Spider Bait fiddled with the hand held hacking device Black Jack had given him. The man told him that it might need updating every few days because BL/ind security was likely to purge anything from there system on a regular basis. The small appliance infiltrated the surveillance cameras placed throughout BLi HQ so that the spies could monitor drac movements and keep out of harms way. It also meant that they could feed a loop into the buildings system so that no one would be seen sneaking through the hallways.
Bob had been given the job of the main hacker; something he really knew nothing about and resented. However the job did need doing, and do it he did.
The former drummer unlatched a trapdoor in the ventilation system and stuck his head out to survey the hallway. There was no sign of any dracs so he let the top half of his body hang out from the hole into the space below. He carefully leaned to one side and unscrewed a bolt from the wall. This took much more coordination that he was used to and by the time he had loosened all four screws he could feel the blood pooling around his head. Bob pulled himself back into the air duct for a few minutes and let his circulation return to normal.
As his head cleared he contemplated the success of the past few days work. They spies hadn't picked up in anything major as of yet, just minor information that could be used to help zonerunners stay out of the way of planned drac attacks. Well, nothing except for the discovery of a new BLi product.
On the second day one of the rebels had been listening in on a conference held between The Head and Korse. The three masked faces of the corporations topmost leaders were being given a demonstration of a new medical discovery. Korse had shot a man (a prisoner scheduled for execution later that day of course) at point blank in the chest with a ray gun and then shown, to the amazement of all watching (including the spy) how an injection of a fabricated white blood cell healed the human within the space of a minute.
The new drug, the spy had learnt, had no side effects apart from a slightly weakened disposition for approximately three weeks, depending on the size of the injury. While The Head had "oohed" and "ahed" at the success of their scientists, the spies had been celebrating. This was truly prized information, which may not have been discovered for months or even years by zonerunners outside the city. The lack of doctors and medical facilities in the zones meant that small injuries could kill their people. With this new technology zonerunners who had been mortally wounded could be bought back from the brink of death.
A spy had been given the task of getting their hands on some of these syringes and distributing them amongst the seven spies. Their reasoning being that if anyone were hurt they'd be able to save themselves. And if worst came to worst for six of the spies, they'd at least have one left to cross the Traverse and relay this precious knowledge to those outside the city.
Bob had one of those healing needles, still in it's sterile metal container at the bottom of his bag. He hoped that he wouldn't have to use it, or have the pressure of explaining it's purpose to the zonerunner community. So far none of the spies had been caught, and he aimed to keep it that way.
Then he did something stupid.
Harley dumped her bag in her office and flicked through the list of prisoners she had to interrogate. It stretched on for a decent page and a half. Her eyes scanned the document twice, searching for the name of her best friend.
It wasn't there.
In an uncharacteristically childish gesture she threw the folder at her wall and slumped in her seat, pouting. 'I'll never find Rabid among the hundreds of prisoners here. I only have four days to search every cell.... and she might not even be in this facility anyway!' her thoughts only dampened her bad mood further.
There was a knock on the door.
"What do you want?" she snapped, not having to try very hard to switch to Korsette mode.
A familiar drac mask peeked from around the door and stuttered an apology.
"Spit it out Stuart, I don't have all day here." She rubbed her temples, wishing she could pull her wig off. The thick, white fringe looked good, but the cap squeezed her skull just enough to induce headaches.
The drac held out the object in his hand and stuttered "Korse wanted me t-to give this t-to you. It-t-t's a gift h-he said. One of the b-b-b-best ray g-guns around."
Harley's eyes zoned in on the pink weapon and she snatched it from his hands possessively.
"You can go now." She waved a hand at him vaguely, only interested in the familiar object in her hands. "Send my thanks to Korse." she mumbled as he shut the door.
The dark, reddish pink ray gun with it's striped nose and patterned body was instantly recognizable to Harlequin Diamond, even without the name that was swirled across the side in white. Six years ago Harley had given it to Roulette as a birthday present. It originally had belonged to the Scarecrow, Black Kite, before Diamond ghosted him. This weapon had the highest voltage capacity of any known ray gun, so rather than let it sink beneath the surface of the Californian Desert with it's owner she had decided to give it to Rabid, who was obsessed with firearms even before the takeover.
Harley smiled fondly at the memory of that christmas eve, Roulette had been turning twenty. The squeal of sheer excitement that came from her lips cannot be replicated for it's sheer loudness. Needless to say, Rabid and the gun had been pretty much inseparable since.
Harlequin pressed a kiss on the weapon lightly and slipped it into the pocket of her jacket.
"I'm going to find you." She whispered as she left her room. "No matter what happens."
Gerard ended up having to carry Roulette. They had only gone 50 meters when her energy deprived body gave up and slumped to the ground.
"I refuse to be carted around like some three year old!" she exclaimed indignantly, glaring up at him from the floor.
Party rolled his eyes behind the drac mask. "I wont tell anyone that I carried you, okay?"
She shook her head and pouted at her trembling legs. "I'll be fine in five minutes. Until then you will just have to wait." She folded her arms and raised her nose haughtily.
"We don't have five minutes Rabid." He pointed out and picked her up off the floor.
"Put. Me. Down. Killjoy!" She growled through clenched teeth.
"Not a chance. Please fasten your seatbelt, we hope you enjoy your ride with Air Party Poison." He grinned and slung her over his shoulder.
He set off at a jog through the white corridors. He was about 70% sure that he was going the right way, which would have to do for now.
Rabid beat her fists furiously on his back, shrieking at him to put her down.
"Look sugar, if you want to alert security go ahead hollering like that. But if you want to make it outta this place alive, I suggest you put a can of power pup in it!"
Roulette's loud complaints turned into a cross grumbling.
Gerard continued to take turn after turn in the maze of corridors and stairwells. He avoided elevators.
After fifteen minutes of going in circles (or at least Gerard thought he was going in circles, it was hard to tell when everything was white) he knew that he was lost.
Rabid must have been thinking the same thing, because she voiced her opinion. "Party I'd hate to admit it but I think you're lost. So why don't we-"
"I'm not lost Roulette. I know exactly where we are." His tone was crisp.
"Shh, you'll make me forget which turn I need to take next."
Roulette sighed. 'Men,' she thought, 'cannot admit it when they're wrong, and they sure as hell don't like asking for directions from a girl.'
Gerard didn't want to admit that he was lost to the obnoxious woman on his shoulder. However he knew that any minute their luck would run out and they'd be found by a drac.... or someone worse. He rounded a corner and was confronted by a dead end. He stopped abruptly and Roulette sniggered. Party was starting to wish that he had left the irritating crew leader behind.
"So, what's your plan then?" he tried not to sound too desperate.
"Nu-uh." She giggled. "I thought you knew where we were going."
Gerard slapped her thigh. "Spit it out, you can gloat later."
"Well, you know there's this really cool thing in pretty much every building in the world. There's usually no people in it, and it tends to lead directly to an exit. It's called a fire escape." She smiled at his groan.
"Ugh, why didn't you tell me that ten minutes ago!?"
Roulette was going to remind him that he had so rudely told her to be quiet, but Party stopped her.
"No wait, patronize me later. Right now we gotta go."
Abbey clutched the nose of the gun in her hand, gripping the hot surface defiantly. Right as Korse had fired the weapon she had flung herself over the table and redirected his aim. There was a blackened, smoking dent in the white wall as a consequence.
Korse didn't know whether to gloat with success or scowl with frustration. He was right, there was something off about the girl. However the fact that the pills did not affect her was a grave matter for BL/ind.
Abbey let go of the gun and tried to control her panicking heart. Her gaze connected with Anton's. His face was full of pain and he shook his head sadly at her. Her throat tightened, knowing that Korse wouldn't let her go now that he knew her secret.
'It was worth it.' she thought. 'I wont let Anton die for me.'
Korse waved a hand at the dracs and they slid the zonerunner across the concrete floor and out of the cell. Abbey kept her gaze locked with Anton's before the door swung shut and blocked him from her view.
"Sit down in the chair." the Scarecrow ordered. He kept his gun handy, slightly wary of the now unpredictable girl.
Abbey did as she was told, not wanting to anger the bald man.
"Now you're going to tell me exactly how you came to know our friend Renegade, and how you are managing to beat our drugs."
"Or what?" she raised her eyebrow arrogantly.
The wicked grin that curled the corners of the Scarecrow's lips sent shivers across her skin.
"Or else we'll see how many holes I can poke in your boyfriend before he dies."
Gerard wanted to leap down the stairs as fast as he could and get out of BL/ind HQ. However the weight of Russian Roulette slowed him down. Party had to make his way carefully down the steep stairs, lest he trip and drop the temperamental woman.
Half way down the fire escape both zonerunners flinched at the unmistakable sound of a ray gun being fire. The sound echoed in the enclosed space and Party felt Roulette tremble.
"That wasn't in here, was it?" she whispered.
Gerard shook his head. "No, it came from behind one of these walls." He stared at the wall ahead of them, gut instinct telling him that it came from that direction. "Don't worry Roulette, if they do notice you missing this wont be the first place they think to look. We're going to get out." His words weren't only comforting to the woman, but to himself as well. He felt like he was skating on very thin ice, only a few fragile walls between him and the Scarecrow.
Abbey told Korse everything. As soon as he had placed the threat of loosing Anton over her head, she didn't hold back any information. She described to him how she had woken up after a long coma to find that the world had changed. She pointed out that everyone she had once been friends with had disappeared, and that she was the only person she knew who found joy in creativity.
"So how come no one ever reported you to us?" He was watching the young girl intently, trying to pick up in any lies.
She shrugged. "They saw me take the pills, and I didn't really try to stand out. I wasn't really rebellious.... just different."
"And why did you try to kill yourself. Better Living Industries gives you people everything you need, you should have appreciated your life!"
He was slightly taken aback by the angry tear that tolled down her cheek. "You people only say that because you don't understand what it's like to be different, to be treated like you're insane!"
Most people Korse interrogated didn't have the guts to shout at him and not back down from his icy stare. He knew that it was only because she knew no better about his reputation, however he couldn't help but feel a little respect for her bravery.
"You must know something about Renegade, tell me everything he told you about his life." He pressed.
She shook her head and rolled her eyes. "I've told you everything I know. I didn't even know the he was going by a fake name until a few hours ago!"
"What about Maverick, or the Killjoys. He must have mentioned them sometime."
Abbey's puzzled face was genuine. "What are the Killjoys? And who is Maverick?"
"This is unbelievable!" Korse threw his hands in the air. "You cant be seriously that thick."
She flinched. "That's not fair. I don't know anything about what you people do outside this city, how could I even suspect Anton was lying to me? He could have told me he lived on Mars and I'd have no choice but to believe him."
The Scarecrow muttered something under his breath and flung open the door. "You are completely useless!" he exclaimed and slammed it shut.
Bob leant down into the open space of the hallway again without checking to see if anyone was there. As a result he came face to upside down face with a draculoid. The poor, masked man probably didn't even have time to swear before Bob blasted him with a laser beam.
The drac crumpled to the ground and Spider Bait slapped himself mentally. "Stupid, stupid, stupid." he muttered and pulled the loosened panel from the wall. A complex jumble of many coloured wires popped out from the wall like rainbow snakes. They coiled through each other, reaching for their allocated sockets.
Spider Bait sighed. This was going to take some time.
Harlequin Diamond calmly slapped the rebel's face and repeated her question in a cold, flat voice. "Where are the sentinel posts to Sanctum Valley?"
The man shook his head and spat a glob of blood onto the white floor. It spread across the painted concrete sluggishly.
She hit his other cheek and winced internally. Harley had known his man. His name was Bulls Eye, known to be one of the best shots in Sanctum. The last Scarecrow had picked him up scouting in zone three a few months back. After Party Poison ghosted that Scarecrow, Korse had to interrogate all captives. Needless to say he was a busy man as a consequence.
"We know that you worked as a guard for the rebel community, so tell us what you know." In truth, Harley was only trying to get him to falsely incriminate himself. She knew for a fact that Bulls Eye had nothing to do with the sentinel shifts, however by asking him the wrong questions she knew she wouldn't get any answers for BL/ind.
The run down man spat red across her white face. "Bitch!" he hissed.
Harlequin, unruffled by the display, wiped the blood from her face, turned on her heel and left the room. The drac on duty outside seemed startled by the vivid colour smeared across her cheeks.
"Are you okay ma'am?" He enquired, terrified that she would tell Korse who would in turn punish him.
Harley nodded once and stalked away. Once she had rounded the corner out of the dracs sight she let out a huge sigh.
"Three down... too many to go." she moaned.
It took them 20 minutes to finally reach the ground floor, and by this time Gerard thought that it was possible someone had discovered Roulette's disappearance. He wasted no time then in opening the door and slipping out into an empty alleyway. The sun was nearing it's full height in the sky. Party knew that Korsette would be meeting him at the hidden Trans Am at 6pm.
"Poison?" Roulette tapped his head lightly, "Can you let me down for a minute, my ribs are really starting to-" her words were once again cut off by her coughs. He could feel something wet splatter slightly on his back.
Gerard pulled her off his shoulder, but held her under her knees and arms. There was a smudge of blood on her lips.
"I'm sorry Rabid, we have to keep going." He started walking, knowing that the sooner he got her to the Trans Am the better off she'd be.
"Where are..." Roulette screwed her eyes shut and held back another cough. After a few moments she pulled a smile. "So Party, where are you dragging me to now?"
Gerard smiled back. "To our ride home. Not much farther."
She nodded and her eyes drooped sleepily. Party found it amusing that she could be smoke and mirrors one moment, and then give up the next. 'Korse must have really pulled down some of her walls.' He thought. 'I've never seen her without her game face on.'
The streets behind BL/ind HQ were relatively empty. There were a few warehouses filled with supplies for the government and some office blocks. Harley had instructed him to park the Trans Am in one of the lesser used buildings. It was relatively empty, save a few old drac bikes and a desert tanker. The giant vehicle was used to transport supplies to BL/ind's drac camps out in the zones. They were virtually indestructible, and had been a constant source of irritation to the rebel community.
Gerard placed Roulette down behind the large building before checking to see if there was anyone inside. He pushed open the door experimentally, ray gun poised to shoot. The dusty windowpanes dimmed the light, but he couldn't see anything threatening inside.
'Our luck's held through, for once.' He thought, mentally thanking Harley for knowing such a good hiding place for the Trans Am.
He went back around and picked up Roulette. She grumbled at him for leaving her out in the open alone, in typical Rabid fashion. Party rolled his eyes.
The Trans Am was parked at the back of the building. They had thrown a large tarp over it to disguise the well known body work, which Gerard pulled off. He slipped Roulette onto the back seat gently.
"Is that comfortable?"
She pressed her lips together. "Don't baby me."
"For god's sake Rabid, are you always this difficult?" He ran a hand through his hair and glared at her.
She shrugged, coughed and then raised an eyebrow at him.
He shook his head. "You really are an irritable individual. Has Harley ever told you that?"
"Often." she smirked.
"Okay, well you stay put. I need to go on a little scout mission." He stepped back, but Rabid started freaking out.
"No no no! Don't leave me here alone! You can't just dump me here and expect me to be able to fight off any dracs that happen along." Her eyes were wide with panic.
Party sighed and patted her head. "No ones going to come looking for you here."
She didn't say anything, but the pleading look on her face worried him. He leant across her to the glovebox and pulled out a bag and his Killjoy raygun. He was very protective of the yellow weapon, but he thought that Rabid might feel safer with something to defend herself with.
"Here," he passed her the firearm. "You break it, you die."
She nodded, still nervous, however slightly consoled. Her hands gripped the handle of the gun tightly.
"I'll be back soon. Don't go shooting at shadows, okay?" He closed the door of the Trans Am and threw the tarp back over the vehicle. The last thing he saw before it was covered was Roulette's terrified eyes.
He shook his head, sure that she was overreacting, and headed off.
Korse decided to go and vent his frustration by doing something physical. He stormed towards Russian Roulette's prison cell, trying to think of the most excruciating way to remove one of her fingers.
'She's been insolent since she got here. I hate her. She will pay for all those dracs she has cost me!' his thoughts were a swirl of black and red, angry and dark. It was well known among the agents of BL/ind that when Korse was infuriated he would find someone to bear the brunt of his fury, regardless of who they were.
He threw open the door to the woman's cell, fists clenched and teeth bared. It took his frenzied brain a minute to comprehend what his eyes were telling him; the room was empty. Confusion swept over him, followed by a cold outrage. He remembered telling a drac to go and beat up the rebel... a drac who was new and under the command of....
"Korsette!" he shouted and thumped his fist against the wall.
The Scarecrow hissed at the pain that shot through his arm. He took in a few shaky breaths, trying to settle his temper. Some rational part of him was trying to stop him from taking his anger out on his prized apprentice. "It's a mix up." He told himself as he stalked through the maze of corridors, trying to find the girl. "Her new drac must have taken Roulette somewhere on someone else's orders. That person will be punished, not my successor."
The agitated Scarecrow looked ahead and saw his protege staring up at the ceiling, talking to someone, an unmoving draculoid at her feet. He stopped, staring at the nightmare unfolding before him.
Gerard sprinted from one shadow to the next in between the looming buildings behind BL/ind HQ. He checked each warehouse, trying to find what he was looking for, but kept coming up short. The last shed was the furthest one away from where he had stashed his beloved Trans Am, and the not-so-beloved Roulette.
'She's growing on me though, kinda like the snake living under the Diner. It's a real pain in the ass, but cute in it's own way from a distance.' He grinned at this thought and slipped into the last building. His hand reached for the light switch next to the door. The vast storeroom lit up, empty of anyone else.
However it was not empty of supplies.
Boxes were stacked almost to the vaulting ceiling, contents described in stenciled letters across the sides.
Party Poison smirked. "I'm sure the dracs wont mind sharing a little food with the needy."
He strolled through the maze of boxes, opening some and picking up various tinned foods along the way. He shoved these into the bag that he had bought with him.
Gerard had only explored half of the vast building by the time the bag was crammed with stolen goods. He contemplated going back, but decided that he may as well see what else Korse had stocked up on.
Most of this food would be shifted into the zones and distributed into drac camps. Some of the BLi outposts could hold up to a hundred dracs, although Gerard did know of one small one in zone 5 reserved for higher up officials....
Party stared at a white box sitting on a table in the middle of the storeroom. It stood out against the regular brown, cardboard boxes. There was no label on the outside, save a large, BLi smiley face stamp. He cautiously stepped towards the strange container and pulled the lid back.
Inside the box were rows of perfectly stacked metal containers. "MEDS" was engraved on the top of each, and a number from one to three.
Gerard had never seen these before. The brainwash pills he knew; the simple white bottle they came in was commonplace enough. These cases on the other hand looked like they were designed to withstand a bit of jostling around out in the zones. The choice of words confused Party. BL/ind wouldn't just go sticking "MEDS" on a brainwash pill box, it was too obvious even for them.
He reached into the box and pulled one out. It was relatively light, but something clinked inside. He flipped it and noticed the words engraved on the underside.
"BL/ind remedy shot. For level 1 physical damage only; small laceration/blood loss/bruised muscle tissue. Size of injection in ratio to body weight measurements on syringe."
Gerard nearly threw the container away from him. He hated needles. The thought that he was holding one in his hand right now sent shivers up and down his spine. However something prompted him to suck it up, these looked important.
"What has The Head of BLi got their scientists working on now?" he mused and checked the back of the level 2 and 3 boxes.
The level 2 box claimed to stop internal bleeding, heal large lacerations and restore small broken bones. Party's eyes widened at the claim on the back of the third box. It stated that the syringe inside could meld large broken bones back together, reattach spinal cords, repair damaged vision and treat low levels of heart failure or brain damage.
'I've got to take some of these back and test them out.' He thought, 'If this is true then BL/ind are going to have a major unfair advantage... I wonder if I can find a way to get my hands on some more....'
He took out half a dozen tins from his bag and replaced them with twenty or so of the strange containers.
Gerard decided that it would be good to get back to Roulette now that he had found some food. As he slipped through the piles of boxes his eye caught a familiar word.
"Cyanide," he grinned.
This wasn't what is conventionally thought of as Cyanide. It was something quite different. BL/ind had taken to producing a chemical based alcohol which they gave to their dracs in their time off. The liquid was a vivid blue, and extremely potent. It was rarely distributed in large quantities, even though there was a high demand for it amongst dracs and zonerunners alike.
Gerard hadn't touched a drop of alcohol for over a decade, but he knew that his Killjoy's missed the odd drink. He reached into the box and fumbled around for a bit before taking out three glass bottles. They sparkled, blue and bubbly in the dim light. He was entranced by the colour, however the impulse that used to prompt him to take a swing wasn't there any more, and he hoped it would stay that way for the rest of his days.
Harley had just finished interrogating her fifth prisoner. She wiped the sweat from her brow, amazed at the energy it sapped from her. The flaw with her disguise was the hatred that she had to constantly exude to seem legitimate. If she wasn't constantly grumpy and cruel then the dracs or Korse would suspect something. She mooched along the hallway leading to her office. She needed a break for half an hour. Her white foundation needed touching up after that spitting incident, and maybe she'd go see how her "new drac" was going.
Her thoughts revolved around Party Poison for a while. "I wonder if he's okay.... I don't know the prisoner he was sent to. I hope it's someone we don't know..." Her thoughts rambled on, stressing over their precarious situation. "I hope we find Rabid soon, I don't know how long Party will be able to keep up his disguise-"
Her ruminations were interrupted by the nonsensical scene before her.
A drac lay unconscious in the hallway. A panel in the wall next to the unmoving figure had been pulled back. Multicolored wires stuck out from the hole, some pulled loose of their sockets.
"What the fuck?" Her clipped english voice blurted out.
The sound of a safety catch on a ray gun being unlocked was the only reply.
Harley leapt, rolled across the floor and sprang to her feet, pistol clutched tightly in her gloved hand. She pointed it at the ceiling where a familiar face stared down as her. The blonde man kept his ray gun trained on her, obviously not recognizing her face behind all the white makeup.
"Spider Bait!" she cried happily and let her gun drop. "I can't believe it, Party's going to be so happy that I found you!"
My Chemical Romance's drummer didn't let his aim drop, but his finger hesitated over the trigger. "Who are you?" he growled.
She smiled widely and pulled the short haired wig from her head. Her long, dark blonde hair spilled down her back in a wave. "It's Harlequin Diamond, Cardz crew leader."
Spider's jaw dropped slightly, trying to process this thought. "What the hell are you doing here dressed like-"
"Traitor!" A voice roared. Laser fire spewed towards Harley who shrieked and dropped instinctively to the ground. Korse came thundering towards her, eyes blazing with rage.
"Diamond, take my hand!" Spider Bait bellowed, reaching down from the vent in the ceiling.
Harley grabbed the outstretched palm and sprung upwards as Spider pulled. As he pulled her into the air duct she cried out in pain, but Bob wasted no time in sliding the vent panel back over the opening and sliding the latch shut.
The Scarecrow beneath them screamed in frustration and fired shots at the metal tube. The blasts placed small dents in the steel, but didn't break through.
"Harlequin, what happened?" Bob pulled her back into the main air chute, behind the wall of the corridor.
Diamond gasped for breath. "He. Shot. Me" She clutched at the gaping wound on her side. Blood spilt through her finger in a constant stream.
Spider Bait grabbed the bag behind him and dug through it, trying to find the last of the small metal containers. He pulled it out triumphantly and opened it.
"Harlequin I need you to hold out your hand." He instructed.
"Huh?" she mumbled, eyes flickering dangerously.
He grabbed one of her slippery hands and faced it upwards, pushing back her sleeve. Her exposed wrist showed clearly the map of veins in her arm. Bob looked her in the eye and told her in a steady voice not to move. She nodded, struggling to keep her heavy eyelids open.
Spider Bait sunk the syringe beneath Harley's skin and injected the phenomenal, pink liquid. Harley gasped once, her body shuddering. A high pitched whine burst from her lips and she doubled over, clutching at her side. Bob waited a few moments before pulling back her hands to see that the wound had closed over.
Harley quivered and then looked at the tear in her jacket. The hole in her skin was smoothed over, and apart from a slight dizzy sensation she felt fine. Her wide eyes stared the the man, astonished.
"What did you do?" She whispered.
He shook his head and slung his back over his shoulder. "I'll explain later, right now we need to get out of here."
"But I can't leave!" she wailed "I promised myself that I wouldn't leave without Russian Roulette!"
Bob tugged on her arm gently. "Even if you stay behind you wont find her now. We have to get out of here before Korse catches us."
"But-" tears streamed down Harley's face.
"You have a greater chance of finding her later on. If you go in there now, you will simply be shot, and then Roulette wont have a chance." Spider Bait hoped that his words rang true, because he knew that once Korse raised the alarm, BL/ind HQ would become impregnable.
Harley followed the Killjoy through the air duct, out into the streets and away from her friend's prison. With every step that she took, she shed a tear for the friend she was leaving behind.
Party Poison slipped quietly back into the storeroom where the Trans Am was hidden. It was mid afternoon by now, but the heat of the sun hadn't relented. The interior of the warehouses were thankfully far cooler than outside.
Gerard paused, staring at the Trans Am.
'I shouldn't be able to see it,' he thought, 'I chucked the tarp over the top when I left...' He placed the bag and bottles gently on the floor, trying not to make any sound.
He ducked back into the shadows and slunk around to the other side of the vehicle, trying to see if Roulette was still in the car. His heart thumped loudly, a hundred scenarios of what could have happened flashed through his head. What he actually saw made him laughed.
Two dracs lay unconscious on the concrete floor, ray wounds littering their torsos. A very distressed Roulette crouched on the floor of the Trans Am, gun trained on the unmoving figures.
"I suppose you redeem a little of your reputation as a top notch rebel now." He called out at her.
Her head snapped up and she shot a glare at him as he stepped out into the light. "Since when did I loose it, Killjoy?"
"Since you got smashed at Misfits and managed to be rounded up by Kose." He laughed.
Rabid pouted. "It could have happened to anyone."
"Not me." He smirked, hopping over the still bodies. "How are you feeling?"
"Fine and fucking dandy. You left me here all alone and I would have been imprisoned yet again if you didn't give me this gun at the last minute." she chucked it back to him and pulled a sulky face. "Korse confiscated mine. I'm really rather depressed about that; I love my ray gun. It was a gift from someone very special." she eyed the bulging bag in Party's hand. "So what was so important that you had to abandon me to go get?"
Gerard grinned. "Food."
She pursed her lips, obviously annoyed.
"Here," Gee handed her the bag and went to check the fuel gauge in the car. "eat something."
Roulette opened the bag and let out a happy squeal. She triumphantly pulled out a bottle of Cyanide and petted it. "Oh liquor stupor, how I've missed you!"
"Woah! No way!" Party cried and yanked the bottle from her hands.
"Hey what gives!" she wailed, eyes fixed on the bubbly blue.
Gerard rummaged through the bag and seized the other two bottles. "In case you haven't noticed Roulette, you're not very well."
"I'm perfectly fine, now hand over the grog Killjoy." she growled.
"If you were fine you'd be sitting there with a blank expression, planning some way to get rid of me, because that's what you;re normally like." Party placed the three bottles in the front of the car and then squatted next to the fuming woman. "Stop talking for three seconds and listen to your breathing."
Roulette sneered at him, but shut up.
She concentrated on the hollow gurgling in her chest and felt a flicker of panic. "W-what's that?"
"Do you mind if I?" he gestured at her singlet top. She nodded and he pulled it up.
Beneath the dark red bra, Roulette's ribs were painted with black bruises. He hissed at the sight.
"God Korse really fucked you up, didn't he?"
Rabid sniffed. "Yeah, he doesn't like me very much I guess." Her voice cracked a little. "So what's wrong with me?"
Gerard squeezed her knee. "I think you've got some internal bleeding. A few of your ribs looks a little out of whack, which could be screwing with your breathing as well."
Her weak smile grew a little more strained. "Do you know if it'll heal over time?"
He shook his head. "I'm not sure, but to be honest Roulette internal bleeding isn't all that good. I can't think of any way to treat it, except...." his thoughts turned to the strange boxes in the bag.
Party shook his head. "Nothing. I guess we'll just have to hope that Harley knows a bit more about first aid than me."
Gerard reached into the bag and pulled out a can of spaghetti. He flipped the switch to the lowest frequency on his ray gun and shot the bottom of the tin. The metal buckled, but didn't break. Instead it was hot to the touch and heated the food within.
Roulette watched with interest.
"I learnt this trick when I was out in the desert alone for a few weeks." He smiled and peeled the lid back. "The only tinned stuff I had with me was that god awful power pup, which it turns out tastes less like shit when it's warm." He handed the can to Roulette. "Just be careful, if eating makes anything hurt you need to stop."
She accepted it with a small, genuine smile. "Thanks." She sipped a spoonful of pureed tomato and was comforted by the absence of any discomfort.
Party did the same to another tin and slipped onto the seat next to her. They ate with their fingers and Gerard laughed at the sauce that dripped down her chin.
"Opps!" she laughed with him. "I can't tell you how great food tastes after not eating for something like five days."
He nodded. "Especially food designed for humans."
"That too." she placed the half full can on the seat, feeling a little queasy. Her thoughts turned to Party Poison. She watched him as he ate, one eye on the tin in his hand, the other looking out for intruders. He tapped something rhythmically with his boot in a subconscious way.
"Yeah?" He turned and smiled at her.
"How old are you?"
He laughed. "I thought it was rude to ask someone how old they are."
She shook her head. "Nope, you just cant ask women. Men on the other hand are open to any and every query."
"Well in that case," he grinned, "put it this way; I'm older than you."
"How many years older?" she pressed.
"Why does it matter?" He raised an eyebrow, but his smile didn't falter.
She shrugged. "I dunno... Wait!" Her eyes widened. "Back in the cell, I wasn't dreaming; it was you!" she cried.
Party felt a twinge of panic. "What are you talking about Rabid?"
She gaped. "It wasn't my imagination; it was you singing Desert Song!"
"The what?" he played dumb.
She squinted at his face, imagining his slightly tanned skin white, and replacing his red tresses with a shock of raven black. "I cant believe I didn't notice it earlier." She joined the dots in her head. "Five Killjoys, five band members. You're Gerard Way." her voice was barely a whisper. "My Chemical Romance are the Fabulous Killjoys!"
Party Poison glared at the woman. "I have no idea what you're going on about."
She flinched visibly. "But-"
"You're wrong." His voice was low, threatening.
Roulette shrank back into the seat and looked at her hands. A tense few minutes passed before she broke the silence. "At least you were a somebody before all of this shit. I was a no one. These days I'm only a someone because I control people through fear."
Gerard didn't say anything. He couldn't think of any decent reason to keep denying his true identity to Roulette. She wasn't exactly stable, but she did owe him her life and could keep her mouth shut.
"Tell anyone about who I am, and you better watch your back, because I'll be stabbing it."
Rabid cringed. "I figured as much. But don't worry, I have no intention of spreading that around. I know I wouldn't want people to talk about my real name."
There was an awkward pause.
"So, which was your favorite song?" he sighed and offered her a weak smile.
She beamed back at him. "I don't think I could pick just one, but 'I'm Not Okay,' 'The End' and 'Disenchanted' are pretty high up on my list." she thought for a second. "And 'Desolation Row'........ And 'Under Pressure.' So what was it like being famous?"
He shrugged. "Exhausting. I can't really explain how tense it makes your life, always having to be someone that so many people look up to."
Rabid nodded. "Yeah, I guess I cant understand a little of what that's like. It's a mask you can never take off."
"Exactly." He nudged her. "But it was worth it for the fans. You kids really knew how to make a guy feel wanted."
She grinned. "Yeah, we were pretty psycho. I remember being seventeen and seeing you guys live for the first time. God I think it took two days for my voice to come back afterwards, I was screaming that loud."
He snorted. "All of you got so enthusiastic! It was so insane. Oh, and don't even get me started about the fan girls. The first time someone chucked their underwear at me, it was funny. The joke wore off pretty quick though."
Roulette giggled and put her hand up. "I was one of those!"
He groaned and shuffled further away from her.
"Don't worry Party," her voice lost it's energy suddenly. "I'm not like that anymore." she became lost in thought for a little while. "All the things that once seemed so important to me as a kid are now so trivial."
Gerard put an arm over her shoulder, a fatherly gesture. "Only if you make them trivial Roulette."
"Bonnie." she said suddenly.
"Hmm?" he frowned, not understanding her meaning.
Her lips twitched into a smile. "My name is Bonnie.
Party could almost feel it as her last emotional wall crumbled away. He clasped her hand in his and shook it.
"Great to meet you Bonnie. I'm Gerard, but you can call me Gee."
She snorted, but smiled wider. "Thankyou Gee, for saving me from Korse. If you ever need anything, you let me know."
And just like that, in a single, peaceful moment in their otherwise challenging lives, two unlikely zonerunners became friends.
Korse's lips quirked into an unpleasant grin as he stared down at Abbey Palini. Her yellow tinged, green eyes were like tropical pools in her pale face. The only movement she made was the slight flutter of her pastel yellow hair, caught against her shallow breaths. He had been staring at the oddity for ten minutes, a plan forming in his mind.
Renegade slumped on the ground next to him, dracs watching him carefully for any aggressive movements. The rebel could feel the electric tension in the air fizzle as the Scarecrow spoke.
"How do the zonerunners get into the city?" His voice was icy, but a layer of smugness coated the words.
Hugh didn't answer, waiting for the pain that was bound to be his punishment.
The sound of the slap reached his ears, the slap that landed on Abbey's face. It was followed by he cry of shock, which went straight to his heart. A strangled protest burst from his lips.
Korse pulled the girl's head up to face his, silky curls gripped tightly in his white fist.
"Don't make me ask again Renegade."
Hugh looked at Abbey, who looked away. Red tinged her cheek where the Scarecrow's fist had connected with her delicate skin. He could see the fear forming in her glossy eyes and something snapped within him.
"The old subway tunnel!" he blurted out.
Abbey's expression tightened, she wasn't sure of the significance of his words, but she could tell that Korse was using her to get information from Anton. And from the pleased expression that crossed the colourless face, it was obvious he had got what he wanted.
"Abbey," Korse stared deep into her eyes. "I need you to do something for me. I need you to go into the subway tunnel, and plant a few bombs."
"No!" Renegade shouted "Korse don't make her-" his outcry was cut off by the gag a drac forced into his mouth.
The Scarecrow continued, unruffled by the outburst. "You are to plant the bombs where I tell you to. Afterwards you're going to radio me on this transmitter," he placed the small object in her hand, "and tell me where you are. I will then tell you what to do."
Renegade struggled against the restraining arms of the draculoids, his objections muffled. Abbey looked at the only boy she had ever loved, then looked at the only man she had ever hated.
"What if I don't do what you tell me to?" she whispered.
The Scarecrow grinned. "Put it this way, it wont be you who will suffer." He slid a large, white gun across the table in front of her. "You'll need this after you get my next instructions."
He walked to the door and motioned for the dracs to follow him. Outside he gave orders to a waiting officer. "Take the girl to the abandoned subway. Place her three miles in with a torch and five blocks of C4. Today we cut the head from Cardz and Dice. Tomorrow the Killjoys."
Renegade fought against the dracs, but was subdued by a kick to the stomach.
Abbey sobbed, wanting to run to him, but the drac behind her kept her firmly in her seat.
"I love you, forever!" she cried out to him, and although he couldn't reply, the look in his eye mirrored her own.