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This post contains a chapter, by chapter, full synopsis ( ~5000 words ) of How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal by S.D. McKinley and also a short, narrative arc version ( < 1000 words ) with chapter markers. The entirety of the written content of this post is © 2020 S.D. McKinley.
NOTE: In the longer synopsis, I will highlight in bold when a new, important character or element of the story is introduced. This post is in light of an upcoming web serialization of LJ and Rom book #2. This post will be re-blogged with an official announcement closer to time of launch.
Narrative Arc ( Short Version ):
[₀][₁] After winning another race, LJ and Rom [₂] steal the team’s rally car to embrace the open road, pick up LJ’s girlfriend Vic [₂] and then head to Donna’s house for dinner [₃] where they learn, through mystical mediums that their friend Dom will die by the hand of a disgruntled fan if they don’t do something. Upon leaving Donna’s house the exhaust noise is too loud. They talk to their friend Marlon, which is hospitalized after a movie prop fell on him. Marlon gives them a location they can swap the muffler, which is Remmy Johnson’s chop shop [₄]. They swap the muffler and hear something on the radio about zombies [₅]. Back on the road, they spot a woman in distress. After helping, the woman gives them some weapons and electronic supplies [₆].
While crossing into North Carolina, some supernatural weather patters appear along with some disappearing runner zombies that are killed by the crew [₁₀]. LJ spots a different kind of zombie called a jhaman, named by Rom. LJ shoots the jhaman in the head, but an energy from above heals the jhaman. However, the crew learns that while the jhaman’s incapacitated the runner zombies lose control, that the jhaman has a glowing, crystal heart and the runner zombies are moving in a line running all the way from east to west. They phone Marlon again which leads them to Tia’s house, to strategize.
[₁₂] Surrounding Dom’s birthday party, his pet monkey Deevin has some chemical burns. Then, the hackers are revealed to be a man and woman, targeting Dom and they inject a charged, malicious payload into Dom’s phone. After arriving at [₁₅] Tia’s house, LJ blacks out and has a vision where a child attacks. LJ awakens. They are introduced to Tia’s family members, a mystical child named Vincent [₁₆], and a faery with boots, named Dashra. They travel back in time, to a previous Earth [₁₈] to learn how to defeat the jhaman with magic. The jhaman has metal weapons it can extend from it’s arms.
[₁₉] Dom is now grieving the loss of the band, and notices that he has not had any dreams as of late and he is in denial about the dreams being a success for the methodology of his guitar riff composure. A previous success, but now a denial for him. While him and Deevin are sitting on the porch, a protesting truck arrives chanting “GET BACK WITH THE BAND” and sprays rocks on Dom’s property. Dom realizes the universe is against him.
[₂₀] The hackers then complete their first dark web job, by uploading the contents of Dom’s phone as requested. They receive their next job, which is to assassinate Dom. After gearing, up the crew leave Tia’s house [₂₁] with Dashra on the jhaman hunt. They fight and kill the jhaman [₂₂] with Dashra’s magic and learn that the jhaman is raising his minions from the dead with his electrifying arm rods. Rom takes the jhaman heart. LJ sees a man-in-black [₂₂] that tells him to move forward and not worry with killing any more jhamans.
The crew lands at a camping spot [₂₂] where LJ has a dream [₂₄] about a playing card, the eight of diamonds, which materializes itself next to the campfire [₂₅] and LJ keeps the card after he awakens. Dasrha leaves for home. They meet Kate, the race crew leader. She wages a bet on a head-to-head race. The wager is that if they lose, Rom has to go with Kate. LJ’s reckless driving causes them to win the race [₂₇].
They pick Marlon up from a hospital [₂₈] in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and make there way to save Dom. Marlon tells LJ that his eight of diamonds card is like an eight of pentacles tarot card.
[₂₉] Kirt places Val’s position between a rock in a hard place, telling her she must wear a fat-man costume while she kills Dom at the concert. [₃₀] Now, choppy office workers in Washington D.C. give new orders to Kirt to kidnap Dom and deliver him to House #29.
Just as the crew is meeting Dom, he is kidnapped by Kirt and Val [₃₁], in her fat-man costume. [₃₂] Dom wakes up in a room that resembles a jail cell, realizes he had a dream while unconscious, then is kidnapped again by an unseen force.
Marlon helps the crew locate Dom’s last known coordinates, which is House #29. They arrive at the house [₃₃], gain entry and LJ haphazardly discovers a tunnel beneath the floor. They climb down with immense pressure and shaking, which prompts LJ and Vic to climb back up to investigate. They are locked inside the house.
LJ and Vic cannot find Rom and Marlon, but climb to the bottom of the laddered tunnel into a octagon-shaped room with privacy glass. A voice comes from behind, offering for LJ to be apart of the dream recorder that Dom is hooked to. LJ denies the offer by casting his first magic spell, and in turn wakes Dom up gracefully, under the plastic dome. There is only one problem. LJ, Vic and Dom are trapped inside the room.