Else Kjelstrom And The Shattered Skies


cardinal_icon.gif cat_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif else_icon.gif eve_icon.gif feng_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif helena_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif mona_icon.gif sable_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif

Scene Title Else Kjelstrom and the Shattered Skies
Synopsis When Greenwich Gillage is host to the CD release party for a musician who seems to have a prophetic gift, emotions rise and intrigue is an undercurrent. But is it prophecy, or something else entirely?
Date August 22, 2009

The Rock Cellar

A comfortable place, located in the basement of 14 East 4th Street. The red brick walls are covered with memorabilia from various icons of rock and places in rock history, creating a feel similar to that of a Hard Rock Cafe.

The left wall has two bars separated by swinging doors which lead to and from the kitchen. Directly across from the entrance is a two foot high stage with all the equipment needed for acts to perform there. The right wall has three doors marked as restrooms: two for use by women and one by men.

Thirty square feet of open space for dancing and standing room is kept between the stage and the comfortable seating placed around tables which fill the remainder of the Cellar.

The lighting here is often kept dim for purposes of ambience, and when performers are onstage the place is loud enough to make conversation difficult. Just inside the door is a podium where location staff check IDs and stamp the hands of those under twenty-one with a substance visible under UV lights at the two bars and by devices the servers carry. On the podium's front is a sign with big black letters that just about explain it all: If You Don't Like Rock 'N' Roll, You're Too Late Now!

Sweat, alcohol, tinnitus; all these things come with a cramped nightclub and local bands thrashing into the night. The Rock Cellar has only been becoming more and more popular as time goes on, with more patronage coming in from neighborhoods outsideof Greenwich Village and an increased interest in the live music scene. In a way, it's everything Catherine Chesterfield has wanted, but in other ways it's an ironic denial of her own dream to be the one on stage.

This particular night's show has been nothing short of a phenomenal success. The basement-floor club is packed wall to wall with music lovers and fans of the six bands playing. By late in the evening, the roar of fans on the floor in front of the stage and the cheering from people at tables and booths has become so much white noise. Cnversations require leanin in to hear over the roar of the music, the walls shake with ever drum beat and bassline, it's already been a raucous evening, and with the final act ready to go on shortly, it's only likely to get more wild.

The final act of the night has been the show's selling point; Else Kjelstrom and the Shattered Skies have become New York City's surprise hit, a musical sneak-attack to the urban pulse that runs through the post-bomb city. With haunting lyrics and unknowingly topical subject matters, her CD release party has brought the businest night yet to the Rock Cellar.

Three booth seats have been arranged as makeshift vendor's stalls run by roadies of the six bands showing off tonight, with prominent space given for the band of the hour, cases of CDs fresh off the presses showcase the black cover and stark skyline of the ruins of midtown with what resembles a shattered glass hole in the sky showing an inverted New York City free of the devastation of the bomb. This is both the promotional poster and album cover for the band's first CD — Shores of the Empire State.

As the dance floor surges with sweaty, jumping forcs eagerly anticipating the arrival of the last band, the ringing in people's ears only has so long to quell before an MC promoting tinight's event climbs up on stage. "Heeey Rock Cellar!" A fist is thrown into the air, and drunken fans throw the fist back, horns included. A cheer rises and falls through the crowd and through the club. "Man, I dunno if this building can take any more jumping down in the pit, right? Be easy guys, I don't want anyone getting hurt tonight! We got Else Kjelstrom and the Shattered Skies comin' on in just a few minutes!"

Whatever he was trying to say next is drowned out by the cheering and drunken hooting from the crowd, as voices fill the hot air. "…going to give her a good, loud welcome when they come on up! And don't forget, you can pick up music, shirts, whatever y'want from all the bands tonight over in the back by Marty!" A wave is given in the direction of a stocky man with a shaved head and gauged piercings in his ears, who so very casually 'throws up the horns' like an old lady would wave to their grandchildren. "So Rock on Rock Cellar, and the lady of the hour will be on shortly!"

The crowd cheers, the drinks flow, and the night builds in intensity; it is exactly what Catherine Chesterfield wanted, and in that it is bittersweet.

With all the arrogance of the borderline megalomaniacal, Sable came here tonight with her mental mission being 'size up the competition'. But the combination of the sheer force of reality principle and, more importantly, a ferocious love of good music and good vibes, by the time the DJ gives the announcement, the yellow-eyed girl is hollering herself horse with enthusiasm. She looks a little underdressed in tanktop and cargo pants, but her expression places her comfortably on the downslope of the bell curve for committed intensity. A fake ID and the drinks it's earned her have certainly helped.

"I'm too old for this shit," Veronica murmurs half to herself and half to the bartender. The off duty company agent is neither sweaty nor jumping, but instead sitting on a bar stool. She leans lazily against the bar top as she watches the stage, sipping an "extra dirty" martini. She's in jeans, a navy-blue brocade corset, and knee-high high-heeled boots. God forbid she have to chase anyone tonight. But then, she's off-duty. She isn't planning on it.

At some point during the evening, Cardinal's shown up in the Cellar; nobody saw him use the front door, but he's gotten in anyhow. Not one for cover charges, and he never really has been. There's a drink in his hand that he did pay for, and he's currently perched on a seat at a table off near one wall, fingers wrapped about the glass itself as he observes the crowded dance floor through opaque shades and with a rather contemplative expression on his face. The jacket's been lost, since he'd be sweating his ass off with all these bodies, a slightly ripped old Black Sabbath tour t-shirt stretched across his upper body's lean musculature, the print long since faded a bit, a pair of black jeans rounding off the rather generic look. Maybe that's the point.

Still, despite the look, he's remaining somewhat detached from the general festivities. He feels it, too, and he grimaces a bit as he takes a sip of the beverage in hand, murmuring to himself, "A year ago…"

Today was a day of relaxation for Phoenix, and the night is shaping up as one as well - at least for one member. Helena, not wanting to be bothersome to Sal for something like this, elected to take advantage of a short, straight haired black wig tonight, and even with a few shades of tan, she still makes a fairly credible Snow White. Except this Snow White lacks dwarves, and instead of a princess gown, it's black leather pants, a bustier, and fingerless arm sleeves, as well as boots that permit her a bit of heel. The tattoo on her shoulder-blade shows, red flares of flame that might vaguely resemble a phoenix to a discerning eye, not that this is really an opportunity to allow someone much detail. Coincidentally, one lick of flame in the design has an uncanny resemblance to a portion of the Symbol.

Being friends with the owner hath its priveleges. In this case, Helena is up in the press of the front row, a small badge clipped securely to her bustier indicating she is free to roam in the areas that are generally considered 'no access' to the rest of the attendees. She's been dancing, stomping, screaming her head off, letting off steam and having a glorious time. 'Evelyn Wozniak' has definitely had a few Red Stripes, and that can only be a help.

It isn't so very long ago that Mona would've told people crowds were her kryptonite; letting herself be inundated by all the brainwaves of a pounding, cacophonous mess of humans packed into an area as tiny as the Rock Cellar would've been akin to committing telepathic suicide. Either she is the best actor in the world, concealing a headache painfully pointy enough to pierce through its encasing bone, or else she's amassed an amazing amount of control lately — because she looks absolutely fine now. Better than fine.

The writer is in attire a little closer to what she had worn on her undercover mission at Malone's than her usual look; a navy-blue, short-sleeved sweater jacket open over a black Avenged Sevenfold tanktop and jeans. "A year ago what?" she casually inquires at Cardinal in a sufficiently raised voice, sipping at a martini glass held in one hand. He hadn't spoken that loudly, no, especially above all the background noise; maybe she just has really good ears.

No need for a fake ID, Gillian's old enough to have the drink in her hand. While she spent a while on the dance floor, she's taking a break over to the side, near the bar with the bartender. Some kind of greenish drink with ice. Though she glances over to spot a certain dark haired older woman sipping a martini, she doesn't look long, and doesn't stop to chat. The clothes she wears are fairly normal for her. Blacks, reds, purples. A little more covering than normal, but what's visible of her tattoos looks like they're not complete, or missing holes in them. Some sweat is visible on her forehead, before she moves away from the bar, in search of someone.

Delilah is manning one part of the bar tonight, occasionally going out into the throng to gather up some rogue dishware; she is not one to be in the front row for concerts- simply not her cuppa tea. Instead, she is having loads of fun working, of all things, though it doesn't feel like work. Her red hair is down over her shoulders, contrasting with the blue and white tie-dye camisole, the white in the center making the shape of a big heart. Below is a wavy blue skirt, and there are a pair of translucent white leggings under that, cutting around her calves and low heels. When the main attraction of the night is revealed as soon to come, Dee joins the rest of the crowd in the hooting and hollering; but somehow even that doesn't distract her popping the cap off of a brown bottle before handing it off.

Down at the stage, the rodies work on pulling down the last band's equipment and moving in the pre-set equipment for Else's band, setting up the drums and sliding out the amps across the floor. Over in the acoustics booth, settings preferred by the band are being checked and prepared, and a man up on stage is going over a mic-check, in this almost eye of the storm feeling between the last act and the headlining one to come, there's a sense of relaxation and respite coming over the crowd, a few minutes to grab a cold water and hydrate before the frenzy begins, and from the speed at which the Rock Cellar crew and the band's riadies work, it won't be all that long before the headlining act is out on stage.

In that interim, one simgle, dapper-dressed asian man comes in late to the show, his attire screaming business casual more so than hard rock fan. With sunglasses slid off of his face, he weaves his short frame through the crowd, one hand delicately folding the glasses and sliding them insde the breast pocket of his suit jacket, unbuttoning the front from the heat as he makes his way up to the bar, slipping sideways past a couple sharing a drink as he slips in to a seat beside Veronica, motioning to catch Delilah's attention as he's on her side of the bar. "Vodka and tonic," comes the somewhat stilted Chinese accent as he fumbles for a wallet inside of his jacket.

Across the way at Richard Cardinal's table, the presence of Feng Daiyu at the bar doesn't go unnoticed. For all his slight frame and humble stature, to Cardinal, is is the purple elephant in the crowd.

Veronica's whiskey-brown eyes meet Gillian's glance but only for the briefest, most ephemeral of moments before they flicker to the stage to await the arrival of the main act. She glances around, wondering just who it is in the place that can't know that she knows the tattooed woman in red and purple. Or just how many can't know, more like it. She's not on duty and she's not trying to make any friends. She's just here because she actually likes what she's heard of the main act, and figured it was as good a place as any to spend a night off. Her fingers dip into her martini and pluck out an olive that she pops into her mouth. Vee glances up as Feng sits beside her, before her sleepy looking eyes swing back to the stage to watch the roadies work.

Arriving rather late, not usually one for parties or concerts, Magnes arrives in a loose white t-shirt with what appears to be an album cover on the front. A drawing of a shirtless guy riding an armored unicorn with a sword, fighting a flying red dragon. And above the man is the word 'Rhapsody', clearly the band's name, and below is the album name 'Legendary Tales'.

Brushing off his baggy blue jeans as he drags his black sneakers to the bar, he plops down next to Veronica, but doesn't appear to regard her with more than a casual nod. "Hey, Delilah! Can you make me something you think I'll like?" Because he has no idea what drinks he'd like.

"Must've been one hell of a year," Mona notes to Cardinal with a glance that flickers, sidelong, away from the bar in the direction of the crowded floor. Her head tips backwards to drain what little liquid remains sloshing at the bottom of her glass. "You look like you're doing to me. Now, that — that's a guy who looks like he doesn't belong here." She tilts her chin up at the newly-arrived, small-framed Feng some distance away, her brows lifted and her own mouth in a cheerful slant.

"Must've been one hell of a year," Mona notes to Cardinal with a glance that flickers, sidelong, away from the bar in the direction of the crowded floor. Her head tips backwards to drain what little liquid remains sloshing at the bottom of her glass. "You look like you're doing to me. Now, that — that's a guy who looks like he doesn't belong here." She tilts her chin up at the newly-arrived, small-framed Feng some distance away, her brows lifted and her own mouth in a cheerful slant.

Sable is not the best with names, but this time, of all times, she actually does remember. This is only because she did internet research on the Rock Cellar before coming and, while she did a piss poor job due to her general 'net-incompetence, Cat's name and position is information that's not precisely nested. The small rocker's eyes light up. "No shit!" she says, "I'm Sable," she says, thrusting a hand towards Helena, a hand fueled by ambition and liquid courage in powerful concert, "I'm…" quick, think, "I'm actually in a band that, like, works out of the Lighthouse," not a total lie, "I was hoping, I dunno, to get backstage and maybe meet folks. For the kids, y'know?" Everyone loves kids. Everyone doubly loves orphans? Right? Right?

"You have no… idea…" The words trail off as Cardinal spots the very man that Mona then points out, the edge of his glass swirled lightly to stir its contents about within, washing to one side and the other of the vessel as sharp eyes that see in a different sort of spectrum than others pick out the form of the asian man. After a moment, he murmurs, "No, no he doesn't. Not one bit, in fact." A brief smile's flashed to Mona, and then he casually sets the glass in his hand down on the next table over, to the surprise of the people there. Of course, it's claimed in moments.

"Oh. Look at that. I need another drink, suddenly." Off the chair, and then he's making his way through the crowd, down towards the bar.

After a few steps away from the bar, Gillian can't spot her friend, so she hovers close by, trying to avoid brushing up against anyone as she takes a long drink from whatever the green thing in her hand happens to be. It's not the same drink she ordered when Cardinal paid her back for the Pinehearst job. That one'd been blueish, but it has a similar texture. Though it's becoming more ice than drink.

A glance back at the bar looks toward Veronica, sitting alone again, and then out into the crowd, scanning for someone. The day at the beach had ended in burying of Brian in sand and building of sandcastles. The asian guy at the bar doesn't get much more than a glance, as she's more worried about the woman sitting next to him. If only she knew.

Shit, that's Magnes. The man only gives her a nod, so Veronica can breathe again. Apparently the Haitian is still good at his job. Grade A mindwiper, that man. Still, the surprise made her swallow her bleu-cheese-stuffed olive without even chewing it. A tragedy. She takes a hard swallow of her martini to chase it down. "Another?" she asks Delilah with a lift of her martini toward the redhead with a smile.

Sable gives Helena a quick but hard stare, a negotiator's stare, or at least what someone who learned about negotiation from watching bad TV would considering a negotiator's stare. Whether there is genuine thought brewing behind those crazy eyes, or whether it's just a show before a forgone conclusion, she nods. "Sounds pretty fuckin' cool," she says, and then grins, this time with unabashed toothiness, "Meantime, buy you a drink?"

"Ahah, what—" A smooth, bemused blink follows Cardinal as he turns away. There is a slight shrug, long enough for Mona to take a few steps forward to set her empty glass down on the exact same tabletop, then detouring to slip between the two passing figures directly in front of her and plunge into the crowd after both Cardinal and Feng. Maybe it's not the smartest thing to do, following their presence towards the bar like a bored hound, but hey. She maybe has an excuse to be curious.

And she does actually need a new drink.

"You're putting Red Bull in a drink? Is that safe?" Magnes asks in a tone that suggests this drink may or may not explode. Veronica gets another glance, mostly because, well, she's Veronica and hot. He's mostly being bashful and trying to pretend he's not looking.

Helena considers a moment. She's had two beers over the course of the concert and sweated them out fairly easily. A third won't put her into questionable territory. "Sure." she says, angling to start heading to the bar. Sable's stare doesn't seem to phase her - either she's too stupid to realize she should be wilting at a thousand yards, or she's made of sterner stuff than fairy tale princesses despite her looks. "Evelyn." she offers as a name to the feral eyed woman. "Nice to meet you!"

There's no attempt made to actually lose the woman in the crowd, so Cardinal's easy to come up with— he's trying to seem casual, after all, and it's hard to do that if you're literally shoving your way through people. So he takes his time as he makes his way there, head bobbing a bit with the music, someone's leather-clad ass slapped in passing— he's pretty sure they're someone familiar, and if not, ah well, it was a nice one— before he begins to approach the bar, and the chinese atches the skinny blonde on stage run a hand though her hair under the muted blue lights.

Ah, the night has finally come. Instead of having to seek Else out, Eve can just come right to her here at the Rock Cellar. The energy of the crowd, the singer drinks it in as she moves through the crowd.

Dressed in a strapless dress, black, red and corset like. The garment falls to just about her high heeled booted feet. It also has slits up the side, for easy movement if need be. Metal and leather vambrace adorn Eve's arms. The strings and straps, silk like and they trail towards her waist. The metal parts gleam in the light of the club.

The woman's eerie light grey eyes only briefly scan the place but she doesn't look around for long. Her gaze snaps to the stage. Her midnight black hair frames her face and falls behind her shoulders towards the middle of her back, somewhat curled. She stands in the middle of the crowd almost, surrounded by people.. but it seems like people aren't bumping into her, no jostling. The seer watches the fellow seer and tilts her head. Lips parted.

The drink that Magnes ends up with is sort of a faded teal color, and for purposes of being cute, there is even an umbrella in it. "It's fine. Trust me." Though what she does not say is that it might make him eventually turn the club into a space camp chamber. Veronica also gets a mimic of the drink she had been nursing until now. Delilah is timely with her mixing, and when the set of the night begins, she is given a slight reprieve as everyone in the Cellar goes nuts. The redhead takes that bit of time where everyone is looking away to clean up some of the stray messes on the bar, and pluck away empty glasses and cash.

Sable slips in front of Helena, taking point and using her arms like a cowcatcher to help them get through the crowd. She looks back at Helena, sorry /Evelyn/, and quirks a brow. "Take this as a compliment, cuz it is. You look way better than an Evelyn." She reaches out to the bar like a swimmer to the pool edge, or a tag-player to base with It close behind. "Get this woman a dr-," she starts, but then the real show begins, and Sable is momentary distracted from her mission. Dayum. That's some fucking talent. She finishes her transaction quick as she can, and Helena finds herself presented with a Jack and Coke, and a sly smile, but no words. It's music time.

There's a slight curve of Veronica's full lips, showing those large dimples on either side, when she hears Magnes worry about mixing Red Bull and alcohol. It's so very Varlane of him. She gives a nod to Delilah, paying for the new drink and picking it up. She looks up into Cardinal's eyes as he makes his way to the man beside her, looking curiously at both men, before the woman on the stage reclaims her focus. There's something in the music that speaks to her, to the solitude and resentment of her soul, the way truly great music does. Goosebumps actually rise on Veronica's bare arms and she shivers visibly.

She's here, in amongst the crowd, making her way around the place and enjoying the atmosphere. It is bittersweet, in that she keeps her connection to the place obscured. Cat's seen here quite a bit, and those who've also been around the place a time or three may very well have noticed she has no troubles getting a certain table in a shadowy part of the Cellar and maybe even guess her association, but very few know she's the Boss. For clothing she's chosen nothing that would draw attention to herself over and above people around her; a pair of jeans and a t-shirt featuring the image of Pete Wentz. As Else takes the stage and begins her set, she's suddenly right there near the woman calling herself Evelyn Wozniak and Sable. Sable is looked over briefly by the brunette of five feet and eight inches, but only briefly, as Cat goes back to letting eyes wander the crowd.

"Thanks," Helena starts to say as Sable compliments her, and starts to open her mouth to offer her thanks she's promptly distracted by the music. She almost doesn't notice the Jack and Coke in front of her, but she does return Sable's smile with one of her own, nodding in understanding. She too turns toward the music; she too is rapt and thoroughly captured by the imagery.

As the fabled music starts up, Gillian listens for a few long moments before she looks down toward the crowd to spot a tall woman in a dress. "Well fuck," she exclaims quietly, in a tone unable to be heard by anyone at all over the music, she seems to brace herself for moving into the crowd, finishing off her drink so she can set it down at a nearby table while everyone's preoccupied with the music. Wading into the crowd again with a drink, even one full of ice, would be a bad idea. Accident waiting to happen.

Weaving through, she gets jostled a bit before she makes it all the way to Eve, as the woman on stage sings about dreams. A hand goes out to touch the unjostled woman's arms, as someone slams into her on the other side. Well hell. Why is Eve immune to that and she's not?

Could there possibly be a better distraction than the singer who was the cause of all this crowding taking the stage? Cardinal's lips twitch in a slight smile as he returns an upwards nod to Veronica, noting the man on her other side as well— though Magnes gets no formal greeting just yet, as he moves along past, as if to belly up to the bar on the other side of Feng Daiyu without noticing the other man. A hand lifts, beckoning the bartendress's attention, before leaning over ever so subtlely to land that hand down on the man's shoulder and 'whisper' in tones meant to only reach his ear, "Interesting lyrics, aren't they, Agent Daiyu?"

Magnes stares down at his drink, sniffing it once, then just shrugs and starts downing it. He clearly still has little knowledge of alcohol, and since it tastes somewhat sweet, he takes nearly half the glass before stopping for air. "Wow, this is pretty good." Since it hasn't gone to his head just yet. And, he hasn't noticed Cardinal, focused almost entirely on his drink, Delilah, and the sneaked glances at Veronica. As for the music, he bobs his head a bit, but really isn't the party hard type. "I didn't know Munin did all that." he adds, as his little inside joke to himself.

The bodyguard's a little late, but he did have to change. Leo's no longer in his polyester rent-a-cop bag, oh no. He's in white t-shirt, BDUs, and carefully laced boots. Just another skinhead out on the town, presumably, by the way his hair's been buzzed back nearly to the scalp. The churning crowd parts strangely before him, as he heads right for Helena. Like an angry boyfriend come to drag her home.

The augmenter is given a brief sidelong look and a soft smile. "Magnificent." Is all Eve says in the beginning. Her head tilted back looking at the stage and her hand goes to Gillian's arm in turn, her way of a warm greeting at the moment.

"I was wondering when you were going to see me." She says to Gillian, barely audible but just loud enough for the other woman to hear. The singing of dreams grabs her attention and she raises her arms slightly, caught in the music. In the vision that she's had before.

Just in the nick of time for the beginning, lilting strains of Else's song, Mona successfully navigates her way through to the bar not long after Cardinal does, dark eyes moving to the pale-skinned singer even as many others around her do the same thing. She doesn't take a seat but leans an elbow on the woodwork instead, unable or unwilling to move her impressed gaze away from the woman.

There -is- a pause long enough for her to give a "Hey," to Delilah as soon as there is a gap in the redhead's busy attention — a greeting of warm familiarity, but not one that is overly so. "If I could get another vodka martini—" But then her eyes shift over to where Feng and Cardinal, interest caught up again.

Veronica watches Gillian move toward Eve, but there's an alertness to her posture as she tilts her head just ever so slightly to her left, the better to hear Feng and Cardinal speak if possible.

It takes a few seconds for Delilah to sink into line with the music too, but she does; it loosens her up quite a lot, and her brown eyes look vaguely over the stage as it is absorbed. And then there is a little wave in her vision, and the scope of sight zeroes in on Cardinal's wave much like a little dinosaur being put on its toes by movement. Mona is next, and Dee nods once at the woman before making up that next vodka martini. When that is done, the redhead sidesteps along the bar, closer to where Feng and Cardinal are perched- he hasn't said if he wanted something yet, so for now she hovers nearby, half of her attention on the taller man, half on the stage.

This is so awesomely Townshend, only, like, totally also Waters pre-diva bullshit, and with a feminine sensibility that… Shit, Sable pushes back her (admittedly weak) analytical self to the back of her mind. This isn't the time to take apart the beautiful thing she's experiencing. It's time to just enjoy it. Plenty of time to study when she buys the album which she /totally/ will. But there's a momentary distraction, as the crowd shifts, not out of awe and vibe, but because some dude with a grunt hairdo is making a beeline towards her… well, Helena really, but she can't tell the difference from here. She scowls. "…the fuck's he doing?" she asks, half to Helena, half to herself, and all about Leonard.

"On the radio," asks Cardinal, his hand sliding down Feng's shoulder as if brushing a bit of dust off it, "Or from another man's lips, I wonder… we should talk sometime."

That said, the ex-convict, ex-burglar, current disciple of the late Edward Ray turns back to flash an easy smile beneath his shades towards Delilah. A familiar face from a few incidents, though he's never been formally introduced. "Hey, babe. Bourbon and coke, on the rocks." Noticing the arrival of Mona, he slants a look over, chin coming up in an easy acknowledgement of her as well.

Veronica can't help but risk a glance back toward Magnes as he drinks that ridiculous blue drink — looks like something Brian would drink — fruity and not-alcoholy-tasting. "Careful with that stuff. The drinks that taste like candy land you on your ass quicker than you can say Pikachu."

"I'm not as tall as you!" Gillian says as loudly as is necessary for her friend to hear, as she leans in closer, to try and stay out of the crowd. The singing is certainly attention grabbing, so she keeps looking up at the stage, frowning a bit. The herald, as the woman beside her had dreamed her. Another knock into her shoulder sends her even closer, but she glances over and glares at the man who knocked her. Who isn't paying attention to anything except the show everyone came to see.

"Kinda wish I could avoid the crowd as well as you can. Seems I'm the only one running into you!" And mostly cause she gets knocked into her. It must be something to do with being a precog. She's also a little distracted. That knot in the back of her head is becoming very difficult to hold down.

"Hmm?" Helena blinks out of the reverie created by the music, looking over in the direction Sable seems to be indicating. "Huh? Oh, that's just Leo. He's a friend." A sip of her booze, and then Helena indulges in closing her eyes, body shifting to and fro the music like a swaying snake.

A tallish and truculent-looking friend. Like a human version of a pitbull. Leo offers a smile to Helena, though, as he comes up to her, nods absentmindedly at Sable in lieu of greeting. It's noisy in here, no reason to shout over all of it.

"Munin…" Else's voice finally kicks back in, her eyes shut, still awaying from side to side as the cello begins to die down, "Swallowed p'all the light…" again with the melodic quality and simple low-key guitar like in the beginning, creating an odd crescendo of ups and downs for the song, "Shadows of the islands of Brooklyn, shores I call my home…" her eyes open partway, languidly staring out at the crowd as she threads whisper thin locks of blonde hair behind one reddened ear, "It's strange… Why you swallowed up the moon," one shoulder rises in a shrugging motion, "Cast it all to ash and dust, washed it all away to start again…"

As Else's music plays, the mind of Mona Rao does its own plumbing, fingering the depths of the mind Cardinal seems so interested in, and her grasp of Mandarin pulls her through the surface thoughts rising and falling in his mind, ideas blossoming that — to her — don't quite make proper sense. "«Maybe she does know, I thought it was Shadowed, but maybe it's a way around the problem. Funny, though, I never thought anyone would see it coming. I bet Eileen is tearing her hair out having heard this…»"

"But there's nothing there, no one here, in the world you woke me up to!" The last few moments of angry lyrics slam away on the song, as the sound of the crashing waves grow louder and louder, competing for the focus of the audience over Else's lyrics, "That I am not a part of! More than in— " And everything falls silent, the sound of the rising ocean waves, the musical instruments, everything, and the stage falls black as Else breaks the tempo of the song and whispers the final lyric; "dreams."

The crowd breaks out into an absolute deafening cheer as the stage lights come back on, brighter and whiter than before as Else offers a goofy and awkward smile, brushing her hair back from her face as she palms the microphone and tries to adjust it back up on the stand. Cheering, whistling, shouting and clapping threatens to bring down the house, even as Else bows her head a few times in sheepish recognition of the adoration pouring in from the front of the stage. "Thanks," she mumbles into the microphone, anxiously playing with her hair again as she steps around the stage, snatchng her water bottle and taking a sip. "We're all really 'appy to be here, back at th'rock cellar again. This's where we got our start, where I met most've the ban', and…" she looks over at the crowd, "where, really, the bes' fans are." There's another round of cheering and whistling from off stage, a smile coming across her face as she shifts her eyes to the band members.

"We're— uh, obviously since you're here— Else Kjelstrom an' th'shattered skies. That's Tony Fiandaca on lead," she motions over to a wiry man with a ponytail who plucks at a few chords of his guitar. "Stevo on bass," stepping back and to the side, a hand motions to the drummer, "And that's Benjamin Karlslund on the drrrrums," rolling her r's for no particular reason, else glances back out to the crowd again.

"So— nobody wants to hear me talk," she says with a crooked smile, seeming far more alert and aware and less under the thumb of an opiate than the last time Cat saw her. "So here's another one— this is off of our album," she waves towards where the CDs are being sold, "s'called No More Summertimes t'Come."

As Else is speaking, Feng Daiyu leans back on his stool and looks at Cardinal with a raised brow. "Speak?" His throughts betray his seemingly laxidaisy attitude, «I hope he's just being friendly, because if he's getting frustrating I don't want to cause a scene again.» "I'm pretty sure I got what I needed from you already, Mister Cardinal."

"I don't think Delilah would give me anything too hard." Magnes notes to Veronica, opening and closing his eyes for a moment as if something just hit him, then proceeds to quickly down the rest of his drink. "Y'know, you look kind've like the girl from that cancelled Fox show, Dark Angel." he says with slightly slurred speech, his shirt appearing to have an almost weightless quality as he sits there, like wind is constantly blowing through it.

Yeah, he's getting there.

The investigative look Leon gets at close range from Sable is borderline territorial. She returns the nod, her expression an 'all right then, for now…', which may be confusing since who the hell is she anyway to either him or Helena. But music can calm the savage beast, and Sable's actually just a young woman with a few oddly firing neurons. She's drawn back to the band by the stage patter, ears perking as she takes in the names of the band members, trying to pin down information that is generally pretty squirrelly in her mind.

Helena throws her arm around Leo briefly to favor him with a kiss on the cleft of his chin, a brief and friendly sort of thing before Helena settles in for the next song. Her eyebrows raise a little - even with only two songs, the apocalyptic theme of Else's music is noticed, and given what Hel's been told by Cat, it makes her fret, though she keeps that from her expression. For some reason, despite the music, perhaps because of it, she momentarily searches the crowd for a man in black, his eyes the only thing bright about him now. She knows he was looking for Else, and it's highly probable he'd know the musician was here tonight.

It is sort of absurd, that one reason for the 'late' is serving Cardinal drinks. Dee mutters the drink to herself before beginning to make it. She listens as Else speaks on stage, pawning off Cardinals next drink to him and roaming the barstools with her eyes. She does note the waving of Magnes' shirt with the absence of wind- frankly, the mystery drink was to see what would happen anyway. Finding herself at a new lull between people finishing drinks, Dee leans her forearms on the inner part of the counter to watch the bandstand.

Leonard actually dimples, which is a completely bizarre expression on someone who looks like a somewhat crazy marine. He kisses the top of her head in return, a big theatrical smack, and keeps the lazy, goodnatured grin. With a questioning lift of his brows, he gives her abig thumbs up. Everything okay?

"Oh? Well, then I guess we wouldn't have anything to talk about…" The drink set down is claimed by Cardinal's hand, and he brings it up to his lips with a murmur of thanks that isn't quite heard in the general noise level— a swallow taken, he turns back to look towards the stage as the singer starts up with her next set. Just another clubgoer, maybe.

"I think people know a little, even if not everything," Gillian says loud enough to be heard, a hand going to to her forehead. It's not pain, but… "I really should have skipped the drinks," she admits loudly enough to be heard. The knot may not be about to come undone, but it's taking a lot more concentration. Makes paying attention to the songs difficult. "Just tell me if I need to turn around and run for the door, okay?" There are many reasons why she should, but she'll hope none of them happen. Especially since… "I actually haven't heard her other song yet."

"Dark Angel. Never heard of it. But it wouldn't be the first time anyone said I looked like an angel, and I'm anything but bright, so that makes sense," Veronica quips, picking out another olive from her drink and bringing it to her lips to chew thoughtfully. "This music is a bit dark, that's for sure. I like it though." Her booted foot taps silently in the air in time to the music.

When her new drink is slid towards her by Delilah, it is received with a 'thanks' that is promptly lost in the uproar around her as the lights brighten, heralding the end of Else's song. In an impromptu response as she catches the gist of Cardinal's gesture, Mona waggles her fingertips at him over the edge of the rim of her glass in return, idly.

It isn't the ex-thief her attention is firmly trained upon, though, nor even the blonde's — instead, it is Feng who is the recipient of a mildly drill-like stare from afar, the woman trying her best to piece the somewhat confusing shambles she had been given. The Mandarin itself had been clear enough, but. Phrasing and references, less so. She takes a level sip of her martini, refraining from words.

"You should watch, good show…" Magnes holds the glass up, then just releases it, letting it float there. "Hey, how're you doin' that?" he asks the glass, then suddenly slides back on the stool and just begins to float away, starting to inch toward the crowd as if he were simply wading in a swimming pool. "Man, this place is so loud… I wonder if Claire would like it…" he muses, being introspective as he outs himself to basically anyone who chooses to look.

When the music starts up, it's an entirely different genre than the previous song. Gone are all fo the haunting melodies and samples atmospheric tracks, up instead is a punkish and high-tempo song as Else wanders her way over to a tiered synth keyboard near the front of the stage. She seems to enjoy the pacing of the song, fast, upbeat, almost hyper sounding with the high-note guitar strumming; it's more fitting for some pop-punk that might assail the ear-drums at the Surly Wench.

"The fires are out, bay-bee," Even Else's voice feels different, it has a softer register and a more smirking quality to it, "how're you gonna' keep me— warm." A side-long glance is given to one of the guitarists right before she begins slamming on the keys, adding an avant-garde 80's retro vibe to the fast paced song, "We're all searching for a place," her long fingers dance across the keys, one hand on the lower keyboard, one hand on the higher one which creates a whole different sound of notes, "but no matter how far we've gone, all I wanna' be is— home."

"Just like a little princess, wound'p in 'er round tower," the drums are fast and even, a constant pounding on the snares and the rumbling double-bass kicking beat that thunders the undertones of the song in tune with the bass guitar, Else's almpst impish smile seems to imply something that the song isn't, "She's just looking out at the— world" She begins bouncing up and down playing at the keys, blonde hair slinging from side to side as her head bobs up and down, smiling for the first time in a long time that Cat's seen her.

At the bar, Feng's thoughts wander as he half pays attention to the music, rolling a thumb over his lips to brush away a dribble from his vodka and tonic. «Holden got away, I have to find him before he goes to ground. I'm going to kill him, my own two hands— have to— if I die without feeling his throat crunch beneath my fingers I'll— » Feng's train of thought ends when he realizes something, «Shit my drink's empty.>

"Don't worry Gilly," Eve begins and she brushes a strand of her hair out of her eyes. "I'll protect you." Its said in all seriousness. She looks at her best friend and rubs her shoulder. "Lay off on the alcohol next time."

Before her attention is brought back to the stage. She looks around and then sees Cardinal. "Cardinal is here too." She offers.

Her hand reaching up to grab the floating glass before too many people notice, Veronica's attention is distracted for a moment and she doesn't see Magnes floating away. She glances back to respond to him, and… well, he's a few feet away. She snorts a little to herself, before turning to look at Delilah. "What'd you put in that drink, barkeep?" she says with a wide-eyed, and very feigned, innocence.

Sable respected and admired the craft of the first song, but aesthetics aside, this is the sort of thing that actually gets her blood pumping. She beams maniacally and thrusts her fist into the air, letting out a wordless cry of approval and enthusiasm as the whispy blonde rocker on stage is seized with sudden animation. If she can move like that, there's absolutely no excuse for /anyone/ else to be still.

"I think I'm going to go get some dancing done," Cardinal declares after listening to the song for a bit, nursing his drink; setting down the remnant on the bar's counter, he nudges the asian agent lightly with his elbow, "Have 'em put your drink on my tab." Just another club-goer, and one that didn't even have that much useful information when encountered on Staten Island, perhaps, to Daiyu.

A push away from the bar, and he heads out onto the dance floor, though not for long. Although the man throws himself into the frenetic rhythm of the music with all the energy of one who feels it down to the bone, he's cutting across to the restroom doors. Too many half-finished drinks, perhaps.

Leo will find himself with a mouthful of synthetic hair when he kisses the top of Helena's head - she's got on a dark, pageboy style short wig - to keep anyone from casually identifying her, and to clue in those she knows that she clearly doesn't want to be recognized as anything other than her alias. She lets out a scream of her own, an appreciative sound, and one of feral release. Like Sable, her fists are up in the air, and she moves with a graceful kind of violence to the music.

"Yeah, you'll protect me, after you pass out and I have to call a Taxi," Gillian says, referring to the one time that they'd touched and she let her energy flow into the precog. Anyone overhearing would easily think she's claiming the other woman has had too much to drink too. As she glances away at the mention of Cardinal, she catches him dancing his way to the bathroom. "Looks like he's gotta go," she says, before looking back up at the singer, the song. "I like this song so much better," she adds during a small break in the lyrics.

It takes less time than she might have expected, soon enough Cat is stepping up next to Eve and training her eyes on the stage. "Impressive show and voice, yes?" she asks just loud enough to be heard by dreamer and augmenter. The precog's face is glanced at briefly after that question is voiced, she waiting to hear whatever answer, if any, comes.

"If, I, could set it free," Else's shoulders rise and fall as swear beads on the bared skin, where pale skin contrasts to the damp black fabric of her tanktop, "I would, not, let it be," her eyes close, that smile clinging to her lips again, "I would, fight, for the free I would, die, knowing peace." The blonde's head lolls to one side, the smile spreading as the electronic beat of her keying and the pattering rythm of the drums synchs up for just a moment before becoming distinct layers of a seperate sound again amudst the meandering low-key bassline and strumming guitar.

"Keep, me, clo-ser," her brows tense as she begins swaying at the keyboard again, face flushed a bright red color, "I'm a fa-ding star," one of her feet keeps boucing up and down, keeping with the fast-paced rythm of the song; so much nervous energy being burned off, "Shimmering for you." There's an interlude where Else pulls away from the keyboard, just hopping acros the stage like a wiry little pogo stick, her head swinging up and down with a thrash of blonde hair as she snatches the microphone from the stand, depressing a button on the side as she sidles back over to the keyboard, playing one set of keys with a single hand.

"Just like a little prin-cess," her voice is almost mechanical sounding, filtered through the synth as she plays on the keys, "Wound p'in 'er round tow-er," such a chance of pacing from the first song played, "She's just looking out at the — World" Else's head swings up and down, releasing that button on the side of the mic as her voice takes on a more natural sound, clipping the microphone to an empty stand as she uses both hands to play the tiered keyboard again.

"The lines got drawn out," her head swings from side to side wildly, not even looking at the keys, "and the stars got pulled down" grinning like a madwoman, she attacks the keyboard with dancing fingertips while leaning forward towards the mic, a drop os swear hanging on the tip of her nose, "from the way we hunted after— You."

"The skies froze," that foot keeps bouncing up and down in rapid rythm, and she's hardly able to stay still, "crackle crumble, fall down, ever after," the drums build up faster and harder, everything seems louder as analog radio static builds up near the end of the song, "//Prin-cess, we're looking after—"

The lights on the stage flash a bright white, "You" The music ends on that note, but the cheering, whistling and shouting rises up again as Else slouches forward, bracing herself against the side of the keyboard, getting up as she rakes her fingrs through her hair, pulling the sweat-slicked strands out of her face on the way over to where her water bottle is, looking absolutely winded,

"Richard," Feng abruptly asks in that pause between the songs, "are you— " Delilah suddenly has his attention, and one of Feng's brows rise as he looks down to his glass, then over to her with a crooked smile, putting it down on a napkin and sliding it over to her with another five dollar bill. A wordless invitation to fill it up again as he looks back up to Richard, unaware of the woman prying on his mind. "Richard," he begins again, "do you know what a phyrric victory is?" That brow kicks up again at the rhetoric, a smile on Feng's face.

«Very smug to be here. What's his game. Does he know? He can't. No, there's no way.»

Leonard doesn't dance. But he steps back to the wall, still near Helena, to keep a watchful eye on the crowd at large. No drinking for Mister Ex-Baptist. Not at the moment.

Magnes slowly but gradually brushes through the crowd, who no doubt either bump into him or the few paying attention give him weird looks. As he touches people, he begins to alter their gravity, not drastically, but just enough to allow them to basically moon bounce without hurting themselves if the alteration suddenly wears off. So, yes, he's going through the crowd, floating on his back, spreading moon bounce like a virus.

And, all the while, he's very quietly singing to himself. "In my eyes, indisposed. In disguise as no one knows…" Oh yeah, he's one of those drunks, at least for now. He's in for a mood swing.

Veronica lifts her phone to take video, presumably of Else and the band, but actually of Magnes floating happily and drunkenly. She hopes the stool doesn't hurt anyone. It will be an amusing shot to show to Minea and Curt at any rate. She doesn't wish Magnes ill of course, and is glad to see him amongst friends. As he begins to alter the other concert goers gravity, she shakes her head and chuckles. There's no hope he'll ever keep things to himself. And it's probably good that they let him go, because he's obviously much happier not having to.

She raises a brow over at Feng's loud rhetorical question. "Who's winning the battle?" she asks. "Better yet, who's fighting?" She gives Feng that innocent, doe-eyed look that she's perfected over the years.

"Yes.. her energy is very.. captivating." Eve says to Cat. When Else's song is finished, the dreamer smiles softly, nodding her head in approval. "We have much to discuss.. she and I." It's not an request or question.. more like a general statement.

Though she doubts that Else will want to talk about what's going on, the fact that it needs to be talked about that drives Eve.

Time comes, even the most serious and dignified of souls feels the need to bust out their air guitar. Seriousness and dignity aren't precisely Sable's middle names, so it's at the drop of a hat, or rather at the first hint of the interlude, the yellow-eyed girl has hands held before her, her gaze on Tony Fiandaca, and more specifically his fingers. Momentarily she's matching the riff on her invisible axe, hands growing rapidly familiar with the killer composition. She makes to jump at a particularly intense part… and she finds herself making /serious/ air. Someone more sane might panic, but as far as she's concerned it's the power of Rock and Roll, and who's to say the spirit of music hasn't chosen Magnes as it's conduit. When she hits the floor she bounds once again and, whens she finds herself airborne once again, she does a fuckin' /flip/ because she /can/.

While Delilah is making a second drink for the Chinaman, she does make a point of listening while so close. A Phyrric Victory? Absent-mindedly, she answers even though it wasn't her question to answer. Cardinal is heading away anyhow.

"A victory with a devastating loss to the victor." Plink, the glass goes to him. Related closely to a Cadmean Victory." As for who is fighting, Veronica chances that one.

At the call after him, Richard Cardinal looks back, a grin flashing to his lips as he raises a hand to wave back at Feng, as if he hadn't really heard what was said. Too blind to see what's right in front of his face… arrogant idiot… Then he's gone, into the chaos, and through and into the men's restroom, the door swinging shut behind him.

Shortly after him, someone else pushes into the lavatory, but there's nobody there anymore. Just a shadow that moves with the slide of the door to spill underfoot the crowd.

"She's got a great voice!" Gillian offers, seeming to agree with everyone else on the matter, even if some parts of the music don't quite appeal to her ears. It's better than most, at least. "You've had a bunch of good bands. Guessing you cashed in quite a bit too, between cover charges and drinks." Drinks of the always inflated prices, especially the mixed ones. Beer is always the cheapest, and she's seen a lot of people who didn't take the cheaper option.

"Okay," Else's chirping voice even sounds winded on the bright stage, using her bare forearm to wipe at her brow, "so tha'wasn quite rock," the crowd cheers at her comment, and her awkward laugh is lost into the nose. She squints, rising up on the toes of worn combat boots to peer at the crowd, she's actually eyeing Magnes, it's as big of a brush with celebrity that he's likely ever had — unles syou count Sylar of course — but that's a different kind of celebrity.

"That one almos' didn't make it on th' album, record people said it was too different, but you know," she makes an obscene hand gesture that implies what the record executives are likely doing behind their desks. "What'evr, s'a good song, an' you all seemed t'like it, right? Well, enough pop and frosh n'whats that." She waves a hand in the air, looking over her shoulder to the drummer and then back again.

"This is the last track off'a th album m'doing tonight, but not our last song, so don't get all groany on m'yet!" Her dark brows rise up as a crooked smile crosses her lips, "S'called Anima, Animus." Twirling a finger around as the house lights dip down to that black-out level again, and as they dim, Feng makes a shrugging well there you go gesture to Cardinal with a sly knife-like smirk spread across his face, reaching out for his next drink as if — somehow — Delilah's answer was everything he needed to say.

Then, the music gets weird.

A poor audio quality synth voice begins speaking over the soundsystem, a rough and rigid digital voice. "Welcome home" it's Else, speaking into the microphone with the synth switch depressed, running it through the sound filtering to mask the way she sounds. The drum beat is languidly slow paced, no guitars, just a sample track of muffled piano sounding like it's underwater— distorted.

"I've been missing you…" Once more, Else's mechanical voice sounds out over the hypnotic pace of the song, "We're inseperable…" The drums pick up, with the bass drum now adding a deep crash over the watery and distorted pre-recorded piano. This time, when Else's is speaking, she's singing in her normal voice as the lights come on, all of them blue and watery, shifting between different shades as bubbling sounds fill the samples.

"Welcome home, it said to me, the fires far as eyes can see…" her eyes are closed, all motion in her drained away as she breathily whispers out the lyrics to the song.

"I need so much to see along side you," her browse tense, "I do," jaw tenses, "I do…" There's something otherworldly about the constant blue hued world that this song has drowned the Rock Cellar into, made more so by the unusual song. "Come with me, she took my hand, please try to help me understand…" Else's eyes wrench tighter shut as her head tilts to the side, her expression almost pleading, "So pointless, but my heart is turned to ash n'coal. I know," there's a palpable level of emotion in her voice, "I know…"

Helena gasps a moment as Sable goes up…and up. And when she comes down, Helena starts in with, "That was - " but then Sable's up in the air and she flips. Equal parts delighted and a little worried, Helena starts looking around for Cat, wondering how the woman's going to react to the sudden alteration of gravity that seems in evidence in her club. At least until Else starts singing again, and the words hit Helena like someone took a hammer to her heart.

Chipping away at the level of drink in her glass, sip by silent sip, Mona's head slips abruptly off her hand at the noticeable fluctuation in Else's tone. By now she had long claimed an empty seat for herself at the bar, but it is only a moment or two after the newest pleading turn in the melody that she slips off her barstool, the thought that strikes her mind: also that it might be a nice thing to find Cat. At the very least, she hasn't had a chance to talk to the pamnesiac yet tonight, and Cat's kind of the head honcho behind this all.

Magnes seems fixed on Else's new song now, just staring as a few people start to casually pass him around like an anti-gravity drug when they realize what's going on. He doesn't seem to mind much though, just laying on his back on top of the wave of hands. "I'm sorry." he whispers, as if responding to Else's words, getting passed around near Helena now.

Sable returns to earth, but the buoyancy of her spirit remains… at least until Anima/Animus starts up. She doesn't know anything about Jung, but the dreamlike, perhaps even nightmarish, quality of the song doesn't require that knowledge to fully understand. The invisible instrument dematerializes, and a frown forms on her expressive brow. She peers at Else's figure. Magnes' floating passage does steal a glance from her, the weightlessness he brings and bears seeming more in line with bete noir than freedom and exuberance.

Sable returns to earth, but the buoyancy of her spirit remains… at least until Anima/Animus starts up. She doesn't know anything about Jung, but the dreamlike, perhaps even nightmarish, quality of the song doesn't require that knowledge to fully understand. The invisible instrument dematerializes, and a frown forms on her expressive brow. She peers at Else's figure. Magnes' floating passage does steal a glance from her, the weightlessness he brings and bears seeming more in line with bete noir than freedom and exuberance.

"It is, at that," Cat replies on the matter of Else's energy, "and I quite imagine you do. The two of you with such similar talents, after all. But she won't make it easy for you. I've spoken to her twice about all this, she says she doesn't remember anything of her visions. Says she gets high, blacks out, and wakes up having written songs. She was taking opiates and might still be," Cat shares, "but has also taken up using Refrain." There's a pause as it registers with Cat that people in some places are now experiencing a reversal of gravity and her eyes seek out Magnes. Sure, there could be someone else causing it, but the only one she knows to be here is Mr. Varlane.

"Christ, I hope there isn't anyone with Humanis First here seeing that." But her attention goes back to Eve.

"I didn't tell you of her chemical tendencies, Eve," she cautions, "and I hope you've got more luck with her than I did, if there's indeed anything she can tell you. I hope you'll find me and share what you learn." In speaking of this, it's Cat intent and hope none of what she said was heard by anyone other than Eve and Gillian due to the loudness of the performance at hand. And Gillian's words are answered, a broad smile saying it all. Business is very good with Else around, yes it is.

The new song actually makes Gillian wince slightly, pulling away from Eve a bit as she tries to pay attention to the lyrics, as well as the knot tied up in the back of her head. It's wanting so much to loosen, but considering there's already people leaping in the air near the bar it might be a good idea to not let it. Still, the lyrics manage to catch somewhere rather personal for her. Not just her, either. Most of what Cat says to Eve goes completely missed over the eerie music.

From Rock to something more Punkish, and now to Something Completely Different. Delilah is still near Feng when Else and the band go to the next song; she goes a little rigid if only because of the weirdness of the voice from the stage. Possibly something nagging at her female intuition, but nothing more. Well, she'll still buy the CD- just probably never let it finish the tracks…

Veronica puts some cash on the table to cover her drinks and tips, and slips off her own barstool. She begins to move toward the exit. It's a long way off, especially for the small-boned woman who has to push her way through bigger, taller, wider people. She murmurs the typical "excuse me, pardon me" in her soft husky voice that barely registers, trying to squeeze between the small holes between people's shoulders, elbows, and hips without jostling too many people or having anyone think she's getting friendly with them.

Leonard is still glowering off like a skinhead Eeyore in his little corner. It doesn't seem to be directed at any one person, though. Just general brooding at large. He's got his arms crossed, his chin resting on his chest.

"Has she taken something for the pain?" Eve says to Cat, her head tilted and she looks at the woman who remembers all. "I'll have to try at least. Maybe the Refrain helps her remember, or maybe.." Eve doesn't say the rest because she looks back at the stage and then nods her head.

"The pills." She says simply and hold her arm with her hand. "If you could, get me backstage. That's the only way I see myself getting to her." The singer says to her fellow musician.

Near Helena, but not touching her, and so the tiny blonde - for the moment, a tiny brunette - just stands there, face to the stage, and hands clenched into fists over her heart. She's been rendered mute by the music, staring and dry but red-eyed, trying to remember to breathe as she takes in the lyrics.

"I wish I didn't need you now." Else begins to sway as she sings, unclipping the microphone from the stand as she paces across the stage in a meandering fashion, "And I wish I didn't need you now…" She's singing something from the heart, or at least empathizing enough with whatever the topic is to be able to deliver the lyrics with a mixture of serenity masking something turbulent beneath, much like the allusion of the water masking the piano. "And I wish I didn't need you then," there's a touch of bitterness in the words, "I need you now," her brwos scrunch up again, eyes fluttering shut, "I need you now…"

A mechanical male voice comes over the sample loop, croaking out in grainy digitized noise a quote, "Heaven cannot brook two suns, nor earth two masters." There's a hollow echo to it, a susurrus of other voices backmasked beneath it, like dozens of people trying to talk at once and only one able to speak up. "A tomb now suffices him for whom the whole world was not sufficient." The second quote just as mechanical as the first, this time a woman — decidedly not Else in the sampling. Then one last digital voice, with audiple pops and skips init like an old record, "There is nothing impossible to those who will try."

When Else starts up singing again, she's moved to the front of the stage, putting her foot down on one of the amps and resting one arm over her knee, whispering out those quiet lyrics to the people in the front row. "I wish we could, she whispered near, go someplace far away from here…" There's a momentary tightness at the corners of her mouth, downturning into a frown, "While hoping, a small voice would disappear," she bites down on her lower lip between words, brows rising, a look of brief fright appearing on her face, "That said, welcome to the end…"

The watery piano comes back into focus, along with the slow drums and the very subtle guitar work. Much of the song is focused on the sampling and backmasking going on inside of the track, with whispers ever so subtly rising up between the bubbles of water. Feng seems, briefly, captivated by the song, a crack in his usually impassive mask as he regards Else again,but his thoughts are a jumble mostly consisting of curiosity.

"I wish I didn't need you now…" Else shakes her head slowly, "And I wish I didn't need you now…" once more she bites down on her lower lip between words, drawing on that pleadng expression to the crowd, dark eyes slowly opening to make eye contact to the people in the front row, and coincidentially to the drifting and floaty Magnes as well. "And I wish I didn't need you then…" Else tenses up and turns her head away, eyes closing, "I need you now," lyrics always a whisper, "I need you now…" even if they should be screaming.

"I'll get you back there, Eve." Cat's assurance is given with a nod of her head toward the table she keeps for herself, the one in the shadows where nobody is seated. "I'll be over there, come see me when Else's set is done." Then she's moving away in that direction, headed back to pass by the non-floating Helena and the air-guitaring Sable on the way and taking care not to cross the path of Mr. Floaty. It's in so doing that Mona might spot her.

When she gets to her destination Cat sits and takes up her pint of stout, having a deep drink and scouring the crowd for any signs of people reacting to floatiness in an 'I hate you and am going to kill all you Evolved scum for breathing my air' kind of way.

Magnes suddenly stops allowing himself to get passed around, suddenly floating above the crowd by the end of Else's set, then starts to slowly float down toward Else, still laying on his back but clearly looking down at her with a content look. "You alright?" he asks, concerned with the singer's not-so-happy song.

It is also quite apparent that he is drunk.

While not quite clutching at her heart, Gillian looks down as the song continues on, forehead furrowing. Beautiful, and somewhat… "You'll get to talk to her finally," she says over to her friend, as Cat starts to walk away, but there's nothing enthusiastic about her voice. Meaningful lyrics, all of them, but some far more personal than water up to the Empire State. Even if that potentially would be more destructive to more people. "I think I'm going to find somewhere to sit," she adds to Eve. "Want to come with me, or do you like it here?"

"Will do." Eve says to Cat and nods her head. The seer takes Gillian's hand, she sees the change in her friend's demeanor. "Yes, let's go find somewhere to sit." As they begin to move- "Look at that.. Flying Boy." She says softly with a grin.

Veronica finally makes it to the exit, and she turns to look as the audience laughs at something — but of course it's Magnes. She gives one final shake of her head and steps out of the door before anything crazy happens and she has to actually work.

A shadow glides over the feet of the dancers, of the drinkers, swirls over ankles and flickers beneath tables; just another trick of the light moving through the club's enthusiastic chaos. This particular patch of not-light, however, glides itself of its own accord directly beneath the feet of the fixated Feng Daiyu.

And there Richard Cardinal bides his time. Have your drinks, Agent Daiyu. Enjoy your music. I'll wait.

Convenient. Catching a tail end of the distinct, 'feel-different' patterns of thought that comprise Cat's mind, it doesn't take much more for Mona to cue into the brunette's location particularly once she gets a direct eyeful. There is no calling out of a name, not at first, but the writer moves into a casual stride aimed to cut into Cat's visual path before they meet. 'Flying boy' gets a look, and a briefly amused smile of her own.

All the while, one mental ear stays turned towards Cardinal's mental glower at the Chinese man he seems so inordinately fond of. She may not have perfect memory, but it doesn't take much more than a retard to retain the basics.

Helena looks faintly appalled at Magnes' hijinx, but at the same time, hey, not her problem. She leans back against the bar, reaches for her jack and coke, and finishes it in a long swallow. Though she's mindful of her offer to Sable, she starts slipping through and elbowing her way to the front, not so much for Magnes as to experience Else's music from her original spot. She is still dry eyed, but that song was beautifully painful.

This time the synth-masked voice is vaguely familiar, the quote something more recent, like a filtered news broadcast from something generations ago. "Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely." The voice crackles and pops as the melodic and haunting piano carries the drums interspersed with the slow guitar, with Else having gone quiet as she backs away from the stage, turning away from the crowd.

"Soldaten des Reichs! Dieser Tag sollen Sie an einer Offensive von solcher Bedeutung teilnehmen, dass die vollständige Zukunft des Krieges von seinem Resultat abhängen kann." That filtered voice is far more iconic, in its growling Germanic qualities, villified as it is, it carries with it connotations that don't seem to match the context of the song.

"The only thing we have to fear… is fear itself." Another famous quote, filtered through this synth machine voice, and slowly Else begins to turn back towards the crowd with microphone in hand, her eyes shut and head tilted forward, staring up through the dark cage of her lashes as her focus shifts up to Magnes a coy and almost wary look on her face as she tries not to break stride and move aside past him, even as two black-jacketed members of security come into that space between stage and crowd, one of them gently tugging on his pantleg, the other brabbing his shoe, trying to urge him down and away from Else and the stage as security is often wont to do.

She manages to keep stride, not break whatever feeling she's having as she moves forward and breathes out the lyrics. "It's been so long, since we broke free, it's hard to feel that memory…" The whispered words have a lost quality to them, distant and confused, like someone searching for their way back home and finding no help. "Dirty mirrors, our reflections entwined, always…" she shakes her head, "always."

Feng stiffens in his chair, reaching up to take his drink and swallow it down hastily as he slides off of the stool, looking somewhere between shaken and concerned as his brows furrow, eyes settled on Else with uncertainty in them. "Suffering, we understand, put forth on us through time's deep sands…" Else's whispered lyrics, breathy and slow, carry across the bar as she makes her way towards the front of the stage again with one hand rubbing across her face, the heel of her palm covering one eye. "Unending chain, one broken link, between us two…" The eye she isn't covering closes, lips pressed together tightly, and as she pulsl her hand away, her expression becomes more angered, "And I say…" the whisper becomes a rasp, "welcome to the end."

Feng reaches into his jacket, producing a money clip as he slides some bills out and lays them down on the bar, putting his empty glass atop it as a sharp breath is taken in, a ten dollar tip for ten dollars in alcohol. He swallows anxiously, and begins slowly making his way past a few people who were edging towards the bar, lettimg them take up the space he had while moving away fromt he stage, pausing in hesitation as he looks back towards Else again. Mona catches his thoughts, clearer now, «The Director should know about this… about her.» He stares at the waifish singer, eyes narrowing in uncertainty.

"I wish I didn't need you now…" Just as before, the young woman is shaking her head, "And I wish I didn't need you now…" her eyes close, and she leans forward on the amp again, whispering the lyrics to the crowd, scanning the faces with that sullen look of a lost young girl, "And I wish I didn't need you then…" her eyes close, "I need you now, I need you now…"

Eyes on the prize at all times. That's how you get to the top. This credo is more easy when one isn't caught in the vast palm of a song such as Else's. But as Helena pushes her way to the front, it provides a chance for Sable to both give chase, holding onto her chance at backstage access which seems all the more important now she has seen what's up there on stage, and to get closer to just that amazing stage presence. "Wait the fuck up!" she stage whispers, pushing after the blonde-under-black.

When the guards grab him, that seems to be his threshold, Magnes' eyes close and he just floats there weightlessly, or with whatever weight they're using to move him. He appears to be out cold, though lucky for the few bouncing people he doesn't have to be awake for them, though their timers will likely be out by the end of the song.

"Fuck," Gillian says when she spots Magnes. Yup, that would be flyboy. He certainly knows how to make a scene, doesn't he? The song's not finished, so she can't help but keep listening to it. Personal or not, she's not heading closer, but instead heading away as she turns from the crowd with Eve's grip and starts to make her way toward a place to sit. One they may have to bully their way into, but at least she can find a wall to lean on, if all else fails. Really regretting all those drinks.

Having spotted Mona by the telepath's design on the way to her seat at that table and with stout in hand, Cat rests eyes on her as if waiting to be joined and not opposed to that happening for some moments. Then she watches Magnes being floatscorted away from the stage by security, and soon turns her attention to locating Helena among the crowd.

Once she's up close, Helena settles herself into the packed crowd. She doesn't have Eve's gift of avoiding being jostled either, but she holds her own space well, and she hangs a little bit over the perimeter between the stage and the crowd, her eyes gone anime wide as she studies Else.

"How goes, Cat?" Having waded herself down near the bottom of her second glass, Mona herself is getting the sliiiiighest bit tipsy as she joins up with the other woman. No information about anything, or anyone, is offered; it doesn't look like she's here to be a tattletale. Casual mingling only. Her eyes settle up towards Else, as if to tacitly ask, 'what do you think?'

Ah, but Leo does have that gift. And he comes up behind Helena, looming again, keeping a little protective bubble around her - those who approach too, too close find themselves shoved away, by hands either literal or metaphorical.

This time there's more current news clips run thorugh the synth voice that rambles in the background of the song, one voice rising up amongst the others, "It is a parent's right to know if their child is a boy or girl, has any health issues to be concerned about in the future, just as it's their right to know if their child is Evolved or not. It would certainly enable registration to integrate easier into daily life." Even if masked by synth, the voice of Nathan Petrelli from the fall presidential debate is a common soundbyte heard across the airwaves.

"Today, the fire is no longer about destruction." A quite from one of Phoenix's viral website propaganda pieces — the very first one, Helena's own voice masked behind the synth filter, "// As the voices play, Else walks across the stage, watching secutiry side-long as they haul Magnes out of the air and try to get him down to a semblance of his feet, but it's a comedic mess in trying.

"Initial reports from the scene indicate the body was found in the same fashion as the previous victims of this serial killer that New York locals are calling "The Reaper."" The last soundbyte is from a news broadcast, one from October of last year, when everything wholly and truly started spiraling out of control within the city.

Else's voice comes in right after the static crackle of that synth-masked broadcast, "Just memories, passed down imstead, washed with memories of the dead…" Her pale fdingers brush across her flushed forehead, even in the low and dim lighting, she seems to be struggling under the heat of the club. "Who held our hands with pride?" She sways to the side, her eyes half-lidding as she looks towards where Magnes was pulled and where the security is leading him, making her way to the front of the stage, close to where Helena and Sable are.

"Inseperable sides, of that same coin, yet shades of gray…" Else's head tilts to the side as she sings, blonde hair falling down to hide one side of her face, "Fails to define, the certainty of when we say…" her brows crease, something difficult in the words, "Welcome to the end."

When her eyes open, there's brief eye-contact across the front row, right over Helena and Sable, "And I wish I didn't need you now," the bitterness rises back in her voice, "I wish I didn't need you now," the drummer lightly crashes down on the symbals to create a soft ringing noise over her lyrics, "And I wish I didn't need you then…" Else's head shakes from side to side again, "I need you now, I need you now, I need you now…" her hand not holding the microphone curls into a fist, "And I wish I didn't need you now. I need you now, I need you now, I need you now…" The drumming fades to a softer register, but the atery bubbling noises and muted piano continues, as all of the instruments one by one fade out as she repeats those last lyrics over and over again, "I need you now, I need you now…" and the hose lights go down, and her voice fades away.

Away into the roar of the crowd's clapping, cheering and shouting out across the club as the lights come back on, and a significantly worn down Else is staring off at everyone gathered around, a broad smile spread across her face as she wipes one hand acrpss her forehead. She offers a tired smile to the crowd as the applause dies down, having a hard time talking over the noise. "Looks like we 'ad a floater there, eh?" She lets out a quiet laugh, motioning with a nod of her head towards Magnes, "'Ope they don' flush'im, he seemed nice 'nough, right? It's a very floaty song…"

Rubbing at her forehead, she looks out to the crowd and squints against the bright lighting. "One more song before we go tonight," the crowd begins to voice a minagerie of poorly coordinated complaints, and while they're bemoaning the end of an obviously tired singer's set, Feng Daiyu — and his new shadow — are making their way to the door of the club.

When the song's spell fades, Sable gives Leo a defiant look, sidling closer to Helena, expression a pretty much explicit dare. This may be stupid. In fact, it totally is stupid, even if it isn't risky, a pretty BS kind of juvenile move, but maturity is hardly her watchword. She's not feeling amped like she was before. She's more pensive, arms crossed, half-patiently waiting for the next song, fascinated by this flagrant display of talent, soaking it in.

Me, Cardinal sings in his mind as he clings to the feet of the departing assassin, an old Sinatra tune, And my sha… dow… There's a dark emotional tinge to it, for those who can hear it, feel it through the telepathic static of the crowds. Departing as Feng does, a faithful dog upon his steps. Or a hunter on the trail.

Finally made her way somewhere to lean, Gillian doesn't change in expression as the song continues, but doesn't quite go for the door, either. A good place to lean is good enough for her, though she makes a comment only the woman close to her can hear, "I'm going to need a ride home, or I'll just call Brian and crash at your place." Crashing at her place may be the better option, in the end.

Helena blinks in surprise as she hears her own heavily modified words being echoed back to her. She's heedless of Sable's proximity and Leo's challenge to those invading her space. As the song finishes, she lets out a long whistle of appreciation, clapping her hands and holding them out briefly, a worshipper at Cassandra's altar, calling for more.

She's intriguing, Cat replies dryly in her mental voice as she watches and listens, and precognitive. Else found me. She has some issues associated with the gift, and another precog wants to meet her. I'll help make that happen later. But I doubt she'll get anything more than I could from her. And she has that idle curiosity on her mind. Anything up with the suited Asian guy who was at the bar?

Eve sits and waits for Else to be done. "We have to go and get to her before all the fans get her." She says as she listens to the blonde girl sing. Her eyes studying the woman.

/Not much, but tell you what I think later, in a quieter place, Mona transfers offhandedly, following Cat up on the telepathic exchange. Key words: quieter place. And the Rock Cellar isn't exactly the most ideal of those.

"What do you mean we?" Gillian asks, looking a little surprised at what the woman has to say now that they've found somewhere to lean. "You don't need me to be there, do you?" If it came up before, she must have missed it in— other worries. Of which she often has many of them.

"This last'n, it's not off of the album." There's a crooked smile on her lips, even if tempered by her tired state, "I wanted t'do something political, something with a heart, right?" Her dark brows rise up as she eyes the whistling and hooting crowd. "But Fortis— I didn't wanna' do Fortis again. Then Tony reminded me we don't really ever do covers, an' it just hit me, right? Always doin' m'own thing, why not do covers, or a cover, yeah?"

Striding to the front of the stage, Else grips the microphone in one hand and quirks her lips into a smile. "Some'a you might not be old enough to remember this one, but I used t'love it when I was a kid. S'been covered to hell n'back since, but I think it's no less topical now, than it was back'n the day when Genesis did it."

The drums immediately start hammering down, along with a very familiar riff of the Tony's electric guitar as Else doesn't explain what the song is, just marches to the front of the stage as she plants a boot down on the amp and shouts into the microphone.

"I mustve dreamed a thousand dreams!" Else's voice takes on a shrieking tone as she slams her boot down on the amp, raising a fist into the air to get the crowd riled up, "Been haunted by a million screams!" She kicks off of the amp and marches across th stage, shouting the lyrics into the mic as she gets near Tony, who's fingers blisteringly move across the guitar, "But I can hear the marching feet, they're moving, into the street!"

The crowd begins thrashing at the cover of Land of Confusion, bouncing up and down — lower than when Magnes was augmenting their lack of gravity — and matching Else's thrashing and violent motions as she sings. "Now did you read the news today," she bounces across the stage, dropping into a crouch as her fingers drag through her hair, "They say the dangers gone away! But I can see the fires still alight, they're burning, into the night!//"

Rising up straight, Else throws a fist into the air, the crowd jumping up and down in unison as she choosea a song so resonant to the troubles of the city and the country for her closing act, playing the crowd the entire time.

"Theres too many men— too many people— Making too many problems!" She's singing about the things that are hammering on the hearts of the people here, and without even realizing it preaching to Phoenix's very choir in one of their few sanctuaries, "And not much love to go round, can't you see this is a land of confusion!"

As she gets to the chorus, Else bounds back to the front of the stage and then climbs up and over the amp, one foto on th stage and one foot braced on the iron rail that creates the security divide between the stage and the crowd. "This is the world we live in!" She holds the microphone out to the crowd, who scream the chorus' chant of Ooooh! then brings the mic back to her lips, "And these are the hands were given! Use them and lets start trying, to make it a place worth living in!//" She jumps back onto the stage, bouncing around with each step as the drums and guitar hammer out the powerful notesof the song.

"Oh superman where are you now?" She spins around and slams a foot down on the ground, a fist thrown into the air again violently, this isn't just a song, it's an anthem about disaffected youths and political corruption — ironically it's so much what Phoenix is and she has no idea she's in their very midsts. "When everythings gone wrong somehow, the men of steel, the men of power are losing control by the hour!"

Else runs across the stage, then vaults over the side with the wirelsss microphone, past security and up through a thin part of the crowd to the bar where Delilah is, crawling up on her knees on one stool, planting a single foot on the bar. "This is the time, this is the place, so we look for the future!" She climbs up, carefully moving between the glasses and the cups, singing her heart out. "But theres not much love to go round. Tell me why, this is a land of confusion!"

Hopping down off the the bar, Else makes her way through the crowd as they part way around her while she clears the distance to the opposite bar during the long guitar solo between tracks, pumping one fist repeatedly into the air as she walks, slapping people on the shoulders who aren't dancing, with one small hand lightly hitting Leonard's shoulder on the way by. "//This is the world we live in, and these are the hands were given! Use them and lets start trying, to make it a place worth living in!"

She climbs up onto one of the stools, one foot on the padded cushion and one on the bartop, head bobbing up and down as she slings unruly locks from her face. "I remember long ago… Oh when the sun was shining! Yes and the stars were bright, all through the night, and the sound of your laughter as I held you tight… So long ago…" Both feet up on the bar now, she strides across it as if it were the stage, looking around at the cheering crowd and bar patrons as she jumps from the bar back down onto the ground, rushing her way during another solo back towards the stage, sidling past security as she moves between the rail and the stage for the people who spent all show crammed in the front row.

"I wont be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right! Were not just making promises, that we know, well never keep!" Offering the mic out towards a few people in the audience, she's not far from where Helena and Sable are are she gets to the next verse. "Too many men, theres too many people, making too many problems! And not much love to go round…" She lets them join in before climbing back up onto the stage on her knees, crawling forward with the mic held up and one hand keeping herself from falling over, "Can't you see this is a land of confusion!" Up onto her knees, then into a crouch, and finally — tiredly — pulling herself to her feet.

"Now this is the world we live in, and these are the hands were given, use them and lets start trying to make it a place worth fighting for!" And finally, she just holds the microphone out to the ground and looks away, one hand throwing a fist up into the air as the crowd of the Rock Cellar screams out the last verse of the song to the thrashing guitar.

This is the world we live in

It's not just a song, it's an anthem for a society and a culture, it's everything the people who will be going home early because of a curfew will be thinking about.

And these are the names were given

Even if it isn't one of her songs, even if it isn't precognitive, it's the spirit of music that matters the most, it's ability to unify and energize the masses, to get out a message no matter who sybillic or mundane it happens to be.

Stand up and lets start showing

And that, in the end, is exactly what Else Kjelstrom is. She's a person with a message, a person with a voice who wants to simply be heard. But after tonight, after the release of Shores of the Empire State, there'll be few who aren't listening.

Just where our lives are going to.

And maybe, just maybe, that will make the difference.

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