DISCLAIMER: Story is fiction. None of it's true. Not even the imaginary lives I've created for the celebrities. So don't go running to the magazines to sell the story that Justin, Lance, Jc are really gay. It would be a lie. And we don't want you telling lies now do we. Besides, I would hate to sick Gabriel on all of you.
Thanks to all the authors who voted Blind Revolution Author's Choice in this year's BBSA's and to all the fans who voted for our stories and their continued support of us. You have no idea how much it means to us or how hard we've worked to construct this very complicated story. The idea of our peers enjoying the story and the camaraderie we've received from them is overwhelming. Thank you. To all the nay sayers who hated the concept of Blind Revolution and its subject matter, all I can say is, suck on the short hairs.
Angel can be contacted at Fireangel197502@Yahoo.com for any comments or questions.
I can be reached at Wolfflyer26@Yahoo.com All emails will be answered promptly and swiftly. Cheers.
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: DRAGON OR MACHINE
The five members of Nysnc were antsy to say the least. The last two hours before a show were the worst. Each had their own ritual to deal with the pre-show jitters. Joey and Chris played video games and argued with one another incessantly, carefully avoiding all thought of performing. Lance hid in his dressing room, occupying his mind with business matters such as FreeLance Enterprises. Jc did vocal warm-ups and toyed around on his keyboard, lost in deep concentration.
Justin, the youngest, but with the most riding on his shoulders not only did vocal warm-ups but did a strict regime of exercises designed to loosen up his muscles and get the blood flowing. Normally this helped him settle down and concentrate on his upcoming performance. Normally.
But this performance would be anything but normal. With the sketchy details of what might happened at tonight's show and the knowledge that Gabriel was caught up in the middle of it all and it was all coming to a head during his performance, he couldn't keep his mind on his vocal exercises. Even with the added numbness of the pain killers he still felt uptight, his stomach heaving blindly every few seconds.
After twenty minutes of futile attempts to calm down, he gave up and opened his dressing room door. Looking first one way and then the other, he spotted one of the bands assistant. Calling out to him, he asked, "Can you find Lonnie for me?"
The young but handsome assistant smiled warmly and replied, "Sure."
Justin mumbled thanks and shut himself in the relatively quiet sanctuary of his dressing room. Hiking up his loose fitting shorts, he sat on the floor. Putting on long leg in front of him and the other tucked underneath his body, he grabbed his foot and began stretching. Laying his body prone against his leg, he breathed in and out slowly, trying desperately to focus on the show.
Growling loudly at the failed attempt, he
suddenly thought back to the exercises he did with Gabriel earlier.
Remembering how calm he felt, he pulled his
legs to his body and sat Indian style.
Resting his hands on his knees, he shut his eyes and began concentrating
on his breathing just like Gabriel taught him.
In moments he felt his body relaxing, the tension draining from him like
a flood of negative energy. Smiling as
he meditated, he decided when he got back to
A knock on the door interrupted him and he replied without opening his eyes, "Come in."
The door opened and the hulking form of Lonnie entered the small dressing room. He was dressed in black with a shirt indicating he worked for the band, security splashed across his chest and back. His usually jolly face was lined with worry, a frown creasing his lips. "You sent for me." He stated simply.
Justin opened his eyes and smiled at his friend. He stood up with a grunt, a dull ache in his lower body. He sat down and motioned for Lonnie to follow suit. Absently scratching his ear, he asked, "How's it look tonight?"
Lonnie shrugged and replied, "Pretty much like every other show we've ever done."
Justin studied his friend, noticing the lines and
the frown. Wishing again he knew more of
what was going on, he asked suddenly, hoping to catch the big man off guard,
"Was that Gabriel you were talking to earlier today at
As usual, Lonnie's face was unreadable. It may as well be a mask, expressionless and blank. Lonnie stated simply, "Yes."
"Can you tell me what's going on?" Justin pleaded in a small voice, a hint of desperation in his eyes.
Shaking his head, Lonnie said softly, "I think there are some things you shouldn't know."
Justin stood up and walked over to the small fridge in the corner. Grabbing a bottle of water, he took a long drink before saying, "I'm not a child you know."
"Never said you were." Lonnie countered.
Turning around to face the big man, Justin declared, "Then quit treating me like one." He stared at Lonnie, his eyes flashing.
Lonnie said calmly, "Is there anything in particular you want to fight about or should we just make it up as we go?"
Justin stood there with his mouth open, speechless. Finally he grinned and spat, "Fucker."
"Spoiled little rich boy." Lonnie shot out with a grin.
Grabbing his crotch, Justin said, "Little? How bout I show you something little?"
"No thanks. I don't swing that way."
Justin started laughing and sat back down. After a few moments he asked, "Do you know what's going on?"
Lonnie's face turned grim as he nodded slowly. Justin toyed with his water bottle and asked, "Are we in danger?"
Shaking his head no, Lonnie said softly, "I don't think so. But accidents happen."
"What ever he's doing, it's really dangerous isn't it?" Justin asked wide eyed.
"I think so."
"Then I need you to do me a favor." Justin said slowly, looking up to meet Lonnie's expressionless eyes.
Lonnie only gazed back at him. Justin continued, "I need you to stick close by him tonight. Make sure nothing happens to him."
Lonnie erupted loudly, "I can't. I have my own duties here."
Justin argued, "If I know you, you've done everything humanly possible to ensure our safety. The rest of the guys can do it."
Holding up his hand, Justin interrupted, "Listen to me. I don't know everything but I have this feeling that I might never see him again. Like he won't make it through this night. I don't want that to happen. And if you can stop it from happening I want you too."
Lonnie studied his friend intently. His conscious torn between duty and friendship. Justin wasn't the only one to worry about, he had four other boys he loved to death and he had a duty to protect them. If he did what Justin asked of him, their safety was in jeopardy. But his friendship with the singer was just as important; maybe a bit more. Both sides were warring inside him, each fighting for control. Finally his feelings of friendship won out and Lonnie sighed loudly.
"I'll do what I can." Lonnie promised a painful look in his eyes. "But Gabriel might not want any help."
"All I'm asking is for you too try." Justin said softly. "I can't bear the thought of something happening to him. Not when I might be able to stop it."
The two friends stared at one another silently, words were unnecessary. For the big man, his thoughts were occupied on Justin and his situation. Realizing finally for the first time that Justin was no longer the child he was in the beginning. Gone was the wide eyed stare of the fifteen year old, the youthful naiveté that endeared the singer to millions of fans worldwide. It had been replaced by the calculating look of an adult who had no more innocence left but still had not been jaded by the harsh demands of his life. Justin was no longer a child.
The thoughts running through Justin's head were just as jumbled and illuminated. To someone accustomed to having his every wish granted, every demand fulfilled, the helplessness he felt gripping his soul was disheartening to say the least. Usually the one with all the answers, all the pieces of the puzzle, he felt vulnerable, cloaked in the darkness of his own making. Maybe if he had pressed Gabriel earlier after breakfast he would have at least one more piece of the puzzle. Still confused at his reasoning to stop the blonde from speaking, he tried to rationalize his motives.
For a few minutes, each were lost deep in their own dark thoughts. Each wishing for a favorable outcome after this night was over. In a way, each hoping for the exact same thing.
Suddenly Justin broke the silence by asking, "What's your opinion of Lance and Jc finally getting together?"
The big man chuckled softly and replied, "The same I think about you and Gabriel."
"That would be?" Justin said, leaning forward slightly in his chair.
"Happiness of any kind is so hard to find in this world. I say when you find it, grab it tightly and never let it go." The big man explained, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. "But maybe I wished you had found happiness with someone else beside him."
"Like Britney?" Came the instant reply.
"Don't get me wrong Justin." Lonnie stated flatly, shifting his holster on his side absently. "It would've been a lot easier for you if you had."
Justin rolled his eyes and rubbed his stomach thoughtfully. "Yeah it would. Especially with my family. Not to mention that I have this whole career thing going on too."
"What are you going to tell your mother?" Lonnie asked with that same blank expression that always adorned his face.
Sighing, Justin looked at the ceiling for a moment, trying to picture how his mother would handle the news of him being gay. No matter how he looked at it, he could only come to the conclusion that in the end she would accept him. For a while she would be disappointed but they had a bond that ran deeper than even they knew. No, she would accept him and fight for him whatever he wished to do.
"Nothing right now." Justin admitted weakly. "It's not like Gabriel's going home with me for the holidays. I don't even know if I'll ever see him again. We kind of said goodbye earlier at the hotel."
"Maybe it's for the best." Lonnie stated slowly, trying hard to control his raging emotions.
Justin exploded as he stood up defiantly, "No. I don't believe that. You don't understand how I feel when I'm with him. Britney and I had nothing compared to what I feel with him. I feel like I can whip the whole world's ass when I'm around him. Like together we can do anything."
Chuckling, Lonnie stated, "The two of you could probably get away with everything too. I know I'd hate to go up against the both of you if you were a team."
Smiling, Justin walked over the full length mirror and stared at his reflection. Flexing his arms in a classic bodybuilder pose, he said, "We'd make a pretty good team wouldn't we?"
Once again Lonnie struggled with his decision to keep secrets from Justin. More than anything he wanted to spill everything he knew about the blonde. But how do you tell someone that the one they want for the rest of their life is an assassin? That the person they want to bring home for the holidays is a paid killer, someone who has no regard for human life. He wondered what Justin would think of his precious lover if he knew the truth.
Sighing loudly, Lonnie said softly, "Justin, I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you. Gabriel isn't what you think he is."
Justin turned and looked at him, his head cocked to one side, a confused look on his face. "What do you mean?"
Choosing his words carefully, Lonnie continued, "Let's just say that he's even better at hiding shit than you are."
"Cause he's a spy." Justin replied, his blue eyes boring into Lonnie.
"Something like that." Lonnie said carefully. "But you have to understand that Gabriel is like no one you've ever known. He's probably one of the most dangerous men in the country right now. Definitely the most dangerous man I've ever met. He worries me Justin."
Holding up his hand to cut off the singer, Lonnie continued, "Gabriel has dark secrets that you might not want to know. He lives a life that is so foreign to everything you know. He lives in constant danger, everyday is a test and if he lives, he passed. One day he won't pass the test."
Justin shut his mouth as a single tear rolled down his smooth cheek; he turned away and faced the wall. Not wanted to let the big man see him so vulnerable. After a moment he said quietly, "I have to get ready for the show now. Remember you're promise, if you can, help him."
"I promise." Lonnie assured him as he opened the dressing room door. "Break a leg tonight."
Justin waved his hand as the door shut. Collapsing into the chair, he hung his head in his hands and let the tears fall. He had this feeling like the best thing that ever happened or will happen to him was slipping away right before his very eyes and he was powerless to stop it. Cursing god for his callous attitude, Justin let his tears flow.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Gabriel was already at the stadium, dressed in his security guard uniform that read Giant Center Security across his left breast. His long blonde hair was tied back and tucked underneath his hat. At casual glance, he looked like any other security guard, if not a bit taller and more fit. But hidden in a duel shoulder holster were his matching 9mm's, another hideout gun in an ankle holster around his left leg. In each back pocket he had three extra clips, just in case.
At the moment he was sitting across from Tom Pavone, the big man studying the computer screen intently. Gabriel looked around the office casually. Tom looked old, older than his fifty years. His reddish brown hair was thinning and gray started creeping around his temples. His face was lined, and as he peered at the computer screen, he was squinting causing him to look older still. And Gabriel had noticed for the first time that Tom was having trouble walking around. Whenever they had walked around the arena earlier, he noticed the big man was out of breath. Figuring it was just a matter of time before old age caught up with him, Gabriel suppressed his sympathy. Tom didn't want it or need it; it was just a simple fact of life. Everything grew old. Even tough ole bastards like Tom.
He focused back to what the big man was explaining.
"Someone hacked into our system and shut down our systems one by one. I have no idea what they were looking for or what they found out." Tom was saying, his mouth twisted into a frown.
Knowing it was Scott, Gabriel asked, "Do you think it might have been the shooter hacking in to get your security protocols?"
Tom shrugged his shoulders, "Maybe or it could have been just a lucky hacker out having fun."
"I don't believe in coincidence." Gabriel stated blandly. "It's best to expect the unexpected."
"You're a cynic." Tom accused, reaching into his desk drawer for a cigar. Pulling out a half-smoked stub, he pushed it inside his mouth and started chewing on it.
"Maybe." Gabriel countered. "But then I'm still alive aren't I?"
Fishing around in his pants pocket for his lighter, he asked, "What's the plan tonight?"
"I figured I would save the good guy by killing the bad guy." Gabriel stated lightly, a grin breaking across his scared face.
"And be home by Letterman right?" Tom asked, grinning a toothy grin. He finally found a lighter and lit the end of his cigar. After puffing a few times, he leaned back in his chair and asked, "Where are you going to be?"
Gabriel looked at his friend queerly, his instincts going off like a fire alarm inside his head. Something was wrong a little voice in the back of his mind warned. Kind of a sixth sense that saved him more times then he could count. Something about the way Tom was acting, nervous, uncontrolled.
As if he could read his mind, Tom said quietly, "I don't mind admitting that I'm nervous. I guess I am getting old and tired."
"I don't think you'll ever get old." Gabriel said, feeling more at ease. At least the warning going off in his brain had settled down to a dull roar.
"Look at me." Tom said with a wave of his hand. "My chest fell into my stomach; I don't exercise half of what I should. I eat shitty and I smoke too much."
Gabriel couldn't really argue with the big man, even while he was sitting in that chair a slick sheen of sweat had broken out across his forehead, giving testimony to how nervous he was.
The phone rang and Tom answered it. Gabriel stood up and walked over to some pictures Tom had hung on the wall to give the big man a measure of privacy. One of the pictures was of Tom along with his wife, Kelly and they're daughter Christine. A perfect picture of domestic bliss on first glance. But on closer inspection, he could see the tension between the three of them. Christine had turned away from her father's hand as he had draped it across her shoulders while Kelly had a far away look in her eyes, probably from all the wine she's been drinking.
A few of the other pictures were Tom and some of his friends from work. As his eyes fell on the last picture, his heart skipped a beat. It was a picture that was taken during Desert Storm, the only picture of all seven of them. As he studied the picture he wondered if he was ever that young. Smiling grimly, he shook his head as the memories came flooding back. Out of seven, only two were left. Natural progression he thought as he turned his focus back to his friend.
Tom hung up the phone and stated, "It's time. The doors will be opening in a few minutes."
"Show time." Gabriel said with a grin as he followed Tom out the door.
They walked down the long white corridor, their footsteps echoing off the polished tile floor. When they reached the end, Tom opened the door with a grunt and allowed Gabriel to walk pass. The noise immediately engulfed them, thousands of fans scrambled into the lobby, their faces eager and glowing.
The Nysnc merchandizing staff had littered the lobby with souvenir stands selling everything from T-shirts to key chains, all at a very inflated price. The lines were already out the door as fans clambered to by the stuff. Gabriel watched in morbid fascination at the spectacle in front of him. Smiling at Tom, they watched the controlled chaos before them.
Other security personal were making sure everyone through the door had a ticket and then pointing them in the right direction. Already the brightly lit tunnels were full as fans filed into the stadium, eager to find their seats.
Gabriel leaned over to Tom and spoke, "Jesus, we should've been in a band. Look at all the chicks."
Tom laughed as he pointed to the pubescent girls giggling and talking loudly amongst themselves and replied, "Don't they have the wrong equipment for you?"
"For that kind of money and fame I would switch teams." Gabriel declared loudly, giggling uncontrollably.
"I'd like to see that." Tom stated with a snort. "I think you have an unhealthy fear of the opposite sex."
"It's called an unhealthy smell." Gabriel shot back.
"You're disgusting and I don't want to continue this conversation." Tom said, shaking his head in mock anger. "Besides, I gotta go backstage and make sure everything is running smoothly."
Gabriel stopped laughing and replied seriously, "If you see anything out of the ordinary, call me. Don't try to take this guy by yourself."
Tom smiled a crooked grin and said, "Don't worry. I'm too old to be a hero. If I see anything you'll be the first too know. Promise."
Gabriel shook the big man's hand and said, "Luck."
Tom smiled and disappeared back inside the door they exited at. Gabriel started working his way through the crowd, letting the throng dictate the direction. The Senator wouldn't be seated for another hour; he had plenty of time to circle the stadium. Who knows, he might find the killer before the concert even starts.
Gabriel drifted through the crowd, his uniform giving him the cloak of invisibility as he studied everyone around him. Thousands of kids rushed by him without giving him a second glance, sometimes the best hiding place was right in front of everyone. He found himself unconsciously glancing up at the Senator's private box every few minutes; he shook his head and tried to get his wild emotions under control. With every passing moment he could feel time closing in around him, he felt like someone was trying to suffocate him slowly by squeezing the breath from his body. A slick sheen of sweat broke out on his forehead and he rubbed it away with the rough fabric of his uniform.
Jesus, he muttered softly. I feel like a rookie.
Figuring it was the noise inside of the stadium; he found the closest exit and walked towards the stairs. Slowly he made his way up the stairs till he was right over the Senator's private box. In silence he watched as the crowd filled up the arena around him, his eyes searching the rafters for any sign of a sniper. For over an hour he stood motionless, his eyes continually searching.
The announcer walked out to the center of the stage and the crowd erupted only to stop as they realized he was only introducing the opening act, small local band that was getting their one and only shot.
Gabriel felt a bit sorry for them, after all, no one really came to hear them sing anyway and after a few songs, they basically were booed off the stage. A good twenty minutes later, while the roadies cleared away the opening bands instruments, Gabriel heard over his walkie talkie that the Senator was on his way up the private elevator. All the nervousness and butterflies disappeared and was replaced by a professional calm, a detached way of thinking that kept him alive through so many adversities.
He quickly walked down the stairs and into the hall, pausing as he turned the corner. Two secret service agents led the way, they're hands close to their holstered weapons at they're side. Behind them came the Senator and his party, the adolescent girls giggling and playing together as they walked down the brightly lit hallway. Behind the girls were another two agents, they were constantly looking over they're shoulders like they expected an attack at any moment.
The lead agent saw Gabriel and immediately dismissed him as another security guard, showing Gabriel how poorly trained they were. He shook his head in disgust but held his tongue. Instead he watched until everyone was safely in the box before returning to his perch above the Senator.
From his pocket he pulled out a small pair of binoculars, barely larger than a cigarette box. He brought the high-powered lenses to his eyes and started scanning the stadium. He was so focused on his mission; he almost missed Nsync's entrance. If the lights wouldn't have went out, he might have missed the start of the show. But he rather doubted it, thousands of teenager girls started screaming as one voice, a shrill song that sent chills up his spine.
He moved the binoculars towards the stage, searching for Justin. After a few moments, he started smiling as he watched in fascination the spectacle before him. The five friends were dressed in the same colors, the only difference being different degrees of sameness. To him, it looked like controlled chaos, barely keeping together as five different performers fed off the crowd. But as it progress, he started to see the subtle choreography, invisible strings keeping everything together. The level of concentration amazed him as he watched them whip up the crowd into a frenzy.
Though he watched each member, his gaze always came back to Justin. It was as if he owned the stage. No matter where the others were standing, Justin commanded the spotlight. Not by any direct means but more of force of personality, like he was the flame and the entire audience were little moths burning themselves as they scramble towards him. The euphoric feeling almost enraptured him, for a moment he forgot why he was there, willing to throw everything away as he lost himself in the magic of the medicine man on stage.
But only for a moment, then he was in control of himself again. He turned his binoculars back on the surrounding crowd, forcing the music from his mind. As he scanned for anything out of the ordinary, he looked at the pieces of the puzzle. Realizing he had the answer somewhere in front of him, he decided to look at everything backward.
As he struggled with the pieces, he noticed a man walking almost directly across from him, one level up. Something about the way the man carried himself sparked something in his brain. Realization hit him and he started running down the stairs. When he reached the tunnel that led to the main hallway that circled the entire stadium, he started running at full speed. Not caring at the people he bowled over, he hoped he wouldn't be too late. It took him about ten minutes to reach the other side, though it felt much longer to his heightened senses.
As he took the stairs two at a time, he glanced at his watch. The boys had been singing for over an hour already, he didn't know how long they normally perform but he figured he didn't have much time left. As he entered the stadium, his eyes scanned the crowd for his mystery guest. His chest was heaving as he looked where he thought the man would be now. Frantically searching for him, he turned and looked back the way he came. From out of his peripheral vision he just saw the side profile of the man ducked down one of the tunnels one exit down from him.
He ran back down the stairs and when he reached the bottom he stopped running and calmly walked towards his target. Now that he was closer, he realized it was the same man from the parking lot earlier that day. The padding was gone as well as the wig, but he knew instantly who the man was. He was tall, about the same height as Gabriel's own six foot frame. Other than that, he really couldn't tell that much about the man's features. The man was wearing a wide brim hat that cloaked his face in shadows and was wearing a pair of blue jeans with a leather jacket. If it wouldn't have been for his unique walk, Gabriel never would have recognized him in the crowd.
As he followed discreetly behind the man, he acted like any other security guard, seemingly walking lazily down the corridor. But that was the exterior of the man, on the inside his nerves were wound up tight and he was intent on his prey.
From his left side, Gabriel was blindsided and the force of the hit smacked him back into the wall. With lightening quick reflexes, Gabriel dug inside his jacket for his 9mm while simultaneously grabbing whoever hit him roughly by the throat. Twisting his arm, he spun the person roughly against the wall, his gun pressed tightly against the person's back.
"Fuck." He muttered through clenched teeth as he realized the person was a young boy about thirteen years old. Hissing out, "Next time watch where the fuck you're going."
The boy looked at him with wide eyes and took off running down the corridor as Gabriel jammed his gun back into its holster. Spinning around quickly, he searched for his quarry. The curses flew from his mouth as he realized he had lost his only suspect.
To Be Continued
Copyright 2002 Glacier Boy