spin_kick_snap: (Ain't Nobody Got Time For This)
Kathy sat on the hard police bench, right outside the holding cell, an ice pack against her cheek. The holding tank was surprisingly full for a Wednesday night; not only were a bunch of guys from the warehouse there, but so were several drunks, two dealers, and a pickpocket. Once, she would have helped put the people in there--in fact, she recognized one of the dealers and was doing her best not to let him get a good look at her. Now, while she wasn't in the cell itself, it was only because the police didn't think it would be 'appropriate.' They thought she was still underage and Kathy wasn't about to tell them otherwise because right now, technically, she wasn't under arrest. She hadn't been handcuffed, they weren't processing her, and she wasn't even under guard--though there were several cops that occasionally checking over to make sure she was still there and sitting quietly. Nothing that happened tonight was going onto her permanent record--though she'd already gotten several paternalistic lectures on the way to the station and they weren't letting her leave until an 'adult' got here to collect her.

If she'd been thinking straight, she would have given them Raven's number and had her shift into a grumpy old Korean lady to come and fetch her. Then again, if she'd been thinking straight, she wouldn't be here now. Not that she'd been big on thinking straight since she'd been resurrected. Really, the way she'd been going, this outcome had practically been inevitable.

This will all be fine )

[Preplayed with the utterly splendid [livejournal.com profile] vdistinctive. NFB, I have all the feels]
spin_kick_snap: (Wave (Shy))
Kathy paused outside of Luke's for a moment, composed her expression, and started humming the most cheerful pop song she could think of. Only then did she enter, beelining for the back counter with a chipper wave for the busboy. She'd been out for a run and now she was looking forward to a giant smoothie packed to the brim with fruit. Honestly, she wanted a giant steak topped with another steak, but she still couldn't bring herself to eat meat.

The 'I'm just dandy!' facade broke when she saw Eliot within, replaced by a genuine smile. "Hey," she said, making her way over to him. "What's up? Been awhile since I've seen you."

Her erratic hours hadn't exactly made it easy to slip back into a regular training schedule.

Goodbyes and Misunderstandings )
[Preplayed with the lovely [livejournal.com profile] vdistinctive! FB, but NFI and OOC is love]
spin_kick_snap: (Low-Cut Dress)
Kathy...Kathy wasn't doing so well. She had a whole slew of reasons why she wasn't doing well, from her realization she remembered everything about being dead, to finding out Raven had killed her family, to her run-in with Ezra at the Coterie-run bar when she'd just wanted to drown her sorrows the old-fashioned way, it had been one thing after another after a-fucking-nother.

Which was why the phone call at ten pm found her putting the last touches on her makeup and hair for an evening out on the town. Her outfit left very little to the imagination and even less as protection to the elements, but she didn't care. Hell, that was the whole point. This was the third night she was in Boston and the third night of making questionable choices in the pursuit of getting her brain to shut down so she wouldn't have to think about any of the things she didn't want to think about. Sure, it was a weeknight in the dead of winter, but Boston was a college town. There were always people willing to party.

Though that didn't explain how Eliot knew what was going on. She listened to his message with a frown and immediately called him back. The only person who knew she was here was Ezra, so who'd gone to Eliot, carrying tales?

[Eliot's thread is chronologically first, but open to phone calls or that guy in Boston if he'd like! NFB for off-island shenanigans. Content warning for alcohol as a coping mechanism in the comments.]
spin_kick_snap: (Eating: Chips)
Raven and Kathy were officially moved in!

Okay, not everything was done and most of their stuff was still at Eliot's, but they'd gotten a lot of work done painting and assembling furniture and most of what was left could be moved over a bit at a time. Which meant...it was close enough to being fully moved in that a small party was warranted. Especially if you were looking for a way to show you were nice, sane and adjusted a reason to party!

The party proper started at 6pm with plenty of delicious foods to enjoy, but people were more than welcome to come over early and help with the remaining wall painting and furniture assembling there was to do. Help was appreciated, but mostly people were invited to over to eat, relax, and help make this new place feel like a real home.

[If you think you got an invite, you did! Up early for mega SP]
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: (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: (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: (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: (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 (Eyes))
After a week of pollen and then finding out that Minako was Sailor V and Mara Jade was some kind of...knife-wielding badass, Kathy had decided that spending a week with her classmates on a ship was not in the cards. She needed a little time and space to put her confused thoughts into order, to figure out how she felt about who and what, if anything, she wanted to do about it.

Rather than hang around an empty (and frigid) island while everyone else was enjoying Mexico (so much that no one had returned any of her handwavy texts!), Kathy had decided to head back to LA. Rather than going back to her parents' apartment for the week, Kathy'd rented a tiny motel room where she wouldn't have to worry about rules, curfew, or her family finding out about her late night hobbies. During the day, she could work on her homework and brood be pensive and at night she could be Banzai, too busy leaping over rooftops and chasing down criminals to live inside her own head.

You relax your way, she'd relax hers, all right?

Not that tonight was anything like relaxing. LA was so much bigger than Baltimore, with more crime and, specifically, more violent crime. She'd just finished taking down a mugger when she'd heard gunshots coming from the north. Giving the mugger's collar one last shake, she let him go and ran off as fast as she could towards the guns.

It might be kinda sick, but she loved this.

[And the link to the thread that begins after LJ breaks the page]

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