Princess Tutu Fan Fiction ❯ The Madrigal: Princess Tutu and the Secret Six II ❯ Chapter 1
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The Madrigal: Princess Tutu and the Secret Six II
To Enuwey: who has inspired me not to give up on this story line, helping me to know that there is always an audience, despite your critics.
The doctor's phone rang, cutting through the silence of the late night he was spending in his office. His science and research corporation sat high on one of the more prominent buildings in Fawcett City, in a spot reserved for only the top executives. He had spent much time building up his empire, trying to emulate the company from which he was awaiting this call. Indeed, he had much work to do, and he would have been further had it not been for the constant interference of the one he called the Big Red Cheese. He had been pacing his large office that was filled with windows from floor to ceiling that marked a corner office of the building he and his own engineers had designed. He sat behind his chestnut wood desk, staring at the dark red carpet, contemplating where things were going to go when the call came through. Normally, he would not be here so late if it were not for the importance of the call. He was old, and the stress on him for what was demanded of him was not helping the aging process. His face indeed showed the track marks of age, as did his glasses with the Coke bottle lenses. He was quick to snatch up the phone as it rang. There were consequences for not being prompt with this client. “So, what did you find out?” asked the voice on the other end.
“It was as you expected,” said the doctor, “As the old miners would have said, `There's gold in dem der hills,' and in this case, black gold.'”
“Excellent!” exclaimed the voice, “What I would ask of you now is to survey and find out how large the field actually is.”
“What about the government?” asked the doctor, “You would have certain ones trying to stop you, while the nut cases would be out with their signs and chants…” but he was cut off by the laughter on the other end. “I was once president of the United States. I would call you `idiot' for that, but you are far to smart. Don't worry about that, my business would be able to press past that with no problem.”
“Well, I suspect the oil field does spread a ways, but there is another problem,” said the doctor with trepidation.
“Oh, and what would that be?” asked the mysterious person on the other end.
“There is a town there,” said the doctor, “It's just 20 miles outside Fawcett City, named for the man who resided there for when he retired.”
“Is it big?”
“No, it's probably only got about 3,000 people living there.”
“That's easily resolved. We just pay them to move, and provide them with the land, houses, whatnot, which is a small price to pay for what I hope to obtain.”
“If it were only that easy.”
“What would be the problem?”
“There is also the matter of the school there.”
“So, we move the school as well.”
“That is not that easy either. The school is world renown.”
There was a pause on the other end, and then the man on that side said, “Are you talking about the school of the arts there?”
“Yes, it's the Kinkan Matzuzama School for the Arts: it's both a middle and high school, and the school probably adds another 500 to 700 to the population. Another problem is a new theater being built in the woods not too far from there. It is actually partly owned by three former students and three current students that have a now very famous act.”
“You refer to the Pas De Six, do you not?”
“Yes, they are the ones.”
“I see. Yet, how hard would it be just to relocate the school. We could easily build them a new one, with fully modern dorms, facilities, and so forth.”
“The board of trustees would fight you. They want it there so the students can focus on their studies, just as Kinkan wanted.”
There was another pregnant pause, and the man then said, “Give me a little time. We can buy out the act with no problem, and just build them another theater. However, all I have to do is work with the trustees. If Lexcorp was able to make a healthy enough donation beyond the investments that keep the school open, we essentially buy them out, and then Lexcorp owns it in proxy. Then I do what I want.”
Indeed this impressed the doctor. He was trying to have access to the resources that Lexcorp did, but he was somewhat new in the investment game. He was glad to be able to do what he had already. The thought of being able to throw money around like that seemed delicious to him, for with it came power. Why run a whole country when you could do it from behind the scenes? “What happens to the theater?” asked the doctor.
“I will find out who they have cosigned with, and work it out with them, or offer them the money to pay off what they owe, and then I control them,” said Lex Luthor, “In the meantime, Dr. Savannah, I would like that information on the oil field as soon as possible. Leave the business side to me.”
“There could be one other minor problem?” said the doctor.
“What would that be?”
“Actually, there could be two problems. One is the Big Red Cheese.”
“I thought he was patrolling Fawcett.”
“He has been splitting his time between there and the village. That brings up the second problem. He has a sister like him now, and they work with four other heroes that live in that area, and they call themselves the Secret Six. They could get in the way.”
There was a loud laugh on the other side. “Do you think the supers are any problem to me? If we keep it above board, they can do nothing. Believe me, they are strong, but brains outdo brawn any day of the week. They are not even a factor to me.”
“I hope your right, Mr. Luthor,” said the doctor, “or we are sunk before we even get started.”
Annie Jo Martina was all excited that her producers were able to obtain the act that they did. She had hard competition with the afternoon talk show time slot, but she knew these kids could put her ratings through the roof. She had some trepidation at first. Even though they had a great tour, there was no telling what she would get now. Often, winners and close runners-up of talent shows could be one-trick ponies, or only have enough material in such that they would `jump the shark' early. She hoped that this was not the case. However, when she met them in the green room before going on, she saw six fresh youths brimming over with energy and enthusiasm. She knew talent when she saw it, considering the number of people that had already been on her show. Normally, people came on to promote a new tour, album, movie, or something like that. However, this seemed different. The only thing they seemed to want to promote was themselves, and even then, they did not look like they were trying. She loved the stoic, black haired German boy. He seemed not to want to say much, but he was quite affectionate with the brunette that stayed by his side. It was as if he was constantly protecting her, always on the lookout for her needs. She contrasted him well, in that; she seemed open, yet quiet, but quiet in the way that would befit a good listener. The one with the almost white hair had a cherubic look to him, and he seemingly almost always seemed to have a grin on his face. This was the first time she had ever met him, and yet, there seemed to be something about him that looked like he was reaching right into her soul, and in a comforting way. His wife had the air of confidence about her: sort of a “take charge” air about her. She had all the markings of high society, and would have probably been more in place at La Scalia. However, she seemed to be at ease in the mix, and doting over the last two. The boy with the black, wavy hair she knew well. If one had watched enough of the news on WHIZ, they would instantly recognize Batson on sight. To see him like this, well, she thought it must have surpassed his greatest expectations, considering how he started out. The red head on his arm constantly was the most childlike, and energetic. If she was not sure that she was looking at a human, she could have sworn she was watching a duck in action. However, there was more swan than duck there, and so she had a unique beauty of her own. She was just hoping things went as well as it seemed to be going. However, the red head spotted her nerves, and said, “We're the one's going on, and you look a wreck!”
Annie did not expect this. Despite being the youngest, she seemed to have all the confidence of a woman that had been doing ballet for 30 years. Annie laughed, and said, “I figured that you would be the ones with the nerves, and I am shaking like a leaf!”
“Are you kidding?” said Ahiru, “I have a swarm of migrating monarchs in my belly right now!”
Annie began to laugh at her trepidation, and realized that all was going to go well. “Let's just go out and have fun,” continued Ahiru, “That's what we're going to do.”
“Everyone in their places: we go hot in three minutes,” thundered the stage manager. They all nodded and prepared to dazzle the crowd.
The show opened, and she started with her stand-up monologue, and then she said, “Now, today's special guest came in second on last year's Strut Your Stuff in a very controversial way. However, they have managed to overcome their critics and have just returned from a successful summer tour and they are our guests for the whole show. Please welcome the Pas De Six!”
The house broke into thunderous applause for the act, and the lights and music began to kick in as the curtain opened. The boys were wearing black peasant shirts, tights, and slippers, while the girls were wearing flowing white silk skirts, flowing shirts with sleeves open on the sides, save for the points here and there where they were tied, white tights and toe shoes. They were also wearing the ear bud microphones, and it looked like they were also going to sing as well as dance. The music playing was When Doves Cry, but it was them playing an unplugged version of the song, and they sang it live. As they progressed, there was solo work, duet, pas de deux, and full group harmony in both voice and dance as they conveyed the passion of the song. The lighting crew was working overtime to add the right accent to the already incredible scene being performed before them. When they finished, the din of the crowd began anew, and louder than before. It appeared that the tour only served to tighten them as an act, and people had to remind themselves that three of them were still in an art school. They went to commercial, and they all retrieved their instruments as they went over to the interview desk. When they came back, Mary Jo was ready to get the scoop on the latest doings of the act, as well as wanting to attempt to help the audience to become more intimate with the group.
They came back from commercial, and Annie Jo opened with her characteristic smile and energy. She herself was about 24 years old, so she was young enough to attach to her target crowd, and on this day, to her guests. “Okay and welcome back to the show! I am sitting here with the Pas De Six. That was incredible, guys! Did you do that on tour?”
“That was one we were working on near the end,” said Ahiru, “but we never got a chance to finish it, so this was its debut.”
Everyone applauded as Annie Jo continued, and said, “Well then, I'm going to have them tell who they are, and their ages, which I am sure most of you know unless you've been living under a rock for the past year!”
That brought some laughs as Annie said, “We'll start at the end:”
“Fakir Schmidt—I'm 18.”
“Mary Batson—I'm 15.”
“Rue Kuroah Schmidt—I'm 18.”
“Mytho Schmidt—I'm 18.”
“William Batson—I'm 15.”
“I'm Ahiru Arima, and I'm 14.”
“Wow, now that's a broad range for age,” said Annie, “and you guys act like you have been dancing for five years!”
“I hope we don't look like we're acting,” said Billy, “I though we really were dancing!”
That brought a big laugh from the audience, as the sense of humor the group had grown known for came through. Annie then asked, “So, how did all this come together?”
“Well, this may seem odd,” said Rue, “but there was a time only two years ago where we were not friends.”
“Now that seems strange,” responded Annie, “Were you foes or something?”
“Not necessarily,” said Mytho, “It's just that there were certain things that kept us a bit at odds with one another.”
Fakir wanted to weigh his words well, because he did not want to make it sound like his brother was crazy. Thus, he said, “My brother had some situations happen back in our homeland that caused him to…well…the best way to say it was that he lost his heart, in a sense.”
“It was a traumatic experience,” said Mytho, playing off the cue, “I somewhat lost all ambition and emotion, and I was basically no more than an automaton. Fakir was very protective of me, but that is where Rue and Duck come into play.”
“Who's duck?” asked Annie.
“I am,” said Ahiru, “They call me that because `Ahiru' is the Japanese word for `duck.' Billy has been calling me `Baby Duck' for so long now that everyone calls me `Duck' now. I don't know if I like it, but sometimes you can't shake a nickname once it takes.”
“Ah!” exclaimed Annie, “So you two are…you know!”
Ahiru and Billy turned beat red, and that seemed to answer the question. Annie, bringing it back on subject then asked, “So, how did the two girls change things?”
“Well, both I and Duck were rivals for Mytho, and both of us were doing what we could to bring back that heart he had, and that Duck was sure was buried deep inside,” answered Rue.
“Of course, I was not sure of their intentions,” said Fakir, “and I was suspicious of anyone that could have taken advantage of him. However, despite all that I did, they were actually helping him, and I realized that I had to back off, and then help him rather than cloister him.”
“However,” queried Annie, “we all know that Mytho and Rue are married now, and we are wondering what happened there. You said that you and Ahiru…”
“You can call me `Duck,'” said Ahiru, “Everyone does now.”
“Okay…well…you said that you two were rivals, so what happened there?” responded Annie.
“There were a few things,” said Ahiru, “First, there was the age difference. I was only just at 13 years at the time, and he was kind of my first crush, which was the second thing. I realized that I loved him like a friend, and that it was only affection that I felt. Rue truly had that love for him, and it seemed they had more in common, so I relented.”
“After Mytho `came out,'” added Rue, “and because of how it happened, Duck and I became friends, but we were still rivals, so we were not as good as we could have been. Yet, I ended up loving her so much more when she opened her heart about all of what she said, and told me that she wanted me and Mytho together. At first, there was this touchdown dance going on in my brain, but then it hit me just how much courage and guts it took to tell me something like that, and that she was more concerned about my happiness than her own. She became my little sister after that, and I could not hate her after that.”
That was followed by a bunch of “aw” being sounded, and applause, causing Ahiru to go red again. Annie then asked, “Now, where did Billy and Mary come in?”
“I met him the first day I arrived for school last year,” answered Ahiru, “He was playing on a rise on the student mall, and his singing and music just pulled you in.”
“Was it that which caught your eye?” probed Annie.
“Well, it was that,” answered Ahiru, “and the fact that he immediately showed a big, caring heart, a friendly smile and warm personality. I had tripped and fallen, and he was right there to help me up, and then we were talking, and well, it took off.”
Billy was the one now that was red, though not as bad as he remembered that first sweet moment when they met. Mary then said, “I was there a couple of days later, and I was totally clueless about my past.”
“We are fraternal twins,” said Billy, “Because of certain things that happened, we were separated at birth. Dad was an Egyptologist, and he broke an old Egyptian scarab and made pendants out of them. He gave each of us one of the halves, and he was going to use that to identify us. However, tragedy overcame us, and I was orphaned, while Mary was lost in the foster care system.”
“Now, I am familiar with you from your anchor work on WHIZ,” said Annie, “so I am familiar with your story, and how I heard that you were going to Kinkan to further your skills. How did you two meet?”
“In this case,” answered Mary, “It was pure blessed luck! When we discovered the pendants, and how they linked up, Billy informed me about his past, and it was confirmed that I was indeed his sister. So, here we are!”
“How did the act form,” asked Annie.
“It was originally Billy's brainchild,” responded Fakir.
“I was amazed at how good as singers they were,” added Billy, “and how quickly they were able to pick up on harmonies. Then came the annual fall variety show.”
Rue chimed in, and she said, “We worked out three pas de deux—a dancing duet—and performed them to contemporary music, and the audience went nuts.”
“They were applauding so hard, we did not know what to do,” added Mytho, “Billy obtained a guitar from the orchestra and we improved to a song he sang. Now, we were suddenly a song and dance act.”
“After that show, as we were walking home, Billy tried some different songs with, and he then suggested that we could have an act,” filled in Ahiru, “After that, he bought all of us some instruments that we could easily pick up on, and we began to develop it. Our former teacher, and now our director and choreographer, Gustaph Katt, encouraged us to go forward with the act, and he has been a major inspiration for us. The rest is history.”
“Okay, we're going to take an obscene profit break here, and when we come back, we're going to find out more about the act itself.”
After the break, Annie said, “Welcome back! We're talking to the Pas De Six today, and hoping to get to know them more. Now, where did the name come from?”
“It's actually a ballet term,” said Rue, “It's a French term. A `pas de deux' means `the steps of two,' or a duet. Thus, when you add another, it's `pas de trois, pas de quatre,' and so forth. There are six of us, so it's `the Pas de Six.'”
“What instruments do you play,” inquired Annie.
They went down the line, starting with Fakir, “I play acoustic guitar and bass violin,” “I play guitar,” “I play concertina, accordion, and keys,” “I play violin, drums and percussion,” “I play mandolin, banjo, guitar, and keys when Rue plays her other instruments, and we need the keys,” “I play 21-key chromatic autoharp and dulcimer.”
“Now, I heard you call yourself a `song-and-dance' act, but it seems more than that,” probed Annie.
“We consider ourselves a `visual madrigal,'” responded Mary.
“What is a `madrigal'?” furthered Annie.
Mytho chimed in and said, “A madrigal is a form of renaissance poetry that was set to an a cappella ensemble. We try to do the same thing, and add a visual aspect to that if we can.”
“The way you talk, it seems like you are in each other's head,” reasoned Annie, “Is the teamwork that good?”
“We all have areas we specialize,” said Billy, “Fakir is our engineer. He has a good ear in the studio for mixing and such. Mary is our songwriter. Half the songs on our new album are covers, the rest are hers. Rue helps with the choreography, while Mytho has an ear with harmonies, and he helps there. I do the music arranging. Baby Duck is the `brains of the outfit'!”
“Are you saying she's in charge?” asked Annie.
Rue chimed in and said, “She's the best organizer of strategy for us. When we are kicking around ideas, and we are throwing out the pieces, she just has a way of putting them all together in a sensible form. We then look at her, and say, `enough said,' and that is it!”
“Now, we have a music video you guys did, and it's based off your tour, right?” asked Annie.
“We covered Simon and Garfunkel's America, and added clips from the tour with us singing and playing,” said Fakir, “It has some great outtakes!”
“Okay, let's give it a look!”
As the video played, they got out their instruments, and prepared to play one of Mary's originals. Once the video finished to loud applause, they introduced the next song by Mary, and it was a song that dealt with how fate and love brought them together, strengthened them, and how they became as one, and a family. She titled it Fate Brought Us Together, Love Will See Us Home. After that was done, Annie then said, “Now, you have one more number to do, right?”
“Yes,” said Rue, “We are going to do a piece that we have done to the Hungarian Rhapsody. This one is going to be a classic kind of performance, because we like to show that we can do this as well, and we also hope to expand the horizons for the young people that watch us in dance and music.”
“And we'll be back with that after this word.”
They quickly went in the back and got into more classical ballet outfits. Using the skills they learned for live performance, they were ready in a flash. The girls were now in the tutu Grande, and boys were in more of the renaissance looking outfits, ready to go. The dance had all the poise and grace of any professional at the Met or with Ballet Russe. For the ones that had not seen this phase of their performances, they were both shocked and impressed at the same time. Almost everyone now had a better appreciation for the classics, and the classic style of ballet, because the kids were showing just how multitalented they were. When it was done, they received a standing ovation that lasted a good minute. After that, Annie thanked them for coming and said her good-byes until the next day. Once the cameras went out, Annie told them, “Kids, I have seen many acts come and go across this stage, and every one of them had promise. Yet, there are some that have managed to `jump the shark' early. You guys have the potential to go far. Just do not forget to be able to keep reinventing yourselves, because that way, you will always stay current. Thank you again, gang, you guys have so much to offer!”
They thanked her for the gracious words, and went to get changed so the three that were in school could get back in time to prepare for the orientation the next day. They had no idea that the other sides of themselves would have to make an appearance that day.