The Latest Buzz - Journey's Beginning
All characters belong to Family corporation and yadda yadda (Except for John, Rico, Jack and Tim obviously)
Chapter 4-Settling in
Team Buzz Magazine; the modern, hip, self proclaimed "cool" magazine aimed specifically at teens. The magazine that offers nothing but the best on celebrity gossip, music, fashion, gaming, outlooks on life and more. The magazine that is highly sought after by many teenagers in the area, if not the world. Many Teen Buzz work stations were positioned around the globe, in places such as Sydney, London, Moscow, Paris, Tokyo, Denpasar, Shanghai, Berlin, Osaka and even Antarctica. But the core of this production lies in a particular Canadian high school known as Ernie Coombs High. It is here that the best articles are written, everlasting friendships are made, and........the best articles are written.
It was the final period of the day. The Team Buzz Headquarters were open and many of its journalists were hard at work writing articles for the next issue of their popular magazine. Rebecca, Michael, Amanda, Noah and Wilder were all sitting at their respective desks, all writing their respective articles. Everybody was working unusually hard this afternoon, so hard that nobody spoke a word. Not even Wilder glanced over at Gleebook, Gleetube, Gleepedia, Gleespace, Gleeviantart, Gleegle or . DJ, the executive producer of the company, was interviewing somebody in her office and Mr Shepherd was wandering about the workstation looking for his copy of the DVD "Bottom" (he was going to use it for his media studies class on British alternative comedy).
Rebecca hadn't seen any sign of John or his friends since the incident with Brad the afternoon before, but that didn't stop her from continuing with her work. She had been keen on journalism for most of her life. Even as a young child she was collecting various pieces of information she had seen on the news. She had worked with the school newsletter "The Blabber" while she was still in elementary school, and many of her classmates had labeled her as a nerd as a result. Even Michael had doubts at times when Rebecca was caught up in her work. When she (as well as Michael) was accepted as a reporter for the famous Team Buzz Magazine, she was absolutely rapt. Since starting year seven she was a regular subscriber, and to this day she still has every issue from then stacked in her "Buzz Cupboard". To sum it all up, it was her passion, her dream, her life, to be a journalist.
"Hey! R!" Noah suddenly whispered, breaking the silence.
Rebecca glanced upwards to meet his gaze, relieved to have a brief rest from the severe case of writer's cramp that was spreading in her wrists.
"What do ya think was up with John the other day?" asked Noah with a hint of urgency in his voice.
"I dunno." Rebecca returned the whisper with one of her own, "What he did yesterday was slightly unusual, don't you think?"
"Slightly unusual? He kicked Brad's ass without breaking a sweat!" Michael exclaimed, joining in on the conversation.
"He must have been bodybuilding for all his life to get that physiche!" Amanda squealed quietly, "OMG, he is so strong!"
"It must be the aliens!" Wilder leaned in so he could be heard by his friends, "I knew it, they have come disguised as humans so as not to alarm us. They are here to make contact and start a whole new galactic federation!" he raised his voice, getting excited, "This is so fucking AWESTRUCK! It's finally happened!"
"Wilder! Language!" Mr Shepherd suddenly popped his head from behind Michael's desk, with a triple box-set of DVDs in one hand. He waved it around a bit, too excited to have found what he was looking for to be too angry at Wilder's vulgar outburst. He then put on a fake British accent "Or I'll bloody give you a right round kick in the sodding bollocks!"
He grinned and scurried out of the room, via the elevator. Wilder, Rebecca, Amanda, Noah and Michael stared at him, but then turned their attention back on each other.
"What about that sword he had?" Michael continued, trembling as he brought up the topic, "Is that legal 'round here?"
"I don't think so." Noah replied, "But yeah, what was up with that? Did he just pick that up in some aussie store before dropping in?"
"I dunno." Rebecca whispered "But there's something else about him that bothers me."
"But R, didn't we sort that out yesterday?" asked Noah, confusion setting in as the other three stared on.
"No, it's not like that." replied Rebecca, "It's his poise or something like that. I've never seen him or any of his friends before yesterday," she crossed her fingers behind her back as she said this, "But it's almost as if I can sense something familiar about him. When he was saving you from Brad the other day, I felt an overpowering emotion, like a wave of fear mixed with extreme awe."
"Tell me about it." Michael exclaimed, "When I saw him lift Brad with one hand, I was like 'GASP'!"
"Not like that," Rebecca shot back irritably, "I think I should confess. I did actually see these guys before, about two weeks ago."
A stunned look spread across the faces of her friends, but they quickly morphed into disbelief.
"What?" Amanda snorted.
"Get real!" Michael cacked.
"In case you weren't paying attention, R," Noah corrected in his usual patronizing tone, "They only arrived yesterday. You have not seen him before. He said so himself that he wasn't stalking you."
"And you'd be so gullible as to believe him?" Rebecca retorted, starting to feel annoyed with her boyfriend's lack of forethought, "Two weeks ago I saw him within the very school."
"And when was this? During your hunt for the bigfoot? Or was it while you were having a tea break with Santa Clause and the Mad Hatter?" Noah grinned at the others while twirling his finger at the side of his head, making the 'psycho' gesture.
"No." Rebecca hissed through gritted teeth. She could feel her temper rising critically and was on the verge of slapping Noah's face, "He and that Rico kid were chasing some sort of robot bird around with guns, as if they were trying to kill it."
Noah stared at her, but not in amazement or disbelief, but with an enormous dopey grin on his face.
"What the hell?" he squeaked, desperately trying not to break out laughing, "That is the single most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! I would have expected that sort of thing from Wilder, maybe even Mr Shepherd, but you? Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do!"
At that moment, Rebecca was feeling an uncontrollable rage welling up from inside her. She was so angry that none of her closest friends would take her seriously for what was traumatizing her for all this time. She could almost feel the anger, surging from her core and rushing to every molecule of her body. She could swear a purple flash swept across her vision for a fraction of a second as she desperately tried to control herself.
Rebecca drew her arm back and prepared to slap Noah's face so hard it would sent his penetrating grin across the room, but stopped when she suddenly heard DJ's office door swing open.
"Thank you so much for applying for a position here." DJ's voice can be heard drifting from the direction of her office before slowly emerging from the room and into the main headquarters area, her head turned backwards and speaking to an invisible face who was still out of sight within her office, "We were getting a bit desperate what with the lack of staff."
"Thank you for letting us on." a faint voice wafted from the small room, so faint that it was almost inaudible. "I have always wanted to work for a great writing company like this. Journalism has been my passion, you know.
DJ slowly meandered into the centre of the room and attracted the attention of her devoted journalists.
"Alright guys, listen up." DJ called as she addressed the five teenagers who were all still sitting motionless at their desks. "I've got a special announcement to make."
"Has Mr Shepherd finally got the balls to ask you to give him his stapler back?" said Noah, thinking that he was on a roll, but not getting a laugh out of anybody.
DJ looked at him for a moment, expressionless, then continued.
"As you know, we have been decreasing in potential journalists ever since that incident with Wilder and that computer virus that knocked the power out of the whole building."
Wilder looked sheepish, gave a slight smile and buried his face into one of his filthy draws.
"But fortunately, a few new students have volunteered to join us."
Repeating the actions of the previous day, the five junior journalists all exchanged looks.
"And I bet you are all wondering who they are, you might know them from your media classes."
The young reporters all nodded in anticipation, all except one.
Rebecca solemnly closed her eyes and lowered her head, biting her tongue in anxiety. Judging by recent events, she knew exactly who DJ was just interviewing.
Who else was to enter the room but...
"G'day!" John Silas called cheerfully as he stepped into the main office, beaming in his usual friendly, sunny manner. His blue eyes beaming with happiness from under his dark fringe.
Rico, Jack and Tim were right behind him, all smiling and waving as if they were greeting old friends.
Rebecca slowly raised her head and forced herself to smile, or was it more of a grimace? She swiftly glanced at Noah, who was also uncertain of John's presence, but was still evidently happy to see him, as he was grinning like a lunatic on ecstasy.
"Okay, you four," DJ started to cheerfully address the newcomers, "There are four new desks that we have had moved into the room, so you can get started on your sample articles in order to show me that you are up to this sort of stuff, as well as think of a title for your section of the magazine. I'll also let you get to know your new colleagues while you work. I hope you enjoy your new position here."
She then cast her gaze over the now "classic Buzz veterans" Wilder, Rebecca, Michael, Noah and Amanda, "And I hope you all make your new co-workers feel at home. Typie, typie!"
DJ then turned and made her way back to her office to make a call to "The Boss Man" regarding the employment of the new employees. John, Jack, Tim and Rico instantly began to make themselves at home, settling into their new workstation. Rico positioned himself right next to Wilder, who greeted him with a broad smile. Jack and Tim floated around for a little bit before settling themselves on either side of Michael. John stood in the centre of the room for a few moments, surveying his friends with still eyes, like a general checking his troops to see if they are in line. He then sat down in the only vacant workstation left; Right in front Rebecca's so they were left facing each other.
"Hey! I'm 'da Wild-Man!" Wilder exclaimed in his usual awe-struckified manner as he held out his dirty hand for Rico to shake, "Guess we'll be workin' together, huh?"
Rico reached out and full-heartedly shook Wilder's hand, he then allowed a pained grimace to spread across his face.
"Do you mind if I stand up for a sec?" he asked.
"Why's that?" Wilder replied, a slight look of offence starting to spread on his own face, "Did I forget to use that deodorant stuff again?"
"No, no. I think I just sat on a half-eaten egg and ham sandwich."
Rico stood up, peeling a flattened sandwich from his seat. "Yep, I was right." he muttered in disgust.
"Oh, that's mine!" Wilder grabbed what was left of his lunch and started stuffing it into his mouth, "Sorry, but I can't finish a whole sandwich without making my workstation feel like home."
"Don't worry. I feel like that all the time!" Rico replied cheerfully. He produced a bag of chips and ripped it open, spilling shards of salty crisps everywhere.
"Now you're talkin'!" Wilder shouted, completely forgetting about his article.
"G'Day!" Tim greeted Michael as he took his seat near his workstation.
"Hello." Jack drawled in a deep voice as he sat down on the opposite side.
Michael smiled politely and uttered a little "Hi" of his own.
The three sat in silence for a moment, just looking at each other.
"So, what do you write about?" Tim asked, trying to keep a conversation going.
Michael looked up, "I'm in charge of celebrity gossip." he said meekly.
"Really?" Tim exclaimed, breaking into a smile, "I was gonna go for that, but changed my mind and decided to go for nerdy fan-gossip instead. Never mind, I still came prepared."
He reached into a small bag which each new member brought in and pulled out a picture of Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift and placed it on the head of his table, much to Michael's amazement.
"GASP!" Michael shouted, his mood suddenly uplifting, "You're a Clarkson fan too? I've been mad about her for years!"
"Yeah! I love her music!" Tim grinned back (while secretly crossing his fingers under his desk) "But you seem really dedicated to even get hold of her in person. Didn't you once stay on the phone for days on end just to try and resume an interview with her?"
"YEAAH!" Michael was getting more excited, happy that he was finally finding someone like him, "I would have gotten it too if it weren't for that stupid Pizza Patrol jacket. I'll tell you about that later since it's such a long story. But what about Taylor Swift? Are you a fan of her too?"
"Um, that would be me." Jack smiled and raised his hand slowly, like a kid who was found guilty in class for a whoopee cushion incident. "But ya gotta admit, she is pretty hot. I'd wonder if she'd like a good stretch inside?"
"Oooooh yeah!" Tim hissed through gritted teeth and made thrusting gestures with his waist, "Yeah, I bet she'd like to be BANGED up the slammer!"
"Yeah, I bet she fuckin' would!" Rico called from the other side of the room, much to the amusement of Michael, Amanda and Wilder.
"I think I'm going to like you guys." Michael grinned as he looked at Jack and Tim, who both smiled in return.
John sat down at his desk and started rummaging around in his bag. He pulled out various implements and placed them on the table in front of him. A glue stick, a pair of scissors, a stapler, a laptop, pens and pencils, a Doctor Who mug for the pens and pencils, an MP3 player, a Nintendo DS, a small, plastic Godzilla figurine, an autographed picture of James Rolfe and Adrian Edmondson and various other items, whether useful for writing or not, as well as a number of desk decorations.
Rebecca watched him the whole time, examining his every move, just to make sure that he was serious with what he was doing.
She watched him pull a small, but long wooden frame from his bag and placed it towards the back of his desk. She then saw him reach into a different bag, which was the long, black bag John had slung over his shoulder the day before. He then pulled his now legendary sword from the bag, and placed it in the centre of the frame. John then wheeled his chair back a little bit to admire it.
"Perfect." he whispered to himself.
As soon as he caught sight of John's mighty weapon, Noah was over like a bolt, instantly putting on a friendly face.
"Hey! How're ya doin?" he asked eagerly as he approached.
"Oh, hi!" John asked in surprise as he lifted his head to meet Noah's gaze. "Your name's Noah, right?"
"Yep, that's right." Noah replied, "I just came over to say thank you for helping me out with Brad yesterday."
"Hey, don't thank me. It was nothing." John gushed modestly.
"Nothing? You kicked his ass like Bruce Lee!"
"Oh, it was no trouble. I've had a lot worse down at my end of the globe. Have you ever heard of this guy called Marcus Evans? Now Brad is a pussycat compared to him..."
"Yeah, well," Noah interrupted, "What about that sword there? Is that legal?"
"Yeah, Yeah. I have a license for it. It's a real beauty, isn't it, mate? It's one of me most prized possessions."
"Rather." Noah gazed at the long, sharp instrument of death with clouded eyes for a second before realizing what he had to say next.
"Oh, and another thing. I am terribly sorry for ever doubting you yesterday. It's just that Rebecca's been in a retarded mood for the last two weeks and goin' a bit crazy and it's starting to bother me. She said that she's seen you before and I thought you were trying some funny business. But after you saved my ass by kicking Brad's, I now see you're a pretty cool guy. You're alright."
"That's okay, and thank you." John acknowledged both of Noah's points in one sentence, and smiling all the way, "But it's really nothing, it's the least I could do."
After a little bit more conversation, Noah finally went back to his desk and John went back to sorting out his desk. Rebecca hadn't taken her eyes off them for the whole time.
"Who are you?" Rebecca finally asked John, locking her eyes with him.
John turned to face her an almost blank expression on his face, "I'm John." he replied with almost a surprised but amused tone, "Have you forgotten already?"
Rebecca was surprised at how lightly John was taking in her suspicious behavior. So serious, yet sunny and friendly. He was almost like two separate entities merged into the one being. The way John said it also told Rebecca something else. He knows that she is suspicious of him. They came face to face only two weeks ago.
"I know you were here before." she pressed herself on, "Two weeks ago. I saw you and Rico running around the building with that...that...thing. And you know that I saw you."
John instantly leant back in his chair and threw his arms up in the air. "Okay, I give in." he sighed in an exasperated tone, "Rico and I were hunting down a creature known as a Gigan. They are cybernetic creatures from another world if you must know. One had somehow made it to Earth and was hiding in the school."
Rico, Jack and Tim were all staring at John as he said this. Rebecca looked at him too, mouth open in surprise that John gave up with hiding himself so quickly.
"Really?" she asked him.
"Nah, not really." John replied, leaning forward again and allowing a big smile to spread across his face, "We were making a sci-fi movie. Rico and I were the dashing young heroes and Tim was wearing the alien costume. Isn't that right, Timmy?" he called across the room to his cousin.
"Sure was!" Tim shouted back. He cupped his hands around his mouth and made a shrieking noise, reminding Rebecca of that scary incident a fortnight ago.
"Yeah." John turned back to Rebecca, "We're going to stick it up on Gleetube when we're done."
"But how did you get into the school? It was locked." Rebecca was still trying to weasel him out.
"Oh, we here to get out lockers sorted out and to meet the teachers and all that crap. They also let us stay behind after hours to shoot the movie. Don't worry, they were able to trust us with the keys."
Rebecca took a deep breath. This next question was going to be a delicate one.
"When I arrived, you said you knew me." she spoke slowly and quietly, still not taking her soft brown eyes off John's bright blue ones, "How?"
"Oh, that!" John exclaimed, still smiling. "I never said I knew you, I just thought I recognized you. I was mistaken, of course. It's just that on my flight from Australia, there was a girl sitting on the other side of the plane with a similar face to yours. I thought you might have been her." He leant forward and studied her face more closely, "But now on closer examination, she was a little shorter than you, and her hair was lighter and more messy."
Rebecca stared at John for a few seconds. John stared right back at her, his playful gaze begging her to believe him. Rebecca almost saw a slight twinge of purple surge amongst the blue of his left eye for a split second. Should she believe him? He had provided a concise and detailed explanation if virtually everything that had been pestering her. It would be best if she took his word. On the other hand, he still had that air of emotion around him, as if there was another side to him. Even as they sat there staring at each other Rebecca felt that strange sensation spread throughout her being again, almost as if her insides were burning and freezing at the same time.
"Well, if you say so." Rebecca reluctantly took her eyes off John's and resumed her work.
"Don't mention it." John smiled, then began writing up his first ever article, "Now what should I call this thing? How about 'The Buzz saw'?"
"What the fuck were you doing, Johnny?" Tim hissed at his cousin, "You nearly gave the whole game away!"
"Look, I'm sorry if I may have given out too much information, but it's not as if these normal people are going to believe us, is it?" John replied rather calmly.
It had been many hours since the gang had settled into their new positions at Buzz. The final school bell had gone and everybody in the building (teachers included) had all left in a hurry to begin their process of relaxation all over again. John, Tim, Rico and Jack were all crowding around a small, steel table positioned in a dark room. It was impossible to see where this room was except for a small light glowing dimly in the middle of the table. A faint humming noise could be heard coming from somewhere in the walls, broken only by this apparent argument between the four boys.
"You said yourself that we needed to do this thing, right?" Tim continued, "But you had to go and beat the shit out of that bully, then practically spill the beans in front of Rebecca..."
"He didn't tell her everything." Rico stepped in to defend his friend, "She saw the whole Gigan attack anyway. She's a clever girl. It's not as if we can hide this stuff from her."
"And about Brad," John continued, "He was threatening Noah. Such a confrontation could cripple him, and that may have a negative effect on Rebecca."
"Oi! Don't I get a say in this?" Jack broke in.
"Shut up!" Tim, John and Rico all shouted at him.
"Fine, fuck you then." Jack simpered and left the room.
Everyone else watched him go.
"He'll be back." Rico reassured himself and everyone else.
"Why are you concerned so much with Rebecca anyway?" Tim returned his attention to John, "You said so yourself that we shouldn't expect to befriend anyone, which I might add we had no trouble doing this afternoon."
"Firstly, that happened by pure chance. But there was also a chance that they could tell us to piss off. Secondly, Rebecca is absolutely vital to our plans here, so we need to make sure she is in top physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as her friends. Lastly, do you think we should worry if we subdue a Gigan in front of ONE civilian? Or would you rather let it run amok and let it kill dozens of bystanders? Look, you have all done a wonderful job with this whole operation so far. We have managed to secure ourselves positions at Team Buzz headquarters and have gained the trust of everyone in charge. If we just work together then we may pull this off before it's too late. We've already lost a lot of time due to Rico's shenanigans."
Rico looked sheepish at this. "Sorry. But once you've done Scarlett you cannot go back!"
"What do you mean? All you did was hold hands!" Tim turned onto Rico.
"Well, I'm getting there." Rico replied.
"Yes, but come on." John tried to rally his allies, "Let's do this not just as comrades, but as friends. I'm sure we could pull off this operation."
Suddenly there was a clang in the distance.
"Aw, shit." Jack's voice could be heard, "It's loose again."
Jack sighed and pulled a pistol from a holster on the wall, "Here we go again."
Tim snatched up a long cudgel-type stick and held it at his side, "That bloody thing's never satisfied."
"Yeah." John smiled, pulling his sword from the sheath on his back, "Just like old times."
Author's note: Sorry for such a long wait for an update. It's just that I have been hit with a combination of homework, friend and family issues and a severe case of writer's block. I'm lucky to find any time to even think about this stuff. And sorry for such a boring chapter. I know nothing really happens but I wanted to develop the new characters a little but more and let there be a basic relationship with at least a few pf the latest buzz veterans.
In case you're wondering, when it comes to identifying when the story is set, it takes place in between the events of the stand up issue and the hip hop issue, and major events are going to take place after that point.
I would also like to thank all of my subscribers for being so patient. I'm quite surprised that you all like me! Especially considering I'm fairly new at this sort of thing. Thank you for all the support you've given me so far, it's one of the few things that keep me going! Oh, and this sounds a bit lame, but if one of the actors from the show happen to read this, I'd love to know of what you think so far.
Let's hope the next one won't be so far away!