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: (Contortionist: Flips)
Stealth crouched on the arch about the Melrose gate with Gorgon, St. George, and the visitors. The other heroes had been dispatched to the other gates she'd marked as vulnerable on her map, but Zzzap was flying recon and they were backed up by almost fifty more of the Mount's guards. They were the most vulnerable gate, to be sure, with Gorgon standing up front as bait for Cesares, but she had estimated the capabilities of the assembled people would be more than capable of repelling an attack, even if Zzzap was not able to return to aid them.

The exes had always been thick here, but now they grew denser by the moment. They packed the space in front of the gate and pushed back into the streets. Hordes of them staggered down Melrose and up Windsor. The guards walked the walls and stared down at the hungry mob. Some of them manned scaffolding towers. The dead pounded and clawed at the stucco. Another fourteen gate guards rammed pikes and spears between the bars of the gate. The dead stiffened at their skulls cracked and their brains were shredded. Then the humans pulled their weapons free, stepped back, and then lunged at the gate again even as more exes staggered forward.

"When do you want us to start sweeping?" one of the men asked, his rifle tucked against his shoulder.

"This is not the attack," shouted Stealth. "Just a massing of forces. Conserve your ammunition for now. Pikes only!"

Another wave of crushed skulls echoed up to her.

Everything about this is fine. )

***


Zzzap flew through the air, lighting up the dark sky, and came to a hover above the arch where they were watching the crowd of exes grow. Something big and scaly at Van Ness. Thought you'd want to know, he said in his crackling, electronic voice.

"Damn it," St. George said, scanning the street. "How'd he get by us?" He looked at Stealth. "You all good here?"

"Go," she said. "And take Dante with you. Cairax Murrain cannot be allowed to breach the gate."

The big hero nodded and took off, with Dante close behind. "Demon's at Van Ness," said Gorgon as he watched them leave. "Not the best way for us to start, with you being wrong right at the top."

"Thank you for pointing that out," she said. Her cloak draped across her shoulders and down over the edge of the archway. "Can you see any further than four blocks under these conditions?"

Gorgon looked around. "Not really." Hid hand went to his mic. "All gates, let's get some flares up." Across the Mount, small comets shot into the sky and burst into stars. They could see for blocks now as red and yellow light bathed the surrounding neighborhood. Melrose was visible for a quarter mile past either end of the walls.

The walking dead kept coming. More and more, until the pavement vanished under a carpet of death. Thirty thousand dead eyes stared at them, and thirty thousand brittle hands clawed at the air. The exes pounded the walls, pushed at the steel fences, and rammed their arms between the gate's curling decorations. In the distance, they could hear engines roaring and horns blasting. The Seventeens were near.

Gorgon rolled his head in a circle until his neck popped. "Still feeling confident?"

"We are prepared," said Stealth. "We know their capabilities. It will be a challenge, but we are ready for whatever they have fight to fight us with."

And then the lights went out.

Again, everything is just great! )
spin_kick_snap: (Zombie 02 (Forlorn))
After Gorgon had hauled Josh away, Stealth had given the Fandom contingent very strict orders to stay put. The Mount was already a powder keg, the last thing it needed was an errant match in the form of a stranger that no one had seen enter and certainly didn't look like they'd spent the past nine months eking out a bare survival. Especially if any one of those strangers decided to mention the little bombshell Josh had dropped on them earlier.

Less than an hour had passed before Gorgon came to collect them, bringing them upstairs to Stealth's office. A meeting was still in progress, with a blueprint of the map hung up on the wall and the other superheroes clustered around it, Zzzap remaining a slight distance away to avoid charring paper or blistering flesh. "--walls are still secure, the fences are all reinforced, so the most likely attack points will be the Melrose Gate, Bronson, and North Gower."

"What about Van Ness or Marathon?" St. George asked.

"Too far east and north for a major assault," she said. "We can leave regular guard units there. If the Seventeens have done any reconnaissance of their own, they will know Marathon is sealed." She glanced up at Gorgon and nodded sharply to the chairs surrounding the large table. He gestured for their guests to sit.

"Bronson's sealed, too," Cerberus, the large mecha suit, pointed out.

"Sealed to regular exes. If they are being guided by Cesares, we must assume they will be smarter and more resourceful. It is the next closest gate after Melrose, the fence is low, and it is a very tempting target."

"I'd still like to see extra people at Van Ness," Gorgon said, slouching against a wall now that his tour guide duty was done.

"We're starting to run low on capable and trained people," Stealth said, her mask not facing him or any other hero, but the group at the table. "But it's possible that we have the means to make up the difference."

Jumping the gun a bit, eh Stealth? )

[NFI, NFB, OOC is love. Preplayed by [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, all of whom I owe drinks to at this point. Bits of text adapted from Chapter Twenty-Four of Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines, ]
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))
The planned ambush of the Mount had been foiled, the Seventeens too impatient to wait until the gate had opened enough to let Mean Green out. The survivors had successfully routed the gangmembers, Gorgon dropping about half of the group before they'd gotten close. And, unbeknownst to most of the Mount, they'd even managed to collect three prisoners and were keeping them down in the holding cells by the Lansing Theater. In earlier years, the solid doors had held reels of archived film. Now the solid doors kept things in instead of out. Usually, these cells served as a holding pen for people who'd gotten drunk or rowdy, participants in the occasional fistfight or someone caught stealing. Now, however, they were holding prisoners of war.

Everything just keeps getting better )

[Content warning for attempted and completed suicide, though the act happens off-screen. Text taken from Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines, Chapters Twelve and Fourteen. NFI, NFB]
spin_kick_snap: (Zombie 01 (Hungry))
"What the fuck is that?" Always an auspicious way to begin! )

It was a question that would linger with Cerberus all afternoon, right up until the trap sprang.


[Take taken and adapted from Peter Clines' Ex-Heroes, Chapter Four. Prepare for a lot of these in the coming days. NFI, NFB]
spin_kick_snap: (Zombie 01 (Hungry))
"Whaddaya think the odds are that anyone's still alive in there?" Luke Reid asked, nodding to an old, blocky synagogue across the street. On one wall, words were painted in what looked like old whitewash or something:

Alive inside. Running out of food. Please help!

Read more... )

"When we're out of here, it's time for a talk," St. George warned Gorgon, advancing on the final ex.

"A heart to heart?" Gorgon said. "I'm flattered."

"Not with me," George said, ending the fight with a punch to the ex's temple. "With Stealth."

Well, shit.

[NFB, NFI, OOC is always appreciated. Canon-typical violence against the undead, including a zombie kid. Once again, I've written too much, but the fight scene mostly adapted from Peter Clines' Ex-Isle, Chapter Twelve, "Point of View"]
spin_kick_snap: (Zombie 02 (Forlorn))
That was Kathy.

Gorgon hunched a little further in his duster, adjusting the collar once more so that it covered his ears from the wind. December in Los Angeles had nothing on December in Baltimore for miserable weather, but this morning had dawned cold and drizzly and the tall, empty buildings were acting like the world's most ex-infested wind tunnels. He paused for a second and then revised that thought. Undoubtedly, there were actual wind tunnels filled with exes at this point. Unless the wind knocked 'em all down and out of the tunnel entirely? He imagined the exes getting scattered like bowling pins and nearly smiled--

I wonder if she's cold. Because that was Kathy.

Have some canon )

After being on edge and uncertain for a few months, some people couldn't deal with the idea of being safe or being told what to do. Sometimes they freaked out. A few of the freakouts were small, but most were like this guy--loud and convinced they could do something about it. What they often forgot was that the Mount had superheroes. And even if Gorgon didn't have the build of, say, George or Josh, he didn't need to rely on fists to take someone down. With a few leaping strides, he got ahead of the guy. Immediately, the guy raised his fists, ready to swing--and then Gorgon opened his goggles wide. The guy stood there a moment. Then his legs wobbled and he sagged. He dropped to his knees in front of Gorgon, still trapped by the hero's gaze. Strength poured out of the guy and into Gorgon, buoying him up tier after tier. His eyes watered and he started to shake and it wasn't until Cerberus said, "I think you got him," that Gorgon let the goggles snap shut. The gy toppled over. He'd be waking up with a miserable headache, if the energy thrumming through Gorgon's body was any indication.

The guards rushed over, dragging the guy towards the quarantine tent. Being unconscious didn't get you out of an exam, it just made the exam a lot more thorough. And this guy had just gotten bumped to the head of the line. "Stupid," Gorgon said, more to himself than Cerberus. "They should have been expecting something like that."

She answered anyway. "Probably. But what do you want? Most of these guys aren't military or police." The big helmet head moved side to side. "Hell, we're lucky when we can find a mall security guard."

"Well, they better find someone to put in charge," Gorgon said, shifting into his gunslinger pose while the rest of the group followed meekly after the unconscious guy. "Things are going to get ugly in here fast if it keeps going like this." They were almost at four thousand people inside the Mount now. It was impossible to have that many people living together in peace. "Stealth had better assign someone to keep the peace if she doesn't want this place descending into anarchy."

"Maybe you should mention that to her," Cerberus said.

"Maybe I will," Gorgon replied. "Do me a favor and keep an eye on Sleeping Beauty there, will you? After waking up in his underwear sitting funny, he'll probably keep his head down, but just in case..."

"Where are you going?"

Gorgon jerked his thumb towards the main gate. "Out," he said, loosening his shoulders. "I'm at Tier Four right now. No sense wasting it when I can sweep for more survivors."

And maybe investigate an ex in white while he was at it.

[Much of the text taken (and folded and spindled) from "Point of View", Chapter Twelve of Peter Clines' Ex-Isle. No warnings except for length and navel-gazing. Have some day-to-day on the Mount. NFB, NFI, OOC is love]
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: (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 01 (Hungry))
It had been a month to the day since Kathy died and the heroes of Los Angeles were fighting a losing battle. By Stealth's calculations, the surviving population had likely dropped to below fifty thousand people. To those few heroes she trusted most, she said that her most accurate estimations put the population to around half of that. A little over twenty-five thousand living people in a city that used to house millions. Death on a scale that vast was literally unimaginable, even when living through it. And that was just in LA. There were something like three hundred million exes wandering the country. No one could say how any other cities were doing; communications had been down for weeks. For all anyone knew, Los Angeles could be the last place in the country--the world--with survivors. Didn't really matter either way. Nobody was coming to save them.

This was surprisingly cathartic to write )

***


For a month, the ex that had once been Katherine Hana Li had sat in the planetarium at Griffith Observatory, watching an endless loop of movement and color that her living mind could have identified as Centered in the Universe. She might have sat there contentedly forever, safe from the chaos that raged outside the way her friends had hoped. But the power outage that hit Los Angeles did not spare the planetarium out of concern for the one zombie ensconced inside. There, too, the screen went dark.

Freed from the spell of moving lights, the ex stirred. Stood. Started to walk. There was nothing for her--for it--here and the rising screams carried on the night wind drew her attention. She made her way slowly through the observatory, eventually finding the broken doors and pushing her way through to the park outside. There, she oriented herself towards the screams, making her way towards the heart of Los Angeles with unerring precision. The park was miles away from civilization, but it didn't matter. As an ex, she had no concept of time or distance. She was driven by only one thing.

She was very, very hungry.

[Yeah, I'm still doing this. Anyway, NFB for distance, NFI for obvious, warning for typical zombie-levels of violence 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.]
spin_kick_snap: (V-Sign 01)
After various attempts to get through, a video message made its way to the island and, from there, elsewhere in the multiverse. It had been sent to many people; students, teachers, townies, and alumni--pretty much anyone Kathy considered a friend.

Say you'll remember me standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset )

[Preplayed with the AMAZING [livejournal.com profile] tigerundercover. If you think you got this, you absolutely did. NFB, though interaction between recipients is encouraged! The video is, however, one-way and any attempts to call will result in this message. Trigger warning for fatal illness.]
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: (Sprawled on Chair)
Things were still tense in the apartment today, but at least she hadn't been kicked out or disowned or whatever. Kathy'd half-expected to find all of her belongings tossed out on the street after she and Raven had gotten home for the night after a night out as Banzai and Mystique, but no. Her parents weren't actually talking to her, but they hadn't decided to evict her, either.

It just proved what everyone had been telling her: her parents had only had the power over her that she had given to them. She was pretty self-sufficient now; even if they had thrown her out, she and Raven would have been perfectly fine. What could they do to her? Ground her? She'd ignore them. Hit her? They never had before and she couldn't imagine them doing so now. Send her to bed without dinner? Fine, she'd call for delivery. A frisson from the unexpected freedom ghosted up her spine. If she were a slightly different person, this realization could have been dangerous. Good thing that she was the type of girl who defied her parents only to go be a superhero-slash-clinic nurse.

Honestly, the only real punishment she could think of that would actually affect her would be to forbid her from seeing Sarah. Her little sister meant everything to her.

No matter what was going on with the outside world, Kathy was determined to keep her safe.

[NFB, and also for [livejournal.com profile] tigerundercover if she so wishes!]
spin_kick_snap: (Bitch Please)
Kathy had been lying to her family for a long time. Lying about the island ("It's perfectly normal!"), lying about her friends ("Of course you'd approve of them!"), and lying about her activities ("Nothing planned for the evening but more studying!") Since she'd come back home to fight zombies, she'd only been lying more. First that she was home because it was Spring Break back at school and she hadn't wanted to go on the trip. Then that the dorms were being fumigated, which was why Raven had come out to stay with them over the weekend (and played up the potential gratitude of Raven's wealthy adopted parents). And finally, more lies to cover up all the times she was out as Banzai: studying at the library or tutoring students for the upcoming SATs, anything that could be a plausible reason to get her out of the house for hours at a time.

But those excuses wouldn't work anymore. Not with a national quarantine and a newly announced martial law. Supposedly the police would be enforcing a curfew, so she wouldn't have a reason to be out even if her parents had been inclined to let her out. From the minute that the zombies--rather, the ex-humans--had been officially confirmed, her parents' grip had been tighter and tighter on her neck. And it was time to put a stop to it.

So after asking Raven to entertain Sarah for a few, she met with her parents in the living room to come clean about everything. Well...okay. Maybe not everything. Stuff about the island, about Anders, and Dante, about Portalocity's terrifying message--those secrets she was still going to keep. But about her secret life as a superhero, about being Banzai, that needed to come out.

Kathy hadn't expected this conversation to be easy. And it wasn't. But she hadn't expected it to be difficult in this way. What was the huge issue? Were they upset their oldest daughter was some kind of mutant? That she’d been risking her life and fighting crime since sophomore year of high school? That she’d lied to them?

No. Of course not. They had...different concerns.

Were her parents for real?

This had been brewing for a very long time )

[Some lines of dialogue lifted directly from Chapter 13, "Luckiest Girl in the World," from Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines. NFB, post: closed, but OOC is always appreciated.]
spin_kick_snap: (Hurt/Upset)
After discovering that Anders could heal the infected, the heroes of LA had been buoyed up by the knowledge that they could stop the spread of the zombie virus. Regenerator couldn't change anyone who had become of full-fledged zombie, but he was able to heal those they got to in time. It helped that the victims tended to have as much as a whole day between when they were bitten and when they turned. Stealth got word out to the populations that were most vulnerable, promising 'free and discreet care' to anyone who needed it, for whatever reason, and soon people were coming to them, either to be healed by 'Genny or two get heroes to help transport the infected back. 'Genny set up a walk-in clinic in a warehouse Stealth had procured and rather than patrolling, Banzai had started helping him there. She was fast, she was agile, she was good at calming people down--she made an excellent assistant and a new rapport sprang up between them.

They were saving lives. They were making a difference. It even made having to move back in with her family (under the guise of visiting for 'spring break') more palatable.

This rush of good feeling lasted for three days. Just three days. They knew they weren't stopping new zombies from turning, but between the people they were healing and the zombies the rest were killing, they really thought they were making a difference.

They were wrong. They were so wrong.

It was Sarah who woke Kathy up from her nap, eyes wide and a little scared. The fear alone had the bottom dropping out of Kathy's stomach; Sarah didn't do scared. She'd gone to school everyday through Seventeen territory and hadn't even flinched. "Sarah," she said, holding out a hand. "What is it?"

"Something's happening," Sarah said, going to sit on Kathy's bed and curling up against her big sister. "Something big. There was some kind of terrorist attack today--like a biological thing. People were screaming and rioting and attacking one another on Hollywood and Highland. Just out in the street in the middle of the day! Like--people ripped one another's throats out and stuff. It's all over the net--people were taking videos and running and screaming--they attacked little kids! And the way they looked--!" Sarah shuddered, hiding her face. "It was awful. Like a horror movie but for real. I watched people die. It looked like some were getting eaten."

"You shouldn't be watching this kind of stuff," Kathy said absently, stroking her sister's hair while her mind whirled. "It's just going to freak you out. Don't worry, the superheroes will fix it."

"I hope so," Sarah said, cuddling close. "Cause the videos I saw? It looked like the end of the world."

[NFB, but Kathy's going to be calling people. If you want her to call you (or want to call her), ping in and she did!]
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]

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