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(Malibu, morning)

Klara, Molly and Victor are playing a game on their Nintendo Wii, each snowboarding down a mountain in search of victory. As Molly and Victor fight (Molly believes Victor is cheating), Klara actually does cheat by manipulating the plant beside the television to block the screen so only she can see. Klara enjoys cheating.

As they continue their downhill race, Chase appears on the staircase, yawning but ready to go to work. Everyone ignores him. They’re much more focused on the game. He notes their lack of excitement at his appearance and wanders through the room carrying a box of donuts. He talks to himself in a jokingly sarcastic fashion, telling them not to worry. He is the one, after all, putting food on their table and game controllers in their hands. None of the others pay attention to Chase at all.

Meanwhile, Nico and Karolina take a nice morning stroll along one of Malibu’s golden beaches. Karolina reveals how every once in a while "it" always hits her; the fact that it wasn't so long ago they were just kids, living with their parents, eating their food and driving their cars. Nico is surprised Karolina got to drive their car, although Karolina smiles and replies that it wasn’t with their permission. She snuck it out once, drove to Taco Bell and back - by doing this, she felt she left a footprint on the Earth. Nico holds her hand and tells her the only footprints she's leaving on that planet are the ones she's making in the sand. Nico is happy to see Karolina smiling. Karolina admits that she thought the pain would never go away, but it does. Things do get better. Nico says that Xavin would be proud of her.

As the two walk back up the drive to their home, they notice Chase driving away in the VW Steinbus. Nico can’t believe that he’s actually sticking with the job. Before Karolina can make a remark, Chase flicks a switch to unleash the rockets from the back. He kicks the bus into rocket mode and takes off at speed. A trail of smoke envelopes the two girls and Nico waves her unseen fist at him, yelling about how he's blowing cover. Karolina simply sighs.


Over at KZIT, DJ Val Rhymin is with "Mother" - a stocky guy with a crow’s head walking stick, slicked-back hair and a goatee. As Val sorts out his mail, he tells Mother he wants zombies. Not the old school ones, new and improved zombies. Mother, however, is struggling to think of a simple spell to attack a common weakness everyone in Los Angeles has. Val suggests the common weakness is debt, but Mother tells him that it has to be a physical weakness everyone in Los Angeles has. But the answer to their problem comes walking through the door in the form of Lydia, Val Rhymin's secretary. Lydia (whose beautiful appearance implies she's undergone plastic surgery in the past) enters the room asking if Val can sign some headshots when he gets the chance. Val almost ignores her but says he’ll get right on it. Mother watches her depart and turns to Val, finally figuring out a common weakness. He asks Val, “How many people in Los Angeles would you say have had plastic surgery?” Val isn’t sure. Maybe half? A grin spreads across Mother’s face as his mind sets his plans in motion.


Over at the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood, a rock group called the Retching Pigs (nice) are holding a record company executive at gunpoint because he had fired them. The lead singer orders his guitar player, Vinnie to strum his guitar - Vinnie's super-powered guitar sends a rippling wave through the air, knocking most of the S.W.A.T. team nearby unconscious. It is at this point, however, where Klara Prast's grey eyes light up as she whispers, "a sound garden".

The Runaways, having arrived on the scene watch as plants begin to grow around the Capital Records Building around the Retching Pigs. Nico and Klara stand on top of the Leapfrog, to where Nico threatens to light a spell upon them. The lead singer, however, mockingly calls Nico a "goth hood ornament" to the Leapfrog, and calls her an emo. Nico, infuriated, raises her Staff but is stopped by Karolina; just in time, because the Retching Pigs have just begun shooting at the Runaways. Luckily, Karolina creates a solar-energy forcefield in front of them, but Klara is still frightened of the Retching Pigs - they remind her of her old husband.

When the guns finally run out of bullets, Karolina drops the field and Nico says that it’s their turn. Karolina blasts one of the guys, Molly smashes the ground under another’s feet whilst Nico extends her Staff of One to allow the record company executive to grab it. Klara uses her plants to take Vinnie and another band member out of the fight. It is at this point where S.W.A.T. finally recovers, but the Runaways have already taken out the Retching Pigs. Later on, Nico admits that they executed their task well and showed great teamwork; she thinks they're ready to get back to big time crime fighting. But the only problem, however, is Chase... who is at work.


Chase is at KZIT, flirting with Lydia who seems pretty uninterested. Chase unknowingly mocks Lydia, who becomes more annoyed with him. She tells him the only time she'd be interested is if Chase was rich enough to buy the station. Chase tells her that it’s just a matter of time. As he leaves the room, Mother and Val Rhymin are plotting their next move. They want Lydia to listen to the chorus of a CD fused with magic. Should Lydia (a plastic surgery patient) listen to the CD, she would promptly be turned into a zombie.

Val enters Lydia's office and waves the CD around, but Lydia's eager to hear it. Lydia enjoys listening to the CD, but her nose suddenly begins to bleed. Lydia falls to the floor and stars to retch, screaming. Val wonders if the spell is working, but Mother enters and orders Lydia to stand up. “Holy Romero!” gasps a shocked, but happy Val as he sees Lydia's face. Mother smiles maliciously, proud the CD worked. Val calls Lydia "the most disgusting thing [he’s] ever seen." Lydia is now taller, but grotesque, with spikes sticking out of her body and her muscles gnarled and twisted. She moans a zombie moan; she is the new leader of their zombie army. Val loves it. “Today Lydia. Tomorrow Los Angeles!”


In this issue, "Mother" makes his first appearance after being mentioned in issue #3 (October 2008). It isn't explained if he's Val's "mother", or if he's just a man named Mother.

Molly, Victor and Klara play the Nintendo Wii. Val references George Romero's horror films, but wishes for a Robert Rodriguez-type of zombie. YouTube, the bands Nevermore and Soundgarden, the song "Respect" by Aretha Franklin and the program GarageBand are all referenced.

In this issue, Mother references Robert Minoru, Nico's father. He cites the Minorus as Los Angeles' greatest influence in magic. Also, Karolina flies the Leapfrog for the first time - Chase, Victor and briefly Xavin were the only other Runaways who have flown the 'Frog. As Chase flirts with Lydia, it is strongly assured he has gotten over Gert.

When Marvel solicits released the cover for this issue, it featured Xavin in the space Karolina, Victor and Chase are in. In the actual cover released, Xavin was removed from it.



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