The Sequels to Syrrah's Game SGSequels

chapter 26

Sunday, August 20th, 10:15 PM

Houston, TX


Evan smiled. Glad it was time for that break in the show.

When the last of Dana’s backup singers, musicians, and dancers exited the stage floor, not too far behind Dana herself, he took the opportunity. He leaned back against the wall of their cordoned-off security section near the stage. The enormity of these shows had his head reeling. The loud, thundering speakers of the sound system only compounded it all, his ears still ringing from the high volume, not unlike many of their own concerts, though the security earpiece did help to block some of the deafening noise. And that massive backstage video screen. Holy smokes. With its bright, colorful images and live video recording of Dana and her onstage team, along with that trick they pulled, killing all stage lights and only allowing glowing lines and curves on their outfits to brighten the darkness, all of it, was a rush on every sense in his body.

And Dana’s audience, now even more noticeable than earlier. Nonstop chatter. Cheers. And flashes or moving lights from phones. The odor in the air from perfume or cologne, snack foods, and the flow of cool AC streams across the enormous expanse of this huge indoor stadium added even more to the entire energized ambience. Took a guy’s breath away a little. Brought someone to another place and time. 

He looked up and out across the soaring height of the Toyota Arena stadium. So cool all of Dana’s team were able to construct the stage and tall lighting equipment structures in so little time, like just days before her arrival.

And fortunately, Dana wasn’t one of those daredevil pop icons who loved swooping down with ceiling cables to land on stage or do any other high-flying acrobatic maneuvers.

In fact, if anything, she was less the mover and dancer on stage, leaving more of the physical action to her dancers and backup singers. Yeah, understandable. She probably had to limit herself with that mystery disease and its sudden pain onslaught arriving anytime unexpectedly.

Hal was walking over, with Greg following. Evan focused his attention on them.

“I think you two men got a good job-shadowing experience tonight,” Hal said, once near. “What do you think?”

“Yeah, I think so,” Evan answered. “Like you said. The main thing is familiarizing yourself with the venue. Know all entrances and exits, know the entire layout. That’s another reason we need to arrive early.”

“Yes. Exactly. Even though we work with a venue’s own security, we still need to learn all of this for ourselves. And Carter’s motto?”

“If I end up fighting, I have failed. If I need to draw a gun or other weapon, I have failed.”

“We need to always avoid the perp,” Greg said. “Never allow Dana to be in the same room or proximity with the perp.”

“Which is, again,” Evan said, “why we need to know the layout.” 

Hal nodded. “Yes. Exactly. And Evan. Describe radio details.”

“Communication is very important. Make sure the radio is charged up, on the right channel, the volume high enough and wait to talk while someone else is speaking.”

“That’s correct. Were you able to hear during the show so far?”

“For the most part. I did what you said. Move to a quieter area, if possible. And it helped.”


“I like these earpieces,” Greg said, adjusting the placement of it on his ear. “My other security position had those nasty plastic pieces. At least these are comfortable.” 

Evan placed his fingers on his own earpiece to check if it was even still there. “I have to agree. Very comfortable. Barely noticed wearing it.”

“Ha, nice, Turrone,” Hal said. “Good to know.”

Greg began discussing with Hal the best placement of the mic near the button flap of their required polo shirt. And the proper way to secure the radio on their belt.

Watching their interaction, Evan thought about Hal’s appearance. Thick, tightly curled hair strands, that started dark near his scalp and ended in short, gold-dyed spikes. Yeah, dyed his hair. Hair sort of like wide receiver Odell Beckman Jr. And Hal is part African American, and something else? His eyes were grey, almost the same color as General Tauring’s eyes. Yeah. Tauring. A man he didn’t want anyone to remind him of, not ever.

Hal focused on Evan. “You liking the concert so far tonight?”

“Oh yeah. Amazed at all the coordinated work that’s put in at every concert. Dana and her team do a great job.”

“She’s quite the talented lady. Beautiful too.”

Eyes like Tauring. And now he’s mentioning Dana as beautiful? Felt like a kick to his gut. Felt like a sudden fire was burning inside him, and it definitely didn’t feel right. He could only stare at Hal.

“Yes,” Greg said, “she sure is beautiful.”

Hal eyed Greg with a steely grey-eyed glare. “And that’s exactly what I don’t want to hear.”

Greg snickered. “Excuse me? Didn’t you just state that yourself?”

Evan crossed his arms over his chest.

Hal eyed Evan but then directed his stare back on Greg. “You two realize there’s an unwritten code in security never to get involved with your clients, am I right?”

“Can’t see what you’re worried about,” Evan said. “She’s famous. We’re just average joes trying to make a living. Don’t see what she would want with us.”

“True that,” Greg said.

Hal stepped closer to Evan. “Nice try, Turrone.” He alternated his gaze between them. “Don’t do it. Carter has his eyes on both of you. Williams. You of all people should know this. Was this the reason you left your last job?”

“Of course not. I know not to get involved with clients. I was just stating that’s she is beautiful, just like you did, man. A brother can’t have an opinion?” 

“Opinion, yes. But keep it to yourself.” Hal glanced at Evan, but then back on Greg. “Come with me. Brent wants to talk to you.”

Before following Hal, Greg gave Evan a shrug and confused face, though Evan could only shake his head slightly with wide eyes. Who knew for sure why Hal suddenly turned on them?

Evan watched as the two walked down a nearby hallway heading under the bleachers.

My interactions with Dana. How had they been?

There really wasn’t much, that’s for sure. She seemed quite fixed on avoiding him ever since their sparring event.

Then again, she had smiled at him once. And she had even thanked him a few times when he had helped Carter to protect her from over-eager fans.

Maybe Hal had been watching, secretly? And if so, Evan had a good hunch as to why.