"What the fuck am I going to do?" He could hear people banging at the walls and the windows down below. He was lucky that the place was abandoned a long time ago so that the windows and other entrances were boarded over and the only thing that had been open was the door he'd broken into to get away from those who pursued him. Disco Bitch surely had to be dead if there were Killjoys out from the west attacking him. How else would they know that he had been onto their leader's plot? But why would they call him the traitor? Had Tiger so filled their minds with lies about what was going on over in the east that they were consumed with this kind of rage for him? They had wanted him dead! They didn't even give him a chance to defend himself. There was no trial, not chance for him to explain a reason for the crimes against him or to even find out the charges. All he knew is that these Killjoys were out for his blood.
He clutched the lighter in his hand so hard that he could feel the engravings of smoke, fire and explosions on it leaving indentations on his sweaty palms. What could he do to get out of this situation? He looked up. The only way out was up there. He had to try to make it to the roof and then he could figure this out from there. It was dangerous going up and he'd known from every bad movie he'd watch on VHS that going up usually meant there was no way out. Essentially going to the roof was more like a trap. They'd eventually break in and he'd have nowhere to escape to. But, the buildings in this area of the zones were built really close together and with any luck he'd be able to jump from roof to roof until he found a way down. He'd only done it a few times before in the past and it's possible he could plummet to his death in the process but it was a risk he was willing to take. It was better to die of his own stupidity than to die being called a traitor.
The problem with this plan was he needed all eyes to be diverted away from him to make a clean getaway. If people saw what he was doing then it would defeat the purpose of the escape plan he'd devised. He stopped on the third floor of the storage building and looked down at the lighter in his palm. Some of the paint was coming off on his hand, leaving a reddish stain on his skin. He looked around the room to see what he could use. There were old broken chairs, desks and wardrobes in this room. They were all flammable, made out of old fragile wood. They looked like they'd break if they were thrown.
"That could work
" He could set them on fire and use them like bombs out the windows. His initial thought had been to set the building itself on fire but that would compromise the integrity of the building and make it harder for him to survive his escape. At this point he needed every bit of help he could get to make it out alive. He needed to get back to headquarters and alert his Killjoys of the plot to kill them. He would have to figure out how to approach this situation with Tiger Beatdown without killing all of his men. The only thing he could think to do was to take the west encampment by force which wouldn't be easy since he knew it would all be underground. He had old schematics of it somewhere but knew that the layout had likely changed a long time ago.
" He muttered to himself. He couldn't think of any of this now, there wasn't any time for it. All he really wanted was to find the arms dealer who belonged to this lighter and ask her to give him his drugs back or pay for them. He really wanted to find some way to get everything he had intended to get from her in the first place but he wasn't going to count on it with the way things were going for him right now. He had to get on task. Thinking about a thousand things at once wasn't doing him any favors. In fact it was just making him move slower than he needed to be in order to get out of this situation.
He walked over to the closest window and slipped the lighter back into his pocket. He grabbed the wooden board and tugged on it hard. He could hear the wood splintering and he pulled it from the wall with another swift tug. He slipped back and nearly lost his balance as the board came loose. He winced from the sudden bright light outside. He hadn't even realized how dim the interior of the building was until that moment. He pulled each board out of the wall, board after board, until the window was free. He used his elbow to shatter the remaining glass and then he grabbed the nearest chair. He swung it at the wall as hard as he could and it shattered into pieces easily. He still held two of the legs in his hands. He dropped one and slipped the lighter from his pocket. He flicked it and watched the flame glow. The leg of the chair caught fire and he walked over to the window and threw it out outside.
He ducked back as he saw the flash of the lasers shooting up toward where the wooden projectile had been thrown. He lit another part of the chair on fire and broke another window; this one hadn't been boarded up. He threw it out there and heard more yelling in response. He risked a look out the window, adjusting the yellow and black mask on his face. He threw the remainder of the chair out of the window and down below.
He hoped that it had landed on some of the garbage and dying plants outside of the building and he'd start some kind of chaotic fire out there. He knew that'd be the best case scenario but it was unlikely to happen. He wished he still had a few of those bombs from the other night but he didn't even bring his backpack. There was no way he could've known what was going to happen today. He thought he was just going to get slapped around by some girl. He broke up another chair and continued to throw the flaming projectiles out the window. He took a chance on stopping the rain of fire he'd created and ran up the last and final staircase. The door at the top read "Roof Access Only" and he tried the handle. It was rusted shut. Just his luck.
" He furrowed his brow and just headed back down the stairs. He'd have to take it at a running start and risk dislocating his shoulder. He gritted his teeth, grabbed the old wooden railing and pulled back on it hard to make sure it'd support his weight. When he was sure that it would he pushed off of the railing and ran up the stairs as fast as he could muster. He pushed his shoulder forward and rammed himself into the door. At first it didn't give way and he could feel the force of the blow all the way through his shoulders and down his spine as he hit the metallic door. He rammed at it a second time without building up the momentum he had the first time, since he knew the adrenaline would fade and lead to pain, and the door frame cracked enough to allow the rust to free the door from its clutches.
He had to shove it and kick it a few times but the door swung open after a few tries. In fact it flipped off the hinges and crashed onto the roof of the building. It was much windier up here than it had been down below. He looked around and could see smoke coming from the streets. His plan had, somehow, worked. It had been a serious force of luck that had made his that fire catch and spread. He could've just thrown the flaming pieces of wood out there and it could've fizzled out and done nothing. He would've gotten laughed at, captured and killed but things worked out in his favor against the odds. He could see the building across the way. He couldn't tell what the distance was but he'd have to risk it was close enough to make.
"This is fucking stupid
" He muttered under his breath, slipping the lighter back into his pants pocket. He had to keep it safe; it was his only bargaining chip with that arms dealer. He looked over the edge of the building. There was no one below. He could hear yelling but assumed everyone was trying to get into the building from below and handle the fires that he'd started.
"You can do this Poison, you can do it
" He took a deep breath. The more he looked over the edge the more he'd psych himself out. There was a slim possibility he wouldn't die if he missed the edge of the next building. If nothing else he'd shatter his legs and be left to the traitorous Killjoys below. At least if he died in the fall they couldn't say they killed him.
"Fuck it!" He ran toward the edge of the building and jumped. It was further than it looked but he managed to get one foot on the edge of the building. The force of the jump and the landing buckled his knees. Poison instinctively grabbed onto the side of the building and pulled himself on top of it. He rolled to safety and placed his hand against his chest. He made the sign of the cross over his chest, even though he wasn't a religious man. It just felt like he should thank somebody for keeping him safe. He got to his feet. He didn't have time to sit there and celebrate his success. He had to jump to the next building until he found one with a fire escape that was far enough away from the Killjoys pursuing him that they wouldn't be stationed beneath to watch for him.
"Okay, second time should be easier." He dusted off his hands, which were now thoroughly scraped from the things he'd done in the last few moments, then continued to the other end of the building. He crouched low as he heard people running past. The Killjoys were getting violent and it looked like the people from the zones were coming out of their homes to try and stop the attack on him. He'd have to come back here after this had all blown over and thank them
if he, in fact, survived.
Across the gap to the next building he leapt and he landed in a roll. He felt like a fucking ninja doing shit like this. When he told Mikey what he had to do he'd be horrified, he was sure. He was looking forward to that. He gave up on dusting himself off, resigning to being a dirty mess and continued on. Building after building he jumped. It got less terrifying as he continued onward but the adrenaline high didn't decrease at all. By the time he got to the last building on the block he was laughing hysterically. He crouched down, resting his hands on his knees and stopped just to catch his breath in between fits of laughter.
"Take that you dicks!" He spat to the side and then walked over to the edge. He could see the fire escape railing below. He'd have to try and be as quiet as possible landing on the metallic landing as not to draw attention to himself. Hopefully he was far enough away that any noise he made wouldn't be carried to the ears of the Killjoys at the other end of the block who were likely waiting for him to do something just like this. Surely they had to have realized he wasn't in the building anymore. He hadn't done a very good job of blocking the doorway and hadn't even checked for a rear entrance.
He grabbed onto the edge of the building and carefully lowered himself down. His hands stung from the effort. He let his feet rest on top of the window sill below and slowly slid one hand down to grasp it. It was only about an inch in length so keeping his grip on it was tough. He managed somehow and slipped down onto the fire escape landing with a dull thud. He waited for a moment to see if there was any movement inside the apartment that he'd landed next to.
A moment was long enough to know that he'd managed to land without alerting any of his pursuers. He hurried down the stair case on the fire escape, running on the tips of his toes so that he'd make less noise on the metallic stairs. He managed to get to the bottom. By this point in his pursuit he was fearless. He'd managed to successfully create a distraction and jump across the tops of about eight buildings then narrowly escape down a fire escape. He didn't even think about the last jump. It was about ten feet to the ground from the last fire escape ledge. He landed on the ground and got up, turned in the opposite direction of the fighting and ran smack right into another person. Naturally the moment he stopped being wary would be when he would run into someone who could put an end to his successful escape.
"You!" Agent Alpaca's eyes were wide with rage. He'd seen the destruction the Killjoys were causing in this zone and since he knew they weren't from the west he could only assume they were doing this under Party Poison's command.
"Yeah, didn't expect me to make it out alive did you, fucker?" He instantly went after Alpaca, recognizing him from when they'd met years ago. He punched Agent Alpaca in the face and watched him buckle, instantly thrusting his fist into his gut. With a swift kick he knocked him to the ground. Alpaca coughed in surprise. He didn't remember Party Poison being this vicious. Poison approached him, hand on his laser gun but Alpaca jumped back to his feet and ran head first toward him. With a loud noise of discomfort he knocked Poison down to the ground. His fist was stopped before it reached Poison's face and he used his other hand to go for his throat.
Poison gagged at the sensation of the man's hand being shoved at his windpipe. He spit at the man's face.
"You'll regret that you son of a bitch!" Alpaca pulled his hand free and went to punch Poison again but he was eluded. In that split second Poison twisted Alpaca's wrist, kicked him off and rolled out of the way. He pushed himself up onto his knees and took deep breaths to try and relieve his lungs that had started to ache from being choked.
Alpaca had fallen on the ground but had just as quickly picked himself back up. He couldn't let that traitor get away with this. First he'd sent a woman to kill his friend and now he was attacking the innocent people of the second zone with an army of bloodthirsty, clearly brainwashed, Killjoys. They stared each other down, far enough away from each other that they couldn't physically harm each other but close enough that they could see if the other made a move.
Sirens were suddenly screaming- deafening. Agent Alpaca looked around, feeling his chest tighten with anxiety. Someone had told on them. Someone had gone to the fucking Dracs and reported the Killjoy activity in their zone. Any second the place would be swarming with the men in white suits and vampire masks. Poison didn't remove his eyes from Alpaca. He couldn't fight a threat that wasn't there yet but felt a chill race down his spine. They'd send the fucking Scarecrow. They always sent that fucker Korse out these days, just to spite him. He'd shot him several times and he'd still not died. The last time they met Poison had taken a knife to his face and narrowly made it out alive.
He didn't have time right now to think about the man coming for him but he could already see the laser guns going off as the Dracs infiltrated the second zone. Poison's gun grew hotter in his hand from the perspiration building from nerves.
"This is fucking stupid
" He muttered under his breath.
"Fuck! Run! Run! You!" The red headed Killjoy with the goggles who'd called him a traitor spotted him as she told her troops to retreat. "This is your fault! You told the Dracs we were here! You traitor!"
"What? No!" Poison finally took his glance way from Alpaca who seemed too shocked to react much anyway. He stepped forward to object, to help them but Korse got there first.
The woman dropped down to the ground dead, blood spilling over her lips. Poison cursed under his breath and immediately started firing his laser at the man. His hand was shaking, trembling and Dracs were fighting their way to him and Alpaca. The other Killjoys were closing in on him now but they fell one by one like dominos as Korse tried to make his way to Party Poison. Luckily there were enough of them to give him some time to get away from Agent Alpaca.
"We have to go. We can't fight him, he can't be beaten." Poison muttered and started to turn away from Agent Alpaca who was having none of that. He grabbed the man by his arm and practically threw him into the building close to them. Poison stumbled to regain himself, the wind knocked out of him. Alpaca shoved him again against the wall, pointing the gun at his jaw.
"Don't you fucking move, I swear to God one inch and I'll blow your fucking brains in."
"Oh shut up!" Party Poison head butted him and shoved him backwards. "I'm not going to die for you or your fucking friends. This is all your fucking fault anyway! Aren't you upset? Your men are dying! And for what? For some cause you can't even name? Fuck you!"
"What the fuck are you talking about? Don't play mind games with me!"
"Alpaca!" Tiger yelled, running toward them through the chaos. "Poison, don't hurt him!"
"Fine, I'll hurt you instead
" Poison let his mouth hang open as he turned his gun, aiming the laser at the leader of the western Killjoys. He'd had enough of these games. He would squeeze the trigger and take them all out. But then something shocked him to a stopping point. Disco Bitch was following closely behind Tiger Beatdown. "You fucking bitch! You goddamn traitor! All that work! All the struggling against these fucks and you turn on me?" He approached her and went to aim at her but Tiger pulled out his own gun and aimed it at Party Poison.
Poison looked at his old friend and gritted his teeth. He'd never been so angry with anything in his life. His body was shaking and trembling with rage.
"You're all fucking traitors! Traitors! Fuck!" Poison couldn't linger. Korse had a taste for his blood. He would keep trying to make his way over to him. He could see the other Killjoys were a distraction for the Scarecrow but ultimately he was always hunting for him. It was like a sadistic game to him and Party Poison was the rabbit- his prey.
"I don't have the time for your bullshit! I should shoot you mother fuckers all right now and risk the fucking Scarecrow taking my head. It'd be worth it rather than to defend some traitors and their bullshit they pulled on me!"
"Poison! Calm down! You're wrong about Tiger Beatdown! He's not a traitor." Disco stepped in front of Tiger who still aimed his laser at the red faced leader of the eastern Killjoys. None of them had seen Party Poison so angry before. He looked like if they got close enough he'd kill them on the spot. Disco knew that he actually would too if they gave him the opportunity. He wasn't known for it amongst the Killjoys, but he was a ruthless killer.
"Shut up!" He yelled. Disco did quiet down for a second but could see that he was panicking a little and thought she owed it to him to try and convince him of this.
"Listen to me! You were wrong! Whoever told you Tiger was a traitor lied to you! Someone told him you were the traitor! We came here to talk to you! Why did you come here if you didn't believe me?"
"Believe you? What the hell are you talking about?" Poison hesitated. If what she said was true they had bigger things to worry about. Who'd sent the Killjoys after him? They had to be from the west. None of this was adding up or making any sense. Clearly she'd fallen for Tiger Beatdown's lies. He had thought she was smarter than that. "Bullshit! I came here looking for an arms dealer! It had nothing to do with you! You stopped contacting base when you went into the seventh zone! You're either stupid or a traitor too! So back the fuck off! Look around you! These Killjoys? They're here to kill me. He sent them! Where else would they come from?" Poison yelled.
He didn't care about being found out anymore. He needed to get away from these idiots and find shelter until the Scarecrow had to retreat. Korse thrived on the darkness like a real vampire but Poison was convinced it was all the experimenting Better Living had done on him. The only thing Party Poison could ever compare him too was a poem he'd read once by TS Eliot. His fear was getting to his nerves. He was tough enough to handle it but it made him twitch, made him concentrate on the words that had haunted him for nights and nights in his dreams after he'd read them.
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.
"My men are at their post in the west! These aren't my Killjoys Party Poison! I just received word today from a scout that you were seen torturing your men and teaming up with Better Living but I knew you would never do such a thing! Please, hear me out!" Tiger shouted desperate to try and find a quick resolution before they were all killed.
"We don't have time for this! Korse is going to fucking kill us all!" Poison winced, the words repeating in his head. "Here it comes, brace yourself!"
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.
As if he'd been cued in, Korse walked straight toward them. He was covered in the blood of Killjoys he'd mowed down on his way here. He often just shot them and then pulled them apart for fun. It was all a sick game. That was why they called him the Scarecrow at first- because he ripped his victim's limb from limb and destroyed their faces. Later Poison guessed that he was some kind of reanimated creature with no soul which was why the poem was so damn fitting. His arm was hanging limp at his side from an injury he'd received but it didn't seem to phase him much.
"Run rabbit, run
" He growled, showing off the long scar that went from the bridge of his nose, beneath his eye to his jaw line. He licked his lips as he spotted the red headed Killjoy.
"Run! Run we have no fucking time!" Poison shoved Alpaca further from him and turned his back to them. He didn't want to turn his back toward Korse, the man was a slime ball. He wouldn't hesitate to shoot him in the back when he was running. No decent man would shoot someone running for their life.
"That's right. Keep running
" Korse cracked his neck and rushed at Poison, knocking him to the ground. Poison lost his gun, it fell to the side in the dirt. The man was ungodly fast when he wanted to be. Poison felt like a fool every time that he'd gotten into this situation.
"Poison!" Disco yelled, aiming her gun and firing a shot at Korse who merely twitched at the feeling of the electrical bullet shooting through his body, though smoke began to emit from his shoulder where the blow had landed.
He put his hands to Party Poison's throat and hissed at him as he spoke.
"I promised you I'd get you back
" He grinned wickedly. Party Poison knew he was toying with him. He was starting to gag from the constriction of the air in his throat. Spots interrupted his vision but somehow he managed to muster the energy to spit in Korse's face even though some of it came splattering back on his own skin. This had been the second time in the last hour that he'd been nearly choked to death and retaliated with spit. It seemed like a good method to him.
" He managed to choke. "I told you fuckers to run!" He said all in one gasp. He didn't know why he was defending these people that only seconds ago he wanted to kill. Perhaps Disco's words had gotten to him after all.
A whistling sound came from the distance and Korse had just turned his head to the side to inquiry what the noise was and where it'd come from when a homemade rocket hit him in the side, shoved him back and pushed him through the wall of the building Poison had recently descended from. He could see it's pierced his side and he couldn't help but grin victoriously as he saw it.
"What the fuck
?" Agent Alpaca let his mouth hang open as he watched the display. That shot was one in a million and where the hell had it come from?
Tiger offered Poison a hand. Party Poison took it and got off the ground. Poison had noticed something on the rocket as he saw it blast in front of him and nearly kill him along with Korse. There had been a symbol of a flame on the side of it. He had a guess who had shot it to save his life but he wasn't sure. He turned in circles trying to decipher where it'd come from.
"We have to go! We can't stay here! They're going to send reinforcements and you know the Scarecrow won't stay down for very long!" Tiger told him, grabbing his arm again. Party Poison shook him off instantly and retrieved his gun from the dirt road. "Meet up in the fourth zone at Left Behind once the dirt's settled if we get split up!"
"Fuck off!" Party Poison flipped him the middle finger but did put the information in the back of his mind. He wouldn't be sure if he wanted to find out more about their accusations until he'd had some time to think it over and with all that had happened he couldn't think about anything except for getting as far away from Korse as he could and finding the person who'd saved his life. Tiger watched him for a moment stunned until Disco tugged on his arm.
"We have to go
they'll rip us apart." She whispered. Agent Alpaca was shooting BL/ind operatives to try and make way for them. They had a very short window in which they could escape before a second team would be dispatched and the zone would be neutralized.
"We've got to go!" Tiger nodded his head and then headed with his comrades to find shelter until Better Living was convinced they'd killed all the gang members that had been in the road. The debris in the building that Korse had been blown into stirred as the Scarecrow somehow managed to pull himself up. They didn't have much time before he got himself back up and came after them with a vengeance.
Party Poison wasn't going to follow them or linger around. He needed to get away from Korse, but also find the person who'd managed to save his life. Someone had been watching him and he was going to get to the bottom of it. He wasn't sure whether he'd thank them- not until he was sure they were a friend and not another enemy.
"This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper
" Poison whispered under his breath, finishing off the poem that was repeating in his head.
"Time to go."