A killjoy story I wrote for Creative Writing class. Based off of Danger Days, with a slight Brave New World influence.
Once he found the generator and successfully turned it on, he turned the radio on to the emergency station. “Our nation leaders have decided to fire back, hopefully eliminating the threats.” The news anchor said. “How is the going to solve anything?” My mother questioned. “Shush!” Dad replied. The news anchor continued on “Right now we’re advising everyone to stay inside the bomb shelters, no matter what.” Just then there was an explosion. I heard it on the radio, and felt the shockwaves. Even deep down in the bomb shelter it made everything shake. The radio then went to static. “Oh no.” My mother whispered as she hugged me tightly.*
That’s my last memory of my normal life. The minute that bomb hit U.S soil, life changed. Millions were dead. The bomb touched down in Arkansas, and the land from Utah up to Maine was destroyed. Hawaii and Alaska had been fully emerged in water from the bomb that landed in the Pacific Ocean. Places that weren’t destroyed reeked of chemicals and deadly gases. Pretty much the safest place to be was California, where I lived. We did our best to rebuild our lives once we walked out of that bomb shelter, but it was difficult, and seemed near impossible. That is, until a man named Korse took over. He was from a company. Better Living Industries or BL/Ind for short. At first his company seemed totally legit, and we were in fact “Living Better”. He helped us rebuild a city, a city that we referred to as Battery City. He established order, and was able to keep the rather small population in order. All in all though, he lied. A lot. After a while he forced people to look, act and even think the same. He forced medication, to get rid of “counter productive feelings”, down our throats. My parents were part of a group that revolted against them. They were killed for it. I was thirteen at the time. I didn’t know what was going on, but before Korse had the chance to get to me, four guys came to our small apartment and took me with them. Their names were Party Poison, Fun Ghoul, Kobra Kid, and Jet Star. They were killjoys, which meant they were part of a group that’s main goal is to destroy Korse and BL/Ind. “Don’t worry.” Said one with scarlet hair. “It’ll all be okay.”
And with that semi-pleasant thought I drifted into sleep for the night.
“Remember, no matter what, even if you crash and burn, you’re young, and loaded.” Party Poison said to me as he handed me my first, still plain white, ray gun, which was basically just a laser beam. “This thing is your life. You never leave camp or go anywhere without it. You hear me?” I rolled my eyes “Yeah, I hear you.” Party Poison got so overprotective sometimes. Just then Kobra Kid yelled “Yo, guys I got the dye!” “Sweet!” I said as Kobra was making his way towards the camp site. “What color do you want?” He asked me. “Purple.” I said, without any thought whatsoever. He handed me the contraband colored can and said “Enjoy.” I took it, and made my way down to the river to permanently alter my identity by coloring my hair purple. All the killjoys did it, it was a universal sign of rebellion, and it let the other killjoys know that you were with them rather than against them. When I got back, hair successfully colored, Fun Ghoul handed me my newly painted purple, ray gun. “You left camp without it.” Poison said. “Uh.” I stuttered. “Starting now I won’t forget it.” Poison chuckled and said “Alright, it gave us time to paint it anyway.” “I’m lovin’ the hair Cy!” Jet Star said as he came over with firewood. I smiled and asked “Did it turn out right?” “Indeed it did!” Kobra exclaimed.
I woke up to the sound of radio static. “Turn the antennae to the left” I heard Arsenic Bubblegum (Bubs for short) say to Spectrum Kerosene (Specs). “It is left!” He argued. “Oh, I mean right, then.” She said back. She was so stupid sometimes, it was amazing her and Specs were related. He was a like, some kind of “Super genius”, and she was…well, stupid. I rolled out of the tent and walked over to them. “Wrong station, geniuses” I said as I turned the dial on the radio. There was slight static still, but at least we could hear the music that was playing. “When’s Dr. D supposed to come on?” Specs asked me. I shrugged. “Whenever he feels like it.” I looked around our lame looking campsite; the acid rain was really taking its toll on our equipment. Thank god it stopped. “Where is Strobe at?” Bubs and Specs looked around “Not sure.” Specs finally answered. “I’ll look for him when I go down to the stream to wash my hair” Bubs said. I nodded and went to open a BL/Ind can of processed soup for breakfast. Bubs washed her bright pink hair way too much. It was a waste of supplies, but she wouldn’t have her hair be dirty. Not like we’re in the desert or anything. Just then Strobe showed up. “Well, look who decided to wake up, nice of you to join us there, Electric Cyanide.” He said. I shot him a glare and went back to opening my can with a pocket knife. He threw down a canvas bag in front of me. “What’s this?” I asked “Supplies.” He said. I opened the bag; it was full of Ray Guns, Batteries, food and a can opener. “Thank God.” I said as I used it to finally open the stubborn soup can.
Then the music on the radio stopped. “Here comes the Doc!” Strobe said. “Look alive, sunshine. 109 in the sky, but the pigs won’t quit. You’re here with me, Dr. Death Defying. I’ll be your surgeon, your proctor, your helicopter. Pumping out the slaughter-matic sounds to keep you alive! A system failure for the masses, anti-matter for the master plan. Louder than God’s revolver, and twice as shiny. This one’s for all you rock -n- rollers, all you crash queens and motor babies. LISTEN UP! The future is bullet proof, the aftermath is secondary. It’s time to do it now, and do it loud! Killjoys, make some noise!” Then an all out metal song started playing. “Guess he’ll be back in a minute with the important stuff.” Strobe said. I finished off my can and threw it into the fire. I looked over at Strobe who was lying on the desert sand. He reminded me so much of Party Poison sometimes, it was creepy. His hair was really the only difference. Party’s was a scarlet red, while Strobe’s is a dark (almost black) blue. I got up off the log that I was sitting on and went over and sat next to him. “So,” I said “What’s the plan for today?” I asked him. “Well,” He began “It looks like we’re gonna be expecting some more acid rain, so I say we should try to get to zone three before tonight.” “More acid rain?” I asked, He nodded and said “Yeah, but we can wait for the official weather report to decide.” Dr. Death Defying’s voice came back over the speakers. All of us got silent. “Now Killjoys, we’ll be intercepting BL/Ind’s weather broadcast, so here it is.” There was static before another voice came over the speakers. “And now for our weekend weather report, in zones one through three we’ll have a high of one hundred and eighteen degrees, with a low of one-oh- seven. In zones four through six, we’ll have slight to severe acid rain, which will continue throughout the week. And as for Battery City we can look forward to a pleasant seventy two degrees! Signing off from Fact News, the ONLY news.” “Told you” Strobe said.
Specs stood up and said “I guess that means we’re getting out of here, right?” “Yupp,” Strobe said as he shut off the radio. “The supplies can’t handle anymore acid rain.” He was pretty much our unofficial leader, due to the fact that he knows his way around the zones, and he’s been in this longer than the rest of us. “I say we go to Zone Three, that way if Draculoids are patrolling the area we can get back to Zone Five quicker.” Bubs sighed “I hate Zone Three, there’s no stream or anything there.” “Deal with it, girlie.” Strobe said as he started to pack up the tent. I started packing things up as well. It was a tough life, going against BL/Ind, Korse and his Draculoid devotees. The Draculoids got their name from the vampire-like plastic masks they wear to cover their faces. They’re brainwashed to do pretty much whatever Korse tells them to, which is “Exterminate all killjoys.”
I picked up my ray gun and holstered it, and went to help Specs pack up all the technical equipment. A while back, Strobe was able to grab some computers and radios from BL/Ind’s headquarters. Sure, it made him even more wanted and put an even larger target on our backs. But, it’s an advantage we couldn’t afford to pass up. Once all the equipment was packed up, we went through the mandatory check list. “Ray guns?” “Check.” “Food?” “Check.” “Masks and Bandanas?” “Check.” “Radios?” “Check.” So on, and so forth. We seemed to have everything. Before we set out I called in over the radio. “Killjoys, can you read me? Electric Cyanide here. We’re moving into Zone four from Zone five, is there anything we need to look out for? Hello? Any Killjoys read?” I waited a second and heard static as a radio on the other side was tuning in “Yo, I hear ya loud and clear. We’re going through a bit of a swine-flu outbreak, so be sure to wear your masks through the zones!” “Thanks.” I replied “Keep on, keepin’ on, Killjoys.” I turned off the radio and handed it to Strobe. “Masks on.” he said.
I grabbed my bandana that Fun Ghoul had given me, two years ago, which seemed like a lifetime. It was made out of the remnants of an American flag. Over top of that I pulled on a motorcycle helmet that functioned as a gas mask. The others pulled on their masks as well. “Everyone good?” I heard Strobe’s muffled voice say. We all nodded and grabbed our bags. Just as we were about to leave Strobe turned to me “You keep this” He said as he tossed the radio at me. I caught it and tucked it into my jacket as we started walking. The California desert has been brutal ever since 2013. The nuclear explosions caused nearly all plant and animal life to cease. Not to mention that we weren’t doing so hot at the time with our “Save the o-zone” project. Nah, we just messed it up even more. In 2019 there is no ozone layer, so the heat out here in the desert is brutal. At least the city had a controlled temperature. No more than twenty minutes after we had started walking, we spotted them. “Look to the west.” Strobe said “Dracs.” I looked into the horizon to see about six Draculoids walking towards us. “Can we outrun them?” Bubs asked. “No way, they’ve already spotted us.” Strobe replied “Better get our guns out.” I said.
We all sat down our bags and got out our guns. The Draculoids started shooting their laser beams at us, and we fired back, with even more intensity. Bubs, being our worst shot (and her being not too intelligent didn’t help either) took several hits and dropped her gun. I dove for her gun and shot both of them at the Dracs while Specs ran to Bubs to inspect, and dress her wounds. He wasn’t a very good shot, either. Strobe and I had ghosted all but two Dracs and one decided to go for a different approach. While Strobe was in a shoot-out with the other, the Drac used a mirror to reflect the sun in my eyes and temporarily blinded me. He the ran right up to me and was able to kick both ray guns out of my hands. It was then a hands on fight. He threw a punch at me and I was able to dodge that, but not before he kicked my legs out from under me. I fell to the hard desert sand, but was able to pull him down with me. I threw a punch and hit him right in the jaw, making him fall on his back. I looked over at Strobe who was also struggling with the other Drac. Specs was dressing Bubs’ wounds. She did not look good. I quickly stood up and went to get the ray guns but the Drac grabbed me by the ankles and pulled me back onto the ground.
Having my luck, my head made contact with a huge rock on the ground and knocked the helmet right off my head and I swear I blacked out for a moment. Next thing I knew, the Drac had me pinned down. He picked my head up and slammed it back onto the rock. I fought to get him off of me, but the blow to my head was making me feel dizzy and disoriented. He picked my head off the ground and once again slammed it into the rock. I could feel the blood running down the side of my face. Before he had a chance to pick my head up again I was able to head-butt him, but I’m pretty sure it hurt me more than it hurt him, and just made him angry. He raised a hand and hit me in the face several times. I spat the blood that was in my mouth right in his face. Just as he was about to hit me again I saw a laser beam go through his head and he fell to the ground beside me. I looked up to see a blurry figure that looked a lot like Strobe walking towards me. He offered a hand but before I had a chance to take it, everything went black.
I woke up and found myself in my back in my tent. “Did I dream that?” I wondered. But, the massive, pounding headache I had assured me that it had, indeed happened. I stood up to walk out of the tent, but not without falling over with dizziness. That Drac must have really pounded the crap out of me. I crawled over to the tent opening, unzipped it, and crawled out. It was nighttime, I looked around and saw that we had set up camp. Just then Strobe noticed me “Hey, you feeling alright?” I stood up and said “Yeah, I’m fine. What zone are we in?” “Three.” He said. “But…” I said slightly confused “When the Dracs attacked we were barely out of zone five.” He nodded and said “I know.” “How did I get here?” “Well…” He started “After I saved you from that Draculoid, you blacked out, so, I had to pretty much carry you all the way here.” “Huh.” I said “Thanks.” He shrugged “Well, I’m used to saving you by now, no thanks needed.” I gave him a light punch to the arm, and realized that I didn’t know what happened to Bubs. “Hey, where are Bubs and Specs at?” I asked him. He pointed to one of the other tents. “How badly was she hit?” I asked as we started to walk over to the tent, he said “Well, she was hit twice in the right arm, once in the left, and they also got her a couple times in the chest and stomach.” “My god…” I said. “Is she alright?” He shrugged “I don’t really know…She was able to limp most of the way here, but she’s pretty much been out for the past three or four hours. But, between you and me, I don’t think she’s going to make it.” I shook my head as I opened the tent. “How is she?” I asked in whisper. Specs sighed and said “Bad. Really bad.”
After sitting in with her for a few minutes I left the tent, me sitting there and worrying wasn’t going to do any good. Specs followed me out.” What are we going to do?” I asked. Strobe shrugged. “There’s not really much we can do. We don’t have any medicine, we’re running low on supplies, and Dracs are patrolling the area. There’s nothing we can do.” “We can’t just let her die!” Yelled Specs. “What do you want me to do?” Strobe yelled back, “Anything!” “Alright,” Strobe said “We can take her to the hospital in Battery City, and turn ourselves in and end our life as we know it! But hey, she’ll be alright, so it doesn’t matter, does it?” Although he was being sarcastic he gave me an idea. I thought for a moment as he and Specs continued yelling. “Wait.” I said as they both turned their attention to me.
“Strobe might have something here.” “You’ve got to be kidding me.” He said. “No, I’m not.” I said “We can stop by the old Killjoy hideout. It still has to have some of the disguises there. And, I think the old Trans-Am is still in the garage. Then we can take her into the Battery City hospital with some cover story of how some killjoys attacked us.” “What if we get recognized?” Strobe asked. “Then we get the hell out of there.” I said. “No, no, no!” Specs said. “It’s too risky. What if they notice her and kill her?” “Well, I guess she’s going to die either way then.” Strobe said. It was harsh, but it was also true. “So, are we going through with this?” I asked. Strobe shook his head. “Not exactly.”
What we finally decided to do, was to sneak into the hospital, steal the medicine and supplies, and get out of there. First we dropped Bubs and Specs off at the old house the killjoys used to call home. In the garage was one of the BL/Ind cars we used for missions like this before. “That’s lucky.” I said to myself as it started up. Strobe found the disguises and we prepared ourselves for the next day. I dyed my hair a natural looking black color and Strobe, as much as he hated it, cut his hair to a “normal” length and dyed it brown, cursing under his breath as he did so. We changed into socially acceptable clothes, and started packing up the car to leave. “Wow.” Specs said as he walked out into the garage. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you guys were two, thoughtless, Battery City dwellers.” “That’s the point.” Strobe said.
We waited until sunset to leave, that way we’d be less likely to be seen driving around the Zones. Strobe kept the headlights off in order to avoid detection. By time we arrived in Battery City, it was morning. There was the usual rush of traffic as the Battery City residents headed off to work. We had to hurry up and get off the road before 9:00. Everyone is always at work by nine and off the roads by nine. They’re conditioned to do so. We arrived at the hospital at 8:58 am. “How are we going to get in?” I asked. Strobe took out a ray gun “Like this” he said as he shot himself in the arm. “WHAT WAS THAT?!” I yelled. He gave me a forbidding look and said “Shush! Now, come on!”
We walked into the hospital lobby. “Hello.” I said to one of the nurses behind the desk. “My…brother got shot at by some killjoys and needs medical attention.” I tried my best to sound as emotionless as possible. “Alright.” She said as she handed me a clipboard with papers on it “Fill these out and the doctor will be with you momentarily.” I sat down beside Strobe in the waiting room. “We’re in.” I said as I handed him the clipboard “Good.” He said as he began to fill it out. I looked at him, he was acting as if he’d never gotten shot “At least act like it hurts.” I said. He rolled his eyes and said “I’m saving it for the doctor, okay?” “Whatever.” I said “What’s the plan?” He looked around to make sure no one could hear what he was about to say. “When I go back with the doctor, you go back with me. Then, excuse yourself to go the bathroom or something, and find your way into the medicine locker. Pick the lock, grab some stuff, and meet me back in the room. If everything goes well, my gunshot will be cured, I’ll be discharged and we can leave.” It was a pretty solid plan. Certainly not the riskiest thing we’ve ever done. “What if things don’t go well?” I asked. “If we get caught,” he said “We run out of here, shooting.”
“Sounds good to me.” I said as I picked up a FACT News, newspaper. “Huh.” I said as I flipped through the pages. There was a whole page dedicated to wanted Killjoys “Look!” I whispered to Strobe “You’re wanted alive.” I pointed to the picture of him that read “Adam Smith, goes by Lithium Strobelight--Wanted alive.” “Well that can’t be good.” He said “So are you.” He pointed to my picture. “Is that worse then being killed?” I asked. He shrugged. Then, another person entered the waiting room. “Excuse me, what does it mean when these killjoys are wanted alive?” I asked him. “It means the Korse gives them what they deserve. They’re the worst of the worst.” He said. “Oh.” Was my only reply. So that was why that Drac didn’t want to shoot me. I was worth more alive then dead.
“I hope they don’t check this information before we go back, ‘cause it’s all fake.” Strobe said as he handed me back the clipboard. “I’ll just wait to turn it in.” I said. A nurse came back and told Strobe that the doctor could see him now. He grabbed on to his arm and said “Finally! This hurts so much!” He said as he grimaced in “pain.” We walked back to the little, cubical-like room. “Are you finished filling that out yet?” The nurse asked me, cheerfully. “Not quite yet, thank you.” I said. She turned her attention to Strobe and his injured arm. “OW!” He said as she took his hand off the gunshot wound. “Oh my.” She said as the doctor came in. “Alright, this is the fellow with the gunshot? Let me see.” He looked inspected Strobe’s wound “Well, it’s pretty nasty but, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Strobe gave me a look that said “GO.” “Well, that’s good!” I said “Excuse me.” I stood up “I’m going to go grab a drink from downstairs.” The nurse motioned to the clipboard “Make sure you drop that off.” I walked out of the room. “Now, where is that storage room?” I thought to myself. I walked around, dodging nurses and doctors and trying to avoid looking suspicious. I found a door that had “STORAGE” written on it, and quickly went in and shut the door. I locked the door after I found the light, just to be safe. I looked around the shelves and grabbed whatever I could fit into my bag. First aid kits, bandages, antibiotics, painkillers. If I could fit it in my bag, I took it.
Once I had what we needed I left the room, hoping that no one saw me. When I got back to the room where Strobe was out he came running out of the door. “Run, run, run!” He yelled. We started running down the hospital corridor, shooting our ray guns at our pursuers. We ran out to the parking garage. “Oh god. All the cars look the same. Where did we park?” Strobe looked around “I don’t remember.” I punched my hand through the window of the closest car. “Found one.” Strobe stood in front of the car, shooting at the approaching Draculoids, while I worked on hot-wiring the car. After a few minutes I yelled “Get in the car!” I sped off just before he shut the door. “What happened?” I asked him as I continued to speed out of the city. “They saw the clipboard, and recognized our faces. It would be our luck that our wanted posters were in that room.” I looked in the rearview mirror to see three or four cars behind us. I cursed under my breath. Strobe took out his ray gun. “I got this.” He said as he leaned out the window and shot out the tires of the first car causing it to wreck and stop the others from moving. Strobe and I have experience at car chases. “Nice shot.” I said.
“So, what did you get?” Strobe ask me as we entered Zone One. I shrugged “I don’t really know. I was trying to hurry.” He picked up the bag and went through it “Not bad, not bad.” “I figured we’d need it.” I said. Strobe picked up the radio “Yo, Specs we got the stuff. We’ll be there in like, five minutes.” There was no answer. “Hello?” He said again. I looked over at him “Do you think something bad happened?” Strobe shook his head “It’s hard to tell.”
About five minutes later we pulled up to the old house. Strobe ran up to the door, which was already opened. “Well this isn’t good.” I said to myself as I shut the car door. “Hello?” Strobe called. No answer. He went to the room where Bubs was. It was empty. “Where are they?” I asked. We continued to walk around the empty house. “Here’s their radio” I said, picking up the deserted radio. “Do you think they’d leave?” I asked. “No way.” Strobe said “They needed us too much.” Just then I saw a figure out the window, Strobe saw it too. “They’re here.” He said. Just then I heard a voice outside “Lithium Strobelight, and Electric Cyanide. If you come out here now and surrender yourselves now this will be much easier for everyone.” It was Korse. He had found us. “Where are they?!” I yelled back. “Oh, those other killjoys? Dead.” “We’re not surrendering.” Strobe said. “Pity.” Korse said “I’d rather take you in alive. You two could be such productive assets to society if you’d cooperate, but have it your way.”
I heard his car speed away, just as an old hand grenade came flying through the window. “RUN!” Strobe said as it hit the ground in front of us. We barely got out of the house before we were thrown in the air from the explosion. I looked back at the burning house. “Where too now?” I asked. Strobe shrugged “I don’t know, but we can’t stay here.” We salvaged what supplies we could from the explosion and continued on into the zones, and our lives as Fabulous Killjoys.