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Taking Back Fun Day

Pass the Parcel

There was no warning, no sound or change in sensation, so when the magnets were switched off, Ghoul found himself crashing to the floor in an uncoordinated heap. Crying out with pain as his muscles screamed their objections to the sudden movement, Ghoul found himself having to stop to remind himself to breathe and to think about where his limbs where and how and where to move them. It wasn’t unexpected that he both ached and felt numb at the same time, but the extent of his disorientation surprised him. As he lay for those brief moments collecting his thoughts and summoning the strength to sit up, he realised that at some point he had fallen asleep while suspended against the wall. He frowned as he considered this, wondering how long he had hung there. The answer seemed to lie in the agony he felt as he tried to draw his arms towards his body. It seemed to him that merely rising from the floor was going to be a slow process.

Slowly inching his arms inward, he swore in frustration as he heard the elevator approaching once more. It made sense that he had been released prior to a visit from, he assumed, one of his captors. They would continue to gloat over his helplessness and take great pleasure in his situation. He frowned deeply as he realised that he was nowhere near prepared to push himself to his feet when he heard the elevator come to a complete stop. What followed confused him, however - instead of the condescending tone he expected from Sorby, he heard an angry and loud argument in process.

“You can’t just walk in here and take what belongs to us!” Sorby shouted; his voice growing in both volume and pitch as he became increasingly desperate for his words to make an impact on their recipient. “We still have legal rights under the terms of the contract!”

Ghoul’s blood chilled at the words: the contract. Was Sorby referring to the agreement between Hart and Miharu, the S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W Unit’s director? If so, there really was only one person the odious man could be speaking to. Turning his head and tipping it down to look behind and almost under himself, he swallowed hard as he saw Exterminator Korse walking with long, brisk strides from the elevator, not even caring if Sorby maintained his place alongside him.

Still in pain but without the luxury of time or self-care, Ghoul grimaced as he forced himself to roll, first onto his side, then pushing himself into a seated position. Catching his breath as the pain from his tortured muscles made every attempt to snatch it from him, Ghoul paused briefly to take a few deep, restorative breaths. Before he could push himself into a standing position, or at the very least, sitting on the bed, Korse stood in front of the bars, sneering at the pale, tired and sore young man still seated on the floor of the cage.

“So, Fun Ghoul,” his sneer settled into a smirk. “It looks like I have you again.”
“No,” Ghoul replied calmly. “They have me again. If only you and your draculoids could do as good a job.”

Korse stared at the Killjoy as he remained seated on the floor, smiling up as he noted Korse’s irritation hardening his expression.

“I don’t care how you come to be my prisoner, the fact remains that that is exactly what you are.”

Sorby stepped forward, placing a hand on Korse’s arm and pulling him back to face him.

“Didn’t you hear me?” Sorby fumed. “You can’t...”
“I heard you,” Korse growled. “But your opinion is irrelevant.”

As he spoke to Sorby, a low beeping sound announced the arrival of a communication for the draculoid standing alongside him. Listening to the report on the handheld radio, the draculoid nodded and turned to Korse.

“Sir, the VO Wagon is here, shall I fetch the restraining board?”

Korse pondered the question as he stared with curiosity at Sorby, finally responding after a short deliberation. Sorby was a tall and broad, physically powerful looking man and despite being armed, Korse was concerned about the possibility of being overpowered if left alone with him. Turning to address the draculoid his response initially drew a moment of relief from Sorby, but it quickly returned to frustration as he continued.

“No,” he paused. “Have someone bring it.”
“You are not taking him!” Sorby repeated before continuing with a different question. “How did you even know he was here?”

Korse laughed, certain that Sorby wouldn’t actually want to know the answer.

“Do you think you can take a helicopter out into the Zones at night without us knowing all about it? You do realise you used BLI manned airlocks to exit and enter the dome?”
“Taking a helicopter out doesn’t tell you what we were doing,” Sorby snapped, the muscles around his jaw tightening with each word.
“Not on it’s own, no,” Korse smirked. “But when it’s piloted by one of my operatives, that really does turn events in our favour.”
“One of your...” Sorby’s eyes widened in shock at the news that his long-serving and, he believed, trusted pilot and assistant had been working for BLI all along. Feeling betrayed and fooled, he shook his head and raged. “It changes nothing! You’re not...”
“I am taking Fun Ghoul,” Korse interrupted with an expression of irritation fleetingly replacing his indifference.
“Over my dead body!” Sorby snapped in reply.

Korse raised an eyebrow, followed by the corners of his lips. There was something in the change of expression that unnerved Sorby, who immediately took a step backwards. His eyes darted to Korse’s hand as he obligingly reached for his ray gun.

“If you wish,” Korse replied, drawing his weapon.
“No!” Sorby cried out, throwing his arms out in front of him, his palms facing out in a gesture of panic. “You can’t you’ll never get him out without me! I know all the codes.”
Korse gave a short condescending laugh. “Ah, yes, but you’re not the only one, are you?”

As if on cue, the sound of the elevator moving cut through the silence and Sorby’s head spun to look behind him. Realising Korse could only be referring to his pilot, Bob, his eyes widened as he looked back just in time to see the blinding bright light laser beam fill the room. It was the last thing he saw. Ghoul watched with alarm as the man who had abducted him twice hit the floor, lifeless and crumpled. It wasn’t that he was sorry the man was dead, but he knew that now he was in a much worse position than he had been. The only thing he took real comfort in was knowing that it was unlikely that he would have set whatever trap he had in mind for Party.

As the elevator doors opened, he heard more than one set of footsteps exiting and knew instantly that he was about to be taken to BLI. Yes, he would put up whatever fight he was able to, but with his strength still not fully regained, he would just be delaying the inevitable.

Finally able to push himself to his feet, if a little unsteadily, Ghoul fixed his eyes on Korse, offering only a defiant and loathing expression and barely even noticing the man heading for the grey box on the wall that controlled the electric current coursing through the wire mesh between each of the bars of the cage. The low hum of electricity ceased suddenly leaving an eerie silence in the cellar interrupted only by the sound of the man’s boots as he returned to stand alongside Korse.

Ghoul’s eyes flickered briefly to look at the blond man who had been Sorby’s pilot and assistant and, as it appeared, also a BLI operative. Trying hard not to let the recognition in his eyes show anywhere in his face, Ghoul transformed his surprise into an angry outburst.

“When I get out of this, I’m going to find you and kill you!” He raged stabbing an accusing finger in the blond man’s direction, before grimacing at the additional pain it caused to his right shoulder, elbow and back. “Slowly!” He added through gritted teeth.
“Yeah,” Bob smirked and offered a cynical laugh. “Sure you are.”

Bob stepped forward to unlock the cage door, stepping quickly inside, he countered the punch that Ghoul tried to land on him and shoved him forcibly to the floor. Ghoul grunted in pain, trying not to give the taller and broader man the satisfaction of knowing he’d been hurt. He was, however, confused; was this man whom he knew only as Coffin Dancer and an occasional contact of the Killjoys truly one of Korse’s undercover men? Could he be relied upon any more? This man - known in the Zones as The Sad Man - had provided information, often crucial information, to them on numerous occasions. Had he just bided his time to draw them in? No, that didn’t make sense. He had arranged for them to rescue Party from BLI. On Coffin’s information, the Killjoys had driven directly into BLI’s cells and escaped with Party easily. It would have been very easy to arrange a trap for them. That said, they had rescued an android built to look like Party, housing many of his memories. But... Coffin hadn’t known they weren’t rescuing the real Party. Had he?

When trying to explain the Killjoys’ connection to him to Red, Ghoul himself had described Coffin as a mercenary, ready to sell information to anyone for money; but this was the first time he had ever felt in any personal danger from him. To confuse matters further, as the blond man stood over him, he winked at Ghoul. Frowning deeply, as two draculoids were allowed in, he wondered how to respond. If Coffin was solely working for Korse, he was the enemy. If he wasn’t, then he should treat him as if he were the enemy so as not to garner suspicion. Either way, it called for the same response. Gathering all his available strength before the draculoids got to him, Ghoul raised his left leg sharply and found his delicate target between Bob’s legs. Grinning maniacally in furious pleasure, Ghoul watched as the blond man paled, emitted an almost soundless gasp and crumpled to the floor clutching himself, moaning and writhing in agony.

Hands fell on Ghoul, dragging him onto the restraining board while he struggled to pull himself from their grasp, his leg still thrashing in Bob’s direction and trying hard to reach his head. His frantic struggles, seemingly choreographed to Korse’s cruel laughter, ended abruptly as a taser was pressed into his side rendering him immediately unconscious. Korse’s laughter lessened until finally he stopped as the last strap was fastened. As one of the draculoids raised the board at one end and engaged the wheels at the opposite end, Korse indicated to the elevator with a flick of his wrist. As the two draculoids wheeled Fun Ghoul out, Korse stared down in amusement at the blond man, still on the floor but taking deep shuddering breaths to regain his equilibrium.

“Never underestimate the Killjoys,” Korse chuckled as the pale young man raised a hand up to the exterminator for assistance. “Let that be a lesson.”

Turning to leave without offering the help that Bob so desperately needed, Korse waited for the elevator to return. As he stood near the gate, Bob joined him at his side, standing slightly hunched forward and still breathing slowly and heavily. He frowned deeply as he heard another light chuckle escape Korse’s lips.

“I’ll consider myself warned,” he replied through gritted teeth.


Doctor Death Defying drove his wheelchair up to the table of one of the long booths and regarded his patients. Kobra and Red had recovered reasonably well from their drug enforced sleep and were busying themselves with Show Pony, making something to eat and another pot of coffee, leaving Party and Jet seated at the booth, both staring grimly at the doctor.

With Jet’s right arm cradled in a sling and Party, pale and still feeling dazed, a rescue operation didn’t seem imminent. Party, mentally berating himself for being concussed, didn’t even hear the question asked of him.

“He must be out of it if he doesn’t respond to that,” Jet shook his head, immediately wishing he hadn’t when a bolt of pain ran down his neck.
“What was that?” Death asked with a frown.
“What?” Jet replied cautiously.
“Don’t play games with me, Jet, I know that was a pain! Your eyes nearly rolled out of their sockets!” Death scolded leaning forward to examine the Killjoy once more.
“I’m all right!” Jet complained, trying to bat the doctor’s hand away unsuccessfully.
“Party?” Red repeated, placing a hand gently over his.

Party’s eyes flickered to life and he looked first at his hand then followed the other arm up to see Red’s smiling but concerned face.

“Did you say something?”
“I just asked if you wanted some coffee?”
“Please, sorry I was somewhere else,” he replied with a quiet sigh.
“Don’t worry,” she replied with a gentle squeeze of his hand. “We will be soon,” she added, nodding. “We’ll get him back.”

Death Defying frowned as he sat back in his chair, his expression reproachful, even disappointed.

“Don’t look at me like that, Doc.” Jet spoke softly, his demeanour changing from irritated to guilty.

That look, that one expression which Death Defying saved exclusively for Jet would always return him immediately to his childhood, growing up in the Rebel Stars camp with the doctor and several other medical unit ex-soldiers who had fought in the Helium Wars. Found by Death Defying and two of his companions - a twelve-year-old, lying alone in the desert, burned, dehydrated and dying, Jet owed his life to those men who cared enough to help him and raise him. But that look had been reserved solely for the occasions when, as a boy, Jet had done something that endangered either himself or another member of the camp. The occasions were relatively few, and mostly due to Jet’s misplaced bravery and initial difficulty following orders if he thought of, what he believed to be, a better plan.

He had learned the hard way just how important it was to follow orders and for everyone to know where everyone would be and what they would be doing. Believing he had found a better position for a raid on a medical convoy of trucks, Jet hadn’t been able to warn the doctor that an outriding draculoid had him in his sights. In order to save Death Defying’s life, Jet was forced to shoot the draculoid. Jet was just thirteen and the enormity of taking someone’s life, no matter what the reason, dealt a sledgehammer blow to his conscience. They were lucky that the raid was still successful and with no camp casualties, but later, back in their hideout, the young boy had crumbled under the weight of his conscience. His companions, though supportive, had known that it was only a matter of time before he took his first life. It was merely the timing that had drawn their concern. A small part of Jet shut down that day, but each subsequent life taken was a reminder and something he would never truly come to terms with.

“When did you plan to tell me about that?” Death folded his arms, tipped his head and raised a questioning eyebrow.
“I didn’t have a time in mind,” Jet shrugged his left shoulder only.
“What if your neck was fractured?”
“I think I’d know,” Jet rolled his eyes.
“Oh, you think so, do you?” Death Defying scowled. “You mean like the time I got a rifle butt in my back and didn’t realise it was broken? I thought it was a slipped disc, carried on fighting and it severed my spinal cord. Like that, you mean?”

Jet’s eyes widened and his mouth fell open. To his right, all movement and sounds ceased in the kitchen and at the counter as everyone stared in their direction.

“I’m sorry, Doc, I... I didn’t realise. I’m really sorry.” Jet appeared mortified to have triggered such a heartfelt and pained response.
“It’s okay, Jet, just don’t underestimate injuries, that’s all. All of you!” He added to include everyone in the diner. Returning to Jet, he smiled reassuringly, suddenly Jet appeared thirteen once more. “You just pulled a muscle, but you have to tell me. Don’t hide anything because you’re worried I’ll stop you going to find Ghoul.”
“You would have though, if it were broken,” Jet’s voice remained as small as he felt.
“If it meant keeping you alive, yes, I would and you’d agree if it were anyone else, wouldn’t you?”

Jet heaved a sigh of resignation.

“Wouldn’t you?” He repeated.
“Yes, Doc,” Jet shrugged, this time with both shoulders causing him to grimace.
“I’ll get you a muscle relaxant cream for your trapezius, you’ll feel better soon.”
“Thanks, Doc,” Jet smiled, now sounding more like himself.
“Pony!” Death called. “I need you to get something off a shelf for me.”

Show Pony placed the knife he was holding back on the counter and nodded to Red, confirming he would be back soon. Walking over, he fell into stride alongside the motorised wheelchair as the pair headed to the motel reception area that doubled as a medical storage and the radio station. Once out of earshot, Pony chuckled.

“It didn’t happen like that at all, did it?” He commented. “You told me you were blown up and your spine snapped in two places.”
“No, but he doesn’t need to know that, does he?” Death grinned.

“Guess not,” Pony laughed in response.


Hi lovely readers!!

Sorry for the delay updating - I’m in my final year of uni and it’s very hectic!

I hope you’re still enjoying it! :D

Sas xx


Hiya!! So glad you enjoyed it. I feel sorry for Ghoul, poor sweet thing but I can’t help myself. But oh, when they find him... (I actually don’t know! Lol!)

Thanks as ever for reading and commenting! There’s a new chapter up - hope you enjoy!

Hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year!!
Sas xx

SaskiaK SaskiaK

Hey no worries. New chapter is awesome btw

cKayE cKayE

@Emo Trinity Trash
Yeah :D I just couldn’t resist! It’s not often a good title comes to me but I was pretty happy with this - I love playing with words, names and phrases!

Sas xx

SaskiaK SaskiaK

You’re so kind, thank you :) I’m using some of the Christmas break to write another chapter. Shouldn’t be too long now. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
Sas xx

SaskiaK SaskiaK

I love the title reference. Taking Back Sunday is a great band.