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 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: (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))
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: (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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