The guys had just finished another amazing set, at yet another incredible show at which they were headlining, thousands of fans had turned out from all over just to see them perform. The band was these guys' idols, respected and loved by all of them.
Chester and Mike had done the usual post show ritual with the rest of the guys, they were still buzzing from the experience, and left together. They headed straight for Chester’s dressing room. They would be alone there. In the privacy of that room they could express the feelings they had for each other without fear of any recriminations.
‘I can’t believe we’re doing this again. I never thought it would happen, but I don’t know if I’d ever feel this good again without you,’ said Mike. It had been three months now. The other band members were aware of the affair, but not all of them agreed, they merely accepted it. It was put down to the loneliness of the tour, but neither Mike nor Chester viewed it in this way. it was however only the rest of the band that knew.
They were middle kiss when the door came ajar and opened slowly. Rob’s head appeared around the door. He coughed, distracting Mike and Chester from the kiss.
‘Sorry to butt in guys, but are you gonna give us some help with the clearing up out here?’ asked Rob. He was not entirely at ease with the situation but respected them for their decision.
He added, ‘Could you get a sign for the door or something, I accept you two an’ everything but it creeps me out a bit seeing you two…… you know…… doing that.’
‘OK, we’ll warn you next time,’ said Chester jokingly.
‘We’ll be out in a sec,’ continued Mike.
They continued to kiss after Rob had left, they had moved on to the couch, with Chester taking the more feminine role, leaning back and being kissed by Mike, leaning over him in a tight embrace. Despite the violence and speed of the door opening, they were too engrossed in their activities to notice when Nick entered the room.
He stood there at first, open mouthed, the shock built up inside him until he could no longer help but shout, ‘OH MY GOD!!’ this caught the attention of the two of them, they could not help but notice him now.
Mike pulled away, looking rather flustered. Both were now sitting bolt upright.
‘Oh shit!’ sighed Chester, looking at Nick in the doorway and then turning to Mike for support in the situation.
‘You didn’t think you could cover that one up for long did you?’ asked Nick. ‘How can you do that to Sam and Anna? I’m gonna have to tell them.’
Nick turned briskly and began to run down the corridor with the yells of Chester and Mike following him as he went.
‘Wait will you!’ shouted Mike. He turned back to Chester, ‘What do we do? What do we do?’ Chester didn’t answer. He was sitting next to him, drip white at their experience. His colour now made his piercings and current red mohican look more pronounced than usual, the flamed tattoos stood out all the more. Those and the hair were the only pieces of colour left about Chester’s person. He managed to say, ‘What do we do now? Sam can’t find out.’ His voice was growing with anger and worry, his body tensing, he let out a scream of ‘What the fuck do we do now?!!’
This scream would have left any true fan in no doubt that during his performance, he is still letting out the emotions and true feelings that he was going through whatever was the initial seed of the song. It was loud, sudden and totally unexpected. It caused Mike even to flinch.
‘What about Anna?! If she finds out I don’t know what I’d do!’ Mike was increasingly close to tears. ‘What do we do? What do we do?!’
‘We…… we need to stay calm and, um… and find the others and tell them, o k?’ Mike nodded in agreement with Chester’s plan.
At this they got up from the couch holding hands as they left the room, Chester leading.
Having an instant recall of the event that put them in this situation, they dropped each other’s hands as soon as they left what they had previously considered the relative safety of the dressing room. They walked on, separate in body, but not thought processes, down the hall.
‘Guys, we’re in shit!’
‘Why, what’s happened?’ asked Brad looking slightly intrigued.
‘Nick caught the two of us, you know……’ said Chester, breaking the news to the band wasn’t the easiest thing he had ever done.
‘What do we do? What do we do?’ Mike repeated this phrase until it lost all meaning.
‘No one can find out,’ said Phoenix.
The band sat and mulled the situation for a few minutes.
‘I got a plan,’ Joe abruptly interrupted the thought process and silence. There was an element of evil in Joe’s voice. This was not Joe’s plan it; it was Remy’s, his alter ego.
They drew in closer like children at a camp fire, listening intently to a story. Remy shared with them his plan. It was calculated to the last degree. The band was shocked at the speed with which Remy had come up with such a detailed and callous plan. There was only one way they could rid themselves of the problem.
After the plan had been set and arranged, they carried on as normal in the clearance of the stage, making only a few, unnoticeable changes to their usual routine, laying a few cables differently.
When the stage was nearly cleared, Rob shouted, ‘Hey Nick, come here a sec!’ His voice was tainted with a slightly nervous tone.
Nick came jogged casually towards Rob. As he neared the stage Chester pulled on a well-placed wire, this wound its way around Nick’s ankle like a constricting snake, causing him to trip and fall heavily on the front of his body.
As he lay there on the ground, sprawling and struggling to become free from his trap, the band members, including, not Joe, but his alter ego Remy and mastermind of the plan, lifted and dropped Joe’s turntables from the edge of the stage. They landed on the upper part of Nick’s struggling body. There was the audible sound of his skull and bones crushing upon impact. There was a final gasp and blood slowly began to form a pool beneath the turntables. The blood was pouring from the crushed remains of the roadie’s face and head. Skull crushed, bone exposed, ribs broken and lungs punctured, they had a corpse on their hands and consciences.
‘So, Remy, what do we do with him now?’ asked a slightly shaken Phoenix.
365 days had now passed since the night of the incident. 365 since Linkin Park had collectively come together and murdered a man.
Remy’s plan had worked, the deed remained undiscovered. They had disposed of the body in a waste disposal facility. It had never been found.
Mike and Chester had called their affair to a halt, they could not continue after the things that it had caused. Samantha and Anna were non the wiser about the activities of their lovers. The lives of the band were back too normal and the event had been put to the backs of their minds.
Chester sat in the dressing room by himself, contemplating their performance, cooling off and picking faults. He had just finished speaking to Samantha and was now waiting for the journalists and photographers to arrive for interviews. The rest of the band were chilling in a communal area, discussing the show and life in general. Joe was busy cooking up juicy lies for the poor, unsuspecting fans. But Chester felt like some alone time.
He stood up and stretched, tensing every muscle in his body and then relaxing. He moved his head to release some of the tension in his neck. While he was doing this an envelope, perched on the edge of the table, caught his eye:
FOR THE ATTENTION OF CHESTER BENNINGTON ESQ.
Was hand written neatly in red block capitals on the envelope. He reached down and picked up the envelope for closer examination. It was small, white and had slightly crumpled corners as if it had been in someone’s pocket. He slipped his finger under the flap of the envelope and began tearing along the top fold being careful not to damage what was inside.
Inside was a folded piece of paper with typed letters on it. He read it and then re-read it, a look of shock and terror appeared on his face. He picked up the envelope and ran to the rest of the band.
‘Are you OK Chester, you look as if you’ve seen a ghost?!’ joked Rob.
‘Read,’ he said, passing the note to Mike and playing with the empty envelope nervously, a state of shock etched upon his face.
Mike was panicked, ‘What do we do? What the fuck do we do?’ he screamed, his voice growing louder, his pulse becoming faster.
‘What are we gonna do about what?’ asked Brad tentatively. He removed the note from Mike’s hand, Mike remained in the same position in a state of shock.
Brad took a look at Mike, then looked at the note. He read it out loud:
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST TOUR
He followed it by a slow, yet panicked, ‘What are we gonna do?’ aimed at Chester, him being the one the note was addressed to.
‘How the fuck should I know? I’m not in charge! I’m never in charge, I can’t handle being in charge! Anyone else want to be given a little ‘In charge’ because I’M NOT, OK?!’
‘Does someone know? What do we do?’ asked Phoenix, followed by a chorus of ‘What do we do then?’ from the rest.
‘Way to ask a stupid question Phoenix, of course someone knows,’ said Brad.
‘What do we do? What do we do?’ asked Mike, panicking again.
‘STOP ASKING THE SAME FUCKING QUESTION!’ Chester snapped at Mike, who looked increasingly upset. ‘I’m sorry,’ grovelled Chester, approaching Mike with his arms ready to give him a bear hug, which he accepted.
‘You guys are pathetic!’ said Rob, sitting on the floor, showing no real emotion towards the situation.
‘No we’re not! SOMEONE KNOWS!!!’ Brad began to get hysterical.
‘No one knows, we did a LOT of things last tour.’ Rob answered back.
‘We only murdered ONE roadie!’ Phoenix became increasingly stressed. The volume of his voice increased, ‘That’s a death! On our account! How the hell can you be so calm Rob?’
‘Yeah and besides that, we did a lot more. Chester and Mike had an affair, Brad got drunk and went to THAT strip club, we stole that vending machine from the hotel which we still have on the bus, we beat the crap out of Wheatus, I told that fan that we had blood orgies and they took pics of those scars on Rob and Phoenix’s arms and spread it around the world, and we shaved the heads and facial hair from Powerman 5000! The list is endless!’ Joe pointed out some of the bad things they’d done.
‘Yeah, well we only committed one homicide!’ Chester snapped.
‘Stop your fucking whining and get over yourselves! Big deal, you got a note! That still don’t make your theories correct!’ Rob butted in, increasing in annoyance at what he considered to be their total over reaction to the situation.
Chester glared at Rob for his ignorance to the obvious and stormed
‘Chester, wait,’ Mike’s hand landed on Chester’s shoulder. Chaz shuddered under the feel of Mike’s grip, it was like a shock of electricity passing between them. It was a culmination of all of the feelings they couldn’t express towards each other. It was an unspoken, totally natural and unconscious action that expressed so well, all of Mike’s feelings.
Their eyes met and the feelings were immediately gone, they both knew nothing could ever happen again. Their feelings were incredibly strong but the were both fully aware of the huge problems their relationship had caused, and if anyone else was to find out……
All they both wanted was to hold each other, they knew that the feeling of holding each other would make it all go away. The feeling that put a barrier up against the rest of the world, the strength of their feelings made it such a strong barrier, it made it them against the rest of the world.
They knew however, no matter the feelings of the security they got from each other, they could not give each other that kind of strength. It was that that had caused the problems. It was their fault.
‘Ignore them, their assholes. It’s just Rob and Joe that don’t believe, the rest do, they feel the same as us - scared shitless. Everything will be OK, trust me,’ Mike smiled weakly to the only man he had ever loved. He looked at Chester expectantly, waiting for an answer, instead, Chester turned and walked towards the stage area.
‘How can they not see? This is real, someone knows and they’re gonna do something about it! They sent ME a note to tell ME, they want me obviously…….’ Chester was close to tears. Mike grabbed Chester’s arm and turned him around enveloping him in a comforting hug.
‘I’m not about to let anything happen to you, ok? We’re in this together, all of us, no matter what,’ Mike broke the hug and the two continued towards the stage area.
As they reached the stage Chester let an ear splitting scream, which made Mike jump back a few paces. What the two men saw infront of them was unreal and unexpected. Chester let out another scream and the rest of the band came running.
They stood beside the two men and saw exactly the same sight. Joe’s turntables were no longer in their usual place. Beneath them were the crushed remains of a man, unrecognisable from their standing position. There was a pool of blood beneath him and bone could be seen protruding from his skull.
None of the them moved, they just stood and stared at the remains of an unknown victim. This man had died innocently because of their actions 365 days ago. They had cost another man his life because of their selfish wishes to keep an affair between two of the members quiet.
‘Now do you believe that someone knows?’ asked Brad, his entire body shaking with fear.
Chester sat on the edge of the stage, wrapped in a blanket. His entire body was shaking from shock and fear, he was completely lost in his own terrified thoughts.
The police had been called and all the men had been questioned. Of course, none of them had told the cops what they knew; the reason this man was dead. They couldn’t tell the cops the truth so they all felt silently guilty.
Chester watched the EMTs carry the body across the venue’s floor to the exit at the back. The cops were now leaving and explaining that they were not going to need to hold the men for further questioning but may call upon them later.
All six men were in fear, you could see it in their eyes. Phoenix had been vomiting violently since the body had been discovered and now he could barely stand up. Rob had disappeared on more than one occasion; reappearing with always a blank expression upon his face. Brad and Joe had resorted to sitting on the floor, making their way through as many packs of Marlboro as they could get hold of. Chester had chosen the full blown shocked mode of sitting silently in shock upon the stage. Mike had attempted to talk to Chester or to comfort him but Chester had just ignored him; he hadn’t seen Mike since but he had heard his voice.
He exhaled deeply, trying his best to calm himself down. He knew it wasn’t going to work, how could he be calm? Someone who knew the truth was trying to give them a message with this death, any one of them could be next. He was scaring himself more with thoughts of the untimely end that was upon him. Tears of fear ran down his cheeks, making small river lines down his face.
‘We need to get out of here,’ Mike said from behind Chester. Chaz turned around and looked at Mike who looked the wrong side of white. Mike wasn’t shaking but he had fear in his eyes, and a frightened look upon is face. ‘Come on,’ Mike lowered himself to Chester, taking him in his arms to lift him from the ground.
The two men slowly moved across the empty building towards where Brad and Joe sat, still smoking their Marlboros. Phoenix groaned as he attempted to stand so he could leave, Rob came to his aid and lifted him to his feet.
‘So, what are our plans?’ Joe asked simply, staring at nothing.
‘I say, we leave here, get some rest, move to the next venue, do our show tomorrow and try to return to normalcy,’ Mike suggested, still holding on to Chester.
‘Are you crazy?!!’ asked Brad, who was now on his feet. ‘Look what trying to ‘return to normalcy’ did to us last time! Another man is dead! Someone is gonna do to us what we did the other guy - we all might as well be six feet under!’ Hysteria had gripped Brad in a bad way.
‘We can’t tell anyone, if that’s what your thinking! No way, we just have to stick together and we’ll be fine. None of us are gonna die,’ Rob was trying to be calming but his voice gave away his fear.
‘Rob’s right,’ Chester said, trying to steady himself on two feet, but failing and falling over. Mike grabbed him before he carried on. ‘Telling the cops would just put us in deep shit, our lives would be over any way. if the six of us stand by each other and watch each other’s backs then no one is gonna die. C’mon, I mean six against one? I think the odds are in our favour.’
‘How do we know it’s six against one?’ Joe asked.
‘We don’t, we just got to hope that I’m right,’ Chester held on to Mike to steady himself, his body was shaking too violently for him to stand by himself.
The men then proceeded to leave the venue, in hope that they were right. Tomorrow was surely going to be an interesting day.
Chester lay alone in his bed, too scared to go to sleep. He didn’t want to be alone tonight, he wanted Sam or even Mike. When Mike had held him earlier he had felt safe. Now he felt vulnerable. He wanted Mike to be there with him, telling him that everything would be ok, just like he used to do when Chester woke up from a nightmare. Mike would always wake up at the same time and hold Chester, telling him that he was save and that he loved him. Chester missed that and right now he needed that more than anything.
He closed his eyes and tried to forget the day's happenings. But every time he closed his eyes, he saw the body of that guy under the turntables and he saw the note:
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST TOUR
The words haunted Chester like a bad dream. He never slept that night and feared that he never would again.
|TOP | Last updated 15 February 2002 19:42 (AUS EST / +1000 GMT).|