Tempo Trigger Chapter 20

The Song of Death

By Nanaki

1995 A.D.

Sowell glanced over the sheet he had just been handed. "This is nuts. We can't play this. We'll get busted for sure."

But Tempo wasn't listening to him. He got up and walked over to the microphone, then moved it back over to his drum set. "Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we're going to bring you something a little different." The crowd, which was still talking excitedly and chanting his name, instantly shut up. "I wrote this song myself, and I'm also going to be singing it myself. I hope you'll forgive me for not having Sowell's dulcet tones, but I'll do my best."

"You rock Tempo!!" Someone shouted from the audience.

Tempo raised his hand a mock salute. "Thank you, good sir. Now, you all know that my girlfriend Rena was brutally murdered just over six months ago. This song is for her... ..and her killer." The crowd emitted an air of general puzzlement. "I think you'll see what I mean." Tempo smiled thinly. "Ready guys?"

Sowell frowned. "Well now, I don't think we can NOT play it. Let's dive in the deep end then."

He started strumming his guitar, and Tempo softly began mouthing his lyrics. "I first met her when I was only four, she was just a friend and nothing more, until I heard some guy call her a whore. I left him bleeding on the floor!" Now the band went into a frenzy, emitting a ton of odd sounds that didn't exactly combine well. At least, it didn't seem that way. About ten seconds later, they went back to the soft melody they had started with.
"Now I saw her as more than just a friend, if she'd talk about marriage I'd just ask her when. I wanted to be by her side until the end." He paused for half a second, then continued. "I wanted her to bear my children."

The guys in the audience began to frown, and started commenting to each other. Tempo made a snap decision. He had another verse about Rena planned, but that really wasn't the purpose of the song. He reached up and pulled the microphone down closer to him. "But you already knew that. Now, as for her killer..." He quickly gestured for the guys to skip the next verse, and suddenly, the room was again filled with the weird, harsh sounds they had played before.
"I hate that bastard!
"I hate that bastard!!
"I haaaaaaate that bastard!!!
"If I ever see him, I'm gonna kill him, before he even has a chance to explain.
"If I ever see him, I'm gonna kill him, because all he's ever done is cause pain.
"If I ever meet him, you know I'm gonna kill him, and wash his intestines down the drain!!"

Now everyone in the audience was practically jumping with enthusiasm for Tempo's bloodthirst, and the beat coming from the drum set grew much louder. The noise was beginning to coalesce into some sort of melody, but it was still pretty harsh on the ears.
"He took her life, and left me here alone.
"Now the least I can do is break some bones.
"I'll bash his head in,
"I'll pour acid on his skin,
"I'll cut off his balls and force feed them to him..."

"Yeah!!" The cheer from the audience temporarily drowned him out. Tempo grinned.

"He thinks he did this, and got away free.
"But someday a knife in his heart will be held by me!
"I'll poke his out his eyes.
"Or just "put him on ice."
"If he ever gets married, I'll murder his wife!"
"Now there's no time to cower,
"Or go crying to my mother...

Now Sowell and the rest of the band broke in too, all just screaming at the top of their lungs. The crowd was in a frenzy, at least fifty of them shouting out offers to help Tempo. But he couldn't hear them. He could barely hear the rest of the band. His eyes were totally wild, and he was hitting the drums so hard that he thought his ear drums might pop. Suddenly, there was a very loud bang. Tempo looked down, and was gratified to see that his snare drum had been impaled by his stick, even though that should have been impossible. He held it up, then threw it high up into the air, where it fell to the gym floor and broke into dozens of pieces. Fans swarmed down from the bleachers to grab a piece of what was sure to become a collector's item. With one stick, he contined to play on, and joined in just in time for the finale.

"Kill!... Hate!... Kill!! Hate!! KILL!!! HATE!!! Killhatekillhatekillhatekillhate... Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate!!!!! Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!"

The rest of the guys immediately stopped playing, while Tempo gave the bass drum one last pound, which caused the front to burst inward with a deafening bang. As the noise died away, all the lights in the gym came back on. Tempo looked up, and saw that the second half was about to start. He had almost forgotten that they were at a game. He slowly stood up, and was greeted with deafening applause. "Well gentlemen," his smile was real this time, "let's clean up."


"Well," Silva observed as Tempo carried the drums he hadn't broken back into the locker room. "That was quite something. The rage doesn't surprise me, but I didn't know he loved her that much..."

"I know how he feels." Schala nodded sadly. "And especially how it feels to be helpless to do something about it."

"Now that was interesting." Lion smiled. "First time I've been wide awake all day."

Silva stood up as Tempo came back out of the den. "Maybe I should go talk to him." Then, her eyes widened as someone walked up to Tempo. "Uh oh. This could be trouble."

"Why?" Schala saw a very angry look reappear on Tempo's face. "Who is that?"



"Well, well, well, Tempo." Garin grinned, slapping him on the shoulder. "That was quite the song, I must admit. But I can't help but feel that some of that rage might have been directed at me."

"Get the hell out of my way." Tempo strained to control himself, and merely pushed Garin to the side. Garin grabbed ahold of his wrist, twisting it up behind his back.

"Now, that's no way to talk to a friend of Rena's, is it?" He continued to grin.

Sowell emerged from the locker room. "Hey Tempo, I..." He trailed off as he saw the situation. "Aw, shit! Everyone back up!!" He turned around and quickly shoved the rest of the band members back into the locker room.

"Heyaah!" Tempo whirled around and punched Garin in the face, kneed him in the stomach, then slammed him back against the wall. "Friend?!" He hissed. "I don't think so. I know it was you!!" He aimed another punch, but Garin ducked down and Tempo's fist hit the wall. Garin finished his duck with a knee to the nuts, and Tempo doubled over.

"That was a foolish decision on your part." Garin observed, then pulled back and kicked Tempo in the head. Tempo went flying backwards, but he grabbed Garin's foot on the way down, wrenching it pretty good. They both stood up, glaring at each other. Out of the corner of his eye, Tempo saw some school officials that had already been on the way over to talk to him about the song hurry up. Garin took that lapse to deliver another kick to the head. Tempo went to the ground again, this time landing on his ass. "Submit now." Garin said it as a friendly suggestion, like he didn't really care.

'Or I'll make you scream like she did.' Later, Tempo would realize that the words probably hadn't been said out loud. After all, Garin's mouth hadn't moved. But at that moment, he reacted the only way he possibly could.

"Huuuuaaaaggghhh!!!" A green glow burst out from him, then concentrated in his fist with lightning speed. "Slaaaaam!!!" Garin's head snapped sideways from the blow, and he was flung through the air, to go crashing through the wall and on into the locker room. The school officials were suddenly in much less of a hurry to get there. "Come out of there!!" Tempo roared. "I want more! I want to see you suffer!!"

"You want more?" Tempo assumed a defensive stance. "You'll get more than you bargained for!!" Another section of wall close to the hole shattered, and flew out at him. Garin was flying through the air, encased in a reddish purple fire. He rammed into Tempo, then lifted them both up into the air. He continued to fly straight on into the bleachers, smashing through the soda covered wooden planks. Dozens of teens spilled off the sides in their hurry to get away from the fight.

As Garin stood and dusted his hands, Tempo grinned from where he lay in the smashed boards, splinters covering his face. "I bargained for this." He said triumphantly. "How about you?! Haaah!!!" The entire section of bleachers vanished in a green explosion, with Tempo rocketing out of it, Garin caught in the gut on the end of a pummeling fist. Tempo pulled back with his other fist in midair, and gave Garin another Slam powered punch to the jaw. He fell to the floor as Tempo landed softly.

Garin didn't move right away, so Tempo crossed his arms and assumed a defensive position. In a few seconds, green fire erupted around him, raging all over his body. Tendrils of energy began to lance outward. The gym floor around him cracked, and chunks of it rose up to hover in midair around him. The basketball hoop bent down toward him. The walls began to bend inward. Now, Garin was back on his feet. "You actually dare to think you're more powerful than me?" He asked in surprise.

Tempo answered through clenched teeth. "I'll kill you... even if... I have to die too!" He opened his mouth to yell his next maneuver, when a suggestion filled his head.

'You know, you might do better if you didn't yell out all your attacks before you used them.' It was clearly Schala's voice, although he shouldn't have been able to hear her.

What he did shout was, "You're finished!!!" Tempo charged forward, activating a Diamond Fist as he went. He smiled as he heard ribs cracking with the impact. He quickly executed an uppercut which left Garin staggering. He followed that with a Vertiround that sent Garin flying up into the ceiling. Garin tried to grab onto one of the gym lights. He succeeded, but the light tore out of the roof, showering sparks onto the people below. Garin landed hard on the floor, trying to roll out of the way before the light hit him. It smashed down onto his arm anyway. "Get up!!" Tempo roared.

"I'm only too happy to oblige." The fire surrounded Garin again, and he blazed back up to Tempo. He flew so low to the floor that he was able to grab Tempo by the ankles, then haul him up into the air and drop him into the basketball hoop. "Bet you don't feel so cool now, huh?" Garin grinned.

"It's not about COOL!!" Tempo yelled, starting to froth at the mouth. "It's about revenge!!!" With that, the backboard vanished in green fire. It crashed to the floor, all the metal melting, spitting sparks everywhere. "I'm going to make you pay for-"

"Stop this shameful brawling at once!" An authoritative voice shouted. Lord Nagar dropped to floor level, hovering between the two combatants. The glow coming from Garin and Tempo dimmed. "Garin, I'm very disappointed in you. We'll discuss your punishment later." Then he turned to Tempo. "And I expect much better from Selena's son."

Tempo was still brimming full of anger, but even now, he didn't dare to disobey Lord Nagar. But he didn't have to worry. Garin stifled a yawn, then raised up a hand. "Aw, can it, you old geezer. Fheikhu!!" A red ball of energy rocketed from Garin's hand, smashing Lord Nagar on the side of the head. As Nagar had been entirely unprepared for an attack from either side, he was knocked into the wall, and from there into unconsciousness.

"It figures that you wouldn't even have respect for your old man, you bastard." Tempo said scornfully.

"He got in my way." Garin shrugged. "And by the way, my parents were married for a good while before I was born, unlike yours."

Tempo's glow brightened noticeably. "Are you insulting my mother?!!"

Garin shrugged. "Take it how you want. I'm just saying that she seemed to be open for busin-"

"Haaaaaahhh!!!" Tempo blazed forward, his arms a flurry of flaming green punches. He bowled into Garin, sending them both to the floor, then continued to pummel him. He felt nearly all of Garin's ribs breaking now. When he was sure he had gotten them all, he pulled back his right fist for an ultra powerful blow that would land right in Garin's ugly mug. Garin took that lapse to release a blast of energy right in Tempo's face. He then somehow jumped up, even though that should have been impossible for someone in his condition. He stretched his arms outward, and two beams of fire smashed Tempo back into the wall.

Garin quickly followed the flames, snapping Tempo's head back with a right hook. Another burst of power flowed down his arms, and Tempo went crashing through the wall, to land in a heap of rubble outside. Garin rushed out into the hall, grabbed Tempo by his collar, and hurled him through the wall again, back into the gym.


"Uh, you know, I think we probably need to go help him." Schala started forward. Lion nodded in agreement.

"No." Silva calmly put a restraining hand on her shoulder. "I know him well enough to say, that he'd rather lose and actually die, than accept help to fight Garin."

"He's heading toward the former pretty damn fast." Schala shook her head in disgust.

"Not quite." Silva grinned. "Now he'll just be REALLY mad."


Garin picked Tempo up by his collar again, but this time just glared at him. Blood was running out of Tempo's nose, and a huge bruise was spreading over his left cheek. "Well, have you learned anything from all this?"

"Wha?..." That wasn't exactly what Tempo had been expecting. But he didn't wait for an answer from Garin. "The only thing I've learned is, you're not quite as much of a wuss as I thought!" Then, green fire surrounded Tempo in a seven foot radius. Garin jumped back, cursing. "This is it for you!! Thousand point striiiiiiiiiiike!!!!" Before Garin even saw him moving, Tempo was there, punching him in the face. Garin would have thought that the name of this particular tech was merely wishful thinking, but from the sensations of pain that flooded his brain, he began to think that it just might have been possible that Tempo was actually striking him one thousand times. When the last hit connected, he was flung back into the set of bleachers that hadn't been broken yet, to vanish in a cloud of dust.

"Now I'll finish you!!!" Tempo's voice seemed to be near the breaking point from so much shouting. But the green fire blazing around him expanded even more, and one huge beam of it rushed to the point in the bleachers where Garin had been thrown. The resulting burst of power vaporised the bleachers, and if most of the students hadn't realized how powerful these two were and cleared out by now, it would have resulted in quite a few casualties. But then, the burst of power vanished. Tempo stood, half hunched over, breathing heavily. A silence hung in the air. Looking around, Tempo saw Silva, Schala, and Lion peering in from one of the entrances to the gym. Then, a slow clapping broke the silence. None of the three at the doorway were doing it. They looked around in puzzlement.

Garin emerged from what little remained of the bleachers, slowly applauding. He appeared to be unscathed. A crackling blue orb floated above his head. "Very good!" He smiled at Tempo. "You may not be as useless as I thought. But whatever the case may be, you've hung around here long enough."

"You're still up?!" Tempo demanded. "I'll just have to put you down again then!!" He ran forward.

"Oh please. Cut the theatrics." Garin snapped his fingers, and electricity erupted from the floor underneath Tempo. He cried out in pain, before collapsing to the floor, where he lay stunned. Garin gestured, and Tempo was lifted into the air. He lazily drifted over until he was right next to the blue orb. It began to crackle more violently.

Schala warily stepped back into the gym. "Who are you? I feel like I know you."

"That you do." Garin responded calmly.

"So then who are you?!" She demanded.

"Now, now, there's no need to get upset just because I kicked the crap out of your precious "boyfriend." Besides, it's not like you could do anything to me. You still have a long way to go before you can kill that Lavoid you're after." Garin pointed a finger at her now. She cried out as she too was lifted into the air, and drifted over next to Tempo. Silva and Lion were rounded up in a similar manner. "Now it's time for all of you to get going. Don't disappoint me." The blue orb above him opened up to become a full gate.

Tempo recovered from his shock enough to yell. "Disappoint you?! Don't think you've seen the last of me! Even if you send me to another time, I'll still come back and kill you!!"

Garin shook his head in disgust. "I've told you before, you need to forget about me and what you think I've done. You have bigger problems to worry about."

"That was just a dream!!" Tempo screamed. "What are you?!"

"Goodbye." Garin said impatiently, and they were all hurled into the portal.

"Fuck yoouuuuuuuuu!..." Tempo shouted as the void swallowed him.

Garin folded his arms as the gate vanished into thin air. "What a mess." He observed what remained of the gym, which wasn't too horribly much. He clasped his hands together, and bowed his head, before whispering. "The last fifteen minutes never happened." The chamber rippled, and when it cleared, he was standing at the entrance to the locker room, watching Tempo's amazing performace during "Faster, faster." "After this song, they played, "Why I don't believe in God," then calmly went back to the locker room. Tempo never played his "Song of Death." Garin said casually to the air. "After that, Tempo went out the back door, and no one has seen him, Silva, Schala, or Lionello since. Are we clear on that?" The air seemed to shimmer in response. "Good." He thought for a second, then spoke up again. "Say, as long as I'm at it, I want it to be legal for the snack stand to serve beer..."


"I'll show you the power of anger!" - Edge


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