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Thirty Seconds to Mars are characters in a world that is not our own. Somethings will be the same, but for the most part, this is a world of my own creation. This story is the first of many that will take place in my earth.
A tall man stands at the window of his hotel room, shirtless and in gray sweats. New York City is blanket in a thin layer of fog, droplets of water hit the window sparsely. The man runs his hand through his short raven hair, his blue eyes lock on the streets. Only three stories up watching people go about their lives, he is Jared Lato lead singer of the band 30 Seconds to Mars. In New York as the final leg of a tour and also here to discuss ideas for next album.
No rest for the wicked.
Jared knows that t is just how the records companies work. Always wanting to keep those artists working so that get money, of course, they always make him feel guilty about having no new music for the fans. The people who guarantee an artist survival in this cutthroat job.
Jared looks at the dull city, sadden. The band had one hell of a concert last night, the hardcore believe were lit and the reception of the new album is good, not great. For Jared and the rest of the band, it is okay because they are proud of what they did.
Of course, the five-year span between their last album and this one was the bands collective choice for a multiple of reasons. The main one was for the triad to rest if one is constantly working the work with dry up. How the band gets most of their is from Jared and a lot of his ideas are born from dreams and just observing. Jared had the idea for AMERICA a few months after the last Europa tour for Love, Lust, Faith, and Dreams. He dropped the idea in his drummer and his older brother, Shannon and his lead guitarist, Tomo one night in the tour bus.
“So, Jay. I know that you have some in your mind. You going to let us in on it?” Shannon asked, sprawled out on a large sofa.
Jared was standing at the window, staring into space. A smirk came to his lips and Tomo, who was sitting in an oversize chair saw the smirk in the reflection of the window.
Tomo leaned over to Shannon, “He has something.” He whispered, of course, it was not intended to keep Jared from hearing it.
Jared not only heard but he saw the action in the reflection. The long-hair guitarist leaned close to the serious-faced drummer. Jared turned on his heel, his bright blue eyes gleaming with an idea.
“Let’s take a break.” He said with the smirk still on his lips but his voice was serious.
Tomo perked up and looked at Shannon worriedly. Shannon slowly moved his legs off the couch, looking at Tomo then back at his brother. Shannon looked like he was staring at a wild animal that could attack at any time.
“Jared, what are you talking about?” His voice was shaky. He was worried about his little brother, this band was his passion, his way to try to change the world. Yes, the tour schedule of this album was crazy, but the actual creating process was smoother than on This is War. Jared approach to the new album was allowing the calm to help create, instead of attacking the project. Shannon looked into his brother’s eyes and relaxed, “What’s the idea?” He asked.
Tomo shifts uncomfortably, he was missing something. He joined the brother duo in 2003 he effectively matched the energy for how Jared imagined for 30 Seconds to Mars. Tomo had never been creatively barred by Jared, just the opposite, though most of the ideas come from Jared. He understands that it is the three of them together was what makes this band. Still, there was that deep brother connection that Tomo had yet to grasp, “Shannon?” He asked nervously. He, at the start, was in it for the money and the recognition after A Beautiful Lie he learned something. That something was the joy of watching people young and old being affected by music. He had cried while on stage during their first night on tour for the album. Since then he had let go of the want of money and fame and just focused on making great music. They had all become a family with this great following of believers, something that he was not ready to walk away from.
When Shannon looked at him, he had a glint in his eye that helped him relax though he wasn’t completely sure what it was or meant. Looking at Jared he had the same glint.
Jared turned back to the window and said one word, “America.”
Here he is, five years later, staring out a window at Sixth Avenue also known as “Avenue of the Americas” seems fitting. With it foggy and being lightly wetted, Jared finds it ironic.
There is a knock at his door, as he goes to answer it he hears the click of the door unlocking. He freezes, sees the door open a crack.
“Jay?” He hears the voice of his older brother, he relaxes immediately.
“Yeah, Shannon?” Jared asks sitting down on the bed. His heart rate is still kind of high.
Now the door fully opens to reveal his brother in his grey sweats and a black long-line tank. Jared looks up seeing the concern firstly on his brothers face then the worry and wonder. His face creases at this, “Whats wrong?” This is not the first time seeing this look, he had seen if for the last week and a half. Jared didn’t push to know and Shannon didn’t let it linger long as they were on tour. Now that they aren’t, Jared feels worried and sadness start to touch him.
Shannon looks back out the door and nods, Tomo enters behind Shannon, his long hair in a mess wearing swimming shorts and a white tank top. When the door shuts Jared is suddenly panicked, No, this can’t be the end.
He gets to his feet, eyes wide, “What is this?”
Shannon just looks at his brother, unsure of how to go about this. He doesn’t want to scare him, but Jared seems to have no clue or he is just acting like it hasn’t been happening.
“Jared, are you aware that you have been sleepwalking?”
“What?” Jared says with a slight chuckle of relief, “that’s what this is about.”
Shannon and Tomo look at each other, then Tomo says, “Please, tell us that you are aware of this.” The worry is real.
Jared stayed silent, he was not aware that he was sleepwalking. However, he is aware of his lack of dreams, which for him is very worrisome.
“Jay, you have been doing this for the last week and a half,” Shannon speaks carefully, as he is worried that him bringing up might trigger something in his brother. The last thing that he wants to do is cause him pain or worry, “I called mom to find out if you, as a kid, sleepwalk. You didn’t.”
Jared doesn’t know how to respond to this, he went as far as to call mom. He drops his gaze to the floor hating the look on Shannon’s face, it was the look that he had to use rarely throughout their lives. The look that Jared was hiding something from him, “What do I go? What happens?” Jared asks quietly.
“Only the last three times did we follow.” Jared doesn’t see his brother shiver as he remembers, “you just go two miles in a random direction, but you were constantly looking around and the walk is a speed walk. At the two-mile mark, you always stop suddenly stand still for about fifteen minutes. Then you drop your head and go back at a much slower pace... The reason why we are being up is... Jared, you scared me last night.” Shannon says.
At that Jared looks up, “What did I do to scare you?” His voice is quiet almost sad. He sits back down his legs are threatening to give out on him.
Shannon joins him at the foot of the bed. Tomo just stands there watching nervously but ready. Shannon, before they left his room to Jared’s, had warned him. If Jared had no conscious recollection of his sleepwalking episodes, this might trigger a bad response. So Tomo watches, he didn’t think Jared would get violent especially toward his brother. However, they could not know what was in Jared’s mind that was causing him to sleepwalk.
“Why didn’t you try to wake me up?” Jared’s voice is that of a scared child who if says the wrong thing, will be in trouble.
Shannon sighs and looks back at Tomo, nervously. His brother’s voice shatters his heart, he is the more vibrant, hearing that fear. It is nearly a killer for what Shannon has to say next, “I tried to last night,” Shannon starts looking at Tomo then turns to face the bright blue eyes masked in confusion, “since you have been unfazed by your night escapades. I was pretty sure that if I just told you that you were sleepwalking, you wouldn’t believe me. So I decided to try and wake you when you stop at the two-mile mark. I moved around you to look you in the face. Your eyes were opened, however, your eyes had dulled to grey. Looking lost and scared, I never want to see that again. When I reached my hands toward your shoulders, simultaneously touching and saying your name. Your eyes flicked from staring off to focused on me and you smacked my arms away and shoved me hard in the chest. I fell to the ground, you knelt beside me and grabbed a handful of my shirt in your fist. You said this in anger but your eyes never darkened, ‘It will all come crashing down. My very life is on the line.’ Then you released your hold on my shirt and started your slow walk back here.”
Both brothers have tears in their eyes, Jared is shaking and pulls his older brother into a hug. One that Shannon tightens instantly.
Tomo watches this feeling relieved, “Jared, do you remember what you might have been dreaming of?” He asks cautiously.
Jared looks at Tomo from over Shannon’s shoulder. More tears fall and the feeling of despair sets in, “No,” he whimpers.
Shannon is rubbing his bare back, “Shh, it’s alright.” he soothes.
Tomo flinches as if he was struck, “Sorry... I didn’t mean too... I’ll go.” He says brokenly.
“No!” Jared says reaching for him.
Shannon gently pulls away allowing Jared to embrace Tomo.
“I am sorry.” Jared whispers, “I haven’t had a dream for a week and a half.”
“So since you started sleepwalking,” Shannon says in thought.
Jared and Tomo break their embrace, Jared resumes his spot at the foot of the bed. Tomo sits on the other side of Shannon.
“Okay, what was the last dream you remember having?” Shannon asks, hoping to find an answer there.
For that Jared didn’t have to think long, “I was sitting on an edge of a cliff, watching the sun go down. In my lap was a notebook, it was open. There was stuff written but the words are blurred. With the last bit of light, I stood and said to the vastness, ‘It ends tonight. The cult rises or fall.’ then I walk into the growing darkness.” Jared finishes with more tears, he senses that there is something there for them. But it is out of his grasp.
Shannon sits there in thought.
“Yet, the rest of the nights there’s been nothing?” Tomo asks.
The room phone rings making them jump. Jared stands up and goes to answer it.
“Yo, Mr. Leto, Ryan Callge calling to remind you of the dinner date. To celebrate AMERICA and to do a bit of business.”
“Yes, Mr. Callge we will be there. Have no fear.”
There is an approving chuckle from the other line before it died. Jared puts the headset back on the receiver. Instead of going back to the foot of the bed he goes back to the window, the sun is now peeking through the dark clouds. His hand reaches to the triad that is around his neck.
“Jay, you alright?” Shannon asks.
Jared turns on the heels of his wearing that smirk he gets when he has the next idea.
Tomo and Shannon look heavily relieved.
“Who needs the dreamscape when the answer is here,” he points to his heart, “and out there where our cult of believers are.” He turns back to the window, his heart rate is elevated with the sudden idea. It is perfect.
At his side appear Tomo and Shannon, “What you got?”
With all three of them look down at the city, Jared breaths, “Fights At Sunset.”