CHAPTER 22: EROTIC TINCTURE ENGINEERS
Twelve hours later, Lucifers Crank pulled up to the Mars Bar, adrenaline running high. Between bitter feuding and reckless drug consumption they'd written a song and almost had it down. As long as their performance incited an immediate riot they wouldn't even need any more material. The semi ground to halt and a gnomelike, ageless man in a satin tour jacket was upon them.
"Like, why the delay, hombres? We were starting to bug."
"Just a little trouble in the desert," said Buckley, terrified that the afternoon papers would be full of mug shots of the aliens who had killed a heavy metal band and hijacked their career.
"That's some heavy shit. You guys don't look so good."
"We're changing images," said Eddie, to end the conversation. It wasn't over.
"The naked bitches and day-glo paint are in your dressing room."
"Naked what?" asked Suzy.
The entire band had now entered the auditorium. Before the girls knew what was happening, the stage manager had closed and bolted the door in front of them. The girls were locked out. Suzy looked at Angel -- the older, harder, dumber version of herself. Although they had bosoms, they were far from buddies as they made eye contact for the first time since they had met. Angel let out a noncommittal --
Was that a threat or an invitation? Suzie-Q's short life passed before her open eyes. The dark shadows of school and church, the briney tentacles of her nuclear family; she saw the whole planet hurtling fast toward a brick, earthen wall.
"Cool," she said.
A battered Impala pulled up with a pimply driver at the wheel. On its ermine mudflaps the letters "IB" were stencilled. It took "Hungry" Jack McKay all of three seconds to size up the situation and make his move.
"Ladies, I represent a local eatery and escort service. May I take you for a ride?"
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CHAPTER 23: ROSE AND THE RED PLANET