spin_kick_snap: (Zombie 01 (Hungry))
June

It had been almost six weeks since Banzai had died. She was the first of the heroes to have fallen, but she was not the last. Not after Regenerator got bit and fell into a coma. Once their healer was gone, the heroes started dropping like flies.

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

But that hadn't been enough. Gorgon using survivors as batteries to keep his strength up while he protected their base at Hollywood and Cahuenga wasn't enough. Zzzap abandoning the final three cities to the exes to focus on LA wasn't enough. Not to save the thousands of people who were still hiding in their bolt holes around the city.

But Stealth had a plan )

[NFI, NFB, OOC is always appreciated! Adapted and edited from Chapter 27 "Saint George Kills The Mighty Dragon", from Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines.]
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: (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 (Psylocke))
Banzai looked around, eyebrows practically up to her hairline. Gorgon hadn't been kidding when he'd said that Stealth had called in every hero in LA for this meeting. Most, she recognized, by reputation if not by sight. Midknight was the man in the replica armor who could bring a crushing darkness no light could penetrate and a cold that could give frostbite. Blockbuster, who could knock down entire buildings with enough momentum. The Mighty Dragon, of course. Gorgon. Regenerator, looking drawn and exhausted. About nine or ten others she was able to put names to. There were others she didn't know, like the black guy in the wheelchair and the scrawny guy wearing a giant necklace. At first, Banzai had thought that he was wearing a clock on his chest, like some oily, white Flava-Flav, but closer inspection proved it to be--some kind of medallion? Either way, it was hard to look at properly, like staring into the sun.

And then their host, the woman who could only be Stealth. She was sitting at the head of the water-stained conference table, conferring with the guy in the chair. The guy looked very grave; Stealth's mask gave no clue what she was feeling. Kathy's hope that this was going to be some kind of committee meeting where they decided to create the Super Justice Pals of LA withered and died at the guy's expression. No one looked like that without a damn good reason.

At precisely 11, Stealth broke off her conversation and stood up. "Thank you for attending," she said in a crisp, no-nonsense voice. "I can imagine it was difficult for some of you to take leave for superhero business during regular civilian hours. I assure you, I would never make such a request lightly. The situation is urgent. If not responded to quickly, it will be dire. It is possible that I miscalculated by waiting the additional week to contact you. Please be seated and we can begin the briefing."

Stealth remained standing, the guy she'd been talking to wheeling close to the table on her left and the Mighty Dragon taking a seat to her right. Everyone else made their way to the table, some (including Banzai), carrying plates of refreshments that Stealth had provided. The chairs were mismatched and most were not of a height to have been intended to be used with this table, but Stealth had procured exactly enough for all of them. Banzai sat, sandwiched between Gorgon and the guy with the bling, across the table from Regenerator. When the last hero had taken his seat (Blockbuster, moving with a great deal of care), Stealth spoke up again. Unlike the Mighty Dragon, she had no problems speaking through a full facemask without her voice being muffles.

"Heroes of Los Angeles, I'm here to discuss with you our zombie problem )

[NFB, NFI, OOC is loved.]
spin_kick_snap: (Banzai (Psylocke))
When Barry Burke received a call on his cell phone in his Amherst apartment, the last thing he expected to hear was a woman's cold, clipped tones on the other end calling him by name. Not Barry, no, the woman on the other end called him Zzzap. His superhero name; the name only one other person knew that Barry could claim. As a black, wheelchair-bound scientist, he wasn't anyone's top choice for the superhero that flew around the country at Mach 5 as a blinding wraith made of pure energy. Barry might garner a second look or two because of his race and disability; no one could look at Zzzap for more than a second or two. Looking at his alter-ego was like looking at the heart of a star through a man-shaped cutout in space.

There was no way to connect Barry to Zzzap and yet this woman had. She knew he was home, had his cell number, and asked him to meet with her on the roof of the Capitol Records building. In Los Angeles. She said there was some kind of contagion in the city and she needed his speed. She'd added his immunity to all disease almost as an afterthought. She knew so much about him and over the course of the conversation, all he managed to get was her name: Stealth.

He was in LA half an hour later, as much concerned by the idea of a contagion in one of the most populous cities in America as he was by how Stealth had discovered him. Stealth was inclined to discuss exactly one of those topics. )

Moving low to the ground through a strange city, the best speed Zzzap could manage was around 400 miles per hour. Much more than that caused serious weather problems, not to mention sonic booms (which could shatter windows, windshields, neon signs, and lots of other expensive things). He started circling the buildings, checking every person he passed for the signs of infection. Anywhere people could be. Alleys. Roads. Parking structures. Subways. Zzzap peered in windows where he could, through walls where he couldn't. On his first pass, he'd have said he saw three-fifths of the city's population. No sign of the mystery disease, although he did stop two muggings and halted a high speed street race by melting the tires of both cars. He figured he could make at least one more pass before it was time to meet up with Stealth again, and hopefully he could catch a good chunk of the remaining population.

Street. Boulevard. Avenue. Drive. He was an hour into his second run when Zzzap saw him.

He was an old guy. His clothes were dark and a bit ragged. Probably homeless, staggering down an alley. His skin was the color of ash and his face was blank. Not emotionless, it just looked like he'd forgotten how to make any sort of expression. A quick check at either end of the street told Zzzap they were just north of Beverly between La Brea and Detroit.

Zipping back to hover over him, a full minute passed before he twisted his head up to look at the glowing wraith above his head. It usually didn't take people long to notice the white-hot man-shape sizzling like a sparkler. His eyes were cloudy--Zzzap wondered if perhaps the old man might be blind. He was staring right at the hero and not blinking. Something looked very wrong about him, and Zzzap couldn't figure out what.

Good evening, citizen, he said, careful to enunciate each word. Are you okay?

Still wide-eyed. Still no blink. Had he blinked once yet?

Sir? Are you feeling okay? Do you need any help?

The man's mouth opened, showing off an impressive collection of half-rotted teeth, and then he clacked them together again and again and again. To Zzzap, it sounded like those little wooden things Mexican dancers wear on their hands.

A fun little trick the magazines and television shows never figured out: Zzzap could see all the electromagnetic energy in the air, including radio waves, television broadcasts, and satellite transmissions. He knew there were seventeen GPS devices within three blocks of where he was floating, and he could list off the codes for each one. And if he had to, with a little concentration, he could have duplicated them or overridden them with a thought. Which was why it had been second nature to see the cell phone built into Stealth’s cowl and memorize the number. He focused on that and could feel the signal a phone would translate into an audible ring.

This was all fine. )

[Adapted and tweaked from "Power to the People," Chapter 7 in Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines. NFI, NFB, OOC is enjoyed]
spin_kick_snap: (Fond Smile)
After class, Kathy and Anders has decided to head up to her dorm and hang out for awhile. There were a number of movies that Kathy needed to show him before she left for college to get him caught up on her random pop cultural references.

Today, Kathy was thinking about showing him Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It was both a classic and the humor was absurdist enough (and not wholly dependent on culture) that hopefully it would translate.

And, hey, if they happened to get some quality snuggling in during the film, so much the better, huh?

The best laid plots of mice and men... )

[Preplayed with the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] soniaroadsqueen, [livejournal.com profile] not_every_mage, and [livejournal.com profile] rhymeswithtable, and awesomely coded up by [livejournal.com profile] that_oldsaying. Happens after this and at roughly the same time as this.]
spin_kick_snap: (Banzai (Psylocke))
Gorgon's bike shot down the street, slipping through intersections and around corners. He tried to cover as much ground as possible each night; the trick was to be seen as many places as possible, but never be moving so fast people thought he wouldn’t stop for something. There was a reason police cars seemed to move at "hanging out" speed a lot.

He'd also learned moving targets are harder to hit. There was a chip in his helmet where someone tried to blow his head off with a rifle. Knocked him off the bike, and that was the night he'd learned his power could drain someone from a block and a half away. Getting shot once was enough, and he didn't have Regenerator on speed-dial the way Banzai did. Hell, he didn't even have Banzai running around to stitch him up again.

Just another night in LA. )

[Adapted from Chapter 4, "Seeing the Big Picture" of Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines. NFI, NFB, OOC is enjoyed.]
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))
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 (Psylocke))
"Wait? Are you really calling yourself 'Social Justice Warrior'?" Kathy grit her jaw and tried not to let the laughing bother her. After all, it wasn't like this was the first time she'd been laughed at tonight. Except this was a little more galling, considering that she had just stopped someone from running off with this guy's wallet. And his girlfriend's purse. Yup. This guy, currently clinging to his girlfriend's shoulder so he didn't fall over, was practically in hysterics at the same girl that had dashed off after a mugger and rescued all their stuff.

Even his girlfriend was giggling, giving her an apologetic smile as she did. "Well, it is kind of funny," she said, as if Kathy, err, rather as if Social Justice Warrior couldn't already see that they thought so. "I mean, you're one unicorn away from being a Lisa Frank trapper keeper already." Hearing that, her boyfriend doubled over again, wiping tears from his eyes.

"Well," she said with forced cheer. "I'm still glad I managed to get your stuff back." You know. As she'd done. Just sayin'. "I'd really suggest you take a cab home, though, okay? I don't think your boyfriend's in any condition to drive."

"No, no," the guy said, taking a hand off his knees to wave at her, trying to catch his breath. "I'm cool. I'll be fine. I'm just--you--trapper keeper."

Yup. Social Justice Warrior had had just about enough of this. Clearly, no thanks would be forthcoming, so she just gave them a wave (a really irritated wave, not that they could probably tell) and bounded away with "Holy shit! She's like a Gummie Bear!" ringing in her ears. It was a struggle not to turn around and pop the guy in the nose with her stick, but she was a superhero. So she refrained.

Didn't stop her from imagining it, though.

Five minutes and fifteen blocks later, Kathy was on a rooftop, trying not to feel completely deflated. Yeah, everyone had told her that her name was dumb and her costume silly, but she'd thought that the people she'd helped would at least be on her side. Ha! Yeah right. If anything, the petty thugs and the like that she tangled with were easier to deal with. Sure, they laughed at her, too, and she had yet to deal with one who thought for an instant that she could possibly be a threat, but that just made dispatching them so much more satisfying. So far none of them had laughed at her as she'd blurred off into the night. Of course, she usually left them attached to telephone poles and street lights, tied with brightly-colored gymnast ribbons, so it was possible they realized how thoroughly the joke was on them.

Unfortunately, none of the alternatives she was coming up with for Social Justice Warrior were any better. They were either too cutesy or far too contrived. The ones that sounded even remotely badass just seemed laughable when applied to her, in her karate gi and rainbow prints. Not that she was intending to change her costume--as much as she loved reading superhero comics, she did not intend to emulate one and end up looking like walking fetish-fuel--but it did make choosing an awesome name that much harder.

"Help! Stop! Police!" Kathy's sulking reverie was interrupted by a cry for help just below her. Peering down, she saw some guy in a mask tearing down the street with a young woman trying to keep up. "Help! Someone! Anyone!"

Without thinking, Kathy flung herself over the side of the building, landing in a crouch next to the pursuing woman and took off at a dash after the purse snatcher. He was already winded and she caught up to him before he even turned the corner, flinging her stick out and catching him in the back of the knee. He went flying, Kathy snatched the purse out of the air and was back at the woman's side before the last echo of her cry for help had faded.

"Oh my gosh," the woman said, looking at her. "Thank you thank you thank you so much! You just appeared out of nowhere like some kind of avenging angel!" She took in Kathy's costume a little dubiously and asked, "Are you some kind of hero? What's your name?"

The woman's description rang a few bells for Kathy and she thought back to Sparkle's comment at JGOB the other day. "Just glad I could help," she said said with a grin. "As for the name, well, you can call me Banzai."

[NFI, NFB]

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