The Musketeers had been canceled just after its second season. And as for the stars… there seemed to be no hope of a season 3, so they all started to move on with their lives…
James had fallen on his feet and landed himself another vampire role in the new hit show based in Bridgeport, called The Forsaken. He soon became involved with a girl named Vivian St John who hired him to track down her father’s killer. While working on the case, the two become romantically involved. There is a mix of mystery, sharp dialogue, and sexual tension between The Forsaken‘s two leads…
Pearl is also in Bridgeport… The show had made its debut just 6 months ago and has become a smash hit. It will be going on the road very soon and there are talks about the show going all the way to New York Theatre District and the Broadway itself…
Max had not been so fortunate, so he went where all the has-been celebrities seem to go these days to try to rekindle their fame… Reality shows. This one was called I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here. It’s a series, in which a number of celebrities live together in a jungle environment for a number of weeks. They have no luxuries, and compete to be crowned “King” or “Queen of the Jungle”.
But it wasn’t as easy as Max thought when he woke up one morning and found out he made a new friend.
Cara’s cover version of a song called “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” had caused quite a stir in the music world… But her first chart-topper was with her brother. Avon had already proved in the Musketeers that he was a great singer, but together the pair was sensational.
Cara is currently promoting her debut album and touring Texas… At the moment I have no idea of Avon’s whereabouts, hopefully, Pearl will help me track him down when I see her later today.
And that reminds me, I have no idea where the hell Kitana is… Comic-con was the last anyone saw of her, it’s like she dropped off the planet.
Her Daddy is one of the richest men in the world with a lot of power and would get anything his little girl wanted… Some say she only got into the Musketeers because of her father. Who knows if that is true, but one thing I do know is the character suited her because in some ways she was acting herself.
By the time I came into the picture, it had been almost a year since the events at comic-con 2018…
I had just come out of a long-running hit show called Into the West and J.J. was eager to sign me up with him – so much so, he offered me a long list of shows that were in development that he was working on. But I already knew what I wanted, so I just came out and said, “The only show I want is the Musketeers.”
He looked at me as if I was crazy, “You got to be joking! No! you don’t want that one,” he said, trying his best to talk me out of it.
“I believe there are still some stories to tell, and I would like to give it a chance,” I said to him.
He scratched his head, as he said, “To able to do new stories everything would have to move forward. Everything must progress. Without progress, there would be boredom and even backsliding. The Musketeers of Sunset Valley is no exception to that… The only way it could move forward would be to mix it up with a new generation of actors to give it more depth and a new storyline and even then I don’t think it would work… There are many other stories you could do.”
“I want the Musketeers, J.J.”
He agreed, but, of course, there were a few conditions… There would have to be a handing over to the next generation actors with cameo roles for the old Musketeers‘ cast for episode 1 and after that, there would be a story arc written for me…
And as this was my idea, he wanted me to get them back, or at least some of them. He seemed to have believed the task would be impossible. but made the deal with me, that was if I was to all the work in tracking them all down and getting them to his home ranch in within two weeks, he would give my new season a chance. But if I failed to do so within the two weeks, I would have to choose something else. I always believed if you want something bad enough and you put everything into it, anything is possible… So I headed for Bridgeport…
I’m sorry… Let me introduce myself, as you all must be wondering who I am. I will be playing the part of Joel Austin, but my real name is Joel Chase, and this is my story of how I’m going to put the band back together again…
Talent agents don’t normally give out this kind of information, but I knew him personally and, as I was a big star too, I was able to persuade him… I had found out from him, that James was just about to head out for lunch ’round the corner from his studio where they were shooting The Forsaken. This was my chance!
James: Hey! I know you… You’re that kid from Into the West. So, what brings you to Bridgeport? Don’t tell me, kid… you want my autograph too!
Joel: Autograph? No, that’s not why I’m here.
James: So what do you want? or is this just an incidental meeting?
Joel: There’s going to be a new season of The Musketeers.
James: Oh! I get it, J.J. sent you to try to get me back. Well, you go and tell him I’ve got my own show now.
Joel: James, we can work ’round your new show… It will only be a cameo role, maybe after that, you could do more if you’d like.
James: I don’t think J.J could afford me now, Kid…
Joel: I’m sure if you just came and talk to him… he’d give you a bigger pay rise than you can imagine.
James: I don’t know about that, I can imagine quite a bit.
Joel: You’ll get it.
James: Nice try, Kid… but I’ve moved on, some things are better left to rest.
I wasn’t getting anywhere with him, so I said goodbye and gave him a card with all the details just in case there was a change of heart. Of course, there was still a chance that if I could get Pearl on my side, maybe she could change his mind…
Pearl and I go way back, she played my sister for five years on my show Into the West before The Musketeers. As I got back into my limo, I thought, “Maybe if only I said something different”… but there was nothing else to say… “Not the best start for putting the band back together,” I said to the driver. He turned to look at me and said, “Don’t worry, sir, he may still change his mind. I will take you to the Ziggurat Theatre now, sir.”
As we started to pull away, I could see that somebody else was talking to James and Vivian. He seemed to know them, but he didn’t look very happy, and I couldn’t help wondering what that was all about.
Ron: James, do you remember me?
James: You do look familiar to me, Kid.
Ron: You came to a party at my parents’ house a few years back, before you started your show The Musketeers… Hailey and Reggie Calloway. A famous singer under the stage name Nathifa Knight and a racing driver…
James: Oh, that’s right, Ronald? No, it’s Ron, isn’t it? You’ve got a lot taller, how is your mother doing these days?
He could barely get the next words out of his mouth, as his voice was starting to fail him and tears started to well up in his eyes again.
Ron: I just received news this morning that I’ve lost her to cancer…
James: What? No! I’m so sorry, Ron, she couldn’t have been much older than me and she was so talented…
Vivian: I’m so sorry for your loss, Ron.
James: Is there anything we can do?
Ron: I will be all right… No, wait, there is one thing. My brother will never believe me if I tell him I bumped into you like this. Would you mind if I get a photo with you both and maybe a signed picture?
James: Absolutely, Ron, we’re just going for a meal, why don’t you come with us? it’s our treat. And then we will pop back to the studio to get you that signed picture later…
Ron: Are you sure? I only have a few hours until I have to leave for the funeral. I don’t want to be a burden to you.
James: It’s no trouble at all, Kid, we will have you back in time.
Ron: Thank you.
James: Don’t mention it, Kid… anything for an old friend.
*a guest character Ronald “Ron” Rosenthal is from a talented author of neverdoitagain. This chapter is a special cross over story chapter along with this chapter of her story. This has been a lot of fun to do and I’d just like to thank Jowita for making this possible.
“That’s outstanding, lass… now you’ve got it,” the choreographer said.
“That’s it for now lassie. You got a few hours to kill before the show starts tonight… Oh! and before I forget, you have a visitor, looks like that wee boy from that old TV show you were in, Into the West,” he said with that soft voice of his and a distinctive rolling “R” sound some of the Scots still make with their accents.
“Joel Chase, Scotty,” she said.
“Aye, right!… Now go and rest up for a bit, I’ll send the laddie to your changing room.”
Pearl: Hi, Joel.
Joel: Hey, it’s good to see you again, Pearl.
Pearl: Sorry I kept you waiting, I’ve been up to my ears in rehearsals… But I don’t want to bore you with that. How have you been? You’re looking good.
Joel: Thanks, listen… Come back and re-join The Musketeers.
Pearl: News travel fast… I heard J.J. was in talks about a next generation show and he’d given you the lead role… Congratulations.
Joel: I’m not kidding… Just come back, a few cameos or more if you’d like.
One of the reasons I wanted The Musketeers was because I would have a chance to work with you again… and please don’t say “That’s nice!”
Pearl: I can’t! Sorry, Joel… I’m just too busy.
Joel: We can work ’round your ballet… just give it some thought before you say no, that’s all I ask…
Pearl: I will… You’re coming tonight, won’t you? my treat, of course.
Joel: I wouldn’t miss it for the world… There’s a costume party a week from Saturday, and I’ve already cleared it with your boss… how did he put it… “It’d be good for the lass to have a few days off!” So I won’t take no for an answer, Pearl.
*Of course, there was no costume party… But if told her the truth about meeting up at J.J.’s home, she may have said no again… And I owed her one for all the practical jokes she played on me on the set of Into the West.
Pearl: Ok! I will be there, Joel.
Joel: By the way, have any idea where Avon is hiding, and where Kitana is, for that matter?
She said she heard her father had bought her a 747 and Kitana was throwing parties ’round the world on it. but didn’t know how true that was.
As for Avon, she knew where he was… as they had been dating for nearly two years now…
She gave me his phone number and showed me a YouTube video of him surfboarding in Hawaiian surfboarding competition and he was doing pretty well… I didn’t think he was going to win it as he was just a pro-am at best, but he had made it to the final round and was giving all the pros something to talk about… Anyway, I gave him a call and, to my surprise, he said, “Sound like fun… I will be there.” I also heard back from Cara and Max’s agents that day saying they would be there too. Things were beginning to look up once again.
Pearl’s ballet and the music were just magical that night… She was just unbelievably amazing in it.
Nearly two weeks later at J.J.’s home in Sunlit Tides.
J.J.: Did get in contact with everyone, Joel?
Joel: Everyone but Kitana… I have no idea where she is.
J.J.: I wouldn’t count her out yet, Joel, she has the uncanny habit of turning up when you least expect her. And you never know what’s going to happen when The Musketeers are together and are off script… No! on second thoughts I do know, that’s why I have my two kung fu masters here, ready to sort out any trouble… But we’re not going to go there, are we?
You five are the next generation, there will be one more joining you. I don’t know who that will be just yet… But hopefully, you will each get a story arc. For now, after the first episode, this will be Joel’s story and we will see how that one goes first.
Max: Oh, don’t let me interrupt, J.J. How the prep talk going, rookies?
Cara: Hi there! Don’t get any ideas… This is still our show, rookies.
James and Vivian were next to arrive and followed by David Tennant, a.k.a The 10th Doctor.
J.J.: Well, it looks like everyone is arriving at the same time.
Pearl: Oh! I see the joke’s on me, then.
Avon: Wow! I think I’m in love with Wonder Woman.
Avon: Marry me, Pearl?
James: Go for it, tiger.
Pearl: If I’d known all I had to do was to dress up as Wonder Woman to get a proposal out of you, I would have done it sooner.
Avon: So is that a yes? but she didn’t have time to answer as he had skilfully put her into a deep kiss
Pearl: Where am I?
Avon: You just about say “yes”.
James: Come on, Pearl… say it!
Pearl: Yes! I will… But no cheap wedding, Avon.
There was a lot of applause and well wishes… But that’s when we all heard that familiar voice say, “So I suppose my invitation got lost in the post.”
That’s when it all went silent, you could hear a pin drop… if you dropped one.
Joel: That’s an interesting outfit.
Kitana: It’s just a little something I’ve thrown on… You’re new, so what’s your name? she said with that very seductive voice of hers
But she had already lost interest as she said, “Now, where’s my James?”
James: Damn! What’s she doing here? he muttered very softly so no one could hear
Vivian: What are you doing, James?
James: I think I dropped one of my contacts.
Vivian: But you’re wearing your glasses…
Kitana: Ah, there you are! You’ve been a naughty boy, haven’t you, James? I turn my back for one minute and you run off with another woman.
James: What the hell are you on about? You stood me up! and you’ve been gone for nearly a year doing who knows what.
Kitana: Oh! don’t be like that, James… What will our babies say?
Kitana: Where do you think I’ve been for the last nine months?
Vivian: She’s messing with you, James.
Kitana: Oh, this must be my replacement! She’s lovely, James. Tell me… Vivian, isn’t it? How does it feel knowing James is really in love with another woman and he’s just on a rebound?
Kitana: Come on now, James, you know it’s true.
Vivian: Right, that’s it!
J.J.: No! that’s enough… There’ll be no fighting here.
Kitana: Priceless! You should see the look on your face… Here, I’ll show you… as she laughed and took a picture of Vivian with her cell phone
James: You see what I had to put up with for two years.
Kitana: And you loved every minute of it, didn’t you, my love?
J.J.: now that’s over and done with… Let’s get on with what we’re all really here for, shall we!
J.J.: So, this is where our story will start!
James: Wait a minute… I haven’t said I’m in on this yet.
J.J.: You’re here, aren’t you? and you never read the small print on your contract, did you, James? where it says even if you leave, I have the right to call you back for cameos now and again while the show’s still running.
James: But I didn’t leave, the show ended.
J.J.: Sorry James… It has to be a fall year before you can officially say that in this case. I know I wrote it into the contract that way.
James: But it’s a next generation story, “a new story”.
J.J.: Still a continuation and it’s airtight, you can’t get out of it. You’re welcome to get your lawyer to check it if you’d like… and don’t worry, we will work around new shows or whatever you’re doing with your life these days. J.J. was looking right at Kitana as he said that last part… but got no reaction from her
J.J.: As you see, the new season will start with your older selves from chapter 15… If you remember right, Joel and Kitana have been captured by the Daleks…
Joel: The lecture went on for about an hour… I can’t repeat what he said, I fell asleep… But I got the gist and if I need to know more, I’ll re-read it (chapter 15).
The next day J.J. gave us all a tour of the new set he was building for us… And that’s when it really hit us. We should call this new story…
“The return of The Musketeers”
Introducing the next generation of The Musketeers…
The Magnes/Shang family line. James Magnes, Shang Magnes, Jamie Magnes Shang, and Kitana Shang
The Nelson/Skills family line. Cara Newman, Aaliyah Skills and Max Skills
The Austin/ Magnes family line. Avon Austin, Palmira Austin, Pearl Magnes, and Joel Austin.
The next generation of The Musketeers…