nothing but make him long for the sky in the worst way, the way one might long to take a lover against a wall and rut them into rapturous delight after months apart. This level of longing surprised Bolt, but he sighed, slipping into his trailer.
He paused at the mirror to look at himself, to double check that he really HAD cleaned off all his makeup. Staring back at him was his expected reflection -- a very light grey pegasus stallion with a black mane striped with bright pink. His tail matched his mane, and on his flank sat his cutie mark: a sky blue lightning bolt, intersecting a purple ring with yellow filling the background of the inner portion of the ring.
Bolt's examination was quick, before he brushed his mane into the style he preferred, and flexed his wings, turning his head to inspect them. Preening his wings for a brief moment, Bolt considered his evening's tasks. He was in Los Pegasus, a coastal town on a coast opposite Manehatten. Coastal towns like these tended to be above average, second only to Canterlot. By all accounts, Bolt should have no trouble finding something to do in town, but none of it would sate the desire Bolt had itching at his body, focused on his wings.
He wanted to fly, REALLY fly. Do things like that pegasus from the Cloudsdale flying competition, that Rainbow Dash. She had broken through a barrier most thought impossible to break, smashing through the barrier of sound to create a Sonic Rainboom. Bolt had been there, and he had been amazed. He had wanted to fly out and meet this wonderful mare, to ask her how it had felt. Alas, the Wonderbolts had the honor of her time, and he never saw her again. In fact, he only learned her name and where she lived due to a story in the LP Times, telling of Ponyville's six mares that had saved all of Equestria from Discord.
Bolt sighed, shaking his head as he moved to place his purple cloak and drape on, flexing his wings under it before settling them against his body. Placing a set of sunglasses on his face, he trotted out of the trailer. He would mourn his lack of proper flight time at a later date. Right now, he just wanted to get away from work, and that meant walking himself down to the small hotel he was staying in. He had a friend coming that night, and he would have to have some food waiting.
"After that fox leaves," mumbled Bolt as he spoke to himself, "I am going to fly my wings off if it kills me." He smiled as he promised this to himself, waving to the security pony at the gate as he left the property.
The walk to the hotel where he was staying was mercifully short, only a mere four blocks away. As Bolt's hooves struck the stone of the streets, he found himself continually glancing toward the sky, the sunset blanketing the horizon making him eager to spread his wings yet again. Unfortunately, such a thing was ill advised in general right now. It would catch undue attention for him to take wing in the middle of the hustle and bustle of ponies making their way to home or whatever their nighttime destination may be -- party, play, film, or bar.
Not to mention, this was Los Pegasus, and taking flight in the middle of a crowd would mean not only catching the attention of the ponies around him, but also the photographer ponies that always seemed to lurk in the skies or scenery, just out of sight. The last time Bolt had done something like that in Las Neighas, the papers in the gambling town had been aflutter with speculation as to why the actor was in town behaving such a way. Worst among them had been the Equestrian Enquirer, Bolt recalled, suggesting that he was in fact rushing off to his rival and "secret lover", Jet Stream. The allegations had caused a fight on set that following morning, in which Bolt had to fend off an irate male lead.
"Definitely don't need another "Enquirer" incident.." mumbled Bolt, flicking his tail as he turned into the entryway for the hotel. "The Setting Sun", the owners had named it. It seemed fitting for him, given that his arrivals to the place seemed to always land on that period of the day.
"Evenin', Mr. Action. Long day at th' set?" called out a friendly voice from the desk as he passed it.
"Oh, about as long as the last few weeks, Mr. Weather," Bolt replied amicably, turning slightly to face the speaker, pausing in his advance towards the stairs.
"I dunno, guy, you look a lot more antsy than usual. You been gettin' enough time airborne? I seen that look before, I have. Take it from Fair Weather, I seen Stormy with that itchy look before. She been dyin' to hit the skies, or... well, you ain't got a problem with th' mares, now have ya, Mr. Action?" teased Fair Weather, the owner of the hotel. He was an elderly unicorn, lean with a faded cyan coat and cloud-white mane and tail that was now streaked with silver. His cutie mark was a wispy cloud shrouding the lower quarter of a sun.
"You keep tellin' me about your eldest daughter like that, I'll think you're trying to hook me up with her, Mr. Weather," Bolt retorted, trying to back out of the awkward conversation in a hurry. "I don't need that kind of help."
"Oh, I know, I know..." laughed off the elder pony. "I just like teasin' ya young bucks. Gives me somethin' to do when I'm waitin' for Sunny to finish dinner. By th' way, she said she's makin' a tomato basil soup, if you get hungry. Lotta garlic bread to go with it, too!"
"Now THAT I am interested in. If you can drop that off in my room, I'd be grateful. And make it two, please, I'm expecting a guest in an hour or two."
"Well, I suppose th' soup can be arranged to wait till your friend gets here... But Mr. Action, if you don't take care of that itch of yours..." began Fair Weather once more, grinning at Bolt.
"Thank you, I'm fine, see you later!" Bolt hastily replied, before he cantered off in a hurry towards his room on the second floor, leaving a laughing unicorn in his wake.