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Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Fiction · Animal · #2040731
Bands compete for a music contract.
Ever think of starting a rock band? Here's your chance. Every band needs a frontman, guitarist, basest, keyboard player(optional) and a drummer. But there are other bands that use other instruments, Electric Light Orchestra uses violinists and a cello player, Paul McCartney and Wings had a horn section but it's up to you and without further adu, let's start the story.

In a recording studio, the punk band, Pack Ratz are practicing their new song when their manager a Weasel anthro. "Take 5 boys, I have news you all might be interested?" The lead rat says in a British accent "What's up Johnny?" The manager glared at him "That's Mr. Weasel to you Keller. As for what's up, 5 days from now. You all with compete against other bands." The drummer rat says "A battle of the bands eh? What's the prize?" Johnny says "The prize is a 10 year recording contract." Kelly says "You're right, we are very interested. That contract is good as ours." The other band members nod in agreement. Johnny says "There are other band you need to beat before you can get the contract, you need to be at your best in order to defeat the competition so check your attitudes on this one. I'll let you continue your practice," Johnny leaves and Guitarist Ian says "Do we have a chance." Basest Brandon says "Of course we do, we're the Pack Ratz." Kelly says "And just in case, I have a plan that make the other bands sound bad." He chuckles menacingly.
Name: Wyld Cats

Members: Robbie Lion - Frontman
Rockpanther - Lead Guitar
Lauence Lynx - Base
Barry Bobcat - Keyboards
Jerry Jaguar - Drums
Hillary and Trixie Tigress - Backing vocals

Gnere: Southern Rock

Inspired band: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Robbie goes over the band "Remember, this is for the contract." Jerry says "Come on man, look at these lyrics? Are you sure the public will get this?" Robbie says "Like a message against drugs. The public will understand. Okay Rockpanther from the top."

Rockpanther begins playing the intro to That Smell.

Shortly Robbie begins singing.

Whiskey bottles, and brand new cars
Oak tree you're in my way
There's too much coke and too much smoke
Look what's going on inside you

(Hilary and Trixie joins in)
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you

Angel of darkness is upon you
Stuck a needle in your arm
So take another toke, have a blow for your nose
And one more drink fool, will drown you
(Hilliary and Trixie) Hell Yeah

(Hilary and Trixie joins in)
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you

Now they call you Prince Charming
Can't speak a word when you're full of 'ludes
Say you'll be all right come tomorrow
But tomorrow might not be here for you
(Hillary and Tiixie) Yeah you.

(Hilary and Trixie joins in)
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you

Hey, you're a fool, you
Go on stick them needles in your arm
Ooh ooh ooh ooh
I know I been there before

One little problem that confronts you
Got a monkey on your back
Just one more fix, Lord might do the trick
One hell of a price for you to get your kicks
(Hillary and Tixie) Hell yeah

(Hilary and Trixie joins in)
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you

Hey, you're a fool, you
Go on stick those needles in your arm
You're just a fool, just a fool, just a fool

(Um, Hertz, I'm not sure I can do this, I don't think I can create an entire band, I thought we were just creating one character, and I don't have enough musical experience to come up with new songs on the fly...I take hours just decided one anthro species I can't think up a whole band)
(Twiga! Your band can be just one or two people, like Simon and Garfunkel *Pthb*)

Name: SpaceTimers

Abraham "Abby" Aye Aye - synths
Vladimir Weasel - vocals, synths
Plato Porcupine - drums
Skeemo Rat - manager, mixing, etc.

Genre: Psychedelic trance, psybient

Inspired band: Future Sounds of London

Abby says, "I don't see why we even bother to enter this contest. You know they are going to pick a rock band. Nobody listens to ambient anymore."

Skeemo pounds the top of Abby's head. "Stop being so negative! Anyway, we've got some uptempo stuff to play. Our sound will be different and stand out."
(Twiga: Steve's right, some of the great rock stars like Alice Cooper, Elton John and Billy Joel to name a few had bands of their own to back them up. While others like Rush, ZZ Top and Muse were just trios.)

As the band finished, their manager Wendell Wolf came in clapping his hands "Outstanding, with that number your a shoe in for the competition. But I warn you, the battle is going to be tough which make getting that contract is going to be that much harder." Rockpanther says "Whatever the challenge, we will meet it." Jerry says "Yeah, we'll give it everything we got.." Robbie says "Even if we did loose, it's going to be fun competing." Wendell smiles "That's what I like to hear, a positive attitude. Let's call it a day but tomorrow start packing. The battle is going to be in Darwin City." Robbie goes up to Hilliary and Trixie, "I'm going to Club Leo, you two care to join me?" Then the band left the studio for a little R & R.
(OK<I'm going to be using my regular characters since I written stories where they have there own band, The Beastie Boys this is my chance to use that)

The Beastie Boys

Bill Brandy the Bull: Electric Guitar and Lead Singer
Jim Buckwheat the Red Squirrel: Basest and Back Up Singer
Bob Buttz the Catfish: Drummer
Ichabod Crane the Human: Keyboardist
Henry 'Kong' Wisner the Gorilla: Saxophone

"Guys!" Bob said harshly "This isn't going to work!"

"What are you talking about?" Bill asked he now had long red fur all over his body instead of his normal white fur and blond head fur
"It's totally going to work! I've been drinking the fur growth potion and dying my fur red for weeks!"

"Same here" Said Jim as he applied the last bit of silver hair dye to his pelt "I totally look like a grey squirrel!"

"Grey Squirrels are bigger and don't have tufts on their ears." Bob said "And Scottish Highland Bulls aren't long and lanky like Texas Longhorns!"

"Chill Bob." Said Kong as he applied the finishing touched to his costume Kong wasn't disguising himself as another creature, but he was dressed like a stereotypical hippie with vest, Khaki shorts, shades and made his Afro even bigger and was putting daisies and pansies in it.

Ichabod hated his costume, his friends insisted his disguise himself as a Humanimal since every one on Earth know Ichabod as the one who killed Duke Vortex, so the his his face with a large stork beak and and enormous floppy hat, gave him a Robin Hood like tunic and his tights were yellow and had Bird Feet attached to them, and the glued feathers to his arms and painted his hands yellow and added phony talons to his finger nails
(I'll throw in a band few would think of.)

Simple Folk Ain't Simple Minded

Billy Joe - Mountain Goat - Acoustic Banjo/Background Vocalist

Benjamin Sticks- Rabbit - Harmonica

Bobby King - Alligator - Fiddle/Background Vocalist

Bernard Wood - White-tailed deer - 50-gallon oil-can-drums/Background Vocalist

Britney Felicity - Vixen - Primary Vocalist

Bethany Terrance - Field Mouse - Secondary/Backup Vocalist

Style - Folk-Country-Rock

The Simple Folk, for short, were just a small group of neighbors in the Bayou of Louisiana who liked to get together to play music, mainly for fun at first, until they noticed that their neighbors, minus the ones that called the cops, always paid attention to them when they preformed. In fact, the Reverend asked them to preform at church, calling their musical ability a "Gift of the Creator". Others eventually took notice, and when they heard about the Battle of the Bands, their neighbors scraped up the money to get them the tickets to participate.

"Boy, these city folk sure do dress funny," said Bobby, as he held onto his fiddle case, and the backpack full of his change-of-clothes.

"It ain't that bad," said Britney. "Though I would prefer to be back on the river once we're done here."

"This place is big," said Bethany.

Billy, Benjamin, and Bernard were all looking around.

"Have to agree with you there," said Bernard. "I just hope we make some decent money - we've got to put Mudd Patch on the map, especially if we are to increase our fan base."
The Battle of the Bands was to be held in the Central City Coliseum and the SpaceTimers are there today checking it out.

Skeemo Rat: This place is huge!

Abby Aye Aye: That gives an advantage to bands like Wyld Cats and the Beastie Boys. They're used to playing in big arenas to large crowds.

Vladimir Weasel: Big spaces do not scare me. In Russia we have places ten times this big.

Plato Porcupine: We'll just crank up the amps all the way.

Skeemo Rat: It's not that simple, but the Coliseum has a sound engineer and we'll be linked into the Coliseum sound system.

As if on cue, the sound engineer happens to walk by. He is a sloth so it takes him a while to walk by.

Sloth: You boys worried about the sound? Don't be. I'll show you the main board and explain the system here.
The Pack Ratz made it to the Central City Coliseum, Keller says "This is it boys, now let's check out the competition and perhaps create a little mischief in the process." Some of the Ratz held their ears after listening to the SpaceTimers and Ian says "You call that music?" Brondon says "Yeah, when did the Martians land?" They then past the Beastie boys and Keller sees Ichabod "Check this guy out? Is that supposed to be a stork?" They checked out the Wyld Cats "Great sound which means we may have to sabotage their instruments. Don't bother for those Simple Folk, those instruments of theirs are second rate." The drummer Martin says "Do we have to do this?" Keller says "We have to, winning is everything. Come boys, let's make some trouble for the 4 bands."
While the Beastie Boys were having their Midday Snack, Ichabod was glancing around nervously "You think anybody recognizes us?"

"No." Said Bill as he munched a Banana "Ichabod, we may be globally recognized heroes but that doesn't mean every Humanimal has met us in person. You however have a very distinct face, anyone who's seen your nose knows it anywhere."

"I guess." Ichabod said as he reached for his egg salad sandwich, then he noticed one of the Rat's touching Rockpanther's guitar.

"Hey! HEY!" Ichabod yelled "What's that Rat doing with Rockpather's guitar?!"

Jim took quick action, moving with the grace of of a Squirrel,and the precision of a trained soldier, he practically danced through the air other to where. Brandon was

"Um hey..." Jim said ''...What are you doing?"

Brandon had to think up a lie quick "I...Was...Just admiring this guitar! I've never seen such craftsmanship."

"OK...." Jim said not entirely convinced "...Generally you're supposed to ask the person who owns it before you touch it."

Jim walked back to his band

Brandon wiped sweat from his brow "That Squirrel was like, way too fast, like he was a Marine or something!"
The Simple Folk walked into the Break room, and sat down by the Beastie Boys.

"Ever play in a competition?" Billy Joe asked, as the goat looked at the other team.

"Been involved in a couple of charity event, nothing serious," said Bill. The bull looked at them. "What about you guys?"

"Mostly small things - prize money of like a hundred or so dollars, though there was that one Five County event where we got Third place out of fifty local Home-Bands," said Billy. "We tend to get hired for Birthdays and Weddings, and one Funeral."

"A funeral?" Kong asked.

"The guy was a classmate of ours," said Bobby. "Got involved in a freak boating accident. But, he loved our music, so his mom hired us, despite the fact that she, herself, didn't like it much. She changed her tune afterwards."

"Say, do you think that you could listen to us play, and let us listen to you play, before the competition starts?" Bernard asked.

"Why would you want to do that?" Ichabod asked.

"As much as we like getting involved in competitions, we found it to be more fun when we work with other bands," said Britney. "It's a lot of fun to combine styles, and make the whole thing work."

"How did you guys get together?" asked Jim.

"Originally, we were all going to be separate acts for our school's Talent Show," said Bethany. "Problem was, we didn't have time to practice separately, and the only time we had free was at the same time as each other. It was difficult, as we all tried to do different songs at the same time, and the teacher in the room nearby hated the noise. Told us, 'If you're going to make a racket in there, then make the racket harmonize.' So, we took the teacher's suggestion, worked on the same song together, and instead of clashing, we ended up harmonizing, much to that teacher's surprise. Afterwards, we'd arrange little group sessions, for fun, and next thing you know, we had an audience of almost the whole neighborhood."
The SpaceTimers walked by where the Simple Folk had left their instruments set up.

"Oh my God!" said Plato Porcupine. "What is this? Oil can drums? This group must be from the islands."

"No," said Abby Aye-Aye. "A fiddle! They've got to be hillbillies!"

Soon, all the SpaceTimers were laughing and seeing who could top each other at cracking on the Simple Folks' instruments.

A young mouse girl walked up. "Hello?"

"Hi!" Skeemo said. "Would you look at this set up? The Beverly Hillbillies struck oil! Hahahaha!"

The mouse girl was not amused. "I'm Bethany. I'm in this band. We're the Simple Folk. I'm sorry you find us so funny."

"Oh!" Skeemo said. "Uh... sorry. Didn't know you were in the band."

Plato grabbed Skeemo's arm. "C'mon, let's go. You've made a big enough jerk of yourself today."

"Me?!" Skeemo said. "You were the one that started it!"
The Wyld Cats begin start to practice on another song, entitled Poison Whiskey, but things went wrong not only was the strings on Rockpanther's guitar cut, the tuning keys on Laurence's base is wound too tight, the skins on Jerry's drums were slashed, Barry's keyboard stand was broken and as Robbie began to sing "Daddy was a Cajun, raised on Southern land." He sound more like a chipmonk then a lion. Wendell came in to examine all the damages "Did you do all of this?" Rockpanther says "You think we broke our own instraments, we've been sabotaged."
Jim came in "I can vouch for them." He said "While we were here taking our snack break I saw one of those Rats Humanimal-Handling their instruments."

"Robbie face pawed "You didn't notice our instruments were broken?!"

Jim blushed "Sorry about that."

"Who are you Beastie Boys anyway?" Asked Wendell

The Beastie Boys had already thought up they're alternate names before they came

"I'm Silver Oaks." Said Jim

"I'm Angus Taurus." Said Bill "My Fishy Friend here is Robert Walpole we just call him Bob."

"Bob did not object to this lie, this time he was inspecting the damaged weapon."

"Our Gorilla Friend is Virgil Flowers." Said Bill

"Friends call me Flower Power." Kong said he caused the daisies and pansies to stick out from from his Afro."

"And you are..." Wendell said as Ichabod was distracted by some itching in his tights.

"Oh me?" Ichabod said "I'm Sylvan Storkos." He said using the name they provided for him.

"Sylvan is the newest member of our band." Bill said "He's still learning the ropes."

"OK Guys." Bob said "We have the damaged instruments before us, we here witnessed one of the Rats handling the instruments that were not his own...What we have here is some band deliberately trying to ruin everyone else in attempt at winning."

"Just like one of those bad made for TV movies." Bill said somberly

"OK." Kong said "For this act of sabotage alone they should be ejected from the contest. If the expect us to act like typical protagonists of these plots and just take it lying down they got another think coming!"

"Let's not get all up in a tizzy just yet." Ichabod said raising his feathered arms "We know what they are doing but why are they doing it? Aren't Humanimals all about Honesty and Fair Play? So why would some Humanimals be trying to cheat their way to victory?"

Everyone was silent

"OK." Jim said "Until we have all the details, we're all going to look out for each other and try to protect each other from these Rats, we may have our differences, but we already know the Rats are cheaters and we're not going to do the cliche thing and start blaming each other indiscriminately."

Jim turned to Wendell and poked him on the nose "And YOU and all the other agents are going to be responsible authority figures and not ignore the evidence right in front of you...We're all going to have our cell phone cameras scanning to catch them in the act...If or when we get video evidence of them cheating don't be like 'Oh but we might as well let them compete anyway,'NO YOU SKIN THOSE RATS ALIVE AND THROW THEM OUT OF HERE!"

Everyone in the room was kind of floored by Jim's speech

Bethany said "That Squirrel is such a hunk! Excuse me...I need to...Change my unmentionables."
"Don't need to know that," said Billy. "Try to hurry up, so that we can get to practicing - there's some city folk who need to know that we aren't as backwards as they think we are."
"You know what?" Vladimir said.

"What?" asked Skeemo.

"I think this place needs some chill out right now and who is the best band to do that?"

"We are!" Skeemo said. He set up a drone on one of the synths, then on another synth a nice soft ethereal pad that faded in and out like an angel choir.

Plato drummed a slow heavy beat and Abby added various tinklings, blips, flutters, and dwoops.

Rockpanther walked up. "Are you guys trying to put us to sleep?"
A voice from the other side of the door says "You call that music?" they all turned around and saw the rat Keller looking inside he steps inside holding a cassette tape and inserts it into the tape deck of Wendell's recording equipment. It plays a sample of the Pack Ratz music, with Keller sounding like a combination of Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine and John Lydon from the Sex Pistols, "Now this is music." Wendell ejects the tape, "Music? I call that noise." He gives Keller back the cassette, "You, and your band broke our instruments, I'm going to set up a meeting with your manager to arrange on how you're going to pay for them." Keller says "So who cares? We're going to win anyway."
The Beastie Boys stood silent and observed as the Rats just laughed and left.

The Beastie Boys went to a Darwin's Greasy Spoon where they could talk things out.

"I've never seen Humanimals so...Unpleasant before." Ichabod said as he nibbled on his tuna sandwich, very difficult to do with his stork beak.

"Do you think they might be..." Jim lowered his voice to near inaudible "...Flukes?"

Fluke is the Humanimal word for sociopath, a Humanimal born without empathy, this is a very serious thing, because if you are a Humanimal who has no empathy, you have two options, leave for the wilderness where you will eventually die of hunger and exposure or suffer a violent but swift execution for Humanimals have been genetically preprogramed to weed out the wicked among them so they do not pass on the sociopathic genes to the next generations."

"If any of them are." Bob said seriously "There is only one way to get the straight answer out of a fluke."

He sipped on his soda then said the the waitress "Another Diet Coke please!"

Bob said "I got a plan...But we're all going to be up late...Those Rats have no idea what they are in for."

Indeed the Rats had no idea that they had just angered The Most Legendary Humanimal Heroes, they were like the Fleas who irritated the Dragon.

Come the Midnight Hour, the Rats were fast asleep (Because Bob had taken the liberty of slipping a Mickie into each of their drinks.)

The Beastie Boys only needed one of the Rats, they grabbed Keller because of the insults he threw before they planned, he barely moved as they tied him up so tightly he could move an inch of his body then they locked him into a Guillotine, Bob had bought from Vigilantes R Us, Ichabod filled a syringe with a chemical that would instantly cancel the Mickey and wake up the Rat, he injected it into Keller's neck

"Wakey wakey Cheater." Bill said

At first Keller's vision was blurry he tried to move but couldn't. He looked up and felt his blood run cold, he was placed on his back so he could see the sharp guillotine blade glistening ready to sever his head.

"All right Rat." Bill said "Make like a Pig and squeal? Why are you cheating? What do you need to win so badly for? And don't make up some sob story B.S cuz we got a living lie detector here." Bill said gesturing to his psychic brother Bob "Spill the beans or else it's off with your head!"

(The only way a Fluke will serve the interest of others and not himself is if the Fluke thinks his life is in immediate danger, so on the grounds he was a suspected fluke, the death threats are not unlawful by the Humanimal Code)
(And you claim that I make my wolves bloodthirsty.)

At this, the door opened, and in came the male members of the Simple Folk.

"Told you I heard something," said Benjamin.

"Is this one of those S and M things Reverend Jones told us about?" Bernard asked.

"That don't look like he's having fun," Bobby said, as he pointed at the rat.

"What's going on?" asked Billy.

The Beastie Boys looked at each other, and knew that if they told the truth, their cover would be blown, but they had to to give the Simple Folk something.

"They pulled the strings out of my guitar," said Bill.

"And that warrants chopping his head off?" asked Bobby. "And you City Folk call us backwoods hillfolk. Give Billy the guitar, and he'll fix it, and you let that rat go, and we won't report you for threatening the competition."

The Beastie Boys looked at each other again.

"Alright," said Bill. The bull went into his room, and came out with his guitar, with the wires pulled of course, which he had done himself, and gave it to the goat.

Billy eyed the instrument over. "This won't be too hard." He got out some small screwdrivers, and within two minutes, the guitar was as good as new. "Here you are, Angus. Now, let the rat go."

The Boys untied the rat, who scurried out the door.

"The next time your instruments get sabotaged, let us know," said Billy. "We're quite skilled at repair work."

"How did you know how to fix this?" Bill asked.

"We've been sabotaged before," said Bobby.

"But that didn't stop us from fixing our instruments up, and beating the pants off of the saboteurs, with music," said Bernard.

"Besides, when you live in the swamp, you need to be good at repair work, especially if your boat breaks down," said Benjamin.

The Simple Folk then left the place.

"Those people aren't who they say they are," said Billy. "The one's guitar said 'Bill' on it."

"Might belong to a brother, or a cousin, or used from a garage sale," said Bobby.

"There's also those knots," said Bernard. "Those looked like military-type knots."

"Could have learned it from a relative," said Bobby.

"Yes, but they also looked all set to kill that rat," said Benjamin.

"Maybe they are rat-haters," said Bobby.

"In that case, we probably should tell Management," said Billy. "Otherwise they might cause a fight, like those guys who wore white hoods at the Summer Fair last year - the police had to tell them to leave."
Skeemo was walking past the Simple Folk when Benjamin Sticks, the Simple Folks' rabbit harmonica player, gestured for him to come to him.

"What do you want?" Skeemo asked.

"I notice you never talk to those Pack Ratz characters, even though you're a rat yourself."

"They make me uncomfortable for some reason," Skeemo said. "Besides, they've all got that heavy Cockney accent, or whatever you call it, and I can barely understand them."

Benjamin's ears twitched. "We think there might be trouble going down between the Pack Ratz and the Beastie Boys."

"What? Like a fight or something?"

"Yeah. Talk to Billy Joe. He can tell you a few things. He thinks the Beastie Boys might be some kind of undercover rat hating group."

"Thanks for the tip," Skeemo said. "I'll stay clear of both those bands. Geez! We just wanted to compete in a contest, not have a real war!"
Skeemo saw Wendell, "If you like to join me Skeemo, we can talk to the Pack Ratz's manager, Johnny Weasel. Perhaps he cane help keep them in check." Skeemo says "Fine, anything to end all this nonsense. I maybe a rat, but I never resort to cheating to win this battle." Shortly, they were at Johnny Weasel's studio explaining what happened and Johnny was shocked on the Pack Ratz's behavior. "Don't worry," Johnny says, "I take care of things, I know this competition is tough but I will never approve sabotage, I'll dock whatever the cost of the damages out of their Royalties."
As the Beastie Boys settled down for the night Bob grumbled

"I can't believe they stopped us. I mean honestly, It's not like we were going to actually kill him, if he is a Fluke the only way we could get the straight truth out of him if he think he'll die if he doesn't."
"Look at it from their perspective," said Kong. "They saw a group of guys all set to kill another person, all over a damaged instrument. They might not have the sort of education we have, especially with our military training, but they saw someone who looked like they was in trouble, and something tells me that they'd be willing to fight to protect them."

"Why would you say that?" Bill asked.

"Well, if your boat broke down in the swamp, you'd best hope that someone will come to help you out, and if that happened, you might return the favor, and help them out with something down the road," said Kong. "They might not like the rat, but we were acting aggressive towards him, and they figured that five on one wasn't fair odds for him, and were willing to help him out."

"But, they don't even know the rat," said Bill.

"Might be part of their Code, and how they was raised," said Kong. "Help those who need help, for they might help you in return, or something to that effect."

"So, what do you recommend?" Bill asked.

"It might help if we came clean with everyone about who we really are," said Kong.
"I don't think that's a very good idea," Bill said. "And I'm surprised you even suggest it."

Meanwhile Skeemo and Abby were setting up a new sound on their Arp 2600.

"Why do you guys fool around with that old antique?" Vladimir said. "We've got a million dollars worth of equipment and you fiddle around with the oldest piece of junk we got!"

"Hey! I grew up on this Arp!" Abby said. "It's always been my favorite. There's just something so honest about it. It's like my childhood friend."

Vladimir threw up his hands. "But always there are parts going bad. It fails us at show time!"

"Don't carp about the Arp!" Skeemo said. Abby laughed.
As the Wild Cats came back they see a hippy wolf going though their instruments, "Hey!" Rockpanther says "Hands off our equipment!" The wolf says "Chill out man, I'm only fixing them." Wendell comes in "Glad you showed up Woody, think you can fix our equipment?" Robbie says "You know this Woody?" Woody says "My real name is Woodstock Wolf, I'm Wendell's brother and Woody is my nickname. As for the equipment, I can replace the strings on the guitar and the skins on the drum, all the base needs is to strings to be loosen or the neck will snap. I'll make a temporary fix on the keyboard stand, before I can find a replacement at a local music store, as for the mike. I'll need Robbie's help to adjust the pitch. I can't believe the Pack Ratz will go this low in order to win."
"That maybe because they're flukes." Came a voice, out walked a Young Catfish all by himself

"Flukes?!" Robbie asked "You don't really mean that?!"

"They seem to have no concern for the thoughts and feelings of others." Said the Catfish "When Humanimals have no empathy then they're Flukes pure and simple, don't be afraid to call a Fluke when all the evidence points to one."

There was a brief awkward moment of silence."

"Guys, It's time to be honest, my name is not Robert Walpole, it's Robert Buttz, as in Bob Butts."

"As in...One of the Legendary Heroes?!" Gasped Jerry.
"Well, that explains a few things," said Billy Joe, as he and the other members of Simple Folk showed up. "Still don't give you and your friends the right to torment folk over a few banged-up instruments. So the Pack Ratz like to cause mischief, big deal. Just fix the damage, and ignore them. Maybe they'll learn not to be jerks, and behave themselves, or they'll find themselves without help when they need it."

"It's how we deal with our Flukes," said Bobby. "So what if someone cuts your fishing line, and takes away the contest-winning catfish. Put another hook on, catch another catfish, and tell the judge about it, so the thief will be disqualified, and no one will buy him a free drink at the nearby eating place. Maybe he'll learn not to steal, or maybe he'll make a big mistake, and get sent to the jail, or even prison. No need to get out a Guillotine and threaten to chop their head off. It's not like he went and killed your kin or something serious."
Bob snorted. "Do you think we became Legendary Heroes by overlooking the faults of others? Of course not! We seek out wrong-doers and punish them!"

Bill tapped him on the shoulder. "Easy there, Bob." Then he addressed the others. "I promise there will be no rough stuff unless absolutely necessary. We'll just conduct a quiet little investigation of these Pack Ratz to see if they are flukes. Hopefully, it will not affect the contest at all."

"I hope not," Billy Joe said. "We got our hopes up about this contest!"

Meanwhile Skeemo and friends were just ending a practice song. "We don't have a chance in hell of winning this thing, do we?" Plato asked.

"Probably not," said Skeemo. "But we're going to give it all we got, our best shot."
Woodstock says "So, you say these Pack Ratz are Flukes eh?" as he give Rockpanther his restringed guitar and then works on Jerry's drums.
"Yeah..." Bill said "...Maybe we're just a little old fashioned, but since we all know Flukes are sociopaths, Humanimals born unable to love anyone or feel any empathy...For hundreds of years Humanimals decided...Flukes can not be in our society, they can't love and they can't learn to love, so the only thing to do with them is kill them before they hurt somebody."
"Might be the only reason they never show any kindness is because folk like you never give them a chance to show it," said Billy.

"Are you going to turn up every place I go?" Bill asked, as he looked at the goat.

"Maybe I will, at least until I'm sure you won't attack those rats because of some ancient prejudice," said Billy.

"And what makes you sure that they will show kindness?" Bill asked.

"I've seen it happen before," said Billy. "There used to be this old man in the deep section of the swamp, didn't like anyone, and never a kind word. One day, when I was twelve years old, I borrowed my dad's boat, because I heard that there was good fishing, and I wanted to catch something for this vixen I had a crush on. Well, I saw that old man, he started cursing at me, startling me, causing me not to pay attention, causing me to hit this tree stump, and causing me to end up in the water. Problem was, that stretch of the swamp also had the biggest, meanest, nastiest and most evil gator that had ever been born, whom we all called Old Lucifer, and Old Lucifer came for me that day. I don't know why, but that old man took out a knife, dove into the water, and attacked that gator just before it could bite me. I watched him grab that gator, and stab it, calling out 'This is for my son!' over and over, and over, again and again. He managed to kill that gator, but, in the process, he suffered from a heart attack, and died from the effort. That old man, who had never said a kind word, had sacrificed his life to save mine, and he didn't like me."

"Sounds like he was trying to avenge his son," said Bill.

"Maybe he was, and maybe I substituted his son in his mind," said Billy. "The point is, he saved my life, at the cost of his own."
"I understand what you're saying," Bill said. "Remember, we haven't reached any conclusion yet about the Pack Ratz. We're just investigating. That's all."

"Like them government boys who come down in the woods looking for moonshine stills," Billy mumbled.

"What's that?" Bill said.

"Nothing," Billy said. "Investigation is not a line of work that runs in my family so I don't have any particular love for it."

"You don't have to love us," Bill said. "Just don't interfere."
Keller bursts into Johnny Weasil's studio holding up his royalty check "What's going on, why is my payment lower then usual?" Johnny says "Have you ever heard of knocking? As for your payment, it's been docked for the damages you and rest of the Pack Ratz did to Wild Cats instruments." Keller says "What? This isn't fair." Johnny says "That's the price you pay for the trouble you made, and 2 more things. Thanks to your little incident, the security is setting up security cameras. So if you damage another band's instruments again, .you will all be disqualified for cheating so from now on play fair."
While the Beastie Boys were having lunch, Ichabod had removed his stork costume since they were now all revealed to be the Legendary Heroes, It was a cold and rainy day that day, so Ichabod ordered clam chowder, as he sipped his soup he listened to His Humanimal brothers debating over weather they should have revealed they're identities.
"Well, at least I don't have to wear that ridiculous outfit," said Ichabod.
"Bob is the one that did it," Jim said. "If it was up to me we would still be undercover."

"It was a dumb idea in the first place!" Bob said. "We're the Legendary Heroes!"

"Alright," Bill said. "What's done is done. No sense arguing about it now. Still, Bob, if you are going to do something that will affect all of us, you should talk it over with the group first."

"I got carried away. But... you're right. I'll try to think before I act."
As Woodstock is in the control room, Robbie is at the microphone "Okay Robbie, lets lower the pitch to normal." At the same time a Boar humanimal security guard is finishing up installing the security camera. "Okay Wendell," the guard says "If the Pack Ratz do tamper with your instruments, they'll be caught on camera. If you excuse me, I'm going to do the same with the other bands." Wendell says "Thank you very much, I like to see the faces on the Pack Ratz when their caught." He goes up to Woodstock, "How you doing Woody?" Woodstock says "Great, almost done, the instruments are fixed, just need to get the microphone controls on the right settings."
After Lunch, the Beastie Boys spotted Keller, when Keller saw them he dashed into hiding
"I hope those government boys learn to relax," said Billy, as he watched what was going on.

Bobby chuckled. "Come on, we have practice to work on."

"Alright," said Billy.

Soon, the Simple Folk were at their practice area.

"Alright, Britney, Bethany, you're on," said Bernard.

Soon, they were playing a version of Reba McEntire's "She Ain't Going Out Like That."

Skeemo stretched and yawned. "Let's run through our Blackthorn Asylum slideshow, eh? See if anybody around here gets creeped out."

Soon Keller managed to loose his pursuers, he jumped when he felt a hand on his shoulder turned around and saw it was Martin, "Don't scare me like that." Martin says "Sorry, but why are you so jumpy lately?" "First Johnny, docked us of our royalties, now the Beastie Boys are after me like a lynch mob." Martin says "Well it's your fault, I like to win this like everyone, but resorting to sabotage? What can we accomplish by cheating?"
"Do you guys feel like some Baskin Robins?" Asked Jim

"Sure why not." Said Bob "To be honest I'm not so sure I even want to compete in this contest anymore."
"Well, maybe those Simple Folk have a point," said Jim. "Perhaps if we ignore the Ratz Pack, and focus on our music, we might win, or get some recognition as a genuine band at the very least. Besides, it would be embarrassing for a military unit to lose to to a bunch of people from the swamp."
Skeemo was talking to Vladimir and Plato and Abby. "You know what? I think our chances might be better than we thought. Look at the competition.

You've got the Pack Ratz, a bunch of cheating rat vandals who might very well get tossed out before they ever get to play.

You've got the Wyld Cats playing Southern rock tunes from a zillion years ago.

You've got the Beastie Boys, who really aren't musicians at all, just undercover pretenders.

And you've got the Simple Folk, a bunch of hillbillies from the swamp who have oil can drums!"

Plato laughed. "You might be right, Skeemo! We're looking good next to that line up!"

Vladimir said, "But these are not the only horses in the stable. There are other bands playing in the battle of the bands. They cannot all be bad."
The Wyld Cats are recording there transition of Gimmie Three Steps, both the guitar and Base is properly tuned and the mike is in a suitable pitch. Windell and Woodstock was glad it's all done. "There you have it," Woodstock says, "I believe your back in business, and I doubt that the Pack Ratz will try anything without getting in trouble with security." Wendell says "Thanks brother, your a big help." They both look at a ceiling mounted security camera behind a steel mesh.
The Simple Folk looked out at the SpaceTimers.

"Now, there's some folk who are full of themselves," said Billy. "It ain't the instruments that win the contest, it's how well you play them."

"Might help if we had a male Vocalist, both Primary and Secondary," said Bobby. "I mean, what good is playing old Country Music with a Rock vibe if we only do those from female singers, and not those of Male singers."

"He's got a point," said Bernard.

Billy nodded, and looked at his band. "Alright, let's test our ranges, and see what we can do."

"Anyone got any requests?" Bobby asked.

"I always did like 'Riding with Private Malone' by David Bell," said Benjamin.

"Alright," said Billy. "Let's see what we can do. Maybe those military boys will like it."

"Damn!" Skeemo said. "Those Simple Folk really know how to do a tear jerker, don't they? The only way we're going to make anybody cry is by being out of tune."

Vladimir tapped Skeemo on the head. "Stop it with the negativity! Always the negativity. So we don't make nobody cry. Big deal. Let's play that Blue song. I always like that one."

Soon the Wild Cats are in the vicinity, "Now this is how it should be done." Robbie says "Bands competing and giving everything they got, not pulling every dirty trick in the book like the Pack Ratz, if you think our music is old, you maybe surprised. We believe our music is like fine wine, it gets better with age. Here's our entry. Tuesday's gone. Rockpanther?"

Billy nodded. "Not bad. I'll give you three steps towards the door. And that Blue song was interesting."

Robbie chuckled at the reference, while Vladimir smiled at the compliment.

"How do you respond?"

"With 'Letters From Home', which I'm sure the military boys will like."

"Nice tunes," Skeemo said. "Now how about something with no words that doesn't tell a story? A little music for dancing. It's all about the sound and how it changes. Makes me smile. Can you handle it? Boys, number seven in the book. Set it up."

Before the Wyld Cats can make another performance, a baboon humanimal canes in "Sense you three are eager to win the contract, here's your chance, it's time to start, the fans are ready so everyone to the stage so we can start this contest, the Pack Ratz are already on stage, and by the sound of things, their chances are slim. Let's see you all do better." Robbie says, "You heard him, now's our moment of truth"
"Well, let's see how well we all do," said Billy.
"Good luck to you!" Skeemo said. "May the best band win!"

"Thanks!" said Billy Joe. "If you need any help carrying all that electronic stuff, let me know."

"It's all on wheels. We'll be okay, but thank you."
The Pack Ratz left the stage, the sound of the booing muffled as they closed their dressing room door. Brandon says "I don't believe it, we gave averything we got and they didn't appreciate us?" Martin says "Perhaps it's the song, Pack Ratz In The House may not be appropriate enough for the competition." Ian says "Perhaps you should shut up Martin." Keller says "The answer is quite clear, they don't know good talent if they heard it." Johnny came in "Sorry boys, perhapse next time you'll have better luck but there are some people here to see you all." Ian says "Some fans?" In walked two members on the Beastie Boys, Bill and Bob. "Not exactly," Bill says "just some tutors teaching you some lessons." This time, Keller has no place to run as the only door out is blocked by a drumset.
Bob put something on Keller's neck.

"My newest invention." Said Bob "This shock collar will shock you if you ever try to cheat again, it will also shock you if you try to remove it...It will only respond to my vocal commands."
"I'm sure there's a law against Cruel and Unusual Punishment," said Keller.
"It's unusual but it's not cruel," Bob said. "It's already been used to train dogs for years."

"Is that what I am to you?" Keller asked. "A dog to be trained?"
Keller grabbed the collar "I won't stand for this!" But the collar gave him quite a shock "AHHH!"

On the stage, the host. A rooster humanimal says "I guess the Pack Ratz are out of the competition. And sense the Beastie Boys walked off, that leaves 3 band left. Which one will get the 10 year contract with Barnyard music? Is it the Simple Folk Ain't Simple Minded? The SpaceTimers or the Wyld Cats? We'll let their performances judge for themselves, how will the results go. with this? A machine comes onto the stage that reads Applausometer. "The great Applausometer, the louder the applause, the higher the number reads on the display. That means, the band that gets the higher applause, wins."
The Space Timers got Third Place, the Wyld Cats got Second Place and in First Place was Simple Folk to astounding appluase
"I guess there's something to be said to playing songs that resonate in peoples' souls," said Billy.
'We got third place!" Plato yelled. "WAHOOOO!"

Vladimir was unexcited. "Tell me again what is the prize for third place?"
Even though the Wyld Cats got second place, they weren't disappointed. Robbie says "I know we didn't win the contract, win or loose we had fun trying," Rockpanther says "I suppose you're right, there's always next time. How about one more number to wrap up the night? What do you think?"
Just then, the Beastie Boys appeared, without any disguises, Bill and Jim had gotten their fur back to normal and Kong was wearing his normal clothes

Everyone gasped when the legendary heroes appeared on stage

"Hey everyone." Bill said "We're the Beastie Boys...I know that sounds odd, but when we were little we used to have our own garage band. We always wanted to sing for a big audience, but we didn't want a record deal being that...You know...We have more important work to do. But tonight we're going to sing a Humanimal Song so revered it's practically a hymn, many of you have probably heard it somewhere and if you haven't...You're either really young, like Kindergarten Young or grew upon a really weird Planet

Thus the Song I Gotta Be Wild

"I feel the heat of the sun on my face
And the wind at my back
I want to howl at the midnight moon
And run with the pack

I gotta be wild if I'm gonna survive
I gotta fight to stay alive
Out on my own
I'm teeth, flesh and bone
I gotta be wild

Well I'm onto your scent
And following close in your tracks
I'm driven by hunger
There's no turning back.

I Gotta Be Wild if I'm gonna survive
I gotta hunt to stay alive
Fall or fly
Do or Die
I gotta be wild

Wild...Spring is in the air
Hey the world is waiting out there
Shaking off the snow...Let's go!

I'm raising my young to be tough
So they can make through
Oh! Don't try to change us
That's what we were born to do

We Gotta Be Wild if we're gonna survive
Together we stay alive
Yes we are strong
Passing it on
We gotta be wild

We gotta be wild if we're gonna survive
Together we stay alive
Yes I am strong
Passing it on
I gotta be wild
Billy chuckled. "Well, that sure is interesting."
Skeemo and Plato cheered and applauded. "YAAYYY! Legendary heroes!"

When the cheering finally stopped, the Wyld Cats stepped on stage. More applause and cheers. Then the Wyld Cats started to play...
They begane playing What's your name.


Well, its 8 o'clock in Boise, Idaho
I'll find my limo driver
Mister, take us to the show
I done made some plans for later on tonight
I'll find a little queen
And I know I can treat her right.

What's your name, little girl?
What's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl?
Won't you do the same?.

Back at the hotel
Lord we got such a mess
It seems that one of the crew
Had a go with one of the guests, oh yes
Well, the police said we can't drink in the bar
What a shame
Won't you come upstairs girl
And have a drink of champagne

What's your name, little girl?
What's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl?
For there ain't no shame.

What's your name, little girl?
What's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl?
Won't you do the same?.

What's your name, little girl?
What's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl?
Won't you do the same?.

9 o'clock the next day
And I'm ready to go
I got six hundred miles to ride
To do one more show, oh no
Can I get you a taxi home
It sure was grand
When I come back here next year
I wanna see you again

What was your name, little girl?
What's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl?
Well there ain't no shame

What was your name, little girl?
What's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl?
Won't you do the same?

The Beastie Boys left the building and finally got some Baskin Robins Ice Cream
The fans are in an uproar as the Wyld Cats took their final bows. Simple Folks signed on for a 10 year record deal, another promoter signed the Wyld Cats for a record deal of their own. as for SpaceTimers, no one knew what happened to them, they just disappeared without a trace. As for the Pack Ratz all but Martin are sent to the Federation, where a hearing in scheduled whether they're flukes or not.

The End!

© Copyright 2015 Hertzman, Twiga, Steev the Friction Wizurd, BIG BAD WOLF Feels Lucky, (known as GROUP).
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