THE HUNT FOR SCARLETT STORM
Static covers the screen as a Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right-hand corner.
We’re immediately thrust into the action as Edward Newton is grabbed by the throat and slammed up against a wall by Luke Storm. The World Champion is foaming at the mouth, absolutely and understandably furious.
They’re outside the ice cream shop, roughly thirty minutes after the kidnapping occurred.
“What the fuck have you done?” Storm says, pushing a forearm as far as he can into Newton’s throat.
Edward tries to speak, but gags – nothing coming out.
Luke, realizing that he’s not going to find her without him, releases Newton, stepping away. He runs a hand through his hair, taking off his glasses to press his fingers against the corner of his eyes.
“If he hurts her, if he torments her, if he does anything to her,” Storm threatens between gritted teeth. “I don’t care who you are, I’ll kill you.”
The Riddler, despite his predisposition to insanity and violence, looks as if this matter means something to him as well.
All a part of a longer game, perhaps?
“We’ll find her,” he assures Storm. “But we’re going to need to find The Toy Box. SeeSaw would’ve taken her there. He isn’t the smartest toy in the box, is he?”
Storm looks up, frowning.
“Are you?” Luke asks. “You kidnapped my daughter, you held her hostage, in the same place as the maniac you’ve convinced that I killed his family and for what? Revenge?”
Edward steps forward, his demeanour changing.
“Careful,” he warns with a wagging finger. “We’re far from finished, you and I.”
Luke meets him, stepping forward too.
“You can bet your fuckin’ ass we’re not,” he growls.
Their intense stare down is only broken by an idea; one that belongs to The World Champion.
“The Cryptkeeper. He knows this story; how it ends, even. He’ll know where we’ll find The Toy Box.”
OBASI BOCAMO VS. MEZ
Both these men leave trails of bloodshed and destruction wherever they go. What will happen when their paths cross!?
Bocamo is a violent man, but the caged beast, Mez, strikes first. He piefaces Obasi into the corner, his dinner-plate hand smothering the warlord’s airways. Patient 10034 skirts a 5-count for the illegal choke, only to back up and nearly decapitate The Blood King with a helluva kick! ONE… TWO… Kickout!
Mez pulls the dictator up, but Bocamo bloodies his knuckles against the ribs of The Madman. He barges him into the turnbuckle, where he drives his shoulder into the killer’s abdomen. Mez shoves him away, only to walk right into a waistlock – belly-to-belly suplex! ONE… TWO… Shoulder up!
Obasi jerks Mez to his feet and sends him into the ropes. Mez, however, floors him with the ANARCHY Thesz press! He pounds away at him with frenzied blows, stopping only when threatened with a DQ. The Mirror Lake resident bides his time as Bocamo crawls to his knees – SKULL CRACKER running knee! ONE… TWO… THR—shoulder up!
The maniac pulls the soldier up. He whips him into the corner – but Obasi counters! The warmonger charges in after him – GREETINGS FROM AFRICA corner splash! ONE… TWO… Two-point-nine! Both men slowly recover. Bocamo goes to give Mez another GREETING, only to get a HEAD CHECK instead! Mez drops Obasi with his helmet! ONE… TWO… THREE!
The inmate prevails over the warlord!
GET OVER HERE
HOURS BEFORE ELIMINATOR
Alton Whitlock sits in his office, sipping a coffee and reading an article on his laptop.
“GET OVER HERE!”
A nearby office window shatters as a fire bursts spontaneously in its place. It forms into a hand and GRABS A HOLD OF ALTON WHITLOCK!
…and suddenly, Whitlock finds himself in the boiler room of the Slaughterhouse. He stares face to face with Helstrom.
Helstrom says, “You surprised me last week.”
Whitlock nods and replies, “I know you don’t believe me, but what I said is the truth. That is why I’m doing everything I’m doing.”
“Why then,” Helstrom asks. “Why threaten to remove my armor at all? Do you have any idea what doing that would cause?”
Whitlock grins. “Yeah, I do. But don’t worry. Like I said, politics is a dog and pony show. You know what’s going on behind the scenes now.”
Helstrom looks down at its hand. It is almost surprised by how it hand gently wraps around Whitlock’s throat.
“If you’re lying to me, if you are attempting to mislead me, you are thereby tempting fate with a side of me I’ve hid from the world for centuries, Whitlock.”
Whitlock slides a knife quietly from his sleeve.
“You worry too much Helstrom,” Whitlock says as Helstrom loosens his grip. However, Alton tightens his around the handle of the knife.
“Besides, if I were going to fuck you over, you’d never see it coming.”
JAVAD EBADI VS. SPARKY MCCARTHY
In another timeline, the coach would’ve only been too happy to take this prodigious free-runner under his wing. Tonight, however, they do battle!
Sparky swipes a bear paw at Javad, but the prince bullet-times it, then rocks him with a dropkick. Ebadi attacks the ropes and leaps at McCarthy with a crossbody – only to bounce off! The 300+ pounder is swaying, but he won’t go down easily. The Historian vaults off the middle rope, but Coach brick-walls him out of the air!
The South Dakota native pulls Javad up and clamps him in a waistlock – MENDOZA LINE! He plants him with the snap German suplex. ONE… TWO… Kickout! Sparky winds up a phantom throw as Ebadi climbs to his feet – HIT BY PITCH! The overhead punch clocks him. ONE… TWO… Shoulder up! Javad is hanging in there!
McCarthy peels him off the mat, but The Preserver leaps onto his shoulders and locks in THE EIGHTH WONDER! Wait… Coach is TOO ROUND for the octopus stretch! The time-traveller abandons the submission and throws a roundhouse kick at him. Coach catches it, only to eat an enzuigiri from AROUND THE WORLD! He goes down! ONE… TWO… No! Coach is still in play!
Javad exits onto the apron and waits for a groggy Sparky to turn around. ARCHIVAL! The springboard corkscrew forearm floors Coach. Ebadi goes up top, and what goes up… END OF HISTORY! He crashes down on McCarthy with the 630 senton. ONE… TWO… THREE!
History trumps gym in The Slaughterhouse tonight!
KNOW THE RIDDLE
Two men walk down a hallway, the walls white and sterile.
Mark Gouldern is one of the men, the other wearing a white coat.
“…we’re always on the look out for new pipelines, doctor.” Gouldern says, mid-sentence.
The pair stop outside of a locked door, the doctor using a key to unlock it. Inside, it’s a cornucopia of weird items.
An ornate spear leaned up against the wall.
A red and white jacket with a “B” on the breast.
A can of Faygo.
The doctor walks past all of that to pull out a small book.
“This is a small price to pay, Mr. Gouldern, for someone to help us with our overcrowding.”
He hands the book to Gouldern, who smiles as he sees a green question mark on it’s black cover. The pair exit the room, walking back down the hall.
“You have my people’s information, doctor.” The Herald says. “We’ll take care of your overcrowding problem in due time.”
They stop in front of another door.
“The patient left markings on the wall. I know it wasn’t English, but I have no idea what he’s trying to say.”
Gouldern nods, his tone warm.
“A riddle, my friend. He’s written us a riddle, and to answer it, we’ll have to know what it is first.”
The doctor looks confused.
“How is anyone going to figure out this gibberish?”
“Anyone is not going to, doctor.” Gouldern says. “I am.”
The doctor heads for the door.
“I’ll walk you out when you’re done, Mr. Gouldern. I’ll compile some lists of worthy subjects.”
He leaves Gouldern alone who opens the book.
“If I know your riddle, Mr. Newton, I’ll have the answer ready for you.”
He begins to study the wall and the book as we fade.
PICKPOCKET VS. CHUCK MILES
Will the thief manage to steal another victory, or is it time to pay the piper?
Chuck goes for a collar-and-elbow tie-up, but Pickpocket slips behind him. He taps him on the shoulder. Miles spins round, but Pickpocket points to the rafters, asking “what’s that!?”. Chuck turns to look curiously – only to get rolled up by The Prince of Paupers! ONE… TWO… Miles kicks out of the sneaky pin attempt.
Pickpocket races to his feet, but a frustrated Miles grabs hold of him and hurls him into the ropes. The Lil’ Scoundrel, however, uses his own momentum to take Chuck’s head off with a rebound lariat – DAYLIGHT ROBBERY! He turned him inside-out with that one! ONE… TWO… Miles scrapes his shoulder off the mat.
The street urchin pulls Chuck to his feet, but Miles tries to roll him up. Pickpocket side-steps the receipt and grabs Chuck by the head – CARRIED AWAY! He sticks him with the sit-out facebuster, then pushes his deadweight onto his back. ONE… TWO… Two-and-three-quarters!
Pickpocket hauls Chuck off the canvas once more. He grabs a wristlock, wrenches the arm, then pulls Miles into a knee to the head – SNATCH & GRAB! He holds onto the arm – A SECOND SNATCH & GRAB! Chuck hits the mat, out cold. ONE… TWO… THREE!
OSW’s Robin Hood makes off with a win!
THE KEYS II
In a dusty old storage room in New York City, The Butcher pushes through cobwebs to make it to a large crate at the back.
He opens it up, revealing the former Old School Wrestling Championship belts.
The first one he pulls out is the OSW Championship.
“This one belongs to Luke Storm.”
Next up, the Rewind Championship.
“As does this.”
Then comes the Double Feature Championship.
“This one belongs to The Cryptkeeper.”
Finally, he pulls out the VHS Championship.
“And then, The Red Death.”
With every belt on the side, he takes a look back into the crate, looking at the Tag Team Championships.
“As for these, I’m going to need to find holders.”
He pulls the titles out and puts them on the pile with the rest before carefully stuffing them into a duffel bag.
Suddenly, in the door way, a man wearing a Red Skull Mask appears.
“Finally, we meet,” he says, standing before The Butcher in a large black hooded cloak.
The Butcher looks apprehensive.
“What do you want?” He barks.
“You may not know it, but my order protects certain artefacts that harness great power. Sigil is in possession of one such artefact.”
They share a glance.
“I’ve come to implore you to put those Championships in place,” he says with a knowing nod. The Butcher just stares at him. “Because if they are, Sigil will not be able to use the artefact inside The Slaughterhouse. It will protect you and those inside it from its power.”
“I don’t understand why these Championships have such qualities?” Colin queries with a shrug. “I just don’t get it.”
“Those Championships were bound to The Tap Room and made the building a secure site. They helped contain the battle of good and evil so that it need not spill out into the world and destroy it – they were keys.”
“But no such battle takes place in The Slaughterhouse,” Colin interrupts.
“You’re right, that battle has long passed,” Red Skull acknowledges. “However, their properties will protect The Slaughterhouse against our greatest fear and newest threat. A new battle is on the horizon, Butcher. One that once again threatens humanity.”
The Butchers brow furrows.
“One I cannot share, but I warn you that should it come to pass, those keys will be vitally important. Do with them as instructed and you may just save the lives of many.”
THE JUDGE VS. AESOP
A clash of fighting styles and philosophies awaits us tonight! Will we learn a lesson from Aesop, or will The Judge find balance with a victory?
Aesop comes out strong, showing off his technical prowess against The Judge…but he can only do so much before Judge levels him with a clothesline! Judge uses this moment to his advantage, punishing the storyteller with an impressive power game before sending Aesop against the ropes…AND CONNECTING WITH A VERDICT!
That Sparta kick took a lot out of Aesop, but he’s not giving up yet! Eager to prove a point against the purveyor of perfect balance, Aesop powers through the pain to go after the much bigger foe. Aesop manages to duck another Verdict attempt…HE’S LOCKING IN THE SNAKE!
The storyteller catches Judge by surprise, bringing him down to the canvas with a cobra clutch! Judge is fighting his way out of the hold, slamming his elbow against Aesop to finally loosen the grip. Both men on their feet now, seemingly at an impasse…AND ANOTHER VERDICT BY THE JUDGE!
Aesop looks down and out after that Sparta kick as Judge lifts the storyteller up, looking to bite Aesop in the forehead…DDT OUTTA NOWHERE! Aesop going for broke as he cinches in a dragon sleeper tight…AESOP’S FABLE! Aesop with a reverse DDT and the cover…ONE! TWO! THREE!
Aesop with a big victory over The Judge tonight, hoping he’s taught the bigger opponent a lesson in humility!
In a dark room sits a massive crate with the Telegon logo on the side.
Sitting on top of it: the man known only as X. He holds a small silver ball in his non-metallic hand.
Suddenly, a portal appears. And out of it steps Sigil, The Collector.
“Been waiting for you,” says X.
“You summoned me here to show off a collection of your own?” Sigil asks.
“Nah,” says X. “This is just a gift from my friend Mark.”
A beat passes.
“You’re not going to ask me what’s in it?”
“I’m thinking about how good your arm will look hung in my citadel,” says Sigil. “Once I rip you limb from limb for wasting my time.”
“It’s a stockpile of the latest and greatest Telegon explosives,” X says. “Enough to turn your citadel and your precious collection into smoldering ash.”
“I’m afraid it’s in the wrong place,” says Sigil.
“Oh,” X replies. He pats his metallic hand loudly on the crate. “This is for my personal collection. The other crate…”
He smirks. Then holds up that silver ball.
“While I was visiting, I borrowed this from your collection,” he says. “Had some of Gouldern’s nerds figure out what they could. Freaky alien shit.”
“That’s…” says Sigil. There’s concern in his voice. “The Orb of Return…”
“When you opened the portal in here,” X continues, “…assuming I pressed the right runes… this thing sent the other crate of melt-your-fucking-knick-knacks-grade explosives straight to where you warped in from. Think I fried the orb, though.”
A sudden realization overcomes Sigil. He turns and opens a portal back to his realm. A mountain of flames is visible through it.
“You will pay dearly for this,” he says. X raises both his arms like he’s ready to fight right now.
Sigil disappears through the portal to try and stop the destruction.
ONCE UPON A TIME
In the Slaughterhouse Parking Lot, it’s now show day and things are a hustle and bustle. Stood amongst the traffic is none other than Luke Storm and Edward Newton – absolutely exhausted having not slept in a week.
Luke is pacing back and forth.
“It was here,” he grumbles. “This is where he took me.”
Newton shakes his head.
“We’ve been back here on and off every single day this week and nothing has happened. We’re better off wating for his bout this evening and blindsiding him after that.”
“No!” Luke barks. “We do this my way.”
Suddenly, Storm and Newton are transported through the darkness to The Crypt. This time, they’re met by The Cryptkeeper physically, as he stands with his hands clasped around their throats, pinning them backwards with superior strength to the wall.
“You little critters won’t let me rest, will you?” He angrily says, squeezing on their throats before letting them go. “I’ve heard your cries and whines, wishing to meet with me and they’ve become tiresome.”
“We need information,” Storm demands.
Edward steps forward, deciding to be more tactful.
“If you know of our story, then you know where it began and where it will end,” Edward interrupts. “You’ll also know that Scarlett is innocent.”
“But you took her, did you not?” The Cryptkeeper asks. He walks over to his book, flicking through the pages. “You involved her, character. She’s now a vital part of this story and it was you who made that possible.”
Newton and Storm share an awkward angry look.
“Alas, we all have our roles to play and fortunately for you, as do I,” he surprises them. “I’ll tell you where to find The Toy Box. That is my role to play.”
They both look surprised.
“I must warn you though, there are characters in this tale that have yet to be revealed. There are motivations and actions yet unseen or known. In due time, the story will form and take place; there is no stopping the ending.”
MARVOLO II VS. SCRIMSHAW
The Salty Sea Dog, Scrimshaw is set to take to the seas and defend Molvania’s pride. Will the brawling style of Scrimshaw be enough to outwit the lie, cheat and steal of Marvolo II?
The bell sees Scrimshaw charge across the seven seas to meet Marvolo with fists blaring. El Macho simply puffs out his chest and sends the Salty Sea Dog flying into the ring ropes. Scrimshaw bounces off… RIGHT INTO A ROLLING KOPPU KICK FROM MARVOLO! SCRIMSHAW PLUMMETS LIKE A SINKING SHIP!
Marvolo wastes no time, pulling Scrim to his feet and flinging him against the turnbuckle. CANNONBALL! MARVOLO SLAMS SCRIMSHAW’S SKULL INTO THE BOTTOM BUCKLE! He backs up across the ring, before charging again… RUNNING SENTON! NO! SOMEHOW SCRIMSHAW SNUCK OUT OF THE RING!
Marvolo takes to the ring apron, not wanting this white whale to get away. HE LEAPS OFF THE RING APRON BUT IS CAUGHT BY SCRIMSHAW! A SINGLE PUNCH TAKES MARVOLO OUT OF THE AIR LIKE A DAMNED FLY! SCRIMSHAW’S WEARING HIS BRASS KNUCKLES! The Captain mounts El Macho and unleashes a barrage of knuckle-assisted blows to the skull for good measure!
The brass knuckled beating only ends when Marvolo manages to get a thumb into Scrimshaw’s eye. As quick as a flash, he’s up… SHINING WIZARD! Marvolo rolls Scrimshaw into the ring and follows him inside. DOKUGIRI! THE POISON MIST HITS SCRIMSHAW RIGHT IN THE EYES! MARVOLO TAKES THE ADVANTAGE TO ROLL HIM UP FOR A QUICK PIN! ONE! TWO! THREE!
Marvolo II comes out ahead this night. He has downed Scrimshaw and in the process, will probably profess himself to be the champion of all seven seas!
A picturesque park, where a winding path snakes its way through the greenery. Here, on a bench that overlooks a calm pond, we find the duo of Banzan and Aesop, trading philosophies and nuggets of wisdom. However, they are soon interrupted, as a familiar pair join them along the path.
Warden Johnson, dragging Mez in tow. The Warden stops when he reaches the bench and eyes Aesop.
“I trust that you have given some thought to my proposal?”
Aesop does not answer, but his eyes remain glued on the Warden, untrusting. Johnson notices the look and continues talking.
“Because one way or another, I will acquire your services. It would be in your best interest to allow it without struggle. But should it come to blows, Mez is only too happy to beat my point into you.”
The Warden pulls on Mez’s shackles, and begins to lead Mez off on his slow trudge.
“Now, if you must excuse me. Mez only gets a short time each day for his fresh air. I implore you to consider my offer Aesop, for I’d hate to take drastic measures to ensure your loyalty.”
The Warden leads Mez away, his voice fading as they lumber further away.
“Now Mez… How many times are we going to walk this path before you show me where her body is…”
Aesop’s eyes turn to Banzan, who had sat quietly throughout the conversation.
“You don’t trust him.”
Aesop shakes his head, ever so slightly.
“But you’re not sure how to proceed… Warden Johnson could prove a powerful ally, but only if you can trust him to have your best interest at heart.”
Aesop stands, walking towards the pond.
“I know not what his desire for me is. What he sees in me, the reason he pursues me… The reason he freed me. There is something I don’t know.”
Banzan joins him at the pond.
“What do you know?”
Aesop casts a thoughtful eye over the pond.
“A great kingdom was without a ruler. Knowing that the lack of leadership would through the kingdom into chaos, the people were eager to find somebody to lead them.
Their choices came down to two men. One was a powerful man, with far reaching contacts whose word came like an Iron sword. A powerful leader fit for a powerful kingdom.
The second was merely a peasant. A farmer. He was not political, nor was he a proven leader. But the people knew him. They knew where his heart lay.”
Banzan puts his arm around Aesop’s shoulders, surmising the remainder of the story.
“The people chose the second man, for loyalty is more important than power. And power misplaced is more dangerous than weakness.”
Btu the smile soon fades.
“I know where my loyalties lie. But Warden Johnson will not stop simply at a no. I may need to fight off his dog before he will leave me be.”
“It is right to fight for what you believe. I will stand at your side.”
The pair cast their eyes over the pond, their loyalty decided but their path unsure.
THE CRYPTKEEPER VS. LEVITT RAMTACKLE VS. JUNKRAT
TRIPLE THREAT MATCH
The bell barely sounds when Junkrat pulls his hand out from the front of his pants and smothers Ramtackle, making sure every bit of Aussie dirty ball sweat covers Levitt’s mouth and nose. The unknown newcomer flies out of the ring in a panic, unnerved by the disgusting display as Junkrat laughs.
Before he knew it, though, the Keeper was on top of him. Wrapping his bony arms around the body of Junkrat, he cinches in the BEDTIME STORY! The bearhug begins to crush every bit of air out of Junkrat’s body, and every sweaty attempt is thwarted until Levitt comes in and slams into the back of Cryptkeeper.
Junkrat hits the mat and takes a big, deep, breath when Cryptkeeper throws Ramtackle to the mat. Junkrat wastes no time, trying to get the submission win with the Steel Trap!
Before Ramtackle has a chance to tap out, the Keeper throws his body down at the two, breaking the submission. Levitt rolls out of the ring as Junkrat stumbles to his feet. He suddenly haphazardly runs at the Storyteller, who pops him up into the air. Completely out of control the Aussie Mad-man plummets into the forearm of Cryptkeeper. THE CURSE OF THE CRYPTKEEPER!
Before he can go for a pin, Ramtackle runs back into the ring, only to also meet the CURSE OF THE CRYPTKEEPER! The Storyteller pins Ramtackle. ONE! TWO! THREE!
The story of Levitt Ramtackle and Junkrat gets entered into the Cryptkeeper’s book as he chalks up another victory.
The Week of The Eliminator.
The sound of waves crashing against the sides of Scrimshaw’s strange stone ship introduce the scene, but more importantly they are accompanied by the ever happy shouting of one Mr. Pickpocket who stands at the bow of the ship.
“I’m King of the World! Woohoo!”
The street thief hangs happily over the bow, hands outstretched as he looks out towards the sea. However, his excitement is short lasting as a hand grabs his shoulder and yanks him back from the bow!
“Outta the way, boy. It’s hard enough followin’ this map without ya yellin’ on me ship.”
Pickpocket’s head drops a bit as he looks back and forth between Scrimshaw and the bow.
“Just trying to have some fun… I miss BJ.”
Scrimshaw rolls his eyes once more and walks back to the rear of the ship and takes his place once more at the wheel.
“Jus’ calm yerself. It took me a while to track down that island again, we’ll get him back.”
Scrimshaw lights his pipe as Pickpocket stares forlornly over the edge of the boat.
“So, how long til we get there? I mean, seeing as we gotta use the wind and all.”
“Me ship doesn’t rely on wind, boy. It’s a gift from Xerath and it’ll get us there in a few hours. Sit down and shut up, we’ll be there soon.”
There’s silence for a moment, and as soon as Scrimshaw thinks he’s got the time to think, he flinches at the dreaded words that come out of Pickpocket’s mouth.
“Are we there yet?”
“…Are we there yet?”
“How about now?”
The following tirade of cussing, yelling, and attempted battery is one that the world will never see, but something Pickpocket will remember for his entire life.
… Or, at the very least, until he’s bored again in an hour.
BANZAN VS. BEG
Two former world champions battle it out here tonight. Will the Mountain stand tall or will the Richest Player In The Game break him down?
The bell sounds as Banzan rears up tall, his hands extended out into claws before he rushes forward with a thunderous clothesline that sends BEG flying into the air, turning the smaller man damn near inside out from the sheer force. BEG is loopy already as Banzan peels him up off the canvas, delivering a massive knee to the gut before he lifts BEG up high into the air by the skin on his shoulder.
URANAGE! The massive slam drives BEG into the mat as Banzan looks for the quick end, backing up for a moment before rushing forward as BEG slowly gets to a knee. SAMUD…LOW BLOW! BEG saves himself at the last moment as he delivers a series of hard stomps and kicks to a recovering Banzan before setting up for something as the Mountain rises.
MILLION DOLLAR…HEADBUTT! A simple thrust back leaves BEG out on his feet as Banzan spins him around before planting him on the back of his head with the DUKKA Saito Suplex! Banzan slowly catches his breath, the bear stance taking a lot out of him as he backs up slowly.
Banzan rushes forward, leaping up knee forwards, MAGGA! The knee hits flush, BEG damn near out cold as Banzan rushes to the ropes, bouncing off before leaping up once more, SAMUDAYA! SHINING TRIANGLE! Banzan has it sunk in deep almost instantly as BEG is forced to tap out!
Banzan picks up a huge win here, showing a brutal side that rarely shows from the tranquil mountain but one that paid off dividends here tonight.
THE FIRST LETTER
A pair of hands open a crisp white envelope, revealing a letter within that’s read in the narration of an old female voice.
My Dearest Son,
I’m sorry that I haven’t wrote sooner. To tell you the truth, I was too afraid of what you’d think of me. I’m not sure if you even remember my face, but know that I remember yours.
You’re my beautiful boy.
I’m sure that you remember the bad times. They were plentiful. I was a terrible mother and I know that now. I didn’t know how to cope and that is no excuse for what happened.
You deserved better.
I’m writing to you because it’s time you learned the truth; the truth about who you are and how you came to be.
Not everything is as it seems.
I know that sounds vague but before I get to the truth, I need you to understand the past. I need you to understand why I had to let you go.
I’ll write again soon, I promise.
I won’t let you down, son, not again.
I’m so sorry for everything. I hope you believe me. I hope you’ll read my letters and I hope they get to you in time. I’m afraid for your safety. I’m afraid for your life. I’m afraid that if you don’t learn the truth, you won’t be able to save yourself before its too late.
I haven’t been the best parent but I will make up for that now.
I love you, son.
DOWN IN THE VALLEY II
The Persian Desert
Filthy, gaunt and in ragged clothes, the dilapidated armed forces of Persia continue their preparations for war in the arid desert sands of Iran. Beneath the baking midday sun they toil, carrying ammunition and supplies from one place to the next. Loading trucks, replenishing stocks in their holds, cleaning and preparing weapons and equipment for the forthcoming battle.
The militia part, like the red sea before Moses himself as their leader approaches.
He too looks tired, weak and gaunt. His skin is wrinkled and darkened like a leather hide. He carries a wooden crate and drops it on the ground.
He turns to look at two of his most trusted militia, each of whom are carrying wooden crates themselves.
“Water.” he says, gesturing towards the crates.
“Please. Sparingly. These rations must last us a long time.” He hangs his head. “I do not know for how long.”
Javad looks down at the meat and rice at his feet, neatly wrapped in paper. He feels a pang of hunger.
At the back of the group of men, discreetly, almost invisibly, a portal opens. The Judge has been watching Javad selflessly pass on all of the rations. He had not gorged himself as he may well have done. Not a single grain of rice had been retained for himself.
“This one has CHANGED over the years.” he muses to himself as he steps into the portal, “But have his sins of years gone by clung to his soul, or can a man redeem himself?”
The portal closes.
His judgement continues.
GOULDERN, X & WHITLOCK VS. HELSTROM, DEATH & SIGIL
A triple threat match of warring factions tonight, as Imperium’s own Mark Gouldern, Alton Whitlock, and X, take on Enigma’s Sigil, Helstrom, and Red Death.
Gouldern and Sigil leads things off as the bell rings! Gouldern and Sigil lock up, and Sigil quickly seizes the upper hand and transitions to a side headlock! Gouldern drops Sigil with a TEARDROP SUPLEX! But only Gouldern hits the mat! SIGIL COSMIC LEAPED! He tags in Helstrom!
Helstrom steps in the ring and clobbers Gouldern with a big boot! He helps the genius to his feet and whips him into the ropes! X TAGS HIMSELF IN AND HELSTROM HAS NO IDEA! He drops Gouldern with a clothesline! BUT X NAILS HELSTROM WITH A LARIAT! THE MECHANICAL ARM CLOBBERS HIM!
Helstrom rolls to his corner and Red Death tags himself in! X grins and charges Red Death! Red Death ducks the lariat! He sends a round house kick to X’s jaw! X staggers backwards! He sends a boot to X’s gut! RETURN TO ARKHAM! He lifts X and whips him into his own corner!
Whitlock tags himself in! He steps in the ring and immediately catches a BICYCLE KICK TO THE HEAD BY RED DEATH! WHITLOCK IS OUT! Death tags in Sigil! Sigil leaps into the ring and times up his finishing move! Whitlock slowly staggers up to his feet. PLANESWALKER BY SIGIL!!! BUT WHITLOCK DUCKS IT! He kicks Sigil in the gut! BETTER WORLD! WHITLOCK MAKES THE COVER!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEEEEEEE!!!
Imperium gets a big win over their rivals here in trios action!
Edward Newton and Luke Storm arrive outside SeeSaw’s home in silence. They have an odd common goal; see Scarlett safe.
They make entry through the front door. Their plan is to get down into the basement, where SeeSaw has erected his Toy Box and take back the girl.
Luke Storm goes first, only he hits a tripwire that releases a spiked cage that falls from the ceiling, trapping himself inside. His instinct is to grab at it, but the sharpness of the spikes make him recoil.
Newton shimmy’s round it.
“Booby-traps,” he says with a smile. “How cute.”
“Get me out of here, Newton!” Storm growls, demanding help.
Edward stands before him.
“No, I think you’re perfectly placed for now,” he decides.
The look on storms face is palpable as Newton heads towards the basement alone, only waiting for him at the top of the steps is none other than SeeSaw himself.
“Oh boy, another friend to play with?” The twisted psychopath cackles with glee. “I can’t believe it. Today must be my lucky day.”
“Where is she, SeeSaw?” Newton gruffly demands to know.
“She’s in the basement, safe and sound, playing with some of my toys. She doesn’t like the Freeman Blaster, though. I don’t know why.”
Edward steps forward.
“If you want to play, let’s play.”
Mr. Make Believe claps his hands together in excitement.
“I thought you’d never ask!”
EDWARD NEWTON VS. SEESAW
A rescue mission or simply ensuring he doesn’t break a promise, The Riddler has travelled to Tranquility Lane to rescue Scarlett Storm but can he or will he be broken by Mr Make Believe?
Newton ducks under a wild right that impacts the nearby wall, sending speckles of dust flying everywhere as The Riddler backs away from the entrance to the basement, Seesaw wagging a single finger in Newton’s direction.
“Uh-Uh Eddie. Scarlett can’t leave just yet, she’s having too much fun here with me.”
Newton brushes the dust off himself, composing himself for a moment before staring Mr Make Believe down with a hard look in his eyes.
“I’m going to say this once Seesaw, let the girl go.”
Seesaw laughs maniacally, clapping his hands with glee as he shakes his head back and forth ferociously.
“Why would I do that Eddie? The fun’s just beginning, and it starts with you and me. Time to play”
With those words, Seesaw rushes forward with a wild right that Newton just barely dodges, retaliating with a right of his own that barely fazes Seesaw. Undeterred, Newton lays into Seesaw with furious punches, each punctuated by a chuckle from the clown before the Riddler finds himself picked up around the waist
AND SPEARED INTO A NEARBY WALL!
Newton grunts in pain as Seesaw drives him back into the plaster over and over again. Newton pounds down on Seesaw’s back with heavy hands that don’t break Seesaw’s hold before Newton finally reaches back, grabbing a handful of paint flakes from the wall.
TOSSING IT INTO SEESAW’S EYES!
Seesaw screams in pain, dropping Newton who staggers away holding his back in pain. Seesaw rubs his eyes, a frown etched upon his face as he whines out.
“You don’t play fair”
Seesaw finally can see again as he looks up to see Newton standing behind a large mirror, his foot on the very base of the frame.
“I never do”
NEWTON KICKS THE MIRROR, SENDING IT CRASHING DOWN RIGHT ONTO SEESAW!
Glass is sent flying everywhere as Seesaw collapses to the floor screaming, tiny cuts appearing over every bit of his exposed skin. Newton quickly rushes back over to the basement, only getting a few feet before he’s grabbed around the ankle by Seesaw.
“We’re not done playing yet!”
Newton tries to shake free but Seesaw’s grip is tenacious, slowly pulling himself up by the hem of Newton’s trousers before the Riddler falls back from the weight of Seesaw. Mr Make Believe is upon him in a flash, gripping him by the throat with one hand while raining down hard blows with the other. Newton tries to cover up but Seesaw is relentless as Newton scrambles for a weapon, his hand finally gripping a small, metal object
BEFORE SLAMMING IT INTO THE TEMPLE OF SEESAW!
Newton breaks it over the head of Seesaw again, Seesaw seemingly going limp before he’s kicked off the Riddler’s body. Newton slowly stands up, breathing heavily as he hears a sound coming from his right, his head turning to a series of steps heading up to the second floor.
Curiously, Newton slowly walks over to the steps, looking intently in the near darkness before hearing the faint voice of a child.
“Come play with me”
Looking back to ensure Seesaw isn’t coming for him, Newton slowly climbs up the steps, hearing soft footsteps approaching the top of the stairs as he does. When Newton gets to the top step, the footsteps stop suddenly. The Riddler looks all around before peering down as a small doll looks up at him. Warily, Newton bends down as the doll begins to speak once more.
“Play with me Eddie. Never stop”
BEFORE SPEWING OUT A THICK BLACK MIST RIGHT INTO NEWTON’S FACE!
Newton grabs the doll, throwing it into a nearby wall with force as he chokes and coughs on the mist. Newton slowly begins catching his breath before he suddenly hears a sinister chuckle behind his back as hands clasp around his waist.
AND SUPLEX HIM DOWN THE FUCKING STAIRS! JESUS CHRIST!
Seesaw erupts in a fit of laughter as he looks down at a barely conscious Edward Newton. His face suddenly falls as he looks down, the small doll’s face crushed and broken from the force of the throw and a murderous scowl crosses Seesaw’s face, staring down at Newton
SEESAW LEAPS OFF THE TOP STEP AFTER HIM WITH A GIANT SPLASH
NEWTON MOVES JUST IN TIME AS SEESAW COLLAPSES HARD AGAINST THE WOODEN FLOOR!
Both men are heavily damaged but not out as they slowly begin to pull themselves up. Newton shaking his head as Seesaw screams in his face.
“You’re a mean man! I don’t want to play with you anymore”
Seesaw rushes forward, drilling Newton in the midsection with a massive kick, sending Newton staggering back before a huge headbutt drops Newton down onto the wooden floor. Seesaw places one foot onto Newton’s back, dropping down as he pulls back both arms,
LOCKING IN THE STRETCH ARMSTRONG!
Seesaw laughs maniacally as Newton tries to fight through the pain, trying to escape as his bones begin to crack and his joints begin to tear. He lashes out with a stiff kick to Seesaw’s leg, forcing Seesaw to let go of the hold in agony as Newton quickly scrambles to his feet.
In rage, Seesaw rushes forward, trying for another spear but Newton is ready, a single jigsaw piece in his hand as he throws it right into a charging Seesaw’s face.
WHICH EXPLODES UPON IMPACT!
Blood pouring down Mr Make Believe’s face, he stumbles forward right into a desperation
Seesaw is driven into the hard wooden floor skull first, slowly stirring for a moment before collapsing, Newton somehow the victor of this brutal war.
The Riddler survived his war with Seesaw but he still has the horrors of the Toy Box to venture into tonight.
With SeeSaw down for the count, The Riddler pulls himself together.
He straightens out his suit and wipes his mouth. That was a battle, alright. He heads down into the basement, searching for Scarlett.
However, she isn’t who he finds.
“What’re you doing here?” A quizzical Newton enquires, hands on hips.
Banzan is standing over the Freeman blaster, his eyes focused on what used to be Kenny Freeman. At first, he doesn’t even acknowledge The Riddler.
“I…” he stammers.
“Spit it out, dear boy; where’s the girl?” Edward continues.
“I followed Green here,” he admits, finally turning his attention away from the toy. “But lost him outside.”
“How on Earth did he know where we were?” Newton muses, searching the room visually for Scarlett. Finally, he catches a small cell in the corner of the room out of the corner of his eye.
Watching and waiting cautiously as The Riddler stands atop the stairs, straightening himself out, is none other than Berkshire Ellison Green.
As Edward heads into the Toy Box, Green reveals himself to Luke Storm.
“I heard you were here,” he muses with a smile. “However, I didn’t expect you to be gift wrapped. All that’s missing in the ribbon.”
“What do you want, Green?” Storm hisses. “If you want a fight, let me out of here and you’ll have one.”
The former World Champion laughs.
“Don’t be silly, I’m not just going to let you out. Boys, he’s this way.”
Roughly eight men in black suits enter the room. Four of them lift the cage as four of them stand ready to pounce. Once the cage is up, they attack. Storm fights valiantly, delivering right hands to whatever moves, but the numbers far outweigh his ability for self-defence in this scenario.
Before you know it, he’s kneeling, a muscular arm around his neck.
And BEG stood before him.
“Let’s discuss the matter of my Championship, shall we?” He growls. “Because you stole it and I want it back.”
Suddenly, like a force, Banzan appears, clobbering the holder of the muscular arm across the back of the head with a chop.
The rest attack, only The Mountain and Luke Storm work together, clearing them out. One by one, the suits are taken to the ground, knocked unconscious.
Storm immediately looks for BEG, only he’s gone.
“God damnit,” he barks. “That fucker escaped! Wait, Scarlett! Where’s Newton?”
He’s already on his way to the basement when Banzan breaks it to him.
“He’s gone,” Banzan says. “He was there one minute with a young girl and the next, I was unconscious.”
Whilst BEG and Luke Storm were stood at the cage, in the basement, Edward Newton had freed Scarlett Storm from her restraints.
He scoops her up into a hug and walks towards Banzan.
“Where’s the exit? How did you get in here?” He asks.
“It’s over there,” Banzan says pointing to a tunnel that exits into the sewer system of New York City. “But wait, where’s Luke?”
Newton suddenly pulls a small canister from his pocket, spraying it like mace in the face of The Mountain.
He goes down thunderously.
Edward walks towards the exit, a smile on his face.
“Don’t worry Scarlett, you’re safe now,” he offers as little consolation.
“Where’s my daddy?” She begs to know.
“He didn’t come,” Newton says with a surprisingly accurate portrayal of disappointment. “I asked him to, but he was too busy.”
She looks upset, placing her head on his shoulder.
“Don’t worry my dear, I won’t ever let you down.”
Edward exits the room, smiling a sinister grin the whole way.
Meanwhile, back upstairs and Luke Storm has fallen to his knees, exhausted.