"It was stupid of them, it really was. But it was midday and it was hot and they were all feeling out of it." The Killjoys are captured by BLI. (FG/PP)
It was stupid of them, it really was. But it was midday and it was hot and they were all feeling out of it. Kobra Kid was lounging in the sparse shade provided by a small crest in the desert sand, his gun in its holster hanging off the car door mirror on the Trans AM. Jet Star ha Grace in his lap and was listening patiently as the small girl complained about how Fun Ghoul wouldn't let her braid his hair. Fun Ghoul himself was sprawled in the backseat of the car, watching Party Poison fiddle with the dials on the radio.
"I can't pick up any transmissions from Dr. D," said Poison. There was a hint of worry in his voice. There often was these days. Ghoul didn't like it. It made him worried too.
"Calm down," he said, smiling lazily at the redhead in the front seat. "Maybe he's just not on the airwaves right now. I mean, it's not like he's transmitting 24/7."
Poison sighed. He didn't really want to divulge this somewhat distressing piece of news to Ghoul. Or the others, for that matter. But he didn't really have a choice. What he did or didn't want didn't matter. He couldn't keep something this important from his team.
He could feel Ghoul's gaze on him and he unwillingly turned to face him. Ghoul didn't have his sunglasses on and Poison could see his eyes, which, without the protection of his shades, always seemed open and honest. They scared the shit out of Poison. He wasn't sure why. Maybe it was because lately he hadn't had the ability to be completely open and honest with anyone. Especially not Ghoul, who looked so calm. Peaceful. "Peaceful" is rare in the Zones. And now Poison had to ruin it.
"D's last transmission was yesterday morning," he told him. "He said that a large group of S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/Ws and Exterminators had been spotted on the outskirts of Zone 6."
The look on Ghoul's face slowly changesd from the pleasant, peaceful one to one of stunned recognition. "But-"
"That's where he was set up, yes."
"SHIT!" Ghoul yelled. "Why didn't you tell us?! We could have gone and helped!"
"No, we couldn't have!" Poison snapped. Ghoul recoiled, those honest eyes wide and hurt, like he'd just been slapped across the face. Poison winced. "Sorry," he mumbled, turning away from Ghoul. He squeezed his eyes shut and dug the heels of his hands into them. "Sorry."
"It's okay," Ghoul said, recovering quickly. "You're right. Zone 6 is on the other side of Battery City and we couldn't have got there in time to do anything. But there were a bunch of teams in that area. He's probably fine." He ruffled his friend's hair. "You're so stressed out lately, Gee! Relax! I'm worried about you."
Poison cracked a small smile, a slight shiver running through him at the use of Ghoul's old nickname for him, Frank's nickname for him, from before the bombs. "Yeah," he says. "You're right, I need to chill out."
It was at that moment that it became obvious why it was stupid of them to be lounging around in the open. Several Draculoids popped up from their hiding places in the sand, their pure-white ray guns already firing off everywhere.
Cussing loudly, Kobra Kid scrambled to his feet and dashed for his gun. He didn't get very far before one of the Drac's shots hit his thigh. He fell to the ground with a scream that got lost in the sudden chaos that had arisen around them. He started forward again on his hands and knees, his injured leg trembling.
Jet Star clutched a terrified Grace to his chest. "Gracie, sweetheart, listen to me," he said quietly. Her large brown eyes turned to his and the trust in them made his chest ache. "You've got to run," he said. "You've gotta get out of here. Get to the station in Zone 2. Let them know what's going on."
"And then you'll come get me when you're done here?"
He wanted to reassure her that of course they'll come get her, they'll always come get her, but she was a big girl and he couldn't get himself to lie to her. So he made the best promise he could. "If it's possible we will, I promise you, Grace. If we can't..." The look of fear in her eyes at the idea that they might not be able to come get her pained him. "If we can't, there are other Killjoys there and Show Pony'll be there at some point. You can go with him."
She hesitated and nodded. Jet stood and pulled her to her feet with one hand, the other hand reaching for his gun in its holster. He began shooting randomly to cover Grace's escape, aided by Party Poison and Fun Ghoul's fortunately-timed exit from the Trans AM, their shots adding to the mix. He couldn't believe he'd just sent Grace off into the desert, alone, unprotected, with no food or water. We're right on the borderline of Zone 2 and Zone 3, he reassured himself. It'll take forty-five minutes for her to get there, tops. He tried to push aside the negative thoughts about the brutal desert heat and how she's only 10 years old.
About halfway to the car, Kobra collapsed. It was clear to everyone watching that he's fainted, passed out. Poison wanted to run to him, but he couldn't do anything for his brother now and he'd probably get shot himself. He forced himself to keep shooting. A few of his shots met their marks, but the three Killjoys left standing were hugely outnumbered.
And then, three S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/Ws came running onto the scene from a van parked a little ways away from the clap. One picked up Kobra and slung him over its shoulder. It went back to the van and threw Kobra into the back. Poison yelled and started forward, but then there was a sudden sharp blow to his head from the butt of one of the Dracs' guns. It was not enough to knock him out, but it did knock him over. Dazed, he felt himself being picked up and thrown into the van the same way Kobra was. It wasn't long before Fun Ghoul and Jet Star were also overpowered and thrown in.
The van rumbled into motion almost instantly. Jet pounded on the sheet of bulletproof glass separating them and the driver, swearing profusely. The glass, of course, didn't give, and he fell back.
"I cannot fucking believe we just let ourselves get caught in the open like that!" Ghoul exclaimed in frustration, nursing a gash on his hand.
Poison crawled over to Kobra's prone figure and slapped his face gently. Kobra slowly came to, wincing in pain. "Where the fuck are we?"
"The back of BLI's van," Jet said bitterly.
Kobra looked around. "Well, shit," he said, perfectly calmly. "And where's Girl?" He didn't say Grace's name out loud in case the Drac driving the van could hear him.
"Fuck, where is Girl?" Poison asked, looking around.
Jet looked suspiciously at the driver and motioned for the others to come closer. "I told her to run. Sent her to Zone 2. There's a group of Killjoys there, and Show Pony'll be there to give them supplies within a few days. She should be fine."
"What are you muttering about back there?" the driver yelled roughly.
"None of your fuckin' beeswax, fuckhead," Ghoul yelled back. Poison snickered.
As if in revenge for Ghoul's rude response, the driver hit a pothole head on. They all got jolted around and Kobra yelped when his bad leg hit the wall. "Shit!" Poison yelled, rushing to help him.
Although it wasn't very deep, the wound was full of sand.
"This is gonna get seriously infected if we can't clean it out," Poison said grimly. "Anyone have something to clean it with?"
Thankfully, Jet had sanitizing wipes in his pocket, which he'd grabbed from the first aid kit that morning when Grace had fallen and scraped her knee. He handed them to Poison, who looked at them, said "Better than nothing, I suppose", and ripped them open. He started to gently clean the sand away. Kobra hissed at the sting and Poison grimaced apologetically.
"There," he said after a minute. "Best I can do. Anyone got something to bind it up with?"
They all shook their heads. Their bandanas would only make the wound dirty again, filthy as they were. Poison cursed in frustration for a minute before sitting back and leaning against the wall.
They sat in silence for a long time. Eventually the silence was broken by Jet Star, who said "I'm just going to see where we are."
He raised himself onto his knees and peered through the glass and out the front window. However, he barely got a glimpse before the driver noticed him and pushed a button on the dashboard. A black shade lowered over the window, cutting off the view and leaving the back of the van in pitch darkness.
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