A/N: So in response to the abysmally small amount of fanfiction stories for this genre, I have written one using a Nickelback CD as inspiration. Each chapter features a song of theirs, however the story will make sense even if you ignore the lyrics. All four characters will narrate different chapters but they wont have a defined order like the books do. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Everworld and it's characters were created and are owned by K.A. Applegate and the songs used here were written and sung by Nickelback and I claim none of this for myself.
'Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We'll all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat
And we'll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger's
Gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunny
With her bleach blond hair
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
David stared at Zeus in astonishment, the sword at his side dull and dented from the abuse it had undergone in the last few weeks. "What do you mean they're gone?" We had just spent two months getting shot at by some freaks with a superiority complex and guns. Now, finally having returned to Mount Olympus, we found the gods all partying and drinking. Apparently, we had gotten shown up by some little kid calling himself Merlin's Apprentice. All it had taken to get the neo-Nazis back to the old world was a quick bit of complex magic from what I could figure. Never mind that the kid couldn't have bothered to send them back months ago, but had to wait until now after Jalil had already gotten shot through the leg and April had been caught and raped at gunpoint by the sickos.
"More wine!" Zeus boomed in reply, and I eagerly took a goblet from the offered tray and poured it down my throat. Of course everyone else blatantly ignored the offer and continued staring at the twelve foot Greek god. "I don't like it." I gaped at Jalil in disbelief. Was he seriously angry about the fuckers disappearance? He really needed to lighten up. The assholes were gone! Was I the only one who could see the awesomeness of it? "To do something like that would require a lot of power. Why haven't we heard of the 'Apprentice' before? We don't know anything about him." I slapped his back before he could say anything else.
"Jalil man. Kid made wannabe-Nazis leave. Kid good. We like kid." Zeus, who had been staring at Jalil like he had three heads, suddenly grinned and clapped his hands. "Yes! He shall be forever honored as a hero! He shall stay in your rooms!" As one, we all stared at each other and then looked back towards the god. "Our rooms? Where will we stay then?" It was probably best April had been the one to ask. Personally, I was thinking more along the lines of 'What the hell? I'm not sharing with a freaky little punk!' Loved that he got the neo-Nazis to leave, but I was so done with anybody magical. Senna had been enough to turn me off of magic for the rest of my precious little life.
Zeus blinked and frowned as if we had just asked him what the Mean Value Therom was. Not that I really knew what that was either, but that's not really the point. Mr. Logth was possibly the worst teacher I had ever had in math. "You are mere mortals. Naturally, now that my daughter Athena has no immediate need for you, you will leave."
I'm through with standing in line
To clubs we'll never get in
It's like the bottom of the ninth
And I'm never gonna win
This life hasn't turned out
Quite the way I want it to be
What! The goblet slid through my fingers to crash onto the floor but of course it just disappeared somewhere else before it could make a mess. Gods weren't really ones to deal with things like cleaning. "You're kicking us out!" Was that me? David shot a warning glance at me and I frowned back. Yeah, yeah. Don't upset the lightening bolt guy. Too late. Feeling my hair stand on end, I got that pee-in-pants kind of fear. You know, the type that would kill most old people by giving them heart failure. The room was charged with sizzling lightening. It was loud and bright, and way too intense. Oh shit.
"You assume the right to live here? You insolent creature! I ought to cast you down and watch your guts splatter the mountain side!" Some weird sort of noise found its way out of my throat and I felt my gut clench painfully. "Please don't! We'll leave immediately." If April's pleas worked, I was going to be forever thankful towards her. Zeus was still glaring. "Father, let the mortals leave. They may still be useful in our fight." Athena! I could breathe again. She liked us, she'd get us out of here alive. Or at least, she liked David. And as our self proclaimed leader he wasn't going to go anywhere without the rest of us. Zeus didn't seem to agree though. Apparently compromise wasn't something he did.
If the WWE got these two to go at it, their ratings would be sky high. Weapons in hand, father and daughter faced off. April took a step backwards and then tried to catch all of our eyes, tilting her head back towards the exit. I was all ready to follow her lead and scram but my legs felt like iron weights as the crowded assortment of gods and goddesses turned around to look at us . My feet seemed glued to the floor as Ares approached, a snarling dog my height at his side. The hound was a nasty piece of work with the slobbering, red eyes, and barred teeth. "Ares will not let Athena try to trick us with words! The mortal must die!" I knew I had to do something, but all I managed to do was stare wide-eyed at the large spear pointing in my direction.
"Duck!" Without thinking, my body flung itself on the floor as I felt the wind whipping over my head. I was staring at a massive sandaled foot, and knew deep down that a spear had just missed me by seconds. My heart was beating a million beats a second, and I was deeply regretting the huge pile of food I had eaten this morning. It was hard to tap into that life-saving adrenaline when you felt fat and about to upchuck. Rolling sideways, I looked up to a gaping hole full of yellow teeth. Hot, putrid air was suffocating me, and I closed my eyes as drool plopped down onto my face. I should have known the first moment I had been thrown into Everworld and saw Fenir that some big-ass dog was going to eventually eat me.
More drool splattered on me. No. Wait. That wasn't drool. Opening my eyes carefully I found the dog turned away from me and barking madly at David. His sword was bloody and I saw the dog's fur dyed dark red at the shoulder. "You dare hurt him? None of you shall live!" Seeing David preoccupied with the dog, and Ares about to skewer him, I did the only thing I could. Flinging my arms out, my fingers caught part of the sandal. In my head I was supposed to trip him and thus save David. Instead, my body was pulled and bounced, Ares carrying me along like I was a freaking paper streamer caught on his shoe. "Right! Down!" April was shouting directions at David, and amazingly enough Ares missed him, spearing air once again. This was no time to test our luck though.
"Athena help!" I couldn't really see if my plea worked, but I guess so because Ares got pushed back towards me. Letting go of him, I got on my knees and crawled the fuck away. I felt Jalil pull me up by the armpits, and wasted no time in sprinting out of the madhouse. Behind me I heard the gods cheering and jeering as what sounded like two spears clashed. Go Athena! Running madly, my stomach hurt and I still felt like I was going to vomit at any second. We were out of the freaking hall and now on the road that was way too long. It took us hours to get up here just from our rooms; how the hell were we supposed to outrun them? For once everything in Olympus being bigger sucked.
I want a brand new house
On an episode of Cribs
And a bathroom I can play baseball in
And a king size tub big enough
For ten plus me
Luckily, Olympus wasn't just made up of crazy gods. There were the fantastical talking animals too. Stuff that normally only existed when you were high? It was all real here man. Apparently it was obvious that we were pathetic, scared little kids, attracting the attention of winged horses. At the moment they seemed more like angels to me, or superheros. "Friends! We shall carry you down!" We turned and stared at the talking horse and then looked at each other. Well, they hadn't thrown us off last time, so good enough for me! Rushing over, I scrambled hastily onto one of Pegasus' sons and got into that scarey and uncomfortable position that would hopefully keep me on as the wings beat. And here I had promised myself I would never do this ever again. Just like I would never step foot into a chariot again. Without warning, he took off and my heart jumped straight into my throat. I don't care how calloused my feet get, I will always like walking best.
This time, the horses took us way, way down past the clouds and steeps of the mountain, until I wasn't sure if the nightmare was going to end. I hated, hated, hated flying. Finally, he swooped into a landing and I all but rolled off, landing rather hard on my side. Whatever. Sweet, sweet ground!
I'll need a credit card that's got no limit
And a big black jet with a bedroom in it
Gonna join the mile high club
At thirty-seven thousand feet
"Christopher that's gross." I momentarily paused in my kissing of the ground and looked up into Jalil's eyes. Of course he was standing up as if he had dismounted without any problems, but I wasn't fooled. Ever seen a black man pale? I have, and Jalil was definitely shaken up too. "Right, because we're always so hygienic here." He got that weird look on his face again, and I rose an eyebrow. Any mention of germs and Jalil seemed to be affected.
The horses all flew away and we were once again left all alone with Davideus as our only hope. "Where are going now?" April questioned as if we just hadn't almost been killed. "Well personally I'm voting for any place god free." The other three just stared at me and I shrugged. "Yeah, don't know what direction that is either. Just thought I'd throw it out there." David frowned and gazed around as if he was expecting some sign to be planted with an arrow pointing 'this way to god-less land.' Seeing nothing, he looked back at the looming mountain base by us and into the clouds. "Wherever we go, I think we ought to get as far away from here as possible."
I want a new tour bus full of old guitars
My own star on Hollywood Boulevard
Somewhere between Cher and
James Dean is fine for me
Great plan, get the frick away from the gods. "Aye, aye captain." I agreed, sarcasm barely there.
I'm gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I'd even cut my hair and change my name
So in a small clump we headed off to unknown adventures, during which I was sure I would deeply miss the bed and food Olympus had. At least none of us were dead yet. Jalil was still limping a bit from his bullet wound, but we had pulled the bullet out a few weeks ago and April thought he might almost fully recover soon. David and me were more or less in perfect health, and as far as I knew the only damage April had was all emotional. Not going to even try to guess what getting raped was like, but she seemed to be okay. No suicide attempts or anything. Luckily, we didn't see it as we were all hiding in the woods at the time trying to plan how to save April.
Now strolling through some Mediterranean climate, we seemed to be doing okay. Finally, a moment where I wasn't facing off with an imminent death. At least until some yoyos dropped out of a tree, swords thrust in front of them. If I wasn't so scared I might have groaned. Two months of risking life and limb for this place and not even a gold star or a well done. Just lots of angry violent people wanting to kill me. WTE.
I wanna be great like Elvis without the tassels
Hire eight body guards that love to beat up assholes
Sign a couple autographs
So I can eat my meals for free
"Look dude. Wish we could help, really, but we have nothing except a bunch of crazies who want us dead." Of course David just had to ruin my white flag of surrender by reaching for his sword. Wasn't one attempt at our lives per day enough for him? The two Greeks looked back and forth between me and David, not sure what to do. Couldn't blame them really. We sucked at communication. We weren't the only ones though. Our attackers were also staring at each other as if they couldn't agree.
Unsure if we needed to run for our lives or not, I stood tensely like the brave freaking warrior I am. Finally one of the guys turned back towards us with a hard gleam in his eyes. "Give us your clothes." Yeah right! Like I was going to stand around stark naked. Especially near Greeks. No line between male and female man. "In your freaking dreams you pervert." "Isn't that kind of like the pot calling the kettle black?" "Oh haha Jalil. You're sooo funny." April did that long sigh thing meaning I was beyond hopeless and I glared at her. "What April!"
"Only you would think it was something sexual Christopher. Look at them. The poor things are starved and filthy." Rolling my eyes at April, because did she really have to pity the guys with swords pointed at us, I reluctantly looked. Yeah they were dirty but who wasn't here? Well except the gods and maybe some demi-gods or whatever. Looking down at my short, white toga I blinked at the untorn garment. Considering the Greeks were wearing thick animal wool with crud stuck in it that smelled like shit, I could totally understand why they had wanted to rob us. Olympian togas were like the Gucci of Everworld. I still wasn't giving up my clothes though.
I'm gonna dress my ass
With the latest fashion
"I thought you Greeks were supposed to be hospitable?" The other three all stared at me and I puffed out my chest a little. Yeah that's right Jalil; you're not the only one who knows stuff. "Times have been hard." the shorter Greek ground out in a gravely voice. Yeah, what with the powerful toddlers in charge that was hardly surprising. I could see Demeter flooding their fields if she woke up one morning to terrible bed-head hair. I'd seen too much to be a bleeding heart though, or maybe I had just never had the amount of sympathy and compassion all of those hippies in the '60s had seemed full of. Giving your coat to some homeless man back in Chicago might have been the boy scout thing to do, but here giving up your clothes was the dumb-ass thing to do.
David drew his sword and I moved in front of April. She might resent me calling her the weakest, but seriously. If push came to shove at least I would have some muscles to attack with. Though they had swords, it didn't look like they were packing any really heavy artillery. No maces or spears or anything. After dealing with guns for the past two months, the swords were actually comforting in a weird way. You know, that way a familiar attack dog is just slightly less scarey than some strange dog that's growling at you. Especially since their swords looked dull and old. Whatever piss-poor metal they used, they really needed some lessons from Hephaestus.
"Please, we don't want to hurt you." Right, good idea David. I'm sure we're just about the most intimidating people they've ever seen. They must be really scared of us, what with our one sword and cynicism. "Are you so great a swordsmaster?" The taller guy asked David, clearly unbelieving. David puffed out his chest, determined to prove he was strong, brave, dangerous, and all that other crap while I was calculating our chances of outrunning these guys. "Good enough that Athena made him her general." Whoa, props to Jalil. That made them back off. Still weren't gone yet though and I really didn't want to see David trying to prove his rep wasn't just a lot of talk. One wrong block from him and he'd be shishkebabed leaving us to be next.
"You are friends of the gods?" I just stood there but Jalil, always thinking, caught right on. "That's right. Do you really want to take togas the gods themselves gave us? If one of them catches sight of you wearing one what do you think will happen?" The two stared at each other fearfully and I grinned. About time we caught a break.
Get a front door key to the Playboy mansion
Gonna date a centerfold that loves to
Blow my money for me
Smirking at them, I began walking away. The others followed me for a while but then I felt David gripping my shoulder. "No offence, but where are you leading us?" Away from the insane gods; away from the only decent hotel we were ever going to find. "Towards that tree." I snapped. Rolling his eyes, he bypassed me and made himself leader. Asshole. Maybe it was because I was stressed and scared, but I found myself shoving his shoulder. "Something wrong with where I was headed?" "Oh my God! Please don't tell me I have to deal with testosterone overload again." Ignoring April, I continued glaring at David who had turned around. "Yeah! There is. We have to go back and find Athena." "What!" He had gone crazy. "What else do you think we can do?" "Avoid dying. You know David, I think you took Mel Gibson in a kilt a bit too seriously and now want to be him in a toga."
Jalil stepped in between us like he was freaking Gandhi and April threw her backpack down. "We're not going anywhere until you two chill." Jalil was looking pointedly at David and as I calmed down, I looked down to see David had reached for his sword during our fight. Trying not to come off as an insane violent guy, David started to speak to us in an annoyingly calm voice. "Look, with Athena at least we know where we stand. We work for her and in return she gives us clothes and food and protection. Sweet deal considering."
And we'll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today's who's who
They'll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody's got a drug dealer on speed dial, well
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
"Considering what? That all the other gods on that mountain want to kill us?" "Here here!" I said tipping my imaginary drink to April. "Well who doesn't! Besides, they've all probably forgotten about killing us by now." "David's right. They're probably all sleeping off their wine by now, us not being worth their attention anymore." I couldn't believe Jalil wanted to go back. He was supposed to be smart. "Yeah Christopher. We'll be fine as long as you keep your mouth shut."
I'm gonna sing those songs
That offend the censors
Gonna pop my pills from a pez dispenser
I'll get washed-up singers writing all my songs
lip sync 'em every night so I don't get 'em wrong
If Jalil wasn't in my way I might have punched David. Instead I stared ahead racking my brain for where to go. "Fine, you go back and get speared the next time you say something dumb. Should take about two minutes. As for me, I'm going to Merlinshire."
Merlinshire, great memories there. Death, destruction, being under Senna's spell. It had been destroyed only a few months ago. Why was I going back? Because I was so done with war and following destruction was restoration. Merlinshire was destroyed a million times worse than the South had been in the Civil War but same principle had to apply, right? Reconstruction had to be done and if there was one place that was worth rebuilding it was Merlinshire.