Where the hell is Jose? Who? Not you! Mila. Where's Jose? I don't know George. I think he's in cultivation. Nervous fingers jump the intercom and simultaneous squeaks and screeches make Scotts lips perk like a child's persistent and thoughtless giggles. Jos you there? Another voice out of nowhere beamed in, Yeah, what's up? -Squeak^Screech! Hey, I need you up here. It's 11:40 and I need three to run the panels. What are you doing? I'm scouting candidates for tomorrows' feed. Scott's there aint' he? -Squeak^Screech! Scott's in training! He's in no position to fill your spot. All right. I was just finishing up. -Squeak^Screech! Thank you! Mila. Yes George. I'm going to the bathroom, so in the mean time teach Scott here as much as you can within the seven to nine minutes until our pre-show ritual. You got it George. And Scott, George leans in close for the first part when he says, I know she's attractive but now's not the time to flirt, okay? I'll try not to. leaning back, Were all due for a promotion but it all comes down to how fast we can get you up to speed. All right two seconds, I'll be back. So take a seat. Hi I'm Mila. Her soft voice is merely a preface for her handshake. Scott. Saying obviously under his breathe. So Scott, you ever work a camera before? A couple of times. Well, my job is pretty much that, except this camera is floating in space, and is worth 5000x more than any camera ever created. Hooooly crap. Yeah. No worries about breaking it though. There's ten cameras on board, pointed in ten different directions; all high powered and always alert. My job is to makes sure we always get the best angles and clarity. Which is why you get to watch out for interference though. Interference? You'll see. Whether it's technological or physical sometimes there's just no way around it. Other than George, that's about it . I mean it's pretty- As soon as Mila said that it seemed logical for Scott to ruin his chances by saying, Like you. , at the same time as Mila saying, easy. What did you say? UmI meant to say like you when you said pretty. What pretty easy? No, no, no. Shit. I meant , I'm sorry. I said at the wrong time and I'm sorry. I'm just kidding. I think your pretty easy too . Is that a joke. Are you making fun of me? What, I can't have some fun. MILA! Oh Shit you scared me. Jose had entered and was quick to apologize. My bad heh-heh. I had to yell at someone. Hey where's George? Mila says, He's in the bathroom. -Squeak^Screech! Geooorge-Where are youuu? It's 11:50 and I need someone to annoy me! What are you doing? In creeps George with a saucer containing a powder blue substance. You ready? What 's that? Scott extrapolates. It's experimental. What? It's called experimental. It's meant to heighten focus, creativity, and overall mood. Don't worry it's not addictive. George reassures. It's just experimental. Jose cuts in. Yeah so looking at the totem pole of drugs it would be less hazardous than vicodin, with an artistic outcome higher than taking cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy combined. And it lasts for a week, which is why it asked you if you were married or had children on the application. Yeah sometimes we don't get out of here for a week. Jose relayed before George's quick rebuttal, Maybe you don't get out of here but I get six hours of sleep between each shift. Scott you look worried. Listen were going to be traveling at the speed of light T-minus tomorrow, I need you to be on board with this. Here just take a little to get you down the road a bit.
Time slowed down as whatever innocence in Scott remained, evaporated as this new wave of theory and consciousness conducted unprecedented excursions of a once thought elaborate mind.
Okay Scott, I know you've dealt with musicians before, that's why we chose you. The past few records you produced have been in every true sense of the word, immaculate. That's why you've been selected for the live street level sector of our organization. And until we know what best suits your talents, were just going to try you out on everything. Mila- pull up numbero uno!
F--kin' A. What? Take a look for yourself. Gorge says with his face in his hands.
Deep within a high-class office building, sound proofed and entombed with millions of dollars worth of equipment; there are four people watching a clear and crisp image of a young man playing saxophone, naked. George asks, Who found this one? Jose defends, He had clothes on last week. George told, Mila nextMila! What- You don't change it when girls are naked and playing. What the hell is that? I know Scott I'm sorry. Occasionally you'll get a more, I don't know, free spirited individual. Jose infers, Is he in a park? What . He's playing the saxophone naked, in a park. Oh my god. Gently spoken by Mila.
All right Mila, back up on the zoom a bit. When she does, Jose yells wait and everybody looks at each other. All of a sudden, out of the darkness behind the jungle gym. Cops! Yells Jose. Oh no! cries Mila. Then Scott yells, Run man, run.! George just sits there and laughs. HA-HAAA. Oh my god! When you thought you've seen everything, huh? Jose comes back with, That's almost worth loosing my job over. Oh, another good lesson. You can not let anything slip out into the real world. Otherwise your subject to lose your job and/or be imprisoned. You serious? Unfortunately. I mean we have so much on file here it's sick. You'll see. Some of the musicians you'll come across will am aze you.
Jose leaned with an odd question, You know what's really amazing?
Georges hair line.
Hey! George scowls and points in disapproval.
That too. But guess how long we've been in operation?
To the day, we've been in operation since April 14, 1994.
Are you for real?
No f--king joke. I heard it from Angie.
Angie. She's the receptionist.
As soon as you come in.
Yeah, you know who I'm talking about.
Mila comes into the picture with a word, First day and you all ready know Angie?
Well I don't know her, but I saw her at her desk on the way up. Mila shakes her head up and down, side to side. As she protects her friend's name against these barbarians.
Here comes number two on the night. It's someone in the pitch black darkness of trees. Music's coming in clear though. Is that a hydrocrystalophone? What? A hydrocrystalophone. An armonica. Derived from harmonia, the Greek word for harmony. Basically a bowl organ. Mila-Shh! It was as if Beethoven is being transmitted from a parallel universe. Mila switch on the NVS. A ghostly vision of a frail and skinny girl haunted Scott's dreams for the following week. That's good. On to the next. Are they always alone? Scott inquired. Well sometimes there two or three but there's no question about a solo performance. More than not musicians play their best alone. It's less stressful I guess. No expectations. That makes sense.
Several hours and lessons later what George referred to as Good Moon Hours made it's revolution when the early morning just became morning. There was little editing which Scott loved. Being from the music biz he felt that was all his life could surmount to. Which is enough for some but it didn't cap the underwater well of oil that seemed to spring up over many nights of exhausted fingers and sweaty headphones.
After the short edit George led Scott into a tiny room labeled only as Cultivation. In this room there is one chair, a large monitor that looked kind of dated but never turned off, a customized keyboard of a different language and button shape and size, and a wall of computer modems. Take a seat. George said. Like he does with everything, indiscriminately. Okay. This is how we find people. George reaches over Scott, working the very complex machine like it were your grandma's PC. You see there's a certain audible signature that our satellite picks up on. It's so sensitive it knows the difference between a boom box and a banjo. And when that certain signature is picked up, it's parameters are logged and held for up to two weeks. That gives us enough time to set up a roster for every night's feedI know what your thinking. What happens when were done with all this footage of half naked saxophone players and hydro--um. Hydrocrystalophone. Hydro what is it? Hydrocrystalophone. Hydrocrysta--Who cares? All the recordings either got to the sound chamber or if it's really good, they go to our rep's then are marketed and set up for auction. You mean stolen and sold. Yeah were like the black market for record companies. Stealin' and dealin'. That's why we get paid so much. I know, I didn't agree with this at first either. I mean this is stealing somebody's soul. Grim reaper type work. But you have to understand a few things. America has been poisoned by it's own people, by it's own government , which makes it that much easier for them to do themselves in. Everyone's fucked up and some of them aren't even really sick. They just think they are which in turn makes them sick. So, the way I look at it, now that is, is that these people, these tormented souls, are all ready dead. Scott buts in, I have a hard time believing you. They didn't have a chance in the first place. You know what it's like now-a-days. All were doing is saving moments that they won't even remember. I'm sorry but that's bullshit! Scott bears his knuckles when standing. George is against the door, finally quiet. MOVE! Scott indiscriminately states. What are you gonna' do? BAM WAP-WAP! In three blows George is on the floor, baptized in his own blood. Scott thoughtlessly forces the door open. His mind is racing for the exit. How did I get here? Door after unmarked door spiked curiosity but smoothed over when he noticed the large metal archways of an elevator. Come on, come on! Scott growled at the door, stabbing the button with his middle and index finger. It's slow to show but could be carrying his fate. Scott tried desperately to calm the panic from his face thinking, This will all be over soon. Thinking he could go home and relax. Just kick back for a while and enjoy the influx of money from his latest album sales. Maybe invite some friends over, maybe throw a party. No wait-They have my address! They have everything. Shit! No! Nooo! N`shit! A few seconds of reflection All right, it's okay I'll just move. To where? Canada maybe. Yeah I'll just leave the country for a while. There's got to be a jurisdiction on kicking someone's ass. But just who's ass did I kick. There could be a doubled or tripled sentence for a guy like that. Shit, what did I do.
In that time of quietly loud contemplation the doors opened. It was empty. None but his reflection to keep him company. There was an annoying creaking noise that splintered in his brain. It was so significant he wanted to stop the elevator and fix it or just take the stairs. Then an idea hit him like George, The Sound Chamber! Ping! The doors slide open and a sight from down the hall scared him. It literally scared him. Push. But he kept his cool, turned, and spoke to the receptionist.
I'm sorry, It's my first day and I'm a little lost. Uh- George asked me before I went to the bathroom to meet him in the Sound Chamber? The Sound Chamber. Angie asked. Yeah. I don't know where or what that is. Wait who told you to meet him there? George. George who? Sweat started to break through the pores on the back of Scott's neck. Uh- George. He's a supervisor. About yeh-tall. Talks to everybody like a child. Fedlow. Yeah, I know who your talking about. Here let me page him for you.
His name sounds like an attorney you'd see on a bench somewhere. Hi, I'm George Fedlow. Has you or a loved one been afflicted. Call me at 1-800-I'm-A-Douche, 1-800-I'm-A-Douche, That's 1-800-I'm-A-Douche.
Hmm. He's not picking up. He must all ready be in there. Her face begins to lighten when she says, You don't have an access card yet, do you? Oh, no. She rustles through her drawer and presents and laminated access card. Here. Remember K,9,4,C; and that will let you in. So slide then K,4,9,C. No. K,9,4,C. Oh , K,9 . Okay-He y I appreciate the help if there's anything I could do one day just ask. I hope so. She said out loud when it should have been disclosed. My names Scott by the way. They shook quickly in fear of standard circumstances. Another day maybe. Well, I got to get up there and at least see if I still have a job. Angie laughed as Scott turned his back. Oh yeah, the sound chamber is on the fifth floor. Do I go left or right. Just step out of the elevator and your there. It's just one big room, you'll see. Thanks. No problem. Scott turns around giving one last snap shot glance at the letters on the door.
Back up the elevator with it's retched screams for help. Which isn't any better on the way up. Ping! Scott steps into a different galaxy. It was as if everyone just stepped off a plane in Alaska during the Summer Solstice. No one could tell what time it was because the atmosphere never changed. It was always 11:40 in the morning and the idea of sleeping was just a waste of time. What would ideally be an insomniacs dream. There's no windows and the walls are padded like the room of a criminally insane convict. There's machines of every nature in all corners of the room. Android operated synthesizers, voice capturing/relay programs, note decoding readouts cover the floor's and tables. The chamber was constantly at work, and upon Scott's entrance, judging from the warped lamented eyes that crowded each workspace, He's the only source of a human pulse. The only one of conscious thought.
He stood there for a moment. Taking it all in. Realizing the fate of all these drones, weaved with all of the clueless artist on the street. The thought could of capsized a ship. This can't be real. The precipitous cataloging zombies collecting dust. Half dressed and malnourished. The hum of overworked machines and button chatter. Scott is ashamed. Not only for the appropriation of music, but for it's limits and lack of humanity. To Scott, that's what music is. The definition of humanity in rhyme, rhythm, melody, and harmony. The spirit. An eternal definition lacking outside speculation, which our society has adopted and now is controlling. Anarchy is the only way to break what is, but shouldn't ever be broken. SCOTT IS DONE!!!!!
He rang for the elevator and when it showed he pushed the hold button. In this floor of evil brilliance, lay several tables. On these tables are saucers containing a certain blue substance. Scott walks up to one of them and starts dumping them into one pile. One after another, never minding the few who dropped in for a fix. Just like George said, Their dead anyway. Scott was dissatisfied looking at the inch thick batch, so he continued grabbing saucers off other tables until there was three inches worth. Scott reached as far out as he could to give himself some distance; was about to light it when he got the idea to draw a line instead of just lighting the soon to be pyre. So he used one of the saucers to scoop a good amount and with his other hand made a trail. All right! Time to burn this bitch down! -Flick-Snif-Snif- What the hell! You know your addictions killing me! Get the hell out of here! Scott pushes the basser to the floor and rebuilt the line. Then another employee, like a bird drinking toy, bent down and started on the mound. Scott lit the experimental and it instantly melted the table. Nothing from the slaves. No pain or worry. Just work. Move !!! Vehemently shoving these truly tortured souls around.
There wasn't a thought in the elevator.
In the hallway downstairs, George stumbled half conscious , holding the wall for support. Sirens are blaring but Scott makes time to see his attorney. Giving one last shot behind the ear to wax him off. Angie's standing out of her chair with a confused look on her face. Come on! There's been a fire upstairs! She looks at Scott without a question in mind, just a feeling of okay what next. They get out side and Scott grabs her. Listen! I was never here okay. You never saw me leave. What? Just do me that all right. Okay. They separate and Scott sprints to his car. Gets in starts it up and stares at a seemingly regular office building engulfed by flames. Scott felt like he finally did something. Though he felt bad for what ever innocence was lost, there's no way that could of kept going on. Someone had to do something. Then on the radio, Okay-This is a new track from The Rockabilly Rejects with Selling Free Karma. So make sure your stereos are turned up loud. So loud you can't hear your brain think.