The Slaughterhouse logo flickers in glowing neon.
The camera pans down from the logo to the cheering support of the crowd before spinning to the entrance ramp where The Butcher stands, holding a microphone. He casually walks towards the ring as the fans roar.
“Slaughter! Slaughter! Slaughter!”
This brings a smile to the face of The Butcher. As he enters the squared circle, we see Banzan and Darby Sorrow stood on opposite sides of the ring – each awaiting him.
“Welcome to The Slaughterhouse,” The Butcher says to a cheer. He stands between Banzan, who’s holding the OSW World Championship and Sorrow, who has his head tilted.
There’s a brief pause.
“In this building, in this ring, you two have the power to become Gods of the arena and at Invasion, in the Main Event, one of you will cement your place.”
Sorrow interrupts shaking his head sombrely. “I don’t want to be a God.”
That shocks everyone, especially The Butcher. As murmurs flit around the crowd, The Chairman’s face turns to a scowl.
“You don’t get to choose what the fuck you want,” he roars. “You will fight, you will bleed and you will die in this ring if I decide it.”
“No, I won’t,” he refuses, throwing the microphone down.
Banzan though steps in his way, stopping his exit.
“Wait,” he asks, putting a hand up. “Let me tell you a story.”
Darby steps backwards towards the corner, slumping back.
“A young father had a son he loved more than anything in the world. One day when he left the village, plunderers kidnapped his child and burnt down his home. When he returned, he found what he believed to be his son beneath the ashes.”
The Butcher frowns, folding his arms.
“He cremated him and kept the ashes on his person at all times. Not long after, his son escaped his kidnappers and returned home, beating down the door of his father, proclaiming to be his son.”
Banzan walks across the ring, stood now before Darby.
“He didn’t believe him – after all, he had his sons’ ashes on his person.”
Sorrow stands up from his slump.
“If a person is intently holding to an idea as the absolute and unmodifiable truth, he won’t be able to open the door and accept the actual truth when it comes first-hand knocking on his door.”
Banzan reaches out, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“You’re so certain that you cannot die that you refuse to live. But if you aren’t open to the truth that anything, including death, is possible, you will never learn whether or not you can find peace.”
Before Darby can say anything, a deafening laugh can be heard from the stage. It belongs to Berkshire Ellison Green who trundles down the ramp with a laugh. He enters the ring, shaking his head.
“I will pay you to shut the hell up,” BEG says, throwing a couple of bills at Banzan’s face. “Please, for all our sakes, never tell another story again.”
Banzan angrily steps towards him, but BEG backs off.
“Is this The Slaughterhouse or the Storyhouse? Because I’m bored out of my god damned mind.”
He turns his attention to Sorrow.
“And you? Are you legitimately turning down an opportunity at the title? I don’t know about you, boss, but I wouldn’t stand for that.”
The Butcher chuckles.
“All I’m saying is that I’d pay good money for an opportunity at that title. Maybe you and I could make an arrangement?” He says to Darby, shrugging his shoulders. “Perhaps with the right incentive, you could find a way to finally die.”
“That’s not how it works, kid,” The Butcher says with a chuckle. “But I admire your moxy. I’ll tell you what; if you beat the Champion tonight, come and see me and we’ll talk.”
He then turns his attention to Banzan and Sorrow.
“As for you two; refusals and stories aside, you two will fight at Invasion.”
The Butcher looks at Darby, their eyes meeting.
“Because if you don’t, death will be the least of your concerns.”
Sorrow shakes his head and rolls to the outside, walking away as if he’s completely uninterested. Banzan looks on.
BUT HERE COMES BEG!
BEG FROM BEHIND WITH THE MICROPHONE TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD! Green takes Banzan down to the canvas and starts stomping the holy shit out of him, brutally stamping down on his head.
The fans boo but that doesn’t stop him. The Butcher stands back with a smile, loving the brutality.
Berkshire drops down, punching away at Banzan – this absolute mugging coming out of no-where.
Darby reaches the stage, stops and turns to look at his opponent for Invasion.
HE’S COMING BACK!
HE’S SPUN AROUND!
KNOCKOUT RIGHT HAND! KNOCKOUT RIGHT HAND!
Micky McGuiness lays out Darby Sorrow!
BEG gets back to his feet and soaks up the boos, pointing to Micky with a ginormous smile. Green walks over to The Butcher and shakes his hand before dropping out of the ring, heading up the ramp to meet his henchman.
This attack was completely unprovoked but Berkshire Ellison Green is putting down a marker and boy, is it stamped all over the faces of Banzan and Darby Sorrow.
MEZ VS. SEESAW
FOR A BUTCHERS BLADE
Tonight, we have a match that showcases multiple sides of psychosis. Seesaw and Mez fight tonight for a Slaughterhouse blade! Which deranged mind will get a chance at the Slaughterhouse title? We find out next!
DING! DING! Seesaw charges out of his corner with rapid punches! Strike after strike but they’re not fazing Mez at all! Seesaw rears back with a haymaker but Mez catches the wrist! He is crushing it with full force and Seesaw is screaming in pain! Seesaw is begging him to let go! Mez shakes his head and starts hitting Seesaw with rapid headbutts!
Seesaw looks completely out of it but Mez is not done! He lifts Seesaw with ease! He has him in a gorilla press overhead! He launches Seesaw into the guardrail on the outside! Seesaw is being obliterated and Mez follows him to the outside of the ring! He pulls him by the throat and plants him into the steel steps with a chokeslam!
The steps are dented by the force of that slam! Mez is still not done! He lifts Seesaw like he is going for a suplex! No! It’s a gourdbuster! He plants him stomach first on the guardrail! Seesaw is stuck on the guardrail! Mez backs up, charges at him and hits the SKULL CRACKER! He hit Seesaw with all of that flying knee!
Seesaw has definitely had better days but Mez wants to make sure that spike is his! He lifts the guardrail over his head with Seesaw still holding on! What crazy strength Mez has! He tosses it at the ring post! Seesaw is crushed between the post and rail! He’s trapped there but he’s still conscious! Not for long! Mez marches with a mission, rears back and delivers a massive headbutt! HEAD CHECK! Seesaw is out cold as his head was crushed between steel mask and steel post!
Seesaw never came up but he sure fell down as Mez dominated the match and outright took his chance at the title!
Kenny Freeman walks around backstage, the glow of his phone illuminating his face as he walks and tweets at the same time.
Paying no mind to his surroundings, mid-tweet and tapping away at his phone’s keyboard, The Keyboard Warrior walks headfirst into what feels like a wall.
Only it’s not a wall. Kenny rubs his forehead and looks up.
“Kid,” The Red Knight says. “We need to talk.”
Freeman lifts an eyebrow and grins, putting his phone away.
“Yeah,” Freeman says. “We do. Do you have any idea how many likes and retweets my tweets about you tackling that purse snatcher and giving the lady her purse back got!?! Redwing, we’ve struck gold. We should capitalize on this!”
“No, we don’t.” Redwing replies. “The tweets, the viral stuff, I want you to stop doing it when it involves me.”
Kenny scratches his forehead, “Why? It’s great content for me, great press for you. This is a win-win. Why wouldn’t you want a win-win here?”
Redwing shakes his head. “I don’t need that kind of attention. I don’t want to be a celebrity. I’m here to help people. Tweeting about me doesn’t help people.”
“Yes it does! It gives people hope, it gives people something to believe–”
“I said no more tweets.” Redwing interrupts, sternly. “Are we clear on that?”
Freeman looks Redwing up and down. “You don’t get to tell me how to manage my social media accounts, Redwing. Hero or not.”
Redwing sighs and shakes his head. Then he looks Kenny straight in the eye. “If you tweet about me again, kid, we’re going to have a problem.”
Kenny’s eyes narrow as he watches Redwing walks away. He pulls his phone from his pocket and starts tapping, a frown painting his face.
JUNKRAT VS. BLACKVEIL
FOR A BUTCHERS BLADE
Blackveil’s sisters surround the ring. Junkrat makes vulgar gestures with a stick of dynamite on his groin, pretending its his dick. Blackveil stands silently in the corner.
The bell rings, and the referee’s eyes begin to turn white. “NOT TODAY CUNT,” Junkrat screams, a small bomb falls near Blackveil’s feet. BOOM! HOLY SHIT, BLACKVEIL’S CLOTHES ARE ON FIRE! Sisters immediately rush the ring and put the fire out, smothering it. As they clear the ring and Blackveil climbs back to her feet, clothes now a tad more revealing than she’d like, she’s taken right over the top rope with a Cactus Clothesline from Junkrat!!!
But the sisters catch their leader as Junkrat falls to the floor, hard. They crowdsurf Blackveil back onto the apron. She climbs in the ring as the sisters swarm Junkrat, mercilessly beating the Anarchist. They’re like a stirred up hornets nest, stinging him all over. After receiving a thorough beating, Junkrat is brought to his feet and rolled into the ring.
Blackveil’s hand, with tendrils of energy swirling about it, grabs Junkrat by the throat. Those tendrils swirl up her hand and around Junkrat’s throat, choking him. She lifts him high into the air. THE PRICE OF LIBERTY! Junkrat squirms as the life is squeezed out of him by Blackveil’s powers! His face turns red, then purple, and nearly a lifeless pale before he lands to the ground, choking.
Junkrat slowly crawls to his feet as Blackveil beckons him towards her. Not one to backdown, Junkrat charges towards her!!! KNEE TO THE JAW FROM JUNKRAT– NO!!! BLACKVEIL DUCKS AND DROPS HIM WITH A DROP TOE HOLD! SHE REACHES HER FEET!!! THE ANNULMENT!!! THAT VICIOUS PUNT KICK!!! BLACKVEIL MAKES THE COVER!!! ONE… TWO… THREEEEEEE!!!!
Blackveil picks up a big time victory over the Anarchist Scrapper tonight, improving her singles record to 2-0!!!
“A SEARCH THAT NEVER ENDS”
We find ourselves inside a new makeshift studio with two doors and a television screen in between. The audience within are waiting in anticipation for their host…and here he is now, a familiar smirk on his face!
“Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back to The Show That Never Ends! I’m your host Monty Straight, and that’s the way I shoot! We’ve got an exciting game for you, so let’s take a look at our new contestants!”
The television flickers to life, revealing various footage and images of a man with a bionic arm, a man we’ve yet to meet properly.
“First up, a man on a never-ending search for his past, a search that is about to bring him to The Show That Never Ends! Give a round of applause for the Lethal Weapon, the man that simply calls himself…X!”
The studio audience gives a warm round of applause for the first contestant as the screen quickly changes, now bringing to our attention a mysterious figure, its face hidden by a mask and hooded cloak.
“Here now is our second contestant, someone in a constant state of learning on his never-ending search for knowledge…a search that, much like X, brings this mysterious being to The Show That Never Ends! Give a warm welcome to the Realm Walker, Sigil!”
Another round of applause from the audience as two spotlights immediately focus on the doors on either side. Straight positions himself between the doors, motioning to each of them.
“These very doors hide clues to the answers our contestants seek, but who will reach the end of their search that never ends? The only way to find out is to stay tuned, here on…”
Straight motions to the audience, who shout along with their host.
“The Show That Never Ends!”
SCRIMSHAW VS. X
FOR A BUTCHERS BLADE
The Old Sea Dog squares off against the enigma that is the Lethal Weapon. The prize… One of the coveted Slaughterhouse Blades!
X adopts a basic warrior stance, circling as the Old Sea Dog closes in. Scrimshaw attacks, grappling X around the collar. X ducks away from the grapple and hits a quick succession of Knee Strikes to the Old Man’s ribs. BIONIC FOREARM TO THE BACK OF SCRIMSHAW’S SKULL KNOCKS THE CAPTAIN’S CAP RIGHT OFF HIS HEAD!
X continues the barrage as the Old Bugger hits the ground. But SCRIMSHAW KICKS HIM IN THE BALLS! X’S BIONIC EYE NEARLY POPPED OUT OF HIS HEAD! Beating X to his feet, he hooks the Soldier’s leg… DRAGGED TO THE DEPTHS! X hits the ground and rolls out of the ring!
Scrimshaw follows him out with surprising agility for his age. He drags X to his feet and hurls him into the crowd barricade. DASHED ON THE… NO! X uses his training instincts to cut off the angle and swoops Scrimshaw into a leg lock that stops the Sea Dog’s momentum dead. X LOCKS IN THE HALF NELSON!
With the Half Nelson locked in, X is able to berate the chest of Scrimshaw with RIB BREAKING BIONIC ARM STRIKES! Only when the Captain looks ready to drop does he release him, into the ring. SCRIMSHAW STAGGERS TO HIS FEET AS X ENTERS… EXECUTION! HE CLOBBERED SCRIMSHAW BACK INTO THE MAT AS HE ROSE! SCRIMSHAW IS OUT COLD!
The Slaughterhouse Blade is going home with X tonight. The Lethal Weapon showed the danger of that bionic arm to secure the victory!
“NO FUN AT ALL”
In a dark room, a young girl is bathed in a television’s glow.
On the screen: SeeSaw, Mr. Make Believe himself, wearing a wide grin.
“Today, we’re going to talk about something sad. Each and every little lady or lad deserves to rummage through the Toybox and make tales beyond belief! But some kiddos… well…”
“They get the big nasties and get all sick! Then the boring old grown-ups say there’s no time for play, there’s only time for treatment!”
The girl moves closer to the TV until her face is only inches from the screen.
“Treatment,” SeeSaw scoffs.”Treatment! What do we say to treatment and grown ups?”
The girl and SeeSaw speak in tandem: “The Toybox has everything we need!”
“Stupid old doctors and nurses and grown-ups like them don’t know ANYTHING!” Seesaw says. “They don’t want you to have fun. No fun at all! And isn’t their medicine icky?”
The girl laughs. SeeSaw jerks forward.
“So why not just forget ‘em, kiddo!? When you’re with ME in the land of MAKE BELIEVE, you’ll be FREE!”
SeeSaw’s sneering face seems to emerge from the television itself. The girl reaches out to touch him, but hesitates.
“Come inside… Come inside where your daddy can’t find you and you can play with me FOREVER, you poor, poor kiddo…”
SeeSaw’s eyes go wide. He talks in a sweet, low voice.
“Your mommy is waiting for you, and she wants to play too.”
Suddenly, a door flies open. Daylight enters the room. The TV clicks off.
The girl spins around.
Silhouetted by the sun, Luke Storm removes his aviator sunglasses and looks at his daughter with lightning in his eyes.
“What the hell are you watching?”
SIGIL VS. ALTON WHITLOCK
FOR A BUTCHERS BLADE
The Slaughterhouse is rockin’ as Alton Whitlock and Sigil stand across the ring from one another. The Politician getting plenty of crowd support, but the Planeswalker seems unphased.
The bell rings, and the crowd is already firmly on the side of the politician. “ALTON! ALTON! ALTON!” Bathing a bit in the positive attention, he does not notice Sigil has teleported until it’s too late. Alton turns around just as Sigil appears behind him! FINITE!! THE ROUNDHOUSE KICK FROM SIGIL DROPS ALTON TO THE GROUND! Sigil makes the cover! One… Two… TH- NO!
It’ll take more than that to keep the man of the people down, and Sigil helps him to his feet whipping him into the ropes. BIG BOOT to Sigil’s chest! Sigil hits the ground! Whitlock comes up behind Sigil and picks him up and hoists him onto his shoulders! SNAP ELECTION!!! ALTON KEEPS THE LEGS HOOKED!!! One… Two… THREE–SIGIL KICKS OUT!!!
Whitlock stands and stops on Sigil’s chest. Suddenly Sigil disappears. Whitlock looks around, Sigil is nowhere to be found! Suddenly, BOOM!!! SIGIL STOMPS ALTON WITH BOTH FEET ON TOP OF HIS HEAD AS HE DESCENDS FROM THE CEILING!!! JESUS!!!
Alton’s neck was nearly broken, and Sigil has taken the upperhand! Sigil prepares himself in the corner, just waiting for Alton to reach his feet. Alton slowly climbs up. First to his knees, and finally to his feet. Sigil darts across the ring towards Alton! PLANESWALKER!!! ALTON FLIES ACROSS THE RING!!! SIGIL TELEPORTS AND MAKES THE COVER!!! ONE… TWO… THREEEEEE!!!
Sigil picks up a big win over the fan favorite, Alton Whitlock. He has his arm raised in victory before disappearing.
“BOOM GOES THE CANNONBALL”
The smell of the salty sea fills the air, the sounds of waves crashing on the shores as the scene pans out to the sea and reveals its sandy shores to the viewers. A mighty boat sits off of the docks, its sails flapping in the wind, the world filled with a feeling of serenity.
And the sounds of a maniac mumbling to himself upon the deck of that very ship.
The scene pans to reveal none other than Junkrat, the anarchist surrounded by scrap metal, gunpowder, and burnt up matches. He shoves a copious amount of gunpowder inside of a nearby canon, chuckling as he did.
“Oohoohoohoo! Oh this is gonna be a BIG ONE! I just need to find out how mucha this junk I can fit in this here cannon! And then, KABOOM! That sea food shop will RUE THE DAY they cut me off from that all you can eat Crab Leg buffet!”
He coughs into his hand.
“And, well, the bar fight that came before when that old lady cut in front of me. BUT NONETHELESS!”
He chuckled wildly to himself again as he filled the canon before grabbing a match. He struck it on his boot and held it up to the canon, biting his lip with an unmatched glee! And then!
Two fingers from out of frame pinched the match, putting it out and pluck it from his hands. Junkrat looks back at the owner of said fingers, a frown on his face.
“And what do you think yer doin’ there, lad? You wouldn’t happen to be aboard my vessel and ruining my cannon, would you?”
The owner of the voice? Scrimshaw. The Sea Dog has his coat arms rolled up as he looked at Junkrat, a glare on his face. Junkrat held his hands up, chuckling.
“Oh no no no! I was just, um… OPEN CHEST”
Junkrat kicked Scrimshaw in the chest, sending him backwards as the Maniac lit another match, lighting the cannon! He placed his fingers in his ears as he turned away, Scrimshaw crawling away and hiding behind barrels as the cannon’s fuse burned down.
And in an instant, the shell of the cannon exploded under the massive load inside of it, sending Junkrat flying over the railing and into the ocean, splintering the wood and ruining the deck! As the Maniac coughed water, Scrimshaw looked down upon him from his now ruined boat with a grimace.
“So that’s how you want to play it, eh? Well, I suppose two can play at that game.”
The scene fades to black as Junkrat swims away, Scrimshaw moving to the captain’s quarters, a look of determination on his face.
FREEMAN & REDWING VS. VERITAS & STRAIGHT
FOR A BUTCHERS BLADE
It’s youth and justice vs. truth and games tonight as Kenny Freeman and Redwing take on Veritas and Monty Straight for pieces of the Slaughterhouse Blade.
The four men look across the ring at each other before Freeman and Straight step out of the ring. Redwing and Veritas circle each other before Veritas connects with a stiff clothesline. Redwing shakes his as he takes a stomp to the head, that rattles him some more. Veritas goes for another but Redwing catches his foot as Freeman springboards off the top rope and hurls himself towards Veritas with a cross body.
Veritas stumbles backwards and gets tagged by Monty Straight, Redwing responds by officially tagging in the Keyboard Warrior who runs across and basement dropkicks Straight’s knee, sending the Game Show Host flipping. Not wasting any motion, Kenny quickly gets to the ropes and springs off them, flipping backwards but is caught in the face with a boot that floors the Flying Freeman.
Monty tags Veritas back in, who goes on the attack, grabbing the smaller star and hurls him into the corner and begins throwing lefts and rights to the smaller opponent. Redwing quickly comes in and nails a dropkick from behind that catches Veritas on the back of the head. Freeman gets his phone out, and watches for Veritas to turn around.
Before Kenny can get Veritas into position, Monty Straight charges up the ropes, catching Freeman with THE BIG DEAL! Avalance German suplex off the top rope. Freeman crashes to the matt as Veritas dumps Redwing out of the ring with a big boot to the head. Veritas turns to Kenny Freeman and lifts him up by the head, nearly causing the smaller man to lift off his feet. Veritas quickly drives his thumb into Kenny’s throat, quickly followed by a rolling elbow! TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION!
Kenny falls to the ground as Veritas follows it up with his thumbs into the eyes! EYE OF PROVIDENCE! Redwing tries to get into the ring but Monty cuts him off as Kenny taps
The Truth Seeker claims a piece of the Slaughterhouse Blade for both him and Monty. What will be the next truth Veritas reveals?
“IT GOES THROUGH ME”
Distant screams set the tone of the ambience. Sterile walls. A hallway lined with doors on either side. Each door containing a window. Within each window, a patient. Shut away from the world for their own good.
A man, sharply dressed in a suit and tie, walks with purpose as he nears us. His expression is expertly difficult to read, giving a stern ‘no-nonsense’ aura. A young man, early twenties, gingerly approaches and is met with a slightly less than welcoming greeting.
“What is the purpose of your visit? I am a very busy man and cannot be taking time out of my day for social calls.”
A muffled reply is indistinguishable to our ears and gives away very little about the identity of to whom he speaks, as we see him only from the back. The stern man’s voice cuts through much more dominantly than that of the unseen person he speaks to.
“Yes, I am the Warden of that particular patient. But you may refer to me as Mr. Johnson.”
The young man steps forward, finding a little confidence.
“Well, I represent a client…”
His voice trails off, as Mr. Johnson’s stern expression is met with an impatient tapping of his foot.
“Who thinks… That your patient deserves his freedom. It isn’t right to keep a human being chained up in here away from the world.”
The tapping stops. Mr. Johnson gets face to face with the young man.
“Is that so? And your… client… He wasn’t brave enough to deliver the message himself?”
The young man stammers once more.
“Well, he would have but…” He notices the darkness in the eyes of the Warden and scrambles to back away slightly. “I have connections you know…”
“Is that so?”
Mr. Johnson holds up the clipboard he is holding, so that he may read the charts it contains.
“This documentation states very clearly that I retain sole rights to the patient’s activities, his treatment and his, how did you put it… freedom?”
The young man nods, worriedly.
“Let me make it clear, boy. Anything that he does goes through me. He doesn’t eat, sleep or leave without me saying so. It is in everybody’s best interest to keep it that way. So, how about you go and give your connections a little message from me.”
The Warden uses the point on the end of the clipboard to slice the young man’s tie clean off, half way down his chest. With that, Mr. Johnson sends the young man on his way and turns to leave, muttering to himself.
“Oh Mez… It seems you’re making some friends.”
The familiar graphic of breaking news flashes across TV screens everywhere
“We interrupt your programming with a special report.”
“As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago we ran a story where former beloved council member Alton Whitlock was found leaving a nightclub of ill report.”
“Since then, local feminist groups have been protesting to remove any trace of him as they don’t want anyone to see him as a role model.”
Footage plays of protestors holding signs up that say, “Is this how you fix the world?” followed by an interview with Blackveil criticizing Whitlock for his hypocrisy about screaming for equality as long as he can get off exploiting women in his free time.
“There has long been a debate about how we should hold politicians to higher accountability even if they’re out of office. Opponents of Whitlock say we should hold every politician to scrutiny especially if their actions don’t line up with their public statements. Supporters say we should allow a man to enjoy his free time as long as he isn’t hurting anyone. Well tonight, we have an interview that could change people’s minds. Warning beforehand, if you have children, you might want them to go to their room or change the channel.”
We switch to a room with an interviewer and a woman whose face is blurred out
“Tonight, we have a woman who was there the night Whitlock came to that club, can you tell me what happened miss?”
You can tell the woman is holding back tears as she is visibly shaking
“Well, I’m a dancer there at Planet Rock. As the only strip club in Vermont, we get a mix of everyone, mostly perverts who are blowing their social security checks on us so when we see a man whose known as a truly good person in the community, we flock to him. I felt lucky when he chose me to take to the back. He’s not the same in private…”
She starts crying and the interviewer pats her on the shoulder whispering it’s okay and asking her to continue if she can. She sighs heavily and continues.
“Well, I start my thing giving him a lap dance and we both are enjoying ourselves. He sheepishly reaches his hand toward me, I grab his hand and put it on my waist to show him that it’s okay. That’s when everything changed… He pulled me down on the couch and started to rip off my clothes… I was so scared, I just froze and let him have his way with me… when everything was over, he just thanked me for letting him get his frustrations out… I thought he was a good man, but he’s the worst I’ve ever met.”
She starts bawling, wailing at the top of her lungs, the interviewer tells the cameraman to stop filming.
Back in the normal studio as our host looks like she has tears in her eyes.
“Thanks for the interview, back to your regularly scheduled programming…”
Outside of the studio, a black sedan pulls up to pick up the woman who was interviewed and in the driver’s seat is no other than Blackveil.
“Great performance in there sister, glad to have an actress amongst us.”
The woman wipes away her tears and looks completely composed.
“Glad to have work again.”
They laugh and drive away from the studio.
PAPA LEGBA VS. THE JUDGE VS. IGNATIUS
STEEL CAGE MATCH
em>Three powerful entities find themselves trapped in a Steel Cage on this debut edition of Slaughterhouse, and only one will escape in this battle of souls, spirits, and the personification of Order!
The bell rings and Legba goes right after Ignatius, laying into the Black Flame with some heavy punches and kicks as The Judge observes, watching the others closely as Legba sends Ignatius into the side of the cage, their head bouncing off the steel as they drop to the canvas.
Legba turns his attention to The Judge, who easily blocks a running charge by the Gatekeeper of the Spirit World before lifting Legba up for a scoop slam that drops him down hard. Ignatius back on their feet now, throwing punches at the much larger competitor…but to seemingly little effect!
The Judge focuses solely on the collection of souls that is Ignatius with some heavy blows to the midsection. Legba charges at The Judge again, this time giving enough of a distraction for Ignatius to raise the temperature on their aggression, teaming up with Legba to take on The Judge!
They bring The Judge down to a knee before Ignatius knocks him down with the BURNING WHIPLASH! The Judge goes down hard after that spinning back elbow. Ignatius turns to face Legba– A STEEP PRICE! The big boot drops Ignatius as Legba climbs the cage, dropping down to the outside!
The Spirit of the Dead looks more alive than ever coming off that big win, leaving Ignatius all fired up!
The match over, the three combatants seem no worse for wear than when they first began to rumble. For creatures of their caliber, that should be no shock though.
What is a shock is that while everyone was transfixed by the finish of the match, it appears that three small objects have found their way to the apron of the ring, facing out towards the staircase to the upper deck of the Slaughterhouse.
The Judge is the first to approach, lifting one of them up to study it.
A small black card, with only a single word burned into it.
His burning eyes displaying no change, The Judge turns around to find that Ignatius and Papa Legba are now opposite him.
“One day, very soon,” Judge begins. “Your perversions of the balance will find a harsh judgment awaiting them.”
Turning from both of them, Judge retrieves his axe, hoisting it up on his shoulder as he walks past the other two.
“But my business lies elsewhere tonight.”
His parting words said, The Judge exits the Slaughterhouse, leaving Ignatius and Papa Legba alone in the ring. The Gatekeeper walks forward and bends down to pick up both Invasion invitations. A grin tugs at his dark lips as he stands face to face with Ignatius.
“Give it to us.” Ignatius intones, smoke rising from his uniform.
Legba nods, and hands over the card with a shrug, but when Ignatius takes it, he doesn’t let go.
“I hear you in there, my friend.” The Gatekeeper whispers. “Screaming out from a hell none could imagine, pleading for someone to save you.”
Papa Legba finally lets go of the card.
“I’m always interested in freeing souls, friend. Perhaps we could make a deal.”
Ignatius twists his head slightly, almost contorting itself, as if a battle raged inside. But just as quickly, it snaps to attention, and they walk away, leaving Legba alone in the ring.
DARBY SORROW VS. INFERUS
Tonight, we have a hardcore match! Anything goes and everything is encouraged as the man made for this kind of match, Darby Sorrow vs a woman we know nothing about! Will Inferus be another body he buries, or will she prove when Darby says he can bury anyone, she is no one? We find out now!
DING! DING! Darby instantly swings his shovel at Inferus! She ducks and spears him to the ground! He drops the shovel and Inferus pushes the handle against his throat! She’s choking him! He looks like he can hardly but he grips the handle himself, pulls her towards him and monkey flips her into the corner! She hits the turnbuckle hard!
She’s rocked and Darby sees his chance! He goes to the outside and grabs a ladder from under the ring! He slides it into the ring! He slides back in himself but he took too much time! CURB STOMP ON THE LADDER! Inferus out of nowhere with that curb stomp! She makes the cover! One! …Two! … Thr…No! Darby gets the shoulder up!
Inferus shrugs and sets up the ladder! She climbs to the top and crosses her arms! DOPPELGANGER! She jumps with the coffin drop, Darby’s finisher! No! He rolls out of the way and she crashes hard! Most people would cover but Darby is going back outside! He goes back under the ring! What is he grabbing! Holy shit! It’s a board covered with barbed wire!
He slides it into the ring! He slides back in the ring himself and pulls Inferus up! He puts her on his shoulders and he’s climbing the ladder! What is he thinking! He’s at the top of the ladder but she wriggles out! They’re on both sides of the ladder trading punches now! He gets the better of it! He smashes her face into the top of the ladder! She falls off into the barbed wire! Holy shit! He’s not done! He crosses his arms and jumps! COFFIN DROP! From the ladder to the barbed wire, he got all of that and makes the cover! One! … Two! … Three!
What a win for Darby in that brutal match against a very game Inferus! He’s proven that it doesn’t matter if you’re known by everyone or no one, he will bury you!
In a dirty darkened hallway, Berkshire Ellison Greene saunters towards the circular entrance to the Slaughterhouse, flanked by his goon Mickey McGuiness. His steps are buoyed by the small black card he holds in his non-cane hand, a single word upon it in gold.
We saw Ignatius, Papa Legba, and The Judge all receive similar cards earlier tonight, and BEG appears to have joined their number. But the merciless Greene stops in his tracks as his eyes lock in on another such card.
This one is held by Mark Gouldern.
BEG lifts his cane to point at the card, raising his eyebrow at Gouldern.
“Finally ready to let me buy into Telegon?” BEG queries.
These two men seem to know each other, especially with the slight snort from Gouldern.
“I have no need for your blood money, Berkshire.” He begins. “But you already knew that, didn’t you?”
The two very rich men stand eye to eye, Mickey at the ready behind BEG to pounce.
“At least I’m honest.” BEG retorts. “You take a presumptuous high ground, claiming to be some pariah, but you’re no better than I am. But unlike you, I was born into this world that you invaded. You don’t belong here.”
No response from the Herald. Instead he raises his Invasion card up.
“Speaking of Invasion,” He says. “I don’t know how much you pay attention to anything that isn’t exploitable for profit, but we’re not the only ones with these cards.”
BEG only nods, stepping back. Mickey seems to relax.
“I can exploit anything for profit.” Greene grins. “And I know why you’ve come to me. Three inhuman monsters, the closest thing to gods there are. And the two of us.”
“Yes,” Gouldern replies. “The two of us.”
The Herald holds out his hand, but BEG smiles.
“Don’t try that shit with me. I saw what you did in ’99 with that handshake bullshit.”
Gouldern loses the congenial attitude, turning cold.
“Indeed. My people will be in touch with yours to draft a contract. A mutually beneficial one. My Combat 2.0 system will handle their brute force, but at least two of them have shrewd minds. I’ll need a ruthless individual who knows how to forget their humanity.”
BEG nods in return, his grin growing.
“Nicest thing you’ve ever said to me, Mark.”
Greene walks past Gouldern, who lets the faintest hint of a smile cross his face as he punches in some commands on his gauntlet.
BANZAN VS. BEG
BEG has managed to talk, prod and pay his way into an early chance against the newly crowned Slaughterhouse Champion, Banzan. The Indestructible Mountain seeks to prove why he is the champion by making an example of the greedy billionaire, but more than that, has a score to settle from earlier tonight!
Banzan lowers himself into a solid base and waits. BEG wearily approaches, looking for any opening within the Mountain’s frame but finds none. An early stalemate is only broken when Banzan unexpectedly advances, catching BEG off guard with a PALM STRIKE before SWEEPING BEG’S FEET OUT FROM UNDER HIM IN ONE FLUID MOVEMENT!
Banzan secures BEG’s wrist and twists it behind his back. Twisting the wrist in one hand, he uses the second to apply a FINGERLOCK! BEG HOWLS IN PAIN BUT SCRAMBLES TO SAFETY! Banzan waits once more, holding his hand in a snake fist. COBRA STRIKE FROM BANZAN IS PARRIED AND BEG KICKS OUT THE KNEE OF THE BIG MAN!
Banzan slowly pushes himself to a vertical base, but BEG is waiting without mercy. CHIP OFF THE OL’ BLOCK! THE KICK TAKES BANZAN BACK TO HIS KNEE AND THE BULLDOG DROPS HIM! BEG is quick to apply a GROUNDED SLEEPER HOLD! BANZAN’S LIFEFORCE IS FADING FROM HIS EYES! BEG might just do this!
BEG doesn’t let the Mountain free. Instead, the Submission expert moves from hold to hold, transitioning from SLEEPER to CROSSFACE… FINANCIAL CRISIS! Struggling to get his arms around the big man’s neck, he finally locks the hold in! There is nowhere for Banzan to go, no use BEGGING for mercy. The remnants of his life fades from his eyes and BANZAN HAS NO CHOICE! HE TAPS OUT! BANZAN TAPS OUT!
BEG has just made a massive statement by making the newly crowned Champion submit. Banzan was a Mountain of a man but BEG scaled that mountain tonight!
In an unknown corner of the Slaughterhouse, we find a knelt form. A hood pulled up over their face, they are kneeling before a small object. It almost appears to be a totem, with faces carved into it at intervals up and down its shaft.
An air of melancholy surrounding her form, she has her eyes closed. Whether they are closed out of reverence or out of weariness, we don’t know. An uneasy fog hangs in the thick air of the room, almost as if it were wisps of smoke escaping her slight form.
Inferus opens her eyes.
With a startling suddenness, as if she uncoiled tightly wound muscles, she stands and turns in one smooth motion, a knife appearing from under her sleeve to rest just under the throat of a surprising intruder.
“Do you truly believe that weapon will harm me?” He taunts.
“Do you truly believe it cannot?” She retorts, no fear in her eyes.
“Others may see a foolish girl, come to test her mettle against her betters. But I know who you are. What you are.”
She raises an eyebrow.
“I’m no one.”
The Judge quickly strikes out with his hand at her arm, but just as he grabs it, she drops the knife to her other hand and brings it up to his throat once again.
“Don’t take me for a fool.” The Judge says, his voice dripping with sinister intent. “Your kind have been upsetting the balance for too long. For being no one, there is much to render judgement on.”
His glowing eyes seem to catch for a moment, stopping his speech.
“But I see that you have been extended the invitation as well.”
At Inferus’s feet, we can see the same black Invasion card that five others have received tonight.
“Our paths seem fated to cross, a strange fate for he who brings Order and no one, isn’t it?”
She doesn’t respond, instead withdrawing her knife. The Judge releases her other hand, the test seemingly having been passed.
“Then judge me, for I am no different than you. I serve balance, as well.”
The Judge nods.
“Soon. You have much to answer for.”
Inferus turns her gaze past The Judge, to where he seemingly entered the room, her eyes narrowing in surprise. The Judge turns to follow it.
He turns back around to find that Inferus is gone, along with the card and totem.
MARK GOULDERN VS. LUKE STORM
THE MAIN EVENT
Luke Storm has not forgotten how Mark Gouldern screwed him at Lambs to the Slaughter. Will he be able to get a bit of revenge tonight, or will the forward-thinking technogiant be a step ahead once again? Both men stand in their corners, waiting for the bell.
DING! DING! Gouldern and Storm stare at one another, before each man begins circling the other. Luke Storm tosses a half hearted calf kick at Gouldern, who absorbs it and backs up. Luke does it again, but this time follows up with a clothesline that drops Gouldern to the mat! Thanks to his Teleboots, Gouldern kips back up to his feet, and drives a hard left kick into Storm’s sternum. Storm haunches over, and is dropped to the ground with a huge kick to the side of the head! Gouldern goes for the cover, hooking both legs for the highest probability of his desired result!
KICKOUT BY STORM!
The man lost his family, it will take more than one good kick to the head to keep him down!
Gouldern stands to his feet, and drags Storm up to his. Storm avoids a punch from that TeleGauntlet covered hand, and uses it for a hip toss variant that drops Gouldern! But the tech wizard is quickly back to his feet, charging at Storm, who craftily whips Gouldern towards those electric ropes!
…But Gouldern dives through them, somehow, and avoids being electrocuted, though he collides painfully with the ground!
Storm runs and leaps onto the top turnbuckle! He waits, perched, for Gouldern to reach his feet!
When he does, Luke Storm leaps!
FLYING DRAGON KICK FROM LUKE STORM!!!
HOLY SHIT!!! GOULDERN SOMEHOW AVOIDS IT AND UPPERCUTS THE ACTOR TURNED WRESTLER RIGHT IN HIS GROIN!!!!!
Every male in the audience gasps as Luke slams to the ground, writhing and holding his groin.
But Gouldern isn’t finished. Not by a long shot.
He grabs Luke by the neck and drags him towards the ring.
JESUS MURPHY!!!! HE’S TRYING TO SHOVE LUKE’S FOREHEAD TO THE ELECTRIFIED BOTTOM ROPE!!!
Storm resists, placing his hands on the aprons to push back. Finally, out of desperation, he throws his foot back and catches Gouldern in the groin! Tit for tat!
STORM WITH A DROP TOE HOLD!!!
GOULDERN’S HEAD HITS THE BOTTOM ROPE!!! HE GETS THE SHIT SHOCKED OUT OF HIS FACE AND DROPS TO THE GROUND BESIDE STORM!!!
Luke stands to his feet, the roar of the crowd behind him, as he lifts the Herald of the Future up to his feet and rolls him into the ring, giving chase. As he enters the ring, he immediately places Gouldern in an ankle lock!!!
Gouldern SCREAMS out in pain! The agony is immense! The TeleBoots cant kick free! The TeleGauntlet inches Gouldern closer to the ropes, but his pain threshold is starting to be reached! He lifts his hand in the air! He’s going to tap!
MARK GOULDERN IS GOING TO TAP OUT!
HE SLAMS HIS HAND DOWN! IT’S OVER! LUKE STORM HAS WON!
NO!!! HE GRABBED THE BOTTOM ROPE!!! GOULDERN SAVES HIMSELF BY ELECTROCUTING HIMSELF!!! STORM HAS TO BREAK THE HOLD!!!
Storm’s eyes widen. His opponent willingly electrocuted himself to avoid losing.
This fight is becoming a war.
Gouldern slowly climbs to his feet.
LIGHTNING STRIKE FROM STORM!!!
NO!!! GOULDERN DUCKS THE SUPERKICK!!!
HE SHOVES STORM RIGHT OVER THE TOP ROPE!!!
BUT LUKE TAKES THE MIDDLE ROPE WITH HIM!!! GOOD GOD, HIS HEAD IS TRAPPED BETWEEN THE TWISTED ROPES AS HE DANGLES, TRAPPED BETWEEN THEM!!!
Luke Storm’s convulsing body is only freed from that hangman’s spot by a HUGE RIGHT HAND TO THE BACK OF STORM’S HEAD!
He drops to the floor, possibly fucking dead.
The referee has no choice but to start counting him out.
Storm, somehow, comes to and starts crawling towards the apron!
His left arm finds the apron!
His right arm!
STORM ROLLS INTO THE RING!!! A HUGE POP FROM THE CROWD!!!
Gouldern’s eyes widen now.
Are one of them going to have to kill the other to win this thing?
Gouldern moves to stomp Storm’s chest, but Storm catches the boot and twists Gouldern’s ankle! He takes Gouldern to the ground! Luke, a literal storm now, swivels on the ground and places Gouldern in an arm bar!!!
Mark screams out again!!! This time, though, he moves to his knees and then stands to his feet, allowing Storm even more leverage on the arm bar!!!
…but the arm in the hold is the one with the TeleGauntlet on it.
And, with a truly unnatural strength, Gouldern strains and lifts Storm up into the air.
ALL THE WAY ABOVE HIS OWN FUCKING HEAD!!! HE SLAMS LUKE TO THE MAT WITH A DEVASTATING FORCE, CAUSING HIM TO BREAK THE HOLD!!!
Both men now lay on their backs, breathing. Both men have a sense that whoever takes the upperhand next will likely win this match.
So both men, however gingerly, however slowly, begin forcing themselves to their feet.
As they do so, they trade shots.
A right hand from Storm!
A TeleGauntleted right hand from Gouldern!
Right from Storm!
Right from Gouldern!
Storm! Gouldern! Storm! Gouldern! Gouldern! Gouldern! Gouldern!
Mark mounts Storm! He starts delivering shots to his face! One right after the other! Storm’s nose is busted open! He might kill Luke Storm right now!
MONKEY FLIP REVERSAL FROM STORM!!! GOOD GOD!!! GOULDERN’S BODY SOARS AND LANDS INTO THE ELECTRIFIED BOTTOM AND MIDDLE ROPES!!! THEY SHOCK THE SHIT OUT OF HIM AND HE HITS THE MAT CONVULSING!!!
Luke takes the opportunity that presents itself as Gouldern lands to the mat and rolls onto his back!
He runs and leaps onto the top turnbuckle!
THUNDER! THE MOONSAULT!!!
BUT GOULDERN ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY!!!
STORM ADJUSTS AND LANDS ON HIS FEET!!!
GOULDERN KIPS UP!
HE DODGES THE LIGHTNING STRIKE FROM STORM!!!
THE DISRUPTION!!! HE NAILS LUKE WITH THE HUGE SUPERMAN PUNCH!!! HE MAKES THE COVER!!!
Gouldern has done it! He has taken the victory in a match that tested both men to their absolute limit! His TeleGauntleted hand is raised in victory! What a match!
Later that night.
At the Graveyard, Darby Sorrow can be found with a shovel, digging away at a grave in the middle of his lot. He’s tossing dirt out furiously, going to work on the plot.
That’s when a shadow cast over him.
He looks up, realizing that Berkshire Ellison Green was now stood before him.
“Tonight is not your night, chum,” he says with a big toothy grin. “And that’s a shame because I don’t really think any night has ever truly been your night.”
“What do you want?” Sorrow asks timidly. “Wasn’t your pound of flesh enough?”
“Hardly,” BEG responds with a scoff. “A man like me is never satisfied with ‘enough’, Darby. Tonight, I beat Banzan in the middle of that ring and it’s only a matter of time before I get the Championship match I deserve.”
The Gravedigger looks up with a nonchalant shrug.
“And that match should be at Invasion; only a little thing stands in the way of my progress.”
“You can have it,” Sorrow grunts. “I don’t want it. I don’t fight here to become Champion. I fight because I hope, in some way, that my time will come.”
BEG shakes his head. “That’s the problem, see. You don’t want it; I can’t buy it and you can’t give me it. So, it stands to reason that there’s only way I can rightfully take your place at Invasion.”
The sound of some kind of vehicle backing up suddenly begins echoing around us. Darby looks up, just as the back end of a lorry begins tilting its load towards him; it’s dirt and plenty of it.
“You can’t kill me, Green.”
The Wolf smiles. “I don’t need to kill you; I just need to make you disappear. Don’t take it personally, kid; who knows, maybe it’ll do the job you so desperately want done. You should thank me in advance.”
With a sadistic nod, the lorry tips all the dirt into the grave and upon Darby Sorrow, swallowing him whole inside the six-foot grave he’d dug.
BEG dusts off his hands with pride before slowly walking off, a smug grin on his face.
Only in the shadows, watching, is Banzan.