Shannon and Jared are brothers, best friends and band mates. When the brothers are separated by something irreversible at the last ever Mars show, it will change their lives forever.
Shannon swung his arm around and slammed his hand onto the red flashing button, lying face down into the pillow. "Uugh. 7am" He moaned and slid his body around, moving onto the side of the bed. He sat for a few seconds with his head cupped in his hands and his eyes still closed, unnajusted to the morning light. "Who the fuck set my alarm for seven? Jared?" He called in a husky voice. After a fraction of a second, Jared's head appeared from around the edge of the open bathroom door, clean shaven, his hair gelled up and his toothbrush tilted in his mouth. "Morning!" he said casually, like he had no idea it was so early that the birds didn't seem to be awake yet. "H-how are you so aw-awake? What time did you get up you crazy motherfucker?!" Shannon groaned, opening his eyes like the sun was melting them. "Five thirty." Jared said, disappearing round the corner. "Five fucking THIRTY?!" Shannon shook his head and stood up, his muscles rippled as he stretched and his bones clicked into place. "Seriously bro, sometimes I don't think we're even related." He said, scratching his head. Jared chuckled from the bathroom and Shannon couldn't help but laugh a little too. "But seriously dude, why so early?!" "'Cause we gotta show to do!" Jared said, almost in crescendo. "Jared that's not until 6. The one time we actually get half a lie in, you wake me up at the crack of dawn, you bastard." Shannon muttered, but there was no reply, Jared was used to Shannon's strops every now and again. "Fucking hell." Shannon grumbled. He finally decided that now he was up, he might as well get ready. He threw on a pair of black jeans, a tshirt with a pair of white trainers and went to brush his teeth. Getting ready for Shannon always took about a 20th of the time it took Jared. Once the pair were ready, and the room had been cleaned up (courtesy of Jared), they took the elevator down to the hotel lobby. Jared pushed the ground floor button, the elevator doors shut and started moving down. It was a painfully slow elevator, which didn't help that they were on floor 60. They stood in silence for a few seconds, when all of a sudden the cheesy elevator music changed to the opening of Kings And Queens, "Tomo." They said in unison and both started laughing hysterically. "I think I prefered Rick Astley." Shannon said and Jared started singing along to Kings And Queens at the top of his voice. "No- Stop it!" Shannon tried to shout over him but was laughing too much. Jared stopped singing when the song ended, both giggled for a bit and it was quiet again. After a few moments Jared broke the silence, "Sorry." He said softly. "Ah dude it's fine, I hear your voice often enough anyway." Shannon smiled. "No not that, I mean, sorry for setting your alarm for seven, I mean, I know you like your sleep but I didn't want to risk being late and-" Jared was broken off by a massive constricting bro-hug from Shannon, which ended as soon as he realised he might be suffocating his little brother, they smiled at each other and stood in silence again. The elevator clicked and the doors opened, a grinning Tomo was waiting on the other side. "Woooooaaaaaaahhhhh, wooooooaaaaaahhh" Tomo sang, mimicking the start of Kings And Queens. Shannon leaped out of the elevator and put Tomo in a headlock. Jared rolled his eyes, grabbed Tomo and Shannon by each arm and pulled them along to the front desk like a mother with her two preteen sons. He paid the lady at the front desk the money for the rooms, managing to get himself a discount by signing her 'A beautiful Lie' CD, the echelon were always wonderful like that. "Well guys, this is it." Tomo declared, and put his hand straight out in front of him. "Um, Tomo, we're not the power rangers, I'm not putting my hand in." Shannon laughed. "Fine." Tomo said, folding his arms, but couldn't keep the straight face for long and soon him and Shannon were both in hysterics again. "I will never understand you guys." Jared said, with a perplexed look on his face, but the laughter was so contagious even he couldn't stay serious for long, and soon all three were laughing uncontrollably.
Rehearsals lasted a lot longer than usual because Jared was keen to make sure everything was perfect, right down to the tiny details. They ended at around 5pm, time for the Meet & Greet. The three were directed to a big table was a white tablecloth and little silver decoration, it was a lot more high-class than they were used to, they had really splashed out for this one. There were three chairs on one side of the table, in which Tomo sat on the far left, Shannon in the middle and Jared on the very right. The first few members of the echelon wandered in, there were only five at a time, usually they had to be in more quickly, but being the last show, the band wanted to extend it for as long as possible. The first girl wasn't very tall, about 5ft tall, she had long black hair, right down to her waist and dark brown eyes. "Hi..." she said, shaking like a leaf. "Hey!" Shannon exclaimed, he got out of his chair, despite the organisers telling him not to, he wanted to see his fans properly. Tomo and Jared followed, they loved the echelon and nobody was going to tell them to stay sat down. Shannon hugged the girl and the guys posed with her for a few photos, and then a few with her friend, who was a similar height, with pixie-like features and blonde hair with blue tips down to her shoulders. Jared often turned to Shannon and pointed at certain people, he had a talent for picking out the interesting ones. One guy he noticed had a pomegranate mohawk just like the one Jared used to have, that's not the reason Jared noticed him though, it was because he had a tattoo on one of his arms with "Dream Big" written across it, jared always did take an interest in dreams. The Meet & Greet ended sooner than expected, the band each went back to their dressing rooms. Jared was just getting changed when he heard a knock on his door, he opened it and Shannon was there, he looked angry. "Errr, hey Shan, what's up?" Jared said. Shannon punched him clean round the face. "Oh I'll tell ya. All fucking day, you've been a real dick, yano that? Bossing everyone around, telling everyone that they're not good enough. Well guess what Jared, we're in this band too. I've been trying to make you less stressed all day, but NOT ONCE have you asked me how I'm feeling. And I-I" Shannon broke down. "Bro, I'm just scared okay, after this I don't wanna be forgotten, not one bit, you'll go away, do some acting, some modelling, well I haven't got that. Mars is all I have." Jared was speechless, holding his face with one hand, he tried to comfort Shannon, but Shannon just walked out the door, trying to wipe his eyes and act like the hardcore drummer, he was always like that. Jared hated it when Shannon did this, and was worried that Shannon might've been drinking a lot in his dressing room, he was a 'party animal' but sometimes he took it too far. Soon enough, it was time for the show to start. Tomo, Shannon and Jared sat outside the stage door, psyching themselves up. "You know what, I just want to say, I'm so happy to play with you guys, I mean, you're my favourite band- we're my favourite band, and there aren't words to describe the feeling I get every time I get out onto that stage, out into that studio, and I play alongside you guys, the best friends, and the best musicians I've ever come across in my life, and I hope this isn't the end of my music career with you, and if it is, well my life's been well spent." Tomo said, Jared and Shannon could've sworn he had tears in his eyes. "You talk like it's the end of the world Tomo!" Shannon said avoiding eye contact with Jared, "Come on guys, let's do this!" He said. They heard the crowd shouting "We want mars! We want mars!" all together, they loved it when the echelon did that. Jared gave the hand signals to the guy on sound, and he started playing the long intro to Stranger In A Strange Land, number 1 on the set list. The crowd roared, and the band waited for their cue. Tomo was on first, he went through the door on the right hand side, a spotlight shined on him the echelon shouted the loudest that Tomo had ever heard them before. He stood playing his guitar in complete awe with the sheer amount of people there. Next was Shannon, he ran in through the left door and the spotlight landed on him. He looked over at Tomo and they exchanged a glance as if to say "Holy shit." The intro drew to an end, and Jared from nowhere sang the line 'enemy of mine' and the crowd went mental. Then, through a trap door in the ground, he rose up and sand the line 'I'll fuck you like the devil' and in all of their career, neither Jared, Shannon nor Tomo had heard a noise as loud and as beautiful as the sound of the echelon in all their glory.
The show continued, through From Yesterday, to Night Of The Hunter, and a special appearance from Matt Wachter to play Buddha For Mary and Echelon. The next song along is The Kill, and in true Jared style. He rips off his shirt, grabs his acoustic guitar and gets right down to the echelon. Shannon always got nervous when Jared did this, even when he was mad at him, in the hundreds of shows he did it, when Jared disappears into the crowd Shannon always got tense, it was like a natural thing, he couldn't control it. Jared got to the chorus of the song, and leaped into the crowd, as normal, his head bobbed up and down from the sea of echelon every now and again, and got them to sing back to him, joining in when he had use of his arms and wasn't being touched inappropriately. Shannon secretly thought that was why Jared enjoyed climbing on the echelon so much. Shannon sighed, it was the last ever show, and he felt like he's ruined it for himself by overdoing things, drinking alcohol beforehand. This wasn't a party, this was serious. He kept an eye on the crowd "COME, BREAK ME DOWN" The echelon sang, "BURY ME, BURY ME" Jared would sing back. This kept going for a little bit, until the crowd sung "COME, BREAK ME DOWN" but there was no response from Jared, nor could Shannon see him, he looked at Tomo, Tomo shook his head, he couldn't see Jared either. Shannon started shaking, he still couldn't see Jared. He stopped drumming, grabbed a spare microphone from the side of the stage and shouted through it. "Jared? Jared are you okay buddy? Jared, guys, where's Jared?!" He stared welling up.Tomo put down his guitar, and tried to comfort Shannon, but Shannon ran down to the crowd, tears running down his face. "Jared? Jared? Fucking Jared? WHERE ARE YOU?" He shouted and ran into the crowd, for once in the whole duration of the tour, the echelon fell silent, only whispers in the background of people asking "Where's Jared?" or "What's happening?" One girl in the centre of the crowd shouted, "Here! He's here! Oh god!" Shannon ran, Tomo behind him, about fifty security guards were also rushing to help. Shannon could barely see with all the tears in his eyes, until he got there, and there he was. Jared lying in a mangled heap in the ground, blood all over his body. "S-Sh-Shannon?" Jared's voice was weak, he tried to lift his hand out to Shannon but the pain was too intense, he fell unconscious. Shannon wrapped his arms around Jared, and shortly after, Tomo and all the guards and medics arrived with a stretcher. Jared got lifted onto it and was carried out of the crowd. With no warning at all, the echelon suddenly burst into singing A Modern Myth as Jared was being taken away, Shannon was fighting through everyone to keep up with his unconscious brother, Tomo, now out of the crowd, saw no better use than to pick up the acoustic guitar and play A Modern Myth to aid the echelon. Jared got taken straight to the ambulance that was waiting right beside the stage. Shannon climbed inside, holding Jared's hand and crying hysterically. Shannon signaled to Tomo, asking if he wanted to go too. Tomo shook his head and pointed to the crowd. Shannon understood, the echelon needed talking to, and Tomo was the man for the job. The ambulance drove away with the sirens sounding, the most piercing sound. Tomo looked out at the crowd, still singing, tears streaming down their faces. They had lit lighters and were waving phones and iPods now, they lit up brightly against the night sky, which seemed darker and more eerie than ever before. The next thing to come was the looming black raincloud which covered up the stars and saturated everyone, Tomo, standing inches from the crowd didn't retreat to shelter, and nor did the echelon, they all stayed together singing, getting drenched in the rain. They stayed there all night. Jared or Shannon never returned to finish the show.
To be continued.