It’s that moment.
A choice must be made.
Sigil stands between The Butcher and Darby Sorrow, both unaware of his presence as they’re frozen in time before him. He has a decision to make; kill one of them and his problem goes away.
Only, he does nothing.
“Go on,” Flavo prods. “Choose.”
Sigil looks at him and then back at the two men, shaking his head.
“No,” he boldly states. “It doesn’t matter which I kill, reality and time will be effected. If I kill Darby Sorrow, he will resurrect and his course of action will change. If I kill The Butcher, Old School Wrestling may fold.”
The hooded Flavo looks at him for a moment before slowly and methodically clapping his hands together. The Collector tilts his head, clearly surprised.
“You’ve passed the first test,” he proudly announces, patting Sigil on the back. “Understanding that your actions have consequences are important. When he comes for you, you must resist using your power to stop him.”
“You keep saying that he will come but you haven’t said who he is or what he wants,” The Collector reminds Flavo. “And I don’t like surprises.”
“You needn’t worry about that yet. I will train and prepare you for what comes next. Now, come, we have work to do.”
Sigil and Flavo suddenly vanish, leaving Sorrow and Butcher to continue.
“Nevermind,” The Butcher continues his sentence. “Sigil has played us both. But I’ll take care of him… alone.”
Suddenly, two men leap out from behind Darby Sorrow, one wrapping a bag over his head whilst the other bounds him.
“Drop him in the deepest, darkest pit imaginable. I don’t want to see his face again.”
Somewhere in the depths of The Slaughterhouse, Warden Johnson is leaning back in a chair, reading a newspaper.
Strapped to a chair next to him, drugged into an unconscious state, is Mez.
A pinprick of light appears. It expands into an oval portal, and out steps The Judge.
“Yes?” Warden Johnson asks, nonchalantly. He peers over his paper.
“I have been observing your test subject,” The Judge says. “And performing some trials of my own.”
The Warden snaps his paper down.
“You’ve what? Why the hell are you messing with my patient?” the warden asks.
“I seek to understand him,” says The Judge, “so I may know his worth.”
“Not much to understand,” the warden says. “He’s a fucking freak. Only worth as much blood as he can spill out in that ring.”
“What do you know of his past?” The Judge asks. “It is blocked to me. Obscured by his suffering.”
“He went apeshit long before I started treating him, if that’s what you’re asking,” says the warden. “Only gotten worse since. Burned his files a long time ago, though. You can’t leave that shit sitting around.”
“You treat him as less than a human.”
“Look, he’s more beast than man. Not a damn thought in that savage’s head, drugs or not—”
“Mind the way you speak of him, warden,” The Judge says darkly.
“He’s a damn weapon,” The Warden hisses. “A vehicle for violence. Nothing more!”
Suddenly, an obsidian hand is wrapped around the warden’s throat.
The Judge lifts Johnson out of the chair and slams him into the wall.
“I do not yet know the fate of the man you hold captive,” he says. “But you, warden: when the time comes for you to be judged…”
The Judge tightens his grip.
“And it will come…”
The warden gasps for breath.
“You will pay for what you’ve done. And when the moment arrives, I will not hesitate.”
Abruptly, The Judge drops Warden Johnson to the ground.
He hits the floor and crumples in a heap, breathing heavily.
All the while, Mez sleeps without a stir.
The Judge looks at the slumbering madman, then disappears through his portal. It closes behind him.
BANZAN VS. AESOP
Two storytellers that have become friends are forced to compete tonight! What story will they tell in that ring and will they still work together after this? We find out next!
DING! DING! They shake hands to start out the match but quickly tie up! Aesop twists Banzan’s arm but Banzan rolls out of it and hits a round kick to the stomach! Aesop hunches over and Banzan gets in tiger stance! He goes for the tiger claw but Aesop catches the arm! Arm drag by Aesop! Another one! He ends the sequence with a judo throw!
Aesop hits an elbow drop! Another elbow drop! Another one! He goes to the top rope! He’s going for final elbow drop! He jumps but Banzan gets out of the way! Aesop went to the well too often and Banzan makes him suffer! Banzan hits a Saito suplex! DUKKHA! Aesop is dropped on the back of his head!
Banzan makes the cover! One! Two! Thr..No! Aesop gets the shoulder up and Banzan waits in the corner for Aesop to get up! Aesop is getting up! Banzan charges with the running knee! MAGGA! No! Aesop catches the leg and plants Banzan with a spinebuster! He pulls Banzan back up and hoists him on his shoulders! Aesop shows off his strength with THE GIFT! He hits the crucifix powerbomb!
Aesop covers! One! Two! Thre..No! Banzan kicks out! Aesop is shocked but he nods at Banzan in respect! Aesop pulls up Banzan by the neck and he locks in the dragon sleeper! Banzan looks like he is fading but he flips Aesop over his shoulder with a snapmare! MAGGA OUT OF NOWHERE! He hits the running knee to the back of Aesop’s head and covers! ONE! TWO! THREE!
Banzan has done it! He has won against a very game Aesop and he picks him up, shakes his hand and they leave the ring together. The hardest battles make the strongest teams!
The Slaughterhouse Entrance. Three black cars with blackened windows, identical to the detail, pull up outside the building. A gaggle of militia men exit the vehicles, forming outside the entrance. Obasi Bocamo himself joins them moments later, stepping out of the central of the three cars.
He, along with several of the militia, are limping heavily. Bocamo is covered in scratches and contusions, with one eye nearly closed from swelling. He makes a few quick hand gestures, hiding a wince of pain as he does so and the militia each separate off to their duties ahead of him, leaving only two men who stay close by him.
“Find him.” Bocamo’s voice is gruff, short. Punctuated with a finality that suggests he is not messing about. “But leave him to me. I would like the pleasure of gutting him.”
He holds up a particularly large hunting knife, tossing it from hand to hand. The men nod at him and scurry off.
Out of the corner of the shot, we see a figure. Raquel. Here eyes widen, before she too scurries off in a panic. Obasi limps his way into the entrance of the Slaughterhouse.
GOULDERN, X & SIGIL VS. SCRIMSHAW, MEZ & JUDGE
Trios action tonight as Mark Gouldern, X, and Sigil take on Scrimshaw, Mez, and the Judge!
The bell rings, and Gouldern and Mez kick things off! Immediately Mez charges Gouldern, head first like an absolute juggernaut! But Gouldern quickly outwits him and takes him down with a drop toe hold! Mez scrambles to his feet! Hip toss by Gouldern! Gouldern bounces off the ropes! CLOTHESLINE! HE TAGS IN X!
X immediately moves into the ring! TONGAN DEATH GRIP!!! NO!!! MEZ NAILS X WITH A HEADBUTT INSTEAD! At the order of Mr. Johnson, Mez tags out and Scrimshaw steps in the ring. Scrimshaw dodges a lariat from X and that ever dangerous arm, a low dropkick to X’s shin staggers him!
A BRASS KNUCKLE SHOT TO THE SIDE OF X’S HEAD!!! HE’S OUT COLD!!! SCRIMSHAW MAKES THE COVER!!! ONE… TWO… THREEE–NO!!! Sigil in the nick of time teleports into the ring and breaks up the pin! Sigil lifts Scrimshaw to his feet and whips him into the ropes! The Judge tags himself in off the rebound! CROSSBODY BLOCK TO SIGIL!!!
The Judge steps over the top rope and into the ring. Sigil makes it back to his feet after the crossbody! SPARTA KICK TO SIGIL!!! The Judge is smart enough to realize that Sigil is not the legal man though, and drags X to his feet! Mez gutchecks Gouldern off the apron! The Judge positions X’s head between his legs! RESTORATION POWERBOMB!!! NOOO!!! A DOUBLE AXE HANDLE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE POWERBOMB!!! EXECUTION!!!!! X MAKES THE COVER!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEEEEE!!!!!
X picks up a big win for his team over a formidable trios squad! Him, Gouldern, and Sigil get their arms raised in victory!
Edward Newton sits in a comfortable chair, next to a roaring fire with a ginormous smile on his face. Last week, everything came together.
And one surprising addition to that, Helstrom, sits opposite him.
“I’m glad you decided to join us,” Edward says gleefully.
“You stood with Yahweh, did you not?” Helstrom enquires as Newton nods. “Before the Gods were destroyed.”
The Riddler stands up, walking casually over to a crystal drinks container. He pours himself a glass of whisky, placing the cork back in the bottle.
“Those were difficult times,” he admits, turning to face Helstrom. “But if anyone here understands your desire to see Yomi opened once again, it is I. I have similar aspirations, although perhaps of a different design.”
Helstrom stands. “Yes, you mentioned that.”
“I promised you that if you worked with me, I would make us both the most powerful beings imaginable,” Newton continues. “And I keep my promises.”
“I will serve you,” Helstrom continues with a knowing nod. “Like I served Enma. But if you deceive me, if you trick me or play games, I will drag your soul from your body and leave you but a husk of The Riddler.”
Edward pats him on the shoulder.
“Never fear, dear boy, I understand that our alignment is in our mutual best interests, I also know that you’re searching other angles to achieve your goals and I’d expect nothing less.” he convinces him. “It’s a long process but by the end of it, the world will be ours for the taking.”
SANDS OF TIME III
A slow, rhythmic dripping of water echoes off the dark brick walls of The Slaughterhouse. In the centre of the small square room a man sits, his head slumped, his chin touching his chest, with a black bag over his head.
The bag is removed by a man in a dark blue pinstriped suit.
Sitting in front of him, bloodied and beaten, is Javad Ebadi.
“Let us try one more time, Mister Ebadi,” Whitlock begins, “Last week I gave you your final notice. So now I expect answers.”
Whitlock walks around the chair so that he is standing in front of Javad.
“WHAT is Sigil using the Time Crystal for?” Whitlock asks, almost spitting, as he leans over into the face of Javad.
Javad turns his head and spits a mouthful of blood and saliva onto the concrete floor.
“I have nothing for you, Alton. I never intended to.”
“I was buying only TIME for myself and my people. I would NEVER do your bidding. A fool such as you. Conceited. Self-serving…”
As Javad continues, Alton walks around the room, glaring at Javad.
From behind, Whitlock shoves a plastic bag over Javad’s head! He pulls it tight and starts to duct tape the bag on to Javad’s he–
Javad is GONE. But sitting on his chair is a contract.
Whitlock picks it up, looking over the pre-signed contract for a match between the two men next week.
He reaches into his pocket, takes out a pen, and signs it.
PICKPOCKET VS. THE CRYPTKEEPER
Up next is a bout between a being who loves to tell stories, and a man more likely to steal the book! It’s Cryptkeeper taking on Pickpocket.
The bell rings and Pickpocket fires out of the gate! He charges Cryptkeeper and nails him with a flying forearm! Another flying forearm! Keeper staggers backwards! CRUCIFIX PIN ATTEMPT BY PICKPOCKET! ONE! TWO! KICKOUT!!! It will take more than that! Pickpocket reaches his feet and grabs Keeper! STIFF SHOT TO PICKPOCKET’S CHIN from the teller of tales!
Another uppercut allows Keeper to reach his feet! Pickpocket staggers back into the turnbuckles! BIG SPLASH FROM KEEPER! NO! Pickpocket slides out of the way! Cryptkeeper turns around in the corner! A MONKEY FLIP! THE PRIDE OF BJ! Crypt soars across the ring and lands on his back! But he immediately rises up and climbs to his feet!
CROSSBODY BLOCK– NO!!! KEEPER CATCHES PICKPOCKET IN MIDAIR!!! He drops Pickpocket to his feet, and then wraps him up! BED TIME STORY!!! BEAR HUG BY KEEPER!!! His boney arms only serve to add a sharp pain to the bear hug that wouldn’t otherwise be there! He tosses Pickpocket around like a god damn rag doll as he does so!!! My god Pickpocket is in a bad way!
Pickpocket resorts to underhanded tactics and sticks his thumb into the Keeper’s eye! Keeper is forced to let him go! Dropkick to the Keeper’s knee! Pickpocket sends a stiff kick to the side of the Taleweaver’s head! Holy shit! Pickpocket gathers momentum and takes off running! He bounces off the ropes! CURSE OF THE CRYPTKEEPER FROM OUT OF NOWHERE ON THE RETURN!!! PICKPOCKET IS OUT COLD! KEEPER MAKES THE COVER!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEEEEEE!!!
Cryptkeeper picks up a big win over another OSW newcomer in Pickpocket. His boney arm is raised in victory!
Days after Nitro, Mark Gouldern is marveling at his modern coliseum. He has placed screens in every open space and cameras surround the center of the arena.
“Splendid, isn’t it X?”
“It’s impressive Mark, but we’ve been here for weeks, lizards and snakes can only sustain me for so long. These cold-blooded creatures are no replacement for those monsters waiting their turn for infamy.”
X points to the stands of murderers salivating for their chance at freedom.
“I don’t know why we have to have a multi-million dollar arena and cameras in every direction for what could be done in a dark room.”
“X, you’re no longer an assassin for the government, the bureaucratic red tape that obscured the public can no longer protect you from yourself. I’ve been filling out contract after contract for this venture. I’ve taken meetings with everyone from wardens to mayors to even the president himself, good to have more politicians on our side. You talk to enough people and you can make anything happen and the way everyone is allowing this to happen is by making these public executions. When network executives heard what we were doing out here, they salivated at the cash this could create and when the strong arms of government and media intersect, you get murder sponsored at 50 dollars a buy.”
X looks weirdly intrigued, he’s killed better people for worse reasons.
“So we’re making money off of what I must do anyway?”
“Indeed, your bloodlust will boost our resources exponentially, the presales for what they are calling Public Execution have already more than paid for this stadium. The executives get a cut and we split the rest. Here’s your first payment.”
X opens up a briefcase containing an amount he’s never come close to touching.
“How many people have paid to watch me kill, Gouldern?”
“Almost all of America and you’re about to get what you’ve wanted these last few weeks, your first victim.”
A stagehand announces that they are ready to start airing the special, he shouts to X and Gouldern.
“Lights! Camera! Action!”
Gouldern stands in the middle of the arena and speaks in a tone we’re not used to, not one of technocratic expertise but one to hype a crowd.
“Tonight, everyone watching at home will get an experience that most never get to enjoy. The delight of justice as hardened criminals are about to receive what they all deserve. X, the lethal weapon himself is here to ensure it. He is salivating at this just as much as all of you are so let’s bring in our first criminal! Number: 303486 sentenced to death row for: REDACTED. Oh, his crimes must have been especially heinous to get that designation. Here, he is folks!”
A beast of a man standing at 6’8 and over 300 pounds comes marching down the stairs in an orange jumpsuit and a black ski mask to hide his identity.
“Now, X, what do you think of this specimen for sustenance?”
“I think he’ll make up for what I’ve been missing.”
X starts marching to the man.
BEG © & WHITLOCK VS. THE RED DEATH © & EBADI
TAG TEAM MATCH
Tonight we have BEG and Alton Whitlock representing Imperium. They square off against the duo of Red Death and Javad Ebadi. Exactly how are Ebadi and Death going to work together?
The Red Death stalks the ring, to which BEG orders Whitlock inside of. Whitlock is instantly met with a HAYMAKER FROM RED DEATH THAT ROCKS HIM! TAG! BEG TAGS HIMSELF IN WITHOUT THE RED DEATH NOTICING! FRONT HEADLOCK DDT DROPS WHITLOCK!
MILLION DOLLAR DREAM TO RED DEATH! The Red Death is fading, but staggers his way over to his own corner. TAG! Javad Ebadi tags in just as Red Death collapses. He leaps up, running along the ring rope. ROPE ASSISTED CLOTHESLINE! BEG IS DOWN!
Javad picks up BEG and whips him into the nearest ropes before charging off himself into the perpendicular set. ARCHIVAL! THE CORKSCREW FOREARM! BEG is taken out again! Ebadi is rolling and climbs the turnbuckle looking to put this one away… BUT WHITLOCK TRIPS HIM AND HE COMES CRASHING DOWN AGAIN!
Alton is screaming for the tag. When it hits, he wastes no time, choking his foe by the throat. Whitlock holds Ebadi up so BEG can rough him up with a series of cheap shots before… PARTY POLITICS DRIVES THE ARCHIVIST DOWN! BEG CUTS RED DEATH OFF FROM BREAKING UP THE PIN! ONE! TWO! THREE!
The teamwork of Imperium proved too much today. They walk away with the win, and the momentum heading into next week!
GARY IS FOR LOVERS
Junkrat cannot believe what has happened.
By the bomb, his own fucking offspring.
Well… They’ve taken to Helstrom as sweetly as he did.
Helstrom finds himself swarmed, bombarded by potential suitors.
They kiss his feet. They rub their hands on him.
It’s as though he were Jesus Christ standing in the streets of Nazareth.
Well, the mayor can’t have his one and only love being courted by his hundreds of children, can he?
Junkrat steps out of the mayoral office.
Over his shoulder?
A god damned grenade launcher.
“Back off my woman!” The mayor shouts.
No one listens.
“She’s so beautiful!” Screams a Junkrat, who begins humping Helstrom’s leg.
“Back off my woman,” Junkrat repeats. “Or I’m literally going to blast all of you in the ass.”
A random Spacerat turns and points at Junkrat.
“The only person that’s going to get blasted in the ass is this beautiful woman standing before me!”
The Spacerat’s head goes flying off!
“Holy shit, this bitch just cut this mother fucker’s head–”
SPACERAT HEADS ARE FLYING EVERYWHERE!
AND HELSTROM IS THE AGENT, USING HIS SWORD TO BEHEAD EVERYONE IN SIGHT!
There goes a head!
What does everybody want!?!
The Spacerats remaining flee from the area!
He looks down. He is surrounded by a sea of dead Spacerats.
He looks at Junkrat and shakes his head.
“All of these dead versions of yourself. All of them. Their souls should be sent to Hell. But Hell is no longer an option.”
Junkrat falls to his knees.
“So their souls will wait for the day that I can carry them there. And you?”
“You stand in the way of that. So next week, Junkrat.”
Helstrom walks away.
“Next week what!?!” Junkrat asks between tears.
“Next week, I end you.”
Helstrom walks away.
He wants to grab his grenade launcher and kill him.
He wants to scream, “FUCK YOU!”
He wants to kick and cry and blame a God that doesn’t exist.
He wants to do anything but experience the heartbreak he feels.
But the truth about your first heartbreak is that it cripples you.
So, he just sits there on his knees and weeps.
CHUCK MILES VS. HELSTROM
After facing each other in a triple threat last week, the time-traveling Chuck Miles and the imposing Helstrom face off one-on-one tonight!
Miles charges headlong at the Executioner, who drops him down hard with a wicked clothesline! Helstrom continues the attack with some heavy punches before picking Miles up, sending him into the corner to make good use of its power. Helstrom rounds out the offense with a foot to the skull!
Miles drops to the canvas as Helstrom picks him up, looking to end things quick with Unworthy…but Chuck just manages to slip out, running against the ropes to hit Helstrom with a dropkick that sends the Knight of Balance reeling back to the corner, giving Miles a bit of hope!
Chuck takes advantage of the momentum shift to unload a flurry of offense on the Executioner, trying his best to get the upper hand…but Helstrom stops him in his tracks with a Superman punch! KARMIC DESTRUCTION! Both knees nearly crack Miles’s skull and Miles is back down on the canvas!
Helstrom looms over the fallen time traveler as it picks him up, noting the end is near for Chuck Miles on this occasion…YINGLONG’S FLAME! Chuck is down and out with that Flash Busaiku Knee as Helstrom goes for the cover…ONE! TWO! THREE!
Helstrom has its arm raised in victory, standing over its opponent after picking up the win tonight!
TWO GUYS AND A PARLEY
A swift kick.
We are treated to these less than stellar sounds as the scene fades in on the dingy, dirty Slaughter House backstage. Arms crossed, the dread pirate Scrimshaw looks down at the rusted lobster trap being used to hold Buford Jr in place. Of course, he was Buford Jr to Scrimshaw. But only because he’s only BJ to his friends.
The Salty Sea dog mumbled a few strays insults to the monkey before the sounds of coins jingling bring his attention towards the one, the only, the now very lonely, Pickpocket. He lugs the chest in front of him, slamming it down on the ground, not out of anger, but out of exhaustion for how heavy it truly was. He pants with his hands on his knees for a moment, holding up his finger to motion for a pause.
“Oh, oh wow. I knew I should have hid that like, way closer.”
Scrimshaw rolls his eyes as he eyes Pickpocket.
“Yeah yeah, yer out of shape. Now, give me my gold and you can have the damn tree rat back.”
“Hey! He’s a monkey and he has a name! BJ. Or, like, Buford Jr to you. Cause it’s only BJ to friends.”
“Uh huh. Just hand it over.”
Pickpocket places a foot on the chest, waiting for Scrimshaw to do the same to the lobster trap.
“So, you get the gold, I get BJ, we pretend this never happened?”
“Okay, on three.”
Pickpocket takes a deep breath and begins counting.
“One… Two… Three!”
He kicks the chest and Scrimshaw all but PUNTS BJ’s cage! The two boxes slide across the floor and collide! The cage shatters and BJ lands face first into the chest of doubloons! He flops out of it and, between his little monkey teeth, is a singular coin. Which, when the monkey tries to get up, goes right down his throat.
“Oh, that can’t be good for a monkey’s diet.”
While Pickpocket seemed more concerned with BJ’s health, Scrimshaw was red in the face as he snatched up the little rodent, holding him up and shaking him upside down.
“Oh fuck his diet, lad. I need that coin back! Throw it back up you little tree rat!”
BJ, however, can’t seem to vomit on command. And instead he screeches and struggles in Scrimshaw’s hands as Pickpocket tries to grab for his little buddy, the two men pushing each other as they grab for Pickpocket’s furry friend. And, amidst the fighting, BJ slips out of the grasp and flees, running up the nearest object and towards the rafters. Scrimshaw pushes Pickpocket away, snarling at him.
“You and the damn monkey, boy. I want that coin back, ya hear?”
“I know, I know! Just like, I have an idea. We both want BJ. I want my friend, you want the coin. But I also want the coin. And I know BJ has kind of a slow metabolism so… next week, we settle this like gentleman… with a Monkey On a Pole match! The first one to grab BJ off the pole gets the coin! And, well, I still get to keep BJ at the end.”
Scrimshaw looks at Pickpocket incredulously for a moment before, without skipping a beat, he simply responds.
“You’re a fuckin’ moron.”
Scrimshaw turns on his heel and walks away, mumbling to himself about the idiocy of the idea. As for Pickpocket? Well, he was already considering where to steal a baby carrier to keep BJ in for the match.
MARVOLO II VS. LUKE STORM ©
For both these men, the lights are shining bright, but will it be the movie star or the Maldovian who walks away victorious under them?
Marvolo waves his magnificent cape as the Storm King looks on from across the ring as the bell sounds. Storm quickly crosses the ring, driving his shoulder into frame of the #1 to pin him to the corner. Luke Storm immediately begins striking Marvolo as hard as he can.
Marvolo uses his weight and pushes Storm away, quickly grabbing onto him. SUPLEX TO THE FACE! Storm lands face first to the canvas as Marvolo stands up with beaming pride. Storm gathers himself, but before he can make it to his feet, Marvolo grabs him and looks for another suplex, but Storm lands on his feet.
LIGHTNING STRIKE! The superkick floors the Marvellous One as Storm shakes his head free of the cobwebs after the suplex. Storm plants a knee into the chest of Marvolo and begins driving elbows down onto the masked face of his opponent. Marvolo shakes him off. Marvolo gets to his feet and reaches for Storms throat. TOUCH OF DEATH!
NO! As quickly as Marvolo tried to get his grip, he is met by a kick to the side of the head. Marvolo throws Luke Storm towards the ropes, and tosses him up into the air off the rebound. Luke Storm adjusts in mid air! DOWNPOUR! The Codebreaker connects! ONE! TWO! THREE!
There is a storm over Molvanîa tonight as their hero falls to the Storm King!
THE TALE OF KENNY FREEMAN
Continued from last week…
A cloud of smoke spits SeeSaw out into darkness. The voice of the Cryptkeeper booms into the blank space, causing SeeSaw to turn in a circle, unhappy at the table being turned.
“Tonight, characters, I read from the tale of a young man driven by the approval of others. But what happened when he received more approval than he could handle. Thereby hangs the tale.”
The smoke swirls around SeeSaw, showing a younger Kenny Freeman being bullied by people his age.
“All he wanted was love, but the world he lived in rejected him.”
SeeSaw runs through the smoke, but it forms behind his back, now showing Freeman taking a selfie, bursts of smoke in the shape of hearts shooting into the space around SeeSaw.
“Through the internet, he discovered that he could be the center of his own world. It was easy to block those that would insult him, to insulate himself from all but his own delusion.”
The smoke rushes through an annoyed SeeSaw, taking his form. The smoke Mr. Make Believe towers over the projection of Freeman.
“But in doing so, he found himself unable to deal with the advances of one who walked the same path as him. He felt strong emotion towards the other, but there was a breakdown in communication.”
The two figures clash, as the smoke fades into nothingness, leaving SeeSaw in darkness once again.
SeeSaw turns around to see the most surprising of objects.
“Play turned to prey for the young man, as he realized that he could never be what he desired.”
SeeSaw approaches it, his eyes open in shock as he takes in the man in the mirror.
“For he wasn’t the epicenter of his world. He was nothing more than the broken toy thrown in the back of the toy box.”
Those words break Mr. Make Believe’s composure. He slams his fists into the mirror, mirrored by Freeman.
“He’s not broken! I fixed him!”
SeeSaw goes absolutely insane with rage, hitting the glass until it breaks. Mr. Make Believe turns around in a huff as the smoke from before approaches at breakneck speed.
It carries SeeSaw through the broken mirror shards…
…and into Tranquility Lane?
SeeSaw sits up, disoriented, as he looks back where he came from.
The disembodied head of Kenny Freeman greets him.
“You’re not broken.”
SeeSaw reaches out to take hold of one of his twisted toys, wrapping his arms around the plush parts of it.
SEESAW © VS. JUNKRAT
Putting the laughter in Slaughterhouse, the reigning Champion, SeeSaw, defends his title against the explosive Junkrat!
Both warped individuals approach each other cautiously, like two strange dogs. They look each other up and down, even tilting their heads to opposite sides in unison. They have a lot in common, but tonight, it’s all about their differences! Junkrat’s fuse runs out as he fires a right hand into SeeSaw’s mouth. The Tranquility Lane resident stumbles back into the turnbuckle, pursued by ‘Rat. The pyromaniac pops SeeSaw in the eyesocket, then rocks him with a headbutt which dazes himself, too. He sends SeeSaw packing across the ring, pancaking him with a corner splash!
SeeSaw staggers out, wheezing, where ‘Rat clobbers him with a gangly-limbed crossbody! They land in a heap, and the Mayor of Gary quickly mounts him and starts unloading. The toy collector eventually blocks him, however, then uses his legs to monkey flip him overhead onto his back! Junkrat scrambles to his feet, only to eat a big boot. A cackling SeeSaw peels him off the mat and whips him into the ropes, planting him with a Samoan drop! He crouches in the corner, biding his time while ‘Rat recovers… then spikes his head into the canvas with a running bulldog!
There’s plenty of fight in the scrapyard scavenger yet. SeeSaw barges past the referee and stomps Junkrat in the back. He leans down and plucks his arms off the canvas, then pulls them back as he pushes down with his foot—
THE STRETCH ARMSTRONG IS LOCKED IN!
Junkrat thrashes his head and screams out loud, trapped in the brutal submission hold. The Junkertown native has an almost inhuman pain threshold, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still feel it! SeeSaw cranks it up a notch as the official kneels down beside ‘Rat to ask if he quits. He screams “NO, YA DILDO!” but has nowhere to go. The nightmarish clown ups the torque even more, damn near making Junkrat’s fingertips touch his own heels!
Wait, what was that?
SeeSaw’s crimson coveralls snag something on Junkrat’s ammo belt. Did… did a pin just fall onto the mat!?
The referee notices and tries to pry SeeSaw off of him, but soon gives up and dives for cover!
A flash of light disorients the crowd, whose ears are left ringing. A haze hangs over the ring, clearing just enough to make out two silhouettes, both down and out. It looks as though SeeSaw accidentally activated some kind of flashbang grenade on Junkrat’s gear!
Junkrat is the first to come to, cussing as he cracks his back as though getting out of bed. Behind him, though, a chuckle is heard as SeeSaw sits up. “That was a fun toy!” he sneers, and he slugs Junkrat in the mouth! ‘Rat returns fire, and both men enter into a seated melee! They work their way to their feet, errant lefts and rights flying through the air—almost clocking the returning referee—the odd tooth joining them!
A haymaker leaves Junkrat seeing stars, and SeeSaw sets to work on lassoing his arms around his throat and behind his head. He jerks him backwards—
BUT JUNKRAT HOLDS ON!
HE AVOIDS THE WHIPLASH ATTACK!
He smashes SeeSaw on the bridge of the nose with a backwards headbutt – and another, and another! Blood gushes down SeeSaw’s mouth and drips off his chin as Junkrat spins round, freeing himself from the lasso. He points off in the distance, asking the referee “What’s THAT!?”, before sneaking in a low blow on SeeSaw! The crowd pop as the referee turns back round, finding SeeSaw in a compromised position. He demands answers, only for Junkrat to clutch his own junk and pretend that SeeSaw low-blowed him instead! He soon drops the charade, then hits the ropes and…
TILT-A-WHIRL DDT – THE CONCUSSION MINE!
JUNKRAT HAS DONE IT! NEW SLAUGHTERHOUSE CHAMPION!
NO – MR. MAKE BELIEVE HAD HIS FOOT ON THE ROPE!
Junkrat pulls at his hair and groans. He pulls SeeSaw into the centre of the ring and mounts him once more, yelling with every shot he gives him.
The referee forces ‘Rat off of him, and the foul-mouthed Aussie heads for the turnbuckle. He’s looking to finish this thing!
Nursing his back as he heads up top, Junkrat balances himself. He throws himself off—
SEESAW ROLLS OUT OF HARM’S WAY!
JUNKRAT CRASHES INTO THE MAT WITH A 450 SPLASH!
SeeSaw was playing possum, and it worked! He spits out a mouthful of blood and laughs as Junkrat slowly recovers onto his hands and knees. He staggers over and helps him to his feet – then lifts him up onto his shoulders!
INVERSE DEATH VALLEY DRIVER – THE TEETER-TOTTER!
SeeSaw breaks another playmate as he retains his Slaughterhouse Championship!
The locker room is a flurry of action. A single figure is inside, but he packs so frantically and hurriedly that his red cape seems a blur. Marvolo picks up a hastily packed duffel bag and stops to seemingly casually stroke his goatee and flash a wink at Raquel. Then, he dashes to the door, carefully peering into the hallway to check that the coast is clear. Satisfied, he high tails it, practically leaving trails of smoke in his wake.
He is getting the hell out of dodge.
Moments later, several of Bocamo’s militia burst into the locker room, flanked by Bocamo himself who brandishes his large knife.
“Where is he?” Bocamo spits in the direction of Raquel, who looks perplexed by the whole scene.
“Whehr es e-who?”
Bocamo closes in on Raquel, bringing the knife up to her face, just in case she didn’t see it.
“Don’t toy with me. Choose your words carefully, because your next sentence may be your last.”
Raquel gulps, audibly.
“Marvolo es….” She pauses, looking genuinely confused. “Numbehr two?”
Bocamo growls in frustration, but turns his back on Raquel. She looks scared, but not sure what to do about anything. Obasi grabs a hold of a cardboard cut-out of Marvolo that ‘Number One’ had adorned the otherwise undecorated locker room with, as he had in many locations about the Slaughterhouse, grinning in all of his glory and puffery. The cardboard cut-out even has a glint in its eye.
Bocamo brings his knife to the cardboard Marvolo’s neck.
“You will send him a message from the Blood King.”
Raquel simply nods, too scared to speak.
“When you try to kill a man…” Obasi runs his knife from the belly of the cutout right up to the chest, cutting a gash right up the centre of it. “… You make sure you kill ‘eem good. So he stay dead.”
A second slice takes off the cutout’s head, clean off the shoulders. It lands in Raquel’s petrified hands.
“I will find ‘eem. He cannot run forever.”
Bocamo makes a hand gesture to the militia in the room and they all file out of the doorway, taking off in the direction that Marvolo had run.
But by now, Marvolo is well gone. And he lives to see another day… But how many more?
Luke Storm stands in the doorway of his daughter’s bedroom, looking across her things. He’s beyond sad; miserable, even. He steps inside and picks up a photo frame from the bedside dresser, inside, a picture of both he and Scarlett.
Then a voice disturbs him; so much so that he drops it, shattering the glass all over the floor.
The voice belongs to Berkshire Ellison Green.
“I can help you get her back,” he says.
Storm immediately rushes him, slamming him against the wall.
“What the fuck are you doing in my home?” He growls, slamming his forearm into the throat of the World Champion.
“I-I know where he’s keeping her,” Green mutters, slowly being let go. “And I can send my best agent to recover her, for an agreeable price.”
Storm lets him go completely and backs away.
“She’s safe,” he mumbles oddly. “Newton won’t harm her.”
“How you know that is a mystery to me, but it isn’t Edward that you should be concerned with, is it?” Green asks as he straightens his suit out. “It’s the man who thinks you killed his family. How long can Newton keep the hounds within him at bay?”
“The Red Death,” Storm says through gritted teeth.
“Exactly. Now, if you ensure my safe passage as Champion through our match at Stormborn, I will ensure that by the time you come back here that evening, she’s waiting for you.”
Luke turns away, looking at the shattered picture frame on the floor.
“Agreed,” he says, closing his eyes. “I’ll take care of The Red Death; you stay out of the way. When it comes time to end it, he’s all yours.”
The smile on Green’s face his ear to ear.
“Wonderful decision,” he says with a clap. “X will deliver her back here by the time you’re finished in the ring.”
Storm turns around, his brows furrowed.
“Don’t you dare screw me, BEG,” Luke warns. “Because if you do, I will stand beside Edward Newton as he takes your world apart. You may not know him, but I do.”
“Yes,” Green says unconvincingly. “And how exactly is that?”