September 18th, 2011.
New York City.
NYU Campus, Student Living Build A
It was a hot night as the sounds of music and dancing filled the air inside; everyone had a red cup in their hand, a song in their heart, and one thing on their mind; school was back in session, and the time to let go of everything was upon the students. It was a time to kick back, relax. Let the music take you away. Everyone was amongst friends, everyone was hanging out and having so much fun. The night was alive. The speakers inside made the walls boom and come to life, their rhythm seeming to give the building a breath of its own. Hell, everything was alive tonight.
Even the night itself was alive.
Amongst the party people gathered were the members of Tartarus, the semi-famous garage band, and anyone who was anyone. It was a Great Gatsby college party, with pools filled with beer, the women were all amazing, and the guys all were pals tonight. There was only one problem...
No one knew of the dangers that lurked just around the corner. Every section of their precious city was about to be blanketed in a sea of apathy and darkness, a horrifying event known as the dark hour. And only a few select people were about to experience it for the first time, as a group.
Deep in one of the dorm rooms, Leon Crowley himself was smoking a doob with a group of gentleman from one of the musical clubs in the school, strumming on a guitar and inhaling deep.
"Now, see, the thing in with the business is, like... You gotta tell your manager when shit has to go your way." He said calmly and slowly, twirling the coveted blunt in between his fingers. His eyes were focused on the small light going around the room, as he passed it to another bloke that took a rather long drag, and it came back to him soon after. "It's what I always tell our guys.. It's like, we get a good cut from these fucking clubs you make us play, or I kick you ass, man. I don't want us to play for bits and coins, I want the stacks. And if I don't get those stacks... it's like, no man." He said, exhaling a large amount of smoke from his nostrils. "You can't let people step on you. We're not doormats, man... We're people."
With the passing of the blunt he received a small round of applause and nods, his words of wisdom reaching everyone in the room.
The clocked ticked slowly away towards the hour of judgement, as partygoers and everyone else in New York remained blissfully unaware of what was yet to come.
Maria was off in a corner alone, no longer sure just what had prompted her to come to this party, she was far from a social creature. In her hand was a half empty glass of water, one she had yet to take her eyes off, lest someone tamper with it. Taking a quick look around (without losing sight of her drink) she noticed that almost everyone was her with someone, only a few people seemed to be alone...seemed being the operative word. While she would have liked nothing more then to return to her room and go to bed, something was stopping her. It felt like she was waiting for something, only she had no idea what for. It was unnerving for the poor girl to say the least. Finding herself unwilling to leave, she opted for simple blending in with the wall, becoming invisible in crowed rooms had become like second nature to her
Elsewhere in the party, Orius was enjoying the company of some of the other students, laughing and joking about whatever came to mind. He looked down at his cup, swirling the last of his Rum and Coke mix before gulping down the last of it. He didn't plan on getting in too deep tonight, but kept enough of a buzz to stay loose. This college was a completely different set than from back home, it was much more crowded than the country. The music was loud, almost deafening, it would definitely take some getting used to.
Deciding he was good enough for a refill, he made his way to the bar, where an attractive young sorority lady tended to the drinks. It was obvious she was rushing, or else she would be out here drinking the drinks instead of making them.
"What Can I get for you sexy?" she asked, leaning over the bar table, not so subtly showing the cleavage that her shirt failed to cover. He merely smiled his kind smile that everyone got, managing to keep his self control. Barely.
"Rum and Coke mix please" he replied, placing his cup on the table. She smiled and took the cup, fixing the requested drink. He leaned against the bar as he waited, and noticed a guy getting a little too rowdy, obviously having drank a little too much. He was harassing a much smaller guy, yelling something in his slurred speech about getting his drink on his shirt. Orius frowned and made his way quickly to the scene.
Just as the drunk pulled his fist back to punch, Orius caught it, twisting the arm behind the attackers back as h yelped in surprise. "Dont even. We are all here to have fun, now back off." I say close to the drunks ear, holding his arm until i was finished. He let go and the guy turned, acting as if he was going to strike Orius, but the icy stare given by him made the guy think twice, and he merely went off, mumbling under his breath. The smaller guy walked by Orius, saying a quick thank you before disappearing in the crowd.
Orius sighed and went back to the bar, taking his drink and walking around the party for some new people to talk to. He noticed a girl off to a corner by herself, and without hesitation, walked over with a kind smile. "Hey there" he said happily, "Havent seen you around, whats your name?"
Surprised to hear someone's voice so clearly in such a loud place, Maria checked in the direction of the voice to see someone looking at her. Not wanting to draw any extra attention to herself, she decided to answer him "M...Maria" she mumbled just loud enough to be heard 'I knew this was a bad idea!' She mentally ranted 'I should have just left when I had the chance'
She was uncomfortable, that much was easy to tell, but Orius was interested in her, she seemed to be the only girl not enjoying herself here. He smiled again and leaned on the wall next to her, taking a drink from his cup. "Maria huh? Nice name... I'm Orius, nice to meet you" he told her. Looking around, he figured why she was so uncomfortable, it was loud, dark, crowded with strangers, the whole nine yards.
"You looked like you needed some company. I know how it must be like. New place, faces you've never seen, loud music making you deaf, must be kinda difficult huh?" He said casually, trying hard to make her relax a bit. He sighed and looked back at her, "Sorry if I popped out of nowhere, I just hate seeing people alone you know?"
Maria's mind was rushing to find a way out of this. Unfortunately, she wasn't at her best while under pressure. "T...that's ok" she replied "I......I was just about to leave anyway. I need...to get some sleep. I...appreciate the sentiment though." Feeling satisfied that she had safely defused the situation, Maria made her way to the exit, dumping her drink in a garbage can on the way. 'What was even the point of any of this?' She mentally sighed 'nothing good ever happens at parties like this. I really should have just stayed in my room' The ominous feeling in the back of her mind drowned out by her paranoia and self preservation instincts, she left the party to return to her dorm
Orius frowned, unhappy that he wasnt able to make her somewhat enjoy the party. Oh well, it wasnt like she was required to do so, if she wanted to leave, it was her decision. He continued to walk around the party, slowly getting bored of all the noise. As much as he would like to socialize, he had to admit he was getting tired, and even yawned to confirm that. He finished his drink and left for the mens dorms. Normally walking in the darkness doesnt bother him, but for some reason, the shadows almost seemed to loom over him. He found himself looking over his shoulder from time to time, a feeling of being watched coming over him. He quickly made his way to the dorms, closing and locking his door before he allowed himself to relax.
98% of the building had been cleared, one more room to check before it would be raised to 100%, then 100% of the school buildings would be secure...then onto the dormitories. A regular campus police officer always had two led flashlights ready, but Hector found them irrelevant; he could see in the dark. Making his way to the entrance of the final room, he could hear activity of some sort inside. Soundlessly making his approach, he held and twisted the door knob, swinging the door open. A topless female student and a male student. The female screamed in shock at Hector, and the male pulled away and threw her sweater over at her, which she quickly pulled on. At this moment, Hector spoke a rather emotionless voice of authority, "Such activities are restricted on the school premises, please leave immediately--" Before he could finish, the female got up and slapped him across the face, nursing a rather sore hand as she pushed passed him...her male companion called and ran after her. Listening and hearing the slam of the front entrance of the building, he closed up the last room and locked up. 100% Cleared, to the dorms now.
Locking up the entrance of the school building itself, and that being the last of the buildings to clear up besides the fitness room and the library, a sweep through the dorms would be the last of the assignments at this hour.
Warren sighed as the torch had been passed on to him. As per usual, Leon had not been too far off. The Tartartus guitarist had done this before; Warren could vouch first hand. Warren certainly knew that Leon had his way of convincing people, especially when intoxicated. Perhaps that was the most empowering thing about being in a band: Your word mattered more than the people who come here to see you.
Was it a correct assumption? Of course not. Being a small time garage band, Tartarus did not have quite the fanatic gathering, but the fans who do come around every time put the band in front of them. It was a touching, yet off putting brand of fanaticism that only the indy-college crowd provided. It also may have helped that this party was in Warren's dorm.
Warren took a tentative, yet elongated, drag. It was hard to top Leon's ramblings, but he knew he had to give it a go. It was sort of a party thing: There's silence, you have the paper, run your mouth. With his right hand, Warren delicately plucked the open strings of his Gretsch bass. Was it a gesture of nervousness, a modest move in the part of the clingy bass player? That was probably the worst thing about being in the band: The idea that the bassist is useless. Warren didn't want to get into that.
"Well," he began. "It's sort of like Leon said: It's a business." Warren sighed as he figured what to say next. It's difficult to cap the ringleader.
"Managers are a necessity to success. We know that first hand. But not to discredit Ian, our manager, we're in that time where we have to start making these things - Especially with school starting and everything - on our own time. Now, the case here is money," Warren passed the blunt to his left. "I've been with this group now for what?" He shot a quick glance at Leon. "The better part of a year now, right?" Warren wasn't quite the slurrer that Leon was, and he quickly found himself to be boring.
"And the money was fine for a while. But as you go along, you realize the manager kind of steps in and takes a larger cut than he should. With school up now, local clubs around campus are in high demand for a group to play every weekend. We would have no problems on our own getting booked. Absolutely none. Again, I think Ian is a great person, but," Warren shrugged. "I think it's time-for now-that we let him go. The Fruits of our labor man. We do the business, we should get the money."
As he finished, he could tell the whole rant was a tad selfish. Warren could care less about the money. Money was just a neat side thing from playing in a band, the real fun was the playing itself. However, this would label the rumors that Warren O'Donnell, loser freshman bassist, was a bit of a suck up as true. The topic wasn't often discussed at parties, but that was the thing: Not often.
Parties, not Warren's forte. He wasn't much of a talker, and upon ending his say he just shrugged and muttered that it was business. The combination of booze, weed, and the anti-depressants he took for his bipolar disorder was starting to take it's toll. His mind became cloudy and an uneasy feeling wretched his stomach. Goddamnit...
"Excuse me," Warren blurted as he stood and removed his bass from his lap. Blinking uncontrollably, Warren internally cursed himself a new one as he made his way through the crowd of people. Idiot. Stupid, stupid. You know you hate parties, why did you agree to this?
Warren resorted to gently pushing the party-goers from side to side as he made it to the bathroom. He truly hated partying, but he knew that the band would be good on him for hosting one. He hated drinking, he hated smoking, and he hated what they fucking did when mixed with his pills. "Why did I even take them today," he said to no one. "I knew I'd be drinking. You idiot..."
After retching in the toilet, Warren dared to look in the mirror. His cheeks were beat red, his breath stank of pure wretchedness, and his hair was tussled; the after-effect of the salutatory noogie he received from Leon. Breathing deeply, Warren splashed what seemed to be a gallon of water on his face. His mind still fogged and his stomach still twisted and turned like a washing machine, but he knew that he had to be a good host. A good little host. Leaving the bathroom, he entered his dorm and gave apologetic nods to those he shoved out of the way.
Despite it being near midnight, Zach was taking a stroll on the campus, being a nice break from being cramped up in the dormitory all day. After locating a nearby bench, he sat down and leaned against the backrest. He took a second to check the time before turning his attention to the music playing in the background. It was no doubt coming from the party, even though it was quite a ways away from him. "Who the hell even likes that kinda music?" he mumbled under his breath.
Zach gripped his phone in his left pocket, scrolling through the mountain of texts that he had received during the day about the party. He rolled his eyes, disgusted by the quantity of people who were wasting their precious time. Who in their right mind would spend a whole evening listening to abominable music while gulping down gallons of booze? And school too, did those imbeciles not care about their education one bit?
Attempting to shake these thoughts out of his mind, Zach stood back up, deciding that he'd be return to the dorm. As he approached the dormitories, the dreadful sound of music grew ever so louder and irritating. Perhaps he'd make a mad dash to his dorm, though running into a drunk was the last thing he'd want to happen. Instead, he strides past the door, cringing every second the music was playing. However, the crowd was equally as nauseating. After what seemed like minutes of walking, Zach finally found himself past the door. He leaned back against the wall, sighing and checking his back pockets for his keys.