Enter Fun Ghoul and Jet
Grace ran up to hug me which was a bit awkward but I did my best and then was completely surprised when a cute dark haired guy swept me up into a hug too. I was about to react by aiming a swift kick at his nuts when Grace started giggling.
“Put her down Ghoul. Rainbow this is Fun Ghoul.”
“Oh um.. Hi.”
I regained my feet and returned the smile being sent my way. He was only an inch or so taller than me which made a nice change and I was starting to wonder if they only let hot guys into the Killjoys cos he was as nice looking as the other two.
“Hi, you look great.”
There was a laugh from behind me and I turned to see the big guy with the hair.
“He’s only saying that because those are his clothes.”
I stood bemused next to Grace as a light hearted argument broke out between the two men that ended in some shoving and a lot of swearing. I looked down at the child.
“They always like this ?”
“Yeah, its worse when Party and Kobra are here.”
Finally a truce fell and the big guy shook my hand.
“I’m Jet Star, ignore Ghoul he can be a pain. He fixed you up good though.”
Ghoul gave me another smile as I stared at him.
“I did the best I could. Not much I can do about the ribs.”
Grace pulled at my sleeve.
“When Party and Kobra get back we’re going to Dr.D’s.”
The radio DJ. I listened to his stuff a fair bit, generally told me where trouble was so I could go the other way. The rumours about him were endless and from what I heard he moved around a fair bit to avoid BLI and its spies. I wasn’t even certain he existed at all as a living, breathing person but obviously I was wrong. Guess his ties to the Killjoys were pretty strong. I scrambled into one of the booths and they all followed. After being on my own for so long, this was getting somewhat claustrophobic. I found myself sitting next to Ghoul and tried to make conversation.
“Why we going there ?”
Jet looked serious before hugging Grace a little closer.
“Party believes in a little propaganda. We’re gonna let Korse know he’s given us a new ally and let the Killjoys know you’re one of us now.”
Ghoul piped in helpfully.
“So our guys don’t shoot you.”
I didn’t quite know how to respond to that one so just nodded and then sat back and listened as the three of them proceeded to enlighten me about Dr.D, his runner Show Pony and assistant Hot Chimp. Apparently the guy had spies all over the 6 Zones and inside Battery City itself, all of which kept the Killjoys ahead of the game. He was also on Korse’s most wanted list although apparently I’d bumped him down to number 6. Yay me.
“He’s hiding out in 5 at the moment. We can hit the Crater Club after.”
Jet shook his head with a smile.
“I’m not pulling you and Party out of another fight. You wanna do that you can walk home.”
“Aww come on Jet, you know we have a good time out there.”
Ghoul was pouting which made Grace giggle and this set Jet off too, they looked at me and then the laughter died away. Jet looked concerned.
“Are you ok ?”
I could feel myself redden as they all stared at me.
“Yeah, not used to having company that’s all.”
Instantly Ghoul was hugging me again, the guy really did not get the whole concept of personal space. There were suppressed smiles on Jet and Grace’s faces as he winked at them.
“Rainbow, you’re family now. Wait till we hit the Crater tonight and you get to party with Party.”
I couldn’t help the grin that appeared.
“Didn’t know you lot hung out over there. Bloody rough some days.”
Jet pointed at Ghoul.
“He starts half of that, believe me.”
Ghoul’s comeback was lost as the plank across the front door was pushed aside and Party and Kobra appeared, Kobra in his trademark bike helmet and Party in mask and bandanna. They took a minute to shake out the dust before Party favoured us with a smile.
“C’mon kiddies, lets not keep the Doc waiting. Storm’s died down a bit.”
There was a rush of activity which I stood off from to one side. It all felt wrong, I didn’t want to be part of the gang but at the same time it was weird to think of them accepting me. What’s that thing someone said, I wouldn’t want to join a club that would let me in ? Something like that. Party was staring at me again and then came over, handing me an electric yellow leather jacket and matching mask.
“Here, you lost your stuff and you can’t go out in that.”
He smiled as I pulled it on, grateful for any form of disguise. Although big, it was comfy and I couldn’t resist grinning back at him. He pulled something else from his back pocket.
“It’s the one you took of that Drac. I livened it up for you.”
The plain white gun was now a work of art. Painted a plain black but with bright arcs of rainbow colours streaming from the barrel down toward the handle. It glittered, even in the dim light from outside. I looked up at him, seeing amusement in his eyes.
“Thanks, I don’t know what to say.”
“Take it as a sign of our alliance, you’re no good to us without a gun.”
I chuckled and tucked the gun into my jacket. I pulled on my mask and knotted the bandanna that Kobra passed me around my neck. The wind was still high so I pulled it up over my mouth as we went outside into the heat. Strange thing deserts, so liable to changes in weather that had been exacerbated by the damage done to the atmosphere by the bombs. In other words fucked up.
I followed them around behind the back of the diner and into the garage. This too was well disguised, you would have to know what to look for to have any hope of seeing it. The contents however were amazing. I could recognise the muscle car now and it made my mouth water. Again the rumours had not done the Trans-Am justice, it was a thing of beauty. Several motorbikes were there too, all fast and in good nick. Kobra caught me drooling.
“Sorry baby, how do I know you won’t just drive off and leave me ?”
I couldn’t help returning the smirk, no way were these guys gonna keep getting the last word.
“Thought I’d ride shotgun with you, give me something to hang onto.”
Party and Ghoul instantly cracked up as Kobra’s jaw dropped. I smiled and patted him on the shoulder before Party slung his arm around my shoulder.
“I’ll save ya bro, c’mon Rainbow lets take my baby out.”
I’m the first to admit sitting in the passenger seat of that car was a rush. Party basically drove like a maniac, the sweet growl of the engine almost drowned out by Mad Gear and Missile Kid. In the back, Ghoul, Jet and Grace sang along loudly. Within half an hour I found myself joining in, something infectious in their simple enjoyment of the music.
I could see the sun starting to set as we left 6 and cruised into 5. The sandstorm had rumbled off toward the deadlands and the colours streamed across the sky above us, a myriad of deep pinks and vibrant oranges. Screwed up yes but still amazing, nature’s answer to mankind’s own stupidity in a weird sort of way. We were protected from the swirling winds by the speed of the car and its deep seats. It was exhilarating and I surrendered to the feeling of just simply being glad to be alive. At least for now.
“Doc’s a cool guy but don’t piss him off.”
I looked over at Party, his face now serious.
“He likes the idea of this alliance but he ain’t gonna trust you.”
I nodded and gave him a level stare.
“And you do ?”
“No, can’t say I do. Yet.”
“Fair enough. Don’t exactly trust you lot either.”
I watched the smile appear on his face as he started singing along to the music again.
Fuck I actually liked the guy.
That was an uncomfortable thought and I turned away, leaning against the door of the car so I could feel the breeze on my face. I couldn’t get sucked into this, they were just as responsible for Danny’s death as BLI and if I wasn’t careful they’d end up getting me killed too. It was more important now than ever to keep my head and know when to leave. My innate sense of self preservation was chiming loud in my head.
So why the hell did I find myself wanting to stay ?