Tempo Trigger Chapter 18
Pretty Fly for a White Guy
Tempo was still going thirty five when he pulled into Sowell's driveway, but he somehow managed to stop before he crashed through the garage door. There was a thump and rustling in the back seat. "Oh, sorry man." Tempo turned to see Lion had been tossed to the floor. "Did the stop throw you?"
"Don't worry." Lion groaned, hoisting himself back up to the seat. "The pile of cans broke my fall."
"Glad to hear it." Tempo threw his door open, then jumped out and slammed it shut. He jogged up to Sowell's front door and pounded on it. "Hey Sowell! Get your fat ass out of bed!"
The door immediately swung open, and another hand rushed out and intercepted Tempo's pounding fist. "Dude, I'm up." His eyes were only half open.
"What are you doing awake so early on Saturday?" Tempo laughed.
"I've got to get over to school." He blinked in the sunlight.
Tempo looked confused. "Okay, I know you're a super senior, but how bad do you have to be to have to go on Saturday?"
"It's for LTV." He responded. He blinked a couple more times, then his eyes widened. "Where the hell have you been all week?!"
"You really won't believe me." Tempo shook his head sheepishly.
"You'll be lucky if you're ready to play tonight, so you have a lot of explaining to... Hey!..." Sowell began to grin. "Silva's been missing all week too... I see what's been going on..."
"Hey, no..." Tempo continued to shake his head, laughing. "It was nothing like that."
"Sure, whatever you say, Horndog." Sowell punched him in the arm. "So you gonna hang with me today or...?" He trailed off as Schala and Lion finally got out of the car. "And who have we here?"
Schala walked up slowly, very surprised at Sowell's appearance. His skin was a dark tan color, something she had never seen before. Sure, some of Lion's skin was green, but he had some odd powers, which was probably the reason for it. She didn't recall ever seeing anyone with a dark skin color in Zeal. But then again, the kingdom of Zeal had actually been a very screwed up place. She stepped forward. "Hi, I'm Schala."
Lion folded his arms. "My name is Lionello." Sowell had been looking at Schala, but at one sight of Lion, he forgot all about her.
"Whoah! You might wanna lay off the salads man." He leaned forward slightly for a closer look at Lion's arms. "Are these tattoos, or what?"
"Never mind that now." Tempo pushed him away slightly. "Is everyone else ready to go for tonight?"
"Yeah, but we kind of suck without you." Sowell shrugged.
Tempo suddenly appeared to grow nervous. "Have you... Uh, have you tried out the "Song of Death," at all?"
"That freaky thing?" Sowell was surprised. "Well, I tried just the guitar part a few times, but I didn't have everyone do it. Besides, you won't even let anyone know what the lyrics are!"
"That's because I'll be doing the vocals." He shrugged, a slight look of annoyance on his face.
"Tempo, no offense, but you suck at that."
"I know. But I'll just be screaming at the top of my lungs through most of it, so it doesn't matter."
"Why are you bringing this up now anyway? You're not planning on doing it tonight, are you?" Sowell frowned at him.
"No, no!" Tempo laughed. "It has so many swear words they'd never let us play at a game again! No, I'm saving it for a special occassion." They stood in silence for a little while. "Anyway, yeah, I guess we'll hang with you today."
"Uh, cool." Sowell blinked again, but no so much because of sleep now. "Just give me five minutes to get ready." He went back inside, and Tempo sat down on his front steps, staring out at nothing. Schala and Lion stood around, shifting from foot to foot.
"So, is there a purpose to this, at all?" Schala finally asked.
"Well, he shouldn't be mad at me for being gone all week if he gets sick of me being around all day." Tempo smiled.
"What, you're going to annoy him on purpose?"
"Oh, it's not really "on purpose," it's just what always happens, no matter what we seem to do." He laughed.
As they walked into South Locorn High School, Schala slowed down and took in what, to her, was another new type of building. Lion looked bored to tears. "Why do you seem so uninterested in all this?" She asked him.
"What, an extremely old fashioned school?" Lion laughed. "I don't know where you're from, but to me, these are just ancient versions of everday things. Lockers may have different locking mechanisms in the schools in my time, but they're still lockers."
Tempo heard some of this, and broke into the conversation softly, hoping Sowell wouldn't hear. "With all the technology present in your time, I would have thought you wouldn't have school at all."
Lion shook his head. "Nah. Society tried that starting in 2445 A.D., but it was determined within one hundred years that young people function much better in large social groups."
"They seem to function much more casually, anyway." Schala observed.
"Hey, are you guys just going to stand around all day, or what?" Sowell called from a doorway down the hall. He walked inside, and they heard him shout, "Hey guys, guess who I found?"
Tempo sighed and walked in the door, the other two following him. He was greeted with a chorus of, "Tempo!!" "Holy shit man, where've you been?!" "Been bangin' Silva all week, or were you stalking Garin?"
He laughed. Schala was slightly appalled, but she could tell that he really thought this was funny. "All right already!" Tempo shouted to shut them up. "I'll have an explanation for you before the game tonight."
"And when do we get the REAL explanation?" One of the guys interrupted him.
"The first time your mom has less than three dates in one night." Tempo grinned back at him.
"Hey, dirty pool!" Sowell shouted while the rest of them were cracking up. "We can't insult YOUR mom."
"Anyway." Everyone noticed how Tempo avoided responding to that, but no one actually said anything. "We'll talk about it later. What are you guys working on right now?"
One of them swiveled around in his chair to face a computer screen. "Well, I'm working on the promo for next week's game, but somehow, the keyframes for the text rotation here," he pointed at the screen, "keep getting screwed up, and the Alpha Channel won't even appear."
Tempo scratched his chin. "Okay, I don't think it's anything you're doing... Did you reset the default preferences?"
Schala turned away slightly and grumbled to herself. "Sure, don't introduce us or anything."
Sowell heard her complaint. "All the guys here are working on our school TV show. Three of them are in our band too. Tempo and I were one year ahead of them."
"Yeah, and you felt so bad about it you decided to stay another year to make up for it." Tempo overheard and broke in from where he was now sitting in one of the swiveling chairs. He was already munching on a bag of chips that had appeared from out of nowhere.
"Hey, don't eat those right over the keyboard!" Sowell yelled at him, having no other way to counter.
"Get your own bag!" Tempo turned away from him.
"Gimme those, you little nugget fart!" Sowell reached over and grabbed the bag, then retreated to the other end of the room.
"Give it back, you lousy douche bag!" Tempo raced after him, then tackled him, wrestling for the bag of chips. Everyone laughed as they continued to grapple, then Sowell managed to get Tempo in a headlock. He proceeded to give him a noogie until Tempo's hair was sticking up in all directions.
"Who's your super senior?!" He didn't let up. "Say it!!"
Tempo grimaced, then managed to emit, in an annoying, high pitched voice, "Aah! You suck! You suck!!"
Despite herself, Schala grinned a little. She turned to Lion. "You know, I have no idea why, but this is kind of funny."
Lion smiled a little himself, but his was fake. "Ah yes, immaturity can be a lot of fun, but only for a little while." He turned and walked out of the room. "Let me know when they're finished."
"Will do." Schala responded, turning to again watch the "battle." By now, all the chips had been scattered over the floor and crushed, but no one seemed to care. Everyone else was laughing, so she joined in.
"Young folks are supposed to try some of everything!" - Anonymous
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