Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's NaNoWriMo! Though I'm hardly talented enough to pull off an entire novel, I have settled down to work on wrisomifu, which is basically the same thing but for lazy underachievers like myself. My project is the same as it was last year, a modern fantasy AU, mostly focused on Panic. I wrote three vignettes for it last year, and so far I've written one more, all of which will be posted here. Hooray.
"...It was bandom semi-AU, transplanting several bands into a world where individuals had control over the four magical elements, and where an organization called the Brotherhood has gained enough power to exert control over the governments of several nations, including our own. The war in Iraq, among many other political decisions, is just a front to look for an item called the Tablet of Ozymandias, which contains an ancient magical secret that can either save or destroy the world.
The opposition is a small group calling themselves the Illuminati, a largely underground movement consisting of young, creative, free-thinking individuals who realize they probably don't stand a chance, but they're giving it a shot anyway. When Ryan Ross signed a record deal with Pete Wentz in 2005, he had no idea what he was getting into."
Title: The Illuminati Series, part 1 - I'm The Narrator, And This Is Just The Prologue
Word count: 1380
Rating: PG-13 because people say naughty words.
Pairing: Nothin' yet
Disclaimer: If this is real, I can teleport.
Summary: How Panic! at the Disco came to join the Illuminati.
When Ryan Ross considers everything he’s gotten his friends into, he sometimes feels terrible about it, even though he knows they would never have had it any other way.
It's not the band. Panic at the Disco is their pride and joy, their dreams turned real. None of them, and especially not Ryan, can fathom what they might have become had things turned out differently. He figures maybe he would have kept going to school for God knows what, gotten a degree in something boring, and gotten together with Spencer and Brendon every weekend to play in somebody's garage until they all got older, got married, had kids, and became those grizzled old guys who still thought they were cool. Or maybe Panic would have developed a small following, the pride of the Vegas scene. Or maybe they would have just all stopped playing music completely and moved on, and he would've become a lawyer or something and hung out with Spencer the accountant and Brendon the...Brendon the...fuck, Brendon was made to be a musician, so that ends that train of thought.
No, it's not the band. It's what came with the band. Or really it's what Pete turned the band into.
When Ryan had met Pete, he had been amazed at the completely half-assed, casual way he'd made a flame pop out of his thumb. It wasn't that he’d never seen it before. Shit, Spencer did that all the time to show off, lighting all five fingers on fire and waving them around, usually until Ryan would douse his hand in a jet of water and tell him not to risk getting them busted. It was just that he'd never seen anybody famous do it before. Magi don't become famous, they either train with the Brotherhood like Ryan's dad did, or they stick to the shadows. Yet here was Pete Wentz, shooting flames out like it was nothing.
He found out the story later on, after the band got signed, because damned if he was going to ask questions while he was gunning for a record deal. Pete was part of a small resistance network that called themselves the Illuminati, fighting against the control that the Brotherhood was slowly starting to gain over several major countries, the United States among them. Ryan could understand why there was resistance. With the Brotherhood gaining government power, more and more magi were being turned into soldiers against their will. Just like his father had been.
"This has been building for decades," Pete had told him. "Certainly long before you and I were born." Pete Wentz is not the sort of person who usually springs to mind when Ryan thinks of the term 'history buff,' but he's extremely knowledgeable about it, especially magical history. He told Ryan how teams of four magi, each with control over one element, had begun to band together under the leadership of a man whose name they did not know, but whose ideals they trusted. Their leader called himself Septimus, and it was from Septimus himself that Pete and the rest of Fall Out Boy took their orders.
At first, Ryan and his bandmates had viewed it all with an outsider's fascination. They went on their first tour, and they heard stories about battles with Brotherhood members, with all varieties of magical creatures, yet they never experienced any for themselves. Ryan figured it was because his band was not a full-fledged team of four. They lacked a geomancer, and really, he was okay with that. It gave them more time to focus on the music. Unlike Fall Out Boy, they didn't exactly have an established following. They were working from the ground up.
When they needed a new bassist, nobody really thought about Pete's gentle (well, gentle for Pete) hinting that Jon Walker would be just the guy for them. They were buddies, so it seemed like a natural suggestion. Besides, he was filling in anyway, and he fit in with the band's personalities like he was destined to be with them all along. It wasn't a week after they'd made the official decision that Ryan got the phone call from Pete, who opened the conversation with the most ominous sentence he’d ever heard. "So, you've got yourselves a geomancer now."
There was always a choice. Ryan still remembers that conversation he'd had with his friends, old and new. How Brendon leaned forward and sat on the edge of his seat the entire time, eyes wide, like he was listening to a fairy tale, while Spencer crossed his arms and fixed Ryan with his worst bitchface. Jon hadn't reacted. Jon had probably been expecting this. "It comes down to this," Ryan had said, his voice leaden. "We have a choice. Either join the Illuminati, train under Fall Out Boy, and serve the resistance, or stay independent and they'll protect us."
There was silence. Jon broke it with, "Pete's got friends in high places. He won't let you down."
This time, it was Brendon who spoke up, and for once Ryan was glad to see that impish smile. "I've always wanted to be a superhero. Do I get a cape?"
There was only one person left, and that was Spencer. Ryan had watched his best friend, who still had that somber bitchface going on, even as Brendon continued to babble about wanting a cape and how his superhero costume was going to have a big B on the front of it surrounded by musical notes ("That's not gay at all," Jon chimed in). He could almost see the gears working behind blue eyes. When Spencer finally opened his mouth, it was to say, "I'm in, but only until Brendon starts wearing his underwear outside his pants. The minute he does that, I'm fucking gone."
They named their team after the god of panic. It was fitting.
That was two years ago, but it feels like so much longer. For a year, they trained under Fall Out Boy, meeting up with them in various locations while on tour, until they learned to function as a full-fledged magical team. And ever since then, they've stewed, magically speaking. Their music kept them busy, recording the new album and everything, and now that they're getting ready to head back out on the road, Ryan's been sort of glad that the Illuminati haven't called upon the members of Team Phobos.
It's t minus three days until the tour's scheduled to begin. Ryan settles on Spencer's couch with his laptop, making one final email check before bed. In the kitchen, Spencer's rustling around and playing host, getting Brendon the glass of milk he requested. By now, Ryan thinks Brendon should just do it himself. As for Brendon himself, he's on the floor next to the couch, sprawled on his back and firing off text messages. It's a peaceful little scene, Ryan thinks as Spencer returns with two glasses of milk, passing one off to Brendon and keeping one for himself. Tomorrow Jon, who's been back up in Chicago, will fly in to Las Vegas, and there'll be a big hug-fest and everybody will be happy.
There's not a lot of email to check. Spencer sits down on Ryan's legs with no ceremony at all, and Ryan's used to it. In the flickering glow of the TV, he sorts through a couple interesting bits, some spam, a silly forward from Keltie. His last message is from Pete. As always, the tone of the words is cheery, but the poorly-typed words themselves leave Ryan with a spike of dread in his stomach.
hey, hope u guys r ready to do some work for the illuminati. im coming in with jon on thurs. well all meet. talk shop. weve got a job for u guys. trust me ur gonna love it.
Spencer knows something's up. After so many years, Ryan would be shocked if he didn't. By now Brendon's learning to pick up on it too, and they're both staring at him. Ryan sighs. "Pete's coming in with Jon tomorrow. Looks like we're finally going to be put to work for the Illuminati."
"Vive le resistance!" Brendon exclaims with a fist pump. Ryan wishes he shared his enthusiasm.
- The Illuminati Series - Part 1