1st Album, Outro: The Show Must Go On
Truth. Realization. Acceptance. The adventure begins.
In the privacy of her trailer, she discovered the truth...
Aelita was seated upon a foldout chair. "So this Neverland place", she marveled. "Is divided into two municipalities?"
Damita sipped tea, cup and plate in hand, seated upon a similar foldout chair in the likeness of her friend's. "Neverland is divided in order to meet the dreams of everyone and everything", Bubbles chattered, bouncing on Damita's bed. "King Eon governs the dreams of animals and children, and Queen Andromeda governs the dreams of adults and nature-ookey. They're an amazing team-ookey. Oo-ee! This bed is super-bouncy and fluffy and pretty and—"
Damita glared at the fairy, "Stop monkeying around in my bed."
Bubbles froze where she stood, "Oo-ah!"
"Now have a seat", Bubbles obeyed the Queen's word.
Aelita held the Flash Mirror in her hands. "Damita, or should I say, Andromeda", the King's reflection appeared in the Mirror. "We work together – collaborate, in order to protect dreams as a whole."
Aelita looked into the Mirror. "I protected dreams by means of fighting the nightmares", Eon continued. "Andromeda on the other hand, she used a more passive manner of war – 'Cosmic Supplication'."
"Cosmic", the emcee arched her eyebrow. "Supplication?"
The Queen sipped her tea. "Prayer", Damita answered. "Cosmic Supplication is the act of generating and manipulating Stella through song. Magic hymnals... It's my specialty, and what kept my kingdom – or should I say, city – safe from the nightmares for several ages."
Aelita looked to the Queen. "What happened?" she worried.
The Queen sipped her tea. "Why did you have to leave your kingdoms behind?" Aelita persisted. "Was it the nightmares?"
"Yes", the Queen replied. "The nightmares consumed Neverland, plunged her into the Abyss. We had to flee – I did first via Cosmic Supplication, and both Eon and Bubbles followed in my wake."
"And all of it", the King lowered his head. "It was my fault."
"No, Eon, it wasn't."
"Yes it was, Andromeda... Luna, the children and I—"
"There's nothing wrong with love and wanting a family, old man", the Queen looked to the Mirror, where her dearest friend was cosmically preserved. "Eon, Luna brought great happiness to Neverland. And just knowing that you were happy together, and bore beautiful children, made Neverland happy as well."
Eon's reflection smiled and closed his eyes. "You were always putting Neverland's burdens on your back alone", the Queen held her head with frustration. "Silly man. You were so big and bad, you forgot that your dearest friends were there to help you. That you didn't have to suffer the burdens alone... Now that you were guilty of, not being a man and wanting to create a family with the woman of your dreams."
Aelita nodded to Eon's reflection. "I think it's beautiful", the emcee concurred. "A handsome king finding his queen... King Eon, where did you find Luna? Somewhere in Neverland?"
The King shook his head. "No, here", he looked to Aelita. "I found Luna when we were still young, here, in the Garden of Dreams."
"Garden of Dreams? You mean 'Earth'."
"It's what we Neverlanders call your planet", the King explained.
"Oh, I see", Aelita smiled. "Like a nickname?"
Bubbles chattered happily. "Exactly", she bounced in the Queen's bed. "The Garden of Dreams is a title of adoration, given to your planet because we love every dreamer here-ookey."
The Queen rose from behind the fairy. "Bubbles", the fairy froze, and looked up to see a scary Damita. "Sit. Down. Now. Or no bananas for a month. Now park it."
Bubbles quickly took a seat, "Oo-ee!"
Aelita chucked under her breath. "Cute, isn't she?" the King beamed. "Bubbles is rather well-behaved, but she gets like this around people she really likes. Meaning all of us."
The emcee held her heart, "Aw, even me?"
Bubbles climbed out of bed and scuttled to Aelita. "Of course, I like everyone", the fairy placed her hand on the emcee's leg, and stared into her eyes with a smile. "Young or old, big or small, plant – stone – animal – even the big blue sky. Bubbles is everyone's friend-ookey. And not just me, all of Neverland cares for the Garden-ookey."
"If you three are this sweet", the emcee looked to her friends. "I can only imagine what other Neverlanders are like."
"We all look different, but our love for dreams and dreamers is what makes us the same-ookey. Harmony-ookey."
The Queen and the King nodded. "It's like some kind of fairytale, or even something you'd find in anime", Aelita giggled.
"Anime?" the King smiled. "What's that?"
Damita snickered, "You should've came to the Garden more."
"Are you calling me outdated, Andromeda?"
"No, silly. Just 'not up to tabs' with the entertainment world."
"Not up to tabs? Andromeda, that's so mean."
"Just being honest", the Queen laughed. "Oh ho ho ho!"
A knock came from the trailer door. "Damita", Crispin's voice made everyone freeze. "Are you in there?"
Bubbles took the Flash Mirror and hid in Damita's wardrobe. "I have good news about Don", the manager reported.
"Oh, Criss", the Queen answered. "Sure, come in."
The manager entered the trailer. "For a moment there", he closed the door behind him. "I thought you weren't in here."
"Sorry. I was just having a little girl-talk with Lita."
Crispin noticed Aelita, seated before the wardrobe. "Ah", the manager beamed. "I didn't see you there, Lita. Congratulations on today's performance. You did quite well, young lady."
"Oh", the emcee beamed. "Thanks. I try."
"Now, about Don", Crispin cleared his throat. "I am honored to report that he's doing quite well."
"Really?" the girls beamed.
"Yes, yes, as a matter of fact, the old boy woke this morning yammering away like he always does. And goodness, he was quite outraged at the thought of missing the concert, given he waited four years to see Damita's performance."
Damita sipped her tea. "I'll be back", she declared. "Next year, after I finish my 12th studio album."
Aelita's eyes widened. "You're already working on the next one?" she asked. "When did you start this?"
"I write lyrics in private. Storyline, imagery, how I want things to flow and proceed. I have 14 songs so far, just need to give them a proper beat, do a little editing, and we have an album."
"Yikes! You work fast, girl."
"Hustling is what I do best", the Queen beamed.
Damita's cellphone ringtone sounded from her dresser. "That must be Mama", the emcee approached the dresser.
She answered the call. "Good morning", she greeted.
"Hey there, sugar!" her mother returned.
"How are you?"
"Oh, I'm fine. Just got back from visiting the hospital with Aunt Lucy. Don's doing good. And honey..."
"You don't have to tell me", Aelita laughed.
"Mouth for ages", Mrs. Bell laughed.
"What was that old man saying?"
"Stuff the good Lord don't approve of. That's what."
"Ooh, Mr. Cornell", the family laughed.
Mrs. Bell became curious. "So, where you babies headed to next?" she asked. "I heard you won't be in America for a while."
"Tokyo, Japan", Aelita smiled.
"Tokyo? All the way over there?"
"It's my first time flying, so I'm a really nervous."
"Uh oh", Mrs. Bell laughed. "I forgot. You don't like planes."
"I just don't like really high places period."
"You don't steal it – me too."
"You too, Mama?" the emcee tilted her head. "I thought you and Aunt Lucy travelled by airline a lot, back in the day that is."
"Yeah, and I was praying to God the entire time", Mrs. Bell's honesty made her daughter laugh. "Honey, I'm serious. If I weren't a Christian woman, I'd be slinging all kinds of words on them planes. Glory be – I kept my peace and endured it all – but the stress... Phew. I'm glad I don't have to deal with all that 'flying' anymore. Retirement sure does have its perks when it comes to mental health."
"Oh Mama", Aelita laughed. "By the way, how did the investigation go? We never got around to that."
"It was over before it began", Mrs. Bell replied.
"What do you mean?"
"We went by the Amphitheater early, early this morning. Aunt Lucy found traces of 'black goop' on Don's desk. It was some type of ink. A really concentrated kind – not the type you'd find in the office."
"Concentrated ink?" Aelita arched her eyebrow. "So, um, what did you and Aunt Lucy do with that?"
"Ran a few tests on it."
"And what did you find?"
"Sub-human DNA", Mrs. Bell's answer froze her daughter with shock. "And get this: In the midst of the test, the ink faded away. Gone. Like it was never there to begin with, and then... we fell asleep."
Aelita held her heart. "I know it sounds strange", her mother continued. "But when I was asleep, I saw you. You were fighting this strange ol' girl in a fancy suit, kind of looked like Iron Man."
Aelita froze with bewilderment. "You were dressed in this really gorgeous outfit", Mrs. Bell beamed. "You defeated that crazy ol' gal and sent her running for the good Lord's mercy. And then, well... I saw a cute little monkey with a mirror... and Damita changed into a real queen – had the prettiest blue gown I ever did see... But, after seeing all of that, I just took it all as me being tired from the footwork I did."
Aelita blushed. "I think that sounds about right", she agreed.
Mrs. Bell giggled. "So later, we woke up", she continued. "The evidence that we did find was gone. We went to the hospital, and discovered that Don was just fine. It's all over the newsfeeds on AOL - 'legendary promoter Don Cornell, still kicking'. And child, you should have seen some of them comments. Nothing but love for good Ol' Donny."
"It's good to hear he's alright. Thank God."
"Same here, honey. Same here."
Aelita brought their conversation to a close. "Now that that's all well and done", she beamed. "I had better get my thoughts together for the flight ahead of me. You know us and high places..."
Mrs. Bell laughed. "Mama", Aelita blushed. "Don't laugh."
"I'm sorry, baby, but you remind me so much of myself."
"I'll take that as a complement", the family laughed.
The laughter calmed. "Enjoy the rest of your tour", the mother wished. "And be sure to E-mail me or text me. But don't call me from outside of the country. I don't want to ring up Mimi's cellphone bill, and I'm sure you'll be busy with preparations. Just be sure not to forget Mama, while you're busy getting famous. Do that and I'll still be your #1 fan. Kay?"
"Now how could I forget someone sweet and loving like you, Mama?" the emcee laughed.
"Just making sure", the mother beamed.
"Oh Mama... You're too much."
"Anything to see my little girl smile", the mother's words brought peace to her daughter. "Have fun, Lita. Mama loves you."
"Talk to you later, Mama", Aelita smiled.
"Alright, honey. Bye."
"Bye", Aelita ended her call.
Crispin's nose sensed something. "I say", he sniffed. "Damita..."
The Queen turned to him, "Yes?"
"...Are you keeping animals in your trailer?"
"Animals?" Damita fibbed.
"Yes, animals. It smells like a hairy ape in here."
A huge cruciform vein silently swelled on the wardrobe. "I think it's just the area", Aelita fibbed. "Penthouse has a lot of gas productivity, given that this place isn't what you'd call a 'living area'."
"Well, that does ring true", the manager concurred. "Penthouse has a lot of commuters, and people mainly come here for working purposes. Entertainment. Shopping. Bound to smell like something god-awful every once in a while."
The vein on the wardrobe swelled even more. "I'll go fetch some potpourri, maybe it'll help with the stench", the manger's suggestion made the vein swell even more. "You girls continue your little chitchat. I'll be back in a jiffy."
The girls waved, as Crispin left the trailer...
...and closed the door on his way out. "Um, uh", the Queen looked to the wardrobe. "I hope you didn't take offense to that, Bubbles. If you're in a talking moo—"
The fairy burst through the wardrobe door, "Ooh-ooh-ah! You're darn tooting I took offense to that-ookey!"
The girls were taken aback in a startle. "Who does that big, rock-headed jerk think he's calling a 'hairy ape'-ookey?" the fairy chattered. "I swear, if I didn't love dreamers so much, I'd turn him into a big banana and peel him a hairline that isn't receding-ookey!"
The King appeared in the Flash Mirror. "Bubbles, please, hold your anger", he consoled. "I think a bath will do us both some good. It has been a while since we left the kingdom."
Bubbles grunted and folded her arms. "Bubbles", the King called from her armpit. "I don't mean to be rude, but I can't see."
"Oo-ookey", the fairy grunted.
"Bubbles, seriously, your armpits are fogging up the Mirror."
"Sorry, Your Majesty", the fairy complied and held the Mirror in front of her. "I'm just really mad right now-ookey."
"It's alright. Even we Neverlanders can get upset, especially when we're addressed in a manner we're not accustomed to."
"Not accustomed to-ookey?"
The Queen sipped the last of her tea. "In the Garden", she looked to her fairy friend. "Dreamers aren't knowledgeable of the existence of fairies. They don't even know about Neverland, or that I'm from there. It's best to keep this silent, however, for the sake of the balance between our worlds."
Aelita nodded. "She's right", the emcee concurred. "Before meeting you Bubbles, King Eon, I didn't believe stuff like this existed outside of books, video games, movies, and television shows."
Bubbles turned the Mirror to Aelita. "It's because of the balance Andromeda mentioned", the King explained. "Dreamers call it 'fact and fiction', but it's really just a code of silence. In order to preserve dreams in secret, we followed that code for a very long time... But, when I found and married Luna, that code was broken. I guess that's why I was so hard on myself – taking all the blame for what happened to Neverland."
Bubbles handed the Mirror to Aelita. "As a Neverlander, I am an extremely sentient being", the King continued. "It was only natural that I behaved the way I did, when I had nightmares imbued into my heart. It's one of the reasons why I can't come out of the Mirror..."
Aelita covered her mouth. "What would happen if", the emcee worried. "If you came out of the Mirror, what would happen to you?"
A tear fell from the King's right eye. "...I would slowly fade away", he wept, moving his friends to a mode of remorse. "Because I am filled with so many nightmares, as a creature of dreams, I cannot exist outside the Flash Mirror. Bubbles saved my life, and risked her own just to put me in here. To do such a thing, it takes a lot of Stella. She could have lost her life in the act... So, that's why she wasn't able to help you very much, when you went head-to-head with Diana."
"Diana?" the emcee wondered. "Are you talking about that crazy woman I was fighting?"
"Yes, Aelita. Her name is 'Agent Diana', one of the many employees of the Nightmare Nation, Eternal. Don't take her lightly – when you meet again, she'll most definitely try to imbue you with all the nightmares at her disposal. A woman like that... once scorned, there's no escaping her wrath."
"I'll take your word for it. That was a bit of a lucky shot back there... I'm pretty sure I won't be so lucky next time."
The Queen stood from her foldout chair. "And that's why we need to find the other Virtues and the other Warriors", she reminded.
Damita looked to her friends. "Tokyo, from what I remember, is filled with a lot of dreamers", the Queen continued. "If we're lucky, we'll find the next Virtue there... and possibly the next Warrior. We're living off a thought and a prayer here, but that's a good thing. A girl's gotta have a little hope to make it through the day, after all."
The King dried his tears. "I could say the same thing for guys", he giggled. "Humans and Neverlanders live tough lives. Hope and faith are the only things that keep our races going."
The King placed his hand to his heart. "We Neverlanders are eternal creatures", he said in all seriousness. "Unfortunately, we aren't invulnerable to the laws of mortality. Imbued with nightmares or slain by the sword... and we're gone. Just like that."
Aelita became resolute, "I'll protect you."
The Neverlanders looked to her. "I'll protect you all", she vowed. "Now that I stand a fighting chance, I'll do my very best to make sure that you're all safe. Mimi, and my new friends, Bubby and E."
Bubbles chattered. "Oh my", the fairy blushed. "Bubby? I like that name-ookey. It's so cute-ookey."
"E, huh?", the King chuckled. "That's very cute of you, Aelita."
The emcee petted Bubbles on the head. "Call me 'Lita', and we have a deal", she beamed. "Alright?"
The King and the fairy nodded. "Okay, Lita", Eon agreed.
Bubbles chattered with joy. "Oo-oo", she beamed. "I look forward to travelling the Garden with everyone-ookey."
"Me too", the King concurred.
The Queen approached her friends. "Ditto", she agreed, standing before them. "Okay, now listen up, guys: We leave for Tokyo, Japan in exactly four hours. We should be there by the next day, hopefully in the morning time. That will give us one day to enjoy the city, and an evening to practice some mo—"
A knock came from the trailer door. "I'm back", the manager announced with song, before Bubbles took the Flash Mirror and darted back into the wardrobe. "Found a lovely little can of potpourri for you both. And it's your favorite scent, girls – Winter Mist by Dove."
The girls beamed, "Come in."
Crispin entered with the said can of air freshener. "But I tell you, it wasn't easy", he complained, spraying the air. "I practically had to beg stadium personnel for a little assistance. The co-manager, however, was a nice enough girl. Said I could take it – that she was just as big a fan of the Royal Court as the people cheering you two on in the crowd."
Aelita's eyes widened with shock, "Um... I already have fans?"
Damita and Crispin giggled. "You mean you didn't know?" the manager stopped spraying. "Fans refer to you as, 'the Princess' Lita B. You're no longer just the 'little girl' of the late King of Hearts, Aelita."
The emcee looked to the artist. "So that's why you gave me that costume, Mimi?" she asked, receiving a nod and a smile.
"I thought you knew that by now", Damita giggled.
"Boy... I sure am late."
"Fandom has a way of throwing you off like that."
"You sure aren't kidding there", the girls laughed.
The manager placed the can of air freshener on Damita's dresser. "I think it's best you girls enjoy a little time alone", Crispin headed for the trailer door. "I need to go get my things packed for our little trip to Tokyo. How exciting..."
The manager took hold of the doorknob. "...travelling the world with my favorite little girls", he turned to them and saw their smiles. "I am very fortunate to be working with you both. Very talented little angels you are. Now, it's best you girls do the same – the flight to Tokyo leaves in precisely 3 hours and 56 minutes."
The girls nodded. "We're actually all set", Damita reported.
"Are you now?"
"I got that habit from Joe. He was a bit of an early bird."
Crispin adjusted his eyeglasses. "Mm, I say, how could we forget?" everyone laughed. "I mean seriously, the fellow would be up at the crack of dawn – 'Good morning, my friends' – all tooth and cheek. All the while, we were were dragging our feet, wiping the crust from the brow of our eyes and the drool from the crack of our lips."
Crispin became a bit sentimental. "God in Heaven", he sighed. "I really do miss that boy. Such a shame..."
"He's in a better place now", Aelita accepted.
Damita nodded, "Yep. An angel in Heaven."
Crispin opened the trailer entrance. "I agree, very much so", he stepped through the door. "Many kisses. And enjoy yourselves, girls."
The musicians waved. "Later", they wished, as the door closed.
Bubbles stepped out of the wardrobe. "So, that settles it", the King's reflection reappeared in the Flash Mirror. "It's off to Tokyo, Japan. I can't wait – I would love nothing more than to see this beautiful flower of wonders unknown."
His friends turned to him. "It's been a while", he recalled. "The last I remember, Tokyo didn't exist. There was a city there, in Japan – it was called 'Edo' back in the day. I wonder if..."
Aelita giggled. "It's the same place, E", she said. "The city's name changed in the year 1868, a year after Japan's last shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu caused an end to the Shogunate when he surrendered power to the emperor of Japan. The government shifted from being ruled by the shogun to an oligarchy, ruled under the banner of Emperor Meiji. On July 17th of that year, Meiji issued the edict renaming of 'Edo' to 'Tokyo', citing the city's importance in the economy of eastern Japan. Tokyo's been flourishing ever since, in all areas, especially science and popular culture. It's a really awesome place, and even though I have to FLY there... I'm excited!"
Damita was taken aback with surprise. "Wow", she marveled. "I never took you as a history buff, Lita."
"It's one of my hobbies", the emcee beamed.
"Nice. This tour promises to be a lot of fun."
"I agree-ookey", Bubbles cheered.
The King smiled, thinking beautiful thoughts of his queen. "So, the cute little castle town where we met has changed its name", he looked on at the rising sun, through the trailer window. "I wonder what adventures are in store for us there, Luna. Just thinking about it... fills my heart with excitement..."
In a darkened stadium, strum lights were cued, and a rock band played their soulful, exciting, and thrilling music.
A crowd went wild, cheering the band's name, 'Shonen Mars'.
"Min'na! (Everyone!)" hyped the handsome front man. "O rokku suru junbi wa dekite imasu ka? (Are you ready to rock?)"
The light shined upon the front man. "Ryu-oniichan, daisuki desu! (Big Brother Ryu, we love you!)" the female fans cheered.
"Aniki! (Big brother!)" the male fans cheered. "Rock on!"
The front man lifted his right forefinger to the sky. "Okay!" he pointed to the crowd with charm and character, hotter than a raging fire. "Sore wa shōtaimuda! (It's showtime!)"
And there you have it, folks - the end of the first Album :)! Hope you guys are ready to head off to Tokyo in our next Album, where we'll get to know our newest emissary. Things are only going to get more exciting from here, because I'm going to "bring the fire" next time. (LOL XD!) Thank you, everyone, for following along thus far. And to all my Jackson fans out there, I hope I'm doing a good job in your eyes :). Until next time, folks, take care and God bless. *hugs*
~ Dion Mystique, Author