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Avenger Assembled

This Is A Journey Into Sound

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It was the end of the working day for Eddie, the time of morning when the music was beginning to fade and the sun was beginning to come up on the horizon. Keeping this kind of schedule when he was a full-time student was a dicey proposition at best, so summer was a good time to get in those extra hours and extra tips to make sure he'd have plenty of money once the school year kicked up and his schedule was cut back. He was just cleaning up after his final set when he was surprised to see Rufus, the guy who usually worked the following night, coming in. Rufus was generally a stand-up guy, but usually didn't show up when he wasn't getting paid to do it.

"Hey man," said Rufus easily, walking up with a stack of CDs under his arm. "How's it hanging?"

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"Hey, Man!" Eddie said, throwing a handshake at Rufus, "It's goin' pretty well. My last set just finished up so I am getting my stuff cleaned up."

Eddie continued to slide some errant CD's into his bag and winding up cords to his turn-tables and such. Much of his equipment he actually kept at the Millennium. He had smaller versions of all this equipment that he would haul around to private gigs, but the Deluxe equipment was too large to cart around so he just kept it where he would most often need it. As he talked with Rufus he made regular trips to the equipment closet to store things.

Eddie could have done without most of this equipment because of the Nature of his powers, but after a few of his more recent experiences at Claremont, he had started to become more responsible with his powers. The less people saw him audio projecting, the better.

Eddie checked the time on one of his iPods. "Damn it's early. What are you doin' here now? Pullin' an all-nighter for some reason?"

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"I just wanted to make sure I got the good stuff set up for tonight," said Rufus with a big grin. He raised his CDs and commented, "This is sweet stuff, man. You really oughta hear this." He handed a case to Eddie, the shiny new plastic gleaming in the overhead light. "It's a little New Agey, I admit, but he really rocks up the classical violin stuff with the new electronic New Wave Funk! It's really awesome." Something seemed up with Rufus. Like all of the club's employees, Rufus was clean, a sharp break from the usual stereotype of club DJs, but today he seemed a bit sweaty and unusually enthusiastic and voluble as he praised his newest discovery.

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"Cool your jets, bro." Eddie said as he packed some things away in the closet. "Your shift isn't until much, much later tonight." Eddie scrutinized Rufus. Noticing that something was off, he raised an eyebrow and paused in his cleaning. "Alright, let me see this thing." Eddie took the CD case that Rufus was offering him. He looked it over, wracking his brain for any information about the artists or songs that the CD held. His veritable encyclopedia of everything popular culture had never failed him yet.

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Eddie did indeed have an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, which made it all the more puzzling when he found that none of the bands he recognized were on the list. In fact, a closer inspection revealed some puzzling things! Final Madmen wasn't the name of a band that he'd ever heard of, but it did seem like a slightly reworded version of the band he'd recently gone to see with his Claremont buddies. Similarly, Lady HaHa and Tim Justlake were really bizarrely similar to existing artists with the names on the list slightly changed. He was familiar with hipster irony well enough, but he doubted that was enough to get Rufus so excited. While Eddie was looking over the music, a humming Rufus began setting up his equipment. "I'll just get it all set up before I go on," he said cheerfully. "That way all I gotta do is show up and start the beat!"

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Checking the time on his iPod again, Eddie realized that Rufus' set wasn't for many, many hours yet. It was still the wee hours of the morning, and he should not be going on until 5 or 6 the next night. Puzzled, Eddie decided he should try and remind Rufus of what time it was... again...

"Dude, y'know what time it is, right? I mean your set isn't until tonight. There are a few other DJs that go on between now and then. You shouldn't bother setting up, they are just going to have to take it down again."

Eddie glanced down at the CD again. He decided this needed looking into. Something just didn't seem right with Rufus, with the CD with... anything...

"Hey do you need this? Do you mind if I take it home with me and give it a listen?"

Eddie was no stranger to the power that music could have over people. If something really was off with this CD, it could be really dangerous. But he was damned if he was going to listen to it here. If anything he was going to do it in the safety of his home...

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"Sure thing, man," said Rufus with a big smile. "You'll love it! You can take the whole set if you want, I've got plenty of these. They're giving them away for free down at that new supplier in the Fens. You should hit up that place, it's great." He clapped the younger DJ on the back. "We're gonna be rockin' these beats tonight, man."

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That's going to have to wait for the 'morning'. Eddie told himself. And by morning, I of course mean when I have gone to sleep and woken up again!

Eddie nodded to his fellow jockey. "Yea. I'll make sure I do. Tomorrow when the sun is shining."

As creepy or fishy or whatever this may be. It can wait until the sun is shining!

Eddie was abhorrently tired. He needed rest if he was going to figure out what this was about...And with that, he was off... To bed! No patrolling tonight. He was going to make an early night of it and try and get up early to figure this out. Besides, it was late enough already...

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Eddie grumbled loudly as his alarm went off. He slapped the clock next to his bed at home, and practically rolled out of bed. After the drudgery of his morning routine, he returned to his room, drying his hair with a towel from the bathroom after his shower. It was then that he remembered the CD. He slipped into a pair of jeans, and sat in his computer chair. He gave the CD another look. "I really just plain don't like the way this feels." He said to no one in particular. "Call me crazy, but enough weird stuff has happened lately in this town for this to be something crazy as well."

A thought managed to squeeze it's way into Eddie's morning-befuddled coffee-deprived brain..."Mooooooooom!"

---

"Okay, Mom, here is what I want you to do." He said fitting a pair of earplugs into his ears as he looked at his mom sitting in his computer chair. He cringed slightly as the earphones wormed their way into his ears. Just like bugs. He thought Creepy, crawly, squirmy bugs. Yak!

"You're going to listen to some music for me." He held the remote for one of his iPods in his hand. And if anything goes wrong, I'll be here to fix it. He pressed play, ready at a moment's notice to press pause if need be.

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