Brief felt the weight of the world lift from his shoulders after his meal with Panty, who swore that she would help him and Kneesocks escape Daten City for Oten. He was unsure if he would truly go to Oten City, or if he would simply take his love to a different place that no one would expect. Maybe Canada, Ohio, or even something a little more obscure such as Colorado? Either way, he already had his stuff partially packed, something that he did since he obtained the old home as a teenager in case he had to leave due to a crisis of some sort, and found himself done with packing everything that needed to come with him. It was at this point that he decided to look over what he would be carrying on his person for the remainder of this trip.
His PKE Meter, which was his pride and joy in terms of Ghost Hunting, was now fully equip to do more than just suck up small Ghosts and fire smokescreens. It could now shoot anything it sucks up like a cannon, allowing him to use debris or small Ghosts as ammunition against the enemy, though he also had some basic grenades that could automatically load itself into the launch tube so he could fire them in the event he had no debris or small Ghost. With the solar panels that existed along the side panels of the PKE Meter, as well as the small windmill turbine that existed at the front, he knew that there wouldn't be a situation that his Meter would be without energy, which made some of his more...crazy modifications more useful.
He also brought along several bags of smoke bombs, "Hornet Nests", a dangerous grenade that, upon contact, released a barrage of small steel pellets at every direction, fire bombs, and some knock-out gas chambers, all of which were hidden in the inside of his jumpsuit. That wasn't to say that he had nothing for close range, as he had a pistol hidden on his back, right under the PKE Meter, which was modified to become a knife if certain conditions were met, and had two daggers hidden in his sleeves. He was prepared for a strong onslaught of his father's guards to detain him, and Briefers wasn't going to get captured without a fight. Especially if he did it in front of a camera, for he wouldn't mind ruining his father's reputation in the process if it meant the man would let him go.
"You ready to go Brief?" Panty's words broke him from his mental list, causing him to turn to her. Though she had some sweat on her forehead due to helping him load up, she looked refreshed and, dare he say, amused at him? No, be logical here. Panty is most likely enjoying doing something so crazy and insane that she would be amused at the situation no matter what he did. She was the get-a-way driver, as well as a mercenary, if you will, to protect him and Kneesocks so they could escape.
"Yea. Lets get going." Panty shook her head, fishing something out of her pocket, and threw it at him in a single blur of movement. It was thanks to all of the close calls he had chasing Ghosts with the Angels that he found himself being able to catch the blur, which turned up to be her Heaven-issued cell phone.
"You gotta call to make sure she is ready Brief." With a nod of thanks, he dialed Kneesocks' number. He was sure that nothing happened to her, though she might be worried as to where he went, or why he skipped the remainder of school.
"Hi Kneesocks." Kneesocks sounded cautious. Was she in class at the moment? "I was wondering if I could pick you up at the moment?" He was expecting several different responses to come from her. He expected: "I'm still in school", "I need to get away from Scanty and Fastener first", "Why did you leave the school", "What did you and your father argue about first", and so many more different variables. Instead, he got something he didn't expect.
"Sure Brief." The tone she used sounded sad. A sadness he himself heard in his own tone when he felt all was lost during his time growing up, or when he was rejected by Panty in the past. "Could you pick me up from the beach in about two hours? I can say that I want some alone time, which would make no one question me." What happened while he was gone? Alarms of concern and worry were screaming in his heart, wanting him to go to where she was to hold her in his arms, yet he couldn't do that. As much as it hurt him, he knew that, if he went to her, he could be captured by both his father's men, as well as anyone Corset set on him, which would defeat his purpose of escaping with Kneesocks.
"Did something happen between you and Scanty babe?" Nothing could stop him from asking for some information on her status though. Her happiness was his top priority after all. A small, dead chuckle came from the other end of his phone, yet he was unsure if it was his girlfriend's chuckle, or someone elses.
"Scanty and I...had a fight Brief. I'll tell you about it later. Love you."
"Love you too Kneesocks. I'll see you soon alright?"
"Alright..." With a short pause, and what may have been a choke of a sob, the line died, causing Brief to worry even more. Scanty and Kneesocks were the closest pair of sisters he saw since Panty and Stocking, which meant that whatever happened between the two Demons had to hurt Kneesocks more than any simple physical battle injury could ever hope to inflict. Still, there was nothing he could do at the moment, and handed Panty back her phone. It was then that he noticed her concerned expression.
"Something amiss with your girlfriend Romeo?" Did he truly want to answer that? He wasn't sure, especially with it putting himself on edge in terms of going through with his plan. He didn't need doubts to plague his mind right now! Those thoughts could be confronted when he and Kneesocks were out of Daten City together! If he kept thinking about them... No. No!
'Keep your mind off the what-ifs Briefers!' "She and her sister got into some sort of argument that has her shaken up. I'll talk to her about it once we're on the road." Panty smirked at him and, with a twirl of her keys, got See-Through's engine to roar from the house. How she did it, he didn't know, but it made him grin and walk out behind her with the last box he needed to bring out. As they got into the car, Brief took one last look at the building that meant so much to him, protected, and helped him move on to become who he was today...
"Thank you..." Panty cast him a glance.
"You say something Brief?"
"Just thanking you for helping me out Panty." She smiled at him, and gave him a thumbs up for good measure.
"Not a problem Briefers my man!" As the blonde drove off, Brief paid no mind to the sudden explosion that took place after they got past the first two lights, knowing full well that after this, he would never return to the home of his father, or to the comfort of his mother's residence. Unfortunately, it seemed as if the explosion didn't attract all of the Black Suit's attention as he had hoped, for two black, unmarked Sedans suddenly pulled out of the parking lots behind them, causing him to glare at the sight. "It seems your little light show didn't attract all the bugs like you hoped."
"Tell me bout it." Brief glanced from the side mirror, noticing that one of the windows were being opened, and plucked out one of the Hornet Nests. His idea was going to be a little crazy, but it would take out one of the cars, or possibly both. "Brake check them!" Panty smirked at him with a crazy gleam in her eyes, but she held no hesitation as she slammed on the brakes, making the car behind them stop mere inches from their back bumper.
"Do your thing fucker!" Brief threw the Hornet Nest with all his strength without hesitation through the front windshield, instantly ducking below a bullet that was aimed for his shoulder.
"DRIVE!" Panty didn't have to be told twice, for she went from zero to seventy within seconds, making the other Sedan go faster to catch up to them. A wail of screams soon filled the air as the bomb did its trick, though a small hail of gun fire made him focus on the current threat at hand. He couldn't shoot at them with his pistol due to the speed they were traveling, and throwing another bomb was going to be just as risky as it would be a waste of his ammunition, which didn't leave him with many other options. Before he could think of any secondary plans, the Sedan slammed into them from back left tire, as if they were making them spin out of control.
"Nuh-uh shit-faces! Take some of this!" Panty made a harsh right turn with See-Through, slamming the right side of the car into them, creating a serious dent that made the front right tire of the Sedan explode from the impact. As soon as their cars made contact, the windows opened, showing the barrels of several different guns that, upon exposure, released gunfire. The bullets, most likely due to some enchantment upon See-Through itself, didn't puncture the car or the windshield itself, yet this allowed Brief to pull out a grenade to throw into the car; however, as soon as he threw it towards them, a bullet struck the aerial explosive, causing it to explode between the two cars.
Fortunately for Brief and Panty, this caused a nice little cloud of fire and smoke that helped cover their escape. At least, for the time being, for the duo kept their eyes peeled for any other Black Suits coming towards them in any sort of Sedan. Brief personally knew that his father would be sending more Suits to capture him, so it was the factor of where they would be coming from that was worrying him more than anything else. Despite how efficiently the Suits worked, they didn't know anything about him to decide as to where he would be leaving, and even if they somehow blocked each exit out of Daten City from the highway, there were side streets and other methods he could always leave by, which made their attempts futile in retrospect. They could even swarm the streets with cars, yet that would only make the road clogged for anyone to maneuver to catch him, and Panty could shoot their engines to make the vehicle explode.
No, Brief, at this point, didn't care about the lives of any Black Suits, and that didn't bother him in the slightest. Each of those men knew that they were disposable when they signed up with my father, so why should he feel anything for them? A loud, positive cheer escape Panty's mouth, causing the teenage boy to look at her with a grin of his own.
"We sure kicked their asses! Those dumb bodyguards got nothing on us!" Panty pulled past a few red lights, avoiding some of the nasty speed bumps that normally caught the unaware, yet something felt odd about the situation. He needed to think like his father right now. The cars wouldn't catch them, and there was no way for him to lay traps or any sort of police barricade to block them from escaping, so what else could he do?
Pain suddenly made itself known to his cheek, making him cringe and gasp with his fingers pressing into the new, mysterious wound. How did-
"FUCK ME SIDEWAYS!" Panty shouted as she made a sharp turn through an underpass, allowing for Brief to turn and see what was the problem that Panty noticed. His jaw dropped as he saw the black helicopter fly above the overpass, instantly awaiting them on the other side if he had to bet any sort of money on it.
"We either need to speed past everyone, or turn around!" A wicked grin appeared on Panty's face. That wasn't a good sign.
"You ever watch Men in Black boyo?" Without even awaiting his reply, she slammed See-Through to the wall, forcing it to buckle before it somehow defied gravity to ride on the vertical wall. Before he knew it, the blonde was going eighty on the roof of the underpass with his hands desperately clutching his seat to confirm he would stay in his seat. His eyes began to water due to the sheer speed they drove at, and he couldn't think of why the boxes that were in the back seat weren't falling, yet when they shot out from the underpass, Panty spun the wheel to make See-Through flip right-side up, and land on the busy overpass in a manner he didn't even begin to describe.
Was this the luck of an Angel?
Panty didn't stop See-Through to see if there was any damage when they landed on the overpass. Instead, she drove even faster, cutting cars and trucks off to the point where small pile-ups were occurring behind them. If those pile-ups became any bigger, then there wouldn't be any cars or trucks around them to act as cover, and without that cover, the helicopter could shoot at them all it wanted. If he would have thought of aerial assault, he would have brought some sort of heat-seeking missiles for his PKE Meter. Ugh, this was why he didn't rush himself when it came to planning!
As if to make life worse for them, four Sedans were parked near an entrance ramp ahead of them, each with someone standing out of the roof with some sort of grenade launcher in their hands. He knew that Panty could shoot the grenade launchers out of their hands with ease, but that would make her swerve all over the place, or she would be forced to stop, which could be what the Black Suits wanted. He had another plan. A plan that was just as crazy as the last one, if not more so! Yet it was all he had. All he had to get past the blocks that were preventing him from being with the girl he loved.
"I need you to drive towards those Black Suits full speed!" She widened her eyes and pointed at them with one of her hands.
"Are you crazy Blockhead! They have grenade launchers! GRENADE, say it with me now, LAUNCHERS!"
"I got a little gift for them." Instead of showing her a single grenade, he pulled out a strip of seven, getting the blonde to grin once more.
"You're one crazy ass mother fucker Briefers boy." Panty slammed on the gas pedal, making them go even faster than before. "But that's why I'm liking you right now! HELL YEA!" The Black Suits ahead of them, seeing them speeding towards them without sign of stopping, moved out of the way to avoid any collisions. But that was what Brief wanted. He, as soon as their bumpers were only feet away from each other, pulled the string that held the seven pins, and, with a single click of a button, flung the grenades around them in a flashy manner. Though he normally wouldn't have done that, it had the effect of making one of the men standing fumble with their grenade launcher to the point where, when its barrel was pointing at the roof of the Sedan, allowed him to shoot up and grab it, effectively taking it, as well as knocking the man to the ground.
"Ka-boom!" Brief shouted as he placed the tip of the PKE Meter to the back of the launcher, hoping that he could carve out the back of the barrel so he could use the launcher for extra range. He didn't have much to work with, especially with Panty driving as quickly as she was, which made it impossible for him to hear the explosion that occurred behind them. He was able to see it through the side mirror though, and the sight of the Black Suits-
"Shit!" The duo swore as both side mirrors were shot off within seconds, making it more difficult for them to see behind them. Panty cut off a semi without a second to lose, getting off the highway and gave him a look.
"Where the hell are we to go with a helicopter following us Briefers?"
"Why not the cliché parking garage?" He replied. "If we can find one with a building right next to it, we'll be able to fly off the roof of the garage, I can shoot at those bastards with the grenade launcher," At this point he raised his grenade launcher extension, allowing him to test the overall weight of this odd combination that you'd expect to find in Dead Rising, "and we'll most likely either land in the building we'll crash into." He exchanged the grenade launcher for his special, untraceable laptop, began typing for parking garages in the local area, and found himself rewarded within seconds with each of the closest parking garages, as well as how many levels each one had.
Many would to call someone like him a hacker, but he preferred the term paranoid.
"There is a mall about seven lights to our left that has a twenty floors parking garage with a special elevator for shipping large loads. If we can get to it, we can get on the roof!" The blonde Angel made a sharp turn that, fortunately for them, didn't cause any accidents to occur, yet he spotted the helicopter flying at a lower altitude, possibly to shoot at them. But they wouldn't, right? The street was too populated-
"Da-Fak!" Craters started to appear on the road, curtsey of the bullets the helicopter shot at them, and they nearly fell into the last one that appeared in front of See-Through. "LETS GO!" Panty shouted and, with a slam of her foot, See-Through jumped, yes JUMPED, over a rocket that would have made a crater in front of them, and dashed through the corner of a small business, causing it to collapse into the road. That didn't matter to him though, as Panty forced his head down, in adversely closing the laptop in the process, as they rammed through a building.
Screams broke the barriers of his ears as Panty drove on. Sickening sounds were heard, though what exactly was damaged Brief would never know in the process; however, Panty let go of his head what seemed to be minutes later, allowing him to see that they were now driving through the mall that he pointed out. She had a panicked expression on her face now, as if she knew that trouble was coming her way and didn't know what to do, but that wouldn't be right. She's done this kind of mindless destruction before...wait...
Wrong Panty. The current Panty doesn't really recall her destructive habits.
"Where are we going from here Brief boy?!" They, at this point, were now circling around the center of the mall, which had a Merry-Go-Round and a few different car displays as sweepstake prizes. None of this mattered though, as Brief was quick to open up his laptop once again to reveal the quickest path to get to the parking garage. He waited a moment, letting the screen load up, and grinned when the computer came up with a result.
"Gotcha!" See-Through ran through a small booth that dealt with spray paint, causing a small explosion of paint and flames to spread throughout the mall within seconds. Was it possible that it wasn't Panty that was destructive, but the car?
"Go through that construction site and we'll be able to see the industrial elevator leading to the supply shaft!" Panty, if possible, poured more power into See-Through, making it take on a sharper look right before they went through the wall that hid the elevator. Despite the dry wall chunks that hit the two of them, it seemed like See-Through wasn't damaged at all, which was yet another mystery that would never be solved. Despite the interest in figuring out how the car worked, Brief shoved the thought in the back of his mind as Panty drove past some screaming workers to barge into the elevator. Then, with a click of a button, they moved upwards, and the awkward elevator music began.
"So you think your weapon will have the punch needed to make fireworks Briefy?" The teen blinked before grabbing his PKE to adjust it a bit more to ensure that everything would work. He found out that, due to the crashing of several walls, some dust and debris hit the main shaft of his weapon, yet it was nothing that would truly make all of the destruction they caused all for naught. What it meant was that they may have to get a bit closer to the helicopter...
"Yea," Brief began with a sigh, "but don't ease on the gas as soon as we get to the ramp that will allow us to get air time."
"Got'cha Brief. I won't let you down." Panty nodded with a smile. Despite the awkward elevator music, Brief felt nothing but peace and perfection amongst the chaos that was being caused at this time. It made him think that, if Panty had always been like this...if he may have met her much earlier in his life when she first came to Daten City...could they have been happy like this all the time?
'No...' Brief shook his head, and quickly hid the action with a quick, fake cough so his partner in crime wouldn't question him. 'I can't think of what-ifs and fantasies. I have the rest of my life waiting at that beach, and when I see her, we'll leave the past behind for good!' He held many memories within Daten City's rubble. Memories that he would always feel a pang of regret for leaving behind in this city, yet what else could he say? He felt like he was at a funeral where he had to use up ten minutes of their time to speak, yet all he had to say would take up four minutes. Daten City was one chapter of his life...
But he now had the rest of his to worry for.
"It's show time!" The duo shouted at the same time, causing the duo to glance at each other. When the doors fully opened, they were rewarded with the view of no helicopter in sight. Before Panty could speed off though, Brief held his hand up, causing her to pause. With a few clicks on his keyboard, he had access to the neighboring cameras, and found the helicopter to their right, were a smaller, yet stable ramp waited for them, but they were a few levels lower than them. If he had to assume anything, he guessed that they were waiting for them to leave through the parking garage instead of the roof.
"They're over there," he whispered to her, "but a few floors down."
"So you figure to roll over and shoot them down right?"
"Exactly. Plus..." Brief pulled out the remainder of his smoke bombs. A sight that made the blonde Angel widen her eyes at the sheer amount of them. "With these, we can cause so much smoke to hide our escape that anyone else, may they be police or Black Suits, would be trying to find us would be a few hours behind." It took a moment for what he said to register to the blonde before she smirked and slapped his back a few times. She pulled in, resting her head against his.
"You know...you could become an assassin or some sort of bodyguard with all of these tactics you keep pulling out of your ass Brief. Ever consider it?"
"Nope, but I can worry about my future when we get the hell out of here." With that, Panty slammed on the pedal, spinning right before straightening themselves out and speeding over to the ramp. Unfortunately for them, the sound of See-Through's engine must have alerted his father's bodyguards to their position, for the helicopter appeared at their eye level within moments. "Keep going!" Brief shouted before he put the strip of smoke bombs in his mouth, and had the PKE Meter ready to fire.
"Get out of the way!" Brief heard one of the Black Suits shout, though it was all for naught when Panty launched off the ramp. Instead of going through the opening of the helicopter like Brief thought would happen due to Angel luck, they bounced off the door frame of the aircraft, causing them to get directed to a few buildings behind them. Knowing that they wouldn't get a second shot at this, Brief turned around, ignoring the sting of making a sharp turn while wearing the seatbelt, and shot the grenade launcher with precise aim. It didn't take long for the screams to occur as the grenade exploded, causing shrapnel and bloody ooze to rain from the sky. It was at this point that Brief released the smoke bombs he had, causing fog to fall to the ground below, and scaring the citizens of Daten City.
By the time they made it to the ground floor through some destructive tactics, the city seemed to be covered in the fog, and with the cover came car accidents and traffic jams. Surprisingly, this was what Brief hoped for, as everyone would be too busy trying to leave or tend to the injured to chase after them. With a nod shared between the two, the duo quickly left Daten City through the back roads with a satisfied feeling unlike anything either of them felt before.
The beach. A simple place to have fun in the sun with the waves crashing against the heated skin to bring about a refreshing sensation. To some, it was paradise, while to others the beach was hell due to their self-esteem about their bodies being low. Some, like Garterbelt, would use its popularity as a source to make some extra cash. But to him, Briefers Rock, it was the gateway to a whole new life.
The beach, at the moment, looked beautiful due to it being sunset. The lowering sun danced amongst the horizon, bringing about it the warm colors of orange and red towards the natural mirror that was water. The red of the sky reminded him of Kneesocks...Oh how he missed her so much! He had a feeling that she would appear any time now to leave with him, though he wondered what would happen with the Angels and Garterbelt. Things should be better without him to an extent, since he normally got in the way of the Angel's methods of handling Ghosts, which meant that they'd be able to work better.
"Nervous Brief?" The ginger turned to Panty, who walked towards him with two sodas in hand. He thanked her before taking the offering and drank a small sip of the stuff. He could still taste the slightest bit of dry wall in his mouth, but it was a small price to pay for this freedom. It didn't help that he had Panty park See-Through in the forest a mile or so behind the hotel so no one could easily track them through the oddity that was See-Through, so walking from where he was to the hotel and back was quite the distance.
"Yea..." Another sip taken. Another three seconds passed by without his lover. When did he see Kneesocks as more than a friend? How had their relationship grown from being enemies to lovers? Looking back, everything seemed like a big dream to him. He never thought he would get into an actual relationship during his high school years, nor did he expect to get into a relationship with the mayor's daughter, which was something that his father would have instantly put together if he had the chance to (technically, this is true, but it wasn't the right daughter). The happiness he felt when she was around...The warmth she gave him when they cuddled...Brief was honestly at peace against the world, which was something he never felt before...
And he didn't want to ruin that. Not one bit. He would fight armies of Heaven and Hell for Kneesocks. He would renounce his humanity to become a Demon like her just to stay with her. He would do anything, from moving the moon to buying an island where they could live out the rest of their days just to make the two of them happy and safe from the world. Was he crazy? Well, he is a born and raised Daten City citizen, so that was questionable... A pat on the back made him break from his thoughts, and turned to see Panty smiling at him.
"Ease up buttercup. You'll be fine!" Panty sat beside him with her eyes looking up at the sky. She looked so at ease with herself, which partially alarmed Brief since he still wasn't use to this kind of Panty. He wondered how Daten City would be with this Panty, unlike the whore that dominated men of all kinds until she drained them of their worth. "You destroyed like, what, a third of the city for this gal?" At that Brief couldn't help but to blush. He, normally, was the type to keep the Angels from causing unnecessary destruction, instead of being the source of it all. Such a change was still phantom to him, as he never predicted he would act in such a way for anyone. Not even for Panty. "So this girl has to come for you! She wouldn't stand up such a loyal boyfriend like you, so ease up."
"I know she wouldn't stand me up. It's just...what is taking her so long?" Panty looked at him with a worried expression. It looked as if she didn't have anything to say to that, which was to be expected considering the circumstance. Kneesocks, originally, told him that she'd be at the beach in two hours to meet up and leave Daten once and for all.
It's been five hours.
Yes, he could consider the fact that he and Panty destroyed parts of the highway and the streets of Daten City would hold her up. There was also to consider the police and security checks that would be put into place because of the destruction that, from what he heard, was blamed on escaped criminals, terrorists, Ghosts, and, strangely enough, aliens. He, if necessary, would stay up all night to wait for her. It wouldn't be too hard since he remembered how to camp and hunt in the wild, from the land and the sea, and he still had some supplies in terms of weapons at his disposal to keep thugs and Black Suits at bay. He never liked waiting games, but he would play it just to be with Kneesocks; however, before he could think any further about his survival lessons, the sound of tires rolling up caught his attention. He glanced out the corner of his eyes with his head tilted down to see who had parked by them, and kept his expression bricked at the sight of the black limousine. It was only when he saw the all too familiar light blue ponytail that caused him to ease his expression from emotionless to joy. When he was able to see her face though, he felt his heart shatter at the red, puffy eyes that she looked at him with, and the stains upon her cheeks that only tears could leave made him run over to her and wrapped his arms around his lover.
"Kneesocks...what is the matter?" At that point, it was as if a dam had broken from Kneesocks' eyes, as she laid her head upon his shoulder and began to cry. "Honey, what is-"
"I'm sorry..." Kneesocks mumbled in his shoulder.
"I couldn't hear you Kneesocks. What did you say?" Brief asked, but she continued to mutter the same thing over and over again.
"I'm sorry...I'm sorry...I'm sorry Brief..." Brief pulled her in for a tighter hug, hoping to be all the support she would need until she let it all out of her system. Whatever had happened between her and Scanty must have taken a toll on her, or their bond as sisters, and if that was the case. Well...He could understand why she would be acting so unusual from her normal personality.
"It'll be better soon Kneesocks. We'll get out of Daten City and leave it all behind...We'll be with each other forever my love." Kneesocks wrapped an arm around him, pulling him as close to her as possible, which made him wince at the pain from the sudden pressure of her arm. After a few moments of being held so close to her, the pain didn't dwindle. If anything, it increased, as did the faint feeling that came out of no where.
"I'm sorry..." With one last feeling of the hand on his back moving itself to his waist, Kneesocks pulled away with a spin, revealing to him her scythe that was...coated in...in his blood...
A scream would be the last thing Brief would hear for a long...
Arc 1: Corrupted Justice, Complete.