When the CRASH team arrived at the Armageddon Clock, there was already a line formed outside—young denizens of Angelus looking to see and be seen, to mingle and court and lose all inhibitions among others of their age group. The nightwear for the Clock varied from conservative to exotic, with most attendees choosing something in between. Glitterpaint and nano-neon highlighted sculpted female figures while synthsilk and mood-sensitive stylon materials clung and accented the musculature of the males. The club’s exterior resembled a squat gothic tower, complete with holographic gargoyles and a huge and brightly-lit analog clock swirling with psychedelic hues.

An unusual night in Angelus, the cloud cover is only scattered—tiny grey threads obscuring the new moon. Even from outside, the music can be heard from within the Clock—pounding bass and slashing rhythms that seem designed to travel directly into one’s toes. The current song practically crackled with energy, a woman’s voice belting out each phrase clear as a bell, woven expertly through the driving beat of the music.

People are trying…to capture all their dreams — every day
The tighter they hold on… the more they feel it—slipping away
And dreams that we borrow
Will pay for tomorrow,
When Destiny calls us to our journey’s end.
Don’t let your future fall upon fragile wings descend…

Inside the Armageddon Clock, it soon became clear that the club was far more “rave” than “grunge.” The performers filled a prominent bandstand in front of a dance floor that was simply huge—and crammed with gyrating bodies. An onyx bar with silver-highlighted stools and a neon-chased mirror lay to the left, occupied by several singles mingling and chatting, seeking to get a comm-code or a one-night-hookup.

So come along now…to find never-ending dreams comin’ true
Open your heart now…You’ll find them waiting there for you
And from the beginning
You’ll find there’s no ending,
This journey takes you back into your soul
Pierce the illusion, seek out the truth that makes you whole!

Next to the bar was a raised platform containing several small “cozy-sized” tables and a few billiards sets, sparsely occupied as yet. Each table possessed its own holoscreen for ordering from the bar. To the right of the bar itself were the restrooms, the site of several to-and-from traffic circulating from the bar and dancefloor. Holos projected down into the crowd from projectors slung beneath the ceiling while laser beams swept across the dancers to the beat of the music. Just then, the song entered a crescendo—the singer on stage struck a dramatic pose and poured raw, seething passion into the chorus.

The never-ending journey is waiting for you.
Open up your eyes now
(Open up your eyes now)
See through the dark…
The never-ending journey is calling for you.
Time to wake up all the dreams asleep in your heart…