Title: Breaking News
Characters: Mike, Martin
Summary: Mike and Martin witness the birth of Mount Wilshire in L.A.
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to whoever owns "V". This is just for fun.
Author's Note: You can blame this story on the fact that I watched "Volcano" last night on dvd and couldn't help picturing Mike Donovan running around in the middle of the disaster with his camera perfectly happy that he was in the right place at the right time. Anyone in their right mind would run the other way, right? Hmmm…maybe I'm just a coward. This is AU of course and would take place after the saucers left the first time. Not exactly the greatest story I ever wrote, but oh well. I decided to post it anyway. FANFIC CHALLENGE: Write about a news story that Mike and Martin cover. You can base it on another movie if you want or make up your own. Doesn't have to be in L.A. either.
It was another beautiful day in Los Angeles or it would be when the sun came up. Although it was very early, Mike Donovan was already driving his convertible down Wilshire Boulevard. A strong earthquake had rattled his house minutes before, literally throwing him out of bed. His bookcase had came crashing down, pictures had jumped off the wall and the overhead light had swayed crazily. His was just thankful his windows hadn't broke. As earthquakes went, it was a powerful one but not strong enough to knock down overpasses or severely damage buildings. It had knocked out all the power though and the streetlights were out.
The strong rattling and shaking had also awoken his housemate. After the red dust had been thrown into the air and the Visitors had left Earth, Mike had invited Martin to stay at his house. Since he was now working as Mike's soundman, it only made sense to accept the offer. Martin had stumbled out of his bedroom wide-eyed to be hauled into a doorway by Mike. Oddly enough, they had suffered very few earthquakes during the Visitor occupation so the ground trembling violently had come as a great shock to the lizard alien. Martin now sat in the passenger's seat, his sunglasses in his shirt pocket, as it was still dark out. He glanced at Mike. "Does the ground shake like that often?"
"Are you kidding? The whole city is built on a major fault, so yeah, it happens frequently. This whole area is geologically unstable." Mike explained as he slowly drove down the street. His instinct for news told him a story still lurked around the park where city workers had died yesterday while down in a storm drain. The official explanation was steam from a busted water pipe, yet the clothing had been charred. The park was still a way yet, as they hadn't passed the tar pits yet. The car in front of them slowed to make a turn so Mike slowed as well.
"Do you hear something?" Martin asked as he glanced around, clearly puzzled.
"What do you hear?" Mike asked, knowing that Visitor's had superior hearing to humans.
"I'm not sure. A whistling? Whatever it is, it's growing louder."
"It's probably an approaching aftershock." Mike's hands tightened on the steering wheel as he glanced at the department stores and museums that lined the street, all of them with large glass windows. Should he put the car's top up? Some aftershocks could be very strong and he certainly didn't want all that glass falling on them.
A loud boom rattled the street as a heavy sewer cover several feet down the street from them shot straight up into the air propelled by what looked like a tower of white steam. Then the next sewer cover flew upwards with more hot steam.
"What the?" Mike cried as his mouth dropped open in shock at the incredible sight, his eyes wide. Putting the car in reverse, he backed up until he was certain they weren't parked on top of a sewer cover. Satisfied they weren't, he reached for the camera.
A loud roaring filled the air as yet more sewer covers shot upward like bullets from a gun. The hot columns of steam was rapidly approaching their car and then the sewer cover nearest their car shot upward as a white billowing column of steam appeared. Moments later the thick, heavy metal cover landed with an incredible din on their car hood, breaking the windshield. Martin threw up his arms to protect himself from the shattering glass. He lowered them just in time to see the sewer cover bounce off the hood, leaving a deep dent in the metal. It landed on the street and rolled until it came to a stop near his door. Staring at it for a moment, he couldn't help but notice it looked partly melted. With another loud bang the sewer cover behind them shot upward.
"Is this another earthquake?" Martin shouted at Mike, hoping the human could hear him over the loud roaring.
"I don't know what it is, but its news!" Mike shouted back as he happily filmed the odd columns of roaring steam that was coming from under the street. "It's a major story and we're lucky enough to be right here!"
"You call this luck?" Martin asked as he reached for his sound equipment. "We were almost killed by a sewer cover!"
Shaking his head at the human's strange logic, he turned on his equipment. Holding the device up to record the roaring, he noticed something had landed on his hand. It looked like a gray flake. Glancing up, he saw the air around them was filled with the odd gray flakes. And it was incredibly hot. The air around them was sweltering, probably from all the steam erupting from the sewers. Glancing at Mike, he saw beads of sweat running down the human's face. Lizards couldn't sweat though; their only way to handle the heat was to head into the shade or other cool area. They dealt with cold much better and could easily stand freezing temperatures that would kill a human. Martin stared at the gray stuff nervously, not liking it at all. "Mike, what is this stuff?"
"Looks like volcanic ash." Mike replied as he eagerly swung the camera this way and that. "Maybe we're going to have a volcano right here in LA! Now that would be a major news story and we have exclusive footage!"
Martin paled. "A volcano?"
As if on cue, a large burning rock sailed through the air with a loud whistling and landed on a nearby building, the building bursting into flames. A second burning rock soon followed, this one arcing in a different direction. Within moments palm trees on both sides of the street were burning, the air filled with smoke as well as ash.
"Yep, definitively a volcano. Those look like lava rocks." Mike hopped out of the car, the heavy camera on his shoulder. "Come on, let's see what's the commotion up ahead by the tar pits is about."
The lizard alien stared at Mike for a minute. "You do realize up ahead is where those burning rocks are coming from…."
"Of course! Come on, I'm sure it's perfectly safe." Mike waved at him to get out of the car.
"There are burning rocks falling from the sky, buildings are on fire and you say it's perfectly safe?" Martin sighed but opened the car door and got out. "My people don't handle high heat very well, Mike. If it gets any hotter, you'll be looking for a new partner."
The human backed up a few steps and dug in the car's back seat, pulling a cold bottle of water out of a cooler. He shoved it towards his friend. "Drink this. That should keep you cool for a while…"
The lizard stared at the small bottle of icy water and then looked at the burning buildings and trees, shaking his head. The situation was rapidly becoming incredibly dangerous, far more dangerous than any of the attacks from the Visitors had ever been. Anyone in his or her right mind would flee the other way, everyone but Mike that is. Still, the cold water was better than nothing so he drank it down. Following his human friend forward, he evading falling lava rocks and just missed getting hit by the collapsing trunk of a burning palm tree.
Then it grew silent, the loud roaring shutting itself off. Glancing at the open sewer holes, they both noticed the absence of the boiling steam. Martin glanced around nervously as he huddled near Mike and his camera. The unnatural silence seemed to drag on and in many ways it was worst than the roaring had been. The other humans in the area also looked apprehensive.
"Look!" Someone shouted. "The tar pits are on fire!"
Martin turned to see the lava bubbling out of the tar pit and slowly oozing its way onto Wilshire Boulevard. Another human was busy shouting orders as everyone slowly was forced to back away from the spreading molten rock. After what seemed like forever but wasn't really, big semi trucks arrived with cement roadblocks. A horseshoe shaped barrier was built and the lava was allowed to pool up within. Then dozens of helicopters dropped thousands of gallons of water onto the molten rock along with more water from fire hoses. To Martin's shock, the human's desperate plan actually worked and the flow hardened, stopped.
"Come on!" Mike called as he grabbed Martin by his arm to drag him back towards the car. "Let's get this footage back to the studio!"
Mike's face, hair and clothing were gray from ash, yet he didn't seem to care. It was clear that he thrived on dangerous situations, risking his life to capture hazardous events on film. Luckily, the convertible was still there and seemed all right once the ash was swept off the seats. Martin was all too glad to settle within the relative safety of the car, especially once it was heading away from the many mile tall tower of gray ash that was still shooting up into the sky.
"So," Mike said as he drove down the street. "How did you like your first week as a soundman?"
"The week clearly ended with a bang."