Started: Spring, 2001
Cast: Metallica, AC/DC, Nine Inch Nails, Journey
Undisclosed location, Arizona desert
The distant hum of machinery made an ominous, echoing noise through the dim corridors. Being underground made for peculiar acoustics, after all.
Shadowy figures in glaring white lab coats drifted those corridors, moving easily through the dimness, never pausing to speak to each other. Each had very specific parameters to work within, and time was of the essence. There was never small talk here, in the catacombs beneath the desert.
The order had been given: create life where there was none. So they took something that had been dormant for years, sealed away by courts and litigation, and gave it new meaning. In the neighborhoods of Arizona, house cats disappeared. MP3's were pirated. Technogeeks were seen roaming in packs and renting out entire blocks of apartments. The rumor that Microsoft was taking over Arizona was whispered from house to house. But no one ever saw where they went at night. Or what they did with all that cat food.
In the deepest of the labs, miles of wires hid something from view. Something with pointed ears and a cat's face, something with trademark headphones perched on its head. An icon alternately dreaded and revered opened eerie green eyes to the underground catacombs of the Oblivion labs...and meowed.
Arizona Summerfest, six weeks later
Alicia ThunderStruck, just a problem child as usual, was under the bed of the truck where Angus was frantically trying to find his hat.
She was hidden out of sight from the others. But why underneath the bed? Heh, who knows. Maybe cause they think of her as an avid fan. And yet Angus says that she is real, and everyone thinks he's crazy. Ah well. Alicia speed through the latest edition of Rolling Stone, and then threw it to the side. Boring stuff. Only about those damn Oblivion people again. ARGH! Rolling Stone must have been overtaken by them, or scared to death of Britney Spears' screaming and wailing.
Alicia sighed silently as Angus was still trying to find his hat. Well, he always is, isn't he? She grabbed underneath the pile of old clothes, and threw his hat to his feet.
'Holy Smoke,' Alicia thought to herself, 'if he only knew how smelly that damn thing is! I could have done wonders for it, and even the others clothes. Ah well, their laundry.'
Alicia smirked and almost gave away a huge laugh, but covered her own mouth. Suddenly she hit her head on the board as the van came to a halt. But at the same time, she bit her own hand! She nearly gave herself away, but she sucked it in.
"That Brain," Alicia whispered to herself, "that man can never drive good. He'll send us down the highway to hell one of these days, literally!"
Alicia shook her head and wiped away the pain from her mind. She walked out of the van, and noticed that they we not at the recording studio, they were at the place were Metallica was gonna perform. Alicia had no idea why...
'OH WAIT! I remember,' Alicia thought to herself, 'Malcom said they were gonna see Metallica perform! SWEET! Maybe the others will come...'
Alicia grinned madly. She LUVED it when the other senshi were around! Especially today. Angus was acting worse than usual. No wonder she could cope with him and neither the others.
As Alicia was walking down to catch up with her band, she noticed someone very familiar. The person turns around and Alicia grins. She had wavy, volumed and drop dead gorgeous maroon hair, a set of nice clothes on her, and, naturally, bunches of glow tape. Alicia waved over to see if she would notice her. But she couldn't stay long for a chit chat. For when Alicia moved her eyes to the right, there was Angus running around, pulling his hair out, beer in hand, and saying "WHERE IS MY HAT?!"
Alicia sighed and ran after the poor problem child from the highway to hell. And Alicia whispered to herself regretfully... "Maybe I should have knocked out Brain..."
Ebony smiled and watched Alicia run off. She felt a pull on the skin of her right wrist and found that the glow tape was coming off. She immediately fixed it then continued on her way.
At the main door, she found herself face to face with a large, mean looking fellow who gruffly told her that she wasn't allowed back stage. Ebony frowned.
"But.....", she said, giving the guard her sweetest look.
"I'm sorry, girl, but no one's allowed back stage, especially oddly dressed fans," the guard replied eyeing her excessive use of glow tape. Over his shoulder Ebony noticed Kirk Hammett talking to someone and Ebony immediately began waving a roll of glow tape over her head. The guard looked at her funny, and started to reach for his walkie talkie when Kirk noticed the glowing arch and recognized Ebony.
"Hey, Ebony!", said Kirk, walking forward. The guard scowled fiercely as Kirk led Ebony around him and back towards the dressing rooms. Kirk looked her over from head to toe, taking notice of the glow tape. He smiled.
"Glow tape again, Eb? Maybe you should try glow sticks next time," he said with a laugh. By this time they had reached the warm up area. As they entered, James Hetfield looked up from his guitar and nodded.
Ebony smiled at them all, then stuck a strip of glow tape on Kirk's guitar saying,
"This is what you get."
She then went out of the room and headed for the stage. When she got there she watched the roadies setting up equipment. Ebony suddenly realized she was frowning. As she was wondering why, she realized that something felt wrong, very, very wrong. She began walking around the stage, checking this and that. She wasn't able to figure out why something felt wrong, but it did. As she was looking up into the lights, she heard a sound behind her and saw a roadie skulking around behind a scaffold. As she edged closer, trying to see who it was - she knew all the roadies by sight - the figure bounded away.
"Hey!" yelled Ebony, but by then the figure was too far away to bother with.
Meanwhile Danny Lohner sat in the beer garden sipping a beer. Suddenly Halo appeared next to him, perched in a lotus position on the bar.
Danny spewed beer on to the bar. "What the fuck are you doing here," he asked her.
She looked around half dazed. "Awake to the sound...always the same, open my eyes, wake up in a world you must despise," Halo said.
Danny laughed, "Well aren't we in a cheery mood."
Halo frowned and asked, "Where is my beautiful liar?"
He smiled at her and said, "Trent went to chat with the Metallica guys. He'll be back soon. Hey what's up? Why are you here?"
Halo looked around as she tried to figure it out. She scanned over the crowd. No odd feeling from the fans... But there was someone, walking on the stage. A girl covered in glow tape. Was she a fellow? Yeah, she must be. "I hear them call...underneath it all. I want to watch it come down," she said as she watched the people backstage.
"What do you mean? Is something about to happen. Is that fucking Oblivion here," Danny asked.
Halo nodded her head. "I can't shake this feeling from my head. Though it all looks different now, I know it's still the same." She paused as a familiar figure appeared from behind the stage curtain. "I want to watch it come down," she repeated.
"Ah, shit! I'm not ready for another attack," Danny said as he tried to forget she said anything.
From behind the crowd control staff, the stage curtains, and the areas' cement walls emerged Trent Reznor. He looked around, surveying the crowd. It was a full house tonight. He wandered over to the beer garden. He saw Danny sitting at the bar talking to himself again. Trent laughed as he said, "What the hell is with you?"
Danny turned around quickly, embarrassed that Trent had heard him. "Hey, did you get to talk to Metallica," Danny asked trying to change the subject.
Trent shook his head. "No. They were too busy. They said to come back after the show."
"Dude, that sucks," Danny said as he turned back to Halo.
Trent walked over to the bar and stood right next to Halo. A smirk came over Halo's face. She knew that he couldn't see her. She whispered in his ear, "You and me, we're in this together now."
Trent suddenly turned towards her. "What the hell was that," he asked.
"See, you can hear her," Danny said.
"Hear who," Trent asked. "The being... Halo. The one me and the guys are always talking to... She's warned me... She thinks something is going to happen tonight," Danny said.
Trent shook his head and said, "What could possibly happen?"
Halo just sat there keeping her eyes peeled. She felt another presence growing closer. There. Near the garden were some familiar faces. It was Journey. What were they doing at a hard rock concert? There was something more. A girl that was near them, trying not to be seen. That girl was no groupie was she?
"And I said, asshole, I was doin' this before you were born," Neal Schon was saying to Jon Cain.
Liberty was nodding in mild agreement even though he had no idea she was there. She adjusted her headband a little and shrugged her shoulders, trying to rid herself of the nagging feeling that she was being watched. In the meantime, she was trying not to kick the back of Neal's chair and tell him he'd told that story in her hearing four times already. It didn't matter that much; she enjoyed listening to her band talk. She watched Jon drum his fingers on one knee while they waited for the show to start. Neal had talked Jon into coming out for it, since they hadn't been to a show in ages. Neal was an AC/DC fan from way back.
Liberty glanced around, trying to stay out of Jon's peripheral vision. The keyboardist always knew she was around. Why she was around right then was a mystery to her, though. Something had awoken her.
"Cool to come to a show and not get recognized," Jon said.
"Yeah," Neal said. "Hey, look at that chick over there," he said, pointing into the crowd. "S'a good thing I'm a married guy."
Liberty rolled her eyes dramatically, continuing to look around.
"I'm sure there are other folks here that're trying not to be recognized," Jon said.
Knowing that was meant for her, Liberty backed a couple of steps away from them but stayed within easy reach. Hard to stay low key around that guy.
She looked out across the crowd again, and her eyes centered on a spot near the beer garden.
There, staring at her intently but not rudely, was a dark haired figure with a baby-blue bandanna, perched on the bar.
A senshi, an avatar, music walking and breathing like she was. Liberty sighed and returned the stare. Nine Inch Nails. She could hear the particular wavelength-tone from there. She dropped her eyes again. More than one senshi awake and walking meant trouble. And there was no idea where it would come from this time.
The lights on the front of the stage went down suddenly, and a collective roar came from the crowd. AC/DC was taking the stage.
Just as soon as Alicia was taking a breather, the band had already gotten on stage.
"HOLY SMOKE! I am definitely gonna knock out Brain next time!"
She ran out onto the stage, since the lights were still dim. Alicia jumped down from the platform of the stage, down to the sidelines of it. Running as fast as she could, Alicia made it to the sound and lights crew. John, or John-O, had been out for a while, so guess who had to pretend that he was here?
Just as Angus was about to start, the light flashed off the sign to send off the pyros. Alicia grinned as she was ready send off the pyros for the signal of one of her most favorite songs.
"Hell-o everybody!" Brain screamed threw the microphone as the fans went wild. "Tonight is Metallica's Night, good friends of ours!" And the crowd goes wild again. "So we decided to do a set of our songs to start up the night. So-" The fans go wild as they await the song. Alicia grinned and pushed the button.
Red flares and orange pyros went off all around! That signaled for Alicia's song...
In the background was: "Oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi" which made Alicia give a smile of craziness. LOTS of craziness...
And then he starts. "See me ride out of the sunset on your-colour TV screen! Out for all that I can get...if you know what I mean!" Brain sung through the microphone. Alicia had gotten out of the sound and light room. Everything was set, and she was about to go LOCO! She went over to the backstage area, where she couldn't believe her eyes. Liberty and Halo where there!
'Sweet,' Alicia thought to herself, 'I love it when the guys are here! FUN! YES!' But all that changed. Alicia's favorite part of the song was coming up...
"Ain't got no gun! Ain't got no knife! But don't you start no fight..."
And Alicia started singing her own parody of it, dancing around like a fool...
"Cause I'm TNT! I'm dynamite! TNT! I'll win da fight! TNT! I such a powerload, oh yeah! TNT! WATCH ME EXPLODE! WOOOOOOOOO!!! YEAH!"
Alicia bobbed her head up and down as Angus started playing as good as he is. Then she starting singing again, dancing around the backstage room, not even caring what the others were thinking.
"I'm dirty! I'm mean! I'm mighty and clean, and a wanted woman! Public Enemy #1! Just to Oblivion...heheh...So lock up your daughter, and your wife! Lock up your front door, and run for you life! Why? Cause the woman is back in town, so don't cha mess around...Cause I'm---WHAT?!"
Alicia said the "what" because she sees Angus playing, but as he is playing, his hat is missing. She just groans, for this is her favorite song. She just walks over, grabs the hat, and when Angus was close to the end of the stage, she jumped up, and plopped it onto his head again. Angus turned around to a winking Alicia, who just stood dumbfounded because she was here. However his solo for the ending came up so he didn't have time to ponder that much about her.
But before she could pout more, her ultimate favorite song was on...
"I'm a problem child! I'm a problem child! I'm a problem child! Problem Child!"
"...and I'M wild!" Alicia finished for Brain. After 3 songs, mainly Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, ThunderStruck, and Highway To Hell to finish it off, Alicia is plum darn happy as can be. Also known as her just so f'ing crazy and kooky right now, only one thing will keep her down: BEER. Alicia jumps up and down to encore her band, then walks over to the bar and grabs a frosty. Alicia nodded to Trent, Halo and Danny who where also at the bar, and walked over to the dressing room, where her band was.
Ebony stood hidden behind the 'crazy guy' sign on stage. Through the chinks in the scaffold before her she watched as James tuned his guitar. She straightened and sighed. If only.... she thought. Ebony saw something like a shadow cross behind her and she spun around. Nothing. Who was following her? All this evening she had felt like she was being watched. But watched by who? And why? And why were the senshi here? It was odd, but she had seen too many of her fellows here tonight for there to be some kind of coincidence. Ebony shivered and leaned against a wall, facing the rest of the stage. She closed her eyes.....
When she opened them again, Ecstasy of Gold was playing. That meant Metallica would be starting in a moment. Ebony smiled and listened while the crowd hummed along with the music. A few lighters flickered on and Ebony thought it was a bit early in the concert for them. Then Ecstasy was over, and Metallica went right into Master of Puppets. From her spot backstage she sung along with James, humming the guitar solos and tapping her foot. She noticed someone- definitely not one of the roadies. Ebony stopped singing, and stared intently at the figure. She walked slowly forward, stopping only when she heard James say, "We are Metallica and we're here to rock!".
So like him, she thought.
The band started playing The Memory Remains. Ebony stood stock still watching the shadowy figure who was now directly across stage from her. Suddenly, the figure was gone.
"What the hell," she cried as the figure dropped from the lights catwalk onto Lars' drum set. The thing- whatever the hell it was- picked up the drums and hurled them at Kirk, who jumped out of the way just in time. Ebony yelled out, and the monster turned and looked right at her with an uncanny gleam in its eyes. Then, to the utter horror of Ebony, it jumped at James and grabbed him by the neck. There were screams from the audience and people tried to jump onstage to help James.
Ebony prepared to hit it with her Holier Than Thou attack, but she realized if she fired it, it would hit James before it hit the monster.
"Oh God," she whispered. Grabbing an unused guitar, Ebony charged straight at the monster, who shoved James out of the way and grabbed her, wrenching the guitar out of her hand. James stumbled back, gaping, then started hitting the monster with his guitar. Napster merely flicked his wrist and James went sprawling onto the stage, knocked unconscious. Napster started draining the screaming Ebony, who was kicking with all her might.
"Angus? You are crazy," Phil said shaking his head.
"I AM NOT CRAZY! I saw her," Angus pleaded. "She was right there! She got my hat!"
"Your brother's crazy, you know that Malcom," Brain asked.
Alicia just smirked as she kept on drinking her beer outside their room. Angus was the only one that knew she was real, and she wanted to keep it that way. For a while of course.
Suddenly she sensed a senshi's signature be drained. Her large cup crashed to the ground. It was Metallica's. Alicia gasped and ran out to where the stage was. She was right. What she didn't know was that her band, secretly, was following her, since they heard the cup smash. In front of the senshi's eyes was a green eyed, cat faced monster draining away Metallica's signature. Alicia smirked, then flipping her guitar necklace in the air into her flower necklace, changing into her senshi uniform: necktie, hat, shorts, and a shirt. Duh.
She ran out onto the stage. "Hey, you cat faced freak! I'm Sailor AC/DC, the one that you don't mess with, jack! Get ready to be sent down the Highway To Hell!" Alicia cupped her hands on the right side of her body, smirking. A ball of red light gleamed from it.
"Try it on for size! TNT EXPLOSION!"
A huge blast came from the ball, like an explosion of 200 tons of TNT! The green eyed creature was blasted away, which stopped the draining of Metallica's signature. The green eyed monster glared at AC/DC, who was just standing there, smirking. The monster unveiled itself, not a surprise to Alicia. "Who are you and what do you want, jack?"
"That's for me to know and you to find out," the green eyed creature said with a sly accent.
"Fine then! Take this!" Alicia took off her rose necklace and flicked it above her. Many roses fell around her and she picked up almost all of them the first try. "WHOLE LOTTA ROSES!" Many roses went towards the creature, but all he did was deflect them with his cloak. Alicia gasped at the move. She stood ready with another attack, yet a little hesitant what to do next.
Frozen still at the beer garden stood Trent and Danny.
"Wholly shit! What the hell is going on," Trent said to Danny.
Danny just shook his head as he said, "I don't know... This is really fucking weird... This isn't part of the show is it?" He turned to Halo and asked, "Halo, what's going on?"
Halo had been in a state on meditation, completely unaware of the mayhem that was going down on stage. She slowly opened her eyes to see Trent turn to her, wide eyed.
"Who the hell are you," Trent asked. Halo didn't answer. She was starring at the stage. Closely watching, waiting. The roses flew across the stage, the energy level fell, and then the draining feeling began. It was as if someone was slowly pulling her heart out through a hole the size of...
"Bamboo puncturing this skin and nothing comes bleeding out of me," she whispered as she began to move. She could sense the panic grow in the crowd. Something had to be done quick or the whole place would turn into Bedlam.
"Halo, WHAT IS IT," Danny half screamed.
The cat creature was too strong for the two Sailors to beat on their own. AC/DC's signal began to fade. "Tired faith all worn and thin... I wont let you fall apart," Halo said as she started to move. She gently took hold of Trent and moved him to the side. She slid off the bar and took off running towards the stage.
Trent turned to Danny and said, "I don't know who the hell she is, but there's no way in hell that I'm missing this one!" He then ran after her. Danny dropped his beer and ran after Trent.
At the stage the drainage became more intense. Halo crept up on the stage and lurked in the shadows. She thought she was being quiet, but it seemed like every light footstep was one deep bass note after another.
The cat creature turned and glared at her. "What is this plaything you bring to me," Napster asked.
"I have arrived and this time you should believe the hype," Halo said from the shadows.
"Oooo... Sailor NIN's a scary one," Napster mocked.
Halo's eyes tightened as she felt the angst grow inside. "The ruiner's got a lot to prove, he's got nothing to lose, and now he made you believe," Halo said as she closed the distance between them.
Napster held his hand out for her to stop as he said, "You are the ruiner. You and all originality-seeking musicians. You all think you're helping the world, helping people see the truth! You're all a joke. You're all nothing. And I mean to rid the world of all this nothingness!"
"You had to covet what was mine, didn't you? The ruiner's a collector he's an infector serving his shit to his flies," she said. She knew she had him. He had nothing on her. A dark smile came onto her face. There was now only feet between them as she began to whisper, "There will come a day when those that you keep blind..."
Napster threw his arm out towards her grabbing on to her halo necklace. Pulling her towards him. "No, you don't! My perfect ring of scars," Napster said as he began to drain her. Her essence began to filter through him. "Maybe I'm all messed up, maybe I'm all messed up in you! But this is the only time I really feel alive," Napster said.
Halo stared up at him, trying to speak, trying to make him see. He tightened his grasp as he said, "Bow down before the one you SERVE!" A low rumble moved up from the ground as he raised his arm out over the crowd. "I will have you all," he said as he opened his hand. Fire shot out in all directions from his hand.
The crowd went berserk, running every which way, trying to find exits. In the midst of all the chaos stood Trent and Danny. Trent started to look around for a way out. "What the fuck? We need to get the hell out of here," he said to Danny. The crowd was rushing all around them.
Halo's eyes grew. Her boys were in danger, but she didn't want Napster to sense her concern. "It didn't turn out the way you wanted it, did it," she asked in a mocking tone knowing that it would royally piss Napster off.
Napster shook his head and said, "I will ruin you all." He then threw her off the stage.
She landed on her face beneath Trent's feet. She lifted her face to see an outstretched hand. Trent? No, the energy was there, but it was a different type. It was Sailor Journey.
"In his voice I heard decay. I've done all I can do...can I please come with you," Halo asked Liberty.
"Let me give you what you need from me," Liberty said as Halo took her hand. The other senshi was immediately struck with a sense of hope, the idea that there was no way they could be beaten, even as panicked concertgoers rushed around them.
Halo stood, then looked over to Trent and Danny who both wore a puzzled look. "In the back off...side far away," she said to the boys.
Danny looked at Trent and said, "Come on Trent, she wants us out of the way."
Halo turned to Liberty, "I'll build a wall and we can keep them on the other side." She waited for Liberty's input.
"There's no time to lose," Liberty said. "We are many, we are one!"
Halo smiled and said, "We're in this together now, none of them can stop us now."
Liberty pointed up at the stage, where Napster stood over Ebony and Alicia, gloating. She had, only moments earlier, sent her own bandmembers scrambling for cover with no explanation. "Don't hold back!" she said. "With everyone uncertain, it's madness all around us. We are many!" Then she leaped for the stage, pulling herself up and facing Napster.
The creature turned eerie green eyes to her, cocking an ear in her direction. It was enough to allow Ebony to regain her feet, and for Alicia to snap out of her uncertainty. Liberty could feel Halo at her back, and knew they had Napster surrounded. The creature raised its hands to begin pulling on all of them.
"The more you get, the more you want," Liberty said. "It leads to nowhere!"
Napster laughed. "You're one to talk, dinosaur! I've always been one step ahead of you, and you're the least original of them all."
"A fool's illusion, one more lie," Liberty said, gesturing to Alicia and Ebony and hoping they knew what she was doing. "As long as I live and breathe, you'll never get a piece of my soul. Dead of night!" She clenched a fist at Napster, violet-colored flames erupting from her hand.
While the other senshi attacked Napster, Ebony backed away, mistrust and something akin to fear flashing in her eyes. She moved around behind the group until she was close enough to her band to speak with them. James was still unconscious, and Lars was trying to wake him up. Kirk and Jason were wielding their instruments like weapons.
"Ebony, what the hell is going on?", Kirk asked, looking at her like it was her fault Napster had ruined Lars' drums and knocked James senseless.
"Bullets are flying, people are dying", she replied almost sneeringly.
"Yes, I can see that," Jason said. "What the fuck is that thing?!"
"You're where the wild things are, Jason," Ebony replied. Why were both of them treating her so badly? Lars looked up and saw that she was near to tears from what Kirk and Jason had said. He smiled.
"James' just got a nasty knock on the head. He'll be fine."
Alicia cupped her hands again, readying another TNT Explosion.
Halo opened her hands towards Napster and said, "Taking all you need, but not this time. No, you don't!" Then a see-thru, mushroom blue energy field surrounded her.
From the safety of the crowd control barrier stood Trent and Danny. The energy field went up around Halo and both the guys let out an, "OH SHIT!"
"I didn't know she could do that," Danny said. Trent smiled as he asked, "Where the hell did you find her?"
Napster screamed and tried to twist away, finding every possible escape blocked by another angry senshi. It tried to dart in any direction, hemmed in, pummeled by their collective powers.
"I meant no harm!" Napster screamed. "I had no choice! I had to agree to their terms to be free!"
Liberty paused, on the verge of setting it on fire. "To get your way, you'll shed a tear," she scoffed. "Lies!"
The creature pulled itself into a tight ball, arms covering its own head, ears laid back. "Please! Please! I was created to do only one thing! I have no choice!"
Halo cocked her head to the side as she said, "I am the truth from which you run. All the hands of hope have withdrawn."
"Were you not all created to do only one thing?" Napster cried piteously.
"A state of grace that happens every day," Liberty said, hand still raised to immolate the creature. "Love, and blind faith. Love, not pride without shame. There's more to life than black and white!"
Napster whined and refused to attack them any further or respond.
"Don't go looking for snakes, you might find them," Ebony muttered, glaring daggers of mistrust at Napster and willing Journey to see that this was mock repentence.
"Maybe you'd change your mind," Liberty said to the creature. "Are you real, or illusion?" She glanced out across the milling crowd. Some had gone for the exits, some were watching. The panic had died down. She used those precious seconds to wonder where Jon and Neal had finally holed up. And she knew how Jon would want the situation handled. "Still...you're sincere." She backed away a little, they all did, and Napster regained his feet.
"You've misunderstood me," he said. "It was all wrong, I only wanted my freedom. You...can help me buy it back...maybe we could help each other."
There was a moment where he really meant it, a possibility springing to life behind feral green eyes.
Then it was gone, and he leapt between the unprepared senshi.
Straight at James Hetfield.
The world moved in slow motion for Ebony for a moment. She heard the other senshi yelling, saw Napster jump past her, saw it heading for James, but couldn't react. Time stopped when Napster pulled James away from Lars by the ankle. Ebony could hear the bones crunching. And then, acting as if she wasn't in control of herself, she tossed off an attack, one she didn't even know she knew.
"MASTER OF PUPPETS!!"
Napster dropped James as he himself was picked up by puppet strings and tossed like a rag doll off the stage. The crowd, seeing this monster being thrown toward them, streamed out of the auditorium in a river. They. Were. Gone.
Napster came flying towards Danny and Trent. They both stepped back. Both disbelieving, but both knowing that it was all very real. Napster landed feet away from them. He stood up, brushed himself off, and then stared at the guys. Trent glared back at him as he whispered to Danny, "I really don't like the way he's staring at us...I think we're in deep shit."
Danny took ahold of Trent and started to pull him away.
Napster smiled and said, "Where do you think you're taking the pretty boy?"
Danny glared at Napster as he said, "Fuck off!"
Napster laughed as he leapt towards them. Danny moved to block Trent, but he was lacking the swiftness of a cat. Napster had ahold of Trent by his arm. He hissed at Danny, "Don't even think about helping, 'cause I'll break his arm before you can move an inch." Napster then turned to Trent as he asked, "Where's your precious Halo now? Goes to show how much she really cares. She allowed your safety to be jeopardized all for the good of the others. See, she will only go so far for you."
Trent calmly blinked and said nothing. In the hands of danger, but he knew he wouldn't come to harm. He saw that Napster was full of shit. For Napster didn't know that the Sailor was flying right towards them.
Suddenly Napster felt a breath on the back of his neck. Then a whisper in his ear. "Opal," was all he heard then found him self turned to stone. He watched as Halo quickly broke the hold he had on Trent. He stood there unable to move. Halo led both guys to the stage. Danny and Trent climbed up on the stage and turned around to find that Halo wasn't behind them. She was walking back towards Napster, who by this time was coming back around.
Trent became concerned. "What is she doing," he asked Danny.
"I don't know," Danny answered as he watched her.
Trent shook his head as he yelled out, "Fuck it Halo! You've done enough. Come back here!" Halo's attention was too focused. She heard him, but couldn't stop herself. Napster had gone too far.
"There is a place that still remains," she said. "It eats the fear, it eats the pain. The sweetest price he'll have to pay... The day the whole world went away. It comes down to this. Your kiss. Your fist," she said to Napster as she kissed her hand and then blew the kiss to him. Napster smiled, but when the kiss hit him he knew he misunderstood her. The kiss sent him flying backwards towards the exit. Halo followed and then was out of sight.
"Alright people, show's over, keep it coming," the security guard said, motioning people to come out of the stadium. Brain and Phil were looking through the wreakage, seeing if there were people underneath or at least a couple of beers. Malcom was helping the security settle down some people that were a bit shaken up. The news crew were going to arrive any second, so Malcom helped out quickly so the crews wouldn't see anything suspicious.
Angus was busy backstage, taking in some of the equipment for Metallica, since some of the men were too shocked to move anything at all. Alicia was helping as well, but she wasn't noticed by Angus at all.
"Don't alright bro," Malcom asked, helping his brother carry some of Kirk's guitars into the truck.
"Never better Malcom," Angus replied.
"Say, you were right about Alicia," Malcom whispered in a low voice, taking in the last guitar, closing the truck.
"Well, I told you guys, but did you listen? NOOOOOOO! You assumed that I was crazy in the head, but next time you guys should listen to me," Angus said, walking back inside to the backstage area with his brother.
"Hey guys," Brain yelled, walking over to Angus and Malcom, Phil behind.
"Hey Brain. Everything doing okay?"
"Sure is Malcom. The security said they would clean up the rest and the TV crews are probably racing through traffic to get here. Heh, they would do anything for a story."
"You can say that again."
The boys of AC/DC looked around to see who said that. Angus then went wide eyed, jumping up and down pointing to a blood red headed girl, her hair so long almost reaching the floor. She was upside down, eating a bag of popcorn, stuffing it in her mouth. Her legs were supporting her from falling flat on her head.
"Hey guys, I'm your protectin' senshi to say it bluntly," Alicia said, her mouth stuffed with popcorn, waving her hand.
"Erm...hi," Malcom, Phil, and Brain unanimously said together.
"See! I told you Alicia was real! I told you!!"
"Yep, Angus is right. Put it there, I'm Sailor AC/DC, Alicia Thunderstruck. You guys can call me Alicia or Rosie. Call me Sailor Rosie and you're dead, jack," Alicia said taking out her hand. Each one of the members shook Alicia's hand.
"So...your're a senshi for our band?"
"The one and only, Malcom."
"Well, that's a first," Phil said.
"You can say that again," Brain whispered.
"And you were created..."
"By your songs! Your songs helped created me into a powerful senshi that will kick a helluvalot of asses to protect your own. So...where's the beer?"
"I like her already!" Brain shouted. "Come on guys, let's get hittin' the road. We have a concert to do in Anehiem next! Comin' Alicia?"
"Do I never leave? Hmm. Let me think. NO! Thank you!"
"Alright guys, let's get a'goin'! Next stop, beer," Alicia shouted, running out of the stadium to AC/DC's truck. Angus whooped and followed, making the rest of the members groan and run after them before the two problem children do something that they would regret.
* * *
A somber tone had fallen over the remaining few. Evil had gone, the fans had all fled, and the bands were being to chill. All was quite. For now.
Danny wandered around looking for Trent. "He was here just a minute ago... He just fucking disappeared," Danny said to himself. He stopped a roadie and asked if he had seen Trent. He hadn't. He called over to the Metallica boys to see if they had spotted him. They hadn't seen hide nor hair. "Where the hell did he go," Danny asked aloud as a crowd control person walked by. "Are you looking for someone?" the woman asked.
"Yeah, I am... Have you seen Trent around?" Danny asked.
"Trent who," she asked.
Danny laughed and said, "Trent Reznor."
She shook her head and said, "Who's that?"
"Fucking asshole," Danny said as he walked away. He walked over to the exit and called out, "Trent!"
There was silence and then from down the way: "Yeah? I'm over here," answered the darkness.
Danny walked over to a lone figure in the dark rain. "Trent? Where the hell have you been?" Danny asked. "I came out here to see if I could find Halo... She came this way... Where the hell did she go? And who the hell is she," Trent asked.
Danny shrugged as he said, "I don't know how to explain her. She's kinda like our guardian angel. She's always around when we play live and sometimes in the studio... She's always looking out for us. But I'm really not too sure what she really is... She's whatever all those others are. I never knew there was so many."
Trent laughed as he said, "Nine Inch Nails has a fucking guardian angel... That's something that I thought I'd never see... Well, when is she coming back?"
Danny smiled and said, "Hell if I know... She might hide from you now that you've seen her. But I'm sure that cat thing isn't finished with us and where there's danger Halo will be around. Come on, let's go have a beer with Metallica."
They went back inside and joined the recovering bands. Peace was theirs for the time being.
Deep in the shadows of the dark, rain-filled night, eyes aglow with malice and confusion, the breathing spectre of Napster lurked. Creativity remained in jeopardy, in the malignant claws of a tortured scarecrow.