The guitar slung over his shoulder is not a weapon, though he and other wielders of it will call it an axe in hopes that after midnight, in the thunder and lightning, battle with monsters arrives, and they will obtain heroic might from fire in the sky. This solo, that Travis is in the midst of, is deadly tense and screams of knockout punches and secret words that blast walls apart. It boils his blood and pushes sweat out every pore in his body. Hammering the frets, like concrete walls that he destroys with a glance, ahead of them somehow, some emergency is taking over the sound: wailing sirens, racing winds. Beyond the bray of his axe, and beyond reason some villain has captured the raven-haired beauty and only lone star Travis, on fire beneath the stage lights, aching with power, can disintegrate the bonds or chains or bars that hold her; he is the only one. She is afraid—afraid that something as slight as doubt can catalyze nuclear explosions of rage. The genesis is anger, uncontrolled, as he slips arms around power he can barely retain. He pushes back, holds back, not sure, holds a single chord, and then crashes into the next one, willingly giving himself over to the pain—anger from the damage, rages from wounds. Each note is a sonic blade slicing at Damage, who though bloodied, mockingly laughs. Damn you. Damn fate—whatever this persistent cause of loss is. Damn it. He can see her blue eyes braced with horror.

Past the enamel red of his guitar, past the strings, his hand, he suddenly sees his boot stomping hard the stage to the beat, so much so that it hurts his ankle. He feels the solidity just before the rapid fire notes of his clawing at the instrument, melt into an angry E minor chord that he’s sliding, tearing down the neck of the guitar. Somewhere in the dark, someone yells out jubilantly. Travis does not perceive it, cloaked now in a chemical flame. He grits his teeth, feeling the majesty of this righteous fury burning itself out though it remains as white hot as a star. The machinery of fate builds scaffolding and gates to surround and quell him—to put him out for good. He sees choice is an illusion and every note bears the sound of some forgotten cause—drifting debris of the past and the pearly white smile of his most sinister nemesis. The song comes to an end and the crowd goes wild with cathartic applause and yelling. He is hollowed out. There is no power left. He has blasted it all through the speakers. There is nothing and no one to fight but the future.