A Barbaric Summer of Shenanigans
Vahly hung back a little as Filly walked through the open bar area of the Hotel Standard. The young girl pulled uncomfortably on her tight shirt. She was trying a new look and it was strange to her, but she liked it.
Typically, when at the temple, she wore her novice attire of white or pale shades of color. But tonight, Filly encourage her to wear the black t-shirt that clung to her. She blushed looking in a mirror, quietly proud of the naturally appealing figure she owned.
Being called beautiful was something she’d never heard before she met the Oracle of Atlantis. And even hearing it from her was hard. Filly called everyone beautiful.
“Because they are.” Her lady insisted, every time.
Vahly once pointed out a rather plain girl, skinny as a rake and decked in piercings,
“Even her?” Vahly’s tone was condescending for the sake of her own insecurity.
The Oracle walked directly to the girl in question and whispered something in her ear. The skinny lady glowed in a warming smile and blinked back tears as she hugged her compliment-er.
The Oracle turned with a flourish of, “I told you so,” and Vahly had to admit that her smile was a most beautiful transformation.
Yet, tonight was perhaps the first time that Vahly felt appealing in herself. She thanked Filly for giving her that confidence,
“I could never have liked myself the way I do now, if you hadn’t liked me first.”
Filly shrugged as if this were a commonplace occurrence,
“That’s what friends are for.”
So, Vahly wandered through the bar, following her lady, trying not to imitate her completely, but looking to inspire the same confidence she had, in herself. She was trying so hard that she didn’t notice their transport pilot intersect her pathway.
They bumped arms and he spilled a little of the two drinks in his hands on the floor.
“I’m so sorry!” Vahly cried in blushing embarrassment.
“No, no. Totally my fault. I could see you were not noticing me.”
Vahly blushed again, biting back the shyness. She heard Filly’s voice in her head and decided to speak it,
“I notice you.” But then she faltered in the new confidence, “I mean, not just now, obviously.” She giggled, then looked up at him, “but, I see you.”
The pilot smiled back at her. He too struggled with a response, and settled on,
“Sure. Thank you.” The glowing girl replied.
Filly smiled to herself, watching them from a distance. Her orchestrations were most beautiful when they happen on their own.
The first band was setting up to play for the crowd. They looked like a rough group of ex-military strategists.
“The Patriot Contenders,” a woman by the bar said as she nodded at the band and smiled at Filly.
“That’s their name?” Filly asked, smiling back.
“Mmhhmm. My favorite band.” Her new friend informed.
“I’m Filly.” The Oracle saluted, her left pointer finger below her eye in standard Trevel greeting.
Her companion scrutinized her,
“You from Atlantis?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Well, you might want to keep that salute on the down low. Trevels aren’t the most favored folks around here.”
But the woman then smiled in open camaraderie,
“I’m Angel Bryte.” She offered and held out a fist to bump.
Filly bumped back and asked,
“So denying that we’re all Trevel is a real thing out here, is it?”
“Not so much a denial,” Angel countered, “I mean, obviously, we’re all Trevel by scientific family, but to be Trevel or Kentari around here is a lifestyle choice.”
Filly was fascinated and listened to learn.
“The Trevel are all obsessed with being ‘at one’ with the powers of the universe and trying to be the perfect version of that. Being Kentari is admitting you’re effed up, accepting that, and doing the best you can to live within the powers, however you see fit.”
Filly liked that idea, but wanted to pursue the conversation,
“Is it not a good thing to try and be the best you can be?”
“Sure,” said Angel, “but living as if you actually are perfect is the fake version that some call, ‘being civilized.’ Ain’t no body perfect around here, and we like it that way.”
Filly laughed and relaxed.
How refreshing to not have to worry about doing everything the right way, only to avoid scandal. After all, scandal was just breaking some ridiculous standard everyone was kept to, when no one could achieve it in the end.
The lead singer suddenly yelled,
“How’s e’ryone doin tonight?”
Angel screamed in delight. Filly joined in and the band rocked the room for a good hour of hard core, thumping.
Partway through the set, Angel leaned over to Filly and screamed over the music,
“I can introduce you to these guys if you like, but you might like the next band better?”
Filly nodded her interest and asked,
“The Lords of Ragefall, right?”
“Yep. They’re originally from The Shelf, down under. They came up here half a decade ago and took the whole town by storm. They just got voted in as Regents last year.”
“The Shelf?” Filly asked in excitement. “I spent a few years there as a teen.”
“Yeah, I thought you might have.” Angel winked at her. “I can introduce you to them, too.”
Filly hugged her new friend,
“Ooh, I like you.”
The girls laughed together and ordered another drink.
By the time their glasses were empty again, the bands were changing over and Filly couldn’t help calling out aloud,
“Kooey, Kooey, Koo-eeeeee!”
The lead singer and Lord Regent suddenly turned and responded,
“Oi, Oi Oi!”
He pointed at her and called in familiar camaraderie,
Filly waved with a sudden burst of homesickness. She’d spent her most formative teen years along the Trevel coast of the Under Shelf, while she was in hiding with her guard.
The pocket ninja, as she fondly called them, had saved her from a dark childhood. With them she’d escaped to the Fae world and grown into a young woman there, learning the ways and wisdom of being an Oracle. It wasn’t until her later teen years that she was accepted as a novice to the Atlantis Temple. Even then, no one knew the prophecy that had been spoken over her. She had to prove herself and earn the ascension to Oracle on her own.
Yet, as a fully matured woman taking her first full retreat from state business, here she met with others from a place she once considered home. It was going to be a good summer.
She blinked back the happy tears and sat on the edge of her seat as the band struck their first chord and Nichols Ragefall beckoned,
“Wha-sup motha fuckaaaaaahs!”
The Lords of Ragefall exploded in energy such as Filly had never felt. It was overpowering and intoxicating. But it was only pure joy that emanated from each bard. She was astounded by their power.
Angel leaned in and spoke Filly’s silent thoughts,
“I think there must be an empath, a really powerful empath among them.”
Filly nodded. She assessed them with her own empathic senses and couldn’t pin point anything exactly.
“Likely it’s all of them.” She responded in unbelief. “But, if there is one that channels their energy source the most… my money is on the drummer.”
She couldn’t take her eyes of him.
It was as if no being before had ever felt the exuberant joy that this drummer did. His long red curls danced as he punished the instruments with power and strength. It was a wonder that the drums still stood after he was done.
Filly couldn’t stop her body shaking and trembling in the presence of joy that poured out of their music.
Nichols was the perfect showman. His long faelocks swung as he led the crew in soothing and piercing calls, with guitar solos. His brother, Vilhelm, tossed his head of brilliant red locks in time to his empowering bass guitar. Ionny Kay’s even longer faelocks swayed to the harmony of guitar and piano accompaniment with remarkable stokes of practiced excellence.
Filly’s heart was won. This is where she intended to pursue her summer’s retreat. Visions poured into her mind through ecstatic meditations that took over her consciousness as they played. Their music was like hallucinogenic drugs to her open and ready soul.
She was exhausted when they were done playing. But, oh, how she cheered them on and couldn’t wait to meet them personally.