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It was Kelsen’s fault in the end. Most things were, according to Marene anyway. Kelsen would argue but, well, more often then not his sister was right. This one though... This one was just as much Marene’s fault as it was Kelsen’s. It had been her idea, after all. It had been a perfectly ordinary weekend until then. Ashren, their cousin, had come by and the two boys were going at it with their guitars, playing along to their favorite bands and blasting lyrics at full volume. Never one to be outdone, Marene tried to drown them out with notes high enough to shatter glass. “What are you singing?!” Mrs. Eld had been an opera singer once, and her powerful voice brought a sudden end to the battle of the bands. Unfortunately for the cousins, that meant the harsh metal lyrics were all the more audible. “Put a spike through her heart-“ Kelsen shoved the needle away with a sharp screech! but the damage was already done. He didn’t have to look up to know his mother was glaring. “It’s just words, Ma.” ”Words,” Mrs. Eld snapped, “have power. I’ve raised you to be good Survivorists, and I won’t have that,” she shot the record a disgusted look, “trash in my home.” She snatched the black disc from her son’s hands, snapping the hard plastic in one sharp movement. ”Ma!” Kelsen protested. “That cost a whole months allowance!” Mrs. Eld was unmoved. “Then next time spend it on something worthy.” ”But the music’s great,” Ashren protested, realizing his mistake too late, flinching as his aunt turned her withering glare on her nephew. “And I’m sure my sister will be delighted to hear it.” Ashren winced again. “Why don’t you find some noise with better lyrics?” ”They don’t make ‘em,” Kelsen muttered, looking mournfully at the broken pieces. It had cost him a whole month’s allowance too. He’d known buying it was risky, but the music was amazing! It was sharp, and wild, and nothing at all like the classic arias his parents had had him practicing since before he could remember. This was something entirely new, something for his generation! Not that his parents would understand. All they heard were the words, which were, admittedly, pretty bad, glorifying murder and Ironeyes and Hemalurgy. Kelsen wasn’t too fond of them himself, but the music was worth it. His mother disagreed, leaving him with a stern warning about what would happen if she caught him listening to such ‘trash’ again. “I bet she’d like it if it had Survivorist lyrics,” Kelsen said crossly after his mother left and the door was safely shut, “even if they were about how he killed the nobles or robbed people or was tortured in the Pits.” ”Yeah,” Ashren agreed. “Wish someone’d make some.” ”Why don’t you?” Marene snapped, flicking her long, dark hair back. “Better then wasting more of my practice time.” Marene wanted to be a famous singer, like her mother had been, and that meant a lot of practice. Kelsen had a good voice too, but he would rather play his guitar. “Because-“ Kelsen paused abruptly, objection silenced as his sister’s words penetrated. “Why not?” he said slowly, turning the idea over in his mind. The more he thought about it, the better it seemed. “Why not?” And so The Survivor’s Crew was born. (You are allowed to critique this, because apparently I need to give permission now.)