Disclaimer: If you're under age to read stuff about guys having sex or if you find it offensive, your society finds it offensive or illegal then stop reading now! This story is completelly fictional, as are all the characters.
By the same author: Previously I've written the multipart story "A Different World" which can be found under gay/sciencefiction at nifty. I've recently also started a spin off/sequel to that story, which is published in the same subdirectory, i.e. the directory for "A Different World". The spin off/sequel is called "What Dreams May Come".
Written by Adam
Last time on "Going Home":
"No he isn't... but it has to do something with the fact that most people on Earth at that time was straight and that in many parts of our worlds it was considered very controversial being gay... and the gray haired man and you talked about the fact that you were very good looking and apparently very popular among young girls and how your being gay would change that fact and that it might be... if I remember correctly... 'the end of your career'..." I said.
"Jack, where are you going? I live here!" Mark called and when I turned around I noticed that the others had stopped twenty meters from where I was and I had been walking on alone. A few of them seemed to struggle to contain their laughter.
"And how am I supposed to know that, I've never been to your place... not since they started me off with a blank memory at least" I said.
"You could have remembered my number and kept your eye on the doors" Mark said.
"I did remember your number... though I was a bit too busy talking to remember looking at the doors" I said blushing.
"Yeah, I noticed" Mark said pressing the button on his collar and the door to his appartment opened and then gestured for the rest of us to step inside.
"So, apparently it was very risky for me to tell the gray haired man that I was gay so why did I do it? ... and did it 'end my career'?" Brian said.
And now the continuation:
"I don't know for sure... it was shortly after your coming out that you disappeared... while you were in a place called Sweden... you were there to 'promote his latest movie for the premier that was to take place during Stockholm Pride' ... that's what it said on the papers and also what people telling about it on the screens... and... yes, afterwards the gray haired man made jokes about it in his opening monologue" I said.
"Make yourselves at home... you've gotta hurry if you want a seat on the couch, it's only got room for three people... though I'm sure some of you don't mind sitting on each other's laps... Hey Jack, your memories seem clearer than those of your previous clones before they last started you over... you've never remembered this much about Brian before!" Mark said while I watched Kenny, Brian, Mike and Tim squeeze themselves down into the couch.
Paul seated himself on Brian's lap and Stan on Tim's lap while Kim, Ike, Andy and Tom simply sat down on the floor by the little table on which several bottles already stood. I hadn't seen a gold collar's living area before, well at least not for over a year before they started me out with a blank memory. The gold collar appartment turned out to be very large and comfortable in comparison to the ones of us silver collars, but still small and cramped in comparison to the Master's appartments that I've seen. It's two rooms that both are twice the size of a silver collar's appartment. Actually the first room, the living room as Mark called it was five meters wide and six meters deep into the building... though you'd have to exclude the area that the lavatory and shower occupied just inside the entrance. All gold collar appartments apparently has a couch along one wall with a small table in front of it and on the other wall an entertainment center with an exceptionally large screen on the wall. In the wall opposite the entrance there's a door, and when I asked Mike about it he said that the bedroom's in there.
"Really? Well, it becomes clearer the whole time... and talking about it helps bring out more details..." I said.
"Good, because we'll be doing a lot of talking at first while we drink and listen to music" Mark said.
"I don't really like those rythmic noices that the Masters call music so let's skip that, please... unless the others wants to listen to it.... Anybody wants to hear music?" I said.
"I take it from your choice of words that there's something else that you call music... something from your memories, perhaps?" Mark said looking as though he knew the answer and had a surprise in store.
"Well, in my dreams there's music coming from that truck, marked 'Gaywatch' and that music is more than just metallic clanks and noices in a rythmic fashion, there's... melodies, I think it's called and there's Terran voices that... they speak in a strange way that follows the melodies somehow... I think it's called singing... And then that black, bald friend of the gray haired man also makes music with the other's that are sitting beside and behind him..." I said.
"Something like this?" Mark said and pressed a button on the entertainment center and a kind of Terran music I hadn't heard in my dreams or memories appeared but seemed related in a way to that music anyway and also seemed familiar, like I had heard it before, just that I didn't remember it. To begin with there was a rather thick but still soothing and at the same time sad sound and suddenly I knew that it came from something called strings... that several strings were tight over a hollowed and strangely shaped box and noice was made by rubbing a stick with other strings attached over those strings.
"What's this?" Kim said.
"Whatever it is it's beautiful" Ike said.
"It's Terran music... though this isn't really party music so I should change it" Mark said.
"No, wait I want to listen to this for a while... This is incredible! Ike, if we had remained Masters we wouldn't have been able to appreciate this... actually we wouldn't have been able to pick any of it up... Jack and Mark, the reason that Master's music basically is made from rythmically beating sheats of metal is because it's the few kinds of noices that Master's can hear and comprehend... I never had the faintest idea that music could be this... did you call it melody? And singing?" Kim said.
"Yes, that's what I believe is called singing. Yeah, leave it on for a while" I said and Mark shrugged in a way that said 'Okay'.
As Kim mentioned there was singing... a male voice that sang these words:
There's a grief that can't be spoken
There's a pain goes on and on
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone
Here they talked of revolution
Here it was that they lit the flame
Here they sang about 'tomorrow'
And 'tomorrow' never came.
From the table in the corner
They could see a world reborn
And they rose with voices ringing
I can hear them now
The words that they had sung
Became their last communion
On the lonely barricade at dawn!
Oh my friends, my friends, forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken
There's a pain goes on and on.
Phantom faces at the window
Phantom shadows on the floor
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.
Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me
What your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sing no more.
"What a sad song... is there a point to it?" Brian said after the song finished.
"It's part of a story, I believe... apparently on Earth it's popular to sometimes tell a story with music... people are pretending to be other people... actors, as Mark called it, that play parts in a story where they sing instead of speak and they're not on a screen but on an elevated area where a lot of people sit in rows around it and watch... in this case the elevated area would rotate sometimes and there were two large towers on either side of the stage that at one point moved in and stood there and got rotated and another point in the story they would slowly lay down on this rotating area to form a massive... barricade, where the main characters tries to oppose the local government... but this opposing is mercilesly crushed and there are only two survivors and the younger one of them sing that song, wondering why all his friends died while he survived... the character is called Marie or something I think while the... actor playing him is called Michael... Ball... or something like that..." I said.
"You do remember a lot now... just one thing, though, the character is called Marius, not Marie... they mention the name several times in the musical as this form of entertainment is called apparently" Mark said.
"Yes, I do remember a lot about it... I have a feeling that I've seen it a couple of times, while sitting in those rows... and I believe that the original me that I'm cloned from often listened to this recording of it..." I said.
"You can listen to the whole thing some other time, but now let's listen to something more like party music before the mood is completely spoiled" Mark said.
"I'd appreciate that and you're right, let's listen to something more... happy" I said.
Mark put on some music that was faster paced and slightly more rythmical though not as rythmical as the Master's music. and then he brought out transparent beverage cups for everybody and poured a clear fluid from one of the bottles that he called 'rum' into them, though he only poured very little in each glass and then filled up with a different fluid that was brown and bubbly and referred to as 'coke' by Mark. I walked over to the couch and sat on Kenny's lap as he insisted I would and we put our arms around each other like the others in the couch that were on each other's laps. Mark sat down behind Kim on the floor with one leg on either side of Kim and then put his arms around Kim from behind and let Kim lean against his chest.
"Mmm... that's nice" Kim said.
"Er, I hope you don't mind if we imitate you?" Andy suddenly said as he moved to sit behind Ike the same way.
"Go ahead, sit and hold each other which ever way you like" Mark said.
"Jack, I wanna hear more about that meeting with the gray haired man and the disappearance... and I didn't get a proper answer why the original me told the gray haired man that he was gay if it was so risky?" Brian said nudging me.
"Well, apparently actors would meet this gray haired man to bring attention to their latest 'movie'... I believe that's the term for when you tell a story together and it's shown on a screen... a really huge screen on the wall of a special, dark room where people would sit in rows and watch... and you were also there for that reason, that is to make people watch that movie that you'd just made... well, if I remember correctly, the gray haired man bring up the fact that 'you're playing a gay character in this movie' and then you say something like 'yes, I play a guy named Brian who just happens to be gay'. And then the gray haired man say something... 'that's kinda gutsy isn't it... I mean, how will your fans react? You're an idol to teen girls around the world, will they want to see a movie where their favourite plays a gay character?'. When he mentioned the 'teen girls' there's a lot of noice from the people sitting in the same room and watching 'cause apparently there's a lot of teen girls there. Then you say 'I don't care. I really wanted to do this role and that it's a very good movie and a tale that needed to be told. So I wanted to do this even though my usual fans might not want to see it' and so the gray haired man go 'okay, but then again I suspect in your case there are a lot of teen boys around the world who like you just as much as the teen girls' and this statement causes a lot of laughter and more cheering from the audience and you seems to laugh a bit too but in a slightly more embarrased way and then you say 'I'm sure they will love this movie... it's sort of an American Beautiful Thing' and this causes cheers from two or three guys sitting way back in the audience... and the gray haired man looks up at them and shouts something like 'you like that, huh? Then maybe you'll like me to set you up with a date with Richard Simmons, he'll be here after the break' and for some reason this causes a lot of laughter from the rest of the audience including the guys at the back, though they shake their heads indicating that the date won't be necessary" I said.
"Er, excuse me... what's an 'American Beautiful Thing'?" Tim said.
"America is a place on Earth, a continent and a nation that takes up a large part of that continent is called the United States of America... I suppose that both the gray haired man and the original person that Brian is cloned from lived there" Mark said.
"Yes, that's what I think too... and the gray haired man then asks 'Beautiful Thing?' so apparently he doesn't know of it either.... so Brian... wait, he did say that he played a character named Brian... how did you come up with that name?" I said.
"Er... it just came to me... it was some kind of feeling that it had been my name at one time... maybe because the original me played that character and that it was 'important to him' or whatever you said that he said... or I said... damn, this is confusing" Brian said.
"That kinda makes sense... however, you say 'Beautiful Thing is a Brittish movie from ninetyfive about two teenage boys who are neighbours in this appartment building in a London suburb and who find each other when one of them sleep over at the other's place 'cause his father and brother keeps beating him up. It's a very popular movie among gay people' and then the gray haired man say 'and this is an American remake of that movie?'" I said.
"Excuse me for interrupting but you said something like 'from ninetyfive'... that's a number but as far as I've understood the Terrans on Earth have real names and are not identified by numbers..." Kim said.
"It's the year that the movie was made, I think... short for nineteen ninetyfive" I said.
"But it's the year 325 now, so that would be way into the future... which corraborates that whoever abducted Terrans to clone them traveled in time to do so... though not in the direction I thought" Kim said.
"No, no... 325 is the current year of this planet here and now... that it's been 325 of this planet's years since the Divine One liberated the species we now know as Masters from the tyrany of the Terrans who had enslaved them but..." I began.
"According to myth, yes... but I've made a lot of research and found that story rather apocryphal.... I'll explain later, continue your story now" Kim said.
"You've continued your research? Did you find any answers?... wait, that's pretty dangerous stuff! I hope you made sure to destroy the material you've collected before you were taken away by the police!" Ike said.
"There wasn't time for that unfortunatly... but it's very carefully hidden so I don't think anybody will find it without knowing where it is... But we'll tell more of this later, we should listen to Jack now" Kim said.
"I hope you're right about that... it could prove disastrous for you if that material came into the wrong hands... Sorry Jack, do go on!" Ike said.
"Thank you... 1995 is a year in Earths callender and it's supposed to mean that it was 1995 Earth years since somebody very important, I understand, was born... though it was often said that somebody had made an error in calculating when that person had been born and that most of them believed that the person had actually been born about four years before the year 0... However... the event I've been talking about, when the original person that Brian was cloned from met the gray haired man took place about five or six Earth years later... that's about two of this planet's years, in case you and Kim wonder Ike" I said.
"Okay, I think I understand... one year here represents three years on Earth?" Ike said.
"Exactly" I said.
"Okay... you said that the gray haired man had asked Brian if the movie he's made was a remake, which seems to mean that they've made it again... a new version of the same movie, but with different actors and set somewhere else?" Ike said.
"Yes, that's what the gray haired man meant... but Brian, or rather the person who... you know what I mean! He says 'No Jay, we would have needed to get permission to do that from Jonathan Harvey who wrote the stage- and screen plays for Beautiful Thing. But there never was any question of trying to get that since it was the intention of Terry to write an original screen play about teenage boys falling in love with each others and coping with the fact that they're gay'. Then the gray haired man says 'ah yes, and for those viewers who doesn't know this, Teri both wrote and directed the movie and I understand that you've been living together for the last year and are engaged to be married. I've never met Teri though. What's she like?' and then you look at the gray haired man and seem indecisive for a few seconds and change position in the chair rather nervously before you say 'I love Terry very much thank you. And yes, I will marry him as soon as gay marriages are made legal here in the state of California'... and then there's a short and rather uncomfortable silence before those guys at the back begin cheering and applauding and after a few seconds the rest of the audience join them" I said.
Lyrics: to the song 'Empty Chairs at Empty tables' from the musical 'Les Misérables' by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel based on the novel by Victor Hugo. English lyrics by Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretchmer. © Published by ALAIN BOUBLIL MUSIC LTD
I will try to keep this story running parallel with What Dreams May Come (the spin off/sequel to A Different World) and write chapters for both. I'm interested in your feedback and suggestions. Is there some story thread that you would like me to explore further or turn into a spin off? ... Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you think of this story!