On the last day of filming for the pilot, the re-shoot, I was on set at five am. Perhaps a little earlier than I had to be, but I knew that most cast and crew would already be there, getting ready for the start of shooting at six, so I wanted to show them that I was with them in this last rush. We'd managed to salvage parts of the pilot from before, such as the discovery of the body, but there had been a huge amount of changes. Especially where Aaliyah was concerned, since I had refused to allow Caine's first rewrite of her character to make it to filming stages.
"Ms. Anderson?" Kate appeared, coffee in hand.
"Kate, have I ever told you how much I appreciate your prompt coffee deliveries?"
"Well I do. Now, what's the latest drama? I'm sure there is one; this show can't seem to go thirty minutes without something happening."
"Well Alex and Caine had an argument as soon as they walked on set, but apart from that it's been pretty quiet."
"Do I dare ask what they were arguing about?"
"Something about one of the scenes from yesterday. He didn't like the way it was shot and she said... well she said some things back to him that sent him in to a bit of a rage. But he went to the buffet and it seems to have calmed him down."
"Unless he's poisoning the food," I muttered under my breath. Kate snorted, but fought to keep a straight face. "Alright. And just so that I'm prepared for when both of them complain later, what exactly did she tell him?"
"She told him to... uh... F-off back to the slimy hole he'd crawled out of, and leave her to her job."
I stared at her, unable to stop the startled little laugh that burst from me. Some of the crew going past threw a surprised glance at me, and hurried on.
"Well... I suppose I should go and check on them both. Would you please find me a shooting schedule for the day? And get yourself a coffee; you look dead on your feet. Oh and if my mother tries calling you or anyone else in an effort to get through to me, feel free to block her number." I paused. "On second thoughts, she'd probably just turn up then. Just tell her I'm busy and I'll call her later."
"Yes ma'am." Kate grinned, and hurried away. I saw her poke Kamala in the side, making her jump, before I headed off to find Caine. It was best to speak to him first, because any show of favouritism that wasn't pointed in his direction just caused more arguments. One fortifying gulp of coffee, and I was prepared.
"Caine, how are you?" I discovered him tucking in to a bagel, scribbling furiously over a notepad.
"That red-headed witch is squashing my creative vision."
"Alex is just trying to do her job, like you're trying to do yours."
"She's rude to me, she doesn't respect my notes."
"She has notes from everyone to incorporate. She can't include all of yours Caine. But I will have a word with her. Maybe you two can meet with me once a week and discuss the upcoming scenes?"
"I don't want to be in a room with that-"
"Talking about me Caine?" Alex appeared, grinning, in her usual laid back way. Caine snarled and picked up his things, shooting a 'DO SOMETHING ABOUT HER' look at me, before he stormed off. I sighed and rubbed my temples. "He's a ray of sunshine isn't he?"
"You're not exactly making him any sunnier."
"Lighten up Helena. We'll be the best of friends once he realises that he can't have my job too." She sat down in Caine's old seat and grinned across at me.
"Perhaps you'd like to take my job, and have to deal with him every time he has a meltdown?"
"Ah, yes. Sorry about that." She was still grinning, making it very difficult to believe in her apology.
"I can see the guilt is killing you." I shot back, taking another gulp of coffee. "Just try to keep out of each others way, and I'll set up a meeting at the beginning of each week. Then you can discuss any notes for upcoming scenes, with me there. And if either of you start on the other..." I trailed off, because she was chuckling. "Something tells me you don't take my reputation as seriously as you should."
"Oh no, you're very scary, really. It's just... I've already messed up once and you didn't kill me then."
"It was the first day. I was feeling lenient."
She opened her mouth, probably to make a joking response, but something caught her eye and she paused. Her eyes widened and she ducked her head. It was the first time I'd seen her be less than assertive.
"Alex, come give your husband a kiss!" A familiar and gravelly voice called from behind me. Alex got up as I turned around to see David Finnick, striding towards us. The man was known for action movies, big Hollywood blockbusters with explosions, fighting and sex. He pulled Alex in for a rough kiss and then slung an arm around her shoulders, in what looked like an uncomfortable position. "Who is this?" He raked his eyes over me and I suddenly felt a shudder run through me. At first impression, I did not like this man.
"This is... uh..." Alex seemed to have lost the ability to speak, or look me in the eye. I stepped forward, hand extended, to save her from embarrassment.
"Helena Anderson. I'm the producer. Alex is an excellent director; we're lucky to have her."
"Nice to meet you." He removed his arm from Alex and shook my hand. "She's some talent in her, yeah." What a glowing recommendation, I thought sarcastically, glancing at Alex. She seemed to have recovered and looked more like her normal self, if not a little... submissive? "I'd have pegged you more for an actress with your looks."
"Well thank you. But I'm afraid I'll have to steal Alex back from you; we're about to begin filming."
"Oh no problem. I'll come and watch my wife work." He grinned and took Alex's hand. "Got to spend some time with her while I'm home you see. And we missed breakfast this morning didn't we?" He glanced at her and she nodded, ducking her head.
"Well, you seem to be a pretty capable man. I'm sure you can make some toast for yourself while she works for me." I finished. "As long as you keep quiet, you can watch." I finished.
"I don't understand." Virgil Braun said, his brow furrowed. "Nothing like this ever happens."
"But it does, and just because there are people who don't want you to know about it, doesn't mean it isn't happening now." Melanie added from where she was sitting on a rock, fiddling with the communication device.
"I've seen it myself." Randall replied. "She's right. We have to go and talk to someone who has seen the history. The texts have to have clues on how to stop this. On how to stop whoever did this."
"Now who's being naive?" Melanie snorted, standing and putting the device away. "The minute we tell them that this wasn't an accident, they're going to come down hard on us. You think they want their pretty little world destroyed? Think again. We'd be dead before we could even ask about the texts. They're forbidden. Why do you think they keep them locked away?"
"Well we can't very well figure this out without looking at them."
"I know." She replied, looking defiant. "That's why we're going to have to break in and see them for ourselves."
"CUT!" Alex yelled, and clapped. "Well done guys. That's the last take."
"Yeah!" Aaron whooped, and earned a high five from Jack. Aaliyah grinned and gripped Aaron's arm in a, half friendly, half possessive stance. It seemed that she'd taken him on as a sort of apprentice. I dreaded what that might bring about. The show's hashtag on twitter was already full of pictures of the two of them from just one day, and although it was good publicity, I worried about why she was suddenly so set on being his friend.
"Jack, how are you?" I heard David say, reaching out a hand to shake the other man's.
"Good, you?" They appeared to be civil, but there was some unrest between the two. And looking at Alex, I could see what that might be. Her eyes were darting between the two nervously, and I added potential love triangle to my list of things to worry about. I'd need a book to keep track of them soon. My mother's constant calls to myself, Kate and other members of the crew in order to get a hold of me was currently near the top of the list. The woman did not know when to give up.
"Well, that's everything for the day." Alex announced, tired. "See you tomorrow for episode two!" Everyone started to wander off, to get out of costume and make up, or clear up the set. I gathered up my bag and allowed myself a moment to pause, before straightening up, and marching over to where the trailers were parked, in order to get some notes written down in quiet.