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Great Bay

Wednesday, March 24th, 17:43


There was no wind, and while the sun had painted the horizon in purple and orange hues, as it descended, the temperature was mild, and the waves were almost non-existant, making for a smooth sail. As a result, the crew transporting Carmen to the Riverrock Island, where established and successful rock musical sensation, Acheron, stage name of George Louis Phlegethon, resided on his privately owned villa, worked and toiled on the S.S.Gadelica leisurely enough. Carmen Canto, from Rock Report Magazine, had been selected, as a promising up and coming journalist, to interview the secluded artist, a feat that would make many journalists in the music scene bitter with jealousy, as in the last decade, Acheron only accepted interviews once every two years. He was still producing new cd's every year, and went on tour every 3 years, but he still avoided the spotlight of cameras as much as possible where he could help it. Still, his interviewers so far could only speak the highest of Acheron, both for his talents, as well as his manners as a gracious host.


The captain of the small ship, a woman in her mid thirties, approached Carmen on the deck. "Good afternoon, miss Canto. I trust you've been comfortably enjoying the journey so far. The island of Riverrock is still a few miles away, but it will be entering our view any minute now. We're expecting to dock in fifteen to twenty five minutes." she politely informed the journalist.

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"That's great" answered Carmen, gripping her stick and keeping her eyes fixed on the horizon and her face in the sun. On the one hand the view was good and the sun was warm. On the other hand she was fighting off her propensity for sea sickness. If she took her eyes of the horizon she would be inclined to succumb.

And that was how she had managed to stop turning green. She had effectively ignored the photographer from Rock Report!, Billy Blooms, for the whole trip. Not that she disliked him, he was an ok guy. It was pretty debatable whether the mysterious rock star would deign to let himself be photographed, but the magazine couldn't let up on the opportunity to grab a shot if it came up.

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Seeing the reporter struggle to keep the contents of her stomach within, the captain smiled softly at her and said "Well, if you need anything, don't hesitate to call. All ship personel are at your disposal." and then returned to her post. Billy, for his part, had his photographic camera trained at all times, taking pictures mostly of anything he found even remotely noteworthy. Having just returned from the cabins, he walked on deck, taking pictures of the crew, and then of Carmen. With a cheerful smile he greeted Carmen. "This must be great, meeting with THE Acheron! I still can't believe our luck, miss Canto! I mean, Derek, Tracy, and Stew are bound to be boiling on their seats as we sp-... miss Canto? Boss?" He stopped mid-sentence, and inquired with concern, seeing Carmen keep an unusually stiff expression. "Boss, you alright? What is it? See something?" He said, following her eyes to the horizon, and getting ready to snap a photo.

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"I see the sea, Bloomer" she said dryly. Billy was a good photographer, and a cool kid, but he could be annoying at times. Too much energy. Carmen was still young, but had shrugged off the worst stupidities of youth. 


"If Sea Sickness was the only problem I had in my life, that would be a fine thing" she said to them both, a little brusque. 


I'm sure I can think of something to make your life more miserable, oh glorious master! said the demon in her belly. 


But whilst you mention, see how the boat rolls? uuuuup and doooooooown....uuuuuup and dooooooown... he continued in a sing a long voice. 


"Silence, beast!" she snapped, unfortunately aloud. 


"Sorry Billy, wasn't referring to you" she explained, a warmth creeping into her voice. "I'm just snappy because I want to arrive. It is exciting. And I will be pleased to set foot on solid ground!" she explained, scanning the horizon for any sign of the island. 

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"Ohh... you're feeling sea sick?" Billy asked in confirmation, at first thinking it a bit weird, considering that the ship wasn't rocking, or at least, it didn't feel like that. Carmen's outburst certainly didn't help matters, startling the young photographer, but he seemed to accept her answer. When Carmen mentioned setting foot on the ground, though, Billy's gaze trailed at her feet, and he realised what could possibly causing her discomfort. While usually on friendly terms with the others, for a journalist, Carmen wasn't always very chatty. Even so, most people at the paper were aware of her disability with her right leg, and realising her discomfort at her circumstances with it, opted to try and ignore it, instead of asking. Besides, no one could deny that not only was Carmen an insightful journalist, she was also willing to go the extra mile for interviews, even at the cost of suffering through leg pain and fatigue, and those were both somethings that had earned the respect of quite a few of her fellow co-workers, Billy included. "Ah, right you are, Boss. Hmmm, don't worry, I'm sure you will pull through it, miss Canto." He said reassuredly to Carmen.


Riverrock island didn't take long to appear on the horizon, eliciting a whistle blow from the ship, and cries of "Land, ho!" from the crew. "And by the looks of it, you won't have to for much longer. Well, then, better get our gear ready. Shall we, Boss?" Billy asked, while pointing the way to the cabins.

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"Solid ground!" smiled Carmen, overjoyed. She was never going to be a sea person. 


"Yes, lets get the gear" she said, walking back to her cabin, such as it was. It was at least a place to store the equipment. Apart from the obligatory few changes of clothes, a few hats and more than a few sunglasses, she had some good quality sound recording equipment, her laptop, a notepad, and a few back up sound recorders, including a dictophone. Even if Billy had the best camera's and was a skilled photographer, she had her own little classic film camera. Well, a journalist had to be prepared. 


She slung on her backpack and carried another bag in her left hand, keeping the Cantos stick and her balance with her right, before stepping out to the ship deck. Apart from the sea sickness, she wasn't fond of unsteady ground - she could manage ok with her callipers and stick, but she would always prefer solid and predictable ground. She didn't like falling on her ass at the best of times. 


"Riverrock, here we come!" she said, keen to meet the mysterious rock star. She was in a positively good mood. 

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Riverrock Island



By the time the ship made land, a few clouds had formed here and there, but the sky was still clear, by and large. The crew kept busy with anchoring the S.S. Gadelica, while the captain was seeing Carmen and Billy off, as they landed on the pier. There, a man was waitting for them, dressed formally in a suit. He appeared to be in his mid forties to fifties, but despite a few wrinkles, he had soft features in his face and expression. "Good afternoon madam Canto, young master. My name is Alex Movida. I am master Phlegethon's valet." he greeted the two of them, as he introduced himself. "On behalf of my employer, I welcome you to Riverrock island. I hope you'll find time to enjoy your stay here. If you have any heavy luggage, please make sure to let me know and me and the rest of the staff will make sure to carry them for you." he said, taking a light bow, and indicating on three more people with him, similarly dressed. "I'm affraid there's no car or other transportation device in the island, but the main villa is only half a mile from here. Please excuse us for the inconvenience." the man apologised.

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"Half a damn mile?" asked Carmen, her initial warmth sparked into irritation as she tapped her cane. 


At least I can lose this damn luggage she consoled herself, as she handed it all over bar a sun hat, mirror shades, camera and phone. And, of course, the Cantos cane.  


Was it really worth it, that tattoo? to live in pain, to never run, or dance, or...


Yes it damn well was, otherwise your kind would be crawling all over me, a thousand times worse. So don't you ever think you can talk me into removing it, you insidious snake! you will have to do better than that!


Carmen almost felt like doing a short run, which she could do with difficulty, just to spite the little creature, but perhaps he was goading her into doing just that. 


"Well its good to meet you, Mr. Alex Movida" she said with a smile on her face. "You sure a handsome one aren't you?, and yes, if you could carry my bags that would be great!" she said with a wink, before starting off on the trek. 


"At least the sun is out!" she smiled breezily. 

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"Woaah! I guess if you're wealthy enough to own a private island, you're wealthy enough for hiring help." Billy commented, handing over his two bags, keeping a backpack to himself, and getting a few pictures more, both from the staff, as well as the island itself. The pier connected to a path, which lead towards the inner island. Various trees and fawna were found left an right of the path, obscuring most of the view. The path had the occasional slope or two, but the ground was relatively level for the most part. A few old signs here and there pointed the way, but the path was clear enough to not require most of them to navigate. At one point or two, the path diverged, and while Alex and the staff continued towards the manor, Billy's curiosity got piqued. "Hey, mister Movida, sir? Where does the path to our right lead to?" One of the helpers gasped a bit, but the rest of them seemed more relaxed. For his part, Alex responded to Billy. "Ah, that way leads to the St. Blaise village, named so after it's founding settler, Saint Blaise the Learner, two centuries ago, in the 1817 A.D."


Billy pondered that for a second, before asking "A village? I thought this whole island was privately owned by Acheron..." at which the valet simply responded "Indeed you are correct, young master Blooms. Master Phlegethon DOES own this island, but that wasn't always the case, naturally. It is unfortunate, but about half a century ago, a fire broke out, destroying most of the houses, and claiming quite a number of the populace. The survivors decided that they had better abandon the island and what was left of their homes, and most of them rellocated to Freedom City. The village has been abandoned ever since, and even the houses that the fire hadn't affect are in shambles nowadays." Alex finished, letting a sigh out, while shaking his head regrettfully.

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"St. Blaise?"


Carmen looked down the second path. Her curiosity swelled, but ultimately her excitement at meeting the enigmatic Archeron was more potent than a mysterious abandoned village. 


"Sounds like a great spot for some pictures, Bloomer" she said to her enthusiastic partner. "I wouldn't mind a visit down there myself. Must look amazing" she added, making a mental note to look up the history of the village. She was far from being an academic - her school reports were pretty abysmal thanks to her habit of truancy and general lack of interest. But with a few more years of experience and journalism under her belt, she had begun to appreciate a good story and history. 


"That's it, if it's ok with the boss" she smiled at Alex. The young servant had begun to irritate her just slightly, being so deferential to the "master". Carmen was a bit of a wild card herself, and disliked master / servant relationships. Rock, she felt, was about anarchy and freedom, not servitude. 


Still, some of the more eccentric rock star's had some pretty peculiar lifestyles and personalities. 


"Hell, i'll ask him myself" she said, before continuing the walk that she was actually enjoying. 


"And why hasn't this island got any cars? I'd settle for a bicycle right now!"

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"Most certainly, madam Canto. In fact, I have no doubt master Phlegethon would be delighted being accompanied by you and young master Blooms down there. He often visits the village to draw inspiration, you see. And I don't believe that he would have bothered inviting you here, if he weren't willing to share his daily routines with you, or at least, the ones that have the most direct effect in his creative process." Alex cheerfully replied. At Carmen's question about cars and bicycles, he stiffled a laugh. "This island has been barely touched by the innovations of technology, and master Phlegethon prefers to keep it that way as much as possible. The rustic feel of the island greatly enhances the atmosphere of isolation, from which he draws inspiration, or so he claims. Aside from a few rooms in the manor such as the ones that come equipped with recording equipment and the like, the most advanced furniture are lamps and telephones. There is an old television in the living room, that master Phlegethon uses to watch the news, once every week or so, but other than that, it is mostly mundane tools. Only the most absolutely necessary. Besides, everything in this island is no more than half an hour's walk from one point to another, and he enjoys the scenic view the few times he bothers leaving the manor."


As they continued walking, a small but tall building with a bell on it could be seen rising above the trees. "Oh? Is there a church all the way up here?" Billy asked, as he took another picture. "Ah, yes, the Saint George the Dragonslayer church. It was the first building Saint Blaise erected in honor of the titular saint, along with the settlers, and perhaps fittingly, one of the few buildings that survived the fire untouched. Before the villagers left, they collected their dead ones, and burried them in a cemetery next to the church." Billy looked down a bit.

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A Church. Why is there always a Church?


Carmen looked up to the Belltower. It was an impressive piece of architecture, she conceded, rather beautiful, especially given its history. 


"C'mon Billy, lets leave the sites for later. Perhaps we can even get the man down here and take a few shots against the backdrop". 


That said, she took a quick shot of the tower with her own camera, if nothing else, to get the practice in. And it did make a nice shot. 


"As for electricity, I guess the man has a few electricals for his guitar and recording, he has to make his music somehow, eh? acoustic guitars only get you so far!" she laughed. It was true - she really did think Phlegathon was a talented musician and composer, but it felt to her that he wouldn't be satisfied with just an old acoustic guitar. 


Drumming her fingers on her cane, she gave Billy a little tap with the stick and move on forward...

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Alex continued the tour to the island, as the group finally arrived at the manor's entrance. The gate looked quite ornamental and gothic, with pronounced pointed features. The rest of the way to the villa was clear of any trees, from the inside of the gate, and it was only a minute's walk until the villa itself. The villa was a very large structure, being comprised of five buildings and having two to four floors each. It looked old in design, but it was well preserved.

The clouds, that had occupied more space in the sky, looked thicker, and as a result, some had turned black. A wind was also picking up. Alex opened the door and led Carmen and Billy inside the building. "You'll have to excuse me, as I have some matters to attend to, so I'll be leaving you here." Alex apologized. He motioned at the helpers, as he continued. "Mark, Yanni, and Alvaro here will take you to your rooms. Master Phlegethon will formally greet you in one and a half hours, at about eight o'clock in the dining room, at which time you will be served food. We will be serving fried chicken, potatoes, salad, fried eggs, noodles, and tofu. Until then, feel free to rest, or explore the villa, at your own leisure." With that, Alex bid Carmen and Billy adieux, and left them with the rest of the helping stuff.

Alvaro and the others led the journalist and the photographer on a set of stairs, and after climbing two floors, they arrived at a long corridor. Thankfully, their rooms were near the stairs, the one next to the other. After putting their luggage inside, Yanni said "If you need us anything, make sure to let us know." With a soft bow, they left the two on their rooms. "Well, Boss? Should we have a look around, or do you think we'd better just relax, while we wait for the time to pass?" Billy asked Carmen, from the entrance to his room.

Edited by Vahnyu
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"If we had the time and energy I would have gone to the village, sounds rocking" said Carmen, wearily sitting down. She was pretty fit, but long walks took their toll on her. She pulled up her right boot and undid the callipers. Her leg was wasted muscle and the flesh a little red from the pressure of the callipers and the long walk. 


"Sorry, but, you know, I think I need a break" she said, massaging her leg and taking a look around the village. 


"Go chill, go take a few arty photographs. It will look good for the article. The island is pretty magnificent. A real relic - in a good way" she smiled. 


"Me, I'm going to take a shower and freshen up. I didn't pack my dinner jacket, so I hope he is ok with this look" she smiled through her rather wild blonde hair that had draped over her face. 


With that, she got up to turn on the shower and shoo Billy out of her room, trying to collect her thoughts above the excitement of meeting the man himself...

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With a smile, Billy responded "Right you are. Rest well, miss Canto." as the young photographer left Carmen to regain her strength. The shower had been quite relaxing, and the time passed relatively painless for Carmen, that is to say, aside from the occasional pestering from the demon in her belly, Tazel. At about 19:35, the staff knocked at her door to inform her that dinner was being served in half an hour, so as to get ready. Billy, who had been exploring the third floor, returned a fifteen minutes later, on time for the two to head towards the dining room.


Situated at the ground floor, the dining room had ample of space for thirty people to gather and eat. The staff were setting the table with cutlery and dishware. They led Carmen and Billy to their seats, and then started bringing the food, filling the table. After they were done, Acheron entered the room, and on cue, the staff took their seats and sat down on the table as well. "Unnngh, no no, it should be This time around, not This time I'm out... man I swear, that freaking verse is gonna be the death of me... and what the hell is up with that percussion in the refrain? I'm sure, I MUST have been drinking something when I was comming up with the hook..." he continued mumbling to himself and sat on his seat without a word to his guests, while clutching his forehead. "Ohhh, I need a freakin break." As the staff looked speechlessly, Alex took it to himself to cough and say "Excuse me, sir?"


George Louis Phlegethon looked confused at Alex, trying to decipher the meaning behind his actions, and then he noticed that he was motioning towards Carmen. His eyes widening in realisation, he asked "Holly crap, is it Wednesday already? Man, I'm telling you, Alex, if you weren't here to help me, I'd forget my own head!" Alex simply smiled at the acknowledgement. "Anyways, ahhh, were are my manners, I am George Louis Phlegethon, but you can just call me George or Acheron, whichever comes more naturally. You must be Carmen Canto, correct? I've heard so many good things about you from friends in the business! I hope you'll enjoy your stay here, and I'll try to answer to your questions to the best of my abilities. And you are...?" asking Billy, the photographer responded. "Ah, right, Bloomy Bills-eeeh, Billy Blooms, photographer for the paper the Boss- miss Canto - works for, and a huuuge fan of your work, ever since your days with the Stygian Rocks!" Billy said, enthusiasm dripping from his words. "Ahhh, hope you don't mind me..." "Mind you? What nonsense, Billy!" flashing him a smile, Acheron assured the young photographer. "You're both welcome to stay here as long as you need, and gather as much material as you need for your article." He said, extending a handshake at Billy, who took it all too eagerly.


Acheron never lied about his age; he was born in 1967, which made him over 50 years old. However, he was so well kept that he didn't look older than 30, 35 years tops. Long black hair and casual clothes completed his immage as a carefree man.

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Carmen could hardly contain her example. 


"Wow, Mister Ph...I mean George...Hell, I'll call you Acheron if thats ok!" she smiled. 


She had done her best to look presentable after the shower, leather trousers, boots, and a cropped t shirt that exposed the tattoo down her spine. Ok, she wouldn't get into a fancy hotel, but she reckoned it was a suitable mix between Rock and reasonable. Nothing too flashy, but nothing to stiff either. 


She kept the Cantos cane by her side as she shook Acheron's hand warmly. She had an urge to hug him and kiss his cheek. 




She jumped on him, hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. 


"You rock!" she said, simply. 


"This whole island rocks with you!" she added. 


"I gotta so many questions, I wouldn't know where to start" she said, realising she was on the edge of spluttering, her carefully planned list of questions evaporating. 


Well I always work best flying by the seat of my pants!


"Hows the new album going then?" she asked. 

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"Ahahaha! I see, I see, yes." Acheron heartily laughed at the praises Carmen sang for him. "Thank you, miss Canto. I just hope that I, as well as your stay here, will prove worthy of your expectations." Going back to his seat, the rock musician listened at Carmen's first journalistic question. With an exaggerated and a bit theatrical slump, he said "Ugh... don't remind. You know, not three months ago inspiration had struck me for a new rock opera, my third one thus far; a culmination of all of my experiences writting and producing music, that was supposed to bridge all sounds and themes I've ever used in my music in a harmonious way. Instead, what I've got so far is a mangled mess of lyrics and chords. The music whiplash is simply astounding, I tell you." Alex chuckled a bit at Acheron's explanation, and decided to interject. "I'm sure you will find out for yourselves, as soon as you get the chance to listen to master Phlegethon performing, but he is greatly exaggerating things out of proportion; while it's true that the pieces he's composed thus far are not perfect, they are still very fine songs. As they should be; master Phlegethon has been working feverishly non-stop for the better part of those three months."


Acheron tsk'd and pouted at that comment. "You always say that. You know, I'd appreciate your praises a lot more if they actually contained some constructive critisism as well." Alex just waived it off. It was quite surprising seeing Alex Movida being so relaxed, unlike his somewhat stiff initial welcome. The man seemed right at home when conversing with George. "Anyways, we will have plenty of time for questions in a bit, miss Canto. In the meantime why don't we have a bite, first? I don't know about you two, but I'm positively famished."

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Carmen studied the relationship between Archeron and Alex with a careful eye. Alex was a mecurial man, she concluded, or perhaps Acheron was a man who inspired such a transformation. 


"Sounds like hell" she said at Acheron's description of the struggles he had with his new album. 


"Maybe you need to ease off for a while. Let the music settle down a bit. Your reputation is in no danger, you know. Maybe your music isn't to everyone's taste, but its pretty universally respected. You really do have quite the reputation" she explained, and let her eyes wandered over his palace and island, to indicate his reputation was not limited to his music. 


"Eating would be good" she lied, not really hungry, excitement taking over. In any case, is she demanded, Tazel could conjure up some infernal sustenance. 


"And then you can tell me about the inspiration for this new album!"

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"Try as you might, madam Canto, I'm affraid that master Phlegethon has always remained an obsessive perfectionist, when it comes to his music." Alex lamented, as he started filling his plate. "HEY! I actually resent that, Alex." Acheron burst out in protest. "... Sir?" "... I mean, yeah, it's true, but you don't have to be so direct about it." Still pouting, Acheron followed suit and filled his plate with various foods, and on his cue, Billy and the rest of the staff helped themselves to some food as well. "Great! I think all this walking has helped me work an appetite." Billy said, as he begun eating, starting with the noodles and working his way up the food chain in his plate.


"At any rate, miss Canto, I have to agree that talking about the newest album would be a good choice. You are rather direct, aren't you? Most journalists would start with smaller questions, before leading to the big ones, when interviewing, but then again, I avoid most journalists." Flashing a smile, he went about eating his portion as well.


The food was plentiful, and it took forty to forty-five minutes before everyone had eaten. The staff got up, and cleaned the table, bringing clean plates and a cake for dessert, and sat down again. "Ah, thanks everyone! I appreciate it." Phlegethon thanked the staff, and they in turn smiled and bowed in appreciation, some of them even making light jokes. "Well, I'm certainly full, but I don't mind indulging my sweet tooth a bit." Billy commented, taking another photograph of the scene, before taking a slice of the cake for himself. "Well, naturally, Billy. We may not need desserts, strictly speaking, but it's always nice to have them, at least, once in a while." Acheron replied to Billy's comment.


"So, anyways... how about we start answering some of your questions, miss Canto?" Taking a bite out of his slice, the musician asked Carmen.

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Carmen waved away the deserts. She liked to maintain her figure. It was, to be honest, a selling point for the magazine, and had helped worm her way into a few parties with the rich and the famous. 


"Sure, lets start" she replied, her mind focussing down on what questions to asked. She had prepared this in her mind, several times, but she threw her rather vague plans out of the window. 


"Well, you have been on the island for, how long? years? what persuaded you to lead the life of the recluse, and how's it suiting you? do you find inspiration here? we passed some old village on the way up, and it looked perfect for some music. And, I guess, going back to my first question? what have we in store for the next album? what has inspired it?"

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"Hah, I seem to have quite a few things to answer to, there... Very well, let me see... first things first... it's almost been ten... no, eleven years since I took permanent residence here in Riverrock."


"Maaaan, 2002 had been a very bad year for me, I mean, abysmally so. Although On High Alert had been selling stellarly, my then girlfriend, mystery writter Martha Sterlinglass and I had a falling through, which led to us breaking up. A few months later, my mother died from heart attack. Meanwhile, on September the 18th, Nicholas Homestern, a former bandmate of mine from Stygian Rock, had been commited in an asylum for suffering hallucinations, suicidal depression, and delusional disorder... *sigh*"


Exhalling audibly after covering his temples, Acheron still reminisced about the depressing atmosphere he felt back then.


"I was chocking. I felt like an invisible hand had been squeezing on my throat, if you don't mind the slightly macabre picture I'm painting here... That, and a sudden case of writter's block (well, a musician's block) led to a period of creative drought. I decided that I'd just give up music, and instead focus on supporting Big Nicky through his issues, but my personal psychoanalyst had diagnosed me with an early onset of depression, so instead, asked me to take a few months off and go vacationing, preferably, somewhere isolated where little to no technology was to be found. A little research eventually led me to Riverrock. So, I come here, finding basically nothing resembling modern life in a city, and within the span of an hour, I had come to hate, HATE everything about this island; it's lack of people, it's lack of phones, it's lack of electricity, well, decent electricity anyways... Hell, I hadn't even packed any electronic instruments with me, a guitar, a bass, and a set of drums. After staying a week within the shambles that are now this manor, I was being driven out of my brains, due to sheer boredom. So, I decide, what the heck, and go taking a walk around the island. After a few minutes of walking, I realize something."



George took a very deep breath, as a smile of contentment formed in his until then weary looking face.




"I could breathe again! It was incredible, how such a simple everyday thing made me feel as light as a feather, and more alive than I had felt in years! It felt as if the pores in my entire body had opened and welcomed air at once. My eyes stopped burning me, my ears felt as if they were unplugged..."


"The more I walked, the more I saw of the island. I went back to the villa after hours of walking, my mind almost completely devoid of anything, other than a longing to go back out again, as soon as possible. And I did, the next day, and the day after that, leaving as early in the morning as possible, and returning late at night. For a whole month, I was going through that sort of cleansing, until finally, on a whim, I get down and play a few strings. Next thing I know, a week has passed, and I've completed three songs. by the end of November, I had enough material for a whole album. I returned back home, went to the studio, and started working on that album, and after three months, in February, The Glamour Of Rock was completed and became commercially available, with a dedication to Nicky. The album became platinum, with five songs remaining in the top 10 for the next three months. By 2010, Riffic Charm became number 26 in the most influential songs of all time, and number 8 on the greatest rock songs."


"Being faced with the success of what had been unanimously hailed as my greatest work thus far, I had but one course of action available in front of me. I consulted my lawyer, Erica Millers, about the proper legal channels I would have to go through to get the deeds to Riverrock, packed my stuff, and made the villa my permanent residence, after renovating it. It costed more than a fortune, but considering the good it's done to me, both financially and pneumatically, I consider it money well spent. As for Nicholas, while I still couldn't be there for him 24/7, I made sure to visit once a month, pay his bills, and deposit a 5% of the earnings of The Glamour Of Rock. By 2005, he had worked through most of his issues, with the help of the rest of the band, he completely rehabilitated in one more year, and was free to resume his life. We still get together once every six months with the old band."



".... Wow..." Was all that Billy could muster. At that point, Acheron took another bite out of his cake, and drunk some water

Edited by Vahnyu
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Carmen nodded, absorbing every word. She had heard about 'Big Nicky', of course. Rock Report had done a few articles on him, and how he had fought off his personal demons and all that. 


I'll show them what a real personal demon is!


She ignored Tazel, although it was one of the rare occasions she agreed with the little devil. 


"I think you got a lot of respect for the way you helped Nicky" she encouraged him. "And it seems this place really freed up your mind, or your soul. You have been doing some of your best work here, if I may so. But what is it? the Isolation? I mean, I dig this place feeding you inspiration, but whats with the cutting yourself off from the world?"

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Smilling lightly at Carmen's encouraging words, Acheron put his glass down and continued answering to her questions. "Honestly? I couldn't tell myself. It could be that this place feels as if it exists outside of both time and space? Back then, I was bombarded by scandal hunters, gossipers, obsessive fans, the whole shebang. At first, the attention is great; what better way to affirm your worth, than through the eyes of others? It wasn't long before all that had become just noise, though, and they were starting to affect me on both a personal and professional level. Back then, I had very little actual contact with my fans. Now, I find myself spending days answering to fan mail. All sorts of mail, from simple comments to suggestions, and even a few thanks!" Standing a bit back, he looked far away as he recalled "Four years ago, I received a mail by a woman named Theresa Anglers. She was 60. Said that my latest two albums had greatly helped her deal with her terminal jaw cancer. She passed two years later, peacefully, I heard. After I finished the letter, I just stared at the lamp next to me, for god knows how much time... A trully humbling experience..."


Realising that he had been rambling for quite some time, he refocused his attention on Carmen "... Look, I get the feeling that I've been tooting my own horn during this interview, and my point is not to assert how a great and wonderful being I am, because I'm certainly not. I'm a musician, I make music, of varying quality, but nevertheless, people have been accepting of it. I'm just a man what happened to have been dealt a better hand than most, and tried to do what he could with it. Nothing but chance, making me neither inherently better, nor worse, than the next man or woman. Hell, let's be honest here, I don't think I could survive more than a week here without the help of Alex and the staff he hired." "Try three hours. And you are welcome, sir." "... Yeees... So, why did I come here? Why did I seclude myself on this island?"


"Well... it's not because it makes me a better person than before. But it certainly feels that way, to me at least." Acheron finished his slice of cake, and gulped a bit more water. Letting out a bit of a laugh, he adds "Plus, my isolation here makes it feel as if I'm being represented by the Hermit Tarot, right? First, by keeping isolated here in search of knowledge, and then, by venturing back to the world in order to share that knowledge."

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Carmen tapped her finger on the table and ran her hair somewhat ineffectually through her hair. 


"The Hermit Tarot, yeah?" she said, making a note both mental and written. 


"Its a neat deal, I give you that. And I dig the isolation. But, I am wondering what kind of effect such isolation has on you? or anyone? can make a man go all kinds of strange, you know..."


She was pushing her luck, but then, she wanted a proper story not the normal brown-nosing trash. 


"What do you do for company? Skype? or play with Tarot decks and black magic?"

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"HAHAHAHA! Oh, maaaan, you don't let up, do you, miss Canto?" Acheron burst out laughing, giving Carmen a loud clap as well. "But it's getting late. I think it would be best if we wrapped this up here for now, and leave more questions for tomorrow. Don't forget, you're welcome to stay here as long as you need, and I've also made arrangements with your chief editor, mister Jimmy 'Jangle' Jones, so you don't have to worry about meeting deadlines or payment. However, there IS one question of yours that I owe you, and I think I'll be answering it right now; what's my new album about."



"As I've already said, it's a rock opera, based on Sins of Times Past, an older song of mine, pre-isolation. It's a three part story, the point-of-view character differs in each one, but it's essentially the same story told chronologically. It starts with an Alchemist, whose sorrow about the loss of his eldest son has led him to summon a high ranking demon and make a deal with him. The devil grants him the power he needs to bring his son back to life in exchange for his soul, but leaves without mentioning the method to achieve that. Over time, the alchemist becomes more and more isolated from the world, and every failure makes him grow increasingly unstable. Finally, after a long time of experimentation, he figures out that the only way to bring his son back to life, is to use his youngest son as a sacrifice. It's only mere moments before commiting this foul crime that he stops himself, and commits suicide by dousing himself in alchemical fire out of sorrow and regret, leaving his son and his wife to escape with their lives."


"The second part takes place a few years later, during the son's adulthood. The son's childhood friend has become his girlfiend, but his mother's illness born of sorrow has cost her her life, leaving the boy deal with the demons of his heritage, literally and metaphorically speaking. We follow the girlfriend, who starts noticing weird signs in her boyfriend's behavior. She desperately tries to wake him up and confront his issues, but the son is becoming so obsessed that he pushes her aside. Their final argument ends badly, and the two are seperated, as the son discovers pieces of his father's research."


"The last part takes place in the future. The son has made a deal with the demon, like his father did before, but he plans on using it to recover his entire lost family, without making any sacrifices. The girl, regretting their break up, tries to find him and reason with him one last time, but they fight again, this time violently, ending with the son murdering the girl. Distraught at what he did, he becomes more isolated and unstable than his father ever was, and he plans on offering an entire town as sacrifice, in order to erase everything that happened. Consumed in his thoughts, though, he fails to realise that the ritual would only serve as a permanent anchor for the demon in this world, and by the time the son realises it, it's too late. The only thing left is now an empty hask, devoid of all hope and feeling, forever bound to his sins."



Acheron looked as if on a trance, when he talked. When he finished, accounting the story, he said. "Well, that's the gist of it, anyways. Still a work in progress. Heh, I guess you may note there's even some similarities between the son's story and mine, what with tragedy defining us both and seeking solace in isolation, but whereas I find freedom, what the son finds is a prison. Or something like that..." The staff already up, they had emptied the table completely. "At any rate, that's all for now. I think I'll let you two give the story some thought, and tell me your opinions tomorrow. Truth be told, I'm kinda sleepy. Well, Have a good night!"



Phlegethon Villa



Carmen and Billy had withdrawn in their personal quarters for the night. However, as Carmen was gathering her thoughts and getting ready for the night, a chilling sense climbed up to her spine, and a nasal laughter echoed inside her head.


Heee hee hee hehehehe! Oh, master! Getting ready to sleep by now? Aren't you afraid that the demons inhabiting this island will attack you on your sleep? It would be such a terrible pity, if you died, master! Whatever would I be to do, without your abominable company? Oh, oh, I know! Perhaps that coworker of yours, Bloomy Bills, would provide me with enough amusement...

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