Static covers the screen as a Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right-hand corner.
In the hospital room of Starboy, the Rainbow Party member rests his weary head – his injuries keeping him in need of medical care.
As footsteps approach, we see a blue portal vanish.
The Generation Kid and Vigour enter the room, coming to an immediate halt.
Because at the foot of Starboy’s bed is something terrifying. It’s an alien head, belonging to Maethor. With its innards strewn beneath the neck, the head has clearly been ripped from the body post-mortem.
“What the heck is that!?” TGK bellows, waking up Starboy who is equally startled.
However, their collective startle is nothing in comparison to the look on Vigour’s face. The Prince of Party has gone as white as a sheet and stumbles backwards.
“I-I was right,” he says stammering.
“About what? Right about what?!” The Kid demands to know.
Vigour points shakily at the head.
“That’s an Ashen,” he grumbles nervously. “That’s one of the THEM.”
There’s an eerie silence in the room.
“You need to fill me in boys, what the fuck is going on?” Starboy queries in confusion.
Vigour looks at TGK and TGK looks at Vigour.
“I was sent to the future, and we couldn’t understand why,” The Generation Kid admits. “I have a purpose but I don’t know what it is.”
“I thought his purpose was to help save Earth from The Ashen and this?” He points to the head of Maethor. “This is a fucking message, man.”
The Generation Kid gulps.
“I guess everything happens for a reason,” he admits. “I always had your back, but maybe this means more than that. Maybe this is my destiny.”
Just then, the sound of what seems like an explosion echoes throughout the hospital room. TGK and Vigour turn emphatically to see the hospital door has been kicked clean off its hinges. Stood there, with a purpose of his own, is The Impaler. Legion runs at them, but vanishes into a blue portal that opens before him. Vigour and The Kid look at one another, gasping.
“We need to leave now!” Vigour growls. “You too Starboy. It’s not safe.”
It’s been one week since Luke Storm went on his hunt for Scarlett’s whereabouts. The A-lister looks devoid of sleep as he tears through an empty film studio, bags heavy under his eyes as he pushes over a cart of gels and clothespins, the likes of which scatter across the ground. He mumbles to himself, moving through the building with unmatched determination.
“Five fuckin’ properties owned by Simon, four of them leading to another. He thinks this is a fuckin’ game? He thinks this-” Luke cuts off his own rant as he comes into what appears to be an editing room with a film reel hanging in the center by a string. A note on it reads ‘WATCH ME’, an arrow on the bottom pointing to an old projector in the corner. Luke sneers at it, grabbing the reel and hooking it up. He points the projector out of the room to a nearby wall.
“Hello, Lucas,” the smiling face of Simon Black graces the screen, his smirk downright venomous as he leans into the camera. “You did some searching, didn’t you? Found a clue in my warehouse? Well, you did it, you found the final clue.” He chuckles, his whereabouts on the film unknown. “If you were smart you would have looked more into what I said before though, Lucas. Classic villainy.”
“WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN!?” Luke yells again, ready to smash the projector when Simon backs away from the camera, revealing where he is.
A train track.
With Scarlet Storm tied to it.
He chuckles again, looking into the camera. “Rook’s Transport. Tick tock.”
Luke looks on at the film in fear for a moment.
How long ago was this filmed? Is he too late?
Luke makes a mad dash out of the building, Simon’s laughter filling the background as he leaves.
Ring King Round of 8 pits Simon and Chronoa against each other tonight. Who will come out on top when the Taskmaster faces off against the Harbringer of Fate?
Simon and Chronoa meet in the centre of the ring, locking horns. Chronoa gets an early advantage, pushing Simon backwards into the ropes. But Simon pulls down on the top rope and the pair spill over to ringside! While Chronoa is getting to her feet, Simon clambers up the apron… RUNNING PUNT TO CHRONOA’S SKULL! SHE’S DOWN!
Simon takes the advantage to roll Chronoa back into the ring and looks to wear her down with a SLEEPER HOLD! BUT CHRONOA STANDS, SIMON ON HER BACK! SHE LEAPS UP AND FALLS BACKWARDS… BACK DROP! Simon is flat out in the middle of the ring.
Chronoa picks up the advantage, GRAND CONCLUSION! THE KNEE TO THE HEAD! Simon is down for the count… But Chronoa only picks up a two count from the referee! She’s still feeling the momentum and lines up FAILED JUSTICE! THE ENZU LARIAT! BUT SIMON EVADES! SIMONPLEX TAKES DOWN CHRONOA!
Chronoa is down, and here comes Jet Set Radio. Ether, Tag and Wiz hurtle into the ring at Simon’s aide. Wiz distracts the referee, while Ether and Tag line Chronoa up. A PAIR OF STEEL CHAIR SHOTS RING OFF CHRONOA’S SKULL AND SHE DROPS LIKE A SACK OF BRICKS! The evidence is disposed of in time for Simon to land the pinfall. ONE! TWO! THREE!
Simon wins this, with a massive assist to the interference of JSR! Simon advances to the semi-finals of Ring King… A win is a win!
WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE RING KING SEMI-FINALS: SIMON BLACK
The Blackharts office.
Pyre sits in a large chair – comfortable as always, smiling to herself. She’s concocted a plan that has seemingly come together well over the past few weeks. At Ring King, she defends her title in Gold Rush, but Simon and JSR have been helping members of Gold Rush get further into the competition.
However, all is not well for everyone.
Because as she sits in relative luxury, in storm Tag, Wiz and Ether.
“What the actual fuck!” Tag storms in with a bee in his bonnet. “Do you wanna explain to me how we’re running around like fucking goons, helping all your opponent’s advance in Ring King – but there’s no-one there to fucking support us?”
Ether puts her hands on hips.
“You’re in the spot you’re in because I ‘slipped’ and gave you Invasion,” Ether continues.
Pyre – for some reason, just looks on nonchalantly. She doesn’t give a fuck.
“We’re getting fed up with being your bitches, fire bitch,” Tag fumes.
Just then, the OSW World Champion stands up.
“You mother fuckers were hired to do a job; you were hired to torment Bad Mother Fuckers. You were hired to kill Albie Shaw. You were hired to slip on a ladder, and you were hired to make my life easier at Ring King.”
She then shoots a look at both of them and if looks could kill, they’d drop.
“You,” she points at Wiz. “You weren’t hired to suck Viper Roberts cock.”
Then she turns her attention to Ether.
“And you weren’t hired to fuck around with Crocodile Dundee.”
And finally, Tag.
“And you, you fucking fuck – you weren’t fucking hired to screw Starboy behind everyone else’s back.”
That shocks everyone, Ether especially.
“That’s right, my hired goons, you’re all fucking useless. I’ll make this about as clear as I can and I won’t stutter. Do your fucking jobs; the same jobs you were hired to do, or I’ll burn you to fucking cinder. Do you understand me, goons?”
Tag, Ether and Wiz gulp.
The Ring King Quarter FInals continue tonight as The Chosen One faces off against The Stunnah From Down Undah. Can Sir Bellator rise for the glory of Yahweh or will Chip continue to grab everyone by the balls?
The bell sounds as Chip walks forward, grinning wildly as he offers a hand to the bemused Sir Bellator. Bellator kicks it away before gripping him in a headlock, backing Chip into the ropes as he throws him across the ring. Bellator tries for a clothesline but Chip ducks under, gripping him by the back and delivering a reverse Monkey Flip, sending Bellator flipping down hard on his face.
Chip doesn’t let up, backing up into the ropes before leaping up with a Black Bear Senton beore dropping down as he begins to tie Bellator up into a pretzal like he’s wrapped up a python. Chip smiles that shit eating grin before backing up as he rushes forward and kicks Bellator right in the ass. The Chosen One rolls in pain as he escapes the pretzal, SIr Bellator looks pissed off as Chip tries for the hand shake once more.
SUPERKICK! Bellator makes Chip pay for the fun and games with a teeth rattling kick as he tries to lift Chip up high for Yahweh’s Sign but Chip slips out, drilling Bellator hard in the chest with a mule kick before he bounces off the ropes, PUMA POUNCE! Chip looked like a running freight train as Bellator goes flying but he can’t capitalize as he gets distracted by Ether up on the apron.
He yells out at the Hungry girl, not noticing Wiz and Tag running up behind him but he ducks underneath the double clothesline attempt BEFORE GRABBING THEM BY THE BALLS! JSR cry out in pain as Chip does what he does best but that leaves him vulnerable for a HOLY WISH! SUPERKICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!
Chip drops the hold, groggy and on his knees as another Holy Wish to the front knocks him down before Bellator runs to the corner, hopping up to the top, TERRA TREMUIT TO THE SKULL! The trifecta of blows to the skull may be it here as Bellator covers for the one…two…three!!!
SIr Bellator moves onto the Ring King Semi Finals but he had a lot of Jet Set Help on his side to put down Chip Montana here tonight.
WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE RING KING SEMI-FINALS: SIR BELLATOR
Billows of black smoke, flames erupting out of Nakamura Industries. By the time Goro Nakamura had managed to get to the fire, it was already out of control. The fire brigade were struggling in vain to control a fire that was past the point of saving.
“Mr Nakamura?” Goro is greeted by the fire chief, who has a solemn look on his face. “We cannot get into the building, the fire is in the structure. Once can only wait and hope that we can get it under control.”
Goro shakes his head, rage building on his face.
The fire chief’s long pause of silence tells him everything he needs to know.
“At this stage, we’re unsure if we are looking at rescue or recovery.”
Goro Nakamura looks into the flames licking out of the windows of his tower. He can practically hear them screaming.
“Rezin… Tai… How?”
The fire chief picks over his words slowly, carefully.
“Official word is a gas leak, but I personally have my… suspicions.”
At that moment, the structural fire took a turn and Nakamura Towers began to collapse, burning itself to the ground.
And Now – Present Day
Goro Nakamura kneels in the blackened ash and dust that once was Nakamura Industries. Sadness has boiled to rage and rage to vengeance in his eyes. He scraps his fingers through the ash.
“Rezin Deckard… Gunnar Tai… I swear vengeance upon you. I will not rest until I choke the life out of him. With my bare hands, I want to feel the life leave his body.”
Goro stands up, looking out into the night.
“You’ve taken everything from me Xavier. Now I’ll take everything you have left.”
High Voltage #279
Chronoa and Banzan are still glaring daggers at one another. Tension seems to still be building when Banzan takes a step back.
“I listened to Knightlord because he made his case. You did everything he said you’d do, everything. He may be a monster, but when truth is spoken, only a fool doesn’t listen.”
Chronoa rolls her eyes.
“A monster is a monster. Kaine is nothing but a traitor…”
Banzan waves his hand in the air.
“That is true, Chronoa. But truth goes beyond all of that. You broke your word, you’ve lied and cheated. You have no grasp on the truth, Harbinger. Your lies are larger than you now. Even Impaler sees it, and seeks a new master it seems. You’ve lost control of your weapon.”
Banzan walks away, tired of the conversation with Chronoa at this point. The Harbinger of Fate grabs the Mountain’s shoulder and spins him around.
“You think you have all the answers, but here…”
Chronoa pulls out her tablet.
“… This has the answers I need. It has the truth…”
Banzan begins to laugh.
“Clearly it does not, for it does not know why I am. It did not tell you I was watching you at the monastery. Your tablet is not helping you in anyway.”
Banzan turns away from Chronoa.
“I do not have all the answers. It’s why I seek them out. It’s why I listen to the sounds on the wind, or the running of of a river. Truth is found in peace of mind and body. We have Ring King to look forward to. May your fates be in your favour.”
Banzan exits the room, leaving Chronoa to ponder the Mountain’s words.
With an air of tension surrounding the World Champion and JSR, how will they fair against the curious trio of party, piety, and power?
We start things off with Renault and Tag, as demanded by Pyre. Renault charges at Sexy Dynamite, trying to blindside him…but Tag catches him with a quick kick to the head! This knocks Darth Jesus back, before Tag sends him to the ropes…and hits a big dropkick on the rebound!
Renault is down as Tag looks to continue the attack with some hard kicks, before running over to Ether for the tag. The pair stand the pious man up, sending him to the ropes before looking for a drop toe hold into a double stomp…but Renault narrowly avoids the attack!
Renault rolls away from the pair, only to feel a slap on the back as The Impaler tags himself in! Renault looks less than pleased as Legion rushes Tag and Ether, catching Sexy Dynamite with the running lariat! ADAM SMASHER–ONLY TO BE MET WITH AN ETHER STRIKE TO THE HEAD!
Pyre reaches an arm out, demanding to be tagged in…which Ether reluctantly does, just as Vigour gets the tag in, dodging a right hand by the champ before looking for the lumbar check! VIM–NO! FIRE IN THE BELLY BY PYRE, DRIVING VIGOUR FACE FIRST BEFORE THE COVER! ONE! TWO! THREE!
Despite a ton of miscommunication going in, Pyre and Jet Set Radio pick up the win here!
WINNERS: THE BLACKHARTS
Just moments after that trios match has come to a conclusion, we see the picture shift in tone slightly, seemingly flickering at times…at which point, we realize we’re watching someone else’s screen.
We find ourselves moving away from the screen, revealing a dimly lit room with just enough visibility to see newspaper clippings with details of gruesome attacks in recent weeks by unknown, monstrous assailant.
We pan away from this to see even more disturbing sights: case files of what appears to be these past victims, detailing in scary detail the manner in which they were slain.
One detail sticks out amongst them all: two small marks on the necks of the victims, as if they’d been bitten by something…or someone.
And soon, we realize who’s at the center of all this…Kaine Knightlord, trickles of blood around his mouth from what looks like a recent…excursion, out in the night.
Knightlord focuses his attention on the screen in front of him, watching Ether with particular interest as he sees the angst and frustration clear on the face of the Hungry Girl, much to his dismay.
“Mark my words, Ether. Soon you will not have to suffer the indignity of holding back the hunger that drives you…the same hunger that drives me.”
He continues to monitor his subject with a certain fondness as he finally wipes the blood from his mouth.
“I will help you answer that call, Ether. I can feel your Embrace approaching, and I will give you the chance to accept it in just a week’s time…and then, you won’t have to deal with the pettiness of those so-called friends. Instead, you and I will tear this world apart to satisfy our Hunger.”
That final statement draws a wicked, toothy grin from the Shadow Bat as he shuts the screen off, eager to bring the Hungry Girl into his world…a world of everlasting bloodlust.
Of eternal hunger.
Solomon Rhodes sits in prayer at an altar when the door behind him opens and in walks Sir Bellator and Sir Renault. They walk towards him and stop, placing their hands behind their backs – almost like soldiers.
“We have a holy mission,” Rhodes says, standing up. “One that we’ve all been sent here to complete. What is that mission, gentlemen?”
“The resurrection of Yahweh!” They reply in unison.
“At Gold Rush, I need you both to become Shepherds. You simply cannot become sheep. I don’t trust Death, but he’s our only hope to bring back our Lord. You two must remain vigilant of deterrents that are counter-productive to our mission.”
“I don’t understand,” Bellator replies. “Why has your trust in Death waned?”
“Lux Bellator took him away at RetroSHOCK and they haven’t been seen since. Lux can’t kill Death, but something doesn’t sit right with me,” Solomon Rhodes explains. “Nevertheless, I’ll take care of your father in due time, my boy.”
“I fear that Sanctus may not be capable of doing what needs to be done with his father,” Sir Renault suddenly and abruptly says.
Everything in that moment changes.
The tension rises.
Sir Renault looks deathly at Sir Bellator through their masks, their eye contact undeniable.
Rhodes approaches Renault and places a hand on his shoulder.
“We are a family,” he reminds Renault. “Each of us has a role to play in the future. Do not fear your brothers intentions, as I do not.”
As Solomon walks away and back to his prayer, Sanctus and Renault share a look – one that lingers longer than Rhodes would like.
The Ring King quarter finals begins tonight as the Holy Athlete goes head to head against the scion of Death. Can Gable finally get to a Ring King semi final or will Deathnote put him in his place as he rises one step closer to an unholy crown?
The bell sounds as Deathnote rushes forward, trying for a running Big Boot but Gable ducks underneath, bouncing off the ropes on the other side, GOLD RUSH TO THE SMALL OF THE BACK! Deathnote flies forward, cracking his skull against the middle turnbuckle but Gable’s not done as he grips him around the waist.
GERMAN SUPLEX! A SECOND! Gable rolls through, trying for a third but Deathnote drives his head back, stunning Gable for a moment before reaching back and throwing the Olympian head over heels. Gable stumbles to his feet right into a jaw cracking Big Boot before lifting him up onto his shoulders
GATHER THY SOUL! The GTS hits flush as Deathnote drops down for the victory as the referee counts one…two…GABLE GETS THE SHOULDER UP! Deathnote just shakes his head, trying to pull Sir Gable up for the end, LOW BLOW! A sneaky shot from the holy man there but it doubles Deathnote over in pain as he’s the one to get lifted up high now
FOR THE HOLY-PLEX! That has to be it as Gable hooks both legs for the cover but the referee isn’t counting! Wiz is up on the apron, distracting the referee. Gable goes to get the referee’s attention once more as Tag and Ether roll into the ring, sizing up the distracted Gable for a moment before rushing forward.
SYMPHONIC DECIMATION! TRUCK FUCKED/ETHER STRIKE SANDWICH! Gable’s out cold as Tag rolls Deathnote over him just as Wiz gets down off the apron. The referee turning around to the cover as he counts the one…two…three!!
The Scion of Darkness does it here, beating SIr Gable as he moves onto the Ring King Semi-Final but not without a huge helping from JSR.
WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE RING KING SEMI-FINALS: DEATHNOTE
Sir Gable breaks through the curtain into the backstage area, still sweating.
“Brothers, this letter is concerning me, still,” he starts, almost before Sir Bellator and Sir Renault are in ear shot.
“I think you need to take a moment to relax,” Sir Renault says, placing his hands on Cael’s shoulders. “There is no need to worry. Plenty of people have admirers. Jesus himself had many admirers. Admirers help us spread the word of Yahweh’s impending return.”
Sir Gable shrugs the hands from his shoulders and begins to pace.
“No, Renault, I can’t agree with you on this one, as much as I would love to. This isn’t a love letter from an admirer. There’s no hugs and kisses signed off ‘XOXO’ at the bottom.”
Sir Gable stairs his Vayikra brethren dead in the eyes. Renault stares back. Bellator breaks eye contact.
“I take this as a threat against me, and a threat against Vayikra. Someone out there thinks I need saving from our worthy crusade, and I’d bet they’d stoop to new levels of despicable in order to try.”
“Sanctus, help me here,” says Renault, pleading. Bellator looks up and blinks, distracted.
“Sure, no, exactly,” Sanctus Bellator agrees. “It sounds like a threat, Renault, I agree.”
“Sanctus! That’s not helping.”
Sir Bellator shrugs but Gable has already started walking away.
“Renault, you know I appreciate your tenacity as much as the next, but I’m set on this matter. I don’t need saving. What I need is to figure out who this letter is from, before it’s too late.”
The railway looks abandoned, but we know that likely isn’t the truth. Feet pound gravel as Luke Storm explodes into frame! He’s abandoned his car at the front of the station, moving through the tracks until he comes upon a scene that… while not grizzly, makes his heart stop.
Scarlet, his dear daughter, emaciated but alive. She struggles weakly against the ropes holding her to the tracks. An empty water bottle sits nearby showing she was given water but nothing else.
For a whole week.
“Oh, oh god. Scarlet-” Luke moves forward, cradling his daughter in his hands. She looks up at her dad meekly, clearly exhausted by the whole ordeal. Luke gets to undoing the ropes, pulling them off of Scarlet and lifting her into his arms only to stop when a familiar voice stops him in his tracks.
“Oh, Lucas. You were so slow to the punch here. Be glad, this station’s been abandoned for years, trains don’t even run through here anymore. I wanted to find a more… frequented station but Pyre thought this would suffice. A little water to stay hydrated, too.” He smirks, Luke ready to fight only to stop once he looks down at Scarlet, clearly unable to bring himself to put her down.
“You’re a fucking monster, Simon. All of this? For what? To torment a girl who has NOTHING to do with this?” Storm backs away as Simon leans against an abandoned train car, watching as Luke tries to leave.
“You know, Lucas. This really is your fault. That little secret of yours? Well, you spent so much time hiding it you let little Scarlet into our hands. Wouldn’t it feel just so freeing to let the world know about it? Wouldn’t it-”
“Fuck you.” Luke cuts Simon off, turning his back to the Taskmaster as he tries to exit the trainyard, not even stopping to respond as Simon speaks again.
“I suppose that answers the question, doesn’t it? Make sure to take care of Scarlet, Lucas. Only a fool leaves his most precious piece unprotected.
Simon watches as Luke gets into his car, leaving with Scarlet in tow.
All while he sits back with that smarmy, demented grin.
Two of OSW’s longest tenured wrestlers are presented with an opportunity to move onto the semifinals of the Ring King tournament. Will it be Banzan or Sigil who furthers their quest for the crown tonight?
DING! DING!! DING!!!
We’re off and Banzan immediately adopts his dragon stance in anticipation of Sigil’s quick movements. Sigil dances around Banzan, who shifts his weight to counter Sigil’s location. Sigil fakes to his left, then darts to Banzan’s right side and throws a jab—
PARRIED BY BANZAN!
Sigil is attacking Banzan with a flurry of punches, chops, knees and kicks! Banzan manages to block what he can, but many Sigil’s strikes are breaking through and connecting on the Mountain’s body.
ELBOW TO THE EYE!
HAYMAKER TO THE MOUTH!
CLAW-LIKE BLOW TO THE STERNUM!
FOR THE COLLECTION!!
Banzan is beginning feel the pain now as Sigil lands more and more blows, and throws a harsh chop at Banzan’s neck—
NO! BANZAN CATCHES SIGIL!
He pulls Sigil in close and uses the Collector’s momentum against him—
Sigil lands on the back of his helmet and careens into the ropes, still spinning around from the force of Banzan’s throw, and Banzan readopts his dragon stance because he knows Sigil will come right back at him.
But Sigil opens a portal and cosmic leaps away.
Banzan stands alone in the ring with a bruised body and blood dripping from the mouth, looking around in anticipation as the crowd watches on.
Sigil has not reappeared, and Banzan, contemplating what comes next, changes gears. Still hurting from the onslaught of Sigil’s strikes, Banzan drops into his meditative cross-legged mountain stance as he waits.
A purple aura surrounds Banzan. His bruises dissipate and his blood stops dripping, as he seemingly is regenerating by…
DRAWING FROM THE WELLSPRING!!
Suddenly, a portal appears just in front of Banzan’s face…
AND A LEG FLIES OUT OF IT AT HIM!!
Without even a hesitation, Banzan catches Sigil’s roundhouse kick attempt with his eyes closed! It’s like he could anticipate it, and as Sigil hangs in midair, bottom half through the portal, top half out of this realm, Banzan snaps to and yanks Sigil in close to him—
BIG KNIFE HAND CHOP TO SIGIL’S STERNUM!!
That knocked the wind out of Sigil who’s scrambling on the mat as he attempts to catch his breath. Banzan meanwhile is looking to get aggressive with his offense and adapts his snake stance, stalking a rising Sigil from behind…
AGAIN, TO THE GUT!!
Sigil’s hobbled over now, but Banzan isn’t letting up.
A shot at the semifinals is on the line.
VIPER THROAT THRUST!!
BANZAN JABBED HIM RIGHT BELOW THE HELMET!!
Sigil’s windpipe may have just collapsed, but that’s not the only troubling thing in this picture:
Banzan is now standing on one tree trunk of a leg with his arms spread to his sides in the dreaded crane position! He brings his front knee up just above Sigil’s head, measuring him as Sigil guards his neck with both arms on his knees…
BUT NO ONE’S HOME!!
A portal opened up beneath Sigil and he dropped into it at the last second and Banzan only kicked air!
Banzan looks up to the Slaughterhouse roof as if he knows what comes next, but it’s too late to counter it and he can only do his best to shield himself as the inevitable portal opens up above his head—
BANZAN TOOK ALL OF THAT DOUBLE FOOT STOMP!!!
BIG TREE FALL HARD!!!
Sigil crawls towards the fallen Banzan, and digs his forearms into Banzan’s pecs as the ref counts—
WILL SIGIL ONCE AGAIN BE THE THORN IN BANZAN’S SIDE??
BANZAN TOSSES SIGIL OFF OF HIM HIGH INTO THE AIR AT 2.999!!
Sigil is going to have to dig deeper into his satchel of tricks in order to conquer this mountain. Perhaps deeper than ever before.
This is Ring King. And Sigil hopes his long road ahead leads to the semifinals.
Because Sigil wants to add that crown to his collection.
Banzan is stirring, just before he gets to his feet, another portal opens beneath Sigil—
Sensing trouble, Banzan rolls to his side as a portal opens above his head—
BUT BANZAN EVADED IT!!!
The force of the stomp shakes the ring, but just as Sigil lands he opens another portal underfoot and drops through again!
Banzan rolls to the other side—
Again and again portals appear above Banzan and he dodges the double stomp at the last second, only for Sigil to drop through into another portal to start the cycle over again!
Banzan is impressively agile for his hulking frame, able to avoid what would certainly be the end of his road in this tournament by rolling and somersaulting out of harms way… up until a portal appears in front of his face instead of above his head—
NO! BANZAN HIT THE DECK!!!
Sigil’s coming at Banzan from all angles and it’s only a matter of time before he connects, but Banzan maintains his composure and settles into his tiger stance just as Sigil flies straight at him out of a portal…
BANZAN ISN’T MOVING AND IS MEETING SIGIL HEAD-ON!!!
The five point palm strike jolts Sigil to a harsh stop, leaving a portal open behind Banzan until Sigil crumples to the mat which causes it to close. Sigil struggles to all fours but Banzan follows up—
FOLLOWED BY AN ELBOW STRIKE!!
Now it’s Sigil who’s proverbially on the ropes, and now figuratively as he tries to move away from Banzan, but as Sigil lifts himself up Banzan crouches low into his horse stance, before springing at The Realm Walker with immense force—
MASSIVE YAKUZA KICK TO THE SKULL!!
There’s a dent in Sigil’s mask and one would think without that protection he’d be out of the tournament, and maybe down forever.
Sigil flaccidly bounces off the ropes and stumbles right into a waiting Banzan who lifts him onto a shoulder wheel…
AND SLAMS HIM INTO A NECKBREAKER!!
Banzan follows up with a body splash and puts all his weight onto Sigil’s chest—
DOES SIGIL’S JOURNEY END AT THE MOUNTAIN TOP??
SIGIL’S RIGHT SHOULDER IS UP!!!
Banzan can’t believe it, flashing a dumbfounded face at the ref who holds up two fingers at him!
In a rare moment of lost composure, Banzan shifts gears and moves to the corner. He brandishes his knee and begs Sigil to get on his haunches.
Banzan wants to end Sigil’s suffering, as well as his Ring King aspirations!
Sigil’s up to his knees as Banzan waves his arm in a “get up” motion…
ETHER IS ON THE APRON!
AND SHE’S COMMANDING THE REF’S ATTENTION!
Banzan goes to move at her, but his leg is stuck—
WIZ IS HOLDING ONTO IT FROM OUTSIDE THE RING!
BANZAN SHAKES WIZ OFF OF HIM…
BANZAN WAS TAGGED WITH SPRAY PAINT TO THE EYES!!
Banzan is flailing, blinded by Tag, who Tag rolls something into the ring next to Sigil…
Sigil looks down at it, and then to Banzan…
HE PICKS IT UP!
A portal appears in front of Banzan—
REALM TRUCK FUCKED!!!
BANZAN’S OUT ON HIS FEET BUT HE’S MAINTAINED HIS FOOTING!!!
A portal appears below Sigil and he drops through it before another appears next to Banzan that Sigil flies through—
BANZAN DROPS LIKE A REDWOOD!!!
Sigil summons another portal, drops the skateboard into it, and it plops next to Tag on the outside as Ether drops off the apron. She points to Sigil who covers Banzan so that the ref cannot see the traces of spray paint and blood that cover the monk’s face—
WHY, JET SET RADIO?!
Sigil continues his journey to the semifinals, proving to once again be a thorn in Banzan’s side!
WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE RING KING SEMI-FINALS: SIGIL
There’s nothing but Inanis; the empty.
Just then, Death and Lux Bellator appear, landing in the pitch black with a thud. They both get back to their feet and meet for their parlay.
“Where are we?” Bellator grumbles, searching the pitch black for an exit.
“We’re in The Empty – a place built by Flavo. Nothing exists here, Bellator. There’s no time, no reality, nothing but empty. For what seems like minutes here for us, will seem like weeks for everyone else.”
Lux puts his hands on his hips.
“And you thought you’d drop me here to die, is that it?” Bellator questions with a chuckling scoff.
Death begins pacing with a smile of his own.
“What did you want to talk about, Lux?” Death asks with a smirk.
“Do you remember when I was in the cage with Lucifer?” He asks solemnly – with depth and thought. “You visited me a lot.”
Death’s smirk leaves his face. Suddenly, he’s not so amused.
“It was your job to use the life crystal to bring me back to life every time Lucifer tortured, mutilated and murdered me,” Bellator reminds him. “Those brief moments were the only reprieve I had from agony.”
The Grim Reaper folds his arms and says nothing.
“Do you remember our conversations?” Lux prods. “Do you?”
“I do,” sternly replies Death.
“Those moments, much like this, stood outside of time,” Lux continues. “For Lucifer, I was brought back to life within moments of my death so that he could torture me some more. But for me, it was a vacation away from pain. You gave me that, Death.”
Bellator steps closer.
“You thanked me for opening the door that would eventually lead to your setting the balance of the universe right. Because of what I did, the God’s would meet their end and this disrespect of Death would finally stop. No more would you need to return people to existence at the behest of some deity.”
“I know what you’re going to say,” Death interrupts. “I made an oath to you that should you make it out of the cage, I would owe you a favour.”
“I didn’t expect that you’d remember such a thing,” he continues.
“I want my boy,” The Light Warrior demands. “That’s the only reason I’m here, Death. I want my boy returned to his timeline – safe and sound.”
“Your boy wants the resurrection of Yahweh,” Death says with a shrug. “Much like his father, he has dreams of grandeur.”
“I don’t care!” Lux roars. “You made an oath to me. You said that you owed me. I want my boy back.”
Death thinks about it for a moment. He weighs up his oath and his desire. After all, it’s his life potentially on the line with Sigil.
“At Red Snow, before I end Sigil and his crusade for the crystals, I will return Sanctus Bellator to his timeline. I will not reap him and I will not allow him to be reaped; you have my oath.”
“But as for you,” Death says with a smile. “You’re staying here.”
That should terrify Lux, but it doesn’t. He doesn’t cower or show even an ounce of fear; he just smiles.
“You forget that you’re not the only one who knows Inanis,” he replies with a growing smile.
Just then, a portal opens and through it steps Sigil. The Collector lunges for Death, but Bellator grabs him and throws both back through the portal.
The Grim Reaper chuckles, admiring the ingenuity.
He clicks his fingers and just as suddenly, Deathnote appears – bemused and bamboozled.
“Father, I’ve been concerned,” Deathnote says with care. “I’m afraid that we may have a traitor in our camp.”
“Sanctus Bellator?” Death questions.
“I believe so,” Deathnote replies.
“Come, we have a lot to discuss,” father says to son.