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Star Ocean The Second Story

2001: Another Star Odyssey (Home Again)
By Paul Beaudoin


* Chapter 10: Wager-ific! *

Indalecio laid on the couch, trying to catch a quick nap. His peace was quickly broken, however, by a loud noise coming from outside the house. He stormed outside to find Cyril in the driveway, under the hood of a "junker" car. The car's audio system was blasting Incarnation of the Devil from

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"What the..." Indalecio shouted over the music. "Where did you get this?"

"The sound system?" Cyril asked, closing the hood of the car. "I bought it with my share of the money we got from our gig."

"No, I mean the car," Indalecio said.

"Came with the system," Cyril said.

"You mean you actually got enough money from that concert to buy a car and a sound system?" Indalecio asked in disbelief.

"No, like I said, I bought the sound system. The car was free with it," Cyril said.

"Well, that's not the point," Indalecio said. "You can actually get money from running around on stage like a bunch of kids who forgot to take their Ritalin?"

"Yeah," Cyril said. "Pays pretty damn well if you can make it."

"If you can make it? Hell, anybody could do it!"

"Would you like to see how easy it is?"

"Sure, I'm not doing anything."

Cyril grinned. "Alright. There's a battle of the bands in three weeks in Central City. If you don't know what that is, it's basically a talent contest of sorts. Bands come on, play a few songs, and the best is determined at the end. The prize is 100,000 Fol and a recording contract with Wrecking Ball Records. You have until the contest to get a group together, write some songs, and get them ready."

"I could do that," Indalecio said. "But how about we make a little...side wager?"

"Like what?"

"If your band wins, you keep with it, and I won't complain anymore. But if my band wins..." Indalecio smiled a devilish smile. "...You're done. No more. Kaput."

Cyril thought this over for a minute, and then responded, "You're on."

* * *

Claude knocked on the door to Noel's house in Giveaway.

"Yeah?" a tired-sounding voice came from within.

"It's us, Claude and Rena," Claude said.

"*Yawn* Come on in..." The door opened to reveal a rather worse-for-wear Noel. He was unshaven, his hair was unkempt, his eyes were bloodshot, and he was still dressed in a bathrobe and pajamas.

"You guys want some coffee or somethin'?" he asked, offering a pot full of black, caffienated liquid.

"No, that's quite alright," Rena said.

"Good, more for me," he said. He began drinking it straight from the coffeepot, draining half of it in one draught.

"Long night last night?" Claude asked.

"Guess you could say that..." Noel said. "Anyways, what brings you?"

"First, we'd better get Chisato here..." Rena said.

"You wanted me?" Chisato said, coming down the stairs.

"Wait...how did..." Rena started. Claude quickly cut her off.

"Let's not ask," he whispered.

"Getting back to the point, what did you need?" Noel asked.

"We need your help," Rena started.

"With what?" Noel asked, before taking another sip of coffee.

"A guy is creating the Crest of Annihilation," Claude said. Noel spit his drink out over Claude and Rena.

"What the...how do you know?" Noel shouted.

"Long story," Claude said. "We don't need to get into it right now. We just need to stop the guy, and fast."

"Just a second," Noel said, running upstairs. Within ten seconds, he was fully dressed and ready for battle. "Everyone else ready? Let's go!"

* * *

Indalecio sat in his bedroom with a guitar and a book entitled "Heavy Metal for Beginners." Before long, a loud knocking came from the door. "Come in," he said loudly. Berle and Marsilio walked into the room. "Whaddya need?"

"We heard about that bet you and Cyril made," Berle said. "We were planning to start a band, and were wondering if you wanted to join us."

"We needed a singer, and you need a band," Marsilio said. "Funny the way things work out."

"I'll say..." Indalecio said. "I think I'll take you up on that offer..."

"Great!" Berle shouted. "Can you make it to our first practice tomorrow?"

"Yeah, I think so," Indalecio said.

"Good, then everything's settled," Marsilio said. "Oh, one more thing. Claude and Rena need us to baby-sit their kids today. They just dropped them off now."

"How wonderful..." Indalecio said, rolling his eyes. "Glad I didn't have anything scheduled today..."

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