Outside the unmarked building, there was a single flyer held up with a piece of used bubblegum. On it, there was simple black text announcing a Double-Headliner of Blitzkrieg and SlutMuffin. That was all the notice that had been given for the concert, but people were finding their way in nonetheless, presumably due to some innate psychic ability sensing the concert's presence.
Or social networking. But, really, who could say in Metro City?
Inside the big iron door on the brick building, the show was about to start. There were thirteen chairs, none part of any kind of set, that no one was sitting in scattered about the room. The only light in the room was from a remarkable number of lava lamps hanging from the ceiling, which couldn't be up to any kind of building codes. The stage was really just a bunch of milk crates with plywood covering it.
All in all, it was quite fancy.
"And now, Blitzkrieg!" A small woman with bright green hair yelled. She didn't have a mic and didn't actually seem to be officially representing the venue in anyway, but the crowd began to cheer anyway. This was probably a good time for the show to start.
A sandwich delivery guy chained his bike outside the building, having just come from work to finish his day with a concert. Far from promoting the virtues of bicycle-delivered paper wrapped sandwiches, Scrawl's shirt bore an advertisement printed in yellow on dark green for the Tyrell corporation Nexus-6, the words under Tyrell's owl mascot proclaiming the model to be More Human Than Human.
What he'd heard of Slutmuffin was sort of nondescript, but supposedly Blitzkrieg had a trumpet. This was a good sign. Scrawl had wanted to play French horn in school, but his parents hadn't been able to afford it. He wasn't still bitter about this after all those years, and it would be unreasonable to suggest he possibly could be. This was just the next best thing.
And anyway he'd painted instead and painting was obviously superior because it produced things which lasted.
Having thusly assured himself of his artistic superiority, Scrawl turned a chair around to sit on it backward until a green-haired chick announced Blitzkrieg. Scrawl clapped and stood, waiting with the others for the band he'd actually come to see.
Member No.: 56
Joined: 9-June 11
Not to think like a sell-out, mused Dynamo as he strode onto the "stage," waving nonchalantly at the audience, but this is definitely one of those "any gig you get paid for is a good gig" moments. Because fuck. He adjusted the strap on his guitar and shifted his stance and grip slightly, resting the instrument's body at a comfortable angle against his hipbone. If this place were any more underground we'd be in a goddamned fallout shelter. The musician's eyes turned skyward for a moment, scanning the ceiling supports. If he died on stage due to some sort of freak falling lava lamp accident he'd be humiliated forever. Or not, on account of being dead. That was one of the nice things about being dead, he supposed; your reputation might outlive you for eternity, but fuck you having to deal with the consequences. No one could make you deal with anything anymore in circumstances like that.
In any case, a falling lava lamp was more likely to give him a concussion or third-degree burns or something. He was fairly certain lava lamps did not, in fact, contain actual lava, or indeed molten anything, but that knowledge made him no less comfortable with the idea that one might drop from the ceiling at any moment and explode violently all over his face. It would definitely interrupt his singing.
"Yes!" Dynamo cried out to the cheering crowd, "that's right! We! Are! Blitzkreig! Duel one...let's rock!"
Metro City stands still Then the sidewalks are showered in a crystalline hail Sonic pulses rip through crowded streets And as the world explodes...people cry out... We need a hero!
(Chorus) Oh where were you on Black Thursday When the city burned and the peace was broken Where were you on Black Thursday When the people all started to pray?
The metal monster tore through the air With slashing wings and a screeching voice Lucky for you all, Dynamo was there! And he was ready to fight, as if he'd had a choice!
Oh where were you on Black Thursday When mechanical terrors threatened our city Where were you on Black Thursday When the heroes were saving the day?
(Spoken) Look, even a supervillain has to do a good deed once a century!
(RAP BRIDGE) I'm the most badass badguy in Metro City No way some punk inventor's gonna show me up in my space So I wrapped a length of chain 'round that fucker's creation And it ate about a million volts right to the face Fighting's not my gig, I'm all about rock But he learned that if you mess with me you're gettin' a shock!
Oh where were you on Black Thursday When Metro City triumphed in the end? Where were you on Black Thursday When we swore that we'd never give in!
One last power chord. Wail a bit for emphasis. Fuck yeah. Game. Set. Match. Intro? Totally handled.
The frontman swept his fingers through his messy blonde hair, intentionally discharging a bit of static and fluffing it beyond reasonable expectations. He was sure he had kicked the everloving hell out of...SlutMuffin. And the were just getting started. Not that he was going to talk trash about another band while he had the stage. That shit was unprofessional beyond belief.
"Fuck yeah! That was our new single, Black Thursday! Albums will be available after the show, keep your pants on. Or take them off, if you've got nice legs. Yeah, that means you," he called out, pointing into a part of the crowd that we densely-packed enough that it was unlikely anyone in it would feel too singled-out. Flattering large groups worked best that way. "Buying drinks for the band is welcome and encouraged! Consider it a donation..." he continued, unplugging his guitar and holding the plug loosely in his fingers, sparks audibly arcing between the metal and his flesh, "...to help us keep our batteries going. Okay! Next up is one the cool people may have heard before, top single from our last album, Lesser Key of Solomon...this is...Infernal Bargain!" No more bantering with the crowd. Even one-way bantering. It was time to sing again. It was time to rock again.
It was going to be a long night. And like all nights he spent on stage, Benjamin Han really didn't mind.
Nobody upstages Slutmuffin. As Blitzkrieg started into their second song, the amplifiers cut out. A tall, redheaded woman in a leather BDSM outfit strode onto the stage holding a double-ended dildo, screaming obscenities at Dynamo. She waved the floppy light-blue double penis around as she screamed.
Behind her, there was a loud yell and she stopped. She turned around, to see her bandmate being mauled by a bear. She looked disbelievingly at this, and then turned to Dynamo to see if he was seeing the same thing.
"Is that a bear?" She asked, then turned back at the bear.
"Fuck. That's a bear!" She dropped the dildo, but it didn't make the proper dildo-hitting-plywood sound. She looked down and saw that it was now a rattlesnake. She screamed, and due to a childhood fear of snakes caused by the movie Anaconda, fainted.
Member No.: 56
Joined: 9-June 11
Ben Han could turn ramen into electricity, and he still wasn't entirely sure what part of the scene before him was most confusing or improbable. First an angry woman was brandishing a dildo at him when he was trying to sing. He was fairly certain that nothing quite like this had never happened to him before, and once he had taken a gig where an elderly woman hired him and his bandmates to come to her home and rock out in her room while she fucked the shit out of some dude on her gigantic canopy bed. The explanation for why this was necessary involved some kind of elaborate story about losing her virginity in the back row at some thrash metal concert that Dynamo had tuned out halfway through so as to avoid being scarred for all eternity, and he was pretty sure that the dude in question was hired from a local escort service and was presumably being required to do something or other to complete the fetish/fantasy scene to her exacting specifications. His crew had refused to accompany him on that particular "gig." At least he walked away with a month's rent for his trouble, and for the most part he managed to sing and wail loudly enough that he would probably be able to forget the various noises the woman and her partner had made. Someday.
That, he figured, was the weirdest gig ever. You know. Before this one. And it was really unclear what dildo-woman intended to do to him with the dildo anyway. Fuck him? Boy, would that teach him a lesson about singing in front of an audience.
Unfortunately, the universe suddenly decided that it could turn the dial on its weirdness amp up to eleven, and now there were bears--okay, there was one bear, but that was one more bear than likely belonged in the club, for fuck's sake it probably wasn't even 21-with-proper-identification--and then the dildo morphed into a serpent and Crazy Dildo Woman lost her shit for some reason. It was probably an appropriate time to lose one's shit, even if Benjamin didn't actually know the precise reason for her sudden shit loss.
He wondered briefly what he was going to do about the bear. It was Metro City. Maybe this club permitted bears? Even if that were true, mauling was probably off-limits. Contrary to his boasting in his last song, neither Dynamo nor Ben Han were in any way prepared to wrestle a bear, mutant powers or no. The sane thing to do was to run away, and when it really mattered, Benjamin Han was a sane person.
"Whoa, chill, people! Autographs are after the show, please!" Ben edged away from the dildo-snake, trying not to make any sudden movements or do anything that a snake might interpret as threatening, and focused his attention on the advancing bear. "And would somebody please get security to do something about our disruptive ursine audience member?"
This actually wasn't bad. He was not entirely sure why there was a song about what a hero Dynamo was, since he wasn't sure the big names promoted themselves like that but... well... whatever. Scrawl wasn't ready to count himself lucky for Dynamo's presence on Black Thursday just yet, but he was willing to concede that the catastrophic robot assault might be worth a song.
There was some kind of shit about demons or something maybe? Whatever it was, some crazy girl with a sex toy was berating the band and holy christ that's--
That's a bear.
Should he do it? Should Scrawl do it?
All he had to do was survive for a couple of seconds and then he would give all the injuries away and he would have a bear-mauling.
Should he do it? Should he?
Scrawl pushed through the crowd of people who were running from a sudden outbreak of bear to the edge of the stage. He doubted that a nightstick blow would bother the animal much but that didn't mean the goddamn hairy thing liked electricity.
So from the edge of the stage, several paces away but still within ihs own range, Scrawl did what any right-thinking heroic sort of fellow would do in this situation. He tased the bear, hitting it as many times as he thought he could get away with to see if it made a difference.
Dynamo had called for security, but fuck. Who needed pigs? Scrawl could tase half the people in the room from where he stood. Take that, cops. Who fuckin' needs you.
The bear looked at Scrawl as it approached. Then, it felt pain and reared back onto it's hind legs. It started to raise a paw to swipe at the little blonde man, opening it's mouth to roar.
However, a roar did not come out. What did come out was a large arc of purple energy, knocking Scrawl and Dynamo to the ground.
Then, the bear roared. The force of it's mighty outcry sent several lava lamps crashing down. One smashed on the bear, sending very hot water into it's eyes. It cried in pain, and then...was gone. The snake had also disappeared.
When Scrawl and Dynamo recovered, each would notice that the other had a large purple mark on their forehead. It looked like a poorly drawn circle with a diagonal line through it.
Member No.: 56
Joined: 9-June 11
Dynamo's fears had come true, albeit in a way that had potentially saved his life. The bear had been routed by a falling lava lamp. Except that the way it outright disappeared instead of doing a more bear-like thing suggested that there was fuckery afoot.
The rock star groaned a bit, slowly rising to his feet after being suddenly slammed into the "stage" by the mysterious bolt of energy. Fortunately, the wooden crates had been sturdy enough that he hadn't gone through them. And that crazy blonde guy who had charged up into the fray had been knocked down, too. What the hell was his deal? He had charged up through the crowd, the exact opposite direction a sane person would go in any circumstance where a bear was loose in a bar, and...attacked the beast. With a taser. Or at least it felt like a taser. Was he even holding a taser, or any weapon at all? If Dynamo had thought for a second that tasing a bear would have any effect whatsoever he would've given it a shot himself. It was unclear whether or not the man was brave, suicidal, or just foolish. Metro City, man. A city full of heroes and would-be heroes, all waiting for their moment to shine.
Was that odd symbol on the man's forehead before? His hair was long enough that it wasn't entirely clear. It wasn't as though Dynamo had spent a lot of time studying the guy before the bear knocked them both down with its magic bear-lightning. In any case, the bear was gone now.
"Uh," groaned Dynamo, as he turned his full attention to Scrawl, "did you just pick a fight with an angry bear? I saw that, right?"
Scrawl, being the thoroughly-bent individual that he was, saw a bolt of purple something or other blast forth from the bear's mouth. He didn't have time to worry whether that could kill him. What registered was a wordless interest in what that could possibly be and whether it would hurt.
Hadn't been that bad. Scrawl wasn't sure whether it was worth keeping to pass on, but he supposed he wouldn't know until he had opportunity to test whether anything even happened.
He sat up and dusted his shirt off, noting with mixed pleasure and disappointment that it wasn't even scorched. He really liked this shirt, but he might have liked having access to that strange purple bear electro-vomit more.
"Nah, not really," he answered. "If I'd been really serious I'd have taken off my shirt." Finally he glanced over at Dynamo, and his expression filled with puzzlement. "You got a, uh." Scrawl gestured vaguely at his own forehead, unaware that a similar symbol was right there, too.
Member No.: 56
Joined: 9-June 11
"I, uh?" replied Dynamo, gesturing vaguely at his own face in response, generally appearing quite confused. Did being bear-blasted do something to mess up his fantastic appearance? "The fuck happened? And what's up with your occult-looking facial tattoo?"
Member No.: 56
Joined: 9-June 11
Oh no. This wouldn't do. Dynamo's appearance was a very carefully-manufactured thing, something he had spent days, maybe weeks of his life agonizing over. This wasn't specifically a vanity issue; being good-looking was only a small part of what it meant to build an image, and his image did not include purple forehead marks. Not to mention the fact that it did terrible things to his ability to maintain anything resembling a secret identity. Assuming the crazy bear-fighter's statement was the truth, he had to do something about this. Perhaps one of those laser tattoo removal places would be able to straighten things out.
He needed a mirror. Immediately.
"The fuck is going on here? I'm going to the bathroom. Need to check this out. You have any idea what that was all about? With the bear and the snake? I think dildo-woman was just having a freak-out moment or whatever, she's not connected to the wild animals. Know anyone who can summon bears with purple Force lightning at their disposal?"
Scrawl stared at the musician. He was more visibly disturbed by a mark on his face than by an angry woman with a double-ended dildo and an energy-spewing bear. That he could make more or less calm requests to security over but this was apparently a cosmetic emergency.
Well, whatever. Some people were artists and the canvas they had was themselves. Scrawl could respect that.
"No. I don't. I don't really hang out with other PEs too often. I'm not really up on the latest Bear Sith."
Member No.: 56
Joined: 9-June 11
Other PEs? Choice phrasing. So the odd sensation that Dynamo had experienced earlier was related to some kind of power use. He didn't see a taser anywhere in the other man's hand or otherwise obviously in his possession, after all.
"Right. You don't know any Bear Sith. Do we really have the same mark on our faces now? Seriously. Need a mirror. Or a trusted third party who will confirm that yes, we are now identically marked as a potential consequence of getting zapped by magic purple bear rays."
That was that. His original plan unchanged, Dynamo made his way to the men's room in search of a convenient reflective surface.
Scrawl got the distinct impression that he wasn't actually intended to reply to any of the things Dynamo had said before running off to check his face. So... he didn't. He waited for the musician to finish his agitated rambling, and decided to check on whoever'd gotten mauled by a bear and then, given time, the dildo-waving woman who had apparently Googled "dominatrix" for costume inspiration.
Cell phone in hand, he headed over.
He doubted anybody back there knew anything, but there had been a bear and some normal people and someone might need an ambulance. Or, worst case scenario, they wouldn't.