The news spread across Beat faster than one could blink on average.
Peacock practically screamed upon looking at her phone, tossing it in the air and spiking it at the wall. Her eyes were wide in terror as the Lofi club turned to look at her.
“So…” Imagine said, looking at Peacock with a slightly skeptical expression, “are we going to talk about why we’re playing phone volleyball?”
Zodiac raised a suspicious eyebrow. “Peacock, are you okay?"
Peacock just made small gasps of fright as tears streamed out of her eyes. “We’re not safe. They came. They came. They came. They found us. They found me. They—”
“Peacock, SNAP OUT OF IT!” Imagine yelled, shaking her by the shoulders. “It’s going to be okay! Beat can fight back!”
“Imagine, you don’t understand!” Peacock retorted. “They are here to get us and kill us.”
Peacock sighed and placed her head in her hand lightly, tears already streaming out of her eyes. “A friend of mine. Corvus. He left to help them. I can’t believe I let him go, I’m so stupid.”
“Beat’s been WHAT?!” the usually docile Chan yelled from her office, Firework standing behind her with a concerned expression. “Oh my god, this is awful. Lock down the club. Get any members who aren’t part of this out-”
“Chan, shouldn’t we offer our resources?!” Confidence exclaimed, thrusting her hands down for extra effect. “We have enough supplies to help out some of the people here-”
“Confidence, Chan has made her decision!” Mockingjay retorted. “Now, close off the exits! Get the non-members OUT!”
“M…MJ,” Confidence squeaked out, shaking. “…but-”
Confidence let out a small yelp of fright as she scurried out the door, looking rather panicked.
Nyx gritted her teeth. “Dang it, now look what Beat’s gotten into—“
The first shot resonated throughout Beat itself.
Necro bit on her lip, shaking as she held onto the pistol she had hastily grasped from the weapons deposit. “I knew it! I knew you were too good to be true-”
“That’s the sad part,” Autumn said, pulling out her chakram with a melancholy smile. “Everyone trusts me too much. I’m not mad, Necro. I’m not going to attack you-”
“THEN DROP YOUR WEAPON!” Necro shouted at the top of her lungs. “Don’t drag anyone else into this.”
“Calm down, Necro!” Cleaver exclaimed, trembling on the barstool. “It’s going to be-“
“I WILL NOT! CALM DOWN!”
Imagine was clutching on tightly to Peacock’s hand as the group spectated the threats. “It’s gonna be alright. It’s gonna be alright. Let’s get out of here, okay-“
Autumn let her chakram clatter to the floor. “Fine. I dropped my weapon.”
Zodiac was taking sharp, sudden breaths. “Imagine.”
Imagine raised an eyebrow, looking concerned at the sudden change of Zodiac’s personality. “Y…yes?”
“Give me Peacock’s hand. I know where to take her.”
Peacock jerked her hand away from Imagine’s grasp and thrust it onto Zodiac, trembling. “Get me out.”
“Peacock,” Imagine said, reaching out for her. “Listen to me-“
“IMAGINE, CALMING ME DOWN WILL NOT WORK. I’M GOING WITH ZODIAC.”
Imagine drew his hand back, trembling as his breathing slowed down. “I’m…I’m sorry.”
“SORRY WILL NOT CUT IT!” Peacock spat angrily, practically foaming at the mouth. “Sorry will NOT FIX THE FACT that they are going to KILL-“
Imagine sharply pushed Peacock out of the way for no apparent reason-
The second shot rang out in the Lo-fi club. Autumn could be seen with her chakram dangling from her finger, eyes wide with passive-aggressive fury. Necro was trembling as she slowly lowered the smoking gun, her eyes just as open as the short fairy’s. However…Autumn seemed to be unscathed.
Imagine let out a curse as he fell down in pain, dropping to his knees as his eyes welled up with tears. Blood could be seen to quickly spread into a circle from the astray bullet in his upper chest.
Peacock yelped in fright again. “Imagine! Oh my god, are you okay?!”
“He just got shot!” Zodiac spat as she propped Imagine up as fast as she could, clearly panicking as well. Imagine was writhing in pain, muscles tensing and relaxing at an alarming pace. He let out occasional grunts as he bit on his lip, trying to contain the agony.
“Imagine,” Peacock said, hyperventilating, “Don’t die on me yet. Please don’t die. Oh my god, please don’t die.”
Imagine smiled weakly, vision growing hazy as he tried to reach out for Peacock. “I just…hah…it…it sounds stupid.”
“WHAT IS IT?!” Peacock exclaimed, already in tears and face flushed red from panic. “Tell me!”
“I just…wanted…to…protect you…”
The door was kicked down with sharp shouts and demands, Necro clutching onto the gun even tighter as Autumn kept a cold expression. Peacock was sobbing hysterically in the corner, clutching Imagine close to her as Zodiac tugged on her arm.
Onicilla hopped over from the counter, walking over immediately to the intruders. “Officers, thank you.”
“Everyone, drop your weapons!” the first female officer exclaimed, brushing her pink hair out of the way as she pointed her own gun in.
Necro caught her own breath in shock, letting the spare gun clatter to the ground. Autumn tossed her weapon to the floor carelessly, not bothering to look at it.
“Officers,” Autumn said, grinning nervously, “Clearly you’re mistaken-“
“Nope!” the second officer exclaimed, having a sharper and firmer voice as the duo advanced in. “Now, come with us peacefully or we will shoot.”
Necro was trembling and attempted to jerk away as the pink-haired officer came over and grabbed her hands from behind.
“Well, Mancer,” the officer smirked, “The Silence is here to help you.”
Necro’s eyes widened and her mouth gaped open, about to speak, when the officer shushed her abruptly. “Ah ah ah.”
Autumn was quickly restrained as well, wrists grasped by a taller, disgruntled-looking officer with a hulking, feathered cloak on.
“Miss,” a nurse said, rushing over to Peacock, “We’ll take him from here.”
Peacock was crying uncontrollably, voice unintelligible as she clutched Imagine tighter to her. Imagine couldn’t be seen to be visibly breathing.
“I’m sorry,” she blubbered out, face red and blotchy as she held him tighter, blood seeping into her own outfit. “I’m so sorry, you tried to protect me, I couldn’t protect you-“
“Ma’am,” the medic said in a stricter voice, “Let him go. You have to let go.”
“No! I won’t!” Peacock bawled. "I won't let go yet!"
Riri played with the strap keeping her tied to the chair with her fingers. “You know,” she yelled out, voice hoarse and vision focused on the material, “You could’ve just gotten a better material to tie me down with. Like. Y’know. Metal?”
No response in the room. Microphones were everywhere, and so were speakers, but none seemed to react to her demand.
Riri exhaled sharply with frustration, pouting and looking around. “You guys are no fuuuun.”
“RIRI?! Riri, can you hear me?!” a familiar voice choked out from the speakers, sounding desperate and panicked.
“ROSE!” Riri exclaimed, eyes shooting wide open as she jerked at the leather straps again. “Oh my god, you’re alive?!”
“Yes, but keep your voice down! They can’t hear us but they can hear you. Spell that a friend cast. Ask later.”
“Keep calm and don’t make a sound. Don't respond. They’ll hear you. Now, I need you to stay as still as possible.”
Riri raised an eyebrow, muscles tense as she sat straight up and held her breath. Nodding, she waited for the next response.
No response except for the crumble of rubble and a loud, ear-piercing explosion.
A disgruntled figure stood in the doorway, long hair knotted and bags under her eyes, visible on her pale skin. Fangs glinted in the stark white lighting.
“Guess who’s back,” she choked out. “And I have a few friends with me.”
MJ brushed off the blade of her katana. “Hyperbole. Updates.”
“Club’s been cleared out.”
“Including the spying kids?”
“Yes, Thunderstorm and Swampy are out.”
“Even the neko girl and the wolf dude?”
“Ishmael and Toffee are out too, don’t fret.”
MJ sighed, sheathing her katana and stashing the case in her belt, fixing her hoodie and windbreaker before pulling down on the hem of her running pants. “So we have all of this going on, huh?”
“We’re being invaded,” Hyperbole exhaled with frustration, pulling her hair into a sloppy, short ponytail. “Beat’s at risk. Chances are, RA is burning up as we speak. Some of our friends are probably dead.”
MJ bit on her lip, staring at the stuffed animals on Chan’s control room wall. “…Hyperbole. I don’t have friends.”
“Now’s not the time for brooding, MJ-“
“NO!” MJ exclaimed, cutting off Hyperbole. “Beat is being invaded and I’ve pushed away everyone! I’ve only used the people I keep so-called ‘close’ so I can get closer to something I want! I’m probably gonna die and never make a friend-“
Hyperbole laughed weakly and wrapped MJ into a hug. “Don’t worry. You have me. And Chan. And Firework. Although, Firework is a little distant. Also, stop quoting Steven Universe.”
MJ laughed briefly before bursting into tears of stress and worry and relief. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, this is so much-“
“I get it,” Chan said from her chair, snapping out of her daze. “You’re worried. I’m worried. The citizens of Beat will fall. The Silence has invaded at last.”
Hyperbole raised an eyebrow, muscles tensing. “…the Silence?”
Chan took a deep breath and stood up from her chair.
“Mockingjay, Hyperbole, it’s time I told you a story.”
//i'm gonna run now