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Brain Dead

BEEP.

BEEP.

BEEP.

A heart monitor at the head of a comatose patient’s bed beeps with every QRS complex that appears on the screen. Nurse Frightengale eclectically documents at her desk as the curtain slides open next to her.

Frightengale briskly tidies up her desk as Dr. Death walks by, stopping at the foot of his intubated patient’s bed. He flips through their chart before gazing up at the monitor, then shakes his head.

“A gunshot to the head… throat slit from ear to ear… Yet his heart still beats. After everything he’s gone through, he still lives. Why is that so?”

Luchadeath places the chart back down and turns to the camera.

“This man is brain dead. Everything his body does is animalistic instinct at this point. His heart beats because its electricity drives it. He maintains his nutrition because this feeding tube delivers it straight to his gut to be digested for him. And he breathes because this machine inflates and deflates his lungs for him. He is being kept alive by forces outside of his own devices.”

“He lives because I allow him to.”

“Drewitt, you’re a modern marvel, just like this man lying in the hospital bed beside me. Shot in the head and left for dead; sliced open from ear to ear to take that oxygen away from you… any normal man would be at best reduced to an animalistic shell of his former self.”

“Any normal man, at the very least, would be brain dead.”

“Yet you journey on. Journey after journey you just keep on stepping, no matter the thrill it elicits, or the discovery of the destination, or if you have arrived safely or not. It’s as if something or someone is propelling you forward. Something that’s out of your control. Something that a normal man does not have going for him.”

“Yet the very force that propels you also ails you. And I’m pleased to inform you that I have your cure.”

“I, just like that force, will be in full control of your body when I put you under anesthesia. The same electricity that conducts your heart beat can be disrupted by a few colts from my defibrillator. That same sustenance you consume can be withheld by Frightengale at a moment’s notice. And that precious oxygen your lungs incubate to disperse through your bloodstream can be converted into an endless supply of carbon dioxide.”

The camera slowly zooms in.

“I am your external force at Thunder, and I have the means to give you what you so desperately want and need: to turn you back into what you once were…”

“A normal man.”

“And the doctor’s orders can turn even you into a brain dead man so you will no longer have to carry the burden of your immortality.”

Frightengale pulls the ventilator plug.

“Your next journey begins and ends on my operating table, explorer.”

Frightengale places the OSW World Heavyweight Championship belt on Luchadoc’s shoulder as he looks into the camera.

“Now take a deep breath and close your eyes…”

“See you on the other side, Drewitt.”

BEEP.

BEEP.

BEEBEEBEEBEEBEEBEEBEEBEEBEE—

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

Dr. Death