The Mayor vowed clean streets, eliminate unwanted elements. Misfortune-seekers; the homeless and insane; the Missing Young, and other misfit targets of The City compacted and wrapped in jargon for easy pick-up: Viral Deviants (VDs).
Police got tough about degrading quality of tax paying Citizens’ invaded lives. Whose streets anyhow?
They came down hard upon The Missing Young especially, for most had no right to be in The City much less degrade its streets. LOSD asked police to return Missing Young, not beat them senseless, not send them to jail cells naked to be schooled by criminals no longer Young…
Sunday morning with Music, BEING, The Bakery Girl, Muse. Music revealed his battered face, told of cops beating the crew and crowd while the band was on break:
“Man, all hell is confusion. Madness. Fucking insane,” said Music. “All of the sudden I see Brother hauled off by two cops. I don’t know what he did. He must have looked like one of those VDs or something. I said like, ‘Hey, he’s part of the band,’ and boom these two cops start stomping me into the pavement. They were beating the shit out of anyone hanging out on the street. I ran back into the club, but Brother was gone.
“They must have taken him to the station on 4th. Goddamn, I was pissed. I screamed into the microphone we couldn’t play anymore cause the cops took away our lead guitarist. Then a bunch more people ran out to the street. Not me, man. I had enough. Just went to the bar and started drinking.
“Meanwhile the club’s Manager-man freaks out, says I emptied out his place and if I didn’t go up there and play he wouldn’t pay. Fuck it. Fuck him, man. Right? No Brother, no music.”
That night Brother slept in a precinct holding-cell.
The Television bellowed protests in The Big Park. Cops in riot gear galloped through breakfast. The News Commentator accused the wild, drugged, restless Young, and spat the name of Music’s band directly at the lens. Dramatic video showed Music and Puppets of Weltschmerz stuff equipment, then themselves, into a van and drive away — zoom! — into the night cut to commercial.
“Probably ran overtime with the clip,” opined BEING, professionally. “Sponsors must be pissed.”
“Fuck the sponsors. You can’t pay for better publicity than this,” said Music. “A gift is what it is. They gave us a fucking gift.”
Muse leaned over him, her lean, muscular arms around his neck. Feather-ear-rings and tattoos in Music’s bed.
“They really did do us a solid,” said Muse. “Not that they meant to. I don’t think they had any idea what they were doing. The cops. ‘Just following orders.’ Whatever.”
“Real coup,” I offered. To feel like. I don’t know. Part of something. Something bigger than. Something Media, but angry, strong.
“This makes us a Name. The Real Thing. Hard core. Puppets of Weltschmerz are the bad-ass band.”
Muse’s diamond-pierced tongue in Music’s mouth. They sucked each other till post-commercial break. The Mayor decried the club crowd, “rowdy, disreputable punks who got what they deserved.”
The words “Viral Deviants” squatted on his tongue.
“You tell ’em, Mr. Mayor-man,” said Music. “We’re notorious, now. Famous. In the bright light. Hell, we’re known. Damn straight we got what we deserved. And we want more of it! What we deserve.”