Although this story mentions real persons, corporations, TV shows and places, it is purely a work of fiction for personal enjoyment. The story does NOT describe real events and should NOT be taken to accurately portray any real entity mentioned. In keeping with its fictional nature, the events and activities described in the story may not be legal, ethical or safe. This site does NOT endorse or recommend their enactment.
For the sake of simplicity I’m going to assume that everyone involved can speak English. It’s fictitious anyway so why not? Also, Chthonic pronounce their band’s name as “thonic”.
Top of the Slops had been a success, which was quite fortunate. In particular the exposure that the red team had been given had done wonders for their record sales – Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy, Epica and In This Moment had all cracked the top 20 for the first time ever. Rock and metal had made a major resurgence in the public consciousness.
It was perhaps because of this that the executives at MTV had decided to change the running order of the series. Episode 2 was originally going to be a talent show judges vs. contestants edition hosted by Cheryl Cole. While that had been recorded and was ready for transmission, it had been postponed for an episode originally planned for episode 3.
The episode saw death metal vocalist and The Agonist frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz watching over the events about to unfurl. Her blue hair was straight and had various colours at the tips including blonde, white and varying shades of brown. She was wearing a grey top, black jeans and white training shoes. In her right hand was the same microphone Hayley Williams used.
“Welcome one and all to Top of the Slops. Tonight I, Alissa White-Gluz will be keeping order as we settle an ancient dispute. Just who is better in a band: the guitarist or the bass player? After all, who better to settle it than someone who doesn’t play either?” Alissa said as soon as the theme music had faded out. She then cleared her throat and shouted into the microphone. “Johnathan!”
“Yes Alissa?” Johnathan Pearce said, pretending to be slightly intimidated.
“Tell the audience about the girls who will be representing the Guitar Goddesses!”
“Well, it’s a fairly mixed group from all over the world – Australia, Japan, America and Sweden to be exact. We’ve got the prodigious Orianthi who has played alongside the likes of Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper and Santana. She’s joined by the beautiful Miko from Japanese rockers exist†trace. Along with them is Kittie frontwoman Morgan Lander, whose sister and drummer Mercedes has told me is looking forward to seeing this episode in particular. Finally there’s another frontwoman – Mia Coldheart from the band Crucified Barbara,” Johnathan said as the four guitarists walked onto the stage. They were dressed in green t-shirts with black shorts and trainers.
Alissa let out a devilish smile and spoke. “Mmm, I’m looking forward to seeing them covered in sludge. Now how about those Bassist Babes?” she asked.
As the bassists walked on, Johnathan introduced them. They were wearing the same outfits as the guitarists but with purple tops instead. “First out is Karin Axelsson from Swedish metallers Sonic Syndicate. Next is a member of the heaviest band featured tonight, Doris “Thunder Tears” Yeh from Taiwanese black metal band ChthoniC. After her is Lyn-Z from Mindless Self Indulgence, whose flexibility will likely be a major asset. Rounding them out is Charlotte Cooper of The Subways.”
Alissa first went to the purple team. “I think it’s time we went into the real issue that’s being settled here. This whole thing is about raising cash for charity but you bassists are trying to send out a message today, right?”
Lyn decided to answer. “We’re here today to show that we bassists are just as worthy of respect as our treble counterparts,” she explained.
“Don’t get us wrong, we were all talking backstage, comparing our music and we love what the green team do,” Karin added. “We’re just tired of being hazed. I’m talking about things like bass parts being drowned out in the mix, being treated as always being the least valuable or talented member of the band, that kind of thing.”
“And on top of that, three of the guitarists here also sing lead. That’s borderline attention whoring,” Charlotte joked.
Morgan stepped over to the purple team and grabbed the microphone. “It’s not our fault if you’re jealous that you can’t handle two parts like we can!” Her little outburst stunned not only the purple team but also her own teammates. “I’m gonna teach you for dissing us!” Mia and Miko grabbed Morgan’s arms and dragged her back in line.
“Orianthi, what do you make of what the bassists are saying?” Alissa asked.
Orianthi sighed. “They’ve got a point – bassists don’t get the attention the rest of the band do. Thing is, you don’t see people pretend to play bass the same way they sing in the shower, air guitar or beatbox.” She then turned to her teammate. “As for Morgan, this is supposed to be a bit of fun. Calm down, okay?”
“Hopefully the first game will make Morgan chill out,” Alissa said as she led the teams over to the game area. As usual there was a two-seater dunk tank, with one seat in each team’s colours. There were also six paddling pools with screens in front of them. Inside two of the pools were microphones similar to Alissa’s one but on stands. The other pools had what looked like toy guitars. Aside from these devices the pools were empty but had small tubes pointing inwards and large hoppers above them. “The first game is called Goo-tar Hero. Basically… Well, it’s Guitar Hero. That’s it really,” Alissa explained. “Well, not exactly. Guitar Hero doesn’t have gunge in it. As well as how it normally is, you also have to deal with deluges of gunge, which will come from all angles – in front, behind, the sides, above and maybe even below. As well as getting 20 points for every star your band earns, you also get 20 more points for getting a higher score than the opposing team.” She then turned to the teams. “So who’s taking which part? You can choose between bass, lead guitar and vocals.”
“What song is it?” Karin asked.
“The song is Fuel, a Metallica song.”
The two teams conferred for a minute. The green team were the first to make a decision. “We’re going to have Orianthi on vocals, Miko on bass and myself on lead,” Mia stated.
“Then we’re gonna have Karin, Doris and Lyn on vocals, guitar and bass,” Charlotte said.
“Interesting choices! While Charlotte and Morgan remove their shoes and take their places in the dunk tank, the rest of you get ready to start the game,” Alissa called out. Morgan and Charlotte walked over to the dunk tank and kicked their shoes off then scrambled onto their team-coloured seats. Lyn also slipped out of her trainers and stepped into one of the pools. The other five players took their positions too. Out of the way, Alissa called the start of the game.
Karin and Orianthi belted out the opening lines of the song. A quick burst of dark green gunge blasted at the six players, splattering across their fronts. While Miko, Mia, Doris and Lyn were protected a little by their plastic instruments, they were still splashed in the face. Orianthi and Karin weren’t as lucky, with their entire fronts being splattered. There was a contrast between the slime on Orianthi’s top and the brighter green top itself, but not as vivid as it was on Karin’s top.
In an attempt to see what they were supposed to be playing, the four instrumentalists wiped their faces clear and started. While the notes that flashed up on the screens corresponded to notes in the song, the gameplay was quite different from a real guitar or bass, not least because the plastic bar they were strumming on was coated in gunge. The purple duo started playing immediately to try and rack points up quickly, even though their slimy fingers slipped on the fret buttons occasionally. Miko wiped her guitar on her t-shirt before she started playing in order to get a better grip on the strum bar while Mia smeared some of the gunge on her hands on the back of her guitar.
“Turn on, I see red,” Orianthi and Karin sang. On the final word of the line, red gunge spewed from the hoppers above Lyn and Miko. It plopped on the tops their heads, coursing through their hair. Lyn’s pigtails collapsed under the weight of the goo, now resembling slabs of newly cut meat. She saw that the slime colour was fitting given the lyric and giggled as it slipped down her head. Miko gripped her bottom lip between her teeth and shuddered as the gunge trickled, slipping down the back of her neck. It was cold and quite runny.
The song continued on with no more gunge up until the line “A hundred plus through black and white”, where two streams of gunge fell. As fitting with the song, Orianthi’s gunge was black and Karin’s was white. It was a lot slower and thicker than what Miko and Lyn had been gunged with and fell for longer. Orianthi raised her arms and leaned back slightly, turning on the spot before the next line of the song, letting the gunge coat her. What was the point in taking the whole thing seriously anyway? Karin on the other hand was a bit more self-conscious and grabbed much of her long, dark hair in a bunch and tried to strain it out, making a puddle on the ground which she was careful not to stand in – even with shoes on, it would likely be slippery.
More gunge began to fall on the players once the chorus had started. It was sticky and translucent, dropping on the line “Fuel is pumping engines”. It was at the next line that the song contradicted the reality of the situation they were in. Being a liquid, it wasn’t really hard. It wasn’t really loose either since it clung to the players despite how some of them were trying to shake it off. And clean? On this show, that was impossible – even Morgan and Charlotte weren’t entirely clean since the dunking chairs had been placed at such a height as to let the gunge come up to at least their ankles. Morgan watched on amusedly, ignoring the fact that if her team did badly it would be more than just her feet that would be in the gunge. Charlotte called out words of encouragement to her team partly in order to remind Morgan of the consequences of the green team’s failure. With that, Morgan’s amusement took on a slightly more nervous tone and she too started cheering for her team. Charlotte chuckled and continued watching the not-quite performance, kicking her feet back and forth in the cold, pink goo.
The rest of the chorus and much of the next verse were relatively gunge-free, with the players only having to wallow in the gunge they were already covered in, up until the line “burn your face upon the chrome.” On that line, some metallic grey slime began to drip from twelve small tubes around Miko and Lyn’s pools, two of which had sprayed them with green at the start of the game. They could see what was going to happen next as the drops turned into weedy little trickles, before forming full-fledged streams. Miko raised her right foot, trying to balance and keep the gunge out of at least one of her shoes as it struck her left leg, running down her ankle. Lyn was comparatively non-fussed by it, though it did tickle a little bit as it went between her toes. The streams continued firing, working their way upwards, covering every exposed part of flesh possible up to their shoulders. Luckily this gunge was rather thin, meaning it didn’t impede their ability to move much. It also mixed with and took some of the thicker, oily gunge from before with it as it ran off Lyn and Miko and into the larger collection of gunge at the bottom. Miko put her foot down and cringed as it filled her shoes. Lyn gave an amused snort and Miko’s expression and kept on playing.
The chorus rolled around again. Expecting another gunging on the repeat of “Fuel is pumping engines,” the six players braced themselves. This time, nothing happened. It wasn’t until the final line of the chorus, “Quench my thirst with gasoline” that gunge fell. This time it was black and almost watery, but had a more oily smell. It didn’t quite smell like actual oil, but the illusion was enough to make Doris flinch. The mixture of the black and the sticky clear gunge was turning her ferrous hair into a matted, darker mess and the face paint she usually wore was beginning to run. The others let it run all over them as it washed away the thicker gunge from before.
The next part of the song was an instrumental, meaning that Orianthi and Karin were going to get a quick break. After a couple of bars of the breakdown, sludge began trickling from above Mia and Doris before bursting into a fully fledged downpour of brown gunk. The two of them were covered completely and lost their place, turning the breakdown into a bass solo. They regained their composure as the guitar solo began and the tubes around their pool began to fill with gunge opposite to their own team’s colours – purple for Mia and green for Doris. It fired and constantly adjusted the height it was aiming at during the solo. Notes were missed throughout the first few seconds but with a lot of focus, Mia and Doris were able to pull through despite their complete coverings.
The final chorus started up and immediately, Orianthi and Karin were hit in the head with blue slime from the tubes around their pools. The tubes’ aim gradually lowered before depowering, leaving the two singers covered in blue on top of everything else. Karin spat out the mouthful of gunge she took as she tried to sing while being splattered while Orianthi showed a lot more decorum by swallowing it. Obviously it didn’t taste too bad as she didn’t react too disgustedly from it.
The six players finished the song and on the final note, sparks flew from behind Morgan and Charlotte. Morgan was launched forwards and fell into the gunge. She disappeared completely for a second before jumping up and splashing Charlotte with the frigid gloop. Morgan wasn’t able to throw the gunge very high and it splashed Charlotte’s legs, making large pink blobs. Yellow slime was dumped on Morgan, which made her scream as it struck her hair.
Alissa returned onto the stage as the six players stepped out of the pools. “Wow! What a great start to the show!” she grinned as she walked up to the green team. “But not for you guys, huh? How was that?”
“Sticky,” Miko giggled under the slime. “Also I’m kinda sad that we lost the game. Poor Morgan!”
Mia nodded in agreement. “It gives us plenty of motivation to do better in the next games.”
“Morgan kinda deserved that gunging though, thinking about it,” Orianthi added. “Sorry, that outburst earlier was mean. We did our best all the same though.”
Alissa then turned to the purple team. “What do you have to say to that?”
Doris chuckled. “This is just a taste of what’s to come. We’re gonna win this!”
“It was close though. Only a few hundred points in it,” Karin added. “Could have easily been a tie.”
Lyn nodded as she ran her hands through one of her pigtails. “It was fun, though. I’m looking forward to the rest of the games.”
“So that was the first round,” Alissa said as she turned to face the camera. “The green team earned three stars during that round, meaning they have 60 points. The purple team also earned three stars but also get a bonus of 20 for getting a slightly bigger sore, getting them a total of 80.” And thus, part one ended.