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What's A California?

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Summary: Xander Harris is sent to a very different, but strangely familiar place after being sucked into Acathla's portal. This is his life.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered > Pairing: Other HetzTiamaTzFR1867,47022317,1558 Mar 114 Nov 11No

Chapter Five

Title: What's A California?

Author: zTiamaTz


Beta By: Starway Man

I was now two blocks from the substation, and I'd already had to hold off four groups of starch-heads with the X41A. They were dumb as shit, but even they knew they'd get cut to pieces if I opened fire at 'em.

I was still avoiding the mob, since they wouldn't come back here. They were dumb too, but not dumb enough to head into the back-alleys of a Starchie district. Even though they'd violently defend the scumbags, they were still afraid of them.

Heading down the stairs into the courtyard of a four-corner apartment complex, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the sound of a loud moan.

Fuck, Zoomers.

When I'd first gotten to this dimension, or world, or whatever the fuck it was called, I’d thought there weren't any vamps, demons, or for that matter any supernatural things here.

Sure, there were enough starch-heads in the country to count as a Los Angeles-style problem, but nothing that you'd consider Hellmouth-y. Then, I'd seen a Zoomer, and that had changed my mind big-time.

I quickly slung my lunch pail over my back, and got a good, two-hand grip on the laser rifle. Zoomers were surprisingly fast, and I didn't want to try and run until I knew where they were coming from. The worst thing you could do was take off running, only to end up right in front of them.

As I got to the bottom of the steps, I crouched down, pointing right, then left, trying to figure out where the moan had come from. With the high apartment building walls around me, the echo made it hard to pinpoint.

I should have known this was going to happen, when there was suddenly a complete lack of starch-heads. They should have been all over this courtyard, they were very social with each other. Hell, there was nothing nastier then seeing two long-term users banging on a public street.

Stepping into the courtyard, I just wanted to make a run for the other side, but that was exactly where they could be. It was my own damn fault for not keeping an eye on my surroundings, I was too busy thinking of the pay packet I was going to get; that’ll teach me to ever do that again, assuming I survived this.

I heard another moan, this time from my left, I turned toward it, and saw one lurching down the stairs at a fast pace. They were pretty much just fleshy skeletons, that dripped this awful black slime wherever they went - sorta like a Chaos Demon, minus the antlers.

See, unless the cock-suckers got seriously messed up, when a starch-head dies, they become Zoomers. The imulsion somehow re-animates the body, and considering it was being pumped from where the Hellmouth would be in my world, no big surprise there.

Their chest cavities were also full of the stuff, and the fact that the starch-heads still preferred to attack us at the substation, rather than go after even one of these things said just how bad they really were.

Aiming at the Zoomer, I pulled the trigger and waited. Shooting something here was never as simple as point and shoot. Once you had your target sighted, they were identified through satellite recognition. Then, you were told whether you were authorized to shoot or not.

:Target designated, please wait,: Robo-chick's voice came from a small speaker on the rifle. God, I was sick of her already.

It was Oregden's answer to gun control. As soon as you wrapped your hand around the grip, a DNA sample would be taken to prove it was you.

Even their own troops couldn't pick up another soldier’s weapon during a fight. The authorities were so afraid of a coup d'état, or an armed civilian uprising, they'd banned guns in the country entirely for civilians until this tech became available.

:Enjoy Hero Cola, available at your nearest municipal store.:

I growled at hearing that; fucking commercials. Like I really gave a shit about grabbing a soda when I was fighting for my life here...

It wasn't all bad, though; if you had so much as a gram of starch in your system, the X41A would instantly blow up in your hands. So at least those freaks weren't running around armed.

Five seconds after I pulled the trigger, with the Zoomer less than four feet away, I got my answer.

:Authorization accepted. Good luck, Mister Harris.:

The laser rifle erupted, spitting out the blue beams with surprisingly little kick. I easily stitched the bastard from belly to head in a matter of seconds, practically splitting him in half.

As the Zoomer fell back to the concrete, the golden liquid leaked out of into a pool beneath him. I wanted to kick myself for not bringing a siphon kit, that amount of imulsion could have got me five hundred credits easy, on the black market.

My self-loathing came to a shuddering halt when another moan sounded off, as I watched a second Zoomer coming down the stairs I'd wanted to use to escape. I aimed at him as well, figuring I wasn't going to get out of here until they were all gone.

:Target designated, please wait.:

This thing was even quicker than the last one, so I started to back up, hoping to buy myself some time.


"What. The. Fuck?" These things had never talked before. What the hell was going on here?

:Try Milady Tampons!: The voice mocked cheerfully, as always. :Keep the red out!:

I hit the stairs I'd initially come down, and now, not only was I going to be late, I might just get killed by a talking Zoomer, freaking wonderful.

:Authorization accepted. Good luck, Mister Harris.:

I opened fire on the Zoomer just like the last, but after the first three beams hit the thing, the rifle stopped shooting.

:We're sorry. Your credit payment, scheduled for seven - twenty - four - two - thousand - one - has not been received.:

"Come on, you mother-fucker!" I slapped the gun several times, not believing what I'd just heard. "I just transferred payment two-!"

I was cut off, when another moan sounded from behind me. Holy shit, the slime-bags were surrounding me, and I didn't even have a working weapon anymore.

:Need creds fast? Call Fast Creds at 818-555-1370 today!:

A/N: For anyone that actually cares, the 'Zoomer' is based on 'Tarman' from the original Return of the Living Dead. If you know not what I speak, I strongly suggest going out and renting the movie since it's around Halloween anyways.

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