Neon and her friends run into some unexpected people...
Of course every ocean must meet land no matter how far they cache and envelope the planet, the tawny ground stopping short at one particular place down south of zone 3- Battery city, the jungle of low identical whitewash houses and high wire fences surrounding the whole back perimeter around the glowering, capacious building at front.
Where we were heading there right now.
I had to admit that I was pretty jumpy about the whole thing since this was the first time any of us have really been to Battery City (except maybe the close encounters of being captured) but looking around at the faces around me, Blood bunny and me seemed to be the only ones putting an effort to try and get on with the long (obviously dangerous) journey ahead of us. Cherri kid was fiddling with her necklace, barely looking up and talking while Accident was nibbling her already worn down nails behind a bright red veil of hair,( almost the splitting image of Gerard himself). The heavy humid air being pushed down even more by the silent pressure surrounding us all, that you could have cut the air with a really blunt spoon.
Seriously, we were all that freaked, even Bunny who always carried a sense of confidence had a hard time trying to put a convincing smile that matched her usually shining hazel eyes. We stride across the short distance to the battered, oil smudged, sticker covered Trans am, oh yes, Gerard’s old Trans am.
Sitting forgotten in front of a broken down diner (the one currently named “DIE” since Jet Star
thought it would be funny to push out the N’s and R), I only just remembered it when I had finally realised in a frantic panic that my brother and his friends were truly gone, in fact I was so terrified that I had actually not seen the car and ran straight into it with a BANG!
Don’t blame me, I was 15 at the time and being left alone without anybody in sight is mortifying.
Anyway, it was a surprise that I managed to maintain the grimy white car in shape, let alone managing to try and learn how to drive it at the age of 17 with very few help from passing fellow killjoys in the zones.
Wait, you’d ask, if there were other killjoys passing through? How come you never tried to leave with them? Well, for a start why would I need to go? Sure they’re undoubtedly nice folks but I never really felt…whole let’s say, I didn’t have a proper purpose with them and I didn’t really want to be a baggage to them. Besides, I still had my own personal mission on finding my brother and the gang- the only reason why I didn’t give in to the sinking depression of being abandoned and left to die in the beginning.
I took a deep breath and exhaled with a low whistle, turning my face up to the brilliant blue methane skies, the ever present sun warming my face as my hair danced gently in the summery breeze, a few strands of wiry blonde covering my eyes.
“Hey Neon Glitter,” Cherri said, her sea green eyes meeting mine while her pale rose lips turned upwards into a slight, half-hearted smirk. Turning my head, I glance at my fellow Killjoys, all of them facing towards me, Blood Bunny with Cherri kid at the back, Artistic Accident in the driver’s seat.
“You know that big ball of radiation we call the sun? Well it'll burst you into flames if you stay in one place too long,”
“That is if the static don’t get you first.” Blood bunny chipped in. They could tell that they had at least cheered me up a bit (apparently my eyes would turn sort of lighter and change into a pale blue, the colour of my eyes coming from my mother rather than like Frank’s who got his from our dad).
“Neon, no offences but you always seem to have this weird expression on your face?” Accident said cocking her head to one side questioningly.
“Shut up,” I scowled, grimacing inwardly when I realised I had dozed off again.
“Well don’t blame us for interrupting your daydream but it was kinda disturbing when drool started hanging outta your mouth,” Said Bunny, nonchantly placing a pair of white rimmed sunglasses over her eyes while trying to supress a grin. I scowled once again wiping my face with the back of my hand vigorously only to realise Bunny was joking. I whirled around slapping her on her arm.
“Hey!” She cried clutching her arm and pouting. I froze giving her a ‘seriously?’ look and burst out laughing closely joined in by Accident and Cherri kid a second later.
“What’s so funny?” Blood Bunny huffed, crossing her arms. I took in short breaths to try and calm my fit of giggles at Blood Bunny’s ridiculous expression as I gave my short explanation.
“Face was so,”
“Fucking HILARIOUS!” I couldn’t hold it anymore as I had another fit of laughter, God it was just that funny. Bunny’s eyes would cross over slightly plus the full lipped pout; it gave the expression of a fish thing trying to see the end of its non-existent nose.
I grinned cheekily, patting the side of her face and joining Artistic Accident at the front, taking my place in shotgun, the faded grey leather ending up quite hot due to our careless dawdling’s. Nonetheless we loosely strapped ourselves in the seats and were off, tyres screeching and echoing loudly as the exhaust fumes mingled with the dust cloud that was left trailing behind like a miniature pollution cloud coming from a factory. It billowed in the slight summertime breeze slowly dispersing and sifting back onto the sandy ground once more, silent and gentle unlike the four raucous girls in the seats of the white trans am heading towards the distant horizon past zone 3 and into the hazards of Battery City, the future shaking and shimmering just like the actual horizon due to the blistering heat, the one we were facing and going towards.
Another breeze picked up from the North east and gradually built up into moderate but refreshing gusts of cold air, whipping our hair back behind our make-up smudged faces, all of us sighing in content or at least lolling our arms out of the side of the car and breathing in the cold fresh wind, very different from the usual hot, dry, (sometimes humid) air we are forced to inhale so that we could live.
I small speck was slowly zigzagging its way towards us, seeming to be just about the right size for a car, I urged Artistic Accident to go a little bit faster so that we could see what or who it was that was slicing their way effectively through the dessert plains. Behind me I heard Cherri kid shout something over the spluttering roar of the worn out engine and equally battered radio, but just to be sure everyone else heard, I lowered the volume of the radio, gently turning the dial anti-clockwise.
“Better get out your ray guns my little pretties, might be some dracs again!” Cherri shouted.
We nodded our approval and said our little thanks as we grabbed each of our own personalized guns out of the little compartments just under all the car seats,( mine was white with a green stripe and decorated with pink glitter and an assortment of stars, each neon colours of course,) while Blood bunny wiggled out of her seat and poked her body halfway out the back window, taking off her sunglasses and pushing them up on her head while doing so, surveying the land in front of us as well as the yellow convertible that was now in view.
“And now this could be the last of all the rides we take, so hold on tight everybody and don’t look back!” Artistic Accident shouted at us, turning and grinning at us right after she had said that, cranking up the gear and speed while doing so, head back, arms up, not a care in the world in the world so far. In an outsider’s point of view, if the scene were to be described in one word it would have probably gone on along the lines of perfect.
We looked to be the typical American girls. Sniggering and shrieking playfully at each other while the girl in the driver’s seat was swerving occasionally because of the boisterous behaviour within the cramped confinement of the typical battered car. Of course we were the complete opposite of that word, more so that to us the word ‘perfect’ was no more than just a word, a word that had no meaning and had never shown its superficial face in this world. We were basically living in hell with only the very few miracles hiding in the corners and now we were travelling to the centre of this shitty excuse for a world to battle out our demons and reclaim our angels from their malicious grasp. We were going to somewhere worse than your deepest nightmares and personal hells and we were going to try and survive it, reject it and paint black as we storm through the city gates and rescue our loved ones. They could try and smother the determination and love in our hearts but I doubt they would be able to even stifle it just a smidge, no, they would never be able to do that because even in our last breathes we would still stand strong, we would take each other’s hands and stand up fucking tall. That’s why as I looked back out of the rolled down windows of my brother’s best friend’s car, I felt a sudden sense of comprehension of my friends who care as well as love me and self-gratitude of how long I had I managed to survive in order to actually take part in this mission, a mission that would surely change our lives whether it be for better or for worse.
Out of the speakers a familiar voice crackled bringing me back to my main point.
“…So remember even if you're dusted
You may be gone
But out here in the desert
Your shadow lives on without you
This is Dr. Death Defying
The yellow convertible was now speeding its way towards us, just as grimy and mistreated as our Trans Am and just like us there were two killjoy girls copying our actions by warily holding up their ray guns only to lower them slowly when they realised that we too were killjoys’ as well.
The girl with the blonde bunches jumped out suddenly from the car and stuck out her hand, her
slightly tanned face aglow with the wide smile etched onto it.
“HI! I’m Party Bandit!” I took Party Bandit’s hand, shaking it warmly as she introduced herself,
“Hey, I’m Neon Glitter, this is Blood bunny and those two,” I gestured to Cherri Kid and Accident (both looking to be hiding behind Bunny).
“Are Cherri Kid and Artistic Accident,” I said,
“Who’s who though?” Laughed Party Bandit, I smiled liking this girl’s outgoing personality.
“The one with the blue fringe and purple highlights is Cherri and the one with the red hair is Accident,” I replied,
“I’ve introduced my friends and myself, but you haven’t told me your friends,” I said peering round to the girl with the long, flowing dark brown hair and startling silver blue eyes. Bandit shrugged, pushing the nameless girl gently forward. She put one of her skinny arms behind her back while twiddling a strand of her hair in the other before opening her mouth to utter out a barely audible name.
“I’m Vengeful Scout,” She said, smiling shyly.
I nodded my head in acknowledgement before being interrupted by Bunny’s voice,
“Not very vengeful though are you,” She teased, shaking out the sand that had been blown in from the west off her leather jacket while saying so.
“No, but I’m called vengeful scout ‘cause when I find my brother I’m gonna have a lot of revenge
dish out,” She shot back, finally looking up properly from the floor. Bunny beamed, I had to admit that her tactic involving sarcasm and good witted combats always worked really well even for the shyest people, I guess it’s because that even them, complete strangers, become instantly and visibly at ease when they’re around her, even strangers who had their heart ripped from their soul when someone the love got taken away. I frowned wondering when the heartbreaks and pain would ever stop, if we could finally live in a world where people didn’t need to suffer any more than they needed to, Vengeful Scout had lost her brother and I knew exactly what she had been put through, knew the same pang of the sharp, stabbing pains where her heart would have been and the aching throbbing around the edges after. We had only met and were seen to be completely different but I knew inside that we were the same.
“What was his name?” I asked in a hushed whisper, feeling my eyes widen in sympathy. Vengeful scout smiled, the corners of her mouth turned upwards but I knew that behind it she was feeling the sadness fill her.
“His name was Jared Leto, my other brother Shannon was killed in the 2012 fires, at least I think he did but I’ve never seen from him since so I don’t know.” She said, equally quiet as me.
Hold on a sec though, JARED AND SHANNON LETO?! As in 30 SECONDS TO MARS?! THE BAND?! My facial expression must have been one of shock because vengeful scout soon quickly explained.
“Yeah, I’m Emily Leto,” I could feel Cherri, Accident and Blood Bunny gawp at her fish mouthed just like me.
“Close your mouth ladies, have a little class,” Party Bandit scolded playfully, but “having a little class” wasn’t a thing we had the luxury of having, and to prove my point Cherri and Blood Bunny spat simultaneously at the dusty ground under their converse cladded feet.
Flipping my hair out of my eyes I got back to business.
“So…” Wow, my version of getting “back to business” seemed to be exchanging the word “so” and taking a very awkward break. I was just about to turn to Cherri when a decent conversation starter popped unexpectedly into my mind.
“Where are you going to then?” I asked,
“Um…. Me and Bandit here got kinda lost when we ran outta gas,” Vengeful scout replied sheepishly.
“Hey! Don’t worry! You’re lucky you ran into us, we always carry some spare gas because miss “be prepared for anything” here, always badgers us to pack an extra can whenever we have the chance!” Artistic accident exclaimed looking pointedly at me. We quickly filled up their car and made our way to some shrubbery to hide ourselves because the sky was now dramatically changing into a breath-taking sunset that would surely change into a dark velvety navy blue, making us targets for wandering dracs. Artistic Accident, Cherri Kid and Vengeful scout drew themselves into a quiet conversation leaving Blood Bunny and Party Bandit to talk about irrelevant things about each other and shit like that while I had my back laid across the uneven ground looking up to the tiny spots of twinkling silver lights that were ever present in the night time sky, only paying slight attention to what was happening around me.
The conversation had turned towards what they were doing here and where they had come from making me turn my attention from the stars.
“…Where are you going then?” I heard Blood Bunny ask,
“Battery City, we’re on a rescue mission to find Scout’s brother, she thinks they’ve got him
locked up somewhere.”
Bunny nodded and continued to hammer Bandit with a thousand questions when I noticed in curiosity, two stainless white clothed figures slowly making their way towards us, heads low and Ray guns aimed.
Oh shit, three guesses on who these motherfuckers were.
There ya go guise!I tried to make this chapter extra long for you to make up for not updating and if this chapter is a little crap my note shall explain for me! R&R !
luv ya lots!