INT. TATTERDEMALION UNDER STAGE AREA - NIGHT
The Demons hit the floor hard. They look around, confused.
Whath da fuck--?
Richie lets go of the rope. Ivor Demon looks over at him.
He runs out through a steel exit door, locking it behind him.
Ivor Demon scuttles over to the door. He pounds and scratches, but it doesn’t move.
Demon Guitarist points up. Ivor moves back to join him.
The three Demons look up and out through the opened stage elevator door above them.
Ivor Demon squints, studying the opening. He lets out a wicked laugh.
INT. TATTERDEMALION STAGE - NIGHT
Richie rushes up from the hallway behind the stage. Arden grabs his torso, stopping him.
Hey - nice fuckin’ work!
Screw you, Arden! That shoulda been you down there!
He grabs Arden’s neck and shakes him violently.
(struggling to speak)
Shit, man - I needed those guns of yours to make it work!
Arden breaks free and limps over to the drum riser at the back of the stage. He waves to his bandmates.
Help me get this fuckin’ thing on top of the hole.
Arden’s bandmates run over to him. Each member grabs a corner of the hefty riser, struggling to budge it.
How the heck... unh... are we supposed to get this... unh... over there?
F.F. points to the hole in the stage.
Inside the hole, Demon Guitarist stands atop Demon Drummer’s back. Ivor Demon works his way to the top of the pile, putting his body and arms in reach of the edge of the hole.
Richie heaves and lifts his corner with renewed motivation. The others do the same.
As Arden’s group works their way to the hole, Ivor Demon reaches out and grabs the edge of the hole.
Hurry the fuck up!
They struggle to position the riser over the hole. As they rotate it into place, Ivor Demon gargles his spit.
What’s he doing?
Ivor Demon reels back his head and hocks a sizzling, bubbling green ACID LOOGIE up and out of the hole.
Look out! Flying death boogies!
Turk yanks his foot back. The acid loogie just misses the tip of his boot. It lands on the base of a mic stand, instantly dissolving it.
Drop this fucker!
They release the drum riser. It slams down, just barely covering the hole. The Demons bellow and curse below.
A SMATTERING OF APPLAUSE. Arden and his bandmates look up. A small crowd has gathered around them.
Arden instinctively grabs the mic in its stand.
(into the mic, cocky)
Thank you. Thanks everyone.
Ebaneen pushes forward from the crowd and steps onto the stage next to him. She’s not as impressed as the others.
Let’s not celebrate just yet.
Why not? We just locked those monsters away!
Fantastic. But in case you hadn’t noticed, but we’re all still stuck floating out here in the abyss, with no way to contact the outside world and no idea how to get home.
Ebaneen does have a point there, Arden.
And whatever kind of oxygen bubble we’re stuck in can’t last forever. We might have a day’s worth of air left - if that.
Arden turns away in anger.
Great! What else can you pile on?
Well, there’s that...
Everyone looks over. The drum riser has turned into a toxic phlegm fountain. Its surface is already dotted with dozens of holes as acid loogies arc up from beneath.
So what now? That’ll only hold them for hour – or two at best if they start running out of phlegm.
Ebaneen grabs the other mic from its stand. Turk, Richie, and F.F. catch the look in her eyes and slink off the stage.
Yeah, what now, Arden? Please elucidate us.
Arden stomps over to her. They’re both on mic now.
“What now, Arden?” “What now, Arden?” I’m sick of hearing that! I got us this far, didn’t I?
We all did. But it won’t make any difference if we can’t figure out why we got here and how we can get out!
Everyone else watches them from the audience area. It’s like a performance.
The Putrefication Principle did it to themselves. Anyone who’s ever played with Ivor knows he’s always dabbled in the occult!
IN THE BALCONY
Deen the M.C., cowering behind the top row of seats, whips his head toward the stage at Arden’s comment.
His suit has traces of sweat and vomit. His hair is disheveled. He looks like he’s been crying. He’s a mess.
Wonderful. But vague ideas and accusations aren’t going to save us – Albert.
The audience gasps. Deen stands and slowly begins walking toward the balcony stairwell.
IN THE AUDIENCE AREA
Arden shakes his head in anger. He pulls the mic from its stand and roams the stage.
What do you want from me, Ebaneen? You just want to tear me to pieces - is that it?!
It is kind of fun.
Liza and Paulette, standing in the audience area, chuckle.
Well great. Have your fun then. Just know that all I want to do is get everything back to the way it was so we can play this stupid Battle of the Bands and Vehement Volition can finally take the grand prize!
And then you’ll run off in your new touring van with Yasmine?
Ooohs from the audience.
Is that what this is all about? We’re all going to be devoured by a third-rate doom metal band and you’re still obsessed with what happened between me and Yasmine?
She looks completely sincere and incredibly vulnerable.
Arden notices. He gets closer to her.
Fine. I made a mistake. Is that what you wanted to hear?
For a long time.
I shouldn’t have hooked up with Yasmine.
No you shouldn’t have.
He nods, accepting.
But it was a song, Ebaneen! Just one little song. It meant nothing.
It did to me. Tangled Limbs was supposed to be our song.
Yeah. It was.
Then... what happened?
Arden sighs. He looks resigned.
Yasmine was doing a remix in the studio next to me when I was recording the demo for Tangled Limbs. Her manager heard it and he asked who I was planning to use for the female part. And I told him...I told him no one.
The audience can't believe Arden's announcement. Slowly approaching from the rear of the room is Deen, unnoticed by everyone.
So he brought Yasmine in and she sang on the demo with me. Her manager said it was a guaranteed mainstream hit. He convinced me that a pop metal duet would push my music career into high gear.
Richie steps forward.
It’s true, Ebaneen. I was th--
She turns and glares at Richie. He steps back.
But I didn’t have a lawyer read over the contract. So when the song came out, huge as it was, I didn’t get writing credit. No royalties either. I just got a one-time studio musician fee. They screwed me over.
One particularly ambitious acid loogie shoots out across the stage right at Ebaneen.
Arden sees the flying spittle and pushes Ebaneen aside.
They both fall to the stage floor.
The loogie cuts through Arden’s jacket. Ebaneen watches it pass, then looks expectantly at him. He still holds his mic.
I’m a metal sellout, Eb. I lost everything in that deal. My credibility in the metal community, the chance at a huge payout, and...
He reaches for her.
Everyone turns. They’re shocked to see scary-looking Deen push his way through the crowd. He stops at the stage. Arden drops his hand that holds the mic.
You... you said something!
Yeah, Deen. I said lots of things.
About Ivor! And The Putrefication Principle.
Arden and the others give him a curious look.
You’re gonna have to help me out a little more.
You said anyone who’s played with them... would know how they’ve always dabbled in the occult!
Correct. But no one here has ever--
Ulrich! From Rectal Regurgiator!
Arden squints, thinking.
Ulrich... oh yeah. Didn’t that guy tour with Ivor for a while? They had an ugly split or something.
Yes! Ivor kicked Ulrich out because he wasn’t into the dark shit like The Putrefication Principle was.
I thought Rectal Regurgiator was supposed to play in the Battle. I don’t remember seeing any of those guys tonight.
But they’re here!
They are? Where?
Deen points up. He has a maniacal look on his face.
There. The black room!
Everyone looks up to a doorway on the second level above the bar. Rays of light shine out from under the crack.
You’ve gotta be kidding me...