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: (Bouncing)
It was a little creepy when their necks snapped. Stealth said they don't feel any pain, that it was like breaking a toy more than killing something. Gorgon agreed with her. Hell, Rav--Mystique agreed with her. But it was still such a creepy noise.

Kick. Back flip. Crouch. Sweep. Lunge. Springboard. Snap.

For the most part, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Banzai was three times faster than a normal person. Considering these things moved at maybe quarter-speed, it was almost impossible for them to touch her. There had been a scary minute a few days ago when she'd gotten surrounded by them, but once she calmed down she'd gotten out of it. Eliot was right--he was always right. You can get out of anything with your brain first, your fists second.

Spin. Kick. Snap. )

[Heavily adapted from Chapter Thirteen "Luckiest Girl in the World" from Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines. Written with the amazing [livejournal.com profile] tigerundercover. NFI, NFB, OOC is lovely.]
spin_kick_snap: (Banzai (Psylocke))
"Stealth said that this place is a kind of refuge for homeless people who didn't want to shelter up on the surface," Banzai said, leading the way through the subway tunnels. "They're really good at policing their own; making it safe for women and families to stay down here. No drugs, no violence, that kind of thing. Isn't perfect, but pretty damn good for people with nothing. But nobody's heard anything from anyone down here in awhile and she wants someone to check in with them. There was no indication that they've had contact with anyone infected, but the silence is weird. She's hoping they're just hunkered down and waiting for this to blow over."

Flickering lights overhead didn't do much to dispel the gloom, illuminating only the area around them and leaving the rest shrouded in darkness. There were sections where the lights were out entirely and that meant that they would have to travel for several yards in true darkness, at least until they reached the next, intact light. "We should be coming up on sentries soon. They might have weapons, so please let's try being nice first?"

[For those guys with her! And NFB]
spin_kick_snap: (Contortionist: White 02)
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]
spin_kick_snap: (Banzai Costume)
Banzai rarely patrolled Sunday nights, taking the night off to rest and prepare for the upcoming week, but since she'd bailed on patrolling on Friday, it seemed only fair to make up for it tonight instead. Crime around the club and various campuses would be lower, but there were still plenty of drug deals, muggings, and various other, more dangerous crimes for her to stop instead. And it wasn't like Banzai was going to miss spending extra time manhandling drunk idiots into cabs and breaking up fights in alleys over stupid bullshit the participants couldn't even remember four steps away from the club itself.

The Ukranian mafia had all but vanished from the city over the past few months; apparently losing the Butcher was enough to convince them that Baltimore wasn't worth the effort. In a way, Banzai almost missed them; they were good practice for when she'd be going up against the Seventeens in LA eventually. Patrolling around Stanford (if she got in, please God let her get in) probably wasn't going to be all that much effort, so she was already making plans to portal down to LA proper at least once a month to get in a proper patrol.

Spotting Jewels, one of the working girls that was part of Banzai's loose confederation of informants, Banzai swung down from the rooftop to land on light feet nearby. Always good to check in, see if Jewels had heard of anything going down, make sure that no one was bothering her, pass along money and supplies to stay in Jewels' good graces, all that good stuff.

It felt good to get out and patrol. For all her speeches about wanting to do good for the people around her and make the world a better place, Banzai had to admit that the real reason she ran around in rainbows with a bokken on her back and rope darts in her belt was a lot more selfish. What could she say?

She loved this.
spin_kick_snap: (Banzai (Psylocke))
Banzai flipped over the edge of the rooftop, landing in a graceful crouch with her rainbows fluttering around her. She stood easily, not a single bruise or sore spot remaining from her time in Cyseal. It was good to have a healing mage in her back pocket.

Her pleased smile vanished as she wondered how many times Regenerator's wife had thought the same thing.

Poor Regenerator. She wished she could do more for him; just covering his patrol hardly seemed like enough when he was faced with the loss of his wife. But Banzai was hesitant to call the number in her phone, unwilling to intrude on the private grief of a man whose real name she didn't even know. What was she supposed to say? She'd been lucky enough to never really lose anyone close to her; all she had was a few platitudes about being terribly sorry and that time healed all wounds.

Maybe she could bring him some tea later? She was perched on the rooftop of the small teahouse that Regenerator liked to frequent at the beginning of his patrols. He'd introduced her to it over Christmas break, explaining the proprietors were actually happy to serve the masked set, since it meant criminals tended to give the store a wide berth. They'd sat and talked over a few nice cups of Ceylon and Banzai'd told him all about her plans to become a doctor. He explained he was a medical resident for his day job. They laughed at the idea of one day working together in the wards and the streets. She should have given him her real name then, when he'd joked about commandeering her as an intern when it was time.

Maybe if she had, she'd feel less lost now. What was she supposed to do? Well, other than take his patrol and hope that somehow, he'd know that it was taken care of?

[NFB, NFI. Some text taken from Chapter 24, "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You", from Peter Clines' Ex-Heroes. OOC welcome, warning for oblique suicide mention.]
spin_kick_snap: (Glare)
Things that really plucked Kathy's last nerve: 1) turning around and seeing a giant mountain of luggage behind her at the gym when she was perfectly well-adjusted, thank you, and 2) turning around and seeing a trail of mooks trussed like the Thanksgiving turkey behind her on patrol the night before when she was perfectly capable of handling herself, thank you. Never mind that she hadn't noticed at least three of them on her tail--in fact, that just made it even more annoying You know what made someone feel even more resentful? Knowing that she should be feeling grateful instead. Ugh! Not that she had any idea who this 'mysterious benefactor' was--the brief glimpses she'd caught of him showed that he was too tall to be Eliot and too compact to be Mr. Hardison. Which meant that Eliot had farmed this...this...this baby-sitting job off on someone else, because he couldn't be bothered.

So, yeah. She'd gone to sleep fulminating over that and woke up with a duffel bag at the foot of her bed that said Never going to be good enough and you know what? Kathy was just done. The baggage had only gotten worse throughout the day until Kathy had shoved her gi into a backpack and lit out for Baltimore after lunch. Anything to be away from that stupid island for the rest of the day. And, hey, maybe that would make it a lot ha.rder for her obnoxious shadow to find her, too.

Honestly, could today get any worse?

[For them that know who they are, please! NFB]
spin_kick_snap: (Banzai (Psylocke))
It had been several weeks since Banzai had patrolled Baltimore properly. She'd spent break at home in LA patrolling there (and had somehow come back to the island with stripper heels and contact information for Regenerator and she wasn't entirely sure how either of those things had happened but thankfully they weren't related). Then had come the accidental trip to Dante's world which had been traumatizing enough to keep her off the streets, followed by Homecoming, and then finishing off her college applications and SAT II studying. And, then, of course, she'd gotten a nasty cold from the weekend without power, which had kept her in bed and miserable for a few days and so, yeah, it had been almost a month since Banzai had made an appearance.

Time to see what she'd missed in over the last few weeks. A month was a long time to leave the Ukrainians alone. Long enough for them to get cocky and let down their guard if she were lucky. Long enough for them to get deeply entrenched if she were really unlucky.

At first, Banzai thought she'd gotten lucky. Her patrol was quiet. Real quiet. It took her several hours to realize that it was a little too quiet. At first, she assumed that it was simply November at work; street-level petty crime tended to dip once it started getting cold. But even so, it hadn't been cold enough to account for this many missing faces. Several well-known drug dealers had vanished and no one had stepped in to claim their locations. Looking around the club areas, she could only spot two of the regular pickpockets working the crowds, instead of the five or six she was used to. More disturbingly, a number of working girls were missing and even a few of the homeless folks she knew, both those that Banzai hired as lookouts and informants and those Kathy bought coffee and lunches for when she was in Baltimore without her mask.

So when she did finally spot someone she knew, she wasted no time in flipping her way down to the street to find out just what the hell was going on. Jewels was a pretty girl, only a few years older than Kathy herself, and had started working the streets just about the time that Kathy had come East to school. They'd met when Banzai had stopped a prospective john from giving Jewels anything worse than a black eye (she'd felt guilty about not being able to stop him from doing even that much). Banzai had stopped by a week later to hand over one of those sharp kitty-shaped keychains and after that, a decent working relationship had been born, with Banzai slipping Jewels a bit of cash from time to time and Jewels keeping an ear out for news that might interest the superhero.

If Jewels had been one of the missing, Banzai would have FREAKED. )

[Open for calls or anyone out in Baltimore, but likely to be slow, as I have a [livejournal.com profile] vdistinctive! NFB for distance]
spin_kick_snap: (Showing Off Curves)
Kathy studied herself in the mirror, frowning slightly. She had done a lot of stuff as Banzai, but trying to infiltrate the mafia in disguise was a whole new level of scary. If she messed up, the Ukrainians would know a lot more about her than she really wanted them too--like what she looked like, as just one exciting example. But this was an opportunity she couldn't pass up; they were recruiting locals under the guise of a motorcycle drag race, with the top performers invited to a very exclusive party--so exclusive that no matter how hard she tried, Kathy couldn't get the location. Over the past year, she'd managed to create a decent circle of street-level informants and yet no one could tell her anything besides what was 'public' knowledge: an illegal drag race, with plenty of money to be made from betting, and an excellent afterparty for the winners. That was it.

It was all very frustrating as hell.

Even the race itself was frustrating. If it had at least been a drag race with cars, Kathy might have been able to put her Driver's Ed experience into play...somehow. She was still lacking a car, but she would have at least known how to race. Ish. Maybe. But this was a motorcycle race, and Kathy had one hour of experience driving one of those from several years ago. That would get her exactly nowhere. If she had more time, she might even have been able to appeal to Parker or Eliot for help, but she'd just gotten the message that everything was going down tonight.

Kathy didn't often swear, but this whole situation deserved quite a hearty "God dammit!"

Her current plan was to dress like a biker bunny, head to where the race was going to take place, and hope to insinuate herself in the group that got brought to the party. Yeah, she could foresee no problems with that, sure.

At least she looked the part? Hopefully? )

[Primarily for one, but open to the roomie beforehand if she so chooses. Everything that happens after they leave the island is NFB for distance.]
spin_kick_snap: (Lounge)
Tonight was one of the rare, quiet nights in Baltimore. Banzai patrolled her beat, but other than a few loud fights and a mugging or two, nothing serious seemed to be going down. Hell, it was the kind of night where most people were even sticking to the speed limit and crossing the street at the designated crosswalks. What was a costumed crimefighter supposed to do when nobody was even jaywalking?

Well, currently, she was sprawled out on a rooftop, looking up at the stars. Sure, the neon glow from a hundred signs and streetlights washed out most of them, but the night was clear enough that she could pick out a few. The breeze off the ocean was cool and kept the bugs away, leaving her pretty comfortable. Sure, it was no thrilling chase that ended with a desperate fight in an alleyway or anything, but the night itself was young. Maybe this was just the calm before all hell broke loose and Banzai would end up bringing down a drug-smuggling ring.

She'd done that before. Kinda by accident, but she had done it.

All right, she'd give it another hour or so. If nothing livened up by then, she'd take it as a sign and head back to the island and go to bed relatively early. And until then, she'd relax here for a little bit, trying to pick out constellations by the few stars that made it through the light pollution before going back to patrolling her beat.

Even being a superhero couldn't be exciting all the time.

[And this is what happens when you wanna make a Baltimore post and have zero inspiration! Open for texts, calls, or folks with a reason to be out in Baltimore?]
spin_kick_snap: (Banzai (Psylocke))
The night was both hot and muggy; Banzai wasn't sure whether that would mean it was too hot for people to get into much trouble, or if it was going to be one of those nights when it was so uncomfortable that it just spurred people to act like assholes. The middle of the week usually skewed towards it being too much effort, but Banzai was always a little wary. Especially tonight, when she had someone with her. Anders could take care of himself, she knew that, but she couldn't help but worry a bit anyway. It wasn't like he wandered around fighting bad guys often. Yet.

She was hoping that they could get some parkouring in, maybe take down a mugger or two or stop a drug deal or something, and he could have a fun night that took his mind off his relationship woes. She was certain that he and Nathan would be okay in a few days, it just took some time and patience.

Not that Anders was all that great at patience.

"So, I mostly patrol from the rooftops because you get the best view of what's going on," Banzai explained, gesturing out towards the city below them. "And I can usually get wherever I'm going in a hurry, unlike if I were at street level. But we can head down to the ground if you think it would be easier that way?"

[For one please! Who was modded with permission]
spin_kick_snap: (Texting)
Kathy was had been at the prom for maybe half an hour before her phone rang; just enough time for her to have a few conversations and a quick trip to the refreshment table (or four). She was frowning when she felt it vibrating in her clutch, trying to think who it could be. If it was her parents, she decided, she was just going to ignore it and tell them later she was studying.

Imagine her surprise when the name that flashed across her screen was Gorgon. Actually, forget surprise. Imagine her concern.

"Hey," she said, setting her cup of punch on the closest table and ducking for the door. "Gorgon, it's Banzai. Did you mean to call me? Is everything okay?"

[For the caller, please!]
spin_kick_snap: (Texting)
Kathy was not having a great day. Someone had decided to spread ugly rumors about her. The first message had just confused her. The second had irked her. But then the third and fourth had come in and everything started to make a kind of sick and twisted sense. She'd seen it before; someone would decide that they hated someone else and then go around telling lies and insults to tear them down. The same kind of thing had happened all the time in her old school in LA.

She just hadn't thought that the same thing would happen in Fandom.

On the plus side, this was the first time since she'd gotten her mirror that Kathy was yanking on her rainbow-accented gi and planning to head out into Baltimore. She needed an outlet for all her aggravation, dammit.

[Establishy, just because all the messages so far fit perfectly together, but open if anyone wants to stop by before she leaves.]
spin_kick_snap: (Contortionist: White 02)
Banzai leapt over the edge of the building, pausing for a moment on one hand to let her quarry move into position, and then shifted her weight a fraction of an inch to let gravity take over. Freefall. A moment when she was almost flying, albeit in one direction. Hurtling four stories to the ground and loving every minute of it. She makes a noise only at the very last moment, turning her quarry's face up to hers. His expression is comical in its disbelief, which turns to pain a second later as she lands handsdown on his shoulders. If she really wanted to, she could probably dislocate his arms or maybe even break his collarbone. But that wasn't Banzai. She didn't like hurting people, not even scumbag drug dealers that liked to hit working girls.

The hitting women part really had her tempted, though. Just a little more pressure than usual and snap, crackle, pop. No more hitting people for him!

But she'd been Social Justice Warrior, not Social Vengeance Warrior, so she refrained. She hit him with just enough force to numb both his arms, forcing him to drop his briefcase with a gasp. From there, she flipped behind him, dropped low, and lashed out with her foot. He hit the ground with a cry and she kicked herself up into a standing position and dover for the briefcase, knocking it away from his grip.

That's when his three bodyguards decided to wise up and get involved.

They had guns, of course. Jerks like these always had guns. Fortunately, Kathy wasn't where they thought she'd be. She'd taken off just as soon as the briefcase had gone skittering into the shadows.

Spin kick. Hand spring. Cartwheel, backbend, roundhouse. Down went one of them. Hammer kick, vault, flying leap, gymnastic ribbons around his wrist and yank. Down went the second. Layout salto. Spin kick. Forward lunge. Spin kick.

And down went the third.

"Looks like it's just the two of us now," Banzai said, grinning at the dealer. "Do you wanna give up? Or let a little girl kick your ass, too?"

He whimpered and put his hands above his head.

Under her mask, Banzai grinned. God, she loved this.

[NFB. For anyone out in Baltimore, though thread with [livejournal.com profile] gunslingerpose comes last chronologically, please!]
spin_kick_snap: (Banzai (Psylocke))
Kathy--err, well, Banzai now, she was in costume--still wasn't quite sure how this had happened. She was on a date, with a guy that she'd talked to exactly once, and while their date had begun with the traditional nice dinner in town, their main activity was definitely not going to be found in any traditional dating guide.

Well, that might not be entirely true. If Fandom ever published a dating guide, superheroing in Baltimore would probably rate pretty highly on the 'things to do with your date' list.

"So, this is pretty much the start of my beat," she explained, tightening her mask. "I like to start up here. It's the tallest building in the area and--I don't have to explain why I like the high ground to you, right." The guy who could fly around likely understood why she liked starting off high up, yes. "I'd ask if you had any questions before we started, but I'm pretty sure you've been doing this for longer than I have. Ready?"

[NFB for Baltimore, but open to anyone likely to be wandering around Baltimore. Come crash the date! It's a new Fandom tradition (h/t [livejournal.com profile] notaweenie)]
spin_kick_snap: (Banzai Costume)
Banzai gauged the distance between here and the next rooftop over. Too long for a jump, but if she ran to the left, she could run up the wall of the building next to it, catch hold of the flag pole, and then flip off of that to the roof she was aiming for.

When she landed on the roof, she skidded on the loose gravel (why did people even do that), but managed to keep her balance with barely a thought. She'd noticed that now. Unless she was deliberately trying to fall down, she didn't. It was like she had preternatural equilibrium, to go with the bounciness and the speed. Not that she was complaining. She almost wished she was still competing in gymnastics these days. The ability to never fall was nothing short of a miracle.

Though as soon as she thought that, she realized her competition days were over. Competing with her powers would be gravely unfair for everyone else participating. That was a real bummer--her abilities could probably get her to the Olympics if she really worked at it.

Looks like she'd be sticking to doing fancy moves to take down bad guys. Still, as she hopped over the other side of the roof and perched on the jutting rainsport to look down at the city, wind tugging at her braid and her brand new gi, adrenaline still pumping in her veins from her last fight, she was confident that it was all worth it.

[Establishy, unless you have a reason to meet up with a girl on a rooftop in Baltimore. NFB for off-island shenanigans.]

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