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DangerDay: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys
”They’re… gone?“ sniffing, the little voice sobbed. She sat huddled in the corner of the van as we hurtled through the desert, desperate to get away. Wiping away tears, she ran a hand through her hair, thick with dirt and blood. She’d been through so much and yet there was so much still to come.
I was riding shotgun and had to swivel awkwardly in my seat to reply. ”I’m sorry honey, the lights have gone out.“ I sighed. ”They’ve been snuffed out.“
The world’s greatest hopes gone, murdered by the monsters, killed by the destroyers. The Fabulous Killjoys were dead. It still hadn’t sunk in, I’d seen their corpses, but I still couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t grieve, not a tear had been shed yet, from me anyway, it had all happened so suddenly. There was always the chance it was an act. That they were fine, that I hadn’t seen that android, b****** Korse had stuck a gun to Party Poison’s neck and fired. I wished I hadn’t seen Jet-Star sprawled bleeding to death slowly on the bonnet of their Trans-am, but I had. They weren’t coming back this time. Her heroes were dead. ”I’m sorry honey, they’re gone.“
Weeping, she buried her head knees as she curled up in a ball to seek comfort from herself. I didn’t know what to do; I’d been nothing to do with her up until this point. She’d been the Killjoy’s responsibility up until then; I’d just been the messenger, spreading the light of hope through the airwaves to the listeners. Dr Death Defying, I was the hidden DJ not a babysitter. I reached out awkwardly and stroked her hair. ”Shhh now, we’ll catch them when they least expect it. They’ll pay for what they’ve done. We’ve just got to bide our time, we need to breathe, we need time to grieve. We can’t just go diving into things.“
Sniffing, she looked up, her sad eyes meeting my own. ”They went there to get me back. I’m the reason they’re dead. I’m the reason the world’s dark again.“
I shook my head. ”You can’t think like that. They had the option to leave you; it was their choice to get you back. They knew the risks, they’re the Killjoys, and of course they weren’t going to leave you. You were their fifth outlaw.“
She smiled weakly. ”I was the kid sister they never had… well that what Kobra Kid said anyway.“
”See, they made their choice, and they’ll be criticised for it by all that needed their light but I think they chose rightly. You were the reason that they fought, the future generations, if they left you, they’d never forgive themselves. They can rest easy knowing you’re alive, that you’re safe.“
Nodding, she leant against the window and closed her eyes. ”Thank you…“
I smiled and turned back to the windscreen. Sighing I too leant against the window, the events of the day finally hitting me as tiredness set in. ”Awww s***. Its true, isn’t it? This isn’t just some mad plan, some weird nightmare. They really are dead.“ I hid my head in my hands as I could feel tears sting my eyes. ”For God’s sake…“
”Hey, it’ll all work out. They were inspirations; surely someone will take the torch from them. Someone will want to keep the hope that they emitted alive.“ comforted the driver, I didn’t really know her name, she was an outlaw too, an ally. She heard the Killjoys were in trouble and I wasn’t one to ask needless questions. She was a friend, that’s all I needed to know.
”We need to go back to base.“
”But, they’ll be expecting that. They’ll be waiting, I don’t think we should…“
”She’s right,” agreed the other outlaw in the back. She held her helmet in her lap and was carefully unlacing her roller-skates, ”why should we risk what the Killjoys died for? This is probably just as dangerous as what they did, if we die it’ll all have been in vain.“
”’I’ve got a job to do, there’s a new message to pass on. They need to know what’s happened.“
”Fine, but on your head be it.“ Pressing down harder on the accelerator, the driver snapped at me as we shot off through the night.
I turned back to the little girl in the back. She was the future of the Killjoy legacy now, it was her that was to carry the beacon of hope but she was too young for now. She was too young for all of this, especially for seeing the murders of her heroes. All four of them had died within minutes of each other, each shot by a monster. She’d been so happy with them. They’d just been this massive, dysfunctional group but they had been among the happiest people I’d ever seen, it didn’t matter that non of them were actually related, they loved each other anyway. I’d seen the way they were bonded; the age difference wasn’t there either. They were just five kids spending time together in the dessert.
She hadn’t even had time to say goodbye.
* * * * *
I stroked the equipment, the pen and paper I had used over the years to send messages to the masses. This might be goodbye; I might have to leave this behind. My life for so long, left in a hut in the dessert…
”Alright children,“ I whispered into the microphone, ”it's time for me. Dr. D to start running and say good-bye; for a little while and I know you're going to miss me. So I'll leave you with this, you know that big ball of radiation we call the sun? It'll burst you into flames if you stay in one place to long. That's if the static don't get you first. So remember even if you're dusted you may be gone. But out here in the desert your shadow lives on without you. This is Dr Death Defying. Signing off.“ I sighed and flicked the switch that took me off air, I could hear the national anthem playing softly through the speakers. ”Come on kid, we’ve gotta get as much of this stuff in the van as we can.“ I spun round on my chair to see her stood in a corner, a thin piece of material trailing on the floor as she fingered a pattern of something that lay on the sideboard. I stood by her; it was Fun Ghoul’s bandana and Party Poison’s jacket. ”Oh.“
She nodded. ”Their stuff…“
I laid a hand on her shoulder. ”Stick it in the van, we can’t leave them here.“
We both looked up at the flag that took up the entire wall. ”We’ve got to take that too.“ I laughed. ”It took you lot weeks to paint that spider.“
”Yeah, and on the car too.“
I smiled. ”That car was Party Poison’s pride and joy.“
”Shame they got that too…“
Oh crap, I thought, we’re back to that… I didn’t know what to do again, I always knew that the chances were that I’d end up being the one that had to look after her, the Killjoys risked their lives daily, they were always going to end up six feet under, I just didn’t think it would been so soon. I punched her shoulder playfully. ”Look alive sunshine, we’ve got work to do.“ I jumped up onto the sideboard and reached up for the tacks that were pinning the flag to the wall. ”We’ve gotta be out of here quick.“
”Y’all right back there kid?“ I shouted as we flew through the baron wasteland, chased by a pillar of smoke. Turning, I saw her staring out of the window of the van, and I too couldn’t help but stare. We’d made quite the impressive fireball.
Dancing and climbing higher, the flames crackled and spat, engulfing our home in a ball of heat.
”Get comfy kid, we’re gonna be running a while.“ I winked at her as she looked up, a tiny face lost in the sea of memories. She’d taken jackets, trousers, t-shirts, anything we could find; anything that counted. I left her too it, I didn’t need these souvenirs, trinkets couldn’t bring them back but if it made her feel better then it was worth the little bit discomfort as we drove. So long as I had my radio, I was fine. Smiling, I watched as she pulled the Killjoy’s flag up to her neck, using it as a blanket to get to sleep.
These we dangerous days and we were living the true lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Their light lived on with us, BL/ind didn’t stand a chance. The outlaws were coming for them.