Author: Longhand PM
Months after the end to the war, a new threat- or rather, an ancient threat- arises against the heavy metal world and all humanity. Alongside metal gods, Titans, and old pals, the eternal roadie must again defend the metal. But where the hell is Ophelia?Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Eddie R. & Lita - Chapters: 4 - Words: 8,353 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 01-18-10 - Published: 01-08-10 - id: 5652177
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: Hello minions. Let me just start by saying Brütal Legend is a great game with a well-constructed story line. I consider it a true love letter to all metalheads the world over. Also, this story, a direct "sequel" to the game, takes place about a half of a year after the conclusion of the game. That said, I don't own anything related to the game except my own love for this beautiful thing we call Heavy Metal. Enjoy.
"Still not up there huh?" Mangus asked, leaning against the rusting tour bus. Eddie Riggs, approaching with axe and guitar still strapped to his back, shook his head somberly. As he came near to Mangus, he stopped, lighting a cigarette before dropping himself gracelessly against the bus next to his friend.
"Sorry man," Mangus offered. "But you know… it's been two months, and you still go up there every day. Like… not to be… rude or anything man, but you oughtta think about movin' on… and stuff." Eddie took a long drag off his cigarette, cycling it through his nose. He shook his head again.
"Yeah," he replied, if only to assure Mangus he was listening.
"And you know… it's not like there's any shortage of hot chicks to pick up. Lita's still got a bit of a thing for ya." Eddie turned a cold look towards him.
"Sorry," Mangus said. "Didn't mean no offense." Eddie's countenance softened a bit before he turned his head back to the rock-dotted plain. He gave Mangus a soft thump to the shoulder, a decidedly masculine expression of forgiveness. Mangus, Eddie knew, was not one of the great minds of the medieval metal world, but he had a heart of gold.
"Agh," Eddie said finally. "Just kills me. She picked up and left. No note, no goodbyes… no explanation."
"Well, you know man, you picked a tough one. We all knew Ophelia wasn't exactly easy to understand." They sat in silence for a moment, watching white, wispy clouds drift carelessly over the earth.
"Maybe she had some shit to sort out with her past," Mangus proposed, an explanation which had already occurred to Eddie.
"Yeah, well, her past is a bit dangerous, even by our standards. I just hope she's okay."
"Have you… you know, gone to look for her?" Eddie shook his head yet again, not in decline, but in hopelessness.
"Yeah. Man, I've searched every square inch of every damn continent." Mangus nodded solemnly. It was apparent to Eddie that he wanted to say something, likely to tell him he had to look out for himself in her absence. But thankfully, Mangus held his tongue.
"I don't know man," Eddie continued. He looked to the towering guitar anchored in the earth, soaring high above the land, titanic hands draped over the neck and strings. "I guess it just doesn't feel right without her." Eddie wanted to continue, to explain his pain. He and Ophelia had been through hell together, had beaten hell together. They had earned the right to be together. The victory seemed hollow without her by his side, to shred guitars and belt out oh-so-metal vocals. However, his roadie instinct kicked in, barring him from making himself the center of attention. So, he kept his mouth closed. In fact, his chat with Mangus had been the most he'd talked about it at all. Lita, Mangus, and even the Baron had pressed him for details. At least the Kill Master had left the matter alone, despite his frequent trips to Bladehenge. The dude was just too cool, too don't-give-a-damn. The thought brought a slight smirk to Eddie's lips, perhaps the first since he'd woken up to an empty bed.
Eddie had tried to shake the dreary gloom that constantly hung over him, gods had he tried. He had always been one to shake off the sadness and focus on the things that made him happy. In a rare moment of epiphany, however, he realized it hurt for a reason, that it should hurt. So he let it hurt, and he'd get over it in time.
Feeling a warmth between his fingers, Eddie looked down. He had smoked the cigarette down to the filter without even realizing it. He flicked it away and pushed himself to his feet.
"Thanks, Mangus," Eddie offered. "Keep rockin'."
"You know it, brother. You too." Eddie gave a casual salute with his index finger before walking on. He had scarcely entered Bladehenge when Lita approached him.
"Queen," Eddie acknowledged.
"Hey Eddie," she said in a soft tone. "And don't call me that. You know I don't like it." Eddie shrugged. As the official surviving hero of the war against the Tainted Coil six, seven months ago, Lita had become the de facto queen over the free humanity. Her underlings had even tried to assign her an entourage of headbanging bodyguards, which she promptly dismissed permanently.
"But hey," she said, getting to the point. "We're gonna be putting on a show tonight. Just a jam, you know. We need somebody who can rip a guitar."
"I don't think so."
"Oh, come on," she replied before proceeding to throw in every perk she thought might convince him. "Even the Kill Master is coming down to play, and you still haven't heard me sing, and Mangus rigged up a killer amp, and everybody knows that you're just as much their hero as Lars, they want to see you" She paused for a moment.
"You know," she continued. "They don't need a statue to know how important you are to us."
"Sorry Lita," Eddie said. "I'm just not feelin' it."
"Eddie, you're not a roadie anymore. That was… whatever world you came from. You're a legend here."
"Roadie's not a title, Lita. It's a way of life. Look, I'll calibrate the sound, I'll even do lights for you guys, but I'm not playing." Lita cast her eyes down.
"You'd play if Ophelia asked you to," she said with a vicious tone. With an indignant huff, he stepped around her, proceeding to somewhere, anywhere else.
"Eddie!" Lita called behind him. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean that!" He ignored her, walking down to the small valley at the center of the town. Several voices called out his name, as they always did upon seeing him. Though, given his sour mood, he wasn't prepared to return any love at this point, he sent devil horns in the directions of the shouts. He should have just stuck to the roadie lifestyle: out of sight, out of mind.
His feet carried him to the humble chop shop at the base. As he approached, Ivan, the heavily tattooed, heavily leathered, and heavily handlebar mustachioed mechanic came out to greet him, tossing his gloves to the stone bench behind him.
"She's all ready for ya, Ed," Ivan said with a wide smile.
"God, it's about goddamned time," Eddie said in a light tone.
"Hey man, those baron bikes are tough to work on- you just about gotta disassemble 'em completely."
"I'm just screwin' with ya Ivan," Eddie said. He threw a hand on Ivan's shoulder, turning him to walk with him into the shop. "Thanks for takin' the time to work on her."
"Oh, you bet. Least I could do." Inside, the bike the Baron had rigged up for him waited patiently, exhaust pipes protruding out like chrome tusks.
"But uh… sorry, I can't figure out how to rig those weapons on it. You'll have to have the Baron do that one for ya."
"Don't sweat it, she looks good. Thanks again."
"You got it. She's gotta have a name though, you got a name for her?" Eddie froze. He shook his head.
"Nah," he lied. "I guess she's just my anonymous girlfriend." Ivan nodded his satisfaction.
"Yeah, that works." Succoria was the motorcycle's name, though he had not told this to anyone except Ophelia. To the rest of the world, Succoria was still the bloodthirsty demon queen that quashed the Black Tear Rebellion, and was not a name to throw around. Succoria, however, no matter how severe her crimes against the human race, was Eddie's mother.
"What do I owe ya?" Eddie asked. Ivan gave a dismissive wave.
"Nah, get outta here. I'm probably in your debt for the rest of my sorry life, Ed. That said, your bike's always welcome in my shop." Currency had not been established in the human society yet, so service was typically repaid with service. It helped progress nicely, Eddie had noticed.
"No, come on man, how can I repay you?"
"I said get outta here," Ivan said playfully. "Ask again and you're gonna insult me, alright? Go on, take care of her."
"My pleasure." Eddie started up the bike, resulting in a satisfying, fire-spitting roar from the exhaust pipes. He barreled up the hill, a razor girl flashing him as he span by and out of Bladehenge. He rolled over the hills towards the devil horns saluting the faces of Mt. Rockmore. He looked up at them, still amazed by the amazing job the team had done. Out of Lionwhyte's faces, the team had carved impeccable renditions of Lars, Lita, the Kill Master, and the Baron. Eddie and Ophelia had both elected not to have their faces thrown on the wall, but Eddie had made a case for Mangus. "Gotta recognize the road crew," he had counseled. Ultimately, Mangus had also opted that his role in the war remain a quiet one. He would make a phenomenal roadie.
Pulling his attention away from the immortalized faces on the mountain, Eddie continued, weaving through the projecting fists and arriving at his humble stone home, built for him by grateful headbangers. While they had done an impressive job, he realized that if there was one thing the headbangers knew a lot about, it was likely stone. They had after all, spent a lifetime of smashing their faces into it.
He didn't want to be at his house, not alone. While it offered the desired seclusion from the main populace at Bladehenge, it was no longer much of a home without his lady. So he remained outside, smoking another cigarette before fitting the machine gun turrets to Succoria's front fender. With the added security- not that he needed it while he had his trusty axe and guitar- he should be set for a trip on the road.
So he did. He took the bike out, finding the road and following it, ranging through the wide western continent. He scarcely noticed the time until the sun had fully disappeared from view. How long had he been riding? Several hours, at least. Satisfied with his ride, he turned back for Bladehenge. As he crossed under the bridge and onto the plateau, he saw lights outside of the town, as well as distant cheering.
"Oh, shit," he said to himself, remembering he had promised to rig the stage's lighting and sound. Hopefully Mangus had filled in for him. Nevertheless, he pushed the throttle higher, sending him soaring back.
When he was rounding the last hill, Eddie noticed the own sound of his motorcycle amplified. He looked about, seeing bike's cruising up behind him. In seconds, the Baron was up beside him, shouting imperceptibly over the roar of the motors. Eddie pointed to the side of the road, slowing his bike and turning it off. When the Baron had done the same, he stepped off his bike, jogging over to Eddie.
"Why do you wear your glasses at night?" Eddie asked, genuinely curious. "How do you see anything?"
"Where in the hell have you been?" he asked accusingly. Eddie shrugged.
"Did we have a date or something, asshole?"
"You shut the hell up," the Baron commanded, pointing a leather gloved finger at him. "We've a situation." Eddie's mood instantly sobered.
"Yeah, hit me."
"Demons, attacking the Zaulia." Eddie's heart leapt. There hadn't been a report like that since the very day the war ended.
"Yeh, big fat bastards."
"Let me go round up some of the crew and we'll get our asses over there."
"No time!" The Baron said, running back and swinging a leg over his bike. "We need to go right bloody now!" Eddie reached a hand back, finding the handle of the axe and the neck of the guitar.
"Alright, I'm right behind ya! Hit it!"