They're on their way back to zone 6, trying to find Dr D and work out how to attack Battery City. But will it all go to plan?
We drove back to the house easily enough, just as Kobra had anticipated. We ate some beans and started to pack what we would take when we left tomorrow morning to try and find Dr D. After packing the crate Jet Star and I had picked up, plus any and all of the food we could find left in the house, plus loads of clothes, just in case, Jet and Kobra went to have a nap whilst Poison and I kept watch.
We stood outside for a while, enjoying the slight breeze and sunshine. It must have been about mid-May judging by the weather, but we hadn’t kept much track of time for a while so you never could be sure. I took a little walk around the house, kicking up the dirt, not really paying much attention to anything. I knew I should actually keep watch whilst being on watch, but all I could think about was the possibility of finding more killjoys and taking down Korse, and maybe finding my family. I stopped and leaning on the wall at the back of the house, wondering what would happen if I had my family back in my arms. Would they remember me? Would they want me back after all this time? I sighed a little and closed my eyes.
Startled by the sudden break in the silence I reached for my gun, before realising it was only Poison.
“Oh.” I let go of my gun sheepishly. “Hey. You, er, scared me a little.” I half laughed.
“You okay?” He asked, his brows furrowed a little. I wondered how long he’d been following me.
“Yeah, yeah. Fine. Just thinking.” He walked closer and leaned on the wall beside me.
“Wanna talk about it?” He nudged my shoulder lightly with his and gave me a lopsided smile. The kind that made your heart skip a beat and you couldn’t help but smile a little back no matter how horrible your mood was.
But I could still remember the heart-wrenching sobs from the other night, and decided against telling him, even though the only thing I wanted to do was tell him everything that was on my mind so that he could reassure me. But I knew that this time he wouldn’t be able to.
“Uh… No it’s okay. It’s nothing.” I shrugged. “Should we go back to the front?” I asked, trying to change the subject. Before he could answer, no doubt to tell me that I could tell him anything and it was obviously important, I stepped away from the wall and walked to the front of the house.
The sun was beginning to set, leaving most of the sky a pinkish hue, which deepened into indigo the higher up you looked. I thought about all of the families, everyone in Battery City, settling down for a calm evening meal like any other, whilst we were out here just battling to stay alive. I wondered if my family were setting down for the evening… No. I needed to focus. On the watch, and on finding a way to stop Korse.
I gritted my teeth and stared into the sunset. Poison looked at me cautiously, probably expecting me to have an angry outburst about something. It had been a while… he knew one was coming any day now. I admit over the years I’ve let me anger get to me, allowed my fear and hatred and sadness turn into intense anger and completely flipped out. I’d argued, shouted, thrown punches. But I didn’t have the energy to be angry anymore. I didn’t have the energy to spend days apologising after they’d already forgiven me, but I always felt terrible afterwards. Each of them had needed stitches at least once after the past few outbursts. I hated myself for hurting them. And I just couldn’t do it anymore, so instead I just let it bubble away inside, eating me up instead of lashing out. It was probably better that way.
I sighed and looked at him softly, trying to show him that I wasn’t going to get angry. “I guess we should go and get them up so we can get some sleep. If we’re leaving first thing in the morning we’ll need some rest.” He nodded and we went inside to tell the others to take over the watch.
I awoke as soon as the sun rose in the sky, already feeling nervous for the day ahead. What happened if we couldn’t find them? We had our hopes up so high on the prospect of more like us out there. Worse yet, what if we had gotten the riddle completely wrong? Too much was resting on this. With the numbers we would have, we would finally be able to attack zone 1.
I rubbed my eyes, stretched, and got dressed back into my old outfit, butterflies filling my stomach. I walked downstairs to find Kobra and Jet checking we had packed everything we needed in the car before we needed to leave.
“Where’s Poison?” I asked Kobra.
“Heeeeeeeere!” Poison shouted, running down the stairs and out the door towards us, with a big grin on his face. He looked so cute; his smile reminded me of the last Christmas we all spent together, where he was so excited about his presents. It was infectious. By the time he reached the car, all four of us were grinning like idiots. We all got into the car and set off for zone 6. I watched as our temporary house faded into the distance, soon becoming part of the blur where the desert and sky seemed to mix together.
We drove onward for a couple of hours, no one speaking, all of us wishing that we were on our way to ending this.
I was the first to see it.
“Fuck. Gee. Turn back. TURN BACK!” I yelled.
But it was too late. They had seen us.
A deafening siren sounded, and at least 50 cars were on our tail. Exterminators. But… how did they know?
Shit. Shit. My breath caught in my throat, choking me as fear and anger and hatred rippled through my body.
I had led them here, to zone 6. I left the radio on, somebody had been listening in.
And now they had found us.
Poison sped up as fast as the car would go.
“They’re gaining on us.” Kobra began to panic, almost to the point of hyperventilation.
“Just breathe. We’ll be okay. We always are.” Jet said, getting out his ray gun and opening the window to aim. I followed suit, catching Poison’s eye in the rear view mirror. He smiled at me, and I tried to smile back. This was it, and we knew it. We wanted to go down smiling, thinking of all the good times.
I began shooting backwards at the following cars through my open window. But we were fighting a losing battle, as more and more cars joined the chase.
Poison pushed his foot even harder on the accelerator.
“They won’t take me a-fucking-live.” He said through gritted teeth.
The car lurched to one side. They’d go a tyre. Poison tried in vain to keep control of the car, whilst Jet, Kobra and I kept shooting.
I ducked as a shot hit the rear window, obliterating it into tiny shards.
They were shooting too fast for us to keep up. Poison skidded to a halt as they blew another two tyres. We all jumped out of the car to run, knowing we’d get caught, but we would never go down without a fight. I tried to shoot at as many exterminators as I could. If I was going down, I was taking them with me.
A pair of arms grabbed my shoulder.
“Fuck. GET OFF.” The hands started to grapple around my throat, and I tried to shake them off.
“FUCK!” I yelped hoarsely, still trying to shoot.
Something collided with my head, and I felt a warm wetness creep down towards my cheek. I felt myself blacking out from blood loss, seeing Poison and Kobra already on the floor in my peripheral.
“Gee…. I…” I collapsed, seeing only darkness.