(A/N: Hey, guys! Just got home from putting on my school's final showing of four of this very musical, and it has been an incredible experience. Seriously, I could not pick a better musical to be the last performance I take part in there. A quick dedication to the people involved- the cast, the band, the backstage help, the front of house- it's been great working with them, and I wish them all the best of luck. Anyhow, as Pop, I don't spend much time on stage, in comparison to the other Principles, so I took the chance to write this, so I hope you enjoy.)
I groaned as I slowly opened my eyes. I couldn't remember much about what had happened- truth be told, I couldn't remember much of anything- but I could remember reading a story about four people trying to save rock and roll; I could remember being captured by the Globalsoft Corporation, and being… processed… I rubbed my head at remembering how painful that was.
'Thinking about what happened won't help me too much right now,' I reminded myself. 'I need to figure out where I am, and how to get out of here.' I steadily got to my feet, wiping the dust and dirt from my flared jeans, before looking at the unfamiliar surroundings. 'What the hell is this dive?!'
Looking around, I realised I was no longer in a laser cell, nor was I at the Heartbreak Hotel, and I definitely wasn't at the place where they kept the secret histories. It took me a moment, but I soon realised I was at a pub. It was broken down, the floor was covered in dirt and rubble, there wasn't a roof- but it was definitely a pub. The tables were old, but seemed fairly undamaged, and the stools looked to be sturdy. I then walked over to the bar, and looked behind it, seeing that the only kind of alcohol they had was something called 'Rhye Whiskey'. Removing the lid, I took a sniff of its contents, and noticed it was relatively new.
"Were they expecting me to be here?" I asked myself. I took a few steps back, trying to figure out where it was. Unfortunately, since I was going backwards, I didn't realise there was a drop, and I nearly lost my footing. "Woah!" I shouted as I tried desperately to maintain my balance, before stumbling forwards. Looking behind me, I realised that the drop led to a river. I took my glasses off of my face and looked at the river in closer detail- it was very deep, clean, and ran straight underneath the bar. "What kind of pub is built over a bloody river?"
"That would be the Seven Seas of Rhye, my good fellow," a voice spoke behind me. Turning around, I growled as I saw Commander Khashoggi- the second in command to the Killer Queen at Globalsoft, and the person who captured me ten years ago and tortured me in that damn laser cell- approaching me. He wore a stony expression with his shades covering his eyes, his trench-coat on top of his fancy suit. "Although, I guess you could call it your home from now on, as this is where you'll spend most of your days."
"Well, look who it is," I spat, putting my glasses back on, "Commander Khashoggi. Shouldn't you be wedging your nose further up the Killer Queen's arse? Or do you think you'll have another game of 'zap the hippie'?"
"Please, there is no need for such uncivil behaviour." He walked over to a table, wiping dust off with his finger. "I think this place could use a bit of a clean up, don't you, Pop?"
"Who the hell is Pop? And why are you telling me that? You want the place cleaning, speak to the bloody bartender, not me."
"Ah, there we go! That's where I can speak with certainty. You see, you ARE the bartender of this establishment." I raised an eyebrow at him. "You see, I brought you here, because you are part of something bigger, but the only way you can do that is by being here." He sat down on one of the stools, and patted another. "Please, sit down."
I didn't trust him, but if he wanted to kill me, he would have done so. "Alright," I conceded, "but no funny business."
"That is fair." I sat down with him. "You see, over the past ten years, the Killer Queen has had me torture you, because you knew nearly the entirety of the secret histories. Over the years, I have been gathering information from you, and once I had enough, I decided to process you."
"Yeah, I remember. You'd think I would forget what it feels like to be brutally electrocuted, wouldn't you?"
"Please, mister Pop, you don't need to be hostile. I am unarmed, and my guards have already returned to my master. Now, once I processed you, I noticed that it wasn't fully successful. There is some damage to the brain, and a lot of what you know is gone from your memory, but there are still some fragments of the ancient texts that remain, and if I were to process you again, you would die."
"Sounds better than being a vegetable," I scoffed. "But still, why leave me here?"
"I suggested it, and the Killer Queen agreed. Anyone else that I process will lose all of their spirit, and be brought here, until a place in society can be found for them."
"Then why are you telling me this? There isn't much I can do from here, but it doesn't sound like you gain much from this."
He let out a long, exasperated sigh, before removing his glasses. Looking at his eyes, I could tell that there was not much life left in them. He had to squint due to the sunlight- 'probably from wearing sunglasses everywhere,' I thought- and it was clear he didn't get lots of sleep.
"You see, 'Pop', after examining the texts from your memories, I realised one thing- if the Killer Queen was to destroy the Dreamer, it wouldn't just be rock and roll that would die forever, but the entire planet itself. You see, if he dies, the holy instruments will remain buried forever, and when the Queen tries to dig up where the instruments are, once she seizes one, there will be an implosion that will destroy both the virtual world and the physical world. Because of this, I had to let him and his 'chick' go free."
"Wait a minute. So, the Dreamer is real?" He nodded. "And I'm supposed to help him find the instruments?"
"That is correct. At the 'place of living rock'."
"But, how is he supposed to find me? I don't even know where this place is!"
"Eventually, they will find the micro-transceivers that the Queen uses to follow them and listen to our conversations. The Dreamer isn't too bright, but the girl will probably figure out how to use them and listen to what I and the Queen say. She'll figure out where this place is, and lead him here. As for the location, we will regularly drain the river, and once it has reached its original level, you will know where it is."
"And if she doesn't figure out how to do that?"
"I have an appointment with the processor and the Bohemians. I mention the Seven Seas to them, they'll send a message for the Dreamer to find in his dreams."
"I see." Khashoggi stood up and began to leave. "Wait a minute!" I got up and walked up to the man who, all of a sudden, was helping him. "If what you're saying is true, then why are you going back? Surely, the Killer Queen will kill you!"
"She will as it is- once she realises I 'lost' the Dreamer and the girl. I need to process the Bohemians to keep her from realising for as long as possible."
"I see. Well then," I went behind the bar and grabbed a bottle of whiskey and two glasses, "if you're basically a dead man, you might as well have a drink."
He gave me something I had never seen from him- a genuine smile. "Thank you."
I poured the whiskey into the two glasses, handed him one and said "cheers", before we clinked our glasses together. Taking a sip of the cool brown liquid, I sighed. "Man, that's some good whiskey."
"Indeed." He then heard a voice in his earpiece, and put a hand to it. "Yes, ma'am!" he replied, before listening to what else she had to say. "I see. Of course! I'm just leaving now! I'll see you soon, ma'am!" He took his hand away from his ear, then looked at me. "I must go now. I wish you luck."
"You too, 'baby'," I smirked at him as he chuckled, placing his shades back on. "Just one last thing before you go. You keep calling me Pop- is that actually my name?"
"Why, yes, it is, Pop, or should I say… Iggy?" He then walked away without another word. I just smiled as he left.
"What a twat."