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Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« on: April 08, 2016, 03:50:16 AM »
Yeah, I think you guys probably saw this coming. If you haven't read my previous fic yet, Diary of a Mad Guitar Player, I'd recommend doing so before this, but it isn't essential (especially considering the massive levels of crap that Diary was). I'm hoping to make this one better, or at the very least more cohesive, but I'll let you guys be the judges of that.



Origin of a Mad Guitar Player

Prologue

As the day was approaching its final hours, activity at RAF finally started to slow down. It had been a few months since gh's encounter with Harrison, and recent events – the most noteworthy and drastic of which being Leatherhead's transformation – had forced him to move on with his life. As was recently common with many quiet nights in RAF, gh was sitting in his thread, instructing Leatherhead on bass. The reptilian child was coming along quite nicely with the instrument, probably due to a combination of gh's patient instruction and some sort of innate talent.

gh was just about to end the practice session when the sound of a door knocking resonated throughout his thread. “It's unlocked, come on in!” he yelled, and the sound of his door opening swiftly followed as a tall, shadowed figure entered. “Thanks for coming, Cloak,” gh said, a little more chipper than usual. “Make yourself comfy.”

“Hi, Mister Cloak!” Leatherhead chirped. The reptile had grown considerably since his transformation – fitting, considering that he was essentially a six-year-old child. Still, he was beginning to catch up to his adopted father in terms of height. It was easy to imagine him being as large as a Feraligatr when he stopped growing.

Cloak took note of the guitar player's thread, which he had never actually been in before. The room was sparsely but tastefully decorated, with two beds, one presumably for Leatherhead, a few guitars, a couple of amplifiers, a few other instruments, and a desk with a laptop and multiple empty soda bottles sitting on it. “I hope you don't mind the clutter,” gh commented, noticing Cloak's traveling gaze. “I haven't really had much of a chance to clean.” Something about gh seemed a little off to the Realm Walker. He was much more friendly than was normal, more talkative. He generally had a much less conventional way of interacting with others.

“It's not a problem,” Cloak said, finally addressing his fellow RAFian. “Something on your mind?”

gh sighed, dropping the more affable attitude. “I've been doing some thinking, Cloak. About that . . . that incident a few months ago.” gh paused to collect his thoughts. Clearly, this wasn't going to be easy for him. “I think I need to tell you how all this happened. How I got this guitar, how I came to RAF, all of it.” gh locked eyes with his visitor, then shifted his gaze to Leatherhead. “I'm just gonna tell it how it was. And I want you to come to your own conclusions. I guess I should start from the beginning. . . .”
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 12:02:19 PM by gh (JolKit) »
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 05:03:28 AM »
First real chapter



Chapter 1: Project Bargo

The lights dimmed in a seedy club in New York. It was a Friday night, and those who lacked responsibilities outside of their weekday jobs (and as many would argue, also lacked good taste in music) decided to attend a show for a regional heavy metal band. The slightly intoxicated patrons had been waiting impatiently for some sort of action, despite the fact that it was a good ten minutes before the show was scheduled to start. The opening band finally stepped onstage; a group of four young adults, each holding their chosen instruments. The lead guitarist, a teenager of average build with shaggy, jet-black hair, stepped up to his microphone.

“Thank you,” he said, seeming to ignore the lack of applause. “We're Project Bargo, and we've got a few songs for you.” The tall, lanky rhythm guitarist rolled his eyes at the lack of his bandmate's lack of charisma before strumming a light, ambient introduction. After a moment, the drummer, who was a stocky, muscular beast of a man, began to play a crescendo fill, with the dreadlocked bassist joining in. Suddenly, the lead guitarist crashed in with a thunderous, powerful chord, with the rhythm section throbbing in the background. The two guitar players eventually locked into a harmonized riff, with the bassist and drummer providing a steady groove. Finally, the two guitarists stepped up to their respective microphones and screamed the song's verse:

This pool, uniting
Body of water constructed for you
Water inviting,
A barrier of ice you cannot break through.
Struggling, you're fighting,
A frozen grave that will bring life anew.

The bassist, who had been mostly sticking to the shadowed area of the stage up until this point, stepped up to his microphone and delivered the chorus with haunting, withering clean vocals:

Ash shrouds the sky in a hazy cloud,
Covers the Earth with its plague.
Sun cannot shine through a barrier of smog,
An industry-sponsored ice age.

Following the chorus, the bassist retreated to his dark corner of the stage, as the lead guitarist played a short but blistering solo passage, soon followed by an instrumental bridge, then one more repetition of the chorus before the song's end.

The crowd lightly applauded Project Bargo, still relatively unimpressed with the band. Although they definitely displayed competent musical ability, it was rather obvious already that this group's work was rather derivative, taking maybe a little too much influence from other bands. In spite of the lukewarm reaction, the rhythm guitarist exchanged a small grin with the other six-string wielder before launching into their next song. The band started to show some cracks in their foundation, this time, as the bassist was slowly but surely slipping off the beat.

“Oh, for Christ's sake,” the rhythm guitarist mumbled, reaching behind him to turn his amp up, hoping to drown out the floundering musician. The drummer, in turn, began to pummel his drums angrily, barely managing to stay on beat. Suddenly. . . .

POP! A loud sound came from the rhythm guitarist's amplifier, followed by complete silence from the piece of gear. Even over the noise of the rest of the band, the guitar player could be heard spouting every curse word in the book. “Are you kidding me!?” the lead guitarist shouted into his microphone.

As if on cue, the crowd started to turn on the band. Sounds of disappointed chatter and boos drowned out the three remaining audible band members, but they continued playing, unsure of what else they could do. The bassist and drummer slipped even further out of synchronization, and the remaining guitarist seemed to struggle to remember what to play. Out of nowhere, an empty beer bottle flew onto the stage, just missing the bassist's ear. The other members of the crowd took notice of this, and more of them began lobbing their empty containers of alcohol at the band. One managed to knock the lead guitarist right under his eye, which was the exact moment that he decided to abandon the show. He quickly unplugged his guitar and walked away, with the other band members following suit. The crowd gave their loudest applause of the night when Project Bargo left the stage.



Before anyone asks, no, those lyrics didn't come from any pre-existing song. I kinda just schlocked some generic-sounding metal lyrics. I was somewhat inspired by this friggin' awesome Mastodon performance, though.
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 08:46:28 AM »
Wow. Nice beginning.

See? Having an outline helps a lot, doesn't it? ;)

And this takes place in Year 3? Because in Memoirs, currently, Leatherhead is six.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 08:48:52 AM by CloakedFigure »


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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2016, 12:01:49 PM »
Oh, for some reason I thought it was seven. Lemme fix that.
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2016, 02:14:35 PM »
This is a very interesting start. I can't figure where gh comes into all of this, which is great. Up for more! :D

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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2016, 03:08:22 PM »
Thanks, Saffa :D I thought I should keep it vague at first. I figured it was a little more interesting that way.

New chapter.



Chapter 2 – The Death of Bargo

Project Bargo decided not to stick around after their failed attempt at a show, opting instead to retreat to their “tour bus.” In all reality, their “tour bus” was just the lead guitarist's run-down, barely functioning minivan that they used to transport their gear and themselves.

“Well,” the rhythm guitarist, who was sharing the backseat with the bassist, started, “that went better than expected.”

“Are you kidding me?” the drummer replied with a derisive snort. “We barely got through one song.”

“Yeah, but usually we can't even manage that.”

The drummer smacked his arm down on the center console, turning around to face the guitarist. “Yeah, and I wonder why that is. Oh, wait, maybe it's because you blow your ****ing amp out every single show!”

“Well maybe I wouldn't have to crank my amp if TJ didn't turn up to every show stoned off his ass!”

The bassist who had his attention directed toward a Game Boy Advance this whole time, finally looked up. “Huh?”

“Shut up, TJ, you're not a part of this conversation,” the drummer said.

“Calvin, you're not any better,” the lead guitarist finally chimed in, having already started the car and pulled out of the parking lot. “Is it seriously too much to ask for you to keep a steady beat? Seriously, I could do better.”

“I'd like to see you try.”

The lead guitarist turned his attention away from the road for a minute, locking eyes with Calvin. “One, two, three, four. Oh, hey, I'm smarter than our goddamn drummer!”

“Yeah, look at smart-ass Dimitri over here. You wanna use some of those brains to remember your guitar parts for once?”

TJ, once again, looked up from his game system. “Guys, just chill for a minute.”

“Shut up, TJ,” everyone else in the car said in unison.

“That was weird,” Dimitri said, returning his focus to the road.

“Honestly, I'm not even sure why you're in this band,” the rhythm guitarist said after a brief, tense silence.

“Really, I don't know, either!” Calvin shouted. “You guys said you were a metal band. I thought you meant, like-”

“No, we are NOT like that band!”

“Why the hell not? Logan, name me one post-stoner-sludge-progressive-whatever band that's actually sold records.”

“Mastodon,” the rhythm guitarist said without hesitation.

“They were a fluke and you know it.”

“Baroness.”

“Torche,” Dimitri muttered, still focusing on the road.

“The Melvins,” TJ offered.

“Shut up, TJ!” Calvin yelled “Melvins don't count and you know it. Point is, we're never gonna make money doing this band if we don't change something.”

Suddenly, a the sound of softly-played violins came on the radio, playing an all-too familiar melody. Logan started to practically shake with anger when drums came in and voices started chanting a mantra about freedom.

“Oh, God. Dimitri, change the station. Now.”

“Dude, what do you have against Shinedown!?” Calvin asked, practically jumping into the backseat to choke Logan.

“I don't even hate Shinedown, but this song is god-awful,” Dimitri added, quickly changing the radio station.

“You know what? **** you guys!” Calvin said finally, just as the car pulled into his driveway. “Good luck finding a new drummer, because I'm done!” He quickly left the car, slamming the door behind him. The three remaining in the car sat in stunned silence for a few moments.

“. . . Holy ****,” the bassist said, still staring at his Game Boy.

“Yeah, that was kind of an overreaction,” Logan said, massaging his temples with his thumb and middle finger.

“No, I mean, holy ****, I found a shiny Pidgey!”

“NOBODY CARES, TJ!” Logan and Dimitri yelled in unison.

“Fine. I guess I'm out of the band, too.” TJ exited the car as well, albeit much less violently than Calvin did before him. “Good luck, I guess.”

Dimitri, frustrated, finally pulled out of Calvin's driveway. “He knows he lives like a half hour's drive away, right?” Logan said as they pulled onto the road.

“He'll figure it out.”



Yes, I do genuinely hate Shinedown that much, and that's pretty much my reaction whenever "Cut the Cord" comes on the radio.
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2016, 03:16:51 PM »
Ah, there you are.

Now the obvious question is, did this actually happen? :P

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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 03:42:41 PM »
Not in real life :P I've only been in one band before (which I actually played drums for), and we never played any shows aside from small parties in our guitarist's backyard. Plus, we never had anyone leave, aside from the original drummer, who I replaced.
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2016, 05:11:49 PM »
And I happened to catch another shiny Zigzagoon as I read this. ;) (And I'm totally serious about that.)


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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2016, 12:54:27 AM »
NOBODY CARES, CLO- oh, sorry, I'm still in TJ mode. That's actually pretty hilarious :P

New chapter. Sorry if it seems like filler, but I promise this has a purpose.



Chapter 3: Of Blown Amps and Men

Dimitri began to head back toward his and Logan's neighborhood. They only lived a couple of houses away from each other, making things much easier to get to and from band practice. “You know, as much as I hate to admit it, Calvin sort of did have a point,” Dimitri said, rolling down his window and lighting a menthol cigarette.

Logan furrowed his brow a little bit. “What do you mean? And when the hell did you start smoking?”

“Like, a couple months ago. Right after we graduated, I think. But seriously, how many times have you busted that amp in the past few months?”

“Uh, three? Maybe four?” Logan looked back at the beat-up Marshall sitting in the car's limited trunk space. “I probably just blew the power tubes again. It's a cheap fix.”

“That's not the problem, though. It always goes out whenever we try to do a show.”

Logan sighed, taking in the sights of the suburban neighborhood outside the vehicle. “I don't think that's gonna be a  problem now anyway, since we kinda just lost half our band.”

“So, what, just because Project Bargo failed, you don't want to try playing live again?”

“That's not what I'm saying. What can I even do about it, anyway? These things cost a lot of money, even used. Especially when you need enough volume to be heard in a club. We're talking five hundred, at least.”

“You could try selling that one.” Dimitri took a drag on his cigarette, only to cough immediately as the smoke hit his lungs. “You want one?”

“Yeah, I don't think so. And that thing's not gonna sell for much, especially with all the times it's had to get fixed. So unless you've ever seen a guitar that can amplify itself, I'm kind of stuck with that piece of crap.”

“I guess you're right,” Dimitri conceded. “It just sucks, you know? We kinda had a good thing going back there. If we'd gotten to play a few more songs, I think we could have won them over.”

“Yeah, if TJ wasn't too baked to function.” Logan snorted a halfhearted chuckle before looking over at his fellow guitarist. “You think we were too harsh on him?”

“Who, TJ? Dude, he'll be fine. I think he's physically incapable of taking anything seriously.”

“I dunno, D. He seemed a little hurt.”

Dimitri finally took his focus off the road to shoot Logan a mocking glance. “He left because of Pokemon. Even if he's actually pissed about that, he's still a complete idiot. Don't be such a bleeding heart.”

“Yeah, but you know, I think he's a pretty nice guy. And definitely a hell of a singer.”

“Whatever.” Obviously, Logan wasn't going to change Dimitri's mind on this, so he let the topic go. “And here we are,” Dimitri finally said, pulling into his own driveway. “You need help lugging that POS back to your place?”

“Yeah, if you don't mind,” Logan said, stepping out of the minivan. Really, Dimitri didn't end up helping with the amplifier, instead opting to carry Logan's guitar case. “You could, y'know, HELP a little!”

“I am! Now you don't have to lug your amp and your guitar!”

“I meant- OH, SWEET JESUS!” Logan cut himself off when he dropped the amp on his foot. The sound of breaking glass could be heard, signifying the rest of the amp's tubes being shattered. Logan practically threw the amp off of his foot before picking it back up to survey the damage. “Great. More money down the hole. Plus I think I need reconstructive surgery. Thanks for all the help, D.”

“Don't mention it,” Dimitri replied smugly, placing Logan's guitar down not-too-gently in front of his front door. “Call me if you need any more help.” Dimitri walked back toward his house, leaving Logan to haul his gear back inside.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 02:05:20 PM by gh (JolKit) »
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2016, 12:35:26 PM »
Quote
“Whatever.” Obviously, gh wasn't going to change Dimitri's mind on this, so he let the topic go. “And here we are,” Dimitri finally said, pulling into his own driveway. “You need help lugging that POS back to your place?”

Think "gh" needs to be replaced with Logan there, y'know, for consistency.

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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2016, 02:04:41 PM »
Damn, I'm too used to never using my real name. Fixing now
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2016, 08:07:44 PM »
Don't worry about it being 'filler' (which I don't think it is), some stories can't be BAM!-BAM!-BAM! and action all the time, some just need to go at their own pace.


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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2016, 01:51:21 AM »
True. Knowing me, I was probably worrying about nothing. :P

New chapter. I wasn't planning on writing one today, but sleep wasn't happening, so I figured I might as well write.



Chapter 4: Perfect Dork

The next few days were relatively quiet. Logan spent most of his time outside of his job sitting in an office chair playing video games, as was much of his life since graduating high school. Although he never mentioned it to anybody, the truth was that he craved something more than his quiet, sedentary lifestyle. This was a good chunk of the reason he had decided to start a band, but that particular road always seemed to lead back to the same place.

Still, this wasn't all bad. Logan definitely enjoyed the taste of freedom that came with his very few responsibilities, and living with his father made things that much easier. As well, he had a decent job for an eighteen-year-old, providing him with some disposable income. Then again, ever since starting Project Bargo, more and more of his money went toward repairing his amplifier.

Logan found himself so lost in these thoughts, along with an engaging session of Perfect Dark, that he almost didn't notice the light rapping of knuckles on his bedroom door. “Yeah?”

The door slowly opened, and the figure of Logan's dad stood in its frame. For a man of more than fifty years, he seemed to be doing fairly well for himself, although, his age was finally beginning to show in his graying beard and receding hairline. “Hey, buddy. How's your foot doing?”

“Eh, alright, I guess. Still a little sore. What's up?”

“Just wanted to let you know I'm turning in for the night.”

“Alright. I got tomorrow off, you feel like doing anything for dinner?”

Logan's dad appeared to wince a bit at this question. “Actually, I think you'll have to fend for yourself tomorrow. Jess and I were planning on meeting her friends for dinner.” Logan never exactly saw eye-to-eye with his stepmother, Jessica on most things, which led him to spend a good portion of his time in his bedroom.

“Oh, alright. I guess I might hang out with Dimitri or see if mom's busy or something.”

“There's an idea. You want me to grab anything for you while we're out?”

“Something to snack on would be nice. You know what I like.”

“Yeah. Anyway, I guess I'll let you get back to your game.”

“Alright. Love you, old man.”

Not long after his dad shut the door, Logan felt his cell phone vibrate in his pocket. He checked the screen. Dimitri. Logan was somewhat hesitant to answer the phone, still a little angry over the other night. Nonetheless, he answered.

“'Sup?”

“Logan? Hey, it's not too late, is it?”

“Dude, it's only . . .” Logan paused to check the time on his computer. “It's only twelve-thirty. You know I don't sleep like a normal human.”

“Right. Look, I found something awesome today. Think you can stop by tomorrow?”

“Well, let's see. I got a busy schedule of sleeping all day, dicking around on the internet, punching old ladies in the throat, and global domination, but I think I can pencil you in.”

“Cool.”

“What did you find, anyway?”

A short silence followed this question before Dimitri answered. “Y'know, I think I'll let it be a surprise. I'll just see you tomorrow, alright?”

“Yeah, see you.” And with that, Logan hung up the phone and returned his focus to his game, only to realize that he had completely forgotten to pause. He checked the score to see the damage caused by his ignorance. Four kills and twenty-seven deaths. “Oh, you ****er. . . .”
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2016, 07:59:44 PM »
Quote
Although he never mentioned it to anybody, the truth was that he craved something more than his quiet, sedentary lifestyle.

Reminded me of this.

Obvious foreshadowing of GH's joining RAF, methinks. ;)


Book 161: "League of Assassins"
Chapter 20: "Throwing Shade"
(November 17, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Parker.