A confession starts a conflict between the group. Also, meet the new Killjoys!
"Breathe... Frankie, please breathe."
It was getting easier, the pain was drifting away.
"I'm okay... I'm okay." He was at my side again.
"Okay... Now, please, explain." His stare was intense, and I had to turn away a little.
"When we were in the car. After we went and got the supplies. Do you remember what we spoke about?" I asked.
"Vaguely." His voice was monotonous.
"Well... I mentioned that we were going into zone 6, but... I still had the walkie on. They must have been listening. They knew we were coming and fucking patrolled the border. This is all my fault. I left the fucking walkie on and now Ray's gone." Tears cascaded down my cheeks. Don't let him hate me. Please, don't let him hate me.
It was silent for a few minutes; I kept my eyes on him, but he looked everywhere but my eyes.
I waited for him to say something, anything, but he kept silent.
"Gee..." I whispered.
"Don't. Don't say anything. I... I need to think. Kobra... He can introduce you to everyone. I need to be alone." His words were rushed, and he had barely finished speaking before he was up and out the door.
I reached up and wiped my eyes, then rubbed my temples, feeling a stress headache coming on.
He would never forgive me. Why should he? I was never going to forgive myself. Did I deserve his forgiveness? No. Did I deserve him hating me for the rest of my life, and probably afterwards? Yes.
"Stop crying then. You're getting what you deserve." I whispered in a spiteful tone to myself. Ray is who I should be worrying about, not my relationship with Gerard.
"Did you say something?" I heard Mikey's voice and looked up to see him standing in the doorway. He had a bruise on his jaw line, but looked otherwise unscathed.
"No, nothing." I guessed Gee hadn't told him what I'd confessed, and I didn't want to go through it all again just yet. I couldn't handle everyone hating me at once. I needed to meet our new allies.
"Mi- Kobra?" It was funny how easily you could slip back into old routines, but I had to use code names out loud for security. "Are you gonna show me the new Killjoys?" I asked as he walked into the room, limping a little due to the large gash he had acquired on his leg during the fight.
He smiled brightly. "Yeah! They're all really awesome. And they can't wait to go into battle. We're gonna get this city back, one way or another." I couldn't help but smile a little at his enthusiasm, even with everything that was going on.
"Poison said he was going for a walk and that I am under no condition allowed to let you stand or walk. So... I guess I'll just wheel you right out." Hm... So he had seen Gee, but he'd obviously not let spill to Mikey about what I had done. I wasn't sure if that was a good or bad sign.
At least Mikey didn't hate me. But did he just leave telling Mikey for now so I could be introduced to the others before he told him and they both ignored and hated me? Or did it mean that he was willing to forgive me and didn't want to get Mikey involved?
Mikey had wheeled me outside whilst I was thinking. The cool, fresh air was soothing and pleasant, and I could hear the crackling of a fire, although I couldn't really move to see anything other than the sky due to my injuries.
It was pitch black out, apart from the various stars shining in the night's sky. As Mikey walked me over to the crowd of murmuring people, I mapped out some of the constellations I remembered my dad teaching me as a child.
I was able to point out Centaurus, Carvo and Virgo before I could tell we had reached the crackling fire by the heat emanating from it, and the mumbling voices of the people surrounding it became louder and clearer.
Mikey began wheeling me around the circle, and I felt really silly because I couldn't even sit up , so everyone had to come over and lean over my bed to greet me.
"You've already met Venom Rose, our resident doctor. This is her daughter, Acid Rain." A young woman, she must have been in her late teens, possibly twenty but no older, leaned over to say hi. She had the same bright blue eyes and blonde hair has her mother, except hers was a lot more wavy. She allowed her hair to hang loose, emphasising her youthful features.
I mumbled a hello back, and was wheeled straight on to the next Killjoy, a woman named Hollow Flame, whose red hair with orange highlights actually resembled flames. Her husband, Rapid Fire, and her son, River Dragon, also came over. Her son, who must have only been a teenager, seemed to have inherited all of his father's features except for having the same piercing green eyes as his mother, which showed a knowing older than his years.
The evening continued in this way, with me being introduced to all of the new Killjoys; except for Dr D; and often hearing snippets of information about their lives before all of this.
A chemist, Neutron Rocket, who had managed to swipe various tablets and ointments from his shop before going on the run; brothers, Silver Bullet and Spyder Fang ("'Y' no 'I'", he'd specifically told me); a tattoo artist named Toxic Spark who had his hair dyed vivid green; Red Hurricane, a young man who's hazel eyes reminded me of Gee, which gave a twinge in my stomach; and married couple Neon Laser, an ex-cop, and Cosmic Shadow, whose raven coloured hair fell way past her waist.
I asked Mikey if Dr D was here, and he said he never came out to camp fires, he mostly sat in a room he liked to call his office. I wondered how many camp fires and bonding time I had missed out on. I knew that all of the other Killjoys had known each other from at least since the riddle was sent, but Mikey seemed to be chatting with them as though they were old friends. I noticed he didn't laugh or smile much; he was closer to Ray than any of us.
I turned my head to the side and watched the fire, the others had long given up trying to talk to me, I wasn't in the mood for chatter and had kept ignoring them. It was almost peaceful, the fire. It would have been had I not had constant worry about Ray in the back of my mind, and also the niggling thought that Gee would never talk to me again.
Suddenly I heard a noise on my other side, and whipped my head round to look, causing considerable pain, but I couldn't look away. A man with a bandanna around the top of his long shaggy hair, and thick dark facial hair covering parts of his face came running out of the building. He was holding out a radio as he ran towards us.
"Listen!" He commanded. I recognised his voice easily from countless broadcasts: this was Dr Death Defying.
It took me a few seconds to concentrate on the voice coming from the radio in his hand, but when I did, I felt my blood turn cold.
"Everyone is here. What's the message?" Dr D prompted.
"They... Korse says he's waiting. He says he knows who is out there and that you all need to come to get me." I could hear the fear in his voice. "Don't do it! Don't do it! Save yourselves!" I heard a loud noise and a grunt and had to stop myself from being sick. What torture were they putting him through?
"Let's see... I know some of you are injured, but if you leave the sick behind then you'll never get this one back. I'll give you... Six weeks. See you soon." Korse laughed, and then the line went dead.
They were keeping Jet Star hostage.
Oh, and I wonder if anyone got the The Hoosiers reference in there ;)