Decadent and Depraved
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I was late.

Rumor amongst Wordsmiths was a new Way had been opened in the Shelves, and I had every intention of jumping right through. Took me but some vague descriptions of what lay beyond to instantly guess where it led: an event I had been trying to catch for quite some time.

I checked my looks on the back of some reflective wanderer lumbering in front of me, just to make sure every horn and scale was where it was meant to be. I picked a piece of might-be-spinach out of my teeth and flicked it away. Then I turned into the Stacks before the wanderer realized there was a new addition to their backside.

There was one issue with my prerogative, and that was the fact that the Way had been opened by some dumbass without a sense of self-preservation; AKA not the Library, which gets a little pissy when someone starts ripping holes in space-time without buying it dinner first. A quick check to make sure no one was following (can't trust humans not to follow you), and into the Stacks I went.

Better pick up the pace.

I reached my destination, performed the Knock, and stepped through, hoping the idiot who set it up was at least courteous enough to not kill whoever used the Way. What kind of journalist burns down to the ground before the event does?


That's how it starts, isn't it? With a snort, a sniff… fill your nostrils with golden dust, quick to clean before the reflective sonuvabitch in front of you notices the lines of Naxatras on their back. Don't mind the lizard-man in the reflection; that one's always there. Breathe in… and onwards we go.

Naxatras… drug of drugs, gateway into amazing technicolor sights and tastes. One whiff and your brain turns into a kaleidoscope. Two whiffs and your soul rides the rainbow.

Crazy.

Stupid.

Keep it up like this and you might just lose yourself down the spiral.

Concert's waiting.

Let's rock.


The first thing that met me was the noise.

Screaming and yelling and hooting and hacking… every voice seemed to have decided that I needed to hear what it was saying immediately. Despite being deposited a fair distance away, the wave of sound washed over me from the gigantic crowd of interdimensional denizens herding together around a stage for the event of a lifetime (at least according to them), the Neverending Tour.

The Neverending Tour has a history that I feel obligated to explain.

Originally, the title was meant to be a joke, because it was supposed to occur only once (which probably would’ve been the best outcome for everyone). Alas, trends are unforgiving things, and the first was so popular that other musicians and artists picked up the mantle and carried it on through time and space.

Locations for the Neverending Tour were the name of the game, meaning they had to be one-time venues: places in the midst of inevitable doom, or about to change forever, are the only sites the fest will stop at. It's happened at venues rigged to explode, in dreams soon to be forgotten (the most famous being the one created by Woodstock), and at solar systems about to be engulfed by their own collapsing star, every new edition trying to out-do the previous one's apocalypse.

With such titanic contenders for best edition of the Tour, the place I arrived was nothing special, merely an expanse of barren rock drifting in the middle of space. I knew for a fact the Tour's previous edition had seen both artists and concert-goers travel back in time and partying in Pompeii before and during the eruption (don't ask how the Romans took it). It'd be more than fair if you asked how could this venue even try to contend.

That is, until you learn that you're on an asteroid hurtling towards a planet doomed to be demolished by it. There is no kill like overkill.

As I approached one of the stages, it burst to life, spotlights coasting across the crowd, sparklers raining down upon the band now lit by at least five forms of magic colliding onstage, creating a miasma of color that reached out beyond the set and into the already raving fans. Their mouths hung agape as if they were children seeing a magic trick for the first time, not functioning adults who had used literal portals to get here moments ago.

I was, again, late for the party.

Spells and enchantments swirled and clashed and riveted around each other, barely distinguishable until one was consumed by another, obscene. One of the magics used onstage, a floating gaseous runes, was of a spiritual origin. Created by the Multavians to christen their leaders in honor of their river god, it was used as set dressing here. No one seemed to notice or care.


Two steps past the Way and the Universe is already looking like a mad artist's painting. Eat your heart out, Are We Cool Yet?

Noise, light and other things you can't describe bleed together, cacophonous, blinding, an appropiately infernal herald for the utter debauchery that will soon follow. Lamest trip ever.

Try to focus on a single thing as your eyes drift from one point of light to another: for the time being, your senses are all fucked, as fucked as the destination this whole party's headed for. So that's what passes for magic these days: hexes and spells maligned into a vulgar display, as if they were but fireworks aimed at the face of Creation. Wonder how many wizards sold their souls to the concert.

Don't they know it's the end of the world?

The world?

A world.

Not theirs, of course; those are safe in their cozy little corners of space. Else, why would they be celebrating? Nothing of value will be lost to the vain and the void. After this, they'll all go on with their lives, alien as to why they should feel shame and horror.

Find someone who can fix you a drink, and hurry. Who knows when your grasp on reality might slip.


I skirted around the edge of the crowd, looking for a way into the cacophony of concert-goers, avoiding the already copious amounts of vomit seeping into the space rock. I tried to make my way through, but was shoved out when an individual almost fell on me. Some way to go, that would have been.

It was then that I noticed the adjacent structures, booths set up by greedy fucks looking for a quick payout. The booth I had stumbled towards was so raggedy it probably used to have been buried in a swamp somewhere; the pitiful attempt at masking this with small LED lights was painfully obvious. A four-headed mushroom stood behind its counter, apparently cheerful enough about their prospects for the night, so I decided to approach.

I slid up to the splinter-waiting-to-happen sad excuse for a bar and flashed my Planasthai Crest.

"I'm with the press, which means I get free drinks. Tour'll compensate you at the end of the day." The key to this part was confidence.

The fungus blinked slowly, then said, "Uhm, no it doesn't. No, it won't."

Damn. This guy is good, I thought. "Well alright, if you insist…" I paid the bastard, who filled a chipped glass with some blue frothy liquid and topped it with a little plastic umbrella. Classy.

"Say, what's the name of the planet this hunk of rock is heading towards?"

Three of the four mushroom caps took a look at each other, confused. I had to strain myself to hear their response over the blasting music. "It uh… it probably starts with.. um… an H?" It did not start with an H.

I took a sip of the drink, and resisted immediately spitting it out. Shit tasted like a buffalo dipped its hooves in sour sugar and proceeded to trample me at a rave. "Not quite. The people who used to live there called it Moyore. Ring any bells?"

They shrugged. "Not really, guess you learn something new every day, huhuhuhuh." I had half a mind to sock 'em in their faces; the ignorance was palpable and their guffaw made it doubly worse, but I had to give them one more chance, for the sake of the story.

"Tell me this then, and this is an important one, do you know what the Moyorens left behind? You have to have heard about this, everyone knows about it."

If a mushroom could sweat, I imagine this one would've been. I wondered if their knowledge had ever been challenged in life. "I- uh… uuuuuh…" it struggled against a lifetime of mental constipation. "Afraid I don't know. Should I?"

I slapped the sour drink off the bar, the glass shattered against the rock, the blue sludge seeping into the porous ground, and left before the mushroom could stammer out a response. To be completely honest, I was impressed. Really. It's genuinely impressive how they could fit that many heads up their ass.


Drink secured from that spore-fucker, your eyes adjust to the shifting layers of reality. That's the problem with lizard-sight: independent eyes make for a surreal world even before drugs.

Take another whiff, then a left where the crowd seems to thicken, throbbing like a mammalian orgy as drums beat on the horizon, a fiery stage engulfing your line of sight with its radiance. What band is playing right now? Can you even tell? Does it matter? The world will end soon, and all this will be but a memory of a memory, doomed to be washed down with copious amounts of liquor at some afterparty.

You try and force your way through the crowd, your every move sluggish, as if swimming through gelatin. The crowd pushes back, and you find yourself swallowed whole.

What kind of party is this, where guest and feast are one and the same?


You didn't have to be a genius to have heard of the greatest calendar ever created, the Moyoren Calendar. Before dying out, the Moyorens left behind a single, great chronicle of their history, a four story tall tower of black rock, etched with bright blue markings. It took millennia to decipher it, and no doubt it held intricacies still lost to time. The Moyoren Calendar chronicled weather events, minor grievances between neighbors, major political shifts, the lives of famous icons in their unique story. Surrounding it are similar, smaller floating nodes created by individuals who wanted to personally add to the story of their people. The cluster of structures stood in the center of an ancient city… all about to be smashed into space dust. Of course, what party could be complete without cultural destruction? Really putting me in a partying mood.

I turned towards the main event, the largest crowd, and pushed in.

The rhythm of the throng was dissonant at best. As I dodged and dived through the flailing limbs and deafening cries, I couldn’t help but track every time I was hit. Elbow. Hand. Tail. Foot. Elbow. Head. Leg. Tentacle. I stepped over one woman dressed in a deep purple dress flat on the ground; couldn't even tell if she was calling for help over the noise.

I came upon an empty circle within the crowd, where concert-goers dressed in their music festival best had turned away from the music to whatever was in the center of the space, spittle flying from their jeering mouths. Peeking through the gaps of the crowd, I saw two figures fighting on the ground, one a lycan and the other a human dressed as a wolf in a large costume. The immediate surrounding crowd had lost complete interest in anything on the stage, but only a few bodies away people were none the wiser to the blood sport going on underneath their noses. I wondered, if I was taking a sledgehammer to the Calendar in that circle, would they cheer me on, reveling in their night of rebellion, or would they realize what they had done?

Fist. Leg. Elbow. Eye Stalk. Leg. Arm. Music and violence seemed to go hand in hand.

Fancy clothes whipped across my face and metal spikes pushed into my skin. Every person around me was within their own little world. Whether drunk or high or just didn't care, pure unfiltered emotion laid bare upon their faces. Bulging eyes, hoarse screams, jerking dances.

Beautiful.

Disgusting.

It was at this point that I distinctly remember an Elvis impersonator climb upon the stage, getting past the security against all odds, and taking the lead singer's guitar. I was enamored. For one glorious second, he was on top of the world, forever better than the swaths of partiers beneath him. He would be remembered by thousands. The spotlights did our friend zero favors. His face was red, drenched in sweat. His wig hung sadly, plastered against the left side of his face, and his glasses were missing a lens. His Party City lookin' outfit was stained with vomit, and whether it was his or another's would remain a mystery. In essence, a spot-on impression of the last throes of poor Elvis. He played a single chord before the bass player struck him across the head with his instrument. The perfect specimen, unceremoniously dragged off the stage, booed by his peers who couldn't even see they were exactly the same as him.

Here's to the King, I thought. Wished I still had a glass with which to toast.


Wade back out through the sea of people, the living mass of appendages and heads and throats, rearing their ugly heads to worship at the altar of a vain god of noise and dry ice. Count yourself lucky to be alive, and look at them…

Do you recognize them? Can you tell them apart?

No.

They blend together, a nightmarish painting ripped from the very fridges of your reptile brain. Try not to puke on them while you're at it; they might just enjoy it.

Flail and dive and throb, losing yourself among them. Those who stand out will always be prey for the masses, victims of decadence all the same. Snicker, weep, for that Elvis-looking fuck could very well be this place's patron saint.

The crowd, the stage, the band… they're inseparable, indistinguishable, a homogeneous thing of many voices clamoring, climaxing…

Dying.


The rest of the night was a blur.

Cheers turned into a shrill hum, different music sets began, going on for just a little too long, then ending only for another to begin. I stayed for as long as my spirit could bear, gazing in at their frenzied depravity, slowly losing myself to the crowd as my notes became incomprehensible.

Long after the stage and detritus had been left behind, I remained, all the way up until the asteroid began to burn up in the atmosphere. As the planet loomed large in front of me, I took one last look towards where I thought the city was, and I stepped back into the safety of the Library.

Adieu to the Moyorens, adieu to those left behind.

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