The Party Elemental Arrives
I have to ask the other creatives in who read this a deep philosophical question that I know has its roots deep within psychology, physiology, and biochemistry. It’s a question that I know others in on one form or another have tried to solve in their own ways, utilizing whatever technology they have at hand so that they could find solace without having to confront this dilemma, so I know there is an answer out there. Please all those out there, hear my query:
Why do I get so many ideas while peeing? and do so few of them survive the twenty feet to the computer desk? It’s so damn irritating.
No, seriously. I have had zingers, great quotes, plot points, and revelations of all sorts (really good ones too) get dissolved by a flushing noise. I can’t think of how many words vanished in that room, never to be thought correctly of again. Oh, well. Enough of the deep questions.
Soon I shall be free.
This isn’t another deep question, only a realization that keeping a day job and moving a two bedroom apartment when one is as disorganized and out of shape as I am doesn’t come easy. So while I will be losing several weeks of pay for a job that barely wants me here in the first place as far as I can tell, I’m opting to take the time off, pack, sell, and do the impossible: weed through my comic collection to see what can be sold and jettisoned. The number of long boxes I have is a little problematic and it’s been suggested that enough was enough, that graphic novels and individual issues were not a good idea, etc. It was time to start getting rid of that which I have spent 35 years collecting, reading, and obsessing about.
You know that scene in Tablesaw IV where the guy has to not only use a blowtorch to cut off his arm at the shoulder to escape the room before it fills with poisonous gas all the while he has to describe the smell to the evil sentient computer who longs to understand human suffering?
Yeah, it’s kind of like that.
I know we all have those things that we obsess over, long for, and sometimes lose faith in and yet are unable to let go of. This isn’t just a hobby, a favorite food, or a sports team, it’s a religion; a religion that should never fail to support the follower. In San Niebla, the Ashland Pirates inspire loyalty and disgust in equal measure, usually from the same people, some of which aren’t even into football. All over the net various TV shows and movies become the aspect of people's lives, so much so when slight changes are made, the vitriol comes flying, like lava from an unappeased volcano. Kind of like when they reboot that sci-fi show as a movie? You know the one, that one where they stole scripted scenes, shot by shot and still failed to capture what made the show so special in the first place. I know some of you screamed blue murder! And yet these people don’t lose faith that what is next will be better, a new experiment, or otherwise the story continues. When Dynatron Comics did their universe wide shake up and end up with what is universally panned, I did the impossible: I stopped collecting. Almost a dead stop of all my comics. Now thanks to my status as a former employee of a comic shop in Ashland that is nice enough to send me my books at a massively discounted price, I used to get a boat load every few weeks. My addiction is has not gone cold turkey so much as trickling in and threatening to ensnare me once again. Go on, comics. I dare you!
Not that it’s my only obsession. Have you seen the photos of Bacchane’s latest shindig? The number of names that came out of the woodwork, who ate, danced, and just plain went nuts is still something of a surprise. Besides some of the locals, a few Questers, Grand Master Grav, I think I saw Columbia, the Illuminator, and Doctor Auric in various pictures, and I swear I saw what looked to be Chevron lounging in the background. I’m not sure but I think I saw Ghost Owl in the rafters. Sure would be one hell of a party where everyone of every persuasion could just let their hair down and find peace with the pulsating rhythm.
That is, of course, if everyone wasn’t there to stop Bacchane. His parties get a little… explosive. The fact that he is a party elemental might have something to do with it.
In a way, I’m thankful I missed it and just saw the reports on the news. It started in a small tavern called “Big Wigs,” just some hipster bar on the North East side. I can’t say I was ever inside it, I’m not the kind of guy who hangs out in either hipster places or bar, save for a known favorite, (Pele’s Peak), so I looked it up online. Small place filled with artisanal drafts, but mostly did a brisk trade in Pabst Blue Medal, and a small stage known for open mike nights and the occasional poetry slam. The walls were covered in old crudely copied flyers for former bands and limited par aphelia. Oddly, most of the seating was picnic tables. Go fig. From what I can tell, a surprise concert was supposed to take place there last night. Welcher’s Bet was supposed to some sort of acoustic concert to celebrate their tenth anniversary of their first release, just a little show for dedicated fans of their work. Apparently, Bachchan is one of those fans. Once he showed up in the middle of “Gauntlet Gadget Blues” the whole affair took on a different tone.
Most people know about the water to wine incident in the Bible. No one stops to think what happens when all the water was drunk and they had to turn to hard alcohol. Or that other miracle of making a small amount of food feed a wedding feast to contentment. Just imagine what that certain someone could do with all those solo cups of Pabst Blue Medal. Needless to say when Bacchane arrives, the number of alcohol poisoning cases skyrocket. Soon what was once a nice get together to watch a decent band play a special concert became something akin to a riot. It wasn’t a “kill all the cops” riot or “we demand free speech” riot or even a ‘We think Che Guevara is kind of neat” riot. We got those all the time in Ashland. It was closer to an “Our team is really cool and I think you are really cuddly” riot.
Yeah, that was a new one on me too.
Police did arrive and were quickly swept up in the shenanigans and good feelings. It’s amazing how fast one can go from riot gear to streaking. Sure several ADAM units tried their best but it’s hard to get a clean stun shot in when hordes of innocent bystanders are blocking the target. It’s one of Bacchane’s greatest abilities that has kept him alive so long. Most people who get close enough to damage him are usually swept up in the frenzy long before they get within arm’s reach. Anyone who is good enough from a distance has to deal with acres of party goers acting as human shields. Even if you are they type who doesn’t mind all those innocent casualties, all to stop the Ringmaster of this little spur of the moment rave of doom, (I’m looking at you Chevron and half of your followers at Terraq) getting a good enough shot is difficult. People and things always happen to get in the way. I suspect that he has no photos on file simply because others are always standing in front of him when someone pulls out a camera.
(Note: I am wrong on this account. Mostly because he likes to post his selfies, or at least someone claiming to be him. If it is him, he has aged really nicely for what some believe to be a 70 year old. He looks like he is barely out of college and loaded with cash. However, fake meta accounts have been created in the past. One genius tried to poach an account for Tom Foolery in hopes of either ruining the man’s reputation or to sell it to him later. I’m told they found the genius encased in six feet of Lucite, attached to a very sarcastic mock up of an action figure display sealed with a massive post-it note reading “Mint in the box.” )
Anyway, this little riot threatened to overtake the Northeast sector… all of it. I can’t tell you how many square miles that might be. every TV and radio turned on and started blaring dance music. Neighbors and total enemies suddenly provided hor d'oeuvres and drinks, even the ones in strict AA programs. Needless to say the weed made the area look like a Chinese industrial winter in seconds. Sure it seemed like a nice party and brought people out to enjoy the good time, that is until the houses started to get demolished. Apparently, Bacchane didn’t approve of some of the new buildings in the area, the new apartment complexes meant to look modern but just look like drab color yuppie boxes. They offended his eyes so they tore it down. A mob of drunken people just spent the night ripped up a building with their bare hands. All three stories. It was like Keith Moon on steroids.
Several metas were called out to help, but, as anyone with a history with him could tell you, anyone sent against him just becomes another party guest and adds to the celebration. Which means other things he thought were uncool soon got destroyed, a mediocre German restaurant, a vintage record store that refused to own anything after 1972, a scrapbooking specialty store. All of them, gone, though the music was amazing.
I have to hand it to local law, though. They thought it through. It wasn’t easy, and he wasn’t apprehended but at least two ADAM units managed to make it through the crowd. The seventeen that didn’t survive came back spray painted with images of pigs and loaded with hashtags, most notably #F---ThePolice, #TheMan, and #MetaLivesMatter. I don’t try to guess where all the spraypaint came from.
Of the two that made it, one, #17823 managed to hold the riot at bay and clear the way for its partner #12353, or as he is now known on the internet “1Adam12.” I have no idea if a robot can dislike a nickname but I don’t think it matters. 1Adam12 was on the other hand, smart. Much smarter than it’s other ADAM units, or so it’s whispered by tech partners and people who say they were at the event. 1Adam12 had the bright idea to call in a psychologist, figuring that brute force would never stop this sort of thing, not without being a complete PR disaster for the city in general. The Police had several psychologists on hand but 1Adam12 left his post to find Dr. Quantum. Quantum, as always, had a great idea.
As #17823 kept the crowd at bay, 1Adam12 managed to fight through the remaining, striding hard against the onrush of humanity, many suggesting they have been at a party with a Droid before. Other suggestions were made about how said ‘Droid’ could loosen up or how it could otherwise spend its time away from “the Man.” I’ll let you fill in the details. Judging from what little footage I manage to see from various uploads, whatever strange, depraved, fun, exciting, or nonsensical your idea might be, it’s probably true. 1Adam12 on the other hand, ignored everyone, successfully strode up to Bacchane and demanded his presence like a subject to a king. Bacchane rose to the challenge, but didn’t rise from the pile of wellwishers and groupies. He cracked his knuckles, about to suggest how much these ADAM units are bothering him, ensuring its demise when 1Adam12 threw himself on the pile and managed to slip a metallic arm around Bacchane, a feat almost unrivaled. Bacchane dared the unit to take him in, crush him, explode, whatever. The Party Elemental suggested it would do no good and this party would rival Woodstock 2001 in every respect. 1Adam12 had a different plan.
The Droid aimed his hand at Bacchane’s head and yelled. “Say Cheese!”
Selfies, seventy six and all, proclaiming how much the cops loved a good gathering like this. I’m not sure how a ADAM unit could make faces like that, but he did, goofy, silly, and overall mortifying. The images were uploaded immediately to Baccahne’s pages, all of them. Showing once and for all the demigod of celebration in all his glory.
#17823, now spray painted dayglow yellow with psychedelic imagery started to dance adding to the images. Dad dancing to boot. For the record, no one programmed the ADAM units to dance and probably never will. The unit, now dubbed the Dance-o-matic 4000, made drunken uncles at weddings look like John Travolta.
I can say the only thing I did experience from the party, way out here in Ducklyn. Both Kay and I raised our heads from the TV and her knitting to wonder who shouted outside but shrugged it off by the words, “This Party is Over!” At least it was over, not knowing it was Bacchane yelling it across towns.
Released from 1Adam12’s grasp, he sighed and said he needed a rest, walked into a nearby Men’s room, and disappeared. Apparently, his powers involved teleporting from one party to another. For a man who makes everyone around him drunk and excited, it was the only way to travel.
The music stopped. The thruming beats trickled to a halt and people, most of whom having no idea where they were, staggered home, or to the bus, or just to the ER to get their stomachs pumped. I’m sure lives were ruined, sobriety programs were set back years, and a spike in pregnancies and STD’s was probably about to be reported, but at least it was over. Good to know he still had a weakness, not one easy to exploit but still.
Vanity, thy name is Bacchane.
Clean up crews were sent in, necessary arrests were made and the aftermath of broken bottles and vomit quickly got swept away. It was advised to most to believe this was in fact a dream. I’m sure it kept many divorces from happening. For a week later, every channel, it seemed, played a Midsummer Night’s Dream on at least one of the versions set to video. The arts channel played nothing but shakespearean comedies for the month. Hell, most politician quoted from them for a while after.
At least until Lord Quantum showed up. But that’s another entry.
As for Bacchane, he was never arrested and his analysis of his pictures didn’t reveal his name or any record, other than to truly reveal that those selfies he took were in fact him. He will always be known by his moniker and I think most people are ok with it as long as this doesn’t happen again for a long time. At least wait for the Lumberjacks to win another World Cup. I’m sure there will be celebration like that again.
The man himself vanished from Bridgeton and, according to reports, appeared at the slumber party of Stephanie Mercer of Toltec, Ohio. It was characterized as a small gathering of young women to help said Ms. Mercer deal with a bad breakup by watch movies and eat ice cream.
According to all records and accounts of that night, it was epic.