Description: Following the events of 'My Hero,' Alexis learns more of Zabel's past, and the two of them track down the other members of Killasaurus Orphanage. In the end, the musicians go their separate ways, but it's likely not the last either will hear of each other...
Zabel Zarock does not run away. He does, however, sometimes make a flashy exit. And given the thrashing he was getting from Charlie during his latest Majigen performance, getting out of there was probably a good idea. Alexis coming to his rescue wasn't expected, but given that she did arrive he also couldn't leave her behind to be taken prisoner by the soldiers. Zabel may certainly be a monster, but that doesn't mean he's just going to throw someone he likes to the wolves. Well... unless it'll really help him, probably.
His robed followers are milling around, taking stock of their equipment. Most of it was left back at the stage, but they were able to escape with at least some supplies. Zabel, meanwhile, flexes the fingers of one hand a few times, inspecting his arm. Despite being clearly having been quite badly broken just a few minutes ago, it looks in pretty good shape now. Indeed, Zabel over all only looks a bit battered, despite having received a pretty heavy beating from someone of Charlie's caliber. Though it might be hard for Alexis to tell that, given that large portions of Zabel's body are either missing, or exposed down to muscle or even bone. Getting a close look at him, especially without the frenetic moving of a fight, should make it pretty clear that this is not just makeup. The large portion of his abdomen that's simply missing, for one, and the skeletal face with eye sockets that are empty, except for glowing points of red light. From a distance it might be mistaken for clever use of shadow, lights and makeup... but no, there's definitely no eyeballs in those holes. "Thanks for the assist. If they're sending in the army, though, it looks like the plan is to lock things down hard."
Even before the invasion of Metro City, Alexis wasn't a complete stranger to the strange things of the world - she's done battle with a werewolf ninja and even a dragon priest (or dragonkin, or something to that effect). It was experience with encounters like those that made her think that she'd be ready for anything she might run into in Majigen on her mission to rescue Zabel Zarock from its clutches.
What Alexis wasn't ready for - although, if she had really /thought/ about it, she should have seen it coming - was to find out that the rumours of Zabel Zarock's death may turn out not to have been quite so exaggerated after all.
Despite standing in relatively close proximity to Zarock, Alexis' aquamarine eyes seem to stare at the undead Australian from a kilometre away. Her tone of voice at least remains relatively even as she finishes her thought.
"...definitely some kinda fucking zombie, eh?"
She folds her arms across the front of her blouse, tugging at the wrists of her gloves and leaning her weight onto one him as she studies Zarock's form. Though she tries to keep her eyes on his face for the response to her question, that exposed ribcage is really distracting.
"Hmm?" Zabel was slightly distracted by his own thoughts, and also hasn't been paying much attention to matters of subtlety while in Majigen. "Ah, right. Yeah, that about covers it." He grins, still managing to show some degree of emotion even without much of an actual face. "When I said hell couldn't hold me, I wasn't kidding." He observers Alexis for a moment. "But, since the show's over..." Yellow light begins filling the areas of Zabel's body that are missing flesh, and when it fades away he's in his more human looking form, his hair also collapsing from its spikes to fall flat against his head.
The zombie cracks his neck a few times. "One nice thing about this place, I can cut loose a bit. But looking that metal can be a bit of a hassle, most of the time." The pallor of his skin doesn't look particularly healthy, but otherwise Zabel seems more or less normal, aside from his milky eyes. Which most people would assume to be contacts. "Anyway, short story is, yeah, I died. Some guy calling himself a demon lord took a liking to me. Thought he could control Zabel Zarock. But I'm nobody's servant." He grins, and in his own mind at least, he's telling the truth. Yes, technically Jedah is now telling him what to do, but only because Zabel hasn't figured out a way to kill him and absorb his power yet, so that doesn't count.
The Canadian punk rocker's fingers move up over her face to push into her bangs as she stares, still somewhat dazed, at the zombie's reforming body. She clears her throat when she realises that she's probably been staring too long, and she wraps her arms around herself again, glancing around at the cultists surrounding the pair, then looking back at Zabel.
"Demon Lord...?" That actually raises more questions than it answers, at least in Alexis' mind. For instance - "Wait. Are you talking about the guy that that blond guy was looking for? The one who's in charge here or whatever - Jedah or something?"
Considering that she opted into coming here herself, Alexis probably should've done a bit more research - but knowing stuff is more her drummer's job. Whereever he and the rest of the band might be now...
"So I guess you aren't exactly trapped here after all, eh? God, and I dragged the whole band out here to try and bail you out..."
Zabel frowns at the mention of Jedah. "No, not that bastard. Not sure how many of them there actually are, but it's too many." Any number greater than one, with that one being Zabel Zarock, is of course too many. "And yeah, I could probably get out. Haven't tried, though. I don't know how long that Jedah guy's plan is going to last for, but I couldn't pass up the chance to put on a show here." He spreads his arms out, gesturing to the whole area surrounding them. "I mean, how much more metal can you get!?" He gives a brief laugh.
Oh, right, Alexis' band. "Ah... Well, if that was them in that van, they're probably okay if they didn't do anything stupid. Most of the things living here don't really care about people that much, unless you piss 'em off. And with some of them you really don't wanna do that." He cocks his head for a moment. "Might be in more trouble if some people spot the van and decide to try and steal it. Shouldn't be too hard to find 'em, though. Saw what direction they went off in, and some of the roads aren't passable anymore."
Alexis' eyes roam over the surroundings again at Zabel's gesture. Her lips quirk as she considers the assertion, but she can't really find any arguement against it - there probably isn't much more metal of a venue that she could think of. At the very least, there'd have to be some kind of skull throne - not that she's about to make that suggestion, under the circumstances.
"I'm not really sure how long I can count on them not to do something stupid..." she says with a frown, scuffing her boots against the ground.
==*== MEANWHILE, ELSEWHERE ==*==
The engine of the Killasaurus Orphanage van lies dormant, the lights cut, as it rests innocuously in an alleyway elsewhere in Majigen Metro. Inside, the other members of the band (and Steve) sit in silence. Finally, bassist Kim "KimPenetrable" Steele speaks up.
"So, do you guys think Lexi's okay?"
"Well, it seems like those things aren't really that aggressive. I'm sure that Lexi will be fine as long as she doesn't do anything stupid," drummer Matty "Math You Bad" Barker reasons as he stares out into the darkness through his sunglasses. His words hang in the air for a few seconds.
"So, she's probably already been eaten," guitarist Benny "Benny Lava" Lavoie asserts.
==*== BACK AT THE 'CAMP' ==*==
"Shut up, Benny," Alexis says with a scowl at nothing in particular. Then, snapping back to the present, she blinks a couple of times then looks up at Zabel. "Sorry. I was just imagining my guitarist saying something similar about me. So..." She raises a hand up as if to shield her eyes from the sun, though it's not particularly concerning at the moment, and looks off toward the city, where the van was last seen disappearing. "Do you think it's safe to travel on foot out here, or do you do most of your getting around in the giant purple monster? 'Cause that was kinda strange and unexpected, eh?"
On cue, Le Malta pops up out of the ground nearby. When he's not stretching out his mouth to devour things, he's a little, purple, one-eyed goblin-like creature, with a rat tail. Almost cute looking, with his big eye and rounded features. He waves hesitantly to Alexis, then vanishes back into the ground. "Ah, yeah, that's Le Malta. Little guy was originally supposed to spy on me, make sure I stayed in line after I came back like this. Me and him, though, we came to an arrangement. Turns out he's a metal fan, too. Killer drum player, it turns out." He rubs his chin for a moment. "Still not sure exactly what the hell he is."
Zabel shakes his head. "But nah, he's good for some flash, but I don't use him for that all the time." Also, there's some limits on his range and other such things, but Zabel doesn't see a need to go into that. "You guys!" He looks over at his robed followers. "Get back to the safe house, see how we're doing on supplies. Send someone to check out the stage in a few hours, see if the soldiers are gone. We're gonna go look for her band." One of the followers nods. "Yes, l-" He hesitates for a moment, then continues, "-Mister Zarock."
Zabel gestures for Alexis to follow him, then heads toward a nearby alley. "Let's see, I think this is the right place. Usually, when I want to move around, I prefer- ah, there she is." Tucked into the alley is a black convertible with flames painted on the side. Given the expected outcome of the show, Zabel didn't want to leave it too close to the stage. He's wrecked plenty of cars in his time, but they aren't so easy to come by here.
The arrival of Le Malta from the earth below sets Alexis instantly on her guard, pivoting and raising a leg defensively and shielding her upper body with her arms - all of which turns out to seem a ludicrous overreaction when it's just the relatively small goblinoid cyclops and not the enormous man-swallowing maw from before. When it waves at her, she gives it an awkward flutter of her fingers before relaxing.
"Lucky break. Good drummers are hard to come by," she remarks with a slightly nervous chuckle as she smooths down her skirt.
When Zabel beckons for her to follow him to the alley, Alexis does so with little hesitation. Zarock may be a zombie, but the guy is still somehow less disconcerting to her than the people in the robes. When she sees the car, she gives an appreciative whistle. "Shotgun," she calls as she makes for the passenger side, more out of force of habit from going everywhere in a group than anything. She unslings the instrument she's been carrying. "Should I put my guitar in the trunk, or...?"
Zabel waves a hand. "Sure, put it in there. Interior's padded, it's probably safer in there." He doesn't elaborate on that, instead walking to the driver's side, putting one hand on top of the door and then vaulting himself up and over into the driver's seat. He pulls out some keys, complete with a silver skull hanging from the key ring, and the engine rumbles into life as he starts the car up. He drums his fingers on the steering wheel for a moment while he waits for Alexis to stow her guitar and get in, muttering to himself. "Let's see, they were going that way, probably looking for somewhere to hide, probably away from most of the monsters..." Then he nods to himself.
Once Alexis is in the car, he looks over to her. "Might want to buckle up." He hasn't himself, however. But then he shifts into gear and burns some rubber as the car leaps out of the alley, drifting into the road with some loud screeching and then zooming off down the largely abandoned street. Sneaking around is not Zabel's thing, clearly.
With her guitar safely stow'd in the trunk of the convertible, Alexis slides into the passenger's side seat beside Zabel. Her eyes roll behind her bangs when he suggests that she buckle up, and she gives a little huff. "Oh, come on. Am I seriously getting told to wear a seatbelt by Zabel Zarock? You're -"
When the car suddenly jumps out of the alley, she makes a grab for the dash and door handle, latching onto what she can to steady herself. "- right. Zombie rock star driving, no cops around. Buckling up probably was the right decision," she finishes as she pulls the seatbelt across her chest once the car's path has straightened out, buckling herself in.
"So, I dunno if you got a good look to it," she says as she keeps her eyes peeled through the windshield and side window, drawing in a deep breath. "It's basically a really shitty van. Would be white if it didn't need washing. Did I mention it's really shitty?" Her brow furrows as they pass by a series of looted and smashed vehicles. "Actually, it's probably in better shape than average for the ones around here, now that I think about it."
Zabel nods. "Yeah, if it hasn't been looted or burned, it's probably yours." After a couple blocks go by in a blur, Zabel reluctantly starts slowing down his pace. He looks off to the sides as they drive, not paying a ton of attention to the road in front of them. Not that there's any traffic. There are occasional obstacles, but none that are moving. "What do you think, would they try to park and hide somewhere, or just keep driving? If they parked, they're probably somewhere within a few blocks of here. They were headed this way, and the road's blocked not too far up ahead."
Some shadows pass over the car as something flies by overhead, vanishing behind a building before a good look can be taken. "If they kept driving, this is gonna be a pain." Zabel swerves around a corner without slowing down further, though at least he's not quite at potentially suicidal speeds anymore. "Don't suppose you guys made plans to meet up anywhere?"
"We were running a little low on gas, so they probably stopped somewhere close by. Did you hear honking just now?" Alexis says as she shifts in her seat, trying to get a better look toward the direction the noise seemed to be coming from. She raises a hand to point at a place a little ways down the street, where a number of insectoid Darkstalkers are starting to crowd around the entrance to an alleyway.
"Hey, I think they're probably in there!" she says as she starts to undo the buckle on her seatbelt. As if to confirm her words, a horn sounds from the alley a few more times, and a set of headlights clicks on, painting the silhouettes of the bug-monsters on the building wall opposite.
Meanwhile, inside the van, Benny is shouting at the driver's seat from the back. "Dammit, Matty! Why would you turn on the lights? Honking the horn was bad enough, eh!"
"I thought that turning on the lights would scare them away, eh!" Matty replies as he searches the dashboard desperately for a solution to their predicament.
"But, Matty! Bugs are /attracted to light, eh!/" Kim shouts from the rear of the vehicle.
"I didn't think I'd ever say this, but Kim has a point, eh!" Benny agrees frantically.
"Guys! Emergency plan. Steve, gimme the tape!" Matty calls to the back, holding his hand out.
"Oh, God, tell me you don't mean /that/ tape," Benny breathes as he cringes into his seat. "I, for one, opt for being eaten!"
"Shut up, Benny! Steve, give me the tape!"
A few seconds later, the windows of the van roll down enough to let the sound of a Canadian power ballad bleed through. When the words become audible, it's clear that Alexis is singing them on the recording - and probably drunk in doing so:
o/~ Yeah, I would fight for you!
I'd lie for you!
Walk the wire for you!
Yeah, I'd die for you! o/~
"Oh, I am gonna kill them," Alexis growls as the song becomes audible within the convertible.
On the other hand, the bugs do seem to start to disperse at the noise...
Zabel brings the convertible to a screeching halt near the alleyway, narrowly avoiding hitting one of the bugs. Possibly on purpose. He chuckles at the music and Alexis' comment on it. The bugs don't seem to be interested in any of this anymore, deciding to go look for something else to spend their time with. Leaving the motor running, Zabel hops out of the car and walks over to the alley entrance, peering in at the van parked further down. "Yeah, that looks like it. Doesn't look like it got attacked yet or anything."
"Oh, that's definitely them," Alexis half-groans as she slides out of the passenger's side and shuts the door behind herself. Her boots clomp through a puddle with a small splash as the music coming from the van cuts out. "That wasn't even supposed to be recorded. I was... drunk. Definitely drunk," she tells Zabel as she walks around to the driver's side door of the van. As the two approach, the mohawked drummer of Killasaurus Orphanage opens the door and steps out.
"Oh, hello again, Mr. Zarock," Matt greets the undead icon before turning to Alexis. "Lexi, what the heck were you thinking? Kim said she thought she saw you get eaten by a giant purple monster. Good to see that that was just Kim being Kim-like."
"Uhh... yeah," Alexis replies, turning an uncertain look to Zabel and reaching up to scratch at the back of her neck. "Definitely just Kim being Kimmish?"
"I get the impression that you're not exactly in need of rescuing, eh?" Matty says to Zabel as his head turns just slightly to look between the rocker and his ride.
Zabel grins. "The monsters aren't actually such a big deal. American soldiers turned out to be the bigger threat, heh." He looks from Matt to Alexis and then back. "Still, the thought's appreciated. Pretty hardcore of you guys to make it as far as you did." He looks over the van for a moment. "That thing still got some gas left in it? Most of the people left in the city are holed up in the area around Metro Square. Might be the best place to try and lie low for a while. The soldiers didn't see most of you, so you should be fine if you don't give the bastards a reason to be suspicious. Too many refugees for them to check into everyone, and if there's a way out of here they're probably gonna be the ones to find it."
He turns back toward his vehicle. "Seems like they're looking for me, though. I've got to get my guys to finish gathering our stuff, and then find somewhere new to lay low for a while. If we can salvage enough equipment to put on one more show, I'll send word," he looks back over his shoulder with a grin, "in case you guys are interested. If not, I'll see you guys back topside soon enough. Way things have been going, it feels like things are coming to a head soon. And I don't think this Jedah guy has what it takes to win."
"Another show? That sounds exciting. I'm sure that Lexi would -" Matt cuts short at a subtle quirk from Alexis' lips as she passes him on the way back toward the convertible. "- probably... be up for that? Assuming we could get there? Gas being short, and all..."
"We'll be in touch, for sure," Alexis says, turning back toward Zabel as she slams the trunk of the convertible shut, having fetched her guitar out of it. She holds it by the neck as she starts back toward the van. Stowing the instrument via the driver's side door, she looks back at the undead rockstar.
"So, yeah. I guess we'll head for the square and try not to get too much attention from any soldiers, then." She steps one foot up into the vehicle, and is about to follow it with the other when she looks back at Zabel one more time while Matt climbs into the front passenger's side seat. "I'm glad we came, even if you didn't really need rescuing, per se. It was definitely a... learning experience, eh?" she says with a bit of a bemused tone as she pulls herself up into the vehicle.
Log created on 13:56:07 05/02/2015 by Alexis, and last modified on 20:43:52 05/02/2015.