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