Banzai had patrolled for two days without seeing a single zombie. By day, she hung out on rooftops, peering down into dim alleys in the worst sections of town, looking for any of the signs that Stealth and Barry--Zzzap--had mentioned: pale skin, a lack of coordination and language skills, high resistance to damage, a degree of aggression, the scent smell of rotted meat. By night, she patrolled Koreatown, where, again, she spotted no zombies, but there were plenty of douchebag Seventeens to make up for it. Banzai was sporting a few new scraped, cuts, and bruises, and there were a handful of gang members now cooling their heels in prison, but as satisfying as that
was (and even the flare of pain every time she smiled from her cut lip was satisfying), whaling on Sevens wasn't why she'd agreed to stay out here.
She didn't want to be out here. She wanted to be back on the island with her friends, going to classes, gossiping about prom, writing her essay for valedictorian, keeping an eye on Jewels while patrolling Baltimore...Her life was on the other side of the country and she'd only get to live it for a few more months. Every day out there was precious--and every day here felt wasted, discouraging. If she hadn't had vague memories of that weird weekend where she and Gorgon had been survivors, she might have already booked a portal home, leaving instructions to contact her when the zombies started showing themselves.
But she did
have those vague memories, though most of them were unhelpful. They were mostly of the weekend itself, rather than the head full of information and memories her older self had had. There had been a long talk in the diner, with a lot of alcohol and crying, there had been a patrol in Baltimore with Gorgon that had ended with--ahem, they'd been married, enough said there. The Monday after, Banzai remembered better, but it was mostly a fight with Nick about whether they should tell Dragon (apparently a moot point now) and returning a truly ridiculous amount of meat to Eliot's freezer...for some reason. In her downtime here, she'd written down as much as she could remember saying about the zombies, but it was a truly pathetic amount. Which didn't stop everyone from harassing her for more. Stealth, Dragon, and Gorgon all wanted to know more, with Gorgon curious about everything
since it seemed he didn't remember the weekend at all. Genny was also weirdly interested, though she was chalking that up to medical curiosity and a kind of big brother concern. Max Hale also
wanted to know everything, supposedly because magic was involved, but she was betting that he just liked nosing into her personal life. His attempts to find out more usually centered around the relationship she and Gorgon had shared.
Creeper. She was really starting to regret giving him her number at the end of the meeting, even though she'd specified it was purely for hero business.
Turns out he had a looser definition of 'hero business' than she did.( Superheroes + Alleyways = OTP )
An hour later, Kathy was tucking into a burger the size of her head at The Pickle Hut. Stealth had shown up about fifteen minutes after the call, carrying two bodybags. She'd said she could handle things from there and that she appreciated Banzai's forethought in leaving them intact for study. Not 'alive', intact. Kathy was sure that her terminology was correct and that she'd be making the same distinction soon, but until then, she preferred to cling to hope. Hope that they could be healed. Hope that this could be stopped. Hope she could go home soon.
But with two probable-zombies currently en route to Genny's location, it was looking less and less likely that 'soon' was going to be on the agenda. Out came her phone again and she scrolled to find Raven's number. Her roomie needed to know that she was going to be gone longer than she'd assumed. So did Anders. And Dante. And maybe Eliot would have a few ideas for fighting the likely-undead. Two weeks. That would be enough time to stop this thing in its tracks, right? Two weeks, with her coming home for prom? That sounded good.
Then Kathy thought of the bitten girl and shivered, despite the heat of the day. The girl and her boyfriend had been gone by the time she'd had a chance to look for them, either via taxi or hunkered down in a building somewhere. Fervently, Kathy hoped that the next time she saw that girl, she wouldn't be looking back at Kathy with empty eyes and chattering teeth.[For those named, please! NFB for off-island shenanigans]