“THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL”
Static covers the screen as a Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right-hand corner.
Gravedigger by Dave Matthews begins to play alongside a montage.
“What do you mean there’s no file?” Nightstick asks into his cellphone, standing up from his couch. “How is there not a file?”
“It’s just not there,” says the voice on the other end. “It’s gone.”
Cyrus Jones 1810 to 1913
In the now overgrown garden at the old Van Chan house, two gloved hands stab a shovel into the soft earth.
Made his great grandchildren believe
You could live to a hundred and three
Edward Newton wipes the sweat from his brow, reaching down to grab the shovel handle once more. He scoops and tosses dirt away from the hole he digs.
A hundred and three is forever when you’re just a little kid
So Cyrus Jones lived forever
The OSW World Championship sits in the passenger seat of a non-descript sedan near the old Van Chan house.
On top of a manilla envelope labelled “PVCHAN-MISSING PERSON.”
Newton busily digs deeper into the ground.
When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain
Nightstick speeds down the highway in an SUV, nearly road raging.
“Come on!” He screams.
The GPS on his mounted phone tells him to turn left.
He swerves his vehicle down the next road.
1903 to 1954
Edward looks down at his handiwork.
She lost both of her babies in the second great war
Two shallow graves, unearthed.
Now you should never have to watch
As your only children lowered in the ground
The bodies of Paige Van Chan…
I mean you should never have to bury your own babies
and her children.
When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain
Edward Newton gulps, and wipes a tear that floods down his face.
Ring around the rosy
Pocket full of posy
Nightstick kicks the door open to Paige Van Chan’s house. He steps inside, armed with his pistol and his flashlight. He looks around the living room, searching for signs of foul play.
Searching frantically yet procedurally, Nightstick searches the floor and the walls. His light hits the window.
Ashes to ashes
We all fall down
There’s a garden outside.
When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain
Nightstick walks through the garden, trudging through overgrown weeds and vines.
He finds them.
Two graves, freshly dug.
No one lays within them.
The music fades…
Suddenly, a huge POP hits Nightstick’s ears.
“Fuck!” Nightstick screams. He runs out of the garden and towards the driveway.
Newton jumps behind the wheels of the sedan, parked two driveways down, and pulls out into the road.
BANG! BANG! BANG! Three gunshots hit the side of the sedan. None of them pierce Newton, who drives into the night like a bat out of hell.
In his trunk, the Van Chan’s are stored and wrapped up nicely.
Newton does not smile.
But his right hand finds the OSW World Championship. He rests his hand on it to relax him.
Fuming next to an SUV with a knife stuck in the left front tire, in the middle of the Van Chan driveway, is Nightstick.
He didn’t see who was driving.
He didn’t have to.
LONGFELLOW VS. VENGEANCE
It’s a battle between The Dodge City Destroyer and The Wandering Poet here tonight!
The bell rings as these two men tie up in the center of the ring. Vengeance gets the better of the exchange by changing the hold into a side headlock. The Poet lifts up Vengeance before snapping him back onto his head with a belly-to-back suplex with a bridge! ONE…KICKOUT! Going to take much more than that to keep Vengeance down. V pops back up to his feet as does Longfellow. Vengeance lunges forward with a big boot, but Longfellow simply sidesteps this and connects with an enzuigiri sending Vengeance into the corner. Longfellow nails him there with a dropkick!
Vengeance staggers out of the corner as Longfellow leaps onto Vengeance with a huge kimura hold! The arm of Vengeance is expertly gripped behind him. Vengeance rushes towards the corner with a huge charge as Longfellow is forced to relinquish his hold. The Destroyer LIGHTS up the chest of Longfellow with a series of chops as the sound of flesh on flesh echoes throughout the arena! SHOTGUN BLAST! Longfellow’s face is contorted in pain as his chest is showing the effect of the blows. Vengeance pulls The Wandering Poet towards the center of the ring before locking in a rear naked choke! THE DODGE CITY STRANGLE!
Kahlil is in a bad way as he’s reaching out desperately towards the ropes! He manages to grasp them, but Vengeance just rolls away right into the center of the ring. He tightens the hold as Kahlil begins driving elbows back into the midsection of Vengeance! Vengeance appears to be loosening the hold as Longfellow is able to pull his arm off and scramble away. The Destroyer staggers to his feet and rushes towards Longfellow who hits a drop toe hold as Vengeance’s throat slams into the top rope! Longfellow scrambles to his feet before kicking Vengeance in the gut and nailing a crucifix driver! CROSS YOUR T’S! Longfellow covers! ONE…TWO…THREEE!
Kahlil Longfellow gets a huge win here tonight over Vengeance!
The Chief sits on a bench in front of a picturesque paradise, with the wind blowing a soft breeze and the sun shining. He’s been here before.
We’ve been here before.
The Scarecrow appears before him, somewhat disgruntled. There’s an air of annoyance about him as he stands before Yahweh himself.
“You’re concerned,” The Chief asks, patting the seat next to him. The Scarecrow slowly approaches, cautiously sitting down. “And you wish for me to allay those concerns?”
“I cannot,” he utters with annoyance himself. “The mystery surrounding what he seeks is beyond even my understanding. It’s the darkest magic in the purest form.”
“I was there. The legend of King Arthur is not exactly how humanity have written it. His prowess with it was undeniable. Creatures of great power were felled by such a thing,” The Scarecrow says angrily. “But I ask of you, my creator, can I be?”
The Chief stands up and walks away, rubbing his beard.
He looks displeased.
“I created Mother and she followed her purpose and created you, an immortal beast. Your pathway to Brent Kersh, through his lineage, was not to destroy him as you thought but empower him for the battles we’ve seen.”
The Scarecrow doesn’t understand.
“All of that was necessary for when, not if, the end of the world began.”
He lowers his head.
“But of what you speak, I simply don’t know. I have no control, no power, no creation over the artefact he seeks. No human nor beast can kill you. If he finds it, the power he’ll wield could hurt you, Scarecrow.”
The Scarecrow stands to meet him. “Very well.”
He’s about to vanish but The Chief stops him.
“You must find him and stop him before he finds the artefact. This could change everything.”
SPERO VS. ELI FOREVER
The Eternal Father takes on the miraculous blue light! Eli Forever and Spero are in the ring. They’re quick to lock up until Forever manages to cajole the upper hand. He hurls Spero into the ropes! Spero’s on the return… Forever absolutely demolishes him with a SWINGING NECKBREAKER!! Spero is hurting, and he is down. Forever scoops him up once more and pulls him back to nail him with a strong right hand… but Spero snaps to it and ducks! He launches at Forever with kicks and punches! Forever is reeling… HURRICANRANA from Spero! Eli Forever NAILS the mat and writhes in pain!
Spero lifts Forever to his feet and hurls the Eternal Father into the ropes. He comes charging back at Spero at absolute full speed. Spero is caught off guard and Forever LEVELS HIM with a clothesline! Spero crumbles to the mat and Forever stands over him, gloating. He lifts Spero to his feet. Forever delivers a few stern punches to Spero, but somehow the blue one will not fall! Forever, frustrated, hits Spero with a powerful REVERSE DDT. But Forever is not done! He lifts Spero to his feet, lands a few more stern punches, and then delivers a belly-to-belly slam!
Forever lifts Spero up and goes to work, delivering punch after punch! The blue light is fading… but…. NO! Spero lives! He sends Forever flying into the ropes… Forever comes back… Spero looks for the DDT… but… NO! Forever returns with yet another DEVASTATING clothesline! Spero is broken on the floor! Eli goes to work with an onslaught of kicks, then scoops Spero up! He takes his time to lock in and then hoists Spero up… ETERNAL RIVER PLUNGE!! Spero comes colliding down onto the mat with great force! Forever dives down to go for the cover… 1… 2… 3!!!
Tonight, the Eternal River has extinguished the glow of Spero’s blue light!
With Intrepid settling into The Shadowforce, Gameboy is less than impressed. Inside their lair, The Gamer decides to confront him.
He finds him lurking in a small room, searching through boxes of papers.
Intrigued and somewhat annoyed, Gameboy interrupts.
“What do you think you’re doing?” He hisses angrily.
Intrepid abruptly stops. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pry.”
Gameboy walks in, looking at some of the files. He picks one up, realizing that it belongs to him. It’s a manual for his helmet.
Furious, he immediately runs at him, slamming him up against the wall. Intrepid barely gets a word out before Gameboy slams a fist into his face multiple times, knocking him to the floor.
“Wait, please,” he begs.
But there’s no stopping Gameboy, who’s convinced.
Hearing the raucous nature of his friend attacking Intrepid, Spero runs into the room, pulling Gameboy away.
“What’re you doing?” He demands to know. “Don’t you know the power of that ring? Do you know the damage he could’ve done had he fought back?”
“I found him going through my archives,” Gameboy yells, pointing to the manual on the floor. “I told you it was him, didn’t I?”
Spluttering and stuttering, Intrepid finally interrupts.
“I was trying to help,” he says struggling to catch his breath. “I was an investigative reporter back on my world. I thought I could find out who was hacking you by understanding your systems.”
Spero looks at his friend angrily. “He was just trying to help.”
Gameboy pushes Spero back and away from him.
“I’m not buying it.”
He storms off, leaving Spero to help poor Intrepid to his feet.
“I just want him to trust me,” he groans. “I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“That has to be earned,” Spero admits. “And perhaps I know the best way.”
TOMASSO VITALE VS. MONTY STRAIGHT
A man once made who has seemingly lost it all. Tomasso Vitale is at the very end of his rope, but the one hand outstretched comes with a massive caveat. Will he survive Monty’s game or will the choice he makes haunt Vitale forever?
The bell sounds as Tomasso rushes forward, drilling into Monty with a serious of furious lefts and rights that the smaller man has no answer for. Vitale tosses Monty across the ring, nearly decapitating him with a massive clothesline upon the rebound before pulling him up and dropping him on his head with a dangerous looking T-Bone Suplex. Straight pulls himself up in the corner as Vitale rushes forward at full speed, SPEAR…INTO THE TURNBUCKLES! Straight moved out of the way at the last moment as Vitale may have injured his right shoulder.
Vitale stumbles out right into a hard kick to the bad shoulder before a hard abisegiri sends him staggering into the ropes. Vitale bounces off into a hard palm thrust to the chin that leaves him dazed before Monty spins him around, wrapping the bad arm around his back before planting him with a modified Saito Suplex! Vitale screams in pain as Monty drops down, flipping Vitale before trying to lock in a Keylock. Vitale quickly scrambles to the ropes, breaking the hold before Monty can fully apply it.
Monty gets to his feet, trying to pull Vitale to his but Tomasso quickly kips up, THE KICK UP! A massive Superkick drops Monty as Vitale pulls him to his feet trying to load up a Heavy Clip. His shoulder gives out however as Monty slips out, DEAL BREAKER! The Codebreaker may have knocked Vitale out but Monty isn’t done, turning to the audience for aproval for a moment before locking in STRAIGHT SHOOTING! Vitale’s caught in the middle of the ring and in tremendous pain as he’s forced to tap out!
The Straight Shooter picks up another victory tonight. The Made Man tried his best but just like last week’s opponent, he chose the wrong door and lost the Game.
In the ring, Monty Straight takes front and center.
The lights dim.
A single microphone manifests before Straight, who smiles. A twinkle in his eye.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he says entirely composed, as though he didn’t just compete in the ring.”I have a very special announcement for you all tonight”
The crowd applauds. Monty Straight is nothing if not bedazzling.
“At Shattered Dreams, a special LIVE Edition of The Show That Never Ends will be filmed right here in the Tap Room!”
“That’s right, folks. And our next contestant will be none other than…”
The lights come up. Jazzy, upbeat music fills the Tap Room as Khalil Longfellow steps out onto the entrance ramp.
The crowd is, somehow, at an absolute fever pitch of applause. Whistling, screaming, clapping and stomping.
“Thank you all,” Khalil says, motioning for them to quiet down. “Last week, your debonair host showed me his boundless magnanimity and tremendous rectitcude in acquiring for me a manuscript once thought lost to the great and unco querable indifference of Time itself.”
Monty nods and winks at Longfellow.
In turn, Longfellow bows nobly.
Khalil continues, “Tonight, Monty and I confirmed a deal we made. I will be the next contestant on The Show That Never Ends! Live, at Shattered Dreams!”
As the crowd erupts with adoration and approval, suddenly, a crazed man jumps onto the entrance ramp. He screams at the top of his lungs.
“He’s tricking you! He’s a liar!”
Longfellow raises an eyebrow. “Whom?”
“Monty Straight!” The man screams. “This is what he does! He makes you promises! He delivers on them! And then he takes everything from you!”
Before Khalil can answer, the crazed man suddenly disappears.
He now stands in the ring before Monty Straight, who is not amused. The man points at Monty. “You!” He yells. “You took my wife. You took my children. All I did was open a door! You said if I opened a door, you’d bring peace to my home!”
Monty tilts his head and looks at the man. “Craig? Is that really you?”
The man doesn’t answer. He just keeps screaming at Monty. “You wiped them off the face of the Earth! My wife’s parents don’t even know they had a child! My own mother doesn’t remember my wedding!”
He cocks an eye and snarls at Monty. “Everyone thinks I’m crazy! But I’m not. You! You did this! And no one will be a guest on your show if they know what’s good for them.”
Monty shushes the man. “Craig… You knew the rules. You knew there was a possibility that opening Door #2 would get you Zonked.”
“Zonked?” Khalil asks from the top of the ramp.
Straight grins at Longfellow. “If a contestant opens one of my doors and gets Zonked, a humorous sound effect plays over the speakers and they receive a worthless prize.”
Khalil shakes his head, “Wiping a man’s life from History itself seems far more cruel than a worthless prize, Monty.”
“Thank you!” The man screams. Finally someone understands.
Monty’s eye twinkles as he replies to Khalil. “And what exactly is a more worthless prize than cruelty?”
“Fuck you!” The man screams. “Fuck you, you rotten son of a bitch! I’m going to do everything in my power to end you and your show!”
Monty laughs. “What power do you think you have, exactly? Craig, I had not kept up with you like I should have. You have been suffering for so long, and I was utterly unaware.”
Craig bursts into tears and falls to his knees.
“You took Moriah… You took Eden…”
“Craig,” Monty says, placing a sympathetic hand on Craig’s shoulder. “I’m going to end your suffering now.”
Craig looks up at Monty.
Just as Craig opens his mouth to speak, he’s disappeared.
Craig’s just… Gone.
Longfellow stands at the top of the ramp, scowling.
“I have studied far too long and observed far too much to be shocked, frightened, or hoodwinmed, Monty. My aims have taken me through many cultures, many of which holding social mores with which I cannot abide. I thought no one could produce within me visceral emotions ever again.”
Khalil turns away from the ring and looks down.
“Yet here I stand, thoroughly disgusted.”
Khalil walks towards the back as he says, “I withdraw from our deal. I refuse to be a contestant on your show.”
Monty stands in the middle of the ring and for the first time, we see that twinkle in his eye blaze a trail of fury across his face.
The sound of water rushing down a drain brings this scene to life as a figure shrouded by mist. The figure grabs a towel and begins drying himself off. The towel wipes off the mirror enough to see the face of Tomasso Vitale. He rubs his scarred chest for a moment before wrapping the towel around his waist.
He steps out of the bathroom and into a bedroom where a young girl is sitting and transfixed on the television as an episode of Paw Patrol is playing.
Vitale sits down beside her and kisses her curly, blonde haired head before stepping up and moving towards the closet to look through his clothes. He pulls a tight, white t-shirt over his body before slipping on some shorts.
He nearly jumps out of his skin at the sound of a rap on his front door.
“Christina…” She doesn’t budge from her place on the bed. “Christina! Go into the bathroom.”
“We’re going to play a game real quick! Please go hide in there?”
“But I’ll be easy to find!” She pouts, but she does as her father tells her.
Vitale steps into the front room where the door is and grabs a baseball bat. He steps up to the door and peers through the peephole before he exhales. He quickly opens the door as the fearful face of Lorenzo greets him.
Zo slips past him and into the room before putting his hand on his pistol inside of his coat.
“You gotta help me, Tommy. V… Vengeance… he’s after me.”
Zo sits down on the nearby couch. Vitale squats in front of him with a worried expression.
“Why? Why would he want you?”
“Why does he want any of us, To…” His words trail off as he notices, through the thin shirt, a V-scar across Vitale’s chest.
His eyes widen in fear.
“It’s okay, ‘Zo. Let me get you something to drink real quick.”
Vitale squeezes his knee quickly before standing up and making his way into the other room. Zo quickly fumbles his phone out before sending a message.
“Boss, Tommy’s marked. What do I do?” the text reads. It’s only a few seconds before the three dots appear on his phone indicating typing.
“You know what has to be done. Do it quick.”
Zo’s teeth clench together as he slowly retrieves his pistol and rises. He walks over to the door and aims it ahead. The door opens as Vitale backs into the room with his hands full.
The sound of a gun cocking is heard.
“Stop, Tommy. Don’t move.”
KING ARTHUR © VS. ISAAC DANVERS
VHS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
The VHS title is on the line as two men from beyond the grave face off! Who shall come out on top?
Neither man shows fear as they both walk across the ring to meet in the middle! Danvers reaches out and they lock up in a test of strength! King Arthur seems to have the upper hand as he drives Danvers back BUT HE CATCHES A POWERFUL HAYMAKER FOR HIS TROUBLES! Danvers unloads with haymaker after haymaker, pushing Arthur back towards the center of the ring AND DROPPING HIM WITH A DOUBLE HANDED CHOKESLAM! Danvers looms over King Arthur for a moment before peeling him off the ground and going for another- NO! ARTHUR PULLS DANVERS INTO A SIDEWALK SLAM!
Danvers is caught off guard by The King’s quick maneuvering as he pulls Danvers back up and flings him to the ropes, catching him on the return with a massive ax handle to the chest! King Arthur hits the ropes himself and comes back as Danvers rises LAYING HIM OUT WITH A MASSIVE BIG BOOT TO THE CHEST! Arthur looks down at Danvers from his position and begins stomping away! He stomps a mudhole in the Doctor WHEN DANVERS CATCHES HIS FOOT! Arthur is helpless as Danvers slowly rises, foot in hand! He gets to his feet AND PULLS ARTHUR INTO A CLOTHESLINE!
The King is down from the massive strike and Danvers grabs him by the back of his head! HE SLAMS ARTHUR FACE FIRST INTO THE MAT OVER AND OVER! Each slam makes the ring shake as Danvers seems relentless! The referee intervenes, forcing Danvers off! The Doctor pushes the referee away giving time for Arthur to fight to his feet AND HIT DANVERS WITH A MASSIVE BULLDOG! Danvers tries to stand but gets put back down by a harsh kick that dazes Danvers before Arthur hits the ropes AND COMES BACK WITH MASSIVE KNEE! KING’S CROSSING! He covers! One! Two! Three!
King Arthur retains his title in a massive battle against the Plague Doctor! The referee presents his title which he claims triumphantly!
Troy Solveig knows that Nocturne, née Shadow, has returned from the dead. He stands in the cavern of the hiding Gods, a look of concern upon his face. Odin pats him on the shoulder, hoping to soothe his worrisome mind.
“We have so much to do,” Troy remarks, shaking his head. “This detour only serves one purpose; the prolonging of our mission. Yahweh must be responsible. He must have signed a deal with the devil.”
Odin disagrees. “It isn’t that simple. When you murdered Shadow and took his grace, he chose not to ascend to heaven. He chose to take a different path.”
Troy Solveig’s head suddenly whips to the side.
A sound. Unremarkable at first. Quiet.
But after a moment, he ignores it.
“Last week we lost Xochipilli. Neither could you, Zander Zane or Mysterion defeat that traitor Nightstick,” Odin fumes. “Yahweh is winning this war on all fronts. Nocturne may be a distraction, but a welcome one at that.”
“Excuse me?” Solveig questions.
“He was once a fallen angel of Yahweh,” Odin says with a smile. “That means he has knowledge his grace no longer prevents him from sharing. We took that piece off the battlefield when you murdered him, but now that he’s back in play, it works to our advantage.”
“You’re suggesting that I seek answers from a demon?” Troy muses with equal parts surprise and disappointment. “That will not be easy.”
Again, Troy’s head whips to the side.
This time, there’s no mistake in what he hears.
“What’s the matter, son?”
Odin’s eyes widen.
“I can hear the hounds.”
Troy looks towards him, a look of terror in his eyes.
DAVID MANSON VS. ZANDER ZANE
The Nightmare and the Rock God both enter the ring from either side, Zane cautiously eyes the unhinged Manson, the Rock God placing down his bottle of booze in his corner as the match starts.
The bell has rung and Zane keeps his distance by skirting around the edges of the ring! Every time Manson lunges for him he ducks away to another corner! Manson is fed up and he runs for a spear- ZANE DODGES TO THE SIDE AND HURLS MANSON HEADFIRST INTO THE TURNBUCKLE! Manson is in pain as he stumbles back AND INTO A ROLL UP! No! Manson kicks out instantly! Zane rises to his feet and Manson shoves him towards the ropes! MANSON CLOTHESLINE! THAT MASSIVE CLOTHESLINE JUST TOOK BOTH MEN OVER THE ROPES AND SENT THEM TUMBLING TO THE OUTSIDE!
Everything happened so fast the referee can’t even see the men as they land on the outside! As he goes to maintain order he doesn’t see Zane stir and grab the booze from his corner! Manson gets up INTO THE HANGOVER SUNDAY! BOOZE SPIT IN HIS EYES FOLLOWED BY BUSTING THE BOTTLE ACROSS HIS FACE! The referee gets to the ropes just in time to see Manson reeling in pain as Zane pummels him with blows! Zane goes for a suplex- No! MANSON KICKS HIM IN THE GUT! DDT! DDT TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE RING! The sound of Zane’s head hitting the concrete rings out through the arena!
The referee has begun to count but it doesn’t matter as Manson rolls Zane into the ring! Zane is dazed and Manson hits a few knees to him before peeling him off of the mat! He whips him across the ring and ZANE DUCKS THE BIG BOOT! Manson turns around and gets a roundhouse kick across the face! But Manson is still standing! HEADBUTT TO ZANE! BOTH MEN COLLAPSE FROM THE HEADBUTT! The crowd flinches in pain at the sound of that headbutt, and against all odds, Zane is up first! MIC DROP! NECKBREAKER STUNNER TO MANSON! He covers! One! Two! Three!
Through dirty tactic and a bit of luck, Zander Zane comes out on top! He exits the ring, grabbing a drink from the crowd on his way out.
“WASH IT OUT”
In a darkened room, we find Spero standing opposite Intrepid. Despite their covered faces, there seems to be a tension in the air.
“Our mission will not waver, but there are things that must be done regardless.” Intrepid continues from an unseen conversation.
“David Manson is not like other men,” Spero replies. “He does not waver, either. He declared his intention for me to be dead to all who would listen. Privately and publicly.”
Silence reigns for a moment.
“Then waste no time, Spero.” Intrepid states. “Better to take a knife to the heart that you know is coming than to be betrayed by darkness and shadow with a knife in the dark. This Nightmare will never end unless you do your duty and wash it out.”
Spero nods as Intrepid continues.
“He makes no secret of his whereabouts. Subtlety is not Manson’s strong suit. Even now, Manson and his cohorts make way for their fortress. You know what you must do. You lead this Shadowforce, it seems, but that ring on your finger holds the power to finish this. Do not involve them in this affair. Tell no one of your task.”
The Last Hope cocks his head to the side, as if a million questions run through his head.
“You are right that I must confront Manson. You are even correct that I must do this alone, but it is not out of any distrust of my brothers…”
A sound that could be a snort comes out of Intrepid.
“…or even of my own power. It is because this has become personal. I know the key to the destruction of David Manson, so I will use it.”
Intrepid merely nods in return as a blue glow fills the room and Spero vanishes.
Bodies lie in wait on slabs within the morgue. Isaac Danvers is at work, scalpel in his hand. As he cuts into the dead flesh of one of his patients, he lifts his head up, his attention stolen by the presence of another living being.
Quinn approaches holding a cloth to his face. Danvers retrieves the scalpel and points it in the direction of the Professor.
“To what do I owe this pleasure? Professor, do you seek a lesson in anatomy?”
Quinn takes the cloth away from his face.
“Put the scalpel down, Doctor. I’m not here to start a quarrel.”
Danvers sizes him up, looking at the desperation in Quinn’s eyes. Slowly, he places the scalpel on the tray at his side.
“Then what do you seek?”
Quinn comes closer, causing Danver’s hand to hover just above the tray of scalpels, just in case.
“Answers about Luther Creed, I’m guessing.”
The name sends a shiver down Quinn’s spine and a burst of near rage out of his mouth.
“Don’t mention his name! I want…”
“… You want to learn of his death. How he died? Whether there was anything you could have done?”
He picks up a scalpel and directs it toward the body on the slab in front of him, cutting into the neck.
“Hanging causes a number of injuries. Pressure on the neck here causes the closure of the juggular veins and carotid arteries. The severity of the hanging can cause spinal damage, break the neck. Strangulation leading to fibrillation of the heart muscles, leading to death. Likely, there is nothing you could have done.”
Quinn looks at the body on the morgue slab, then back at Danvers.
“Those are not the answers I seek. I want you to bring him back.”
Quinn places the scalpel down, turning his attention away from the body and back to the Professor.
“You want me to what?”
“Bring him back. Bring Luther Creed back to life.”
Danvers pauses for a moment, his decision hanging in the air with a question.
“Are you sure you know what you’re asking. For the impossible to be done? It’s not possible.”
Quinn’s rage bubbles to the surface, a desperate rage from a desperate man.
“Don’t lie to me! This is nothing new to you. I’ll do anything to get Creed back!”
The word changes the Doctor’s demeanour.
“Well, it won’t be easy. I’ll need to know that you are… commited.”
Quinn grabs Danvers by the scruff of the neck.
Danvers, in turn, chuckles.
“Well then… The Doctor will see you now.”
INTREPID VS. REDWING
Two heroes in their own right face off in the ring as Redwing squares up with Intrepid in the squared circle.
Redwing charges at Intrepid, who leapfrogs over the Caped Crusader! Redwing stops and turns around. Pele Kick from Intrepid! Redwing stumbles into the ropes, bounces off of them, and sends his boot straight into Intrepid’s abdomen, crippling The Fearless Explorer on the mat. Redwing drops an elbow onto Intrepid’s sternum, then stands up and drops another elbow. After a rough start, Redwing has taken the early momentum! He lifts intrepid to his feet. RETURN TO ARKHAM! The Double Underhook DDT! Redwing makes the cover! ONE… TWO… KICKOUT BY INTREPID!
Redwing once again lifts Intrepid to his feet, this time whipping The Reporter into the ropes! Crossbody block from Intrepid! He quickly reaches his feet. Standing moonsault to the fallen Caped Crusader! He hooks the leg! But Redwing kicks out at Two. Both men reach their feet at roughly the same time, but Intrepid nails Redwing in the chest with a MOONSAULT DROPKICK! HOLY SHIT! ANOTHER MOONSAULT DROPKICK! Redwing hits the mat. Suddenly, the green ring around his finger lights up. Redwinf stumbles to his feet. INTREPID! SPEAR! THE GREEN RING OF COURAGE!
Intrepid quickly makes the cover! ONE… TWO… THRE– NO!! It was THAT close, but Redwing’s mettle pulls through. Intrepid pulls Redwing to his feet, AXE KICK out of nowhere by Redwing!! Out of pure desperation, Redwing evens the odds! Redwing measures Intrepid as he crawls up to his feet. RUNNING YAKUZA KICK FROM REDWING!! The Caped Crusafer stands up and ROARS. He is feeling it as he marches around the ring. SCHOOLBOY PIN ATTEMPT BY INTREPID!! REDWING KICKS WILDLY!! ONE… TWO… THRE– NO! Redwing and Intrepid both rush to their feet. Boot to the gut by Redwing! He grabs Intrepid by the hair! THE KILLING JOKE!! NO!!! Intrepid shoves Redwing away! He leaps! Springboards off the second rope! SHOOTING STAR!! A KNEE STRAIGHT TO REDWING’S FACE! INTREPID MAKES THE COVER!! ONE… TWO… THREE!!!
Intrepid picks up his second victory in as many weeks over Redwing, whose valiant effort fell short in a fine bout with The Reporter.
Filing out of the Tap Room, we find a caravan of vehicles heading down the road.
Their destination: The Nightmare on the Hill.
In the lead vehicle, David Manson seems to be plotting, his knife dancing between his fingers. But in the trailing vehicle, we find Eli and Judah Forever sat in the back seat.
“We will just do the same thing we did with Rose.” Judah whispers to his brother. “I will take a beating for you, brother.”
Eli’s lips purse.
“No.” He replies after a moment. “The Riddler and the Nightmare are not the same. The same plots will not work for them both. Rose did her duty to ensnare Newton. But it will not work on Manson. He expects it, I believe. If it comes to a fight, it must be genuine.”
A pause fills the air.
“But we will not stand idly by. I did not tell you what transpired in that cabin, but know that it has shown me something I needed to see.”
Eli puts his arm around his brother’s shoulder.
“But it has not yet come to a fight. Manson wishes to retreat to our home, but he does not realize that it makes him vulnerable. He has taken the Hill, but brother, we are the Hill.”
“If we raise our banner and call for rebellion, he’ll kill our mother.”
“She will do her duty.” Eli coldly replies.
Judah shrugs off his brothers arm, looking angrily at him.
But the face of Eli Forever betrays no emotion.
GAMEBOY © VS. REDMOND QUINN
REWIND CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Redmond Quinn has been through hell and back since coming to OSW and yet he fights on. Can he find purpose in the Rewind Championship or will it truly be Game Over for the Tutor?
The bell sounds as both men lock up in the middle of the ring, neither man able to get the advantage before Gameboy slips out, landing a hard enziguri to the back of the head that stuns Quinn before he rushes to the ropes, springboarding off with a hurricanrana that sends Redmond flying into the corner. Quinn barely hits the turnbuckle before Gameboy rushes forward, drilling a massive flip kick in the corner, rolling down with a Sunset Flip variation as he pins Quinn’s shoulders to the mat.
ONE…TWO…Quinn just gets the shoulder up! Gameboy picks Quinn up stunning him with a jawbreaker as he backs up, LEVEL ONE…NO! Quinn sidesteps the Superkick, grabbing Gameboy around the waist before drilling him into the mat with a Belly to Back Suplex. Quinn pulls Gameboy up to his feet, drilling him with a stiff spin kick to the gut before spinning him around and landing a German Suplex. Player One lands on his feet, leaping up as Quinn turns around with a hurricanrana. Quinn manages to hold on, rushing forward before flipping around, DETENTION! SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB!
Quinn doesn’t cover, waiting for Gameboy to get to his feet as Playone One kips up, MAX POWAH FLASH KICK! Quinn is staggered back as Gameboy rushes forward, LEVEL ONE! The Superkick levels Quinn as Gameboy backs up for a moment before rushing forward, THE RESET…HITS MAT! Quinn barely lets Gameboy hit the mat however as he grabs Gameboy by the wrists, flipping over into the FINAL ASSIGNMENT! Gameboy tries to fight out but the Mutilation is locked in tight as he’s forced to tap out!
We have a new Rewind Champion here tonight as the Tutor prevails over Player One, making him flunk the Final Assessment for the gold
“CONFESSIONS PART TWO”
“Don’t move, Tommy.”
Vitale’s voice is soft, but his words are angered.
“Are you aiming a fucking gun at me, ‘Zo? In my own home?”
“Shut up, Tommy. It’ll all be over soon. We can’t let a marked man walk around representing La Cosa Nostra.”
Vitale begins to turn around.
“God damnit, I said stop, kid!”
“Did you kill Franky, Zo?”
A moment passes before Zo speaks.
“Did you kill ALL of those men and try to shift the blame to someone else? Just to keep La Cosa’s reputation?!”
A moment passes as Zo says nothing.
“I did what The Boss asked of me. I maintained order, and I kept us strong. I kept us together, Tommy.”
Tommy turns to fully face Lorenzo with two drinks in his hand.
“I was going to share my drinks with you. I was going to offer you a place to escape. And you welcome my hospitality with a gun in my face.”
“You listen to me. I think it’s time for you to leave. You’ve got enough blood on your hands. I considered you like a father, Zo… I can’t believe you have a gun pointed at me. POINT IT AWAY!”
“I’m really sorry, kid. But orders are orders.”
A tiny voice peeps out from behind Tommy as Christina pops her head into the room. She looks at Lorenzo and Vitale with confusion and fear towards the holder of the gun.
“Honey, go back into the room, and do not come out again. No matter whatever you hear, do NOT come out.”
“NO BUTS. GO!”
She quickly vanishes from sight as Tommy looks at Lorenzo with tears forming in his eyes.
“You shoot me if you need to. You kill me if that keeps you alive, but don’t you dare touch a hair on my little angel’s head. You hear me?!”
Lorenzo begins taking steps back towards the door. He puts his gun away slowly before hanging his head.
“I’m really sorry, kid. But you need to get away. Far, far away from here. Protect that little girl, Tommy.”
He looks up with tears forming in the corners of his eyes before exiting the door as Vitale falls to his knees with the tears of fear, anger, and frustration begin to pour.
RAIN VS. NOCTURNE
Once protector of the innocent, Nocturne’s heart feels nothing but rage. The blood of the bishop staining his soul, will this inspire Rain to fight or will the agony of the Abyss overwhelm the Ghostwalker?
The bell sounds as Nocturne rushes forward, surprising Rain with a flurry of lefts and rights, the fury of Nocturne overwhelming Rain as a giant knee to the forehead dazes the Ghost Walker before he finds the breath taking out of his lungs from two strikes to the throat, before a massive claw like grip drives him down to the canvas through the WRATH OF KERBEROS! The back of Rain’s head crashes to the mat, stunning him as Nocturne drops down, pounding down with stiff arcing elbows trying to bust him open. Rain manages to slip out of the mount, stumbling to his feet as he just manages to avoid a stiff kick to the face, countering with an enziguri to the back of the head.
Rain drills Nocturne into the mat with a bulldog but the Abyssal Savior is up on his feet in seconds. A big leaping clothesline barely affects the enraged warrior as Rain leaps off the ropes with a Leg Lariat. Nocturne catches Rain in mid-air, spinning him around and driving him into the mat with a huge powerslam. Rain staggers to his feet, STOMP OF THE BEHEMOTH! Nocturne just drives Rain’s skull into the canvas as he may well be out cold. Nocturne dropping down for the cover, ONE…TWO…THR..RAIN JUST KICKS OUT!
Nocturne pulls a limp Rain up to his feet with fury in his eyes, ACID RAIN! The Black mist hits out of nowhere as Nocturne is completely blind. This time the Leg Lariat hits true as Rain pulls Nocturne up to his feet, trying to pull him into the double underhooks but he’s pushed away, DARKNESS FALLS! The Superkick knocks Rain down as Nocturne slowly climbs up to the second rope, still half blind. Rain slowly staggers to his feet as Nocturne leaps off right into BROTHER MINE! Rain counters out of nowhere as he collapses onto Nocturne ONE…TWO…THREE!!!
Rain picks up the huge victory here tonight but he doesn’t look like much of a victor having barely survived the battle against the demonic force that Nocturne has now become.
Under the bright lights of the Miami streets, we find Jigsaw walking in the open for the first time in a long time. Almost casually, the murderous figure saunters towards the entrance to Miami’s subway system, the Metrorail.
And high above, Redwing is in hot pursuit, gliding from rooftop to rooftop, barely restrained in his anger. His voice begins to speak over this scene.
“After my match with Intrepid, I was tipped off that Jigsaw was spotted downtown. I came instantly, to see what death he was choosing to bring.”
Jigsaw disappears into the entrance as Redwing begins to descend to street level, shocking some bystanders.
“But he has done nothing but walk. I can’t risk a fight on crowded city streets, not with innocents around. But he’s decided to make his exit it appears. It may not be the exit he desires that he takes, however.”
With a gallant burst of speed, the Caped Crusader dives into the Metrorail entrance, rushing past various civilians to find that the main area outside of the rails themselves is empty. His angry face slips to confusion as he heads for the edge of the car tunnels.
“Of course. He knew I wouldn’t attack with civilians around. He’s playing another one of his games, preying upon my concern for human life. He knows my concern for his well-being has waned.”
Redwing’s head cranks to the side as a small sound echoes out of one of the tunnels. He looks down the tunnel, seeing nothing but darkness. But as he walks down the edge, he sees something at his feet.
A little device, perhaps a detonator. It has been burnt.
“A clue. A taunt. He wants me to follow him down the dark tunnel.”
Redwing leaps onto the rails, walking into the tunnel.
“But he will regret that decision soon enough.”
To Be Continued…
“ECHO OF AN ENEMY”
Berengar sits in one of the backrooms, seemingly pondering events passed only a little while before. Vigilkeeper sits on the table for a few moments before speaking in a cool voice.
“Is something the matter Berengar?”
“I’m pondering on things. On what Rain said a few days back. What did he mean?”
Vigilkeeper hums for a second, pondering for a bit. The sword responds, a bit of hesitancy tinged in it’s voice. .
“I do have one idea, although it could present troubles.”
“What is that Vigilkeeper?”
“Rain seems to be sensitive to the ones who have passed from the living. Perhaps he can sense all the lives that had been slain in my creation.”
Berengar looks at the sword, shock growing on his face for a second. He pauses in his shock, and speaks aloud again.
“I see. Do you think it could potentially be a problem>”
“I do not know. We must be wary Berengar. Or else things could go in drastic ways.”
As the two continue, neither notice that they are being watched.
From the shadows of the hallway, Rain watches the conversation with interest. He does not intervene, only observes for a brief moment. He leans into the darkness around him, and whispers to an unseen face. For what we can
“You’re right. He seems to be under the sway of that sword. Don’t you worry Erstenar, I’ll save him from it in no time.”
TROY SOLVEIG VS. BERENGAR
The Knight of the Void takes on Troy Solveig, Son of Oden, in something of a dream bout between two powerhouses.
The bell rings, and neither competitor is fast to make a move. They begin circling each other, slowly, trying to uncover the other’s mistake. Eventually, Berengar lifts an open palm into the air. The signal for a test of might. Carefully, Troy locks his hand with Berengar’s. The Knight of the Void extends his other hand. Just as deliberately, Troy locks his hand with Berengar’s. The test of might begins! Berengar slowly begins to take the upperhand, but Troy sends a stiff knee into Berengar’s midsection. Berengar should have seen it coming, but instead catches a HAMMER-HANDLE SMASH BY SOLVEIG TO BERENGAR’S BACK. A fist drop for good measure to the fallen Berengar!
Troy slowly drags Berengar to his feet. He headbutts Berengar, and then whips him into the corner. Solveig stalks Berengar down, smelling blood. He lifts Berengar up to sit on the top turnbuckle. Solveig climbs the turnbuckles himself. He drapes Berengar’s arm over his neck. SUPERPLEX!! NO! Berengar refuses to go! Solveig tries again! But Berengar frees himself, sending a shot to Solveig’s face! He punches Solveig in the gut, haunching him over! OH MY GOD, SUPER POWERBOMB TO TROY FROM BERENGAR!! BOTH MEN HIT THE MAT! Berengar crawls over to Troy and lays across him. ONE… TWO… THR– NO!! SOLVEIG PLACED HIS BOOT ON THE BOTTOM ROPE!
Berengar slowly climbs to his feet. This time it’s him smelling blood. He begins softening up Troy’s midsection, stomping him over and over again. Troy, out of desperation, sweeps Berengar’s legs out from under him! Berengar lands straight on his back. Troy and Berengar climb to their feet at the same time. VALKYRIE FROM TROY!! BERENGAR STUMBLES AWAY!! ANOTHER VALKYRIE!!! Berengar stumbles into the turnbuckles. Troy charges him! BOOT FROM BERENGAR TO TROY’S CHEST! BERENGAR SLIPS BEHIND TROY!!! DESTINY’S MAW!!! Troy starts to lose his breath. He slowly falls to his knees. The referee lifts Solveig’s arm… IT DROPS!! THE REF CALLS FOR THE BELL!
Berengar picks up a huge victory over the literal Son of Oden in a match between two of OSW’s greatest powerhouses!
“VIRGIN IN THE WHOREHOUSE”
Miami Police Department.
Forensics Analysis Division.
Nightstick steps into a clean forensics laboratory covered in dirt.
The Forensic Investigator turns and nods to Nightstick from his microscope, examining blood slides. “Are you sure that he no longer has access to the security footage?”
The Investigator looks up in the corner at the security camera. He turns back to Nightstick. “Not a chance. It would take a lot more than an absolute genius to get past the new firewalls.”
“Good,” Nightstick says.
Nightstick pauses for a moment. “Ya know,” he sighs. “Something told me to go there. Something right in the pit of my gut. Screaming, ‘Get to the Van Chan house! Get there, now!’ I was a complete asshole on the road. I did everything I could to get there before him. But he was two steps ahead. Son of a bitch is always two steps ahead.”
Nightstick reaches in his pocket.
“But now? I’m two steps ahead. I may not have found the bodies. But you know what I did find?”
Nightstick places a small, sealed, plastic baggie near the Investigator’s microscope.
“A needle in the haystack,” Nightstick says with a grin. “A virgin in a whorehouse.”
The Investigator leans over and examines the bag with his eyes. He looks up at Nightstick. “Hers?”
Nightstick shakes his head. “Even better. His.”
The Investigator lifts the bag up to the fluorescent light. Inside of it?
A strand of dark hair.
“I need a DNA analysis on that strand of hair.”
“What would it prove?” The Investigator asks, still examining the strand of hair. “We can’t prove it’s his without him being in the system.”
Nightstick shakes his head. “It’ll prove it’s not hers. Judge Palmer will, considering the freshly dug graves, give the department whatever it needs if there a lead on the killer it needs to be looked into. Judge is a good guy. He’ll give the department a subpoena for Newton’s DNA test.”
The Investigator places the baggie back on the table. “And after that?”
Nightstick laughs. “You know what happens after that. Newton, the genius, goes to con college for the rest of his life. And I become OSW World Champion.”
The Investigator shakes his head. “All of this for the championship?”
Nightstick rolls his eyes. “As though locking up a murderer is a bad thing?”
The Investigator continues analyzing blood slides. “So when I complete the analysis, turn it into the department?”
“No,” Nightstick says. “Turn it in to me.”
The Investigator nods with his face against the microscope.
In a quiet study, a single laptop screen lights the wide-eyed face of Edward Newton.
He watches from the security feed of the Miami Police Department as all of this unfolds.
And maybe, for the first time ever, a look of pure anxiety and fear has struck The Riddler’s face.
THE SCARECROW VS. MYSTERION
DOUBLE FEATURE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
The monstrous Scarecrow takes on the monstrously evil villain Mysterion in tonight’s main event.
The bell rings and Mysterion immediately slides out of the ring. He points to his brain as the audience chastise him for avoiding engaging The Scarecrow. Mysterion points towards Scarecrow and slides in the ring. Scarecrow approaches Mysterion, who once again slides out of the ring. This time, however, the Villain grabs Scarecrow by the ankle and practically YANKS it from the west of his leg, causing The Scarecrow to trip and fall to his back in the ring. Mysterion grabs Scarecrow’s ankle and SLAMS IT INTO THE RINGPOST! AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!
Mysterion backs up…
AND DRIVE BY DROPKICK’S SCARECROW’S ANKLE INTO THE RING POST! GOOD GOD!
Mysterion leaps onto the ring apron and jumps to the top turnbuckle.
MASTER PLAN! THE IMPLODING 450 SPLASH!!!
BUT SCARECROW ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY!
Scarecrow rises to his feet. Mysterion writhes on the ground, recovering from his missed high-risk maneuver. Scarecrow lifts Mysterion up by the neck and throws him into the turnbuckles like a ragged doll! Scarecrow moves in and delivers a series of punches to the villain’s midsection! Left, right, left, right, left, left, left, right!
ANOTHER FUCKING HAYMAKER!
Mysterion, with a head full of daisies, stumbles forward and hits the ground face first. Scarecrow rolls him over for the pin attempt!
MYSTERION KICKS OUT!
The Scarecrow drags Mysterion to his feet. With his immense power the supernatural being hoists Mysterion over his head with a gorilla press. But Mysterion RAKES Scarecrow’s eyes! He does it AGAIN! Scarecrow drops his arms, freeing Mysterion, who falls to his feet behind Scarecrow and immediately dropkicks the Hayman in the back of his knee! Scarecrow drops to one knee! Mysterion runs, bouncing off the ropes!
HURRICANRANA DDT! SCARECROW’S HEAD COLLIDES INTO THE MAT!
MYSTERION MAKES THE COVER!!
THREE– NO!! The Scarecrow’s shoulder was up!
Mysterion wastes no time. He jumps to the top turnbuckle!
THIS TIME HE NAILED IT!! ANOTHER PINFALL ATTEMPT!!
SCARECROW THROWS MYSTERION OFF OF HIM!
Mysterion slides across the ring. He looks up, eyes wide as somehow, Scarecrow is already back to his feet and already has his hand wrapped around Mysterion’s throat. He lifts Mysterion high into the air!
But The Scarecrow isn’t done!
One more time!
ANOTHER CHOKESLAM! JESUS!
The Scarecrow goes for the pinfall attempt, hooking the leg!
NO!! Mysterion’s foot was on the rope! The Villain is nothing if not feisty, but that feisty aspect of his personality has him receiving the full wrath of the Hayman! The Scarecrow lifts Mysterion who, gods help him, looks to be folded like a chair at the moment. By both of his arms, Scarecrow lifts Mysterion into the crucifix position!
NO! Mysterion wiggles free and slips out of the crucifix position. He turns around!
BACKSTABBER TO THE SCARECROW!
Mysterion runs and bounces off the ropes! Double knees to The Scarecrow’s sternum!
Mysterion, starting to feel a little momentum, lines up The Scarecrow for a big time move as the Hayman is slow to get to his feet. Just as Scarecrow reaches his feet and turns around!
PUNCH OF DOOM!
NO! SCARECROW DODGED!
HE HAS MYSTERION BY THE THROAT AGAIN!! HE LIFTS HIM AS HIGH INTO THE AIR AS HE CAN POSSIBLY GO!!!
BYE BYE BIRDIE!!
Mysterion once again rakes the eyes, freeing himself!! With lightning quick speed Mysterion bounces off the ropes again!
THE PUNCH OF DOOM!! THIS TIME IT CONNECTS!!!
MYSTERION MAKES THE COVER!!
The bell rings and Mysterion picks up one of the biggest wins of his young career against the usually indominable Scarecrow!
“THIS MEANS WAR”
Mysterion stands up after a brutal match with Scarecrow, shaking his head. As he does so, pyrotechnics go off and the start of “For Those About to Rock” blares out from the entrance lap. The audience turns, looking for the Rock God himself.
“Behind ya mate.”
STEEL CHAIR TO THE-
No! Mysterion ducks out of the way, rolling out and popping up to the right of Zane!
THE PUNCH OF DOOM! The chair is sent scattering out of the ring as Zane staggers back. Shaking his head, he regains his footing and meets the gaze of a very pissed off Mysterion. Grinning, he speaks.
“I like your guts kid. You’ve got balls, but that doesn’t make a man out of a boy. And while that might be good to these folks, you made one mistakes.
He leans in closer,
“The limelight’s mine. So here I am, stealing it back from the idiot villain of the week.”
Mysterion laughs turning around and facing the audience for a brief second. While he talks, a gaggle of ladies sneak out towards the stage hiding something. He doesn’t pay attention to them as he begins his rant.
“You want a war Zane? Because all you’ve done is be aggressive. A mad old man who’s time should’ve ended with that bus. So you want this war? You’ll get it.”
He turns back, only to receive a guitar to the head. It shatters, dropping Mysterion down with the splinters. Zane laughs, leaving the villain broken on the stage in front of everyone.