'Tonight the innocent little facade of Killjoy would come to an end, and Shockwave Current would show her true colours.'
Ps- The Desert Dragons are a group of Killjoys who deal under the tables to Better Living Industries for a contract that protects them from being captured by BLI. It will all be explained though in the sequel :)
Pps- Bob appears in this chapter! :D
The man sat at a dusty work table, his elbows propping him up as he leaned over the desk to inspect the girl who stood in front of him. She stood with a stance that screamed attitude; one black fishnet gloved hand on her hip, the other gripping a weighty cloth sack. Her raven hair was backcombed over to one side and held in place by a silver hairgrip that was twisted into a writhing dragon with a large sapphire eye- a dragon that matched the man’s tattoo on his left wrist. Her black skinny jeans were slashed roughly at the knees revealing rough, scabbed flesh and her tank top was smothered with a layer of dirt and grime. She regarded the man at the desk with orange tinted eyes that betrayed nothing of the bag she was holding.
The man sighed and pushed himself up straight; he rubbed a hand through his greasy dirty blonde
hair and met the girl’s gaze, “I trust you have what I asked for?”
She narrowed her eyes, “It depends; do you have what I asked for?”
The man let out a small, sharp bark of a laugh, “Of course,” He reached down and pulled open a draw. He took something out then held his hand out across the desk, slowly uncurling his fingers to display a small micro-chip, “I always hold my end of the bargain, Corpse.”
The girl, a Killjoy named Divine Corpse, hefted the bag onto the work top with a heavy thud, “As do I,” She said, pulling down the fabric swiftly. An array of tools, blueprints and mechanical parts skittered across the surface. The man at the desk smirked, “All authentic,” Corpse said, unrolling a blueprint to point at the bold white-lettered ‘BL/Ind' name and logo, “But of course; he is expecting something in return, Bob.”
Bob snickered lightly, “He always does... What is it our friend requires?”
“He wants the prototype to this,” She picked up a roll of paper, “If you fail, your protection will be terminated and he will tear your business to shreds.”
Bob grinned, “Then his wish is my command. The first rule of dealing under the table Corpse- always satisfy the customer’s needs.”
Divine Corpse nodded briefly, grabbed the micro-chip and turned to leave the dark and damp room.
“Shockwave will fit that for you, she’s good with stuff like that,” Bob called. Corpse paused, frowning,
“You’re very behind aren’t you, Bob? Shockwave hasn’t been around the den for a week now, you really should keep tabs on the other Dragons,” She replied.
Bob frowned, “Do you know of her whereabouts?”
“Nah, she went out on a mission- one you assigned to her- and didn’t come back. Why, was she supposed to deliver something important?”
He gripped a fistful of hair with his hand before rubbing his eyes, “Her protection warranty is due to be updated. If she doesn’t return home soon then Better Living has the full right to arrest or execute her.”
“Do you want me to get the Doc on this?” Corpse asked, “I have a free week before I’m due back for errands.”
“If you could do that, that would be great,” Bob said, leaning over the desktop to grab a small radio. He looked up, “What was her tracking code again?”
“Zero, nine, lower case ‘C’, upper case ‘S’.”
He punched in the code and waited a moment before the machine bleeped and a small blue light flickered up on the screen that showed a rough map of the Zones, “Get Deathdefying on this, I want a broadcast sent to any radio accessible in the area she is in!” He barked. Corpse nodded briefly before scarpering out of the room. He rubbed the stubble on his chin, “What in God’s name is that girl up to?”
“Okay,” Party said, addressing the gathering as one. Shockwave, Fun, Jet and Sabbath sat spread out on the dusty old couches. Jet picked a loose thread absent-mindedly, “We know my brother’s still alive and we know he’s been taken to Battery City. We need a plan.”
“What do you expect to do- just waltz in there flashing your gun an’ ‘ope for the best?” Sabbath said sceptically, his arms folded over his chest, “This is Battery City, no?”
“He’s got a point, Party. I mean we’re looking at a place filled with the best security and defence mechanisms in the world,” Fun said, “There’s five security cameras’ at each entrance, we’d have to know every blind spot or that’s it- game over.”
“We did it before,” Party said, “We can do it again.”
“But last time we had Bob. If we’re going to attempt this we’re talking about serious tech. We need Hackers, Decoders and access to Better Living’s mainframe software- and that’s just to get the security system offline,” Jet objected, “We used to have stuff like this before but they got
Bob. Without him, we’ve got no way in and no way out.”
Party ran his non-plastered hand through his hair, pulling through the knots, “We can use the old stuff in storage sure, it’s a little outdated,”- There was a mutter of ‘You got that right’ from Fun, “But we can send a call out to someone who’s a dab hand with gadgets- get them to touch them up a bit.”
Shockwave rubbed some dirt off her cheek, “But even if we can do that we aren’t going to be able to stop the Dracs, and I’m not talking brainwashed goons in some tacky suits, I mean the creature we had the misfortune to meet today. Korse isn’t going to make this easy- God knows what other fucked up hybrids he’s got up his sleeve- he’s upped his game. We can’t just go in and stir up a bit of trouble whenever we want anymore; he’s made advancements- he’s not taking any more chances.”
Party turned to the Parisian doctor, “That Drac corpse we gave you, did it tell you anything?”
“Well, I’m no vet, but that thing is raw muscle, pure, uncontrollable power. It’s got everything, enhanced smell, night-vision, retractable claws, venom… it’s a sixty pound death trap, ça’va? I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. But its main flaw is that it relies more on smell than anything. There must be a certain scent it is submissive to- it didn’t attack Korse or the driver, only us. Shockwave, when you were in the car, did you smell anything strange?”
All eyes turned on the young girl, “No. I didn’t smell anything… I’m sorry.”
The room lapsed into a thick and heavy silence; everyone in deep thought. Party perched on an old coffee table, pinching the bridge of his nose with his finger and thumb. Something in Shockwave’s brain clicked,
“What about dirt?”
“Dirt?” asked Jet, his brow furrowed.
“Yeah, if they are so dependant on scent and are trained to home in on any smell massively
different to Korse’s then-”
“Covering ourselves in dirt will mask our scent!” Fun finished, “If they can’t sniff us out
it’ll take them a while to realize that there has been an intrusion,” He leaned over slightly
and high-fived Shockwave, “Smart thinking kiddo.”
“But what about Fun?” Jet said.
“What do you mean?” Fun replied, “What about me?”
“The cuts the Draculoid claws gave you; if they catch one whiff of your blood then our cover’s
blown.” Jet explained, pointing at the Killjoy’s bloodstained and torn shirt, “And you can’t put
dirt on those, you’ll get an infection. You’ll have to sit this one out, man.”
“’e is right. We cannot afford to lose any more people than we ‘ave to,” Sabbath muttered, pushing himself into a more comfortable position.
“We need someone to sit surveillance in Sabbath’s van anyway, Fun,” Party rushed, seeing the disappointed look on his friend’s face, “It’ll be your job to shut down the security to get us in.”
“No,” Shockwave butted, “You can’t shut down the system because you’ll give Korse a reason to suspect. What you should do is hijack the system, turn cameras to different angles; make us the blind spots we need- we don’t want to attract unwanted attention. Party, do you have a SIM-Program disk?”
Party looked stunned at the young Killjoy’s knowledge, “Yeah, but it’s a bit out of date…”
“Does it still work?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“Good. I can set the program up, but you’ll need to keep it running-”
“Wait, wait, wait, before we get all sciency and start talking mumbo-jumbo shit I gotta ask… what’s a SIM-Program?” Fun piped up.
“A SIM-Program is a simulator. It enables the user to present any picture they want onto any screen. The person you wish to hide has their biometrics scanned into the program and then the person is instantly wiped off every screen and every camera. If I wanted to, using the program,
I could stand in front of a BL/Ind Security camera and do the Macarena and no one would see me.”
“Wow indeed,” Shockwave smiled.
“How do you know all this?” Jet asked. The smile faltered.
“Umm… err, just research, you know? Sometimes it’s nice to know stuff like that- it comes in handy,” She mumbled, scratching the back of her neck and throwing what she hoped was a good enough smile. They all bought it apart from Party who gave her a funny look. She turned away to ignore his gaze, “What about your weapons? We aren’t going to get in with just a few laser pistols and hope for the best are we?”
“I think we ’ave a few Pre-war guns lying about with some rounds of ammo…” Sabbath said.
“And I’ve got my shoulder cannon and Jet’s got his swords,” Fun said, “And we might have a few Pulse Grenades somewhere...”
“Then we’re set!” Jet grinned, “All we need to do is get the equipment into Sabbath’s van and come up with individual assignments.”
There was a bleep in the next room and Party got up, “Radio,” He explained with a brief shrug before vanishing. A small pause settled on the room as the Killjoy’s strained to listen in on the conversation but all they could hear was muffled words and the odd sound of static every now and again. Suddenly, the door opened and Party peeped out, “Current... it’s for you...” Shockwave followed him out and into the too small to be called cosy kitchen. Party passed the small hand-held device to her and she brought it up to her ear,
“Where are you and who are you with?” Came a short, impatient reply. Shockwave’s palms instantly slicked with sweat; she knew that voice anywhere. She swallowed,
“N-now is not really the time for this,” She whispered. Party looked up at her and his eyes narrowed.
“I’ll ask you again shall I? Where are you and who are you with?”
“Could you hold for a second?” She squeaked and before she even got a reply she pressed the speaker against the fabric of her shirt. She smiled weakly at Party, “Um, could you leave for a minute?”
“Why would you want me to leave?” Party asked a tone in his voice that could only be described as suspicion.
“It’s a very important call I have to take and I need to focus,” She lied, “And you’re putting
“Putting you off?”
“How am I putting you off?” He asked, arms folded and a bemused smile playing on his lips.
“It’s your face.”
The smile died, “My... my face?”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“It’s just there... and it’s putting me off,” She said, the lies getting feebler and feebler. Thankfully, Party took the comment literally and strode out of the room, shutting the door behind him. Shockwave stared, making sure he had gone and wasn’t coming back. In those brief seconds she heard Party’s voice saying, “Fun, am I ugly?”
To which Fun replied, “No darling, you’re fabulous!” In a high pitched voice an octave too high to be considered manly. Shockwave swallowed down the laughter and put the radio back to her ear.
Straight away the question was asked,
“Where are you and who are you with?!”
“Bob, it’s fine. I’m fine, I’m safe.”
“For now you are.”
She frowned, “For now?”
“Your Protection Warranty is due for re-issuing in three days... and you haven’t brought me back any loot. Now you know what that means and I really don’t want to have to sign you over to
Better Living but if you can’t pay up...”
“No, I can pay!” She hissed, panicking. Her Protection Warranty... how did she forget? No wonder Korse hunted her down earlier this week- her warranty was almost invalid.
“Of course you can pay, sweetie. All I’m asking for is some things of value, and you are the best in our business at theft. So, where are you?”
“I-I’m with the Fabulous Killjoys at a hideout,”
“Then you know what has to be done, Shockwave. I’d hate to see BL/Ind get you, honey. Wait for the Killjoy’s to fall asleep, take a few things and leave. I’ll have someone pick you up on the boarder of Zone Six, okay?”
Though she knew it was wrong and that she owed her life to them, she nodded, “I’ll be there. Just make sure someone’s on time; I don’t want to be kept waiting.”
“I look forward to seeing you again,”
With that the radio disconnected, hissing static into her ears. She turned it off and placed it on the side then wiped her sweaty palms on her jeans. She would betray them again. What kind of a person was she? When she was offered this job she’d had no idea of the dirty work that came with it, but it came with Protection from BL/Ind, she knew people who would literally murder for that. But it was too late to back out of this transaction, she had to steal from the Fabulous Killjoys or face the consequences.
And right now she didn’t care that she owed her life to them. She would steal all she could, because there was no way she wanted to face those consequences. She pulled up the hem of her shirt to gaze at the black ink tattoo of a dragon- the sign of her eternal debt- and brushed the fingertips of her right hand against it. Tonight the innocent little facade of Killjoy would come to an end, and Shockwave Current would show her true colours.