As promised, I started on this chapter right after 16, so that I could at least provide something of a better update this time around. While I probably could have simply combined the two, I wanted them separate since it would have been hard to play on the song name if stuff not really relating to it was going on (laughs). After this chapter, I should be able to make the next few a lot more involved and longer, but no guarantees.
Chapter 17 ~ Music Revolution
Three days had passed since Vanilla learned that Pablo, the artist he had helped numerous times, had been accused of plagiarizing another artist's work, and was facing possible suspension from the University of Happy Garland. When he met with Theodore, the arts director, he learned that Pablo had been ordered to remain in his studio apartment at all times until further notice from the authorities. As shocking as it was, Vanilla was relieved to know that Pablo wasn't in any serious danger, and could only hope things would work out for the better soon enough.
In the meantime, news of the newly resumed railroad construction at Meme village quickly reach Garland. Legislation had been banking on the expanse to the railroad, and now that the village had agreed, all available workers were being put on the effort to speed along the rail line's completion within the year. While the band was still enjoying their break, Vanilla decided to take some time off from adventuring, and just relax for once at the Lobster Inn, while Connie was off on her own, having received the latest sheet music from Dandelion and wanting to get to work on the lyrics.
It was quite a surprise, when Fennel of all people arrived at the inn, looking for Vanilla.
The slick musician looked positively jubilant as he approached, "It's ready!"
"What is?" The blonde curiously quirked a brow.
"The guitar, what else? George managed to create a prototype for me to use." Fennel explained, his voice filled with joy, "Now, now I can finally show the world the new sound that I've envisioned." The suave guitarist wrung his hands together, ecstatic about reaching his goal finally.
"So... what do you want with me?"
Fennel sat down opposite of Vanilla, sitting as he always did, very informally. "Well I have to give credit where credit is due. If it weren't for your little suggestion, Georgie-boy would still be wracking his brain over the new guitar. I wanted to give you props at my bands premiere event, as well as invite the others to watch as we usher in a new age of music."
"Thanks, though I really didn't really do much of anything." Vanilla laughed.
"Nonsense, kid. You've been a world of help ever since you turned up. Now, about the others." Fennel began to ask.
"They're out right now. Marjoram's helping at his family's store up the street. Basil is at the stock market."
Fennel chuckled softly at this, "Probably thinking he can go bet at the arena, again." Vanilla snickered as well, then continued. "I don't know where Savory is, and Connie said she was going somewhere to think up lyrics."
"She's probably off at her 'special'."
"Special place?" Vanilla echoed.
"It's that little spot near the hospital that overlooks the canals. She always said standing there helped her find inspiration for lyrics." Fennel explained, then stood up and headed for the door. "I'll go give the news to Marjoram, Basil, and Savory, if I see her. You can take care of Connie. The gig's tonight, so don't be late!"
That evening, people were lining up at the Garland Station Hotel, where Fennel and his band, the Blue Lightning, were going to perform their very first concert with a bold new kind of instrument. From the streets outside, to the large waiting area inside, people eagerly awaited admission to the ballroom. Vanilla was lucky to have made it there early, as the line began to reach outside the doors of the hotel, half an hour ago. However, the others were nowhere in sight.
Marjoram had stopped by during lunch hour along with the others, informing Vanilla that he might be late helping to close his mother's store. Basil had promised to make a few wagers at the arena, and Connie said she was on a roll with the lyrics, but was anxious to see Fennel's show. Savory, as usual, was absent.
A whistle drew his attention, as well that of some crowd goers. "Yo, Vanilla!" And he looked to the ballroom doors, where Fennel stood waving towards him. "Get in here in already!"
Brushing his way through the queue, Vanilla could feel the scornful, and bewildered looks of others as he crossed into the already quite packed ballroom. Actually, packed didn't even begin to describe the mass of people standing on the carpeted floor. So many had came to attend this concert, that the hotel staff had to move all the tables and chairs from the room just to accommodate the swelling crowd.
Flashing a grin to some giggling fangirls, Fennel asked, "Any sign of the others?" Vanilla shook his head, shrugging. "No, sorry. Marjoram said he might be tied up with the store, and Connie said she'd come as soon as she finished the song. While Basil..."
"Ah, don't sweat it. I informed the hotel staff to let them in if they do drop by. But it's not a big deal, there will be other concerts. Besides, I still that farewell gig deal still setup with you guys."
"That's true." Vanilla mumbled, almost forgetting that Fennel was gonna be performing with the group in the near future. He then saw Franklin and Benjamin, Fennel's bandmates making motions on the stage. "Looks like it's time. Here, go stand up front, and get ready for the most mind-blowing show you'll ever hear!"
Doing as informed, Vanilla took a spot up near the stage, where some of the most zealous fans were practically shaking with excitement as their blue clad icon climbed onto the stage and raised his arms to draw attention to him as the lights dimmed. Benjamin took his place to Fennel's right, with a bass in his hands, while Franklin stood behind next to a set of drums that were far more stylish than the ones Marjoram owned.
"Welcome, welcome! Thank you all for coming to the debut of Fennel and the Blue Lightning!" A deafening roar of excitement rose from side of the room to the other like a crashing wave. "I've got something real special to show you all. A new instrument, made by a good friend of mine, George." He said as he held aloft a guitar, far different from the traditional one Connie used. It was bulkier, and looked quite heavy. A long thick cord ran from the base of it and to a speaker near Fennel's left.
A spot light shone down on the youth. "I'd also like to give a shout out to my man, Vanilla! For helping make this guitar a reality! Give him a round of applause!" Several people in the crowd clapped loudly, then stopped as the light faded, and appeared over Fennel instead. "Now prepare yourselves, for a revolution in music... A Music Revolution!"
Instantly Fennel strummed the guitar, which let out a high pitched note which last only a few seconds. Benjamin and Franklin then joined in just as Fennel's fingers began to dance across the strings, creating a steady chord. Something about it reminded Vanilla of a warm sunny day at the beach as the melody played out, far different than anything he'd heard thus far. All around, the crowd erupted into cheers as Fennel stepped forward to begin singing...
Oh, I've had it with this place. So I'm movin' on!
Take one good last look at my face, Cause I'll soon be gone.
Gonna enter in the big race. And write my own songs!
Fennel had passion in his playing skills, but there was something off about his singing that Vanilla couldn't help but notice. His tone felt dull, lacking the spirit and diversity that Connie possessed. It felt shallow, lifeless even.
Yea, I'm rockin' up through the ranks, And rollin' with new bands!
So I'm giving my guitar thanks.
And my skillful hands, will fill up with money like banks!
And that's how it stands!
The words also lacked any creativity, sounding more boastful than meaningful. Even for someone like Vanilla, who considered himself ordinary at best musically, this was painfully amateurish.
There's a great big world out there, Music all around.
My guitar's the best there is, it's an awesome sound!
It's a Music Revolution! And I'll rule the land!
The jam went on, and Vanilla could only watch, and listen as it unfolded before his eyes and ears...
Connie and Basil sat at the lounge, heads in their hands. Though for different reasons.
The young brunette thumped her forehead with her open palm. "I can't believe I forgot Fennel's big concert!"
"I can't believe I blew all that cash!" Basil chimed, only for Savory to give him a gentle shove, "A-and forget the concert... too..." He blushed.
"Well I'm sure Fennel will understand. He's not one to hold grudges. Besides, I heard the place got packed pretty early, we might not have been able to make it in even if we got there on time." Marjoram said, trying to raise everybody's spirits. They each felt a little guilty for missing out on their former bandmates' big day. Suddenly, the doors opened, and in walked Vanilla.
"You're back. Did the concert last long?" Savory asked as the others turned around in their seats. Vanilla didn't answer at first, appearing to be taking his time in responding.
"Yea, it just finished a while ago." Vanilla answered, somewhat indifferent.
"So how was it? What was it like to hear Fennel sing? What did that new guitar of his sound like?" Connie inquired, the others all waiting the answer.
"It was... different."
TO BE CONTINUED.
Really hate myself for such a long delay, and only two brief chapters to show for it. But hopefully my little slouch won't last long. I admit I couldn't think of much else for this chapter, so I'm welcome to any suggestions for fattening it up, even a little. I can only hope I communicated how bad Fennel's song is, because for those of you who haven't played the game, it's really BAD! Maybe not McArthur Park terrible, but it's hard to tell if the game was intentionally making it sound bad or if the guy really just couldn't sing. Almost like that one version of the Code Lyoko theme some people don't know about... lol. Anyway, please review, I always enjoy hearing thoughts on the chapters, even the lackluster ones, heheh.
Should be turning out chapter 18 soon... I hope. :P