Trauma Button A Paradox Live Fansite
Opening Show: The Cat's Whiskers Part

[sfx: rain]
Saimon: Rain... tears the sky sheds for someone else, dancing on top of the paving stones. Soon, it will wash away the city's sadness.
[sfx: sarcastic slow clapping]
Yohei: Very nice, professor. You think you could pull in a customer or two with that?
Shiki: Owner, this is the receipt from that fruit store...
Saimon: Ah, thank you. Yohei, if you've got nothing else to do, could you help with balancing these accounts?
Yohei: ... a'rright, c'mere, Ryu! Today you're learning how to make a few cocktails.
Ryu: Yaaaayayayay! Full body salute! Ryu-kun is on the job! So what kind of cocktail are you gonna teach me to make?
Yohei: It's called a "Strike".
Saimon: Goodness...
Yohei: The ingredients are Canadian whiskey and Vermouth. And then this, and this, and this. That's all.
Ryu: Okay, got it! Super-Charismatic Bartender Ryu-kun will make one now!
[sfx: letting Ryu loose on a bunch of glasses and mixing implements, pouring]
Ryu: Apologies for the wait! A drink for the lovely gentleman!
Yohei: ...
[sfx: sipping]
Yohei: [sputtering] The FUCK did you make!?
Shiki: Ah--!
Yohei: Fuck's sake... you're a hell of a piece of work, you know that?
Ryu: Ehehehe! You're welcome!
Yohei: And you're still the same irreverent bastard as usual...
[sfx: cigarette being lit, Yohei taking a drag]
Saimon: Are you alright, Shiki?
Shiki: Ah, y-yes... just a little surprised, that's all...
Saimon: I understand. ... well. It looks like we're not going to be getting any more customers today. Let's go ahead and close up shop.
Yohei: Got it.
Ryu: I'll put the signboard away~!
[sfx: Ryu running off]
Shiki: I-- I'll clean up the floor.
Saimon: No need. After Ryu gets the signboard, I would like everyone to gather here. There's something important I would like to talk to all of you about.
Ryu: Eh? Ryu-kun is going to be promoted to shop manager!?
Yohei: Don't worry, that ain't happenin' anytime soon. Oi, Saimon. Before you even start. If you're going to announce you picked up another person or animal, we don't have the space for them.
Ryu: Ryu-kun and company are all picked-up children! Right?
Shiki: Y-yeah. ... i-it's because I've become a burden, isn't it?
Saimon: I've never once thought of you as a burden. More than that, is it really so wrong to want to save somebody else?
Yohei: You say that, but the one you want to save is... ... forget it. What do you want to talk about?
Saimon: The truth is: this arrived addressed to us.
Shiki: Is it... a letter?
Saimon: It's an invitation for The Cat's Whiskers. "Please participate in the Paradox Live, an event to decide the upper limits of hip hop".
Ryu: Sounds like fun! Where? Where?
Saimon: In the bay coast area. At CLUB Paradox.
Yohei: The hell...? But ten years ago, that place...
Saimon: Indeed.
Yohei: Sounds suspicious as hell. Buraikan's still gone, too.
Saimon: Is something the matter, Shiki? You look like you want to say something.
Shiki: Ah... yes... um... "Paradox"... "Brian"...? I'm just... not familiar...
Yohei: It's not "Brian". It's "Buraikan".
Ryu: Ahaha! Who's Brian? Some kind of foreign player drafted onto the team? <Hello, Brian! I'm Ryu-kun!>
Saimon: I see. It's understandable that you don't know. It dates back to when Shiki was very young, after all.
Yohei: Buraikan were this legendary MC duo that existed a long time ago. MCs Yasha and Shura. They were monsters.
Shiki: They do have really scary-sounding names...
Saimon: Originally, they built up a lot of buzz underground. Because of Phantom Lives, though, they suddenly shot to international fame.
[sfx: cigarette being lit, Yohei taking a drag. Again.]
Yohei: Anyway. They made it big with Phantom Lives, but there were tons of rumors about where they'd be performing. Even if it was a cypher[1], people would flock to rubberneck.
Shiki: Um...
Saimon: What is it?
Shiki: It used to be... that people enjoyed music on their own, right? So how were there cyphers...?
Yohei: Hip hop and freestyling don't work if you're alone.
Saimon: So local cyphers popped up all over the place. Compared to the present day, it was still quite under the radar, of course. People gathering together for the specific purpose of enjoying music together... people thought we were very strange.
Ryu: Ooh? Boss and his friends were the strange ones?
Saimon: Yohei and I have been doing hip hop together since well before it had its boom.
Shiki: So then... you've seen Buraikan live, owner...?
Saimon: Yes. Yohei and I saw them. Just once.
Yohei: It really knocked us flat on our asses back then... it was the kind of show that burns a brand on your soul.
Saimon: Indeed... there's no arguing that they're partially responsible for the current surge in popularity that hip hop has been enjoying. That was why everybody thought Buraikan would usher in an age of newcomers, but...
Shiki: Did something happen?
[sfx: yohei taking a drag of his cigarette]
Yohei: They disappeared overnight. Up in smoke, just like something out of a children's story.
Shiki: No way... Why would they, all of a sudden, just...?
Saimon: The official line is that they disbanded, but nobody is certain about the truth. Only god knows what the full story is.
Ryu: And those two had been so promising, too...
Yohei: Hah? You're talking like you know anything about it.
Ryu: [laughing]
Yohei: Yeah, keep on laughing like an idiot, you dipshit.
Ryu: Dipshit... dipshit! Has a nice ring to it! Dipshit! Yo, yo, representing the dipshits, it's Ryu-kun on the mic! Pullin' out the pure instinct and fists full of fish sticks![2] Check it out!
Saimon: [chuckling] So. You know the phantometals that we use on stage, correct? They say that the first people to ever use them that way, to give form to their feelings and put on a Phantom Live, were Buraikan.
Yohei: Yeah. And you know that one long bridge in the area by the bay coast that's all cordoned off and off-limits? Used to be if you went across it, there was a big live house. It was Buraikan's home base, CLUB Paradox.
Shiki: It sounds like it has a really storied past...
Saimon: Mm. Shall we circle back around and get back on track? About this invitation... do you have any thoughts, Yohei?
Yohei: I already said what I think. It sounds suspicious to me. No way that Paradox is just gonna come back all of a sudden. It's probably just some real passionate fan.
Ryu: But if that's all it is, then how would CLUB Paradox have come back?
Saimon: Ryu, why do you believe that to be the case?
Ryu: I heard it from my little friend, Mister Pigeon~. "Flap-flap-flap, boom, boom!", he said.
Yohei: Yo, Saimon. I think he's finally lost it.
Saimon: [chuckles] Shiki, would you mind looking it up?
Shiki: Y-yes... um...
[sfx: phone clicking]
Shiki: Ah, I found something! It looks like people are posting all kinds of pictures on social media... um, is this...?
Yohei: ... for fuckin' real... a whole-ass island just reappearing...? No fuckin' way.
Saimon: Fascinating...! How on earth do you think they've accomplished that? I think I'd have to see it with my own eyes.
Yohei: Why are you so caught up in the so-called event we got invited to, then? If you just want to know how Paradox showed back up, that doesn't mean we have to get involved.
Saimon: I... want to try to aim for that goal one more time. With you, and with these children. To reach the apex of hip hop.
Yohei: ... ah... a second shot at that glory we missed out on, huh?


Past Yohei: Saimon, this is important!
Past Saimon: What's the matter?
Past Yohei: It's an invitation that came in from overseas! You know that American festival that Buraikan took part in before they retired, right? They contacted us! They want us to do a Phantom Live!
Past Saimon: ...
Past Yohei: ... Saimon...? ... oi, what's gotten into you? Isn't this great? If we perform there, then our name'll be everywhere. Even Tsubaki-san will--!
Past Saimon: ... I'm sorry. This isn't something I can do right now.
Past Yohei: ... what? What kind of answer is that? You're not going to go and tell me you're quitting hip hop, are you?
Past Saimon: It isn't like that! ... even I know that it would be amazing to perform for them. But I... I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Yohei.


Yohei: There you go, saying something hard to refuse...
Saimon: I know it's a very selfish reason. But... I want to dream again.
Yohei: And? Who else is being invited?
Saimon: It looks like everyone has different inclinations, but all of the people who have been invited are teams that are on the rise at the moment. There's BAE, who are popular with young people; the very aggressive, gangster-style Akan Yatsura; and then there's the team that have been elbowing their way into any competition that has a cash prize, cozmez.
Shiki: --!!
[sfx: glass breaking]
Ryu: Ahh, you broke it! Naughty, naughty~! ... hm? Shikki?
Yohei: Oi, what's gotten into you all of a sudden?
Saimon: Shiki!?
[sfx: Shiki having a panic attack]
Saimon: Yohei, I'll handle this.
Yohei: ... got it. ... Ryu. Get a broom and a dustpan.
Ryu: Aye-aye sir!
[sfx: Ryu taking off, Shiki continuing to have a panic attack]
Saimon: Shiki.
Shiki: ... ... owner... I... I...
Saimon: It's alright, Shiki. I'm here with you.
Shiki: ... b-but--...
Saimon: You poor thing, you've gotten so pale... here. Take a deep breath. Inhale.
[sfx: Saimon demonstrating a deep breath]
Saimon: And exhale.
[sfx: Shiki, shakily, taking and releasing a deep breath]
Saimon: Are you alright?
Shiki: Yes. U-um... I'm sorry... for interrupting the conversation...
Saimon: You don't have to worry about that at all.
[sfx: glass being set down]
Yohei: S'water. Drink it.
Shiki: T-thank you very much.
Yohei: ... hey, Saimon. I'm fine with it if you want to aim for the top with hip hop again, but... don't you think a real competition might be too much of a stressor for him?
Saimon: ... hm.
Ryu: Ryu-kun thinks the Paradox Live sounds real interesting, but does Shikki not want to do it?
Shiki: I-- I can't... someone as filthy as me could never...
Ryu: Oh? Shikki is dirty? Have you not taken a bath!?
[sfx: Obnoxious sniffing]
Yohei: Lay off it, asshole!
Ryu: Ow! Hurts hurts hurts hurts!
Shiki: And... and if I took part... [sob]
Yohei: You've performed in events we've done before, right? What's the matter with this one? ... Saimon. Maybe we should consider taking part without Shiki?
Saimon: Mm... perhaps. But Ryu's chaotic style and Shiki's fantastic sense of rhythm are vital to our sound. Whiskers is comprised of four people, all together as one. If we can't all go, then we'll turn down the invitation.
Shiki: N-no! You can't do that!
Ryu: Shikki?
Shiki: You don't need to concern yourself with my feelings... I want to be of use to the owner... I have to...
Yohei: [sigh] So what are we gonna do?
Saimon: I don't agree that your feelings don't matter, Shiki. I want you to take good care of yourself. Because of that, I think this competition could be a good experience for you.
Yohei: So you're saying...
Saimon: We'll be participating as The Cat's Whiskers. Will that be alright with you? Shiki.
Shiki: ... yes...
Saimon: [sigh] I'm so sorry. Thank you, Shiki.
Shiki: Owner...
Ryu: Alright! Well, Ryu-kun is sleepy, T minus fifteen minutes until beddybye Ryu-kun, tick tock, tick tock--
Saimon: [chuckles] You're right. I'm sorry for keeping all of you up so late. Ryu and Shiki, please go ahead and go to bed. Yohei and I will tidy up the shop.
Shiki: Understood... then, um... good night.
Ryu: Beddy-bye sheep goes 'baa baa baa'~...
[sfx: Ryu snoring and thump-thump-thump sleepwalking]
Shiki: Hold on... Ryu-kun, wait, that's dangerous...
Yohei: Saimon. You've got more reasons than you're letting on for wanting to participate, aren't you?
Shiki: [in the background] Are you listening to me...?
Saimon: Goodness. You see right through me, Yohei. The truth is... the Alter Trigger company has put in a bid to buy out the land this bar is built on.
Yohei: Hah? You mean that Alter Trigger?
Saimon: Yeah.
Yohei: ... oi. For real?
[sfx: Yohei punching the bar]
Yohei: Pulling a fucking move like this...! There's no fucking way I'll let anyone take 4/7[3]! This is our bar!
Saimon: Naturally, I have no plans of letting anyone take us over that easily. But I don't see any way to protect the bar, other than to outbid them.
Yohei: Tch... so. How much?
Saimon: ... including the cost of maintenance, I'd say we'd have a hard time without about ten billion yen.
Yohei: What a bullshit number! How are we supposed to pull that together? ... ah, fuck, don't tell me.
Saimon: Yeah... got it in one.
Yohei: So that's the plan. Goddammit.
Saimon: And we can't forget about what it means for Ryu and Shiki. That's why we don't have a choice. We have to win this stage battle.
[sfx: cigarette being lit, Yohei taking a drag. Again-again.]
Yohei: If you think about it and work backwards, it's all super easy. We win and then all our problems are solved, yeah?
Saimon: [laughs] I suppose so.
Yohei: Let's do it, then, Saimon. Just like we did back then.
Saimon: Yeah. But now we have Ryu and Shiki, too.
[sfx: drink being poured]
Yohei: Drink up, Saimon.
Saimon: What's with this? Are you going to drink again?
Yohei: No way I'm not drinking, after getting told some shit like that.
Saimon: Fair enough. I'm sorry for always asking so much of you, Yohei.
Yohei: Same to you. ... we'll protect this bar. I know we will.
Saimon: That's my plan. Cheers.
[sfx: rain]


[sfx: rattling, Yohei writing on a board]

Yohei: "Due to event participation, Bar 4/7 is temporarily closed for the day." ... 'ight, this'll do.
Ryu: Oh? Shikki's all nervous again!
Shiki: Ah? I-- I'm fine... I'm always like this, anyway...
Yohei: That's the problem, isn't it?
Ryu: You know, Shikki, there's no reason to be nervous!
Shiki: Ryu-kun...
Ryu: After all! It's just a music competition! Not like anyone's gonna die!
Shiki: --!
Yohei: ...
[sfx: THWACK]
Ryu: OW! Master kicked me!
Yohei: Don't run your mouth and scare him more than he already is!
Saimon: Are you alright, Shiki?
Shiki: Yes... I'm alright...
Saimon: You may not think this, but you're the one who's elevated our music to the point it's at now. We're going to need everyone in order to win the Paradox Live.
Shiki: Is that really true...?
Saimon: It certainly is.
Ryu: What about Ryu-kun? Hey, hey! What about Ryu-kun?
Saimon: [chuckle] Of course, we need Ryu too. And Yohei, as well.
Yohei: Ah, knock it off. I'm allergic to that flattery shit.
Shiki: [laugh]
Ryu: Hey! Shikki laughed!
Yohei: Alright. Let's go, Saimon!
Saimon: Yes. We'll show all of them what real music is like... as The Cat's Whiskers.

[1] A cypher is basically a group freestyle.
[2] Yohei calls Ryu a "ponkotsu", and Ryu makes a ponkotsu (useless idiot) > tonkatsu (pork cutlet) joke in his little rap. "Dipshit" and "fish sticks" kind of achieves the same slant-rhyme effect. Yes I do think I'm very funny thank you for asking.
[3] The name of the bar is always written "4/7" but is pronounced "Seven-Four", because of how Japanese reads fractions. I suppose you could write the bar name as "7-4" in English, but for consistency's sake I'm leaving it written 4/7.

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