|One Small Spark
Author: Khadrimx PM
Set in the Danger Days Killjoys-Verse created by the band My Chemical Romance, this story is based around their concept and not the band members themselves. Can the Killjoys overcome the pharmaceutical dictatorship of Better Living Industries?Rated: Fiction M - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Chapters: 41 - Words: 342,629 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 1 - Published: 03-03-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7892718
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Where am I? Her thoughts echoed around in her mind, spinning in a haze. She couldn't see through the darkness behind her lids and had no strength to open them. There was a dull pounding just above her right eye and she was sure the skin there was puffy and swollen, if not bleeding. What the hell happened to me? Disco Bitch reached to touch the sore spot on her head only to find her arm wasn't obeying her command. Ache recoiled down her wrists and through her muscles. Met with darkness when she opened her eyes, she blinked a few times to try and find some kind of clue to her whereabouts. I'd been in the desert before, what the hell was I doing? It had turned into some kind of riddle for her, whatever she had been doing in the desert before this. The pieces were all in her memory but scattered, waiting to be put back together.
Shadows materialized into objects in front of her, still far too vague for her to figure out what they were. Bile was rising in the back of her throat, created by the dizziness and nausea she felt in this unfamiliar atmosphere combined with the wound on her forehead. Gagging didn't help, in fact it only made her incredibly aware of the mask on her face. It surrounded her mouth and nose and strapped around the back of her head. She could feel it constricting her, creating a feeling of claustrophobia.
"What the hell…?" Her voice sounded muffled and foreign to her ears. Snapping her eyes closed she forced herself to take deep breaths of the recycled air being pumped into her mouth and nose to try and ease her sore nerves. "Calm down Disco, just take slow deep breaths, we'll get out of this." Despite her encouraging statement her heart was pounding and aching with the dread of what she knew was coming. The memory of what she'd been doing in the desert returned to her. There had been a door on the ground with the letters A-WEB on it and as she had decided to go back to the Killjoy camp in the third zone and tell the others when the world had gone black. Had she been attacked when she turned her back?
Of course she'd been attacked! It was the only explanation that made any sense at all. But what had attacked her? That was the question she needed to know the answer to. Was it a Drac or something worse? Something worse? Like what? That IOD thing that Party Poison had been talking about when he got back from the first zone with Rainbow Riot, maybe? That was in the city though and this was a long way away from there. They wouldn't have gotten past the Killjoys that easily, especially if Captain Phantom is still holding her post in the second zone.
If that's the case then what the hell hit me? Goose bumps prickled up over her arms, brushing against the coat she wore uncomfortably. The cold of metal against her wrists gave way to something else even more uncomfortable. Her vision was too hazy to see clearly what was hooked to her but something was poking in her skin.
Oh God, oh God! What is it? Get it out of me! Get it out! Panic rose again in the form of bile in the back of her throat. It felt like wires going into her skin, or were they just sensors stuck on her skin to monitor her condition? Turning her head from left to right she surveyed the room again and found nothing but darkness. There were no blinking machines or monitors to let her know where these wires were coming from.
Panic got the best of her and she began thrashing against the metallic bonds that held her into the chair. All she accomplished was making her wrists and ankles sore. Whatever device held her into this upright position was welded to the chair beneath her. There was no breaking free without some kind of key or being able to see where the weak points were.
A flood of cold fear fell over her, giving her chills down her spine and back up again. It was uncomfortable to keep still in the metallic prison she'd been subjected to now that she was aware she couldn't move. Some kind of light would both help and hurt the situation. Curiosity made her want to see what the hell she'd been subjected to while fear made her want to hide in the warm blanket of unconsciousness she'd found before. She'd been dreaming before she'd woken up to this hell. In her head she'd gone back to the eastern camp and she'd told Tiger all of her fears and all of her wants. Tiger had told her everything she'd ever wanted to hear and she was finally free of all the self inflicted sabotage she'd become a victim to over the years.
Instead she'd woken up to the harsh reality of a cold metallic chair and wires digging into the flesh of her arms. The more aware of her surroundings she became the more horrifying it all seemed to become. There were needles in the sides of her head. She could feel them digging into her scalp as she moved to try to break free. The pounding in her skull only worsened as she thought about the possibilities of what could have happened. If Better Living Industries was behind this then why hadn't she been drugged yet?
How long had she been unconscious? Maybe they were just trying to torture her by keeping her in the dark, hooked up to needles and wires. It could have all been just to fuck with her mind to think she was going to be experimented on. Well, it's working.
Something began to hum in the darkness behind her and Disco turned her head to look at it habitually even though she didn't expect to see anything. An orange light behind and above her had clicked on. The light was small, too small to illuminate very much in the room. It had, however, been enough to enhance the shadows she could already make out. The room she was in was smaller than she had expected it to be. There were doors on either side of her, neither labeled in any way.
The whirring behind her became steadier and by the clicking sound that accompanied it, Disco guessed the machine was some kind of projector. In front of her was a vinyl screen, which she guessed images were going to eventually appear on.
Maybe I am a test subject? What the hell is going on?
The bright light that filled the room so suddenly hurt her eyes. The screen had come to life and become completely bright white in front of her, the light from the projector behind her being the source. A familiar beeping of an old film beginning to play echoed through the room. Disco glanced at her arms and saw the needles in her skin, the wires attached to her body in horror. The mask on her face looked like some kind of gas mask now that she could see it. Rust colored spots of blood covered the floor. Failed prior experiments… Horror wasn't the word that Disco would've used for the feeling washing through her, but she couldn't think of a better one for it either.
Speakers to her left and right buzzed to life, deafeningly loud. She wanted to cover her ears but the effort was wasted and only aggravated her sore wrists. The black and white smiling logo of Better Living Industries flashed onto the screen and flickered hauntingly in front of her. Disco wanted to spit at it, but knew it'd just be another wasted effort.
"Everything you know is a lie." The voice of a woman, calm and cold, oozed from the monitors. Disco felt sick to her stomach, as though the cold voice was washing over her in a bath of ice. "Killjoy, you are here for reconditioning. Everything you know is a lie."
"No! No!" Disco screamed in objection, fighting harder against her bonds. Whatever was going to happen to her, she couldn't sit idly by and let it happen. Behind her once again, a sound hissed to life and that's just what it was: a hiss. Looking around sporadically, Disco searched for the source of the horrifying new sound and before she could find it, it found her in a way she hadn't anticipated.
Gas. The mask on her face was filling with an awful smell; something akin to almonds and chalk. Disco felt weak and fragile, but wasn't sure if it was an effect of the gas or if she was just riddled with fear and crumbling into the chair beneath her.
"This is not a test."
The blackness was renewed as the smiling face of Better Living Industries disappeared. Disco froze and stared at the screen, waiting for what would come next. Her heart was pounding so intensely she thought any second she would be going into cardiac arrest. Maybe they are just trying to torture me after all? Well, if it wasn't working before, it sure is now. But why are they torturing me? What do they want from me?
"Everything you know is a lie."
"You're the liars!" Disco shouted to no one in particular. The voiceover sounded like a recording. If they're trying to drive me mad, it's also working. At this rate I'm going to be battier than Fire Frenzy by the end of the day.
"Everything you know is a lie." The screen came back to life and Disco nearly vomited at the scene being played in front of her. Men and women lined up against a chain link fence, naked, starved, their heads shaved. They weren't just standing there, they were strung up with barbed wire, mouths and eyes dripping with gore. Disco opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out and instead she choked on the gas being pumped into her system.
The images continued to flash, faster and faster, alternating between the Better Living smiling face and the horrors in black and white. Children lying wasted in the desert, their entrails hanging from their stomachs, jaws dislocated, bodies charred and burned. The images became more and more graphic and the smiling face began to change, flashing with words.
There is no hope.
There is only one answer.
Closing her eyes, Disco tried to ignore the humming, ignore the smoke in her lungs, and ignore the sound of the woman overhead telling her that her life was a lie. Most of all she was trying to get the visions of maimed children out of her mind.
"Open your mind. See the truth." The voiceover echoed. That cold as ice voice was like a parasite crawling into her ears, infecting her brain. She couldn't make it stop, no matter how hard she tried to ignore it.
"Shut up!" Her throat hurt from screaming, or was it from the smoke? Disco couldn't let this happen, she had to fight it. Her wrists were already sore and aching from an earlier attempt to break free but she'd break them both if she had to as long as she could get free.
She squirmed and kicked, shaking her body from side to side, feeling the wires and IVs pulling and tearing at her flesh. Blood dripped down her cheek and over her neck from the needle that was pulling on the flesh on the side of her head.
Her kicking and flailing paid off after a moment and the chair fell to its side on the ground, crashing and clanging. The wires pulled, some of them even coming out of her skin entirely. Pain riddled her entire left side and the gas mask fell off of her face. The lights in the room came to life and the doors on either side of her opened. The screen turned off and the steam hiss of pistons came from the darkness beyond the door closest to her.
Disco froze and looked around, waiting for what was going to happen next. She watched the doorway, anticipating some new horror coming through it. The clicking and clanking on the floor became louder as it came closer and closer and she saw metallic legs creeping through the door. Six more metallic legs joined them, grabbing onto either side of the door as if trying to find a way to fit within the small room. The legs managed to pull the spider like body of the metallic beast into the room.
Disco could do nothing but gape at the metallic body forcing itself to fit into the small room. The metallic legs opened at the end and gripped at the ceiling to better fit itself in the confined area. At the center of the spider, sitting calmly was a woman who looked half dead, an elongated smile on her face. Half her features were metallic and rebuilt between rotting flesh. Disco gagged, but not from the smoke in her lungs. She could smell the rot coming from this woman's body. She was some kind of reanimated corpse, being controlled by the metallic body of a spider.
Shrieking in surprise, Disco felt something pick her chair back up and place it upright. She didn't get the chance to turn her head to find out who the source was before her head was forced upright and into place, facing forward. The ghostly white figure of Korse was forcing her head into place, tying it with a thick rope. The ruffles of his long sleeved poet's shirt brushed against her skin and sent chills down her spine.
"Stay still." He tilted his head as he secured her upright. "And keep your eyes open."
"Make me, mother fucker." Disco hissed, trying to sound strong when in reality she was trembling and nearly wetting herself with fear. No matter what they do to me, I won't spill secrets, I won't betray the Killjoys. They'd have to kill me and turn me into one of them to make that happen!
"Stubborn to the end, far more than the last one." The spider-corpse-woman hissed. It was the same cold voice she'd heard over the intercom during the video. Clearly whatever was going on in this building, she was behind it.
"Widow, let's show her how we make people cooperate." The hiss of the pistons returned as the Widow climbed up the wall and onto the ceiling, hanging upside down in front of Disco. The woman stared lifeless and smiling at Disco as her metallic spider legs reached around the room, pulling metallic supplies from cabinets in the corner.
A cold piece of iron was forced against Disco's forehead, tethered to the back of the chair with a strip of leather. With Korse's help, Widow forced Disco's eyelids open and used small metallic clips to pin them that way. Disco could do nothing but scream and howl for help, knowing it would fall on deaf ears.
Disco tried to pull her eyes closed, risking tearing the fragile skin but it wasn't working and only succeeded in causing her pain.
"Why are you doing this?" Disco had to look away from the spider woman hanging lifelessly in front of her, making her stomach churn. There was nowhere else to look though, not without being able to close her eyes and shield herself from the horrors Better Living had created in the interest of "advancement". Korse looked worse for wear as well but was still less terrifying than the spider. Clearly he hadn't fully recovered from the battle with Party Poison the day before in the second zone where Fire Frenzy had shot him with her rocket launcher to buy them some time.
"Our contact amongst the Killjoys has stopped responding over the last week. I suspect they've died in battle." Korse answered coldly. Why is he telling me what's going on? Maybe he's just that confident of me not being able to do anything about it.
"So?" Disco choked the word out. It felt like they were all bunched up in her throat, trapped behind her swollen tongue. There were many other things she wanted to say to him but all she could manage was the one word.
"You will be their replacement. Once you're done with the reprogramming process that is." Korse answered simply, readjusting her gas mask so that it fully covered her mouth and nose and pulling the straps tighter. "If you knock it off again I will have Widow sew it to your fucking face so sit still." Korse turned away and walked out the door to her right. The metallic spider crawled down the wall and out the door on her left. The lights flipped off again and the screen came back to life. Who was their first plant amongst the Killjoys? What do they mean reprogramming? No! No, fight it Disco!
Better Living for a better life.
Poison leaned against the half-rebuilt guard tower near the main entrance of the eastern Killjoy camp. Agent Alpaca and Tiger Beatdown had spent the last couple of hours gathering enough supplies to walk the day away in the blistering heat of the desert along with enough to provide Disco Bitch with water if she was dehydrated and first aid if she was wounded. Tiger had been hiding his fear incredibly well but Poison could still see the panic and anxiety coursing through him.
With a shake of his head, he turned away as he watched them disappear into the desert and jumped slightly in surprise when he saw Black Cherrybomb standing directly behind him, apparently waiting for him to notice.
"Fuck man, you could've at least said something. Could you not… creep up on me like that?" Poison shook his head and tapped his hand against his leg in an attempt to get the paranoid feeling to disappear. I fucking hate when people sneak up on me.
"Sorry, I just got here if it makes you feel any better about it. I didn't get a chance to actually tell you I was there before you turned around."
"You looked lost in thought there for a moment and I didn't want to interrupt. What's on your mind if you don't mind my asking?"
"I thought you only talked to girls or some shit. I thought you had some weird Casanova complex."
"Yeah well the women seem to be dropping like flies around here." Cherrybomb hinted that he knew that Fire Frenzy had left the camp but Poison didn't feed into it. If he wants to ask about her he can do it outright instead of dancing around it. Besides, why would he care anyway?
"What do you want, Cherrybomb?"
"I want to go after Disco Bitch. On my own."
"You're not a Killjoy, I can't exactly stop you can I?" Poison said after a moment of confusion. "But, just for shits and giggles here, why do you want to go search for her? Alpaca and Tiger are going out there after her and that's already more men than I can spare."
"Yes, but they don't know the area the way that I do." Cherrybomb offered up as logic. "And for the record, I'd like to be a Killjoy again. I left because of the corruption a long time ago. I left when I realized that half the people joining were just in it for the glory of being called a Killjoy. It was like some bad ass symbol for awhile there… but that's not what it's about. I guess I forgot that too. I'd like to rejoin."
"I'd like that too." Poison furrowed his brow in confusion. That was the last thing he'd expected to hear from someone who had been so jaded about the Killjoys. Perhaps the things that had occurred in the last week had made an impact on the people around him in ways that hadn't yet surfaced. It was easy to forget that many things went unsaid in times of trial.
"Tell me I can go look for Disco. Alpaca and Tiger are from the west… how long has it been since they wandered this area? This is what I do, Poison. I roam through the desert finding things that no one else is willing to look for. If I can't find her out in the desert, then no one can." Cherrybomb put all of Poison's arguments to rest before he'd gotten to express them. Leaning against the guard tower again, Poison looked over the man in the cat suit. Despite the fact that he'd been a huge flirt since the beginning of this endeavor, Cherrybomb's heart had always seemed like it was in the right place.
"Okay, you can go. But you need to be back by morning at the very latest okay? And bring supplies. Find Fun Ghoul, he'll get a backpack for you. If you find Disco Bitch and she's injured or something you can send a flare up into the sky and I'll send reinforcements."
"That's it?" Cherrybomb's eyebrows rose high on his forehead in surprise.
"Yeah. Why is that so hard for you to believe?"
"I expected you to argue with me that Tiger and Alpaca had it under control."
"But they don't. I'm headstrong, not naïve." Poison scoffed. "Tiger's terrified she's dead and Alpaca can't stand her plus you were right. They're from the west, Alpaca's never been this far east before this and Tiger hasn't been here in years. You, as a mercenary for hire, know this place better than I probably do. You're right. If anyone can find her, it's you. Just be careful. It's the kind of heat that kills people today." Black Cherrybomb nodded his head and walked off without another word. He didn't need to reaffirm Poison's statements, or reassure him. The sooner he could go after Disco, the sooner he could hopefully help her.
He knows Frenzy's gone. I didn't even have to say anything and he knew. Poison heaved a sigh and then traveled slowly toward the prisons of the camp. He couldn't interrogate the Dracs but he could talk to Phoenix Fury about what he knew. The wound on his arm reminded him of why he'd put it off for so long. Bitterness wasn't as easy to get rid of as he had hoped it would be. Poison didn't like to admit when someone had gotten the best of him but Phoenix Fury had done that and more. It's a long shot but it's possible Frenzy went to go talk to him. She did almost brand him. The memory of Phoenix Fury's horrified face the few days prior in the fire light was enough to convince Poison to talk to him.
"I was wondering when you'd show up." Phoenix stood up in his cell. Exhaustion made him look older than he was, at least Poison was sure of that. He couldn't have been a day over twenty five.
"Yeah, well I had more important things to take care of before I visited you. Like the Dracs that infiltrated your group of so-called rebels." Poison leaned against the wall near the bars and folded his arms, only wincing a little bit as he bent his wounded arm.
"How's the arm?" Phoenix spat in annoyance. He may have been wrong about what had been going on amongst the Killjoys but it didn't mean he had to like Party Poison.
"How's the pride?" Phoenix looked away in annoyance and grunted in response to Poison's quip. A smirk curled on the right side of Poison's mouth.
"I didn't know there were Dracs amongst my men. I'd heard rumors of corruption long before I had a following. I only want to do good for this world."
"Well then, you're on the wrong side of these if that's the case." Poison pulled a key from his pocket and unlocked the cell door. He stepped back as it swung open and waited for Phoenix Fury to realize he was free. The leader of the rebels who had stormed the camp stood staring at the swinging door. He didn't leave the cell and Poison wondered if he thought part of him deserved imprisonment. I guess I'd do the same thing if I had just found out I'd been following the words of the very people I was trying to stop.
"Why are you letting me go?"
"Your Killjoys were young, naïve, and careless. One thing we stand for is unity. I've heard stories about your rebels. Killing needlessly…" Poison began to accuse the man with the green mohawk but didn't threaten him.
"That's not what I preached."
"Hard isn't it? To control a group of a hundred people without having every single one of them follow your rules."
"Yeah, it is." Phoenix Fury folded his arms. "How do you do it?"
"I didn't." Poison shrugged his shoulders. "Clearly, or you wouldn't have had to attack my camp. I should thank you."
"Waking me up to see that we'd become weak."
"Are you mocking me or something?" Phoenix Fury looked annoyed and confused. "First that pyro chick and now you…"
"You saw Fire Frenzy?" Poison cocked an eyebrow, trying not to look too eager to hear his response.
"I didn't know her name then, but yeah, she came to see me a few days ago to talk to me."
"What did she say?"
"Not a lot. She was just as cryptic as you're being now. She said I was wrong about you… though she did call you a lot of pretty terrible names." Phoenix smiled a little, finally stepping out of the cell. Testing the waters, that's what he was doing. He clearly thought it was still some kind of joke that he was being set free.
"She told you that you were wrong?"
"Only sort of. She said I did the right thing for the wrong reasons. Something about asking you about the proof I had before jumping to conclusions. I thought about it after she left and she was right. The photos could've been easily manipulated of you and the Dracs. I'd heard the same rumors that everyone else had heard. You know, the ones of you manipulating women and using your power to trade orphans for supplies."
"I've never done anything like that. I… am kind of a womanizer though." Poison looked down, ashamed for the first time of that. He had spent the last few years wasting his time on meaningless nights with women who he'd never think about again. "But I've never done anything to anyone against their will."
"I figured that out on my own, but thanks for clearing it up." Phoenix crossed his arms and walked hesitantly toward Party Poison. Something seemed off about the red headed leader of the Killjoys. He looked like he wanted to ask something but was hesitating. He stood a good few inches taller than the man in front of him, and much bulkier. Most men backed up from Phoenix when he got close but Poison didn't bother.
"Well, then I'd be honored if you'd help me here. With my Killjoys. You want to know why my men are so loyal to me? The ones who didn't follow you?"
"You're going to just tell me your secrets, no strings attached? Just like you freed me?"
"It's not a secret." Poison shrugged. Phoenix didn't seem to understand.
"These people are my family, not my army." Poison held his hand up to stop Phoenix's immediate objection. "It sounds corny and fucking stupid I know. Not everyone here is my family, but there are enough people who know me and trust me and vice versa that they help me. This isn't a job that can be done alone and the sooner you realize that, the stronger you become. No one can fight Better Living alone. Someone wise once said… united we stand, divided we fall."
"That's really your secret?" Phoenix contemplated his words for a few moments and then sighed. "Well, if I knew this was going to be some after school special I wouldn't have shot you."
"Apology accepted. Honestly, I would've shot me too." Shuffling his feet, Poison walked past him and started discussing what he really wanted from the man. "I need to know what happened to the western camp. And I need to know what you did with the Crow's Nest in zone two. I have valuable people out there."
"I did the same thing in the west that I did here." Phoenix shrugged his shoulders again. "I took them over the moment I got wind that Tiger Beatdown and Agent Alpaca had left. I will send one of my men over there with a letter and tell them to stand down and meet me in the desert. We can sort things out and they can be free."
"Yeah, unless the Dracs over in the west amongst your men have already figured out what we did over here and have taken over."
"Well, only time can tell. If that's the case then you can just take back the camp the way that you took it back here."
"It's not that easy. A lot of my men are wounded and so are yours. Not to mention, the western camp is all underground so it's a lot harder to storm."
"I'll help. You have a strategist right? Let me meet with them and I'll tell you how we took over." Phoenix smirked; he was quite the strategist himself.
"Thank you." Poison walked past Phoenix Fury, no longer threatened by the man. "What did you do with Captain Phantom?"
"That… is more of a mystery." Running his fingers through his failing green mohawk, Phoenix looked away from Poison's gaze. "I sent a group of rebels there to barter with her. They're a valuable asset to the Killjoys and I wanted to strike a similar bargain with her the way that you have. The problem is I never heard back from the men I sent that way."
"That's because Captain Phantom probably kicked their asses." Poison couldn't help but laugh at the comical vision of the woman with the eye patch taking down the group of young rebels.
"That, or the men I sent had a Drac or two amongst them that I didn't know about and your dear Captain Phantom is dead. I told them if they weren't willing to strike a bargain then they were to be kept away from the eastern zone until I'd gained control. I can send a message their way if you like."
"I think my men should handle that. Phantom will shoot anyone she doesn't recognize if the Dracs shook them up."
"Whatever you think is best. You know her far better than I do."
"So that's it huh? I'm free to go."
"You are. I know you were in this for the same reasons I am. I'm not going to punish you because the Dracs fooled you. I would've done the same thing if the tables were turned."
"That's what she said actually… The pyro." Phoenix looked toward the doorway then back at the red headed Killjoy.
"She said she would've done the same thing."
"Did she?" Poison scoffed a bit and looked at the ground. "Did she say anything else? Like… what she was going to do next?"
"No, I'm afraid she didn't." Phoenix Fury walked to the doorway. "So…"
"Yes, you can go. I need to think."
"No, not that."
"So, hard ass, womanizing Party Poison does have a heart, after all." Phoenix smirked knowingly. Party Poison chose not to respond to the comment. Why am I suddenly so easy to read? People used to have no idea what the hell I was thinking and now this green haired fucker who barely knows me can even tell I'm lamenting! God damnit!
"Just go before I change my mind, okay?" Poison tried to look threatening but Phoenix smiled in a way to let him know he'd clearly not been afraid.
"Thanks Party Poison."
Frenzy planted her feet firmly on the old and worn carpet as Destroyer tried to drag her across the room. Instigator and Obliterator turned their backs on the scene as though they didn't want to see what their brother had in store for the tiny woman. I'm not going down without a fight. I'll find my way out of this.
"Stop struggling, little girl."
"Fuck you!" Frenzy spat and suddenly relaxed her feet and stopped resisting his pulling her. Destroyer stumbled backwards from the strength he'd been using to pull the girl forward and the momentum he'd built up. Frenzy twisted her wrist free and grabbed her ray gun from its holster. She fell to the ground and dropped the gun as Destroyer lunged at her ankle and pulled her down. A grunt escaped her lips as the wind was knocked out of her. Her nails dug into the carpet in front of her as she groped for her gun, but bent uncomfortably and bled as Destroyer dragged her forward.
"Oh just you wait you little bitch…" Destroyer forced her to her feet and grabbed both her wrists. Frenzy cursed under her breath as he dragged her into one of the theaters she hadn't bothered to check earlier. Perhaps she should've checked them first, judging by what she's seen. I take back what I said about predictability.
Children sat in rows, scattered throughout the theater. Some of them stared at the screen in front of them with blank dead eyes, even bloody, and others were maimed and trying to find release. Several heads turned to look at her, accusing, begging her for help.
"He's killing us!"
"Run, he'll kill you too…" The little boy closest to her as she was dragged down the stairs spoke, not bothering to look at her as he did. He'd given up on his life, quite clearly. He stared blankly ahead at the blank movie theater screen.
No, no, not now, not now, I can't do this, not now! Frenzy's breath caught in her throat and panic struck her. She couldn't breathe, her fingers were going numb and her knees were locking up. Closing her eyes could block out their dead and hollow faces, but she could still hear their voices calling to her for help. She wasn't sure if the voices were real or in her head. Were any of these children really alive or was it all just her mind playing tricks on her again? Frenzy was forced out of her thoughts when Destroyer shoved her into the aisle and forced her into one of the theater seats.
"You are going to sit and you're going to fucking watch!" Destroyer's eyes were empty which scared Frenzy more than the insanity she'd seen there. At least when she'd seen his madness there had been some semblance of humanity left within him. Now there was nothing but the cold dead stare of someone who'd seen too much death. Is that what I look like when you're talking to me?
"Better Living thinks that they're programming more super soldiers here… soldiers like my brother but you know what they've really been doing?" Destroyer leaned over her chair and let his tongue hang out like a rabid dog, dripping with drool. Frenzy narrowed her eyes at him not responding but instead trying to find some sign of weakness which was a lot harder with her actually being frightened. It wasn't something she often felt, but this kind of fear was crippling. "I fucking asked you a question, and you will fucking answer me!"
"What are they doing then, asshole?" Frenzy managed to mutter. It wasn't smart to piss him off further. She had to buy time to get out of this. Something seemed unstable about him, other than the obvious insanity. If she could tap into that instability perhaps she could at least find the opportunity to run to the door and get the hell out of there.
"Nicer." Destroyer wrapped his unnaturally long fingers around her throat and squeezed. "Or I crush your airways and watch you choke on your own vomit." If she hadn't instantly felt the panic of her lungs in need of air then Frenzy would've resisted, but instead she choked out his demand as quickly as she could.
"What are they doing? What are you doing?" Frenzy gasped against the pressure of his hand then gasped for air as Destroyer released her neck and walked down the aisles of the movie theater. Glancing back at the door she knew she couldn't get there in time before he'd turn and catch her.
"That's better. One by one… I've been taking BL/ind's little toys and fucking with them. I'll destroy them all one way or another. They think they can replace me and my family so easily? I'll tear each of their experiments limb from limb, sew them back up and then they can tell me how fucking precious they are!" Destroyer laughed, leaning over the destroyed body of a little girl. She couldn't watch what would come next and turned her head to look around the theater, hearing the sickening sound of teeth gnashing against flesh. The children around him were screaming and crying, begging him to stop and leave them alone.
Frenzy couldn't take listening to their anguish anymore. Creeping to her feet and into the aisle, she ignored the small hand on her skirt and the sound of a little girl telling her to run while she could, to leave them because they're already ruined. You're never ruined.
"Where do you think you're going? Coming to beg for my forgiveness? They all beg in the end, you'll be no different." Destroyer stood up straight and turned to face Fire Frenzy. Blood dripped down his chin, over his neck. His tongue snaked out to lick his lips clean of it and she got a glance of fangs once again. "Something tells me you're stubborn though, this should be fun."
"Fun? You think this is fun?" Frenzy snarled in disgust. "You pick on them because they're weak and helpless and you think that you're some kind of big bad vampire?"
"Big talk for a woman with no gun." Destroyer reached for her wrist to pull her again, seeming like he was enjoying the taunting. "I am a big bad vampire and I'm going to drain you dry, rip out your fucking throat and destroy your corpse so that no one will fucking recognize you…"
The sick thud of her blade pushing through flesh echoed through the theater. Each child that could turned their head to look at the two standing in the aisle. Frenzy had snuck her blade out of her boot when she'd sat in the chair and with all the strength she had, had dug it into Destroyer's chest. He stared at the blade in surprise and the blood that began to drip down his chest through the thick black shirt he wore.
With another grunt of frustration Frenzy gave the blade another push and twisted as hard as her arm would allow her. "You're not a fucking vampire, you're a fucking psycho path. You think you're a big man torturing these fucking kids? Not such a big fucking vampire now with a hole in your fucking chest!" Frenzy didn't bother taking the knife back. She shoved him away, since he seemed momentarily stunned and ran to the front of the theater.
The children were all silent, watching her and seeming amazed that she had gotten to Destroyer the way she had. Destroyer, on the other hand, stumbled back and fell to the ground, hands shaking as he felt the blood dripping down his chest. He'd never bled before, not since the experiments.
"Come on, hurry! Get out of here! You don't have much time…" Frenzy whispered as she worked on the bonds that enslaved the children to their chairs. She even released the dead and gone ones, just to give them a chance. Maybe their souls will find peace if nothing else.
"Why are you staying? He'll get you!" A young boy who stumbled to his feet looked confused.
"Go, just go." Frenzy was losing it, and very quickly. Usually it would take days of staring at corpses and photographs of the dead to send her this far but here she was, descending into the depths of her mind.
Destroyer was fixated on the blood and licked his fingers clean of it. It'd taken him a few moments to get it together. Children were running out of the emergency exits the theater had been equipped with when it had functioned as such a thing. His anguish sounded more like a roar than a scream. With one swift tug he pulled the knife free of his rib cage and surveyed the theater.
"You stupid bitch! You didn't even try to run? You just fucking lost your chance!" Destroyer's voice had changed. What had once been menacing and taunting was now deep and unearthly. Frenzy recalled the old movies about possession she'd seen in her youth and if she hadn't known better she would've thought he had the devil in him. She half expected for him to cry out "We are Legion" at any moment.
Fingers trembling, she worked on the bonds of the children in the second row. Even if it meant dying at his hands, she'd let as many of these kids free as she could. No one deserved to be tortured and eaten. Her hands were numb and she sat stunned when the face of the little girl she was trying to free ripped in two. Destroyer stood behind her and grabbed what was left of the girl's chin, plunging Frenzy's knife into her skull a second time. Hot blood splattered on Frenzy's face and against her better judgment she jumped onto the arm rests of the little girl's seat and launched herself at Destroyer.
He'd not anticipated her to make such a rash move and they both fell back into the seats behind them. Frenzy rolled onto the floor in the row behind him, landing on her arm, sticking to the floor in the blood from the maimed children. Getting to her feet she barely made it upright before Destroyer grabbed her. With an unnatural strength and rage only matched by her own, Destroyer threw Fire Frenzy across the theater. Her back ached as the seats behind her fell apart, and shattered to the ground.
Fingers twitching in pain, Frenzy used the destroyed seats to pull herself to her feet. Weak knees made her stumble forward and nearly fall back down.
"You made me bleed you bitch! You know how you'll pay? You've doomed these kids, I was only going to fuck with them and now I'm going to destroy them, then I'm going to destroy you!" Destroyer pulled a boy by his hair from his seat and forced him to his feet.
"Don't hurt me, please! Help me!" The boy shook and whimpered but only blood poured from his lips when the blade met his throat and cut across.
"No!" Frenzy screamed in outrage.
"This is your fault. Your fault, your fault!" Destroyer screamed and taunted, pushing the blade angrily into the already deceased child's chest and slicing it downward until it met his navel. Frenzy didn't have any more weapons, any more tricks up her sleeve. The only thing she had left was her lighter and there was nothing flammable around her.
Sirens rang suddenly inside of the theater. Someone had pulled the fire alarm, or some kind of alarm. Frenzy couldn't tell what Better Living had it rigged for and she didn't care. Unless it brought Dracs. Then she cared.
It is your fault. This psycho is right. You doomed these kids to death. You saved what, fourteen at the most? Now they're all going to die. "No." Frenzy muttered and pushed her hands over her ears, trying to block out the voices. Stop it, stop it. Not now, not now! You are going to die if you don't get it together! Your fault, your fault! You deserve to die! Die and rot for each little life you stole.
"Pay attention to me you bitch! Don't you care that I'm killing them?" Destroyer saw she was staring at him, but not really looking at him. He'd had enough of her defiance, and enough of her annoyances.
"Stop hurting them! Hurt me if you have to, but leave them alone!" Frenzy's throat felt raw and scratched up. The dizziness she felt made her aware of the blood dripping down the back of her neck. She must have hit her head on something when he'd thrown her. "You're not worth paying attention to!"
"Oh, I'm not?" Growling between clenched teeth, Destroyer approached her and grabbed her, shoving her on the ground. The building felt like it was trembling. Things were shaking, Frenzy wasn't just going mad. Or was she? Her head was splitting and she pushed her hand in his face, digging her nails at his eyes. There was no way she was going to go down without a fight but as the knife cut into her arm her grip on his skin failed and she screamed in pain.
"That's it, bleed! Bleed like a stuck pig!" Destroyer cackled and licked the blade of the knife. Frenzy closed her eyes and tried to reach for the wound on her arm, urging it close to her chest and up, to try and stop the bleeding but the knife tore at her flesh again. "Like butter melting under a hot knife, you cut too easy you bitch. Bleeder, bleeder."
"Fuck!" The pain made her twitch and made crawling away nearly impossible. Destroyer stood up and Frenzy did her best to scoot back, cradling her maimed arm to her chest. Gagging on the blood in her throat, Frenzy coughed as Destroyer kicked at her ribs and grabbed the wound on her left arm.
"That's right, scream, cry, plead because no one will fucking hear you! I will fucking hang you outside this theater as my fucking prize you bitch!" Frenzy didn't bother responding to his taunts, she was in far too much pain and each time she opened her mouth, blood dripped down her lips.
"Destroyer! What the hell did you do?" The voice of Instigator echoed through the theater. The sprinklers built into the ceiling sprang to life and poured water all over the theater. Frenzy laid twitching on the ground as Destroyer dropped her.
"Stay out of this Instigator…" His growl was dangerous and threatening.
"You were supposed to kill her not the experiments and even worse… You let her hurt you? You're a failure." Her voice was on edge, even though it was monotonous.
Are they both mad? Frenzy wondered momentarily if this was how people felt around her: absolutely and utterly terrified. Destroyer finally looked away from her and back at his sister.
"I will do as I please! She's mine, I'll slice her up, eat her alive and make her mine! I will cut each of their throats and I'll cut yours too if you try to stop me!"
"You are out of control Destroyer!"
"You are out of your league sister!" Frenzy watched the two standoff and was shocked as she saw Destroyer lunge at Instigator, only to be thrown back by some unseen force that Instigator must have caused with just a wave of her hand.
"Holy shit…" Frenzy whispered in awe. She didn't have any time to be amazed by the power this woman had. This was her chance. She had to get away. If she didn't, then she never would. Her first attempt to get to her feet was thwarted by her left arm crumbling beneath the pressure. Laying face first on the ground she took a deep breath and forced herself to grit through the pain and get to her feet. The fight raged on behind her between the two super human creatures and she stumbled out the door of the theater. The water from the sprinklers made her sore and caused her wounds to sting but she had to trudge on. It was only a few more feet to the front doors, to her motorcycle and her flamethrower. She walked a bit further wanting to retrieve her gun that she'd dropped earlier and then cried out in surprise as she was thrown back again.
"Just because my brother couldn't take care of you doesn't mean you get away." The man in the bowler hat, Obliterator, held his cane in both hands. With a quick twist the snake head separated from the remainder of the cane and revealed a long blade. He discarded the cane like piece and pinned her before she could get off of the ground.
"You can let me go. Killing me accomplishes nothing. I'm not a Killjoy and I'm too crazy for anyone to be outraged."
"No, no… pretty little girl, don't think I'm as stupid as my brother is." Frenzy closed her eyes and winced, feeling the blade's tip scrape against her face, just enough to make her bleed but not enough to maim her.
"I don't think any of you are stupid, I just think you're crazy…" She hissed against the pain in her face.
"Hey! Dick!" Frenzy and Obliterator looked toward the doorway in confusion. The little girl who Frenzy had ushered out of the theater earlier, Grace, was standing there holding Frenzy's flamethrower. No! No what is she doing! She's going to get killed and it'll be my fault! Damnit! "Let her go!" Grace aimed the flamethrower and started setting things on fire. Sirens and alarms were going off left and right and Obliterator started toward the little girl to stop her, but was burned in the flames, yelling in frustration and anger.
Frenzy got to her feet, ignoring the pain she felt and picked up her ray gun she'd lost earlier when Destroyer had dragged her into the theater. Without looking back she grabbed Grace by the arm and dragged her into the parking lot in front of the theater.
"You're out of your mind kid! You're going to get yourself killed!"
"I couldn't leave you there with him after you saved us! It wasn't fair! He was going to kill you! I could hear you screaming all the way down the block!" Grace looked frightened but determined. Frenzy would've smiled and reassured her if she hadn't been in so much pain.
"Come on, let's get out of here."
"Your bike is totaled." Grace grabbed her arm and handed her the flame thrower. "Instigator came out afterward and destroyed it. I saw her do it. But I'd grabbed your gun beforehand. I needed protection for my friends."
"Fuck, let's find a car. I can hotwire it." Frenzy stumbled along with the little girl. Grace looked panicked and Frenzy couldn't blame her. No amount of insanity was going to stop her from saving this little girl, even though right now she'd been the one who had been saved. There was a lone sedan in the parking lot and it looked long abandoned but Frenzy would make it work. She used her left arm to break through the glass. Her right arm had gone numb and she was woozy with blood loss but she'd fight it until she couldn't any longer.
Unlocking the doors after breaking the window Frenzy got into the driver's seat and crouched low. She heard the passenger door close, letting her know that Grace had climbed into the car. Frenzy discarded her guns in the back seat and pulled the electronic panel down from underneath the steering wheel.
"Keep an eye out, Grace." Frenzy whispered and heard the girl shift in her seat to keep watch. It'd been so long since Frenzy had worked on a car that she was getting confused. The blood in her eyes didn't help and her right hand wouldn't stop trembling. "Damnit…" She hooked the wires together and heard the telltale sound of the engine trying to turn over. "Got it!" The engine roared to life and Grace screamed at the top of her lungs. The car bounced with the weight of something landing on the hood. Frenzy looked up just in time to see the windshield shattering as Destroyer smashed at the front of the car with his fists.
"You're not getting away!" He hissed and growled. Bloody and injured, he'd obviously managed to get away from Instigator to come after her. Grabbing her by the back of her jacket, with one swift pull he tugged her through the hole he'd made in the glass of the windshield.
"You know how to drive?" Frenzy yelled to Grace who squeaked back that she could out of fear.
"Well what are you waiting for? Go!" Frenzy screamed. Grace was terrified. If she got into the driver's seat and slammed the accelerator she'd hurt Fire Frenzy, but she'd also get away to safety. "Go! To the third zone! Ask for Party Poison! Tell him I sent you!"
"But what about you?"
"She's a bit busy little girl, you'll have to try back later." Destroyer hissed and covered Frenzy's mouth. He threw her off of the hood of the car and felt her shirt tear and the zipper rip against her skin as she hit the asphalt of the parking lot. Frenzy struggled to get back onto the ground but her head was aching and throbbing. She crawled forward and then screamed in pain as she felt a bite on her right thigh. "Keep trying to escape, I like to watch you struggle!" Destroyer bit at her skin again and tugged pulling the gore from her leg.
"No! Let her go!" Grace's voice caught her by surprise again as she ran from the car to her aid.
"No you don't!" Obliterator grabbed the little girl by the arm and tugged her back toward the theater.
"No! Leave her be! Let her go!" Frenzy forced herself to a sitting position. Destroyer grabbed her wounded wrist and threw her back toward the car. Frenzy wanted to tell them to take her instead of Grace. Perhaps she had pissed them off enough that her life would be more valuable than the little girl's. The words she had for them though wouldn't come and she could see the edges of her vision starting to fade.
No! No! I can't go, not yet! Frenzy's vision continued to darken, despite her trying to fight to get upright. She expected to feel Destroyer on her again at any second but instead saw the dimming light of laser fire. Boots stepped into her vision, apparently protecting her but she fell into unconsciousness before she could find out if it was a friend or foe, firing the laser overhead.