Chapter 1 - Toby
The quiet patter of rain began on the roof above. Brad turned the music down a touch and looked out the window. A cooling afternoon thunderstorm was blowing in. A cool change from the hot summer months. The music volume went back up again.
Brad sat back down on the couch and grabbed his guitar. He began to play along with the music, since it was the Hybrid Theory EP after all. But something wasn't right - his body could tell. Something was missing.
He stood up and began looking through his things for his most prized possession. After quite a search, he discovered them in his kitchen for some reason.
"There you are," he joked to himself, putting his headphones on.
He returned to the lounge room and picked up his guitar. Playing along to one of the songs, it seemed to Brad as if the music blaring from the hifi didn't matter anymore. It seemed insignificant to him. The song slowly drifted away into inaudible nothingness.
Inside Brad's head was a different story. His entire body moved to its own rhythm, something that the EP could not provide. His blood pumped to a tempo that made his spine tingle. This was not Brad's music anymore. It was his headphones.
The guitar released slightly from his grip as he leaned back on the couch, allowing the music to overcome his entire from. Haunting music flowed about him like the gurgle and chuckle of a springtime brook. The chanting rap rhythm poured from the headphones into his head, sending his mind into a whirlpool of activity.
"Bradley Delson." He heard a faint voice call to him.
"Yea-" was his only reply. He was so enwrapped by the music that he couldn't concentrate on who he was speaking to.
"Bradley, it is time."
He wasn’t in his lounge anymore. He was in a white room surrounded with wall-to-wall TV screens and speaker systems of various shapes and sizes.
There was a bluish ball of light floating in front of his face – it was that which spoke to him.
“Bradley, Michael Shinoda is already here. He awaits your presence.”
“He’ll be where he normally is, right?” Brad asked, stiffly standing up off the couch.
He placed his guitar gently where he’d been sat, and followed the light to a concealed door in the wall of the white room and out into a metal corridor.
He came to a door and the light disappeared.
“Come in Brad,” said Mike from behind the door.
Brad was taken aback a little - he hadn’t even knocked. Then he remembered that that’s the way it was here. They were all connected in some way. He went inside.
Mike was sat in a room that looked like a Japanese tea house. A geisha girl in a beautiful satin kimono was leaving the room. Mike gestured to Brad to sit with him at the low table. There were two cups of sake on the table.
“I haven’t personalised my room yet…,” said Brad sitting across from Mike, “…it’s time apparently.”
“Yes it is…” Mike spoke quietly, “…we’re just waiting for Chester now. He seems somewhat reluctant…”
“I don’t know if I’m ready either, really…” Brad sipped his sake.
Mike took Brad’s hand and looked him straight in the eye. Mike’s dark brown eyes bored into Brad and he smiled at him.
“You are ready.”
Mike looked away suddenly.
“They are all here,” he said standing up.
The door opened and Joe, Phoenix, Rob and Chester walked in.
“Lets get this over with,” said Chester looking distinctly uncomfortable.
Brad stood up. He put an arm around Chester.
“It’ll be OK Chaz, don’t worry.”
“Lets go,” said Joe leading the way.
They made their way through another maze of corridors that seemed to appear before them and disappear behind them. They were heading for a distance light that could be seen at the end of the corridor.
The light grew larger and brighter the closer they got to it. The music that enveloped them grew louder and louder.
“Good luck, Linkin Park,” spoke the voice they had got so used to hearing. They turned briefly to see the ball of blue light fade into the darkness.
Suddenly, the bright light they had been walking towards engulfed the lads and they, and the corridor they’d been standing in, vanished.
As the light faded they found themselves on dry earth, the air was still. As they looked around, they noticed that they were in some barren desert.
“What the fuck are we doing here…?” asked Chester, not surprisingly confused.
“I dunno,” replied Brad, now holding hands with Chester. “I thought we were doing a radio gig.”
“I think that must be it,” said Joe pointing to the tall phallic tower in the background, while clutching his pet frog.
A strange grey object flew low overhead causing the band members to duck from surprise.
“I think it’s a whale!” Chester cried, pulling away from Brad. He held his hand to his head, shielding the setting sun from his eyes.
They stared at the whale for a while longer while it flew around the tower aimlessly.
“How are we gonna get up there?” Rob asked, not expecting a decent answer from anyone.
“We could use the whale,” suggested Joe in one of his alter-egotistic moods. The band laughed weakly.
“Well let’s start walking, we’ll find out when we get there.” Brad suggested.
“Aww man that’s gonna take ages…” whined Joe stating the obvious. “We’d be too tired to perform by then.”
“One thing at a time,” said Phoenix, always the rational one.
The gang started walking and the ground cracked and crumbled beneath their feet. Chester started singing to help past the time.
“It starts with one…” Chester began.
Mike joined right on que. “One thing I don’t know why, it doesn’t even matter how hard you try…”
As Chester and Mike continued singing something bizarre happened. Grass grew where they stepped and flowers appeared from the dry, parched landscape.
A short while later the whale descended onto the lush grassy patch in front of them, as if inviting them to clamber on. The members stopped singing and looked at each other awkwardly.
Brad stood there in a daze, the music in his head continued playing, the guitar rifts echoed through his mind sending a tingling bliss down his spine. Brad started nodding his head to the rhythm.
The other band members who could not hear the music assumed that meant ‘let’s go’ in Brad’s own vague way. So they approached the whale and climbed on.
The whale slowly and gently rose and swiftly and smoothly brought them to the platform high on the tower. As the gang jumped off the whale Joe was the last one off its back. Still clutching his frog he waved the whale goodbye with one of Froggy’s hands.
“Now what?” Asked Rob, rather flatly. “I’m sick of being in video clips where I just sit on my ass and do nothing.”
Chester walked towards an odd looking doorway marked with a strange language. They looked at each other again. Chester turned round to face the others. Brad nodded again. Chester lead the way in to the darkness.
|TOP | Last updated 15 February 2002 19:42 (AUS EST / +1000 GMT).|