NIN was midway through their Fragility v2.0 tour. New York City.
This place was always looked forward to when it came to playing a show. Nothing like an ego trip at the thought of playing the Big Apple.
Halo stared out the hotel window as she thought, "Hmm.... Apple of Sodom." She was getting interference from another being. "Wanted to go back to the way it was before," Halo said out loud.
Charlie turned to her with a puzzled look. "What are you talking about, Halo," he asked.
She continued to stare out the window as she mumbled, "Those who know what it really feels like, to those who've had a taste..."
Charlie walked over to her and asked again, "What are you talking about?"
"One of us... The wretched," Halo said as she turned to him.
"'The wretched'? Who's the wretched," Charlie asked.
Trent wondered out of the bedroom. "Ah, it sounds like you are. You're the one talking to the fucking window," Trent said. Charlie rolled his eyes at Trent's sarcasm.
Halo turned towards the door as she whispered, "asskisser."
"Asskisser? What," Charlie asked.
Trent turned to him and gave Charlie a puzzled look. There was a knock on the door. Trent opened it and silence followed. "Fucking A! Brian! What the hell are you doing here," Trent asked in an excited tone.
Marilyn Manson and gang stood in the hall. Trent and Marilyn hugged one another as the rest of the band entered the room and intermixed with NIN. The room quickly filled with laughter and brotherly embraces and lots of colorful adjectives.
Halo stood back with a smirk on her face as she figured it was Marilyn's energy she was picking up on. But she was wrong. She covered the room with her eyes. All familiar faces. Twiggy, Ginger, Madonna, John 5, but who was that? An unknown stood in the corner, alone. A tall, well built, shaved-head man. He was just standing there staring back at her. This was no member of the band. And he didn't look too terribly human either. More posthuman than anything. Like something that had just emerged from the depths of Hell.
Halo starred at him for what seemed to be half of an eternity. This being was the source of the interference that she was picking up on before. She slowly walked over to him, not breaking the eye contact. She closed in on him till there was only a foot between them. She wasn't sure if he should be feared or not, but she spoke anyways. "You're one of us," she half asked and half stated.
The words of the senshi are met with an intense look. The voice of Coma emerges, "I've been to black and back... Your Antichrist Superstar." He stands there studying the female that is well known in his dream world, but he's unknown to her. He continues to stare at the small built, dreadlocked, fellow black clad, truth seeker. An almost evil smile creeps onto his face as he speaks, "My Halo, I'll be you're lover, I'll be forever... Disassociative...I am just a boy playing the suicide King."
Halo steps back. Who the hell does this guy think he is? But as egocentric as he was acting there was something underlying. Something familiar. True, the two bands had a lot in common. The members were much like brothers. So naturally their guardians should get along quite well. Maybe too well. Halo searched his unreadable face for some sort of clue to his sincerity. "A fool's devotion, swallowed up in empty space," Halo said to him, hoping that would get some sort of reaction from him. Nothing. "Well, okay. Enough! You've had your fun! But come on, there's got to be someone that hasn't yet become so numb and succumb. Gotta let me get thru to you," Halo said as she began to become frustrated by his silence.
Coma stands strong, bows his head slightly downward and speaks, "Preserve the innocence, but I have to show you that you played a role...now I found you, it's almost too late..."
The connection was beginning. Halo could feel his energy coursing through her. The synchronicity was there.
Halo took in his words and thought for a second and replied, "Broken, bruised, forgotten, sore... Too fucked up to care anymore. Poisoned to my rotten core."
Coma stands silent taking in the connected feeling. He softly speaks, "Tear this bitter fruit to mess...Now you must spit out the seeds, there is a dream within a dream."
A huge grin came onto Halo's face as she realized that he was like her. He could relate. He knew what it was like. Well, of course he did. "In a dream I'm a different me with a perfect you, we fit perfectly... and for once in my life I feel complete...Seems like salvation comes only in our dreams. Do you know how far this has gone?"
Coma speaks: "You were from a perfect world, a world that threw me away. Nothing's going to change the world. We fed machines and then we prayed."
A pain filled expression covered Halo's face as she said, "Covered in hope, still cannot fix this broken machine. It's still getting worse after everything I've tried. My favorite dreams of you still wash ashore, with a trail of my footprints from where I ran away."
Coma speaks: "When the spirit is so digital the body acts this way." A sorrowful look comes over his face as he speaks, "Heaven wasn't made for me, we burn ourselves to hell as fast as it can be. Cast the shadow of our perfect death."
Halo grimaced as she turned away. Things were just too close for comfort. They understood each other too well. Well, enough to question "what next?" But she didn't have time for "what next." She had her band to contend with. She couldn't afford to even entertain the idea of... of whatever it was he was hinting at.
The guys were starting to leave. Show time. "Hey Marilyn, why don't you join us on stage," Trent asks as they file out the door.
"Sounds fucking great," Marilyn responds. Coma is still staring at Halo even though she's mentally somewhere else.
Halo finds Danny as she ignores Coma. Danny looks at her and says, "Hey, chick! You ready to be on guard for one kickass show?" Halo smiles faintly as she quickly glances over at Coma. "Ah, you've got a partner in crime. Well, bring him along," Danny says. Halo turned to go over to him.
Coma is standing right by her. He pays no attention to her surprised expression. He speaks, "I'm on my way down. I want to take you with me."
Halo shrugs as she says, "Well you know me."
The show went like clockwork. Incident free. What Oblivion disciple would be stupid enough to fuck with two of the biggest bad asses in the music biz? Halo tried to pretend the whole show that her and Coma had just met. But she knew. She knew that they were connected. They had just too much in common to feel like they just met. But she couldn't deal with this right now. She still had half a tour to concentrate on. She turned to Coma and gently said, "If I could fix myself I'd, but it's too late. She looked him right in the eye and said, "Goodbye." She rushed off to catch up with her recovering band.
Coma stands there, arms crossed and bewildered. In a solemn tone he speaks, "Your father's your prison, you see."
They remain separated till the next time fate flows down the path they have chosen…