Can they save Roulette?
It was just before daybreak, and the methane sky had turned bright pink. The pre-dawn desert was bearable temperature-wise, and a soft wind cooled the skin of the zonerunners.
Gerard belted Rabid in and wiped a dribbled of blood from her lips. "Misfits. There might be someone there who can help you."
She grumbled and swatted him away groggily. "I told you Poison, I'm not living through this. Waste your time on someone else."
Gerard laughed. "No way, Roulette. With respect, Gambler, I didn't risk my life dragging you're cantankerous arse out of Battery City and through an ambush in the Traverse, only to have you die on me in the free zones." He tucked a blanket over her legs, trying to warm her frigid skin. "So until you're six feet under, no, I will not give up on you. And neither will Harley for that matter, so suck it up and smile!"
Bonnie cracked her eyes open to glare at him for a moment. "Ha-ha. You'd better give up on me Killjoy, because if I do get better it'll be you next on my-"
Her words were cut off by Party Poison shutting the door.
"Gee!" Harlequin cried.
"Huh?" He turned around to see another angry Gambler stomping towards him. 'Wow,' he thought, 'it's not my morning for women.'
"My car had died!" She huffed and folded her arms angrily. "It was working perfectly when I came here a few days ago and now it just wont start!" She pouted. "I love my car."
Gerard rolled his eyes. "Just ride with me."
She shook her head. "I don't like relying on other zonerunners for their vehicles. I always need one with me." She eyes Roulette who was currently shooting death stares through the glass at Party Poison. "What ticked Bonnie off? Is she okay!?"
He smiled and rolled his eyes. "Yeah she's fine. Just having a temper tantrum about nothing. Should probably give her another swing of Cyanide to knock her out for a bit." He waved at the infuriated woman who flipped him off behind the window.
"Are you sure she's going to be okay in the car? It's pretty bumpy along that road." Harlequin cracked her knuckles nervously.
Gerard patted Harley's shoulder. "Bonnie's going to be fine. She doesn't believe she'll last the day but I bet she will. It'd take more than an uncomfortable road trip to blow out her candle." He pulled his keys from his back pocket. "So are you going to ride with me or not?"
Harley paused for a moment then shook her head. "I'll wait for Frank to fix my car... Or for Jet Star to get back from his food search and fix it. Whichever comes first." She stared at him poignantly. "I'm trusting you to take care of Roulette. If anything bad happens to Rabid because you didn't take good enough care of her I'll-"
"I get it!" Part threw his hands in the air. "She dies and you kill me. Makes sense." He grinned and hugged the Gambler briefly. "I'll see you in a few hours or something then. Just be sure to get to Misfits before 12, okay?"
"Mhmm." She nodded and stepped back from the car as the Killjoy got in and started the engine. "Watch out for dracs."
"Always do." Gerard grinned out of the window and accelerated into the desert.
Hugh was flicking idly through television channels. Each station was basically running the same bullshit it had been for the past eight years. Every time his eye caught a brainwash add he had to close his eyes and point the remote blindly at the tv in an attempt to change the channel.
After two hours of boredom he gave up and switched it off.
"Fuck that." He sighed and rolled over.
His prison cell had been improved beyond recognition. There was now an actual bed, complete with pillows, blankets and a decent mattress. The dracs had even installed a flatscreen, a small bar fridge and put in a shelf full of (BL/ind approved) books. Apart from the original table and chairs in the room, there was also a couch which he now lay on.
Hugh knew that these additions to his cell meant that Abbey must have struck a deal with the Scarecrow. If she wasn't dead then that must mean that Korse had found a use for her.
There was a slight tap on the glass door and he looked over to see a strange, dark haired woman opening the door.
"Hey." She said, with a small smile.
"Umm am I supposed to know you?" He sneered and rolled back over.
There was an awkward pause and Renegade just stared angrily into the white leather of the couch, not wanting to speak to the BL/indo. Surprisingly he felt the weight on the cushions shift as the woman sat next to him.
"Anton, it's me." She placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.
"Abbey!?" He cried and rolled over, enfolding her in his arms. "I'm so sorry! I didn't recognize you. It's that suit... That black hair!"
Hypertonic smiled into his black, rainbow streaked hair. "Don't worry about it. I can't even tell that it's me in the mirror anymore. I look.... just like them."
"You may look like them, but you act nothing like those bastards." He pressed soft kisses on her knuckles. "You're fiery and exciting and you believe in a free world. No one could mistake you for a drac on your personality."
Toxin sniffed, holding back tears. "You wouldn't be saying that if you knew what I've done."
Hugh looked up at her, eyes full of sympathy. "No no babe, that wasn't you! I don't know what happened, but I do know that you would never be pulling any bullshit unless Korse was forcing you into it." He sneered at the thought of the Scarecrow. "That fucker's got no morals." He patted Abbey's black haired head affectionately and kissed a small smile back into her mouth. "I want you to make a break for it. The second you get a chance to escape you've gotta take it Abb."
"What!?" She cried, "As if I'd just leave you here." She clamped his cheeks firmly with her hands. "Korse'd kill you, and I wont ever, EVER let that happen."
He shook his head. "It doesn't matter babe. I don't give a shit about what happens to me, I just want you to be free." He kissed her firmly. "Head out to the zones, ask around for a guy called Maverick. Tell him that I sent you and he'll give you a place to stay."
"Anton." She said earnestly. "I am not bailing out on you. I am going to find a way to get you out of here, and then we'll be together, free."
"I need to go. I have training." Abbey pulled away and headed for the door.
"Training for what?" Hugh called to her.
Hypertonic paused on the threshold of the door and looked back at him. Her eyes were deep and sad. "They call it Extermination."
"I spilled oil on my tee."
Harley rolled her eyes. "Oh, is that all."
"But it's my fav shirt. I'm going to have to chuck it now." Frank whined as he extracted himself from the underside of Harlequin's car. He tugged it off and tossed it on the table. Ghoul's chest was slick with black, liquid grease. "This is fucking disgusting. I dunno how Jet Star does it every day."
Alison rolled her eyes and picked up the discarded shirt. "Just rub a bit of soap into it, scrub, soak and repeat. It'll come out after a few rinses."
"We ran out of liquid soap a few years back." Kobra Kid called from the couch he had made of three tractor tires and a tarpaulin.
"But... Don't you guys ever take a bath?" She asked, eyes wide.
"Nope." Fun Ghoul grinned and took a swing of water. "We go all natural round here."
Harley gave a breathless shriek and dropped his shirt. "Umm ew! Guys that is just disgusting!"
Mikey laughed. "Don't worry, he's joking. We do take a bath every now and then, but soap's just way to expensive these days to use on clothes."
She sighed and shook her head at Frank. "You have a sick sense of humor my friend."
He giggled. "I know."
"But seriously, just make a fire and mix some hot ash with a bit of oil or fat or something like that and you'll be able to make you're own soap." She chucked his dirty shirt back at him.
Fun Ghoul gaped at her. "Really? How the hell do you know that?"
She shrugged at flopped on top of Mikey. "While other kids at school read tween magazines, I read science books. Back then it seemed stupid, but all those random bits of trivia are handy in the desert. You comfy there Kobra?" She poked her tongue out at Kid.
He growled at Harley and wriggled out from underneath her. "Well I am now!" She laughed at him and he cracked a small grin.
"What other bits of useful information do you have upstairs in that head of yours?" Frank asked, plonking down with them on the makeshift couch.
Alison screwed her nose up. "I dunno. You'd have to give me a problem, I can't just spew out facts." Her tight English accent was relaxing into a Bristol drawl.
"Hmm I hear that you're pretty good at karate or tae-kwon-do or something." Frank poked her in the ribs and she swatted him away, giggling.
"Martial arts, namely kung fu. I picked it up in highschool." She grinned. "I taught a bunch of punks in the street one day not to mess with a teenage girl."
Fun Ghoul laughed. "I'm sorry, you just seem a tad... Fragile to be going around beating people up with your bare hands. I bet I could take you on!"
Alison smirked. "You sure you wanna go there?"
"No way!" Mikey exclaimed. "Don't do it Ghoul, I've seen her in action. She does scary shit I haven't seen anyone do before."
Frank just rolled his eyes. "Pft, yeah right. Come on Alison, admit it; you're all brains. It's just some rep you've got going to please the crew."
"Well why don't we test that theory out, Frankie?"
Fun Ghoul smiled, oblivious. "Yeah sure, it's on!" He paused before adding "Hey why not make this a little more interesting?"
"Hmmm?" Harley raised an eyebrow.
"You win, I get your leather jacket." He gestured at her black, fur lined bolero. It was well known amongst the rebel community as being one of the few acid-proof clothes in the zones.
Alison didn't even blink at the mention of her prized jacket. "And if I win?"
"You can have my Harley Davidson It's in prime condition and customized to practically fight a drac army." Frank smiled, confident that he could beat the slender woman.
A slow smirk was beginning to tug Harlequin's lips into a dangerous grin. "Deal."
They shook on it.
"Oh fuck, dude!" Mikey slapped his forehead. "Don't say I didn't warn you!"
Maverick pushed open the heavy door of Misfits on Route Guano at ten to twelve. He stared around at the few people present, assessing the situation. There were no dracs or anyone who looked like they would be working for BL/ind, just a few Cardz, a drunk bar maid unconscious on the floor and an odd assortment of random zonerunners. One was even a kid from his own crew, who nodded at Maverick as he strode by.
Glock saw him coming and flipped the gate to behind the bar open.
"I take it you're here on business?"
Maverick nodded. "I'm responding to the bulletin on 109."
The bar owner laughed. "Since when have you been a doctor? Last thing I heard you lost a crew member when they caught a cold."
"It was Tuberculosis, we had no chance to save them." Mav pouted slightly, "And no, I'm not a doctor. I'm here because I need to see the patient."
Glock paused and chose his next words carefully. "If you're talking about who I think you're talking about; the person who you think needs medical assistance, then I hope you're planning on keeping quiet. We don't want people knowing that said person is unwell. It could cause some.... panic amongst a certain crew. You get what I'm saying Maverick?"
"Loud and clear. Now can you please let me see her?" He tried to push past the manager, but was blocked. Maverick may have been over 6 foot tall, but Glock was all muscle. It was like trying to sidestep an elephant.
Glock growled and pulled his gun from it's holster. "I don't mean no disrespect Maverick, in fact you rate very highly in my opinions. However I knows that you and the miss aint on friendly terms no more. I dunno if I can trust her with you in her current state."
"Glock, what's going on?" Party Poison skipped down the stairs and strode into the bar, placing a hand on the manager's shoulder. He smiled at Maverick, but raised an eyebrow. "What are you doing here Mav?"
"He's here in answer to the 109 advertisement Party. Not as a doctor. Apparently he wants to see the patient."
There was an awkward pause.
"I'll take him up to see her. Nothing will happen." Gerard offered.
Glock sighed but slipped his ray gun back into it's holster. "Alright then, but you keep an eye fixed on this one Party. We don't want anything nasty happening to the miss."
"Don't worry Glock," Party called as he hopped back up the stairs, Maverick in tow. "I'll be keeping two eyes on him, not one."
"Hey Mav!" Glock shouted up the stairwell after the tall crew leader. "Remember that revenge is a dish best served hot. So don't go sticking your head in any freezers!"
Alison sped towards Misfit's on her newly acquired Harley Davidson.
Fun Ghoul hadn't laid a finger on her the entire fight. She had spent the most of it dancing around him, taunting him. Diamond thought it was amusing that Frank had been so sure of a win against her. Apparently Kobra Kid had shared similar thoughts because he just sat and laughed at his crew mate the whole time.
In the end she tripped him lightly and let him fall the the ground gently before jabbing him in the solar plexus, rendering him out of breath and unable to move.
The Killjoy conceded defeat with a grin. "Never been so outmatched in all my life. I'd rather take on an army of bazooka wielding dracs than you."
Frank had handed over the keys to his motorbike reluctantly.
"Don't worry," she said and poked her tongue out at him, "I'm sure you'll find a way to win it back from me."
And so rather than attempting to drive her terminally ill car to Misfits, Harlequin decided to test drive her new Davidson.
It flew along the burning, black bitumen road, making barely a sound. The transition between gears was so smooth it may as well have been automatic. The sides of the bike were also equipped with some extra, semi-automatic firearms, which would come in handy for any Californian rebel. The whole thing was furnished with an acid-resilient coating and most of the chassis was bulletproof.
"Roulette's gonna love this!" She laughed, accelerating hard.
The thought of her quickly expiring friend made Harley's stomach drop. She pushed the bike to it's maximum speed, flooring it the whole way along Route Guano towards the bar where Party had taken the other Gambler that morning.
"So how'd Roulette end up in your hands?" Maverick asked Party as they navigated their way through the seedy apartments of upstairs Misfits.
Gerard shrugged. "I pulled her out of BLi HQ. She wouldn't have lasted much longer if I hadn't.... She might not even make it now."
"I thought you hate Roulette." Maverick pointed out. "Why would you risk your own life to save hers?"
There was a brief pause as they had reached the right room. "I did it," Gerard tilted his head upwards slightly to face the other man, "because I don't believe in a divided rebellion. We should all be working together, against our common enemy. Rabid, being a leader, deserved freedom because we need people like her and Harley to unite the zonerunners." He unlocked the door and swung it open. "People like you, Maverick."
The taller man nodded solemnly and stepped into the dimly lit room.
In the middle of a bed lay Russian Roulette. Her darkly tanned skin was reduced a milky coffee colour and there were deep purple pockets where her eyes should have been. The frown that constantly creased her brow was smoothed out, making her face look younger; fragile. Maverick's heart shrank as he watched her cracked, ashen lips open and close slightly as she struggled to breathe.
Maverick walked softly to her side and knelt on the floor. He took one of her limp hands in his own and tried to rub the warmth back into her chilled skin.
"Roulette, babe are you there?" He whispered, pressing her hand to his cheek.
The only response was a slight tweak in the corner of her mouth.
Party watched as the big man's shoulders begin to shake. He looked away as the giant sobbed silently.
"What the fuck is he doing here!?" Harley whispered loudly in Gerard's ear.
Party jumped slightly and turned to face the frowning girl. "Err he got here a few minutes ago asking to see Bonnie. Must have figured out who we were talking about on 109."
Alison's eyebrow rose an inch. "I'm so confused. He says he loves her, then he dumps her. They spend eight months in a solid feud, pitting their crews against each other. Last thing I knew he was attempting an assassination on her, and now that she's dying he's crying." She screwed up her nose and huffed. "I don't understand."
Gerard laughed quietly and placed an arm over her shoulder. "Neither do I Harley. Nothing makes any sense out in the zones."
They both stepped back out into the hallway, but left the door open to keep an eye on Maverick.
"So how's she going?" Diamond asked. She had been out collecting food and organizing both Cardz and Dice all morning.
Gerard bit his lip and tried to avoid Harlequin's eyes. "I dunno Harley. Not good. The car trip from the Diner to Misfits only made her worse."
Alison dug her nails into her palms to stop the tears welling up in her eyes. She sniffed defiantly. "Someone will answer the radio message. They'll know what to do." She was telling herself this, just as much as Party. "Everything is going to work out. I'm going to go downstairs and wait with Glock."
Before she left Gerard grabbed Harlequin's hand and pulled her into a hug. "I'm saying this to you because you're a close friend, Alison. Don't get your hopes up." He squeezed her gently and placed a fatherly kiss on her forehead. "Right now Bonnie needs more than a rouge, out-of-practice doctor. She needs a miracle."
Harley nodded into his chest and then stepped back. As she walked downstairs to wait for an unlikely applicant, a single word that Gerard had used circled her head.
"Miracle." she whispered. "A miracle...."
Hypertonic slumped to the ground, body shaking with exhaustion.
"Get up." Korse snapped at her.
She took a deep, uneven breath and held up her hand. "Wait, please. I need a moment."
The Scarecrow rolled his eyes. "No, get up now!" He grabbed her by her shoulder and hauled her to her feet. "You have no stamina. You need to learn to push past your pain and get on with it. No zonerunner will let you take a break in a fight, they'll finish you off the moment they have the chance."
"Shut up and fight." He ordered, returning to his original stance.
Toxin nodded and forced her heavy limbs to assume an aggressive pose. The moment she had made it to the gym that morning Korse had been drilling her on hand-to-hand combat. It was only midday and she was already exhausted. The intense physical exercise sapped her body of strength, both mental and physical.
Through her foggy eyes she could see the bad man strike out towards her with his fist. She blocked the move and took the brunt if his blow on her forearm, then returned the attack with one of her own. Her fist landed on empty air, like it had been all day.
"Faster!" He growled, circling around the girl. "That was an obvious shot, so you need to be quick. I had more than enough time to block your move and could have landed a kick on you."
"How?" she gasped, slowly swiveling to keep him in her sight.
He threw two fast punched towards her and Toxin had to leap backwards to avoid being hit. She stumbled, eyes wide. He had been standing nearly three meters away. Those shots had come from nowhere.
"Reach." He said, grabbing a towel and soaking up the sweat on his hairless head. "You have to reach out to your target. At the moment you're just throwing your fists forward. There's no push."
She nodded, processing this words.
"And be ready to block." He added. "Every time you place a fist on your opponent, you need to be ready for a counterattack. Push one fist forward and as you following it with the next one, draw your first back to block your opponent. Some people strike out blindly under assault, so you have to be prepared for a random strike."
He demonstrated the technique on a nearby punching bag. His fists hit the padded bag hard and in quick succession of each other. Abbey gulped at the thought of those blows landing on her own skin.
"See?" he demanded, facing her. "There was no weak spot in my defense." He walked towards her, palms open. "Always remember Toxin; your enemy is dangerous. Unless their dead, they have the capability to hurt you."
"And sometimes," he added, "you can think you're opponent is dead, and they surprise you. You can never be sure with the desert vermin, so keep your front guarded just as much as your back."
He cracked his neck by rolling it and then casually tossed some punches at her. Toxin ducked to avoid the first and caught the second on her jaw, which was followed by a solid kick to the stomach.
"Fuck!" she cried out angrily and attacked back.
Korse grinned at the furious reaction he had caused in his apprentice. Rather than collapse like she had been all morning, Toxin took all her pent up frustration and released it in a series of speedy, half-calculated assaults. He blocked most, but was surprised to feel the familiar sting of fist on skin contact once or twice.
Hypertonic grunted, leaping to the side to avoid another kick and swung her leg up and around to land a blow on Korse's torso. She watched his face change from surprise to amusement. He let out a huff of air as her foot connected and laughed. "Where've you been hiding that attitude kid? It usually takes my students a session or two to get up the guts to dare hurting me." His grin was menacing, but had a twist of approval as well.
Toxin shrugged. "Just because I work for you doesn't mean I have to like you. And for your information Korse, I am not scared of you."
The Scarecrow raised an eyebrow and smirked. "How stupid you are then Abbey Palini. Everyone fears me, and they should." He forced her to take a step back with a renewed attack. She stumbled slightly, but managed to stay upright and block his attacks with her forearms. "There isn't a single rebel out there who can beat me." He pummeled the girl, forcing her to take step after step backwards. "Why else am I the only Scarecrow left?"
Toxin gasped at the intensity of his fighting. He was a like a force of nature, unbending and uncompromising. She tried to return his strikes, but found that she could only just keep her defense up enough to reduce the impact of his attacks. When her back hit the wall of the gym she knew that he had got her.
"I surrender!" she cried and dropped to the floor, hands above her head in a gesture of submission.
Korse slapped her hands away and grabbed her by the throat of her suit, hauling her up against the wall. "There is no such thing as surrender in this world." He slammed her against the brick. "Not afraid of me you say? Well just know this; I can crush you and your boyfriend any time I want. You wont know where, and you wont know when. So watch what you say, especially in Renegade's cell, because I might just be listening."
Toxin's eyes grew wide.
"Yeah, that's right. You're both going to run away sometime soon? Bust out of Battery City? Well don't forget to send me a postcard from the other side." He slapped her hard and watch her head slam back against the wall. A single tear ran down her cheek. "The enemy, Toxin, isn't just in the zones. I'm right here as well."
Korse let her go and watched her drop to the floor, a sick feeling of pleasure rising at the whimper he extracted from her lips. She cringed away from his hand, which patted her head gently, almost fatherly.
"And don't forget it." He whispered.
He left her on the gym floor, where she spent the rest of the afternoon contemplating just how deep she had dug the hole that she was sitting in now.
Harley and Glock sat waiting for two hours in the bar for an applicant for the radio add, but no one came.
"I just don't think there's anyone left out there honey." He said and patted her shoulder. "Doctors just don't exist in our world."
Diamond sniffed and nodded, frustrated. "Everything about this desert is unfair. We get all the bad luck."
The big man shook his head. "You're forgetting that the Californian zonerunners just got dealt the best card. You do realize that you and Party Poison made it not only to Battery, but BL/ind HQ and busted out Roulette, alive. That's got to count for something."
Harley nodded. "Yeah we were lucky, but that might have been a waste of time. Rabid's dying and I'm just sitting around here doing nothing. I'm supposed to be the smart one, so why can't I think of anything?" She took a gulp of whiskey and winced. "I don't usually drink, but at times like these alcohol can become a girl's best friend."
"It's a temporary relief, but I hope you know better than to turn to the drink when things do go bad." The bar manager filled up a few glasses of beer and slid them down the long table at a group of Dice kids. They were laughing at some joke the short one had made, completely oblivious of their crew leaders impending fate.
"I wonder what they'll do." Harley whispered, watching them with sad eyes.
"What do you mean?" Glock asked, polishing an ashtray.
She shrugged. "If Roulette dies, the crew's going to go to shit." She scrubbed her eyes with her palms. "So many of them.... I just don't know what to do. They'll all freak out and jump on the nearest bandwagon crew they find. I haven't got anything against Cobalt Blues, but power goes to his head. If he gets a flood of rebels wanting in on his crew, then the whole balance of Sanctum's gonna go spastic." She took two giant gulps of whiskey and blinked furiously to stop her eyes watering. She turned to Glock who was watching his bar reverently, eyes always on the lookout for trouble. "What will you do if Dice splits?"
He screwed up his nose. "I dunno. Might team up with Maverick if he'll have me. Or maybe I'll keep to myself. No one has the guts to mess with me for fear of being cut off from the liquor. I don't need no crew to back me up on anything."
Harley gave a short laugh. "This is true. I don't think I've ever seen any scum do more than raise their voice at you. Everyone values their booze too much." She grinned and topped up her glass herself. "Oh the wisdom of the bar man."
"Do you think you could take on Dice?" He asked tentatively. "You'd be just as good at it as Roulette."
Diamond burst out laughing. "As if, her crew's so big that if I combined it with mine I'd be drowning in paper work quite literally. And besides, only Roulette knows Roulette's contacts. I've got no clue what goes on upstairs in that head of hers. No one can take over Dice... To be honest even Rabid doesn't have control of it. Our crews are like organisms that we've planted, but they grow on their own. Only I must admit mine is slightly more manageable, it doesn't mind being trimmed and pruned." She grinned into her cup. "I've trained my followers well."
"Hmmm..." Glock pondered the woman's words as he wiped down the bench.
The tap tap of footsteps coming down the stairs heralded the arrival or Party Poison. "Hey guys, any news of a doctor?"
"Nope." Harley sighed angrily and pouted. "Not a single enquiry. I just don't know what we're going to do."
There was a tense silence, filled with frustration.
"Beer?" Glock offered Gerard.
The Killjoy shook his head, but pulled out a cigarette. "Got a light?"
Both Harley and Glock shook their heads. Party sighed and patted his pockets. "I never seem to have a lighter on me." He pulled a small smile. "Spider Bait always carried one because he knew that I was forever needing them."
All three rebels turned their thoughts to the departed man in a solemn moment of reverence.
"He was a great man, you're Spider Bait." Glock contributed. "Never gave anyone trouble, always paid his tab and was always there to help if a fight needed breaking up. There's few men out here like him, which is a damn shame."
Harley nodded. "He was a good good man. You know," she smiled, "he saved me." She turned to Party Poison. "When we were in Battery I got shot by Korse, and he was the one who pulled me to safety. I would have died, but he gave me a shot of some healing drug which fixed me right up." A wrinkle appeared on her forehead as she traced the memory. "I don't remember much, except being in complete agony one moment, and perfectly fine the next." She took a sip of alcohol and grinned. "Thank god he was so quick thinking."
She looked up at Gerard. He was staring at her, mouth slightly ajar.
"What?" Glock prodded the man.
"So it's true!" He grabbed Harley by the shoulders and shook her slightly. "It was a needle, wasn't it? That stuff that he gave you! It really is a miracle injection!"
Diamond leapt up, cottoning on to where his thoughts were headed. "Yes, it healed me completely! We can use it to save Roulette!" She gasped.
"Huh?" Glock asked, but the two zonerunners were already running out the door.
Gerard pelted towards the Trans Am, but Alison was headed towards the Davidson. "We need to get to Battery City and find some of that stuff!" she cried.
"Wait!" Party shouted. "I have some, in my bag. I picked it up when we were in the warehouse, in case it was true. I didn't know if it was for real, or if BL/ind were just messing around." He grinned and swung open the door of the Trans Am. "I left my bag in the back, so there still should be some syringes in here."
He ruffled through the bag, pushing through bottles of Cyanide, tins of food and clothes. Finally his hand closed over a metal box. "Got one!" He cried, pulling it free triumphantly. He flipped it over and quickly read the label. The words stamped on the back declared it to be of level 2 strength. "No good." He tossed it to Harley who stared at the box, confused.
"Aren't they all the same though?"
He shook his head. "No, we need a level 3 syringe, or else the dose won't be strong enough. We can't take any risks giving her a small injection, she's too far gone for that."
After four minutes of frustration, pulling box after box out of his bag of level 1 and 2 syringes, Party finally extracted the right one.
"Got it!" he cried, slamming the door of the Trans Am shut and they headed back into Misfits.
Maverick's morbid thoughts were interrupted by loud coughing. He started in alarm as Roulette began to jerk, hacking up spoonfuls of blood. Liquid began to fill her mouth and she chocked.
"Rabid!" he cried, pulling her upright and holding the shaking woman to his chest. After a few moments her thrashing stopped and she went limp. Her head lolled against his arm, eyes shut in her unconscious state.
Red dribbled from her lips, mouth clear of blood. However Maverick listened, but couldn't hear her breathing.
"Help!" He shouted. "Party Poison! Someone, help her!"
Gerard burst into the room followed closely by Harlequin Diamond, brandishing a syringe. They ran to the bed and helped Maverick lie the deathly still woman out on the bed.
"You have to save her!" Maverick cried, gripping Roulette's hand tightly. "She can't die, not now!"
Party pushed Maverick to one side. "She's going to be fine." He grabbed Roulette's limp arm and flipped it over to expose her wrist. "Hurry Harley! Do it now or we'll loose her!"
Alison pulled the cap of the needle off with her teeth and squirted a little of the vibrant, pink liquid, flicking the syringe before sinking it into her friends wrist. She gritted her teeth and shot the BL/ind drug straight into her friend's system.
All three held their breath, waiting for a sign that the injection had done the impossible.
Ten long seconds ticked by.
"You don't think.... She wasn't too far gone. It has to have worked!" Harley gasped, clutching her friends hand to her chest.
Party just placed a heavy hand on her shoulder. "She isn't breathing... I just can't say Harley. I don't know if it's working."
Maverick leant down and kissed Roulette hard on the forehead. A tear slid down his cheek and landed on her peaceful face. "I miss you honey. Please come back to us."
Roulette's chest didn't rise. She still wasn't breathing.
A minute had passed.
A dark cloud of acceptance settled over the three zonerunners.
"Rest in peace." Gerard whispered and held Harley close as she burst into tears.
Maverick let out a hoarse cry and slumped onto Rabid's torso, tears darkening her singlet.
Gerard let the sadness wash over him, fueling the sharp pain of Bob's loss. Suddenly it seemed as though the fate of the Californian rebels had been sealed. The future was bleak; they were all going to die. BL/ind was going to win, crushing the resistance crew by crew.
'I may as well just kill myself now.' He thought. 'We're all doomed anyway.'
And then -
"Huh?" Alison sniffed.
"I said 'get off.'"
There was a electrified pause.
"ROULETTE!?" Harley and Maverick shrieked, hugging the woman tighter.
"Ugh, guys you're squeezing me real tight!" She huffed, patting their heads weakly. "I wont be able to breathe if you don't let go."
"ImsorryImjustsohappythatyou'realive! IthoughtyouweredeadforsureandI'mjustsohappythatIwaswrong!" Harley cried, engulfing her friend tighter.
Roulette smiled and leant against her friend happily. She looked at Party grinned. "I told you I was history, but you didn't give up on me. I owe you Poison... again."
Gerard ruffled her curly hair affectionately. "I would say that you don't owe me a thing, but I do have a favor in mind for the future."
"Whatever you need will be done." Maverick answered for Rabid. "I can assure you of that on my own behalf."
Roulette gaped at Maverick, only just registering his presence. "Mav, wait... What are you doing here?"
Party and Harley looked at each other and nodded. They left the room so that Maverick and Roulette could have a private moment.
Rabid watched the two leave the room, feeling her ex's gaze on her.
"Rabid, will you look at me honey?"
She shook her head slightly. "I don't want to. I just don't understand... You dumped me."
He held her hand tightly. "I know. I can understand that you'd be pretty confused right now. But I just need to say that during those days when you were in Battery, all I could think about was how I never told you just how much I loved you.... Still love you. And then I resigned myself to never seeing you again, until I heard that Party and Harlequin rescued someone from that hell-hole."
Roulette looked up at Maverick. "I don't deserve friends like Harley and the Killjoys. Party and Diamond risked everything for me."
"And I'm so glad they did. I can't believe I nearly lost you." He held her face in his giant hands and wiped a stray tear from her cheek. "If you'll let me, I'll never let you go again."
Rabid sniffed. "But I don't understand, if you love me, why did you push me away?"
He shook his head. "I don't know. Maybe I was scared. This world is such a fucking joke! People die every day and no one gives a shit. I didn't want to get attached to you... Because you'd just die on me like everyone else was."
Bonnie gave a short laugh. "So you left me, because you were afraid to loose me?"
He cringed. "Yeah... Sorta."
"How ironic." A crooked smile appeared on her face. "You know, you're story seems so pathetic I almost forgive you."
"Almost?" He pressed, placing a feather light kiss on her forehead.
She giggled and kissed him back. "Okay, I forgive you. As long as you promise me one thing."
"Anything." He whispered, hugging her close.
"I want to join the crews. I want us to work together, not as separate groups, but as one united army. We don't have a chance right now, unless we cooperate with each other, which we can't living such divided lives." She fiddled with his crew's insignia, pinned to his jacket. "I want us to actually have a shot at this, not just continue chipping away at BL/ind like we have been for the past eight years. It's not working."
"Honey?" He murmured in her hair.
She looked up at him, eyes full of love. "Yes Mav?"
"I completely agree." He grinned his dangerous grin. "Let's take these motherfuckers down."