Previously, in the Epic Quest...
The heroes have gathered together in New York. Shade, Dark, Shadow, Red, Mecha Knuckles, the Tails Doll, Mephiles, and White.
White is now a Rebel chao. He says Echo sent him.
John, Shade's brother, is dead. Yet Shadow's last challenge is to find him.
"Echoes of your past life will come back to haunt you as the End Complete moves on to its final act."
Dark Chao Adventures
Season Seven: The End
Episode Seventy-Nine: Epic Quest in A Flat Minor ACT V: The Lamb and the Butterfly
[the final act begins in the apartment of the late John]
[Shade, Dark, Shadow, Red, Mecha, the Doll, Mephiles, and White have all slept and are now ready to face Monday]
Chapter 24: The Return of the Giant Hogweed
Red: ..it's Monday.
Shadow: I know. But nothing's happened yet.
MK: ..wait, wasn't there something the Doll and I were upset about? Yesterday?
TD: Yeah, uh.. what was it? It was.. plants and stuff.
Dark: ..HOGWEED. Giant Hogweed. Right?
MK: Oh yeah! That was it! The Giant Hogweed. It was eating everyone in sight.
Red: ****, really? Huh. Should we do something?
MK: Nah, this was last night. We're in New York! The cops'll have taken care of it.
Shadow: Just to be safe, let's check the news.
[they turn on the TV to the news]
News: of American nobility. In other news, a recent killer plant infestation has been taken care of swiftly and quietly.
[the protagonists sigh]
MK: Load off my back.
News: ..I have just received word that the plants, the Giant Hogweeds, have escaped captivity and are now at it again.
[the protagonists groan]
MK: And back on again.
Shadow: May as well take care of it. *gets up*
Shade: Whoa, whoa, what are you doing?
Shadow: We're the protagonists, right? I'm the Green One, you're the Grey One?
Shade: Yeah, and?
Shadow: I figure this means we should take care of these problems.
Shade: We're the main protagonists, not superheroes. We don't save every city from every two-bit crime spree.
[the door is broken down and swarms upon swarms of giant plants fall in]
Shade: **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****!!!
MK: Mephiles, Doll, battle positions!
[Mecha, the Doll, and Mephiles hop up; Mephiles starts shooting.. demon bolts at the plants]
[Mecha turns his arms into razorblades of sorts and chops 'em up]
[the Doll.. does.. some Tails Doll-y thing]
[before long, the room is devoid of plants]
Dark: I'm glad you guys are here.
MK: Not a problem. Anyway, Shade, you were saying?
Shade: Yeah, we don't save every city from every crime. We deal with the stuff that pertains to us.
Dark: Um.. Shade, if I may interobjectify, right outside your door?
Dark: This particle manure thing is the Giant Hogweed, right?
Dark: And I ask you, what is the Giant Hogweed?
Shade: A plant. ..that happened to be in a Genesis song.
Dark: And what have we been doing so far?
Shade: ...dealing.. with prog songs.
Dark: Exactly. So this kinda concerns us, doesn't it?
Red: Dark raises a good point, surprisingly.
News: ..this just in, the plants have been destroyed by a robot, a doll, and a demon!
[Mecha, the Doll, and Mephiles return]
TD: Sorry about that, we just had to go shoot some *****es.
Shade: ..see, Shadow? We don't have to do anything.
Shadow: ..well, fine. But we're gonna have to do SOMETHING today.
Mp: Relax, Shadow. You'll do what you have to do when you get to it.
Shadow: But I CAN'T relax! The end is near, and it's all resting on my shoulders!
Shade: I know what you need. You need a walk. C'mon, just you and me. ..and White.
Shade: Yeah, you haven't had much screentime. Let's go.
[Shadow, Shade, and White step out of the apartment and go for a walk]
Keep your fingers out of my eye.
While I type, I like to glance at the butterflies that paint themselves along these walls.
The following is a recollection, off the top of my head, of events that once happened, long ago.
I can't remember the characters all too well, but there is one, in particular, whom I will never forget.
His name is Shadow, but I like to call him "Rael." As an inside joke, you see.
See, I like Rael, but Rael doesn't like me. Hey, even ostriches despise their captors.
I like a good rhyme, Rael likes a good time.. but you won't see me directly anymore.
So if his story doesn't stand, I might lend a hand, understand?
..step aside, DJay. Go wait for your Gatekeepers. I'm about to tell a story.
Chapter 25: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway/Fly on a Windshield/Broadway Melody of 1974
[they walk through busy New York streets]
[it's early morning, Manhattan.. the ocean winds blow on the land]
[the chao walk by a cinema]
Shade: *points* Movie-Palace is now undone. The all-night watchmen have had their fun, sleeping cheaply on the midnight show.
[but it's the same old ending-- "Time to go, GET OUT!"]
[it seems they cannot leave their dream...]
[..there's something moving in the sidewalk steam]
[the chao keep walking]
[Nighttime's flyers feel their pain]
[the drugstores take down the chains]
White: *points* Metal motion comes in bursts, but the gas station can quench that thirst.
[suspension cracked on unmade road as the trucker's eyes read "OVERLOAD"]
Shade: Hey, where'd Shadow go?
[and out of the subway...]
[RAEL, imperial aerosol kid.. exits into midlight.. spraygun hid]
[..that is, Shadow exits from the subway, hiding a spraygun]
Shade: What the heck were you up to?
Shadow: Just.. graffiti. Felt like it. Took my mind off my worries.
Shade: Well, that's good.
[White is pointing forward, at the street of Broadway]
[in the very middle of the street is a lamb, lying down]
[the lamb seems right out of place, yet the Broadway scene finds a focus in its face]
Shadow: ..somehow, its lying there brings a stillness to the air.
[though man-made light at night is very bright, there's no whitewash victim as the neons dim to the coat of white]
[..Rael, imperial aerosol kid, wipes his spraygun; he's forgotten what he did]
Shadow: Well. I guess I'm "Rael" now.
White: I think DJay's getting poetic on us.
[Suzanne, tired, her work all done, thinks "Money, honey, be on neon!"]
Shade: ..the **** is "Suzanne?"
[cabman's velvet glove sounds the horn as the sawdust king spits out his scorn]
[as the chao walk along, Shadow looks at a big, grinning woman's face on an advertisement for a drugstore]
Shadow: Wonder women, draw your blind! Don't look at me; I'm not your kind... I'M RAAAEEEEEL!
Shadow: I'M SHADOOOOOOOOW!
[something inside him has just begun..]
Shadow: ..lord knows what I have done.
[screams are heard from behind]
[the chao turn and look]
[a giant, dark cloud is descending into Times Square]
[it solidifies and begins to expand, engulfing everything in its path]
[yet no one seems to care; they carry on as if nothing was there]
Shadow: ..then who was phone? ..screaming?
[Mephiles is running towards them]
Mp: GUYS! TO COLUMBUS CIRCLE! IT'S SAFE THERE!
[they turn and run, for nothing can stop this giant wall]
[every time Shadow would turn to look, the wall would have moved up a block]
Shade: WE'RE NEARLY SAFE!
[suddenly, they all stop moving]
[the wind is blowing harder now, blowing dust into their eyes]
[the dust settles on their skin, making a crust they cannot move in]
["And I'm hovering like a fly.. waiting for the windshield on the freeway."]
[all they can do is watch the wall come closer]
[however, there's an oddity about this wall...]
[from the outside, it looks like a screen. Everything inside looks frozen in place, almost like a photograph.]
Shadow: "Echoes of the Broadway Everglades.. with her mythical Madonnas still walking in their shades."
["Lenny Bruce declares a truce as he plays his other hand...]
["Marshall McLuhan, casual viewin', head buried in the sand...]
["Sirens on the rooftops wailin', but there's no ships sailin...]
["Groucho, with his movies trailin', stands alone with his punchline failin'.]
["Ku Klux Klan serve hot soul food as the band plays 'In the Mood.']
["The cheerleader waves her cyanide wand; there's a smell of peach blossom and bitter almond.]
["Caryl Chessman sniffs the air and leads the parade; he knows, in a scent, you can bottle all you made.]
["There's Howard Hughes in blue suede shoes, smilin' at the majorettes smokin' Winston cigarettes...]
Shade: "..and as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles... needles and pins."
[...the wall hits.]
Chapter 26: Cuckoo Cuccoon/In the Cage/The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging
Shadow: ..I'm alive? Am I dying? ..I haven't changed that much.
[the only sound is waterdrops]
Shadow: I wonder where the hell I am.
[there's nothing he can recognize; this nowhere he has known]
Shadow: There's no sign of life at all; I guess I'm alone.
[he begins to wonder]
Shadow: ..I wonder if I'm a prisoner, locked in some Brooklyn jail. Or maybe I'm Jonah, shut up inside the whale?
[no, he's still Rael.. and he's stuck in some kind of cave]
Shadow: ..what could have saved me?
[time passes, he relaxes]
[he's got sunshine in his stomach, but that can't keep him from creeping sleep... sleep, deep in the deep]
[..rockface moves to press his skin; white liquid turn sour within]
Shadow: I must tell myself that I'm not here; I'm drowning in a liquid fear!
[bottled in a strong compression; his distortion shows obsession in the cave]
Shadow: Get me out of this cave! If I keep self-control, I'll be safe in my soul..
[a childhood belief brings a moment's relief, but his cynic soon returns and the lifeboat burns]
Shadow: My spirit just never learns.
[stalagmites and stalagtites grow, forming a cage; they shut him in and lock him tight]
[his lips and throat are dry; stomach churning]
Shadow: I'm dressed up in a white costume, padding out leftover room. Get me out of this cage!
[in the glare of the light, he sees a strange sort of sight-- cages joined to form a star]
Shade: SHADOW?! Is that you?!
Shade: Man, this is crazy!
Shadow: White? You there?
White: I am.
Shade: Hm. Mephiles, are you here, too?
Mp: Effin' 'ell, you guys have the craziest adventures, yes, I'm here!
Shade: Good, we're all here. Now we just have to get out of--........
White: Shade, are you okay?
Mp: Hey, grey dude. What is it?
["Outside the cage, I see my brother, John. He turns his head so slowly 'round."]
["I cry out 'HELP' before he can be gone. And he looks at me without a sound."]
Shade: JOHN, PLEASE HELP ME!
["And I shout out, 'John, please help me,' but he does not even want to try to speak."]
Shade: fff JOHN! JOHN! JOHN!!!
["I'm helpless in my violent rage, and a silent tear of blood dribbles down his cheek.."]
["..and I watch him turn again and leave the cage."]
Shade: My little runaway...
White: ..did you guys see that, too?
Mp: I thought John was dead.
Shadow: ..of course. "Find John." My last challenge.
[suddenly, the cage dissolves, and the four are left spinning like tops]
[as their dizziness fades away, they find themselves on a polished floor]
[it is a rather modern-looking hallway, empty and devoid of all life except for them and the drooping receptionist]
Rec: It's the last great adventure left to mankind!
[she offers her dreamdolls at less than extortionate prices]
[and as the notes and coins are taken out, they're taken in to the factory floor]
Rec: We've got people stocked in every shade; we're doing very well with trade.
Shade: ..every what?
Rec: Stamped and addressed in odd fatality; that evens out their personality.
[with profit potential marked by sign, the protagonists can recognize some of the production line!]
Mp: ..that looks like Metal Sonic.
White: Those look like my old squadmates.
[Brother John is number 9.]
Shadow: ..maybe we should get out of here.
[they look and see the Tails Doll, crammed between some other packages]
TD: Guys! Help!
[Mephiles pulls the Doll out]
TD: This place.. I mean.. I have no ****ing clue what the hell just happened.
Shadow: It's like the apocolypse.
[they hurry out of the factory]
Chapter 27: Back in NYC/Hairless Heart/Counting Out Time
[they now find themselves in a complete reconstruction of New York City, but underground]
Shadow: This is simply facinating. Why are there no other people around?
Mp: Well, we DID just kinda experience the apocolypse.
[they walk along, alone]
Shadow: ..I see faces and traces of home.. back in New York City.
Shade: You say something?
Shadow: So you think I'm a tough kid? Is that what you heard? Well, I like to see some action; it gets into my blood..
Mp: Oh, are we having a singalong? **** yes. They call me.. the trailblazer! Rael, electric razor!
TD: I'm the pitcher in the chain gang-- we don't believe in pain!
Both: 'Cause we're only as strong, yes we're only as strong.. as the weakest link in the chain!
White: Let me out of Pontiac.. when I was just.. seventeen! I had to get it out of me...
All: If you know.. what I mean! What I mean.
[Mephiles scats the instrumental section, much to the amusement of the others]
White: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, you say I must be crazy... 'cause I don't care...
All: WHO I HIT!
Mp: Who I hit!
Shade: But I know it's me that's hitting out, and I'm..
All: ..not full of ****!
TD: I don't care who I hurt.. I don't CARE who I DO WRONG! This is YOUR MESS that I'm stuck in; I really don't belong!
Shadow: When I take out my bottle, filled up high with gasoline.. you can tell...
All: BY THE NIGHTFIRES!
Shadow: Where RAEL.. has been!
All: HAS BEEN!
[Mephiles scats the breakdown]
White: As I cuddled the porcupine, he said I had none to blame but me.
Shade: Held my heart, deep in hair.. time to shave, shave it off, it off!
TD: No time for romantic escape when your fluffy heart is ready for r--
All: Off we go! ...off we go! ...off we go! ...off we go!
[more Mephiles scatting]
Shadow: You're sitting in your comfort; you don't believe I'm real. You cannot buy protection from the way that I feel!
Shade: Your progressive hypocrites hand out their trash.. but it was mine in the first place!
All: SO I'LL BURN IT TO ASH!
TD: And I've tasted all the strongest meats, and laid them down in coloured sheets!
Mp: Laiiiiiid them DOWN.. in coloured sheets!
White: WHO needs illusion of LOVE and affection when you're OUT.. walking in the streets.. with your mainline..
[aand repeat the chorus, and there we go]
Shade: Mephiles, Tails Doll, I didn't think you guys knew Genesis.
TD: Of course, man. What else do you think we do when we're high?
[they walk along for a bit longer, looking for any sign of life at all]
White: ..are we gonna sing "Counting Out Time?"
White: Why not?
Mp: Don't feel like it.
[they walk until they reach the end of New York]
Chapter 28: The Carpet Crawlers/Chamber of 32 Doors
[at the end is a long, dark corridor]
[there is lambswool under their naked feet]
[the wool is soft and warm, gives off some kind of heat]
[a salamander scurries into flame to be destroyed]
[imaginary creatures are trapped in birth in celluloid]
[the fleas cling to the golden fleece, hoping they'll find heat]
[each thought and gesture are caught in celluloid]
[there's no hiding in memory.. there's nowhere to avoid]
[the crawlers cover the floor in the red ochre corridor..]
Shadow: Well, for my second sight of people, they've more lifeblood than before.
[they're moving in time to a heavy, wooden door.. where the needle's eye is waking, closing on the poor]
Mp: ..the **** ARE these guys? Hey, you crawler guys know where the way out is?
[the carpet crawlers heed their callers]
Crawler: You've got to get in to get out.
Crawler2: You've got to get in to get out.
Crawler3: You've got to get in to get out.
[they come upon a monk]
Shadow: Hey, what's going on?
Monk: *yawn* It's a long time yet before the dawn.
[a Sphinx-like crawler calls Shadow's name]
Sphinx: Don't ask him; the monk is drunk.
Shadow: Then can you tell us?
Sphinx: Each one of us is trying to reach the top of the stairs; a way out will await us there.
[the protagonists enter the heavy, wooden door]
Shadow: ..there's only one direction in the faces that I see; it's upwards, to the ceiling.. where the chamber's said to be.
[through the door, a harvest feast is lit by candlelight]
Mp: ..it's the bottom of a staircase that spirals out of sight.
[our heroes head up the staircase and enter the chamber]
[it is almost a hemisphere with a great many doors built around its circumference]
[at the top of the stairs, there's hundreds of people running around to all the doors]
[they try to find themselves an audience; their deductions need applause]
Shadow: The rich man stands in front of me, the poor man, behind my back. They believe they can control the game...
Shade: ..but the juggler holds another pack.
[the crowd of people talks louder]
[AND LOUDER AND LOUDER]
Shadow: SHUT UP!!!
[the crowd grows silent]
[Red finds his way through the crowd to get to the protagonists]
Red: Guys, this place is crazy. All the doors just lead right back here.
Shadow: I had suspected as much. Don't worry, Red; we'll get through this. We've bested all that's come our way so far.
Shade: Red! You done any more thinking on our meta theories?
Red: As a matter of fact, I have. This will definitely be one of, if not our very last adventure.
[our heroes' eyes go wide]
Shadow: ..wh..what makes you say that?
Red: It's just.. the way everything's being written, the way not even the Veteran's Committee has complete control..
Shadow: ..and DJay?
Red: Yes, he's at the core of it all. He's planning something. Something huge.
TD: Maybe this is it?
Mp: Yeah, I mean.. Lamb Lies Down is quite the epic.
Red: Perhaps.. but.. but I dunno. A lot of things just don't add up. Like the actual identities of the Veterans.
Shadow: Do we even know them?
Red: Well, there's Eggman, Levity Nite.. and that's it.
White: Echo used to be one.
Red: Indeed, though the fact that he's no longer one simply raises more questions than anything. And you, White..
White: What? What about me?
Red: The Veterans have been keeping you under stasis for several serials now. They only just now released you?
White: Yeah, uh.. that's another thing. Echo was the one who put me under stasis, and he's the one who let me out.
Red: ..Echo is clearly planning something, then.
Shade: Now, I have something that has been bothering ME all this time. White.
Shade: You're a rebel chao. A REBEL chao.
White: Yes, I am.
White: Um.. I.. don't recall. I just.. I was taken out like this, and Echo filled me in then sent me to you guys.
Shade: But, see, the rebel chao were a Beta; they were a range of chao DJay made for the original Season Two.
Shadow: Oh yeah! The Betas! ..and the rebel chao! Yes! I remember. I helped you do Halo, didn't I, Shade?
Shade: Yeah, which the Beta Avengers were involved in, and it featured rebel chao, that's right. Good, you remember.
Red: ..oh, no. I think I see where you're going with this, Shade.
Shade: Echo's changed into something, my dad was coming down with something.. hell, even CHAM was.
Red: They weren't dying; they were undergoing metamorphasis.
Shade: That would explain a number of the "new developments" the Veterans mentioned during our Quinquennial serial.
Mp: Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down, man! I can't take all this meta ****. Can we get on with the story?
Shade: Mephiles, this IS the story. In case you hadn't noticed, things have been getting "meta" for quite a long time.
Red: Yes, we're only discussing this so we can move the story along. It's more than just The Lamb.
?: Excuse me...
Chapter 29: Lilywhite Lilith/The Waiting Room/Anyway/The Supernatural Anaesthetist
[a blind old woman is talking to them]
Woman: Please help me through the crowd. If you help me through, I can help you, too.
Shadow: What's the use of a guide when you've nowhere to go?
Woman: I've got somewhere to go. If you take me through the noise, I'll show you.
[the heroes, not having any other leads, take her through the crowd]
Woman: Let me feel the way the breezes blow, and I'll show you where to go.
[so they followed her into a big, round cave]
Woman: They're coming for you, now don't be afraid.
[she sits them down on a cold stone throne, carved in jade]
[she leaves them in their darkness]
[they'll have to face their fear]
[the tunnel lights up abruptly]
[two golden globes float into the room]
TD: THAT'S LOUD. AND ANNOYING.
Red: SHUT THEM UP!
Mp: LEAVE IT TO ME.
[Mephiles stands and smashes the globes; the lights go out, and the noise stops]
[..but the ceiling caves in, as well, leaving our protagonists trapped under rubble]
[all hope seems lost; our heroes are coughing up blood, trapped, unable to speak]
[unable to move, getting harder to breathe]
[Shadow wishes he could have died in some more spectacular fashion, but no, just quietly buried in tomb]
["Anyway, they say she comes on a pale horse, but I'm sure I hear a train..."]#
["The doorbell rings, and it's.."]
?: Good morning, Rael. So sorry you had to wait. It won't be long, yeah? She's very rarely late.
[none of the heroes have the energy to respond]
?: Ha ha ha.. looks like I get to monologue. Let me.. clear some space?
Hey there. MILKMAN here. Moohoohaahaa. I can see you turning pale, Shade. I'm not your dad anymore. From now on, it's anything goes. DJay's made some bonus papers. He's written down the plans for the rest of the show. That's right, he's actually planning things out. However, this means I have complete access to what's going to happen. Let's check the ending. ..ah-ha. So there IS an ending. This isn't just the ending to this story arc, folks; this is the ending to the whole freaking SHOW! The show is ending, hahahaha... YES. Finally, this pure mockery of fiction will be stopped.
Oh, I know, you think Jordan might not be a terrible writer. Well, I'm his cynical side, you could say. JOE and I. JOE's back at the old TV room, sprucing things up, by the way. Anyway, we hate this show, and we REALLY want to end it. Luckily, it's ending, one way or another. So we're just.. trying to help the cause. You guys have a lot of stuff to do if you want to save DCA. You're gonna have to, uh.. lemme check the paper.. ah, yes. "Defeat the Beta Avengers, defeat the Veteran's Committee, and.." what's this last one? "Convince.." ..ohhhh-ho-ho-hoh. "Convince DJay not to end the show." There's even a little side note here. "Note: Will require outside assistance." I think he means he's gonna need REAL people to actually tell him not to end it! HA. That, my friends, will never happen.
There is one problem with my plans, however. Back in Seasons 3-6, the paper was connected to DJay's thoughts, so I could easily figure out what's going to happen. However, this time around.... mm, never mind. How about I just let the story continue?
MM: Farewell, protagonists.
[and with that, nothing else is heard]
[..except approaching footsteps, heavy as a truck]
MK: Holy living ****, where was that voice coming from? ..GUYS! AH! You're.. you're in rubble! Um.. hang on!
[the rubble is lifted.. by Mecha Knuckles!]
MK: ..are you guys okay?
MK: Aw, man, of course. We're protagonists now; I've got to save you when I can.
TD: No.. thanks for being a good buddy all this time..
MK: .."all this time?" Dollface, you sound like you're talking about... your death, or something.
[the Tails Doll does not respond]
MK: .....****. No. No, c'mon, man. C'mon! C'MON! NO.
MK: Nah, c'mon, Doll! We've already lost the boss.. I can't...
MK: ..I can't afford to lose..
[Mecha grabs all his buddies and heads down the cave]
Chapter 30: The LamiNO
Chapter 30: Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats
[Mecha finds a quiet pool lit by chandelier]
[he gently places his friends in the water, making sure that they could breathe if they were to..]
MK: THEY'RE ALIVE; THEY CAN BREATHE.
[Mecha. You have scriptbending powers, but not even you can bring the dead back to life.]
MK: **** off, DJay. This was all in your "papers," too; I know it! You wanted them dead! You want us ALL dead!
[..no. I don't. I just don't want to keep making episodes.]
MK: WELL, WHY THE **** NOT?!
[Mecha, do you think the REAL Mecha Knuckles would be arguing about keeping a fanfiction series going?]
MK: ..the **** do you mean, "the REAL Mecha Knuckles?!"
[You know exactly what I mean. You're not the real Mecha. You're just a medium for my emotions to freely express themselves.]
MK: No, nuh-uh, nope! I'm the real Mecha, alright.
[You're ALL--oh, hang on.]
[Shadow opens his eyes and sits up]
[There we go. He's got to hear this. I promised him.]
[blood falls into the water]
[Listen up, Shadow. Mecha. This is important.]
[I have ulterior motives for wanting to end DCA, yes. But first, why do I still make DCA?]
[It's certainly not for anyone else's benefit; I don't know a single person who has read every episode.]
[I write DCA now to let my confused, bottled-up emotions run free.]
[After all, let's consider the four main protagonists' personalities for a second-- Shade, Shadow, Red, and Dark.]
[What ARE your personalities? How are they different from my own? Well, there are a couple of differences...]
[BUT. As a whole, you guys-- in the end, every single character I make-- are just parts of me. Different parts.]
[Shade is my ego, my pride, my leadership "qualities," my taste in video games, my.. family tensions. Somewhat.]
[Dark is my naivity, my gullibility, my trust issues, my taste in music and Rock Band, a part of my comedy...]
[Red is my analysing, my smarts, my numbness when in true fear, kinda my humility, and... Ulysses. Me.]
[Shadow, you're me as an apprentice. My panic, my insecurity, my unsureness, my.. genericness. You're almost a blank slate.]
[Shade's relationship with his brother is.. a mixture of things, to say the least. He doesn't know John very well, does he?]
[John occasionally used to bully him, and yet now Shade looks up to him so much. Now he wishes he could find him.]
[In those ways, John is my brother. But.. John's relationship with Shawn...]
[..and, hell.. even SHADE'S relationship with Shawn...]
[..let's say that fathership doesn't come up much in this show. Different subject, please.]
Shadow: What about the Gatekeepers?
[The Gatekeepers. Right. For you, they're your direction, much like how I have trouble doing things without being directed.]
Shadow: What about YOUR Gatekeepers?
[..you should always trust Gatekeepers, Shadow. If you're not honest with them, it only makes it harder for them to help.]
[They won't actually eat the world; that's just a metaphor. They'll simply.. not be able to help you.]
[However, if you DO trust them, and do as they tell you, even the saddest of hopes may end up bumping right back up.]
[THEN AGAIN. They mean well, but they still follow the same rules as we do..]
[..and sometimes, those rules just won't let us win.]
Shadow: ..why the sudden change of mood?
[It wasn't sudden. It's been a day now. It's Tuesday now. The Unwritten End has come and gone...]
MK: Aw, hell nah.
[Relax. In the end, my Gatekeepers couldn't help me. I have a lot of time on my hands again.]
Shadow: So.. so you won't end DCA?
[Oh, I'm still ending DCA. I haven't gotten to that part of my monologue yet. Go ahead, ask me.]
Shadow: Well.. we know why you make DCA-- your emotions need a medium of sorts. Now, why do you want to end it?
[Well, it's almost uncannily similar to the story of the Writing Writer in "Good Apollo." Do you know that?]
MK: Man, we're not all as obsessed with prog as you--
[COHEED IS NOT PROG.]
MK: ..****. Fine. No. We don't know the story.
[Well, Coheed & Cambria's "Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV" features the Writing Writer, named Claudio...]
[..in Volume One, we learn that the whole story all this time has been a work of fiction by him.]
[Turns out, he was hurt very badly in the past, and has some kind of mental problem, and so he writes to escape.]
[That is, he writes this magnificent epic and uses some of his experiences as ideas in it.]
[Then, his mental problems become apparent as he engages in a lengthy discussion with his bicycle, Ten Speed.]
Shadow: That would be.. "Ten Speed (of God's Blood and Burial)," right?
[Yeah. Ten Speed tells him how the only way to move on with his life would be to completely forget about his past pain.]
[And, of course, the only way to forget would be to stop writing the story, as it has all his emotions in it.]
MK: ..oh. ****ing ****ity ****, man! Are you telling me you were talking to your bicycle?!
[No, not to my bicycle-- hell, I don't even own a bike. It was more of a.. metaphorical discussion I've had. With myself.]
Shadow: So that explains why there's all these mentions of "The Unwritten End," "The Writing Writer," and "The End Complete."
[Right. It's unbelievably similar to Good Apollo, isn't it?]
MK: Right, so how's this story end, anyway?
[Well, Volume One ends with the Writing Writer writing himself into the story and having a discussion with the protagonist.]
Shadow: Like.. like right now?
[..****. You're right. Like right now. I didn't even spot that until just now.]
Shadow: Well, keep talking. What's the discussion end in?
[Right. Claudio tells the other Claudio about--]
MK: "Other Claudio?"
[Both the Writer and the Character are named 'Claudio,' undoubtably on purpose.]
MK: Ah. See, man.. you gotta tell us these things.
[Sorry. Anyway, he tells him that he, the Character, must end the story within the canon by killing the antagonist.]
Shadow: So who have I got to kill?
[What? Oh, you don't have to kill anyone. As far as I know. See, MILKMAN was wrong; I haven't figured everything out yet.]
MK: So.. so let me get this straight.
MK: You're ending DCA 'cause you think it'll help you move on?
[That's the main reason, yes.]
MK: Kid, I don't know too much about your little situation, but I'm pretty sure it's not THAT--
["Bound to a Stream of Consciousness" was only a fraction of it.]
[I can show you my notebooks filled with ramblings, if you'd like.]
MK: That's.. not necess--
[How about the drawing of myself shooting myself I made in the middle of the night? Wanna see that?]
[Or, better yet, how about I just take you out here and show you my situation? I've been dying for a hug, anyway.]
MK: Sorry! I'm sorry.
Shadow: But, Deej.. you said your Gatekeepers couldn't save you, right?
[I can't believe I was so hopeful.]
Shadow: So you're still in your situation?
Shadow: Then why attempt to move on when you're not even out yet?
[Oh, no, The Unwritten End for DCA won't happen for some time. I've got some big plans up my sleeve.]
Shadow: ..so what can I do? To stop this Unwritten End?
[It's gonna take a lot, Shadow; I can tell you that. More than I think you can do without outside support.]
Shadow: Just name it.
[Well, first of all, we've got to end Season Seven. Whether or not the show, itself, ends, this season's had its time.]
Shadow: Alright. Do you have a pen and paper?
[Shadow finds a pad and pencil on the ground]
Shadow: ..whoa, that's nifty.
[You don't have to worry about ending this season; I can do that for you.]
Shadow: Right, just tell me what I WILL have to do.
[Put a stop to the Veteran's Committee, AND the Beta Avengers.]
MK: So.. so they're really back?
[They're really back.]
Shadow: Alright, I can do this, no sweat.
[Ah, but defeating enemies will not be the only task. If you're wanting DCA to keep going, we're gonna have to fix it.]
[Shade's eyes open upon hearing this]
Shade: That buttwipe had better not just said what I think he just said.
[Haha, so my DJay powers still work. I want this End to be a good one, and without Shade, it's simply not cricket.]
Shade: Can the chatter. DID YOU SAY WHAT I THINK YOU SAID?!
Shadow: What, that DCA's gotta be fixed?
[Shade, the Beta Avengers only show up when the script is littered with plot holes.]
Shade: Yeah, and we've tried our best to avoid them!
[The Veteran's Committee's sole intention is to end the script, no matter the cost. They're retconning everything.]
Shade: A retcon and a plot hole are two separate things!
[They're still related. The retconned object could be considered a slight type of Beta. ..ohhhh-ho-ho-hoh. Idea.]
[No, you'll see. Anyway, to save DCA, you must clear up the plot holes. So we can return to normal.]
[If we want to make another epic season later, we're gonna need a clean slate.]
Shadow: Right.. what else?
[Get your seven chaos drives. We need closure.]
Shadow: Workin' on that.
[And, of course, convince me not to end everything. This will be the hardest part; I'm the freaking Writing Writer.]
Shadow: ..oh, geez. Kay. So, let me check: "stop Veterans, Betas, fix plot holes, seven drives, convince DJay not to end."
[That sounds about right. I'll let you know if I think of anything else.]
Shade: So what the heck will we do with all these dead guys? Our friends, that is?
[Huh? Oh, right.]
[cue Red, Mephiles, Tails Doll, and White's awakening]
Red: ..what just happened?
TD: Did we just freaking DIE?
Shadow: Yeah.. we did. But Mecha saved us.
MK: Don't mention it, guys. Really. We have a show to save.
[Yes, you guys DO have a show to save. But don't expect much more help from me.]
["I will not save your world. To the end with you," to quote "The Willing Well."]
[Now you'd best go. We'll skip to Chapter 32, but.. just go.]
Shadow: Alright. And DJay?
Shadow: ..we'll stay strong if you will.
Ah, good, now I have control over the story again. Now that that little meta-discussion has ended, let's shift from
Coheed & Cambria back into good ol' Genesis! So last we checked, Rael (plus amigos) was exploring this subterranean
post-apocolyptic world. He'd just been buried in rubble, but now he's okay again! It would seem the time slot for the
Lamia has been taken up by their Good Apollo speak, so let's move ahead. The gang leaves through the same door they had
used to come in, and they find a freak's ghetto on the other side. When the freaks catch sight of Rael, they burst into
Chapter 32: Colony of Slippermen (The Arrival/A Visit to the Doktor/The Raven)
[one of the colony walks up to our protagonists]
Slipperman: We, like you, have tasted love.
Shadow: What.. the **** are you?
Slipperman: Don't be alarmed at what you see; you, yourself, are just the same as what you see in me.
Shadow: Me? Like you? Like that!
[the slipperman points at Shade; Shade is now a grotesque stump of a chao]
Slipperman: You'd better watch it, son. Your sentence has only just begun.
Shade: Hey! Turn me back! What..
Slipperman: You'd better run and join your brother John.
[Shade looks and, amidst the freaks' ghetto, spots a familiar face-- John]
(A Visit to the Doktor)
Shade: JOHN! Where the heck are we? What's going on?
John: You're in the colony of Slippermen! There's no who, why, what, or when.
Shade: I hate it. How do we fix me?
John: You'll get out if you've got the gripe to face Doktor Dyper, reformed sniper; he'll whip off your windscreen wiper.
Red: Um.. we're chao. We don't have--
Dark: He means your emotiball.
[Dark is here]
Dark: Yeah, yeah, DJay filled me in. I know what's going on. I'm glad to see you guys, too.
Shade: Anyway, what were you saying?
Dark: To not be a Slipperman anymore, you've got to lose your emotiball.
Shade: ..****, can I do that? What would that do?
Red: I.. huh. I don't think it would actually do anything besides make you harder to read.
Shade: ..eh, fine, let's do it.
["John and I are able to face the Doktor and his marble table. He says,"]
Dyper: Understand, Rael.. it's the end of your tail!
Shade: Don't delay, dock the--
[Shade watches his countdown timer tick]
[he places the number into a tube.. it's a yellow, plastic shoobedoobe!]
["Though your fingers may tickle, you'll be safe in our pickle."]
[suddenly, black cloud come down from the sky.. it's a supersized blackbird that sure can FLY!]
[it takes the tube right out of Shade's hands]
Shade: Man, I've gotta find where that blackbird lands!
[Shade turns to John]
Shade: Look here, John; I've got to run. I need you now; you going to come?
John: Now can't you see? Where the raven flies, there's jeopardy! We've been cured on the couch, now you're sick with your grouch.
John: I won't risk my honeypouch, which my slouch will wear, slung, very low!
["He walks away and leaves me once again.. even though I never learn, I'd hoped he'd show just some concern!"]
[Shade, hurt, runs after the raven; the rest of the protagonists follow]
[he is led down an underpass, though it narrows, the raven still flies very fast]
[when the tunnel stops, Shade catches sight of the tube just as it drops]
["I'm on top of a bank too steep to climb. I see it hit the water just in time to watch it float away.."]
Chapter 33: The Ravine/The Light Dies Down on Broadway/Riding the Scree/In the Rapids
[the protagonists are on top of a tall cliff]
[at the bottom of the steep, tall cliff are raging rapids]
[they are still underground]
[the chao just stand, in awe, at this magnificent sight]
[as Shadow walks along the gorge's edge, he meets a sense of yesteryear]
[a window in the bank above his head reveals his home amidst the streets]
[that's right-- a window seemingly out of nowhere, leading to New York City]
Shadow: My home.
Red: Well.. no, it's not.
Shadow: But it's where the chaos drive is. The Daleks said so.
[they inspect this window]
Shadow: Is this the way out from this endless scene? Or just an entrance to another dream?
[But as the skylight beckons him to leave, he hears a scream from down below.]
[Within the raging water writhes the form.. of brother John.]
Red: The gate is fading now, but open wide.
Shade: But John is drowning, we must decide!
Shadow: Between the freedom I had in the rat-race, or to stay forever in this forsaken place..
Shadow: HEY, JOHN!
[He makes for the river, and the gate is gone, back to the void where it came from.]
["And the light dies down on Broadway."]
[Shade and Shadow make the dive for it; the others stand, unsure of what to do]
[Struggling down the slope, there's not much hope. They begin to try to ride the scree, but rocks are tumbling all around.]
Shade: If I want John alive, I've got to ditch my fear-- take a dive, while I've still got my drive to survive.
Shadow: Evel Knievel, you got nothin' on me. Here I go!
[they dive down into the cold, cold water]
[Moving down the water, John is drifting out of sight...]
[It's only at the turning point that you find out how to fight.]
[In the cold, feel the cold all around, and the rush of crashing water surrounds them with its sound.]
[Shade reaches out for John, but he cannot reach.]
["When you're racing in the rapids, there's only one way.. that's to ride."]
[Taken down, taken down by the undertow.. Shadow's spiralled down the riverbed; his fire is burning low.]
[Catching hold of a rock that's firm, he waits for John to be carried past.]
[Holding together, they now wait for Shade.]
[They hold together and shoot the rapids fast.]
[And when the waters slow down, the dark and the deep have no-one left to keep.]
Shade: Hang on, John! We're out of this at last.
[they reach dry land; as Shadow coughs and dries off, Shade looks at John, who is lying on his stomach]
Shade: ..something's changed. That's not your face...
[Shade flips John over]
Shade: ..........it's mine. It's MINE!
Shade's consciousness darts from one body to the other, always gazing into its own eyes. This happens so many times until its presence is in neither body, but outside both, seeing all. In this new presence, Shade witnesses the two bodies outlined in yellow, with everything else melting into a purple haze. With a sudden surge of energy, their bodies, too, dissolve into the haze. All this takes place without a single sunset, without a single bell ringing and without a single blossom falling from the sky. Yet IT fills everything with its intoxicating presence. IT's over to you.
Chapter 34: It
[Shadow is... somewhere.]
[Shade is here.]
[Red is here.]
[Dark is here.]
[White is here.]
[The Future Shade is here.]
[Mecha Knuckles is here.]
[The Tails Doll is here.]
[Mephiles is here.]
And I'm here, too. Not DJay, but me. The narrator for The Lamb.
Hi, folks. I'm what they refer to as the Butterfly Collector. I'm the one who's been managing all this progressive rock. Yeah, that's right. I'm the part of the Writing Writer that likes to make things harder for the sake of entertainment. Anyway, that's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway for you, all credit goes to Genesis, and the story n' most of the lyrics were written by Peter Gabriel. Y'know. To give credit where credit is due. Where was I? Oh, yes. DJay's heard from at least one person that he shouldn't end DCA. He still doesn't know if he will.
Then again, the likelihood is very.. likely.
BUT. Let me ramble for a bit. Progressive rock. "If you think that IT's pretentious, you've been taken for a ride." If you've gone through this entire serial without the slightest idea what prog is, then you've been missing out on half of the fun. Yes, there have been plentiful song references in this serial, and aside from one David Bowie chapter, it's all been progressive rock. Genesis, Dream Theater, Coheed & Cambria, Muse, Pink Floyd, Van Friscia, Between the Buried and Me.
Oh, and an ELP reference. I'm surprised DJay didn't throw in some Yes. You see, prog is what they used to call "art rock." It tends to go on for a long time, with twenty-minute songs, extended instrumental sections, space-rock solos, concept albums (like "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway").. yeah, it's an acquired taste. DJay decided to dedicate a whole freaing serial to his favourite genre for one reason, and one reason, only.
These words will surely burn--
Shadow: WAIIIT, WAIT.
Red: WAIIIT, WAIT.
White: WAIIIT, WAIT.
MK: WAIIIT, WAIT.
Mp: But what did I do to... to deserve all of you?
Fighting prog with prog. Clever. But IT is already taking over.
ShadeF: The **** is "IT," you swine?
IT is real. IT is Rael. IT is only knock and know-all, but I like IT. In non-Gabriel terms, IT is the substance that makes everything you know to be real. IT is simply.. resetting. To make room for whatever story DJay will work on after this one is long gone. IT is chicken, IT is eggs, IT is in between your legs.
Red: But we don't have anything there. That's what I keep saying.
Amphis believes it, too. And you'd be right. IT is nothing. Yet IT is real. IT is here, IT is now. And you can't stop IT.
[..oh yeah, Shadow, I forgot to mention IT. Stop IT, too. Write that down in your notebook.]
Shadow: Um.. *writes "STOP IT" in notebook* kay.
MK: So IT is the more.. real version of Red Metal?
IT is Red Metal, except IT is neither red nor a metal.
..if you want to win, I'll give you a head start. Kill me. I'm one of the Veterans.
Kill me. I won't fight back. I've done all I intended on doing.
[the Tails Doll puts a curse on the Butterfy Collector]
.....what's that supposed to do, again?
TD: Uh.. I haven't done curses in ages, but I think it's supposed to make you either die, or kill all your friends. Or both.
I don't have any friends. ..URK!
Chapter 35: The End Complete V- On the Brink
[the chao find themselves back in the Space/Time Rip Beyond the Planet of Pure Dooky]
Mp: *gasp* My home!
[the Daleks are here, as always]
Dalek1: YOU WERE UNABLE TO ACQUIRE YOUR SIXTH CHAOS DRIVE.
Shadow: Yeah, uh.. things got very complicated. I'm not even sure if finding John did anything.
Shade: It wasn't even John.. it was.. I'm not even sure!
Red: Yeah, The Lamb isn't known for being very specific.
Dalek2: IT DOES NOT MATTER. YOU HAVE NEW PROBLEMS.
Dalek1: THE WEIGHT OF THE WHOLE SHOW IS RESTING UPON YOUR SHOULDERS, PROTAGONISTS.
MK: Aw, hell. This ain't gonna be easy. Shadow, what have we got to do, again?
Shadow: Lemme check my notes.
1: Defeat the Veteran's Committee.
2: Defeat the Beta Avengers.
3: Fix the many plot holes plaguing the show's logic.
4: Acquire all seven green chaos drives-- this will help you to do 1 and 2.
5: Convince DJay32 not to end the show-- will require outside help.
6: STOP IT.
ShadeF: Sounds to me like you should focus on number four for now.
Shade: ..Future me, where did you come from?
ShadeF: Huh? I.. I don't really know. I was in the Void, last time I checked.. but then I was suddenly with you guys.
Red: ..that may be because the Veterans are losing control over the script.
Dalek3: THAT REMINDS ME OF A TOTALLY HELPFUL TIP. ^_^
Dark: I like this Dalek. :D
Dalek3: YOU GUYS HAVE POWER OVER THE SCRIPT, YOU KNOW. THE WRITING WRITER IS NOT THE ONLY ONE.
Shade: ...holy living ****, he's.. um.. she's.. it's right! We can bend the script!
Red: I imagine our enemies have more power than us, so we won't be able to do much when in their vicinity.
Mp: Yeah, or in their domains. Like Half-Life 2: Episode One, or Metal Gear Solid 3, or something.
Dalek1: ...OH CRAP. OHHH CRAP. I WAS JUST REMINDED. OF SOMETHING. BAD. VERY, VERY BAD.
Shadow: Whoa, if it makes you stop pontificating, then I'm actually a little scared. What is it?
Dalek1: ..OH WAIT. IT HASN'T HAPPENED YET IN THE TIME LOOP. NEVER MIND.
[the protagonists look at each other in confusion]
Dalek1: IT'S A VERY, VERY CONFUSING THING. I WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN IT.
Shadow: ..okay. So where do we go next, anyway? We need to get a different chaos drive.
Dalek2: YOUR NEXT CHAOS DRIVE IS IN THE HERO GARDEN.
Dark: ...hey, Shade?
Shade: Yeah, Dark?
Shade: No, really. Dark. What is it?
Dark: ..well... I mean..
[all the protagonists, and the Daleks, quiet down and look at Dark]
Dark: Isn't this where