Star Ocean The Second Story

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

* Chapter 8: Evil Rears Its Head, and This Time It Has a Scar on Its Face *

*One week from that Saturday*

The crowd in the Giveaway tavern didn't pack the place, but was reasonably large. The Wise Men who weren't a part of Lantis sat around a large table in the back. Claude, Rena, Noel, and Chisato (the last three had come begrudgingly at both Cyril's and Claude's request) sat at a smaller table beside them. Everyone else in the crowd was seated and/or standing near the front of the stage, enjoying the music. Damn masochists, Indalecio thought to himself.

Claude turned to talk to Rena, but instead was distracted by a sight just behind her. Sitting at the table next to them was a thirty-something year old man with dark hair. Though the light in the bar was dim, the man's scar on his cheek could be distinctly seen. He was grinning slightly as he finished off his drink, a bubbling, frothing, steaming liquid that was eating away at the glass that it was contained in.

"Will that be all, sir?" asked a cute, young waitress to the man.

"Yes," the man said, handing the waitress a rather large tip. "Thank you." He stood up and went to the counter to pay.

"Excuse me, miss," Claude said. "Do you know who that man is?"

"Oh, him?" she said. "Yes, that's Mr. Facet. Orin G. Facet. He's a regular customer here."

"I see," Claude said. "Excuse me, I need to get some air..."

Claude walked outside and ducked into a nearby alley. Orin soon came out into the street and lit a cigarette. "Heh heh heh..." he chuckled to himself. "Soon the Crest of Annihilation will be finished," he said. He walked down the alley on the other side of the bar and disappeared into the night.

"Crest of Annihilation," reverberated through Claude's mind, as an ominous chord played in the distance. This disturbed him a bit, until he realized it was the closing riff to one of Lantis' original songs.

"Thank you, thank you!" Cyril's voice was amplified through the sound system as Claude entered the bar again. "That was a song we wrote, called 'Buying a One Way Ticket to Hell (With Your Lives)'." Claude sat down just as Cyril spoke again after taking a sip of water. "And now, I'd like to dedicate a song to one of my closest friends," he said, with a small grin on his face.

"Do you think he means you, Daddy?" Filia said from across the table.

"We'll see," Indalecio said.

He had barely finished speaking when they began playing. A loud, fast, and extremely bass-heavy song filled the tavern. After a short introduction, Cyril began singing.

You were just a waste of biological fluid
The way you look makes my stomach turn

"Yup, he means me," Indalecio said, somewhat agitated. Cyril continued singing.

The way you think is no way at all
God, you really think that you've got nerves

I hate you...you know it's true!
I hate you...and everything you do!

You walk around like a spoony freak
Every time you're near you know I get real sick
You're so stupid, there's nothing in your head
God, how I really wish that you were dead!

I hate you...you know it's true!
I hate you...and everything you do!

"You like that, Aloysius?" Cyril screamed as Decus started a blazing guitar solo. Literally. His hands, his guitar, and anything flammable in the near vicinity caught flame.

"Aloysius? Who's that?" Jibril asked.

"That's...me..." Indalecio said, the redness in his face turning from that of anger to that of embarrassment. "That was my first name when I was Dr. Lantis..."

"I thought your first name was Gabriel," Berle said.

"It was my...middle name. I always went by that one, though..."

"ALOYSIUS? HA HA HA HA..." Shigeo said.

Cyril began singing the third verse, which was exactly like the first. Finally, Indalecio could stand it no longer. He chucked an empty beer bottle at Cyril's head, which connected solidly. He had just finished the song when he collapsed to the ground in an unconscious heap.

"Uh, show's over, folks..." Decus said through the microphone, after noticing their lead singer/rhythm guitarist's inability to continue playing. "Hope you all had a great time."

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