Author's Note: After a nice break, I decided to go back to writing again. I hope you still like my stuff.
Panel 1: Establishing shot of Sharky Burger as Colin and a middle-aged white-haired man (Oliver) in an Armani suit with a passing resemblance to Ed Asner sit across from each other at a table. Colin doesn’t look too pleased being here as the other man takes some stuff out of his briefcase. Above them is a missing children’s poster with Hawkins’s picture on it with the words, “Missing: James Hawkins. Please bring back so he can be properly punished.”
Oliver: I’m glad you could come here, Mr. Cowel.
Colin: You’re welcome, but did you have to pick this—place?
Oliver: I wanted to make sure it one your clanmates wouldn’t be at.
Panel 5: Rushing to the sound of the voice, Laetitia sees Shug King holding Colin up by his shirt, holding him up against a wall. A sign that the bad auditions are starting to get to him. Trying to not be scared, Colin tries to reason with him.
Shug King: I didn’t dump clan of angry thugs just to listen to endless parade of hacks butcher Celine Dion.
Colin: Come on, we’re bond to find our meal ticket sooner.
Panel 6: She quickly stuffs her necklace into her jacket pocket as Colin points to her.
Shug King: And how many hours will that take?
Panel 7: Noticing her, Shug King reverts to his friendlier, street slang personality and lets Colin drop on the ground. Laetitia is clearly not buying it.
Shug King: Hey homegirl, hope we didn’t keep you waiting.
Panel 1: This panel and the next one take the form of a TV screen as Laetitia sings in front of the judges. There’s an info caption under her that says, “Laetitia, Age 18, Unemployed.”
Laetitia: *singing* I keep on fallin’ in and out in love with you.
Panel 2: Like an oasis in a desert the miracle of a good singer surprises them after the previous hack-parade.
Priya: Wow, that’s really…
Colin: Good, you’re actually good.
Panel 3: Laetitia looks excited on the TV (Jukz is watching) when she receives the good news. Junkz cheers, clanking soda and beer bottles in celebration. Kawan gets a little too enthusiastic that he unknowingly spills his soda everywhere (especially himself.) Perle (who is sitting next to him on a couch) tries to dodge the liquid while still sitting.
Colin: Congratulations, you’re on to the next round.
Junkz Memebers: Yeah!
Panel 4: Kawan, still excited, wraps an arm around her, pulling her close so hard that her body jerks over and she’s being crushed by him.
Kawan: Operation Trojan Horse is on its way!
Panel 5: Letting go of her and ignorant of her trying to recover from his celebration hug, he turns to her as she tries to recover.
Kawan: Isn’t it great?
Panel 6: A sudden wave of sadness hits her, breaking Kawan out of his good mood as he gives a concerned look to his friend.
Perle: Actually, no.
Panel 1: Feeling a little bad about being a wet blanket, Perle tries to put her feelings into words, but Kawan can immediately tell what it is. He’s use to these moments of moodiness and tries to help her along.
Perle: I don’t mean to ruin the party it’s just that…
Kawan: You missed your parents, don’t you?
Panel 2: Perle looks wistfully at the TV, leaning against the armrest of the sofa as memories of her father make her feel worse.
Perle: Yes. Father would’ve loved this show.
Kawan: Was he a musician?
Perle: No, he just liked watching you humans make fools of yourselves.
Panel 3: The scene pans out a bit to show Flyer laughing at the TV as Perle and Kawan keep talking.
Voice: *singing badly* Amazing graaacceee, how sweet the sound…
Flyer: Ha, dumbass!
Perle: It’s been a year and I still can’t stop thinking about them.
Panel 4: Fear wells up inside her as memories of Amy well up inside her, wrapping her arms around herself. A flashback scene of Amy with a dark, emotionless look on her face, covered with blood, looking over the dead bodies of Perle’s family appear behind them. Kawan puts a supportive hand on her shoulder, trying to reinsure her.
Perle: Or her.
Kawan: She can’t hurt you, Perle. Just remember that.
Perle: I hope so.
Panel 5: Trying to cheer her up, he playfully ruffles her hair. Always able to cheer her up, Perle starts feeling a little better.
Kawan: I’m sure Sentinel keeps her chained-up somewhere. Now how about a hug?
Perle: Kawan, *chuckle* not now.
Panel 6: Using his doofy humor, he dramatically begs her for one which causes her to good-naturedly give in with her arms out, ready to hug him.
Page 7: He playfully pulls her down and into a headlock.
Panel 8: He gives her a few noogies and she busts up laughing.
Perele: Hee, hee. Stop it.
Panel 1: At their judging booth, Colin and Shug King ponder over a white board which is divided into two categories: Limited Appeal and Long-Term. Both have photos of several of the contestants placed under the titles with tape. Priya just looks at the two of them suspiciously as if they are up to something.
Colin: The way I see it, our finalists can be divided into two categories. The “Limited Appeal” are our pretty boys and jailbait. Good for a quick buck, but only for a few years when their novelty fades.
Panel 2: Starting to catch on a bit to her fellow judges’ scheme Priya interjects as Colin keeps explaining
Colin: The “Long-Term” takes more time and marketing to get a following but pays off in the long run.
Priya: Aren’t you forgetting something?
Panel 3: Crossing her arms at their ignorance, Priya tries to remind them of what she thought the contest was about.
Shug King: What would that be?
Panel 4: Shug King takes a post-it note from the table and writes something on it.
Shug King: Oh yeah.
Panel 5: He slaps the post-it which has the word “talent” on the edge of whiteboard as if it was just a side note. Leaving Priya to fume a bit at their casual disregard.
Shug King: There we go.
Colin: You know we could put that Laetitia girl under there.
Panel 1: In the waiting room, Dorian begins interviewing the contestants, starting with a fat, Ruben Studdard look-alike. Behind him are two teenage girls filing their nails are starting to notice the interview while Laetitia sits in a corner, reading a magazine.
Dorian: So, uh…
Dorian: Teddy, what brings you here?
Teddy: I’m mainly doing this for my momma. It’s only been the two of us and she’s given so much up for me and…
Panel 2: The two girls (who can look any way you want) from the previous panel butt-in on the interview to give proudly give their own “tragic pasts.” The first one proudly tells her tale of woe while the other one tries to top her. Teddy tries to get their attention in hopes of keeping the potential catfight from brewing.
Girl 1: Well I’ll have you that I don’t have a mother.
Girl 2: Yeah, so? I lived on the streets until I was 18.
Teddy: Uh, ladies…
Panel 3: The tension mounts between the two ladies escalades that you can almost see the beams of anger brew as they try to outdo each other. Laetitia can be seen rolling her eyes at this.
Girl 1: Whatever, I have epilepsy.
Girl 2: Two VDs, beat that!
Panel 4: Knowing that this isn’t going to stop anytime soon, Laetitia casually blurts out her own exaggerated tale to shut them up, and it works.
Laetitia: The crib I lived in had no floors, three dads and if we wanted food we fought the rats for it.
Panel 5: A little taken back by the statement, Dorian snaps back and starts interviewing the girls. Relieved that the disaster has been averted, Teddy walks over to Laetitia.
Dorian: Uh, anyway.
Teddy: Wow, and I thought I had problems.
Panel 6: Teddy sits next to her as she goes back to her magazine.
Laetitia: That’s what you get. You start a sob story and they all jump in.
Teddy: But I was telling the truth.
Panel 7: Realizing that he might be telling the truth, she looks up at him.
Panel 1: Laetitia sits at the lounge of a hotel with the other cheering finalists with their family’s who include her, Teddy, and the two girls from the other page. Though happy that she made it, she’s starting to have some doubts.
Laetitia Thought: Who would’ve thought girl, you made it to the top ten.
Panel 2: Laetitia gets up, ready to leave the building. Noticing her as he’s celebrating with his mother, Teddy happily says good-bye.
Laetitia Thought: If anyone deserves to get their music out into the world it’s you. If rest of the stupid world wouldn’t give you a chance, maybe these rich jerks will.
Teddy: Good luck, Laetitita.
Laetitia: Same here.
Panel 3: Stepping a few feet outside, Laetitia is still lost in her thoughts as Jenny meets her with a smile and a bouquet of roses. To conceal her identity, Jenny has a two sizes too big hooded sweatshirt. The hood conceals all but the bottom half of her face.
Laetitia Thought: But still, is it fair to use them?
Jenny: Hey runt.
Panel 4: Laetitia turns to her, just now realizing who the hooded stranger is. Jenny just hands her the flowers.
Jenny: Your brother wanted you to have these.
Panel 5: Touched by her brother’s gesture Laetitia happily smells the flowers. Jenny just keeps talking, not really thinking before opening her mouth, as she takes off the hood.
Laetitia: Just when I thought he forgot about me.
Jenny: Enjoy it while it lasts girl.
Panel 6: A bit offended, Laetitia flashes her a funny look. Realizing that she just pissed her off, Jenny struggles a bit to explain.
Laetitia: ‘Suce me?
Jenny: Well, I…don’t think you’ll last afterwards.
Panel 7: Jenny struggles more as she nervously bites on the tip of her index fingernail. Laetitia crosses her aims, gives Jenny the look of death while tapping her foot waiting for the truth to come out.
Jenny: You’re not really going to really have much of a career with only us buying your albums. You just got to have that…
Laetitia: That what?
Jenny: That look.
Panel 8: Getting the rest of it out Jenny hopes that she got it through. Swallowing her anger, Laetitia “agrees” and starts to walk back to the hotel.
Jenny: You’re just too angry. A pretty girl could get away with it, but how do I put this?
Laetitia: Save it Jenny, I got it.
Jenny: Oh good.
Laetitia Thought: Those bitches are going down.
Panel 1: A montage of Laetitia performing for a cheering audience as the judges watch approvingly, Shug King offering her a blonde wig to wear that she reluctantly accepts,
the finalists singing on a cheaply made beach scene as they hold a bag of ChocoMuscles, Nobrocybix hacking into the voter database, and one of the pop princess type contestants with her jaw dropping at the fact that Laetitia and will be going to the last round with Teddie (as both of them are jumping up and down, hugging each other.)
Caption: (over the performance scene) So I went on with it and haven’t looked back.
Caption: (over the wig scene) Other than that stupid wig.
Caption: (over the beach scene) And some other whack stuff.
Caption: (over the hacking scene) Even if with Junkz’ help.
Caption: (over the hugging scene) I’ll even show my brother that I was meant for fame.
Panel 2: Watching the hugging scene from panel 1 on TV, Junkz cheer. Otakool turns to a depressed Perle as she’s chugging a bottle of beer (with two empty bottles next to her).
Otakool: Just two more weeks to go.
Perle: That’s great.
Panel 3: Now a little tipsy from her constant drinking, she looks down at her bottle sighs.
Panel 4: Taking out Darth’s business card (which has been wrecked a bit from being in her pocket for so long) has given her something to think about.
Caption: To be continued…