The hallway is quiet. No sign of the old man. You hear the normal pings, pops, and hums of the airship, and see the familiar sights of the hall. No Abraheim to jump out and scare you (on purpose, or on accident), no running towards you like a mad man, beginning a thought mid sentence. But you do see light coming from his open door. Someone must be home. When you peak your head in the door, you see his at his chair, asleep. As you walk up to his desk, which hasn’t changed in the last month, he calmly stirs awake.
“Ah, I apologize. I was expecting you, I have just been tired as of late.”
He gestures towards an empty chair.
“Well, let us just go ahead and begin.”
“Now that you’ve had some time to digest part of this story, and hopefully taken some time to hunt down and read or look more into the story, I can begin to do a better summary without spoiling anything for you. So just a warning, if you want to find out all of the intricacies of this story yourself, then we should save this conversation for a different time. If you don’t care or just value our little discussions then we can continue.”
“Up until this point, I have only told you bits and pieces of the story as to not reveal too much. I feel that I need to do a summary of the story up until this point — a complete one, so that some of the things I tell you in a moment will make sense. So brace yourself, this might take a bit.”
“If you recall, Coheed and Cambria are IRO Bots, a type of organic android that has beyond superhuman powers. One of these powers manifest itself in the form of the “Monstar” virus. General Mayo Deftinwolf, at the orders of one higher up, tricked Coheed into believing that this virus was passed down to his children in the form of the “Sinstar” virus, and that it has the ability to literally drain stars of their energy. In the story universe this could effectively destroy Heaven’s Fence. In a plot that was years in the making, Tri-mage Wilhelm Ryan, who I have yet to mention for a specific reason, manipulated Coheed and Cambria in order to use the Monstar virus to kill a woman named Mariah, who is the leader of a rebellion group bent on bringing the Supreme Tri-mage down. Although the elimination of all of Coheed and Cambria’s children was the goal, they failed to kill one, Claudio. Claudio’s role in the events that transpire are actually foretold in a prophecy that the Tri-mage is aware of. He knows that Claudio is the Crowing and can destroy the Keywork.”
“This is where a more complete understanding and summary of the plot is necessary in order to understand its significance as a story. I have also decided to change how I explain it to you. If you are confused already, it would be far too confusing to explain it to you the way I discovered the story — that is, in out of order bits and pieces. I change my mind sometimes — you should know that.”
“So let us move forward a bit in real-world chronological album order, but backwards in the story. In the Afterman double album, listeners learn that the Keywork, the thing that unites all of the planets of Heaven’s Fence, providing them power and resources for life, is actually made of all of the souls of those who have died within Heaven’s Fence. They are forced to wander aimlessly through the beams until they have let go of their past lives in the Fence, and can then move onto the next plane of existence, essentially a “heaven.” Why this is important to the story is because it makes Claudio’s destiny of destroying the Keywork make sense. You see, to gain more power, Tri-Mage Wilhelm, who is the main antagonist of this story if you haven’t realized it yet, begins feeding off of the Keywork. At his orders more souls were fed into the Keywork through killing another alien race known as the Stars, making them a type of battery or charger. Because of Claudio’s character traits, he can’t let this needless murder of sentient beings stand and begins to accept his fate as the Crowing. He was made aware of his destiny thanks to a friend who stole a book containing the prophecy, and through Ambelina, a Prise who knows of the prophecy as well.”
“Destroying the Keywork would serve two purposes. In a way, it releases the souls of the Keywork, and cuts off the Supreme Tri-Mage’s power supply. With the Keywork, Wilhelm is too powerful for the rebellion.”
“In In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3 through the guidance of Ambelina, being contacted by the spirits of the Keywork, and then joining up with Mariah’s rebellion against Tri-mage Wilhelm, and another event yet to be discussed, he is convinced of his role to play in the Keywork’s destruction. This is where things start to become open to interpretation. All we have to go on for the completion and resolution to this story are the lyrics from Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV: No World Tomorrow. There haven’t been comics for it yet, so we are just left to analysis and speculation from those who follow the story. What we do know though, thanks to the first volumes of the Amory Wars, is that there have been a cluster of planets that have disconnected from the Keywork, our Solar System, and it didn’t lead to the destruction of anything. Now, whether that is true if the entire Keywork is destroyed, then the whole ‘destruction of the universe’ thing is also up to interpretation.”
“So with this incomplete information, we don’t really know how the lives of people in Heaven’s Fence will be affected if the Keywork is destroyed. Will it ultimately lead to a genocide? Or will it simply mean freedom from the grip of the Supreme Tri-mage? And does that make Claudio just another villain, or is he truly the hero? All good questions — that we don’t have the answers to yet.”
“There are still two albums left to explain in terms of how they fit the story. First we’ll talk briefly on Year of the Black Rainbow. This album gives Coheed and Cambria more of a backstory. It explains their origins and exploits as members of the radical resistance group known as K.B.I. KNowledge, Beast, and Inferno. The album is accompanied by a novel, rather than a comic, for a story medium to help make sense of the lyrics of the album.”
“That leaves Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. If you thought that this story was crazy and convoluted up until this point, then just you wait — we’re going meta. Yes, From Fear Through the eyes of madness follows a character known as “The Writer.” The Writer is actually the one writing the story of the Amory Wars. All of the characters are of his creation and represent people, events, or themes in his life. Tormented by the betrayal of an ex lover, and driven insane by his demonic childhood bicycle, he begins to deal with his emotions by writing his frustrations into the story in the form of characters, and then killing them off. This album and this story is actually where Claudio finally comes to terms with his destiny as the Crowing in an epic final encounter with the Writer.”
“I almost feel as if I have told you too much, so I will not spoil any more. I have left out many details that add to the plot, and make it much deeper than what I have provided you. But I still haven’t answered this question — why is this one of my favorite stories? I wish the answer was easy, but if I was being honest, it is not. Part of it is the time of my life where I discovered the music and the story, and the emotional connection I felt to it then. I love the music, and back then, the fact that I knew there was a story behind it, a rabbit hole to go down, made me listen over and over, analyzing lyric after lyric. I spent hours a night on forums talking to others about what they could mean. Then the comics begin to come out. Many of our questions, my questions were answered. So at first, it wasn’t even necessarily the plot, although I came to love that as well. It was just the fact that there was a deeper layer than just the music — the story. And yet another layer beneath that — the life experiences that led to what is included in the story. A reason for everything.”
“As far as the plot goes, it has everything I like in a sci-fi story, even if it has been done a lot. A resistance to an evil power, the coming-of-age, the fulfillment of some prophecy. It does all of these things quite well. It also has some good romance and love stories incorporated into it. But I think what does it for me the most is the sheer epic nature of Claudio’s ultimate choice and what it could mean. It really leaves you wondering what will happen.”
“And thus, our little venture into something so dear to me is over. I cannot say more about it other than I hope you have or will at least give it a chance. If not the music, then at least the comics and the novel.”
“Hopefully, I will see you again soon. But right now, I am tired, and must rest.”
He begins putting out candles and lamps except for a necessary few and gets up to walk you to the door.
“Until next time, my friend.”