Those who keep up with my increasingly intermittent blog and interminable Tweets should be at least be peripherally aware of the existence of Scandroid – the reto-synthwave, sci-fi music project by Klayton – and my ongoing mild obsession with the same.
Those who have followed along for a while may also be aware of the fact that sometimes my brain will latch onto an idea and uncontrollably run with it, despite the fact that said idea may be a terrible one that I want nothing to do with. These dreadful ideas hijack my brain like some kind of demon and will only depart once I write them down and foist them on the unsuspecting world (a process I sometimes refer to as ‘busfuckery’).
The more astute may have already seen the connection here (as if the title of this post isn’t enough of a give away), late last week my brain decided to go on a wild excursion into insanity and rework Kleyton’s music into something I am completely unqualified to have anything to do with – a stage musical!
Now, before you decide I’ve gone completely bonkers it should be pointed out that there is actually a story behind the Scandroid project. You can pick up large chunks of it by just listening to the songs, and there’s more info to be found out there on the net. I hadn’t gone terribly deeply into this additional info, although I had stumbled over a couple of brief summaries. It was these summaries that combined with the music to ferment in the depths of my brain and boil over late on Friday night when I was trying to get to sleep.
As I lay there in bed my brain started spewing out a scene by scene rundown of a stage production telling the story of Scandroid. How to link the songs into a coherent story of Red and Aphelion and the rise of electronic consciousness. I just wanted to sleep, but whatever diseased part of my brain it is that does this stuff wouldn’t let me rest until I’d got up, grabbed a pen and paper and scribbled it all down lest I forget even the slightest detail overnight.
So, I woke on Saturday morning and decided to do some more poking around to see what else I could uncover on the Scandroid story. Oh boy… It turns out that there’s a lot of info out there. The story behind Scandroid is pretty well defined and ties into a bunch of Kleyton’s other projects. And large, hugely important chunks of it are completely incompatible with the story my brain had assembled, turning the entire creation into nothing more than a ridiculous, continuity-violating piece of fanfiction.
Faced with this revelation I made the sensible decision to abandon the whole thing and conceal my strange hubris from the world.
However, the part of my brain that tortures me with this kind of thing would not let the project die. It has incessantly badgered me over the last few days to write the whole thing up and present it to the world. I don’t know why it insists on this (there’s probably something horribly wrong with my ego), but the only way I’m going to find any peace is to grit my teeth and just do it, no matter how pretentious and misguided the whole thing is.
So here – for what it’s worth – is the sketch for Scandroid: The (horribly inaccurate) Synthwave Stage Musical.
(I am so very sorry – to Klayton in particular and everyone else in general…)
SCANDROID: THE (horribly inaccurate) SYNTHWAVE STAGE MUSICAL
== DRAMATIS PERSONAE ==
The Narrator – A Sentient Android
Red – A Scavenger and Musician
Raven – A Scavenger and Musician
ATOM 7K – A Robot
E.E.V – A Robot
Aphelion – A Hacker
The Clone – An evildoer
Various Hackers, Agents, Robots, Clones and Street Scum
== ACT 1 ==
The NARRATOR introduces the world of 2517 . The floating, golden city of Neo-Tokyo hovers over the crowded slums of Old Tokyo, inhabited by human and robot alike.
RED laments his life in the slums [Neo-Tokyo]. He is interrupted by RAVEN who tells him their set is about to begin.
RED and RAVEN perform at a nightclub along with two obsolete robots (ATOM and E.E.V) slaved to their instruments. RED sings about his search for a way out [Salvation Code]. Their set ends. ATOM and E.E.V shut down, and RAVEN teases RED about the imaginary girl from the song.
RED and RAVEN pack away their equipment and head out scavenging. They sneak into EDEN, a derelict section of the city locked down by patrols from Neo-Tokyo [Empty Streets]. In the ruins they stumble over an advanced combat robot that has fallen from Neo-Tokyo – the Scandroid.
RED and RAVEN carry the Scandroid out of EDEN and decide to break it up for parts which RAVEN can sell through his underworld contacts. They agree to keep the head to incorporate into their act. RED sees the money they’ll make as his ticket out of the slums [Neo-Tokyo – Reprise].
In Neo-Tokyo THE CLONE addresses his Agents [a song of some kind will be required here]. The Scandroid has escaped and must be recaptured at any cost. He dispatches his clones to scour Old Tokyo and assigns teams of hackers to search the Data Stream for signs of the robot. Among them is APHELION.
In Old Tokyo RED has finished connecting the Scandroid head to the instruments in his workshop. He starts composing a new song [Singularity]. He is interrupted by APHELION speaking through the head. She has successfully located it, but is enchanted by RED’s music. The two converse with APHELION warning RED of the danger he is in by harbouring the head. Their conversation is interrupted by a call from RAVEN, saying he’s in trouble and needs RED’s help. RED rushes out.
In the darkened workshop the Scandroid head comes to life. It plays RED’s song, building on it and completing it [Singularity – Reprise]. ATOM activates and is awakened to consciousness. He sings to E.E.V, awakening her [Awakening With You]. The two robots disconnect from the instruments and head into the streets of Old Tokyo, awakening other robots [Singularity – Second Reprise].
RED locates RAVEN who has been found by the CLONES. RED and RAVEN fight them, but RAVEN is captured and shouts for RED to flee [Destination Unknown]. RED returns to the workshop, hurriedly grabs some items and goes to flee. At the last second he grabs the Scandroid head.
== ACT 2 – THREE WEEKS LATER ==
The NARRATOR explains the consequences of ATOM and E.E.V’s awakening [Pro-bots & Robophobes]. Robots have achieved consciousness all over the city, and the humans have divided into two violently warring camps. In the ensuing chaos ATOM and E.E.V have led the sentient robots to EDEN and declared it a robotic sanctuary forbidden to humans…
…and that’s as far as I got. I’d scribbled down a vague outline for the rest of the show with plans to expand it further, but on realising just how abominably off-target this version of the story was I abandoned it.
In brief RED would remain on the run [Empty Streets – Reprise], talking to APHELION through the head while she runs interference preventing THE CLONE from finding him. Naturally they fall in love, although RED despairs that they’ll ever meet [Aphelion]. RAVEN re-appears, having been brainwashed to work for THE CLONE. RED urges APHELION to leave Neo-Tokyo and join him [Connection]. APHELION discovers that the Scandroid was programed with a prototype self-aware AI, which combined with RED’s music (and a whole bunch of handwaving yada yada yada) led to the awakening of the robots. She escapes Neo-Tokyo and meets up with RED [Rendezvous] and/or [Datastream]. The robots continue to construct their Eden [Future Bloodline]. Eventually APHELION and RED discover that they can upload their consciousnesses into the virtual world being constructed by the robots in Eden [The Veil]. They are almost stopped by THE CLONE, but RAVEN sacrifices himself to buy them just enough time. THE CLONE is left with their dead bodies, and RED and APHELION live happily ever after in the electronic paradise of Eden. Oh, and THE NARRATOR is revealed to be RED, reincarnated into an android body and telling the story centuries later. The end, tada.
So there it is, the abomination in full. I apologise once again for foisting it on the world. If you’d like to learn about the real story of Scandroid the Scandroid Origins short story is a great place to start. Or simply listen to the music and try to forget my shoddy corruption of Klayton’s datastream.