spin_kick_snap: (Contortionist: Spangles 02)
The drumbeat of the dead echoed across the lot like a relentless overseer on an ancient slave ship. Gorgon's confident smirk faded and even Stealth seemed shaken.

Below them, the exes parted to let the trucks drive up. Over a dozen of them, all spray-painted with different shades of green. Seventeens rode on the roof and hung out the windows. At the head of the parade, Rodney Cesares rode in the back of a National Guard truck decorated with skulls and a large neon-green 17 on the hood. They whooped and hollered and fired their guns into the sky.

And it continues... )

[NFI, NFB, OOC welcome. Preplayed by the masterful crew represented here, [livejournal.com profile] whoisalicewhite, [livejournal.com profile] tigerundercover/[livejournal.com profile] vdistinctive, [livejournal.com profile] rebelseekspizza, [livejournal.com profile] not_every_mage, and [livejournal.com profile] soniaroadsqueen. Bits of text adapted from Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines. Last of the posts for the day, though check out the comments for the last bit. Warning for NPC death]
spin_kick_snap: (Zombie 02 (Forlorn))
Josh Garcetti checked on his latest patient, an appendicitis case. She'd come in on her own, he'd pulled out the offending organ, and now she was asleep. Her stitches were clean and tight, no seepage at all. He tried not to dwell on the fact that at one time, he could have repaired her without a single incision. Of course, lots of things had been different back then. The world had been alive, for one. So had Midknight and Cairax and Blockbuster and Banzai.

So had Meredith.

He made a few quick marks on her chart, then stepped out into the nurses' station and made another set of notes on the night log. Then he turned to the cabinets and found himself inches from Stealth. He stumbled back and the move yanked his withered hand out of its pocket. "Jesus," he snapped. "Do you have to pop out of nowhere like that?"

The cloaked woman said nothing.

Footsteps made him turn and St. George stepped in from the hallway. He was bare-chested and covered in bruises. "George," Josh said with a nod. "What happened to you? What the hell's going on?"

But George wasn't alone. Zzzap was with him, and Cerberus, and Gorgon, too, which was weird because Gorgon never came to see him. He suffered Josh's company only on Stealth's most stringent orders. And there were others as well, strangers. Or so he thought at first glance. But the two younger guys seemed familiar in a way that nagged at his memory and in the center of the group-- "Mystique?" he asked. "I thought you'd left to go find help after Banzai died."

"After you let her die," Gorgon spat. "While you were napping because you put her at the end of the fucking line and made her wait for hours."

Now he recognized the young men. They'd come to fetch Banzai home, back in the early days. She had refused and they'd fought and he'd left early, unable to take Nick's blatant jealousy and Max's smug amusement and his own guilt. "What are you all--" but Stealth interrupted him.

"When we were discussing the progression of the disease," she said, "you said you have had the virus hanging over you for almost a year. You were bitten eight months and six days ago."

He blinked twice, then a third time. "That all? Feels a hell of a lot longer. Sorry I don't have a computer-like mind like you." He shrugged and re-pocketed his dead hand. "Is that everything? Mr. Willis would love to get a few Vicodin so he can sleep."

Her feet shifted and she was between Josh and the cabinet. He sighed and pointed at a row of bottles. "Do you mind?"

"The first definite sighting of an ex-human," she continued, "was ten months ago. On March 9th, an unidentified woman assaulted a group of Seventeens in a parking lot. The attack which infected Rodney Cesares."

Josh shrugged again, but his eyes flitted between the two heroes and then back towards the tiny group of strangers. St. George realized his hands rolled themselves into fists.

Stealth still hadn't moved. She was tense but fluid. She was confident. "Your wife died almost a year ago, didn't she, Regenerator? Eleven months ago yesterday."

The doctor's glare shot past her, past Gorgon's stricken face and Zzzap's staticky buzz of shock. It landed on the three familiar faces in the crowd and he whispered. "I'm so sorry."

A little late for apologies )

[Content warning for mentions of previous, off-camera suicide attempts and attempted execution of an NPC. NFI, NFB, OOC welcome. Preplayed by the masterful crew represented here, [livejournal.com profile] whoisalicewhite, [livejournal.com profile] tigerundercover/[livejournal.com profile] vdistinctive, [livejournal.com profile] rebelseekspizza, [livejournal.com profile] not_every_mage, and [livejournal.com profile] soniaroadsqueen. Bits of text adapted from Chapter Twenty-Four of Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines]
spin_kick_snap: (Zombie 01 (Hungry))
Before coming to Fandom, Kathy had lived her entire life surrounded by rules: who she could interact with, how she could spend her free time, what she could wear, how she should speak to her parents. It wouldn't be kind to say that what little living Kathy had done in LA had been in the few brief moments when she could forget the rules and be herself, but it wouldn't be inaccurate either. Coming to Fandom had changed that, albeit slowly. It had taken months (and friends) to help her let go of most of the rules she had internalized, picking and choosing for herself the ones that she wanted to guide her life and ignoring those she didn't. Becoming Banzai had helped let her go of more and she learned to live as the fastest, bounciest, most colorful superhero on not one but two coasts. But no matter how many rules she left by the wayside or adjusted for her new life or just plain broke, there was one that she never, ever wavered on.

Kathy Li did not kill. Not sapient beings. She could fight them, she could hurt them, she could incapacitate them, she could ruin their whole day, but she could not, would not kill.

But Kathy was dead )

[NFB, NFI, OOC is biter-hungry love. Some minor descriptions taken from Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines. Zombie-typical violence and death under the cut.]
spin_kick_snap: (Zombie 02 (Forlorn))
Los Angeles burned while The Mighty Dragon flew overhead. He could still see pockets of fighting, holdouts where armed civilians or members of the National Guard tried to fight off the exes with whatever came to hand. Some, he saw, had viable exit strategies and were making a fighting retreat to find somewhere safer to hole up. Most did not. Several times, he weighed the benefits of setting Banzai down and helping the civilians instead, but he always kept flying. He'd made a promise, after all, and the heartbroken look in Mystique's eyes at the end always convinced him to keep his promise.

At least he could contact Zzzap on his phone and have him relay information to Stealth. The overloaded phone lines weren't a problem for a man who could read the entire energy spectrum and through that, Stealth in a command center and doing a better job coordinating troops and movements than any general on the ground.

The Mighty Dragon continued to fly, carrying a dead girl in his arms and leaving the living behind, and tried to tell himself this was enough.

He arrived at Griffith Park. Ignoring the dark cloud of smoke above, the park remained beautiful. Spring had arrived in full-bloom, with flowers growing up out of the lush grass, trees putting forth buds and baby leaves, and even a pair of chipmunks running across his path, chittering as they climbed up a tree. For a moment, the Mighty Dragon let himself forget there was a war on, with the first casualty he personally cared about now gnawing on his bicep.

The illusion was broken several seconds later as the ex that had been pursuing the chipmunks lumbered into view. Dragon didn't even think, just slammed his fist into the side of the ex's head with the force of a truck. The ex dropped, Dragon wiped his hand on the leg of his costume, and kept going.

The Observatory wasn't far and he could see immediately why the girl Banzai had been--why Kathy--had loved it. It was a beautiful building, even with the signs of fighting and hasty abandonment. He let them in through the front doors no longer latched properly and made his way to the theater. The huge screen above them was dark, but with a bit of fiddling (and a hasty call to Zzzap for a bit of technical assistance), the Mighty Dragon soon had one of the movies running on loop. Banzai, who'd been like an annoying kitten all through the setup, constantly underfoot and trying to bite, got distracted by the sound and movement as soon as the screen lit up. Dragon gently pushed her into one of the seats and left her staring up at the screen in rapt attention.

In the dimness of the theater, he could almost pretend it was Kathy sitting there, absorbed by the stars and comets. He'd never been as close to her as Gorgon and Regenerator, but he'd liked what he'd gotten to know of the girl she'd been. And respected the hell out of the hero she was.

"Thanks for your service, Banzai," he said softly. "You'll always be remembered."

And then he turned and left the auditorium, leaving a dead girl behind to enjoy the wonder of the stars.

[Establishy, NFI and NFB, That's the last from me today, though [livejournal.com profile] tigerundercover has two more heartbreaking posts to finish up! Thank you to everyone for reading and pinging!]
spin_kick_snap: (Headboard)
Hours had passed and there was still no sign of Regenerator. One of the National Guardswomen said that she thought she'd heard that he's been transported somewhere else, another said that there had been an outbreak on one of the upper floors and that the hero was dealing with that. Hearing that bit of rumor, Kathy'd tried to get out of bed and go help out, but her legs had crumpled under her and she'd ended up sprawled on the floor. Raven had helped her back into bed and one of the volunteer nurses had shooed the Guards away. They could speculate somewhere else, where a hero with more heart than sense couldn't overhear. So long as they got Regenerator here immediately whenever he showed back up, they could go be useless anywhere else.

The convulsions were getting worse. Of everything, that was the most frightening thing to watch. Her fever was spiking; sometimes burning so hot that they could feel the heat radiating off her skin. They gave her drugs to bring her fever down, drugs to help with the pain, but she kept blazing through them. They'd given her seven doses in a matter of hours and it barely seemed to dent. She was sleeping now, fitful and restless, often moaning in pain.

Most of the recent bite victims made it to about twelve to fourteen hours before they succumbed to the virus and turned. Kathy didn't look like she was going to make it to eight.

Who lives, who dies, who tells your story... )

[WARNING FOR CHARACTER DEATH. NFB, NFI, OOC is just going to involve me ugly sobbing, so there's that. Preplayed with the magnificent [livejournal.com profile] tigerundercover, who along with [livejournal.com profile] rebelseekspizza and [livejournal.com profile] not_every_mage have been my goddamn ROCK, both ICly and OOCly. Thank you so much for being with me through this, I couldn't have done it without you and certainly not as stylishly.]

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