Chapter 59 - Axis of Cygnus
“Kale, we’re going to pick up Ambri now, you coming?” Saraiya asked as she and Natch stepped out onto Lyros’s only road.
He nodded and set Zair down. “Yeah, let’s go.”
They got onto the highway once again, this time Saraiya was glad she didn’t have to do frantic searches left and right across the midnight fields. She could just let the only anxiety within her be that of asking the band questions, if the chance even arose.
“What a crazy night…” Natch said as he kept his gaze forward on the highway, clutching the steering wheel.
“I’m just glad everything ended up okay,” Saraiya said. “Did you at least manage to have a decent night, Kale?”
Kale gazed out the backseat window. “I guess… I just wish tonight could have been more fun for all of us. Who knows when we will all be able to hang out like this again.”
Saraiya turned her head around to face Kale. “What do you mean? We are able to do things together almost every night.”
“Yeah… we are, aren’t we…?” Kale paused. “I don’t know, I guess I was just hoping tonight could have been better. It wasn’t all terrible though.”
Natch tapped on the steering wheel to the beat of the quiet music. “It really wasn’t all that bad, minus the end of the show, and I guess that man getting stabbed.”
Saraiya nodded. “I wonder if they ever found out who did it.”
“Doubtful,” Kale said. “The police and security seemed to have no idea.”
“Isn’t that kind of scary though? Who knows, maybe it could happen again,” Natch said.
“I don’t think it will, but I guess it’s always possible. There was a past stabbing at Caitsi’s after all. Although, the previous one seemed to be an accident.” Kale positioned his gaze to the dashboard.
“How do you accidentally stab someone?” Saraiya asked.
Kale seemed to ponder his thoughts, then spoke. “I don’t think it’s as simple as you think. I remember the first incident. She seemed very sad about what she’d done. I believe it wasn’t on purpose. Maybe this was the same.”
Natch shook his head. “Well even if this was an accident, whoever did it should take responsibility for what they’ve done. Did the previous woman at least do that?”
“Yeah, she did. I have a feeling the conclusion of this incident won’t end the exact same way though,” Kale said, eyes drifting to the ground. “Well, at least the man is okay. No use in us worrying about it anymore.”
“I don’t know how you can be so sure Kale. Someone got stabbed. That is definitely something for all of us to be concerned about.” Saraiya leaned her face against her hand, staring out the fields flying past.
“Anyway, back to that last conversation out in the fields. What do you think about Rhett suspecting you guys, even if just a little of such an awful act?” Natch asked.
“I don’t think he really suspects us as individuals…” Kale said. “He spoke similarly on the walk over. I can’t really blame him though, losing someone so close to you makes you question everything. I know he doesn’t believe we did it, but I think he thinks it’s possible we could know something about it.”
“Yeah… I guess I don’t blame him for looking for an answer to something as serious as that,” Saraiya said. “Who knows how long ago it happened, I mean, me and Kale aren’t that old ourselves, so if he comes to that conclusion as painting us as culprits without evidence, at the very least he would know we didn’t directly do it.”
“So, you’re not worried?” Natch asked.
“There’s no need to be,” Saraiya said. “He has grown so close to us that he knows that isn’t in our character. Who could ever do anything so terrible?”
Kale didn’t say anything, only watched out the window.
Saraiya, Natch, and Kale stood by the door until Ambri noticed them and let them in the closed bar. The Caitsi Lounge’s interior was void of anyone except workers and a few investigators. The investigators approached the three and asked vague questions, trying to get any more hints they could; they seemed to be desperate for a lead.
“We’re almost done cleaning, if you guys want you can wait outside. You wanted to get an interview with Axis of Cygnus right, Saraiya?” Ambri said as she was wiping down the tables.
“Ah! Yeah, I should probably relax outside and hope I spot them.” Saraiya turned around and headed back for the door, with Kale following. “You’re not going to come, Natch?”
“I will, I just really need some water.” Natch smiled. “I’ll be out in a bit.”
The surrounding vicinity of The Caitsi Lounge was deserted of life. There was no one loitering around anymore, but a ruckus still sounded from across the parking lot over at The Caitsi Inn. Out around the corner of the bar, the band’s vehicle rested on the gravel ground. The lights were still on, but compared to the hotel next door, it seemed abandoned.
“So… Are we just gonna stand around their tour bus?” Saraiya said, pacing back and forth before the vehicle.
“Or… we can do something better.” Kale’s eyes grinned.
He approached the van, his footsteps producing crackles in the gravel. A small staircase with three steps protruded from the side of the vehicle. He placed his foot one by one up the stairs and then knocked.
“Kale!” Saraiya shouted.
He turned around and nodded to her as if everything would be okay.
They waited a few seconds. No response. Kale didn’t seem to care, and knocked again, this time with a force double of his first set of knocks.
Saraiya’s eyes widened as she took a step back. If Kale made them angry, how could she ever expect to get an interview out of them? She took another step back as the door thrusted open, and Kale jumped off the steps.
“WHAT DO YOU WA—” A man with long black hair and light skin stood at the foot of the door, the guitarist. His eyes narrowed as he composed himself and walked down the stairs towards Kale.
“Hey, Jaro, my friend would like to do an interview with you guys.” Kale pointed to Saraiya as she cowered, and immediately looked away. How could Kale be so forth?
“Kale… I was wondering if you were going to visit after the show. I know we saw each other for a bit at that last show, but we didn’t really get a chance to talk. Honestly, we haven’t really talked since our days stuck at that torture school in Alneirr…”
What? Did Kale actually know them? Saraiya seized her terror as she stepped towards the two. Kale waved his arm out motioning for her to come closer.
“Saraiya, this is Jaro. He’s a… friend… well, hmm, I don’t know if friend is the right word,” Kale said.
“I’m not sure what you would call us either, to be honest.” Jaro smirked. “I don’t think we’re on the same team anymore Kale, but that doesn’t mean I’d cross you.” He turned his face back towards his tour van. “Hey, Topaz, Kale’s here!”
A girl around the same age as them jumped out from the vehicle. Saraiya recognized her as the bass player. She had dark skin and wavy black hair with pink strands scattered throughout.
“Kale! I’ve missed you!” She ran up to him and hugged him.
What? Just how close was Kale to these guys? And wasn’t Kale usually a bit strict with letting people get that close to him due to his illness? He didn’t seem angry, he only sighed and tried prying her off of him.
“Anyway, so can my friend interview you guys? We’re having the ceremony tomorrow. I’d like to think of it as a gift for her.”
“Ah, the ceremony. Yeah, I remember you would talk about that quite a bit. Seems like it’s still just as important a day.” Jaro nodded. “Sure, an interview would be fine. I’ll go grab the other members.”
Topaz looked at Saraiya and smirked. “I guess we can do this as a nice present before your big day.”