Sellouts or Survivors
¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸September 21, 2013¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸
¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸Putting on a Show¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸
The Chymara Preparatory Academy football stands were packed with students who came just for the free concert and a few out of towners that paid the ten dollar admission to see the once underground band perform live for the first time in a planned venue.
As the crowd moved and rustled, conversations becoming too loud to truly be understood even when standing next to the person, the field lights flashed off plunging the audience into an almost total darkness. The crowd fell into absolute silence, and a strange chorus of voices echoed through the ear, speaking words in some strange language.
“Dia duit, Aille Marmar, agus buíochas a ghabháil leat as fáilte a chur romhainn. Anocht is mian linn a draíocht ar tú lenár amhráin, Ach nach bhfuil do fáilte a deonaíodh dúinn go pléisiúir. Anocht na Máthar, Maiden, agus cailleach a thabhairt dúinn ár n-dlite. Agus anois a thabhairt dúinn é ar ais chugat Trí Fill.”
A spotlight lit up a small area of the stage, From the distance they could see the unmistakable black armored white cat on the stage as her voice echoed over the speakers. “Hello Marblecliff, our new home. And thank you for your warm welcome. From the time we set paw on your streets, walked the halls of your schools with you, we have seen just what we have expected from you all. Your world is cruel and judgmental. You make snap generalization about what you see, without the time to know the truth.” While she talked the standard fog generators covered the high stage with a thick layer of mist. “We came here as your equals, your peers, and we were greeted as the outcasts we have always been. You bump into us in the hall, you slap the books from our paws, you whisper lies about us to one another. But, we do not blame you for this, it is the way of your world, of you silver spoon fed fools.” The crowd remained silent as the feline made her speech without a hint of anger or animosity in her melodic voice. “We bring you this concert as a peace offering to the masses. We return from the shadows we entered for those that have begged for our sound. Those sounds of the mystic twins, Dubh and Ban.” As she spoke a light flashed on over the canine pair mirrored black and white costumes of feathers and leather. Each held a shiny battle axe shaped guitar, one obviously a bass with the other an eight string, evident in the distance only by the sound of the soft Celtic style music they were playing. “Rainstar, our Lady of the ivory keys.” The sound of a keyboard joined as the light fell on a corgi girl dressing in leather and lace outfit. “And dealing out beat on the wyvern skins, the Dragon Nadraka!” With the introduction a black light brought the neon and fluorescent steaks and patterns of the drummer’s fur to life against the black of its fur, as it tapped the sticks together four times before they were dropped on two opposing drums and a blast of fire sprang forth from the drummer’s muzzle into the air. “I am Jabyses, and we are Omen Breaker, and invite you to our world of Ethundova.”
The screeching guitars and loud thrash music started with a strange melody of the dog girl twins singing in whatever language they had spoken earlier. A small crowd of out of towners rushed out of the stands onto the field and formed a pit as they slammed their bodies into each other not in time with the music. Pyrotechnics and sparklers light up around the stage as the twins danced as bounced with the music, Jabyses’ voice screeching the incomprehensible words to whatever song they were playing. Soon an intricate guitar and bass duo started as the lead singer and keyboard player moved to center stage and lifted a pair of poles with a Mystic Schools uniform and the drummer stood placing one paw on top of the kick drum. Several audience members screamed as a ball of fire burst forth from it’s muzzle once more, igniting the obviously accelerant socked uniform in a blaze of blue flame. It then jumped over the drums and tumbled to the front of the stage, where it proceeded to blast a pillar of flame over the moshing crowd causing many of them to run and scream as others rushed in waving small flammable objects in hopes of getting scorched.
The twin swung axe guitars over their heads as they caught the flaming uniform and pinning it hard into the wooden stage floor. The group turned their backs to the audience as Jabyses said into the headset mic, “We’re done, FUCK YOU ALL!” then turned and led the group off the stage having played only part of one song.
“What the Hell was that?” Megan asked, looking at her giraffe companion and drummer.
Vivy snorted, “And I thought I had a temper. Man, what a fucking joke! It was a free show, and I still feel like I was ripped off!”
“They have a lot of talent, though,” the bat said. “It’s too bad they mask it with cheesy theatrics and effects. If I ever sell out like that, break up the band, ok?”
The taller girl replied, “No problem there! I’m pretty sure I recognize the corgi girl from work, though. And I know it isn’t her, but their singer looks a lot like -”
“Don’t fucking say it,” Megan groaned. “I don’t want to talk about her.”
“What the hell was that?” The Lion roared at the band as the left the heated stage into the cold September air. “Where the hell do you think you’re going? You have to do more than one part of a song. Get your ass back on that stage.”
Jabyses turned on her heals a look of anger in her eyes, she started to walk forward only a moment before Nadraka pushed her out of the way. The fennec/Jacob sheep hybrid walked up to the larger, older male as shi said, “You wanted us to put on a show, here, for these people. That’s what we did, and listen to the cheering. They loved it, all hundred and twenty seconds of it.” shi ripped the flame breath apparatus from hir neck and jaw as shi started to wipe the flame suppressant jell from hir muzzle. “This is not us, this is not the Omen Breaker. You want screeching thrash with no reason, or soul? You got the wrong band.”
Jabyses put her paw on the fennec’s shoulder as a tall lemur boy walked between the group of five. “Here’s the deal from now on, Mr. Marks. You want us to play? Next time work with us; don’t tell us where to go and what to do. We have a style, and that is what got us here. You don’t know shit about what we do. And to force us to do a free show for people that have done nothing but push us around and treat us like crap… It’s not happening again. Fuck your contract; we’ll go back to the streets.” He turned and put his arm over Jabyses’s shoulder as he said, “Come on, we have a real gig to hit at a warehouse down town, where our real fans are.”
Eric Marks watched as the tightly knit group of young musicians walked away from a contract venue in favor of a dirty warehouse with no budget, what they had been playing for the past two years and nearly starving to death. The sound of the cheering crowd grew restless as the time passed without the band. He yelled to the group, “Wait, What do you want? What do you need to get back on that stage?”
The lemur turned to him again and said, “They’re not getting back on the stage, but you can tell them we’ll be at Hellion for the rest of the night. Anyone that really wants to hear us will know how to get there.”
¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸June 10, 2013¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸
¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸Dead in the Water¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸
The poorly painted ture bus sat quietly in the department store parking lot. inside a small group of teens gathered around the table with a laptop open. A corgi girl sat at the keyboard as they looked through and read comments in their forums. She stopped and pointed at the screen. “Here’s one. They're even offering to pay.”
“Flagstaff? How far is that?” The black furred fennec fox hybrid asked as she pulled a brush through hir still wet hair.
“Yea, we’re going to need something before then,” the white feline said as she walked toward the driver’s compartment. “Tell them we are in San Diego and will need an advance on that if they want us to show. And let them know we get a cut of the door if they put our name on the leaf.”
“Sure thing Jaby,” the corgi girl said as she tapped away at the keys.
Jabyses stepped into the driver's area, the engine cover was off and a young lemur sat in the engine space with a toolbox to his side. She knelt down next to him and asked, “How does it look?”
“We need a new rotor and distributor cap. We’re dead in the water,” he said as he held up the large black plastic object. “That and we’re almost out of food again. I swear Nadraka’s pregnant, shi eats like a horse.”
Jabyses patted him on the head as she replied, “If shi is shi’s been pregnant for two years now. Come on back and rest a bit, Rod, we might have an advance on the way to get the parts and eats.”
“And reindeer shit brownies,” he said as he got to his footpaws. “How many times have we actually ever gotten anything before they collected the door?”
As the two rejoined the others a stream of profanities flowed from the corgi’s muzzle as she slapped the laptop shut. Jabyses dropped into the seat next to the black dyed fox and said, “I take it that means no on the advance.”
“Fuck no,” she said as she slumped back in the booth seat. “Only decent gig and we have no fuckin’ way to get there.”
“We’re out of food, out of gas and broken down in San Diego,” A young white and brown dog girl said as she looked at her twin sister with polar opposite color pattern. “Only two options left.”
Jabyses looked around at her five band members, “We’re going with option one until it fails. Unhook the car Nadraka, we’ll hit up the clubs and see if we can get a one nighter to get us back on the road. Everyone else get some sleep, we might need it.”
Jabyses, a common white feline with orange coloration around each paw, looked over at her best friend as the pair drove through the city looking for a club they might get a gig at for the night. Their chances were slim at best, but they needed to try. “Hay, Vic?” she called over to the fennec/jacob sheep hybrid, a name she only used when the two were alone, the last remnant of the life the hermaphrodite left behind.
Nadrakatoria looked at back at her and blinked, one of the few times hir deep amber eyes were not concealed by hir florescent colored contacts, “Yea?” shi questioned as she slumped down in the seat in a vain attempt to avoid the daylight. hir blue-black dyed fur hot and unbearable in the direct sun when it was filtered through the car windows.
“Do you think we should try to go home again?” Jabyses asked as she pulled into another club parking lot. “I mean, we’re starving out here barely making it one gig to the next.”
“You really want to try again?” the fox asked as she hunkered even lower in the seat. “Remember what happened last time? The twins’ parents were going to have them arrested. And my Mom left again, with no forwarding address. I guess dad found her again. You, Rod, and Tessa are the only ones with anything to go back to.”
Jabyses sighed as she cut the power to the engine. “Truth is I really don’t have anything there either. Last time I called home they said they were moving. Dad got a promotion that moved him to Columbus, Ohio. And Tessa can only move back in is she has a steady job, or going the College. That’s what she was told when we left.”
“Then why even bother?” Nadrakatoria asked as shi reached for the door, “We have nothing to go back to. We’ve missed two years of school. It’s not like we can just walk back into the classes and friends we left there. Besides, we do okay most of the time. Rod keeps the bus running. We get gigs that give decent cuts. Hell we are requested enough that we can pick and chose what we take.”
Jabyses looked over at her friend as they walked to the back door of the club , “That’s not the problem and you know it. We can get a gig anywhere we want; it’s getting there that’s the issue. And that dream of getting discovered, let’s get real, what label frequents raves looking for new talent?”
“The kind that want’s good talent, the fennec replied with a smile, her oversized canine teeth poking well past the bottom of her chin.
Their conversation was cut short as the door opened in response to her knock. “What do you want?” the deep voice of the large brown bear asked.
Jabyses spoke up first, confident and forward. “We are members of the band Omen Breaker, and we would like to run a show at your club tonight.”
“Look, girls, I don’t know how long you’ve been doing this, but there is no point in paying for an act on a Sunday night. Half the time I even close up early. So I can’t pay you for a show when I’m not even going to make the money to cover being open.”
“We’ll work for part of the cover. If you don’t make anything we don’t get paid.” Victoria said just as confidently as her friend. “We’ll bring the crowd; you just have to provide the stage.”
“I don’t…” the Bear was interrupted by another voice from farther in the club. “Let them play, If they are only playing for part of the cove, all we can do is make out if they really do bring them in.” The bear looked down at the two as he finished, “Well you heard the man. Be back here by five to set up.”
“Thank you sir,” Jabyses said as the pair turned nearly giddy at the chance to play. She flipped open the pre-paid cell and dialed the number for the one they kept in the bus. A moment later she said, Flood the forums, we are play tonight for a cut of the door. Location coming in a text.”
The night progressed as the feline leader of the group thought it would. Even with their toned down theatrics and lack of pyrotechnics, their rave crowd showed is droves as soon as the word was out on their forums. It had only been two years since they had started their journey into stardom, and how they had gathered such a following in such a short time still amazed them. As the crowd became restless and shouted, chanting over the screeching thrash music that filled the small club. Jabyses looked to the twins then the corgi, each returning a nod, as they readied for the event that would end their night, in both triumph and possibly defeat.
The music stopped and was replaced by a beat as ad the twins patted the strings of their axe guirats. “Chanadh muid go dtí an t-ardú dragan. Tabhair dúinn do tine dorcha. Dóigh dúinn do fhearg geal. Dóigh dúinn an oíche dorcha. ” The two dog girls chanted into their mics as the crowd fell silent. The stage lights dimmed to the point only the spotlight was on the white feline lead singer as she walked to center stage.
“You want Nadraka to dance?” She looked across the audience as a cheer rose with the continued chanting of beat from the twins. “You know well what will happen in a place like this if we set the dragon free.” Lighters and cell phones lit up across the dance floor and seating area. “Very well, but remember what burns our passion and souls can devour your flesh and burn your world to the ground.” With her final word the spotlight flick off and the beat and chanting stopped, replaced by bagpipes and a slow paced traditional sounding Celtic melody.
As the music played several small glow sticks, bracelet, and rings came to life on center stage. The slow movements kept in time with the music as the tempo slowly rose to a Dance club rush speed. The lights turned to streaks in the dark club as a black light fell on the stage. The fluorescent yellow and hot pink streaks and patches of the fox hybrid burst to life, glowing against hir black fur. Hir horns that she inherited from her father show in the flaming pink of the fluorescent enamel painted over them. The crowd cheered as the streaks of light spun and flipped through the air, soon joined by the thrashing sound of the band. Mot tuned and timed to the fox’s movements as they continued to play in the dark, lit only by her frantic acrobatic display.
Soon the band as a whole chanted the archaic gaelic summoning, “Chanadh muid go dtí an t-ardú dragan. Tabhair dúinn do tine dorcha. Dóigh dúinn do fhearg geal. Dóigh dúinn an oíche dorcha.” Which brought with it burst of flame from the mouth of the dancing vixen. The burst steadily growing longer as the song and dance progressed. With the climax of the song the fox perched high in the air, held up as if by magic or wings on the dark stage as a pillar of fire burst forth from her muzzles setting of the sprinkler systems and fire alarms.
The house lights came on, showing the lemur that held the fox in the air as she stood on his raised paws. The band continued to play, their equipment covered with black ponchos and tarps. The fox hybrid dropped from the lemur’s paws as she flipped to the stage and swiftly moved back to hir drums as the band continued their show even in the spraying downpour of the fire suppression system. Small splashes of water bounced of the drums as shi picked up the beat of the latest song.
The group continued to play as the bouncers rushed and pushed their audience out of the building and the club manager pushed his way to the stage. The bear shouted at the group as he approached, his words lost in the music, but the anger in his eyes evident. The band finally stopped playing as the firefighters came in and cut off the suppression system.
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY CLUB!,” the bear yelled as they started to unhook their get and tear down the drums.
“We’ll be out of your hair as soon as we get our cut of the door,” Jabyses said as she looked at the club manager.
“You're not getting a dime. Your cut is going to have to go to the cleanup and repair of all the damage you caused,” the bear swung his arms in the air as he spoke, “What the fuck were you thinking using pyrotechnics in a closed club?”
“Your fire suppression system was more than enough,” Victoria said as dismantled the drums. “And I was far enough away from your precious booze soaked dance floor not to set it off. This fuckin’ place if a fire hazard without me.”
“Just get the fuck out of my club!” The bear said as he pointed to the door.
After checking the place was clear one of the firefighter walked up to the bear, “Sir, it looks like you sprinklers got everything.”
“GOT EVERYTHING? There was nothing to get!,” he yelled at the bear, “These little shits set of the system with their fucking show.”
The younger dog winked at Jabyses as he said, “Well Sir, you should notify the local fire departments when you are planning on a show that has pyrotechnics, that way we are ready for any issues that might arise.”
“Call a head? It was a last minute show. They didn’t tell me they used…”
The bear looked at the older bear sternly, “You telling me that you scheduled a show without knowing what it was, in an establishment that serves alcohol? I might need to alert the Police about this.”
The bear glanced out the open door at the crowded filled with young furs, some still holding bottles in their paws as the Police cars arrived on the scene “Fuck!”
The twins wrapped their arms around the bear from both sides as they said in unison, “Give us our cut and we can take care of the boys in blue.”
“Fine, whatever,” he said as he pulled a roll of cash out of pocket and put it in one of the paws. “Just never come back here again.”
Tessa, the corgi, ran to the door and shouted, “First four to get our gear to the bus get a free ride to the next party.” As the door was rushed by a small crowd of teens she pointed at a few, “You, you, you and you,” she said as she picked out four of the larger more physically fit of the group. “Now the rest of you beat it before I let Nadraka out.” She then looked at the four she had picked, “Come with me, you’re taking our gear, the twins and myself back to our bus. You think you can handle that?” Tessa being the oldest had filled a mother and enforcer role among the group, using Vicatoria as a threat more often than not. She swiftly turned to the stage with the sight of the officers heading for the door, “Jaby, Nady, time to make a show of it for the boys in blue.”
The fox and cat looked at one another with a smile as Nadrakatoria pulled on her jacket to ward of the chilled ocean air. Jabyses walked to the door to clear the way for her friend as she got a running start before she moved into a succession of flips, spins, and other acrobatics, causing the gathered crowd to clear a path farther into the open air. As her fried distracted the crowd and the cops, Jabyses ran to the small faded blue rusty VW Bug.
The crowd gathered around the the fennec hybrid just as she expected them to only moments before the backed off at her shout, “I am Nadraka the Dragon, and I am free!” her words were followed by a long blast of fire into the air. She then proceeded to perform another flaming aerial acrobatics display as she forced the crowd to move out of her way with flailing arms and legs, coupled with busts of flame as she made her way to the car. She tumbled herself up to the curved roof, now with the officer’s full attention. She looked down, being sure to make eye contact with at least one as she said, “catch me if you can.” She smiled as she crouched toward the front of the curved roof and the wheels started to squeal.
¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸Nadraka the Dragon¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸
Eric and his lawyer sat in the observation room and the officer tried to calm the fennec and Jacob sheep hybrid down. he watched as the rave rockstar’s persona displayed in full form as the young hermaphrodite sat chained to a chair bolted to the floor. They had striped the hermaphrodite to near nudity as they removed every article they thought might be a danger to them or herself. All that remained on the fennec was a flimsy tanktop and a pair of boy shorts. He glanced over the arrest report as she listened to hir maintain the show name, Nadraka the Dragon, as they tried to question her. Shi lunged at them to the length of the chains each time anyone approached her, barking and growling like a feral animal.
As the car came to a stop the young hybrid “Car Surfing” rolled off the top of the vehicle on onto the ground. It seemed uninjured as it took a feral stance on all fours and began to “Breath Fire” at fellow officers. Officer White used pepper spray only to have the canister ignite with one of the perpetrators flame blasts. Officer Backer and Stern proceeded to used other non-lethal methods, to include a stun round from a shotgun. The perpetrator was finally subdued with the use of a tranquilizer.
He looked at his lawyer with a smile as he said, “They had to put hir down like a feral dog to bring hir in.”
“Her? She has a bigger package than I do,” the weasel said as he watched the commotion with his client.
“H-I-R not H-E-R, read their fucking site when I tell you to something,” the lion said as he dropped the report on the table. “Shi is and has embraced being the third gender. I dare you to walk in there and call hir either a young lady or young man; shi might rip your face off.”
“Why are we here again?”
“Because they are good,” Eric took a seat in a nearby chair as he spoke. “They had a club crowded on a Sunday Night with only three hours’ notice to their fans. People want to see this group, they have both talent and they put on a show. And I think we have a chance to sign them before anyone else can.”
“That still doesn’t tell me why we are here,” the weasel said as he took a seat next to him. “They are a grunge band, and rave junkies from what you said. Not the type to sign recording contracts.”
“They are Celtic Thrash, a rather unique sound if you ask me. It’s a bit harder than most of the Celtic folk rock I’ve heard. And I want them in my portfolio.” He looked at his Lawyer as she continued. “And that lead singer, Jabyses said the dragon is the one I have to convince. Everyone else should follow them.”
“And how are you planning on convincing a wild animal to sign a binding contract?”
“By offering hir the two things shi craves more than anything,” He said with a little smile as shi jerked the chains to their limit with another lung at an officer. “hir Freedom, and her show.”
Tessa leaned out of the bus as she looked at the tall lanky lemur that leaned against it with as nearly finished cigarette in his muzzle. “Any sign of them yet?”
“Not yet,” Rodrick replied as he flicked the butt across the parking lot at a small can that sat nearby. “They should’ve been back hours ago. I’m sure they were pinched. And you Know Nady, shi is not going down without a fight.”
“I’m starting to get worried too,” the older corgi said as she stepped out of the buss. She leaned against the bus next to Rodrick as he pulled out another cigarette. She snatched it out of his muzzles as he started to light it. “You’re on rations until we get to the next show. We don’t have the cash to support that habit if you’re going to smoke ‘em till those two get back.”
As the corgi scolded the lemur they both felt the bus shift as a loud thud came from the wall of the sleeper section. “Sounds like the twins are having a little fun with their new toy. I just hope he figures out what's going on before he tries anything with Eby.”
“Don’t worry about that. He brought his girl and they split the two up,” Tessa said as she took a drag off the cigarette she snatched from him. “Did you get the distributor or whatever fixed?”
“Yeah,” he replied as she handed him the smoldering cig. “The posers over there took me to an all-night auto parts store on the way back.” He tilted his head toward as small car with a pair of hyenas sitting on the hood. “They can’t come to the next show, but they wanted to get autographs from Jaby and Nady.”
Tessa snickered as she looked at the pair. “They’re in for a surprise if they are thinking what I think they are.”
Rodrick looked out over the vacant parking lot as he watched two cop cars pull off the street. He hammered his fist against the buss a few times as he said, “I don’t think they will be in for anything tonight.” As he put the cigarette in his paw out he heard the sound of the hyena’s car start up and pull away.
The two squad cars pulled up close to the tour bus, followed by a black suburban. Two large bulldog officers stepped out of one of the squad cars and opened the back door. Victoria's pink paws touched the ground as she stepped out of the car. The Hermaphrodite fennec hybrid stood, dressed in only a thin white tank top undershirt and loose fitting boxers. Hir arms and legs were shackled. One of the officers stepped in front of her with the key as she calmly said, “Get these off of my.” The look on the fennec's face told Rodrick that approaching her right then was a bad idea. As soon as the cuffs were removed the shi pushed her way past the larger bulldogs and headed straight for the buss, not making eye contact with hir two band members.
Rodrick looked at Tessa as they saw Jabyses get out of the suburban followed by an older Lion. “What do you think is going one? The guy looks like FBI or some shit.”
As the feline led the big cat to the bus she said, “This is Eric Marks. He is with ‘The Dream Mind Records’.”
Just as Rodrick was about to speak yelling came from the bus. “Get the FUCK out of my bus,” Victoria screamed as shi shoved the two cocker spaniels out into the lot with a pile of clothing in their arms. “Dubh, Ban, Get your fucking clothes on and get your asses out here.”
Shocked into silence by the anger in their drummer’s voice the small band gathered at the entrance to the bus. The twins wore matching slick robes while Victoria stepped out with a small selection of clothing, spandex and tight fitting as opposed to her normal loose fitting rave attire. shi tossed a small box to the lemur as shi said, “I’m already done, Come get me when you gay are.”
As the fennec hybrid ran off at a full sprint Rodrick and the other looked to Jabyses as she asked, “What the fuck is going on?”
As the lion opened his mouth to talk, the twins spoke in unison, creating the most vocally elegant, yet threatening line he had ever hears, “Bí ciúin roimh sracadh muid amach do chuid súl.”
“Enough,” Jabyses said as she raised her paws to the group. “This is Eric Marks. He is a band manager and agent for The Dream Mind Records.”
"Deam Mind?” the group questioned in unison.
“Here’s the deal,” the feline started again. “He offered us a contract, but before you get all excited there are a few stipulations.”
Rodrick pulled out another cigarette as he asked, “What stipulations? I don’t like the sound of this already.”
“First,” The lion spoke up, “You will need to spend the next two months in a recording studio. A proper recording studio to put together the beginning of your first official album. To do that, you will need to miss your next show, and every show you think you can do between now and then.”
“No shows mean no money,” Tessa spouted out as she pulled the cigarette out of Rodrick’s muzzle. “How are we supposed to eat, or even get to your studio?”
“The contract will take that into account. We will be advancing you the estimated earnings from the shows you will be missing during the recording sessions.” Eric straightened his tie as he continued, “From that point on you will get a regular royalties pay out based on CD and Download sails each month. I will also set up live performances and concerts from which you will also get payments based on the ticket sales.”
"And of course you will get your cut,” Tessa said with a near scowl on her muzzle.
“I will only get a meager ten percent.”
“That’s not it,” Rodrick said in a low even voice, “That’s too easy and it doesn’t explain why Jaby and Nady were brought back with police. So let’s have the real deal Mr. Marks”
“Due to your ages, and some extenuating circumstances surrounding you last show and Ms. Stone, you will need to be enrolled in a reputable school during the length of the recording contract, or until you have graduated or turned eighteen.”
“What does that have to do with what happened tonight?” Ebony, the twin dog girl with the darker fur asked.
Jabyses sighed as she said, “In order to get Nadraka off the hook for everything we did, including assault on an office, Shi had to agree to the contract, or paying the label back in full within the next month without leaving town.”
“Wait, so you’re telling us it’s a contract with this jackass and now shows for two months,” Tessa started with a slightly upset tone in her voice, “or we spend the next month here in this shit hole looking for work only to starve to death as we pay back whatever the fuck it cost to get Nadraka out?”
“That’s the jist of it,” Jabyses said, “I don’t know how, but he already got Nadraka to agree, but only if we do. This is an all or nothing deal. She would rather go to jail for six months than do anything without all of us. I mean, let’s get real here. Shi’s nothing without us but we’re nothing without her. If she’s out of the picture for that long, we’re all going home anyway, just to survive.” She looked around the group as she continued, “We started this as a group. We gave up and walked away from everything. Rod and Tessa are the only ones left with anything to go back to. Eby, Ivy, your parents tried to have you arrested when we went back to visit. Mine have moved to Columbus Ohio. If things fall apart now, we might never see each other again. And Nadraka was willing to give up the thing Shi has been fighting to keep, the raves, the picking our own shows, doing anything we wanted to. shi is going to give that up to keep us together. Do you have any idea how hard that really is for hir?”
Nadrakatoria looked at the small device in her paw as shi thought through the free run rough that hir and Rodrick had scouted the day before. She snapped and shook several glow bands to light her up in the predawn hours. Hey were in the business district so shi was hoping to keep to the rooftops as much as she could. The route went through and over several offices building and ended with a show stopper that she and Rod had planned to video if shi did the run. But he wasn’t here, not this time. There was no one to catch hir at the end.
shi looked up the narrow gap between the buildings as shi spotted the open point in the fire escape several yards up the side. The security firms had all but blocked access to the latter and platform systems from the ground, leaving them open only as the third floor and above. shi secured and started the waterproof sport camera on her belt and started a short run before bouncing between the walls. The neon glow of hir bands. shi swiftly lost hir self in the running, tumbles, and jumps as hir mind played though the image of the course and obstacles that would come up.
shi lost, this fight was over. She knew there was no way the group would go for such a strict contract. They would be giving up everything they had, freedom, the choice of venues, maybe even the type of music they played. All shi could think about was losing them. The only friends shi had that accepted her the way she was. They let her flow with her mood, never questioned her swings between gender identities. They life they had chosen was hard on them all, but it brought them closer together, and now it was at an end.
Shi began to growl as the impacts hit harder and the flips and jumps went farther. Each passing step shi forced hirself to go faster. As if the speed would turn the world back to the way it was only twenty-four hours ago. shi closed her eyes as she cartwheeled through the air from one building to the next, hir mind drifting from the course before her to the thought of them, her band, her family, gathered around the small laptop as the picked out their next show. shi opened her eyes as the fact that the grand finish was before her, paws hitting the roof top and rolling back into a full sprint run. The edge of the building drew closer, faster than she could imagine. Only a few steps to the glorious rush as she would dive off the edge. But hir partner, hir wing man, hir base and catcher would not be there this time. Shi closed her eyes as shi flipped off the edge and tumbled through the air. It was better to just let it end now, than to deal with losing it all slowly.
Shi felt the thin yet powerful arms wrap around her and she cushioned her fall. Shi felt the hard impact knock the breath out of both of them as hir landed softer than anticipated. Shi opened her eyes to meet the emerald green that looked back at hir. He smiled at hir as he said, “I didn’t have time to set up the camera, but I don’t want to see you do that again either.”
“What the fuck were you thinking?” Jabyses nearly screamed as the group gathered around the fennec sheep hybrid. “There’s no way you knew Rod would be there, but you jumped anyway. What the hell Nadraka, What would we do if you actually got hurt or some shit?”
“Doesn’t really matter does it?” the fennec said as he got up off the lemur. “It’s all just about over anyway?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Come one, By the end of the week we will be so broke, performing without pay to cover my ass that we’ll all have to go home, or die on the street.”Nadraka said as she brushed hirself off and tapped the stop button on the camera.
In unison as they so often did, the twins said, “We still get the money form the shows we were going to do, and they are just going to fly us to the studio and get the bus fixed up while we are there.”
“Wait,” Victoria looked around the group, “What are you saying? You guys would never go for anything like that.”
“We would for our dragon,” Tessa said as she tossed and arm over Victoria’s shoulder. “But if you go and break yourself by trying to dive off a building without your catcher in place, we’ll be set back while we wait for you to get out of the hospital.”
Jabyses smiled as she said, “No one is going anywhere without our dragon. We need you Nadraka. And we need to get to the airport.”