Linkin Park had just performed the concert of their lives. The fans had gone crazy, jumping up and down in the mosh pit, singing along, generally enjoying the attention given them by their idols. The boys had completed the post gig ritual of signing autographs until their hands physically cramped up. Everyone had been so happy. Now the LP lads lay broken and battered.
The sound of sirens filled the cool night air in downtown LA. The commotion filled the streets behind the arena. The few fans still around were screaming and crying, policemen were swarming and ambulances were screeching to a halt. Confusion filled the air. What had happened?
Chester Bennington lay crumpled in the doorway at the back of the venue. He had been garotted and stabbed. In the corridor, just inside, Joe Hahn and Rob Bourdon lay bruised and lifeless, blood oozing from multiple stab wounds. Brad Delson's body was found, his wrists and ankles bound with his own guitar strings, two bullet wounds in his neck. He'd also been beaten. On the stage, Phoenix had been battered with mic stands and his own bass guitar. It lay next to his mangled body, the fret board snapped like his neck. Mike Shinoda's body was the last to be found. He'd been shot several times and his body had fallen from the stage into the pit area, where his adoring fans had been moshing and jumping only two hours ago. His form lay crumpled below the stage - his dark brown eyes open, but glazed over in death.
Disbelief was felt the world over. The news of the boys' deaths shocked fans and others alike. They had always been so nice and friendly to everyone they met. Who would want them dead?
The LP lads were buried together in a cemetery on the outskirts of LA - their home, including Chester, even though his family had wanted him buried in Arizona. Samantha, Chester's wife, wanted him buried with his friends as they had meant so much to him. Also she had decided to remain in California. She couldn't face going back to Arizona alone - there were too many memories. As expected, Samantha had taken his death very badly. The night he died was the night before they're fifth wedding anniversary. They had had such plans.
She became a total recluse from that night. Even the discovery that she was pregnant a month later could not raise her spirits. She had begun daily pilgrimages to Chester's grave, once the hordes of fans leaving their own tributes had subsided. Three months after the death of Linkin Park, Samantha slit her wrists, slowly lost consciousness and died over her husbands grave.
She was buried next to him.
A year had almost passed since Linkin Parks' deaths. The band had been mourned by fans the world over. As time went by, fewer and fewer fans flocked to the shrine that was now all that remained, except for the music. In the songs, they're voices would live on for all time. The songs would also survive to haunt their murderers.
Six men, pissed up and high as kites, were rejoicing. It was October 28 2002. Devils night was approaching, which meant fun, abuse and murder to the failed nu-metal group. They had been known as Crazytown and had briefly become popular. However, bad reviews and the chauvinistic attitudes of the band had led to their downfall. They vanished from the music scene and began causing trouble, joining forces with a local warlord, intent on tearing the world apart. He'd started with LA, and much of the city lay in ruins. Fires broke out every night. People were murdered. The police had no control over the situation. Tonight, the six 'pawns' made their way to their King to discuss the upcoming festivities.
The rain was coming down. It seemed to rain all the time these days. LA had become a dismal, smoggy city. In the cemetery, the boys' gravestones gleamed in the moonlight as the rain bounced off them. Dead leaves on the ground moved, but it wasn't the wind or the weather that moved them. Earth and stones moved and the ground began to split open over the graves. As though in a zombie film, hands came through the earth, clutching, trying to pull up the body behind them. Slowly six bodies pulled themselves up from the depths of the earth.
They were pale, hair and clothes intact from the day they were buried. The pouring rain washed the clean of mud and debris. This was no horror movie. Linkin Park were back from the dead.
"What happened... Why are we... What are we doing in a graveyard?" asked Rob surveying his surroundings. They looked around and at each other in sheer amazement. Realisation to time to sink in. Their gravestones stood there like some sick joke. But this did not feel like a joke.
Freaked out by thoughts that disturbed them, they left the confines of the garden of rest and made there way into the city. The streets were almost empty. A curfew had been placed over the city. It was simply not safe to be out at night. A couple of teenagers were looting a smouldering electrical store. The only other sound was that of the guys shoes on the sidewalk.
They walked along, as though drawn by some force towards the old arena, now disused and derelict. The memories came flooding back to them. Flashbacks of the concert, of the cheering fans, and the bloody deaths. The image of the last person they ever saw lingered at the forefront of their minds - their killers.
"What do we do now?" asked Rob "I mean, why are we here?"
"Well we're not ghosts that's for sure, but then neither are we really alive." Mike sat down next to an overflowing trash can and drew his knees up to his chest.
"I just wanna get the fuck who did this to me!" raged Chester. He was angry and upset, full of revenge. And questions, why hadn't Sam come back? Why had she died?
"And in this maze of a city, how the fuck do you think we're gonna find them?" Phoenix asked, almost laughing at the absurdity of it.
Chester leaned against the doorway getting a flashback of his final moments before death had overcome him.
"I think we just need to wait - we'll find them. And when I get my hands on that wanker Shellshock, he's fuckin' dead meat!"
A battered red Chevvy pulled up outside the liquor store. It was the one place that still did a roaring trade. Life was better in this town if you weren't sober. Trouble, Valli and Squirrel got out leaving Epic Mazur at the wheel.
"Don't forget the Doritos", Epic called out as the other two went into the shop. He idly flicked through the radio stations.
"Its all bollocks - no-one makes music like we used to anymore".
He tuned into one station and recognized the tune instantly.
'Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break...'
He quickly switched over to some DJ talking feeling momentarily uncomfortable. He looked at the clock on the dashboard. It was 1:30am, October 29th.
The others soon returned with beer, smokes and Doritos. They got in and screeched off down the road.
"Tomorrow night is going to be such a blast", said Epic excitedly.
"Yeah man", agreed Squirrel. "Hey drop us off at the old movie theatre will ya?"
The Prodigy's 'Firestarter' came on the radio and Trouble leaned forward and turned the volume up to maximum. Singing along as if it were their national anthem, the car sped off to the upper end of town.
"I'm not just gonna stand here all night", growled Chester. "I'm gonna find that twisted fuck and kick some ass". With that he stormed out of the arena, knocking the back door off its hinge with the force. Rob started after him.
"Leave him", said Mike getting to his feet. "The only reason we can be back here is for revenge - a chance to right the wrongs that were done to us. Do you remember that film...God, what was it called...'The Crow'? Its just like that. We put things right and we get to rest in peace. I mean we're still dead - my heart doesn't beat and we haven't begun to decompose or anything!"
The others looked at him incredulously, but knew he was right.
"Well there's no bird, we're not superhuman, or at least I don't think we are, and there's no way on this rotten earth I'm wearing make-up!" Joe pointed out bluntly. His voice and face changed slightly, Remy, his split personality was back.
"I'm going after JBJ. See if I can't do a little damage". He stomped off muttering. Realization kicked in painfully to the remaining four band members. They knew they couldn't remain here for ever. They were dead. Mike had to be right. Getting revenge had to be the key that would let them rest in peace. They were certainly filled with feelings of anger and revenge that were alien to them. These were extreme emotions that they'd never felt before. Mike, Rob and Phoenix went their separate ways leaving Brad with his thoughts.
As Mike walked along, his hands stuffed deep into his pockets, the lyrics he used to sing came to mind.
If I turn my back I'm defenceless
And to go blindly seems senseless
If I hide my pride and let it all go on
Then they'll take from me 'till everything is gone.
If I let them go I'll be outdone
But if I try to catch them I'll be outrun
If I'm killed by the questions like a cancer
I'll be buried in the silence of the answer
As he walked past the opening of a dark alleyway, a young woman came running out, nearly knocking Mike off balance. He caught her arm and she cried out in surprise.
"Hey, are you alright?", asked Mike forgetting his own situation for a moment.
"Yeah...sorry". Her gaze lingered on Mike's face.
She was about 21, about 5'5", small build and had a small, cute oval face. Her hair was long, curly and dyed black and red. She wore a long black skirt and top and had a faded, short denim jacket on. Mike let go of her arm and she pulled herself together. She turned to walk away.
"Y'know, if I didn't know any better, I'd have thought you were someone I used to know of". She laughed at herself and her absurd thought.
"Go with your gut feeling. Who do you think I am?"
She stopped at the sound of his voice, so distinctive and looked back. "You can't be Mike Shinoda - you guys died a year ago...but you are...aren't you?". She questioned herself, but knew deep down inside that she was right.
Mike felt like a mad man, explaining his theory as to why they had returned, because it seemed so unbelievable. The girl, a former fan of Linkin Park called Rhiannon, listened to his story, realizing that this phenomenal story was truth. The two of them carried on talking as she accompanied Mike towards the docks.
|TOP | Last updated 15 February 2002 19:42 (AUS EST / +1000 GMT).|