As she plays with the ball, she remembers the first time that Poison taught her how to make a Molotov cocktail. He carefully held the bottle still while she lit the bandana's end and then he hoisted her up on his hip – she was only about four at the time – and when she pointed at a target, he threw it. She still considers that her first Draculoid hit.
She remembers waking up one night and finding Kobra just staring at Poison, his fear evident. She snuck across the camp and sat beside him quietly, waiting. One of the Dracs had injected him with something earlier, and she knew Kobra was worried, even if he couldn't show it while Poison was awake. Poison stirred, and she placed a hand on his forehead. She didn't know why she did it, but it felt right, almost like something out of a memory. She and Kobra watched all through the night, and never mentioned it ever again. Watching the guys laying there in the dust reminded her, but she knows they will have gotten back up this time.
Jet taught her how to read and write, and helped her write a letter to her mom, letting her know that she was alright, and to stop looking. But her mother didn't stop looking, or if she did, BL/ind didn't, and now they finally caught her. She'd been to this building before, in her earliest memories, and she'd described it as best as she could to Poison, so that he could find her again if it came to this.
She knows they will never let Korse keep her here.
She smiles when she remembers her lessons with Kobra, when he taught her how to hack. Computers, vending machines, cars: she can hotwire anything now. He had also taught her hand to hand fighting, but she always suspected that he wasn't very good at it himself, especially when the others snickered through their lessons. Poison taught her his quick draw, and Ghoul taught her bomb-making and how to aim. Actually, Poison had tried to teach her to make bombs first, and while his eyebrows grew back, Ghoul quietly taught her properly.
When Korse took her two days ago, his Draculoids ignored the warning on her radio and tried to turn it on. Korse slapped her across the face when she cheered and yelled "Boom, motherfuckers!" She knows that if she told Poison that, he'd slaughter Korse then and there.
Thinking of her radio makes her think of the time she once met Dr. Death-Defying and his friend Show Pony. The Doctor gave her the radio, and said that she wasn't big enough to be a crashqueen yet, so he named her Motorbaby. Sometimes, when he broadcasts, he mentions her, and she treasures these moments. Jet and Poison usually call her Dollface, and all four call her Bazooka Baby. And Poison sometimes calls her Grace, when no one else can hear. He isn't sure why he does it, to remind her or to remind himself, but she knows that every time he says her old name, it is hugely significant, even if she doesn't yet know why. Maybe she will find out now, before the guys come for her. Because she knows they are coming.
She wonders if Juice or Petrol or any of the others will come with them. She has hung out with Lady Juicebox sometimes, when Kobra visited the other gang and took her along. He liked to visit his friend Petrol, who was in Juice's gang. Juice taught her how to drive a motorbike, like her name, and Petrol made a rebreather for her out of an old cap he found. Few enough people out in the zones care about each other enough to risk themselves, and she isn't sure where she stands with the others, but she does miss them, and she hopes that they miss her enough to come.
Because she knows that the guys will come – are coming even now.
Korse and his Dracs may have dusted her family out in the desert, but that has never stopped a Killjoy. When she was younger, and worried about their missions, Poison always told her, "real Killjoys are bulletproof," and even though bullets are an archaic symbol of the past, the meaning is what counts, and it is a mantra she has always remembered. Even still, she hopes they have backup, because Korse is prepared for them. The labs are important to BL/ind, and well protected, well-armed.
She smirks though, when she sees the car on the screens blasting through the gates, when she catches a glimpse of Poison's face in a security camera before Jet blasts it. Because Korse may be prepared, but in the words of her family, he isn't one tenth as pissed off as they are. Anger is fire and fire is life, Poison would say. As long as the fire burns within you, you know you're still alive, still fighting. The Dracs and Scarecrows rush to prepare, and she might be the only one who sees a van on the screen coming up behind the car.
When Poison finds her, he hugs her tightly and whispers "Grace" into her ear. She hugs him back just as tightly, not fully understanding, but knowing somehow that this is a goodbye, that she will not see him for a little while. Korse will not give her up easily, and bulletproof or not, it is harder to break out of the labs than it is to break in.
But she knows, even as the blasts fly around her, even as Dr. D pulls her into the van, that she will see the guys again. She is going to stay with Hot Chimp and Pony, or maybe Juicebox and Petrol for a little while, until the day, someday, when they'll reappear.
The car will come squealing through the desert and slam to a stop, because Poison believes that slowness is for chumps. And there they'll be, in the car, ready to take her back home. Because if she knows nothing else, she knows this.
Family always comes back for you.