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Dusk in Tyrannia: Part Three


by alkuna_

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Chapter 3: Games and Fangirls

Migga took me up to the plateau one day after class to teach me how to play a game. To my shock, we made our way out past the common trails to a rock strewn area. Stones of every color filled the place and platforms stretched as high as the piles themselves. Tyrannians and a number of strong looking tourists were swarming all over the place, pulling down colorful rocks in stacks and carting them away.

     ^^This is Destruct-o-Match II,^^ Migga explained, "This is both a game and a community service. We're clearing these rocks out so that people can build homes here. The more rocks you cart off the more Neopoints you are paid."

     My first game, needless to say; was terrible. I got barely 200 points before I was exhausted and aching everywhere from the strain. It was a good kind of ache, though; the kind you get when you stretch after sitting in a hard seat for hours in Neoschool. I was a Cellblock MASTER up in the citadel, but that didn't involve planning to move huge armfuls of rocks. And those things got horribly heavy with enough of them piled up. Still, it was kind of fun and I knew I would be quite the strong Kougra by the time I went home.

     I played each Tyrannian game enough to get a feel for the rules and be able to report on them, and then settled on a routine of Destruct three times a day. It felt good to grow stronger with each passing game I played and knowing that each time I did, I was making more room for homes to be built. It wasn't until I was lugging ten or more blocks at a time that I realized just how much stronger I was getting. I could see the why and how of Migga being so strong for a girl.

     One day, right in the middle of a game, an excited group of fans charged by, cheering at the top of their lungs. "Moehawk is playing tonight!" I paused and stared as they stampeded for a huge circle of stones far across the plateau.

     ^^Gonna be a big turnout for that concert,^^ Migga commented, offering me a water Negg as I took a brief break.

     ^^Concert?^^ I asked carefully in Tyrannian. I was getting better at it every day.

     ^^Every band in Neopia takes a turn at playing music for their fans in our Concert Hall,^^ Migga said. ^^Moehawk is a band that plays hard, fast paced music. Not my type but maybe you'd be interested?^^ She arched an eyebrow at me.

     ^^Hmm. That would be a really cool way to end the day actually,^^ I agreed as I sent my score. 1,373 points. Not a bad rise from my previous score.

     As we joined the long line to buy tickets, Migga patted my shoulder with her horn, ^^To tell you the truth, Moehawk just isn't my kind of band. Do you know enough of the Plateau to meet me back at Destruct after the concert ends?^^

     I nodded, ^^Sure.^^

     As my companion trotted off, I listened and looked around to figure out what the fan base was like. As I sifted through both Common Neopian and Tyrannian, I got a lot of information.

     "Like, OMG! They're so totally hot!" An Acara girl fanned herself off as though just the thought of them raised the local temperature.

     ^^I like the Drummer.^^

     ^^Dude, no, it's gotta be the one with the shades.^^

     "...and that pierced tongue is sooo, like, rebellious."

     "Pierced tongue?" I squeaked under my breath, putting a paw to my muzzle as though to protect my tongue from even the thought of such a fate. "Ouch!"

     I scooted away from the jabbering horde behind me and inched closer to the ones in front of me. I wanted to know more than whether or not they were cute. Cute was a matter of opinion anyway. Was there anybody with actual brains in their head up here? Whew, yes.

     "This is my fourth concert. I'm telling you, it's amazing watching them grow and perform with more style than the previous concert. Not to mention Blaze was... how old again? I forget... maybe half the age of Shades. Watchin' him grow up is a trip," a Kau was telling a Grarrl in Common Neopian up ahead.

     "This is my first concert," I admitted, joining with the group.

     "Well then, you're in for a real treat," a Lupe said, throwing an arm across my shoulders companionably. "Assuming you're here for more than just their looks," he made a face at the gaggle of gabbing girls behind us, "you'll enjoy their music too."

     "They do more than just look good," the Kau said with a smile. "No matter what they sing about, it's always positive."

     "Aww now, see, that's the kind of stuff that makes them blush," a gruff sounding Red Moehog with a big Kauboy hat on his head chuckled, sidling up to us. "Pardon me," he said to me, "I couldn't help but overhear you saying it's your first concert?"

     "Yeah," I admitted shyly. "I've lived in the Darigan Citadel all my life. I'm a transfer student, and my big project is to make a report on my chosen land." I gestured expansively to indicate Tyrannia in general.

     He and the Lupe (who still had his arm around my shoulder) started walking slowly away from the line, leading me along.

     "Uhm, I kind of need a ticket... " I said awkwardly.

     "Never fear, Dane's here." The Lupe grinned and produced a ticket. "Ahh ahh ahhhh... " He shook a paw in refusal at me. "I don't want your money. This is your first concert. I have a feeling it'll be the most awesome concert ever for you." He pressed the ticket into my paws as we got farther and farther away from the crowds.

     "C'mon," the Moehog commented cheerfully, leading me up to a hulking Skeith Security Guard with a roguish grin. "We should get you to your seat first. Can't have you wandering around lost, now can we? Mustn't miss out on your first concert."

     Meekly, I held out the ticket to the guard and he nodded before waving us through. He didn't bother to check Dane or the Moehog; he just rolled his eyes.

     "I, uh, um, thank you," I stammered as they led me to a seat in the very front row.

     "Not at all, not at all." The Moehog winked at me, and I caught a glance of... um, was his tongue pierced? Ouchie. "Now you just hang here with Dane and enjoy. Oh, by the way... " he shot me a smirk, "Don't count on doing any actual sitting once the music starts. Everyone gets to their feet to scream and cheer, even up here in the front row."

     I stared as the Moehog trotted off once we had reached the seat. "Is he always um, this enthusiastic?"

     Dane chuckled. "Yes. Never needed a morning cup of Borovan. Just jumps up and is ready to go while the rest of us are slumping into our cups. Sometimes I wonder if he ever really sleeps. So what's your name?"

     "Oh, I'm sorry. My name is Dusk." I shook paws with him.

     "So you're from the Darigan Citadel, right?"

     I nodded and we chatted back and forth, our conversation wandering here and there about what the Citadel was like. Dane had known the Moehog, whose name turned out to be Candon, for years. There was a wicked something in Dane's eyes that said he knew something I didn't.

     As the rest of the crowds filed their way into the seating area and took their places, I noticed a blue Moehog, a shy looking Shoyru and a Bori come in from the left. The Blue Moehog also wore a Kauboy hat and excused himself from the pair as quickly as Candon had. A yellow Moehog following the same trend of hats, a Blumaroo and a Mynci came in to sit on the right and once again, the Moehog beat a hasty retreat.

     As the crowds began filtering in and the auditorium became noisier with conversations, Dane and I let our conversation lag. This close to the stage, it seemed to loom over the crowd importantly while the lights perched on their posts like Vullards.

     "Laaaadies and Gentlepets!" announced a voice over the speakers, cutting through the crowd noise, "Live and in concert tonight here in Tyrannia... Will you please give a scream of welcome... MOEHAWK!"

     Pyrotechnics exploded upward, creating a curtain of sparks as the stage went pitch black. As the sparks drifted down, the introductory music began and the pets around me leaped up to scream at the top of their lungs. I scrambled to my feet too but still couldn't see anything on the stage yet.

     "Are you reeaaadyyyy?! 4!... 3!... 2!... 1!... LET'S ROCK!"

     Abruptly the lights blazed, illuminating the stage and three very familiar Moehogs, minus their Kauboy hats. Blaze, a.k.a. Candon, was poised dramatically on my area of the stage with his guitar and a wild look on his face. He gave me a wide grin and flashed me a wink, making every female for five rows squeal. Then in a blast of sound, the music began.

     I was almost blown away by the rumble of the drums and the music, which was almost impossible NOT to move to. The energy of the crowd was infectious and I couldn't help cheering and clapping along. Two hours into the show and they were still going strong, feeding off of the energy of their fans.

     Finally they ended their final song for the hour and gave sweeping bows. Blaze grabbed a microphone. "Are you guys having fun out there tonight?"

     Screams in answer. Even I cheered and clapped.

     "All right!" Shades shouted into his own microphone, "Right now we're gonna have a short break and give you guys a chance to wet your whistles from all that screaming. Don't go away, y'all, there's still two more hours left of this gig!"

     The stage went dark and the crowds broke up to go find drink vendors.

     Dane caught my paw and grinned. "C'mon, here's your chance."

     "Uh, chance?"

     He dragged me off past some hulking body guards, who let us past without a second glance, and into the back stage area.

     "Oh Darigan," I breathed to myself as we were joined by the other pairs of Neopets who had also been early.

     "Okie doke, now here's the deal," Dane told the Shoyru, Blumaroo and me. "We've snagged you guys because this is your very first concert. We're body guards for the band members, but we're getting you up close and personal because Shades brought up the idea to let random brand new fans meet and greet."

     The Mynci paced back and forth in front of us. "Now comes the second part on your 'welcome new fans' package. We're gonna teach you some slick new moves and have you dance them right there up on stage with them."

     The Shoyru gave a kind of "meep" and turned orange. I think it was a blush, but with the yellow color, it turned orange. Interesting combination.

     The Blumaroo's eyes bugged and immediately started to fidget nervously.

     I simply perked my ears and waited. Being in front of people didn't bother me, and I spent my days sprinting across rooftops, down alleys and careening around corners in dim light. I was agile and surefooted enough. Never thought I'd be doing it to a rhythm, though.

     As the members of Moehawk appeared backstage with us, I couldn't help but smile. The two others were shy in the presence of their new idols. I merely folded my arms and leaned against the back wall.

     "Even painted Tyrannian, you look like you belong in the Darigan Citadel," came a familiar gruff voice.

     "Hello Candon," I smiled toothily, "Or should I say... Blaze?" I pointed to the tell tale star on his forehead, the self same star that had been hidden beneath the hat.

     "Eh, Blaze is my stage name." He grinned. "You ready to learn how to dance... Dusk?"

     Um. Somebody around here had a loose tongue. I know I hadn't officially introduced myself yet to the Moehog. I shot a glance at Dane, who looked away and whistled innocently.

     "Yeah." I smirked, turning toward the bad boy and doing a few stretches to warm up. "I just hope you know what you're getting into... "

     "Oh ho! Are you challenging me, little girl? If you're not careful, I'll have to school you on real dancing some day."

     I snorted.

     "Anyway, we don't have much time, so let's learn you some steps. Don't worry, they're pretty simple and the most complicated moves are just for the chorus line. So first, you point out at the audience..."

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Dusk in Tyrannia: Part One
» Dusk in Tyrannia: Part Two
» Dusk in Tyrannia: Part Four



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