Chapter 8: The Concert
BlueTiger321: Hi everyone, and welcome to the final chapter! First, I want to apologise for making this story kind of short, but it's because I have a lot of important things to do in my life and there were only so many things I could do with the storyline. But, I digress. I hope you all enjoyed it despite its flaws. And one more note, credit goes to LyricsFreak for having the correct form of lyrics to the song in this chapter. So, I hope you all like the ending because I think it wraps up everything nicely. Enjoy!
Katara and her friends walked quietly towards the Toon City Mega-Dome. They looked on in the distance and saw it bustling with activity for the upcoming concert. A crowd of people waited outside the doors and cheered as they knew they would be let inside shortly. Searchlights also shone brightly and went back and forth, casting light all across the star-lit sky. The Mega-Dome was truly showing off its splendour for all to see.
As Katara walked with her friends, she relished the thought that now she was finally going to see her all-time favourite band in concert. Her eyes twinkled like stars while she imagined how magnificent it would be to hear all her favourite songs live.
I wonder what they'll play first, she thought. Maybe Even Flow or Do the Evolution?
Everyone then came to a halt as they thought this would be far enough. Katara, Danny and June turned to their friends, knowing that they were the only ones who could go the rest of the way.
"Well, I guess this is it," said Aerrow.
"Yeah," said Katara. "You know, after everything I've been through today I can't believe that this is really happening."
Sokka went up to his sister and gently placed his hands on her shoulders. "You should believe it," he said. "You deserve this, and nobody should take that away from you."
Everyone else then thought they should add their own words of encouragement.
"Have a great time, Katara," said Piper.
"Be sure to do some awesome air guitar solos!" said Finn.
"Uh... who knows? You might get an autograph," said Junko.
"Make sure to be safe around mosh pits," said Stork.
Radarr walked up on his hind paws and chirped happily to his friends. They all laughed, and Katara gently patted the furry cohort on his head.
"Hey, we better get going," said Danny.
"We don't wanna be late," said June.
Katara snapped back into reality upon hearing the call from her friends. This was the moment she had been waiting for and now it was time to act.
"Oh, right," she said.
Before she left, she gave one last glance to the ones who were staying behind, and she thought how lucky she was to have such wonderful friends and how they would go beyond the call of duty for the sake of anyone.
"Thank you, everyone, for all that you've done," said Katara.
"You're welcome," said Sokka. "I'm sure you would do the same for any one of us."
"Well, I better get going. Bye!"
Katara then turned around to join with Danny and June. The group of three then made their way over to the Mega-Dome while the others looked on with satisfied expressions on their faces. The feeling of knowing that they had helped their friend was its own reward, and they knew Katara had more good things coming for her.
As Katara walked along with her friends, something unusual was coming up out of the corner of her eye. She turned her head and was left stunned. Walking up to the group was a teenage girl in a yellow and orange dress with red pigtails named Sari Sumdac (Transformers Animated), and she had her face in her palms while she sobbed.
Katara couldn't turn her back on someone in need so she strayed from the group to find out what was wrong. Meanwhile, Danny and June paused to find their friend walk over to this girl, and the others all looked on with interest to see what Katara was doing.
In a soft voice, Katara asked, "What's the matter?"
Sari pulled her face away from her hands just as another tear rolled down her eye. Trying her best to hold back more tears, she said, "I... I lost my ticket... to the concert... because this jerk Decepticon named Blitzwing... snatched it from me... and vaporized it! I've wanted to see... that concert for a long time... and now I can't!"
Katara watched with sadness as Sari continued to sob. She then felt sorry for her and knew exactly how she felt. The experiences she went through today of having her desire being continuously taken away from her had made her understand that this is something that no one should ever have to witness.
"C'mon, Katara!" called Danny. "We've gotta go!"
Katara overheard what her friend said, but she knew that she couldn't allow an unjust act to go on any further. The girl then took in a deep breath as she reached into her pocket. In her mind, she understood this would be the hardest decision she had to make but it was for the good of an innocent person.
The ticket was pulled out, and all of Katara's friends watched intently. They all looked shocked and then gasped as they were thinking their friend was about to do the unimaginable.
Katara held out the ticket and said, "Here..."
Sari stopped her sobbing to see what was going on, and her eyes opened wide to see what was in Katara's hand.
"You're giving me your ticket?" Sari asked confusedly.
"It's all right. Take it," Katara reassured her.
A wide smile then formed on Sari's face, and she gladly accepted Katara's act of kindness. The red-haired girl then unexpectedly embraced Katara in a hug.
"Thank you so much!" said Sari.
Letting go, Sari then ran off happily with her newfound ticket. Katara was left by herself, having a bittersweet feeling in her mind. All she could do now was look glum for what she had just accomplished.
All her friends walked up to find out the reason why Katara had given up her ticket as well as to comfort her.
Sokka looked at his sister and asked, "Katara, why'd you do that?"
"Because," she replied, "I know what it's like to lose something you care about, and I couldn't stand to see it happening to someone else." Katara now looked as though she was about to cry, but she did her best to hold in her sorrow.
Noticing her friend's pain, Piper said, "Listen Katara, I know you're feeling down right now but you did a very generous thing."
"We're all proud of you," said Aerrow, "and I'm sure that if the members of Pearl Jam saw it they'd be proud of you, too."
"Thanks you guys," said Katara.
The girl soon noticed that Danny and June were still with her and she wondered why they weren't leaving. "Hey, shouldn't you two be heading to the concert?" she asked.
Both Danny and June looked at each other and gave a warm smile. They understood Katara's misfortune and wanted to show their support.
"It wouldn't be fair to go to that concert without you," explained Danny.
"That's right..." added June. "We're always here for each other whenever we feel down, and right now we're here for you Katara."
Katara gave a short chuckle and smiled along with everyone else. No matter how difficult any situation would be, she could always rely on her friends and that is what truly made them special.
With a deep sigh, Katara said, "I guess me and Sokka should go home because there's nothing else we can do right now... and I've had a long day."
Before the girl and her brother left, Finn looked behind in the distance and noticed two bright lights coming towards them. "Hey, what's that?" he said.
Everyone else turned around to see the lights getting closer and closer. The light was so intense that everyone had to shield their eyes with their hands just to make out whom or what was creating it.
Stork then stiffened in panic as he shouted, "It's an alien invasion! Run for your lives!"
The Merb tried to flee but was stopped by Junko. "No, wait!" said the Wallop. "Look!"
The brightness of the lights soon went dim, and the source turned out to be a large, black bus. It slowed down right before the group and they all backed away a few steps to see it park on the edge of the street. They all looked on at its splendour and wondered why such an ostentatious vehicle would suddenly stop here.
The doors on the side were then swung open, and everyone looked to see five men exit the vehicle. Everyone in the group soon gasped as they saw these men were not toons like they were, but instead real human beings.
Katara walked out with bright eyes and gasped as she realised who these men were: Jeff Ament, Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready and Eddie Vedder – the five members of Pearl Jam.
The band members saw that no one was going to say anything first, so Eddie Vedder took this time to break the ice. "Hi there," he said.
"I don't believe it," Danny said calmly. "Pearl Jam is actually here in person, talking to us!"
Katara couldn't believe it, either. Her all-time favourite band was a few feet away from her, and yet she was paralysed with euphoria. All she could do was watch with wide eyes and quiver her mouth.
Aerrow tried to bring his friend back to reality by gently shaking her. "Katara, say something," he whispered.
The girl blinked twice as she was shook free of her state. Her chest tightened up as she tried to come up with the right thing to say.
Taking in a deep breath, Katara finally said, "Um... hi. I, uh... well, I'm a huge fan of you guys and your music."
Stone Gossard noticed the girl's T-shirt, so he smiled and said, "Yeah, we can see that."
Katara then got a hold of herself and thought of what she really wanted to say. "I mean..." she said, "...that your music truly speaks to me. Whenever I listen to your songs, I feel as though I'm hearing a reflection of myself. And then I figure that the ones singing this kind of music really are talented to create lyrics like they were written in my soul."
Each band member then smiled at what the girl said. They each felt flattered by what she said about their music and they understood exactly why she was a fan.
"Thank you for that," said Vedder. "It's very reassuring when I hear someone give such a heartfelt comment."
June then added her comment. "Say, shouldn't you be at the Mega-Dome right now?" she said.
"That's where we're headed," said McCready, "but we stopped here to greet her." The guitarist then pointed to Katara to show what he meant.
Katara was left stunned at what Mike McCready had just said. "You... stopped here... to greet me?" she said.
"Of course we did," said Ament. "You know, you look awfully familiar."
Now Katara was truly perplexed. "What do you mean?" she wondered.
"We've seen you somewhere before, but I can't put my finger on it," said Cameron. "You've made quite an impact on all of us."
Katara could only turn to her friends for answers. "What's going on here?" she said.
"You're asking the wrong guy," said Sokka.
Stone Gossard thought long and hard but then snapped his fingers as he came up with his realisation.
"I know," said the guitarist. "We saw her on the local news!"
"Local news?" said Aerrow.
"That's right," said Ament. "She's on the local news. There's this story about her."
"What story?" Katara asked.
"Come into the bus and we'll show you," said Vedder.
Katara was both giddy and confused at the same time. Pearl Jam was inviting her onto their tour bus but she couldn't understand the reason. She and all her friends followed the band members into the bus and saw it was furbished like it would be for any other rock star. A large HDTV was hung on the wall, and Eddie Vedder turned it on using the remote.
As soon as the television was on, everyone was stunned to see Katara on the local news. What was even more surprising was that it was displaying the girl performing commendable feats. The first segment was of Katara getting rid of a car by forming an ice pillar underneath it and pushing it into the air before it exploded and hurt anyone. Next, Katara was taming a rampaging sky bison by using her waterbending techniques. Finally, Katara prevented another disaster by pushing a falling stone pillar away from innocent people with the power of water.
The screen then showed the news anchor, Kent Brockman, giving his final statement. "Unfortunately," he said, "we weren't able to interview this girl for her acts of heroism, but one thing is for certain: she is a brave individual who will go to incredible lengths in order to keep anyone from getting in harm's way."
The television was turned off, and Katara knew that those instances were due to the meddling from Vicky. But it was because of those events that she was able to meet Pearl Jam right now, and she was glad that they saw her as a hero.
"I... I'm speechless," said Katara. "I didn't even know about this."
"Well, be honoured that you know now," said Vedder. "And you know what? We saw you give your ticket to that girl. That had to be the most selfless act I've ever seen. A fan like you could've easily gone to our concert, but instead you chose to help out a total stranger in her time of need.
"Anyway, we were talking about it... and we want to invite you to our concert as a V.I.P."
Katara couldn't believe what she just heard. She thought she had given up all hope in going to the concert, and now she was given the opportunity by Eddie Vedder himself to come.
"You mean it?" she asked.
The band members all smiled and nodded.
"You bet," said Ament.
"Totally," said McCready.
"A person with a kind heart as you deserves something like this," said Vedder. "So what do you say?"
Without a moment to think about it, Katara smiled and tears of joy streamed down her face. "Yes!" she said.
Everyone was glad to hear Katara say that, and so they all gave shouts of approval. It was soon interrupted when a roadie named Eddie Riggs (Brütal Legend) walked up to the group to get their attention.
"Hey guys," said Eddie, "we can't just sit here shootin' the breeze! We're already behind schedule, so we gotta get to the Mega-Dome now!"
That sudden reminder brought everyone back to focus on what was important.
"You see, Katara?" said Sokka. "Everything turned out good for you in the end."
"You're right," said Katara. "This has to be the best day of my life."
"Well we shouldn't keep you waiting," said Aerrow. "C'mon guys, let's go."
Aerrow and the rest of his friends walked back to the doors and out the tour bus. Before the doors closed, Katara ran up to them for one last goodbye.
"I'll see you all later!" she said.
"And we hope to see you there!" said June. Danny nodded along with his girlfriend.
"Bye, Katara!" said Piper.
"Hope you have a blast!" said Aerrow.
All the others waved and said, "Goodbye!" With that, the doors on the tour bus were shut and it went back on the road towards the Mega-Dome. Katara was now prepared for the greatest experience in her life.
The inside of the Mega-Dome was bustling with activity. All the fans were already in their spots and cheering for their much-anticipated time to listen to their favourite songs.
The centre of the arena was where the stage was built. The amplifiers were already set up, lights were in their correct positions, the microphones were already hooked up and placed on stage, and a drum set was set up in the back against a large, black wall.
There were only a few minutes left until the concert started and Katara was right in the middle of the action. She truly felt lucky for being there, watching her dream become a reality. A V.I.P. pass was around her neck as proof that she was allowed to be behind the stage. The girl walked around just as all the band members were about to go on stage.
Eddie, the roadie, faced Pearl Jam and said, "Okay guys, the show starts in two minutes so get ready!"
Eddie Vedder faced the girl for one last chance to talk before the show. With a smile, he said, "So Katara, is this anything you pictured it to be?"
Katara just shook her head and replied, "No, it's even better!"
Chuckling, Vedder then said, "Well, we've gotta go, so head down to the front row. You'll be able to see us up-close and personal."
"Great! I know you guys will be awesome!"
Katara was let past security to walk down to the front row. As she made her way, she happened to spot Danny and June a few rows back. The girl took this chance to wave to them and her friends were happy to wave back to her. Now there was only a short time left until one of the greatest events in Toon City would begin.
Now there was no more delaying. All the band members walked out on stage and greeted the crowd. A giant cheer erupted upon everyone seeing Pearl Jam. As everyone cheered, all the band members grabbed their instruments: Vedder, Gossard and McCready had their guitars; Ament had his bass; and Cameron sat at his drums.
Vedder walked up to his microphone and shouted, "Hello, Toon City!"
The concert was a large event in Toon City and so it was being televised. All across the metropolis, everyone had the chance to witness it.
One such person was Katara and Sokka's father, Hakoda. The man silently watched it in the comfort of his living room when his eyes went wide upon seeing his own daughter in the front row. The very sight of this was so unbelievable that Hakoda dropped the remote and let it hit the floor.
Meanwhile, Aang was back at his home and was also watching the concert. The young Air Nomad was trying to see if he could make out Katara amongst the crowd, and that's when he spotted her. He knew that his friend had finally made her way to the concert after so much trouble, and it put a smile on the boy's face.
"She did it!" Aang said happily.
Back in the Black Pit, Jack sat by himself at the bar minding his own business. His attention was then turned to the television hanging by the ceiling.
The burly man watched intently and was a bit surprised to see the girl he helped today happily enjoying herself at the concert. Jack thought this girl got what she deserved after all the hardship he put her through today.
"Way to go, kid," he said.
In another part of the city, Aerrow and all his friends were looking at HDTV's on display at an electronics store. They were all showing the concert, and the group was hoping to find Katara.
"I don't see her," said Junko.
"Do you think she might be backstage?" said Finn.
Radarr was focused on finding the girl, and that's when he spotted her. Chirping with delight, the furry friend pointed where she was on one of the screens. Everyone looked and they all smiled and cheered.
"Whoo-hoo!" said Aerrow.
"Yeah!" said Piper.
"You go, girl!" said Finn.
"Yes!" said Junko.
"Good going, little sister!" said Sokka.
Stork shrugged his shoulders and thought he might as well add his excitement.
"Hurray," he said indifferently.
One of the Toon City police precincts was where Vicky was being contained. Her confession to her crimes and her mental collapse had forced her to remain in a holding cell for the time being.
The redhead watched behind bars as Chief Wiggum had the concert on his portable television. Looking closely, she saw the girl she was trying to ruin, front row centre. It made her eyes open wide with disbelief and filled her mind with rage.
"No!" she cried.
The only thing Vicky could do to ease her tension was bang her head against the bars in frustration.
Back at the concert, Eddie Vedder faced the crowd with a great sense of pride in his heart. He looked down and saw Katara eagerly waiting for them to play.
Taking in a deep breath, the lead singer said, "Here we go!"
Stone Gossard then got ready to play their first song. He strummed his guitar gracefully that it echoed throughout the stadium with intensity.
All the fans immediately recognised the song as Alive and they all cheered. Vedder then sang:
Son, she said, have I got a little story for you
What you thought was your daddy was nothin' but a...
June was so grateful to her boyfriend, Danny, that she leaned in and kissed him passionately on the lips. Danny returned the kiss with one of his own as the music continued playing.
While you were sittin' home alone at age thirteen
Your real daddy was dyin'...
Sorry you didn't see him
But I'm glad we talked...
The crowd then all sang along with the lyrics in unison and created a harmonious melody with the combined effort of the instruments.
Oh I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey, I, I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey I, oh, I'm still alive
Up on the stage, the lights flashed and danced as they added the brilliant effects to the artists.
Oh, she walks slowly, across the young man's room
She said I'm ready... for you
I can't remember anything to this very day
'Cept the look, the look...
Oh, you know where, now I can't see, I just stare...
I, I'm still alive
Hey I, but, I'm still alive
Hey I, boy, I'm still alive
Hey I, I, I, I'm still alive, yeah
All the band members played so vigorously that Katara was so glad she could see them play live.
Now the fans were shouting even louder as the song got into its next verse.
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Katara contemplated as she gazed up at the stage. Never before had the music been so marvellous that hearing it from the artists themselves, rather than on a radio touched her in a rhythmical way.
"This is the best time I've had in my life!" she shouted happily.
Is something wrong, she said?
Of course there is
You're still alive, she said
Oh, and do I deserve to be
Is that the question?
And if so... if so...
Who answers...? Who answers...?
I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey I, but, I'm still alive
Yeah I, ooh, I'm still alive
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
The ending guitar solo played, and Katara was glad to be in the concert. This one moment had truly made her happy and all the heartache she went through on this day was worth seeing her all-time favourite band perform.
BlueTiger321: Well, that's the end to my story and I hope you all enjoyed it.
Katara: Wooh! That was the greatest show ever!
BlueTiger321: I'm sure it was. Anyway, a big thanks goes out to everyone who read my story and I hope you're all eager for the next one coming in the near future. So, until then...
Katara: Read and review!