“THROUGH THE FIRE”
Static covers the screen as a Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right-hand corner.
They’re choking. Thick plumes of smoke fill the air as the fire rages around them. Odin tries desperately to use his powers, but with every click of his fingers he cuts a more frustrated figure.
“The building has been warded,” Zeus warns coughing as he crouches lower. “We’re trapped.”
Solveig, Odin and Zeus meet in the middle of the room, each finding it difficult to breathe amongst the thick smoke that chokes them. The roof begins creaking, suggesting an imminent collapse.
Troy looks through the flames towards the door.
“I’ll clear a path,” he bravely says. Odin reaches out to stop him, but he storms through the fire.
With great ferocity, he throws Volsúngr at the door, crashing through it. The wooden frame topples and finally, they can see the outside. Solveig turns around, darting back through the flames once more to grab Odin and Zeus.
We switch to the outside, looking desperately into the door way for any signs of life.
Then comes Troy Solveig bursting through it, Odin and Zeus over his shoulders.
He collapses to the ground – all three of them tumbling in a heap.
Solveig looks back at the fiery cabin, coughing violently.
“Do you still think he’ll submit?” Troy splutters, referencing Nocturne, who appears to have vanished.
Odin shakes his head, noticing the warded symbols painted in blood upon the broken structure outside the house; they were trapped, left to die.
And he knows it.
“AN AUDIENCE WITH THE KING”
Back in the castle of King Arthur, he sits on a decrepit throne, his beady little eyes staring a hole through the man stood before him.
None other than Berengar.
An audience with the King.
Stood either side of him are two six feet men, armoured and prepared to fight.
“I didn’t expect such a welcome,” Berengar remarks, looking to his left and then his right with a smirk. “When I kill you, Arthur, it will be in battle, not in a cowardly attack.”
“Thou hath a high opinion of oneself.”
Berengar chuckles. “I came to formally challenge you to a fight, your majesty.”
Arthur stands from his throne, walking down the broken steps to where his enemy stands.
“First, thou must explain thy interference with The Monster I wished to slay,” Arthur says angrily. “I conjure you to giveth even one reason.”
The Knight of The Void nods.
“It was requested of me by the Lord,” Berengar responds. “I chose with Shadowforce to follow him and fight on his behalf. He required that The Scarecrow not meet the fate of your other adversaries.”
That amuses The King. “But wherefore do thy stand here now?”
“Because Excalibur is a dangerous weapon in the hands of a madman, that’s why.”
He grimaces, stepping forwards as the guards follow.
Arthur shakes his head.
“You must be stopped, Arthur. That weapon must be destroyed and at Ring of Dreams, on one of the biggest battlefields of them all – I will stop your reign of terror before it begins.”
Arthur nods at his guards who immediately draw swords. Berengar, unarmed, shakes his head with disappointment.
“I thought you more of a valiant warrior,” he says. “It appears not.”
The first guard swings, Berengar ducking underneath it and kicking the second guard before he can swing. He blocks a hand with a fierce kick, snatching the sword away in a beautiful swivelling motion.
The guard doesn’t know what’s hit him but stops dead in his tracks.
The other finds himself flat footed.
Berengar backs away with the sword, carefully making his exit.
Arthur meanwhile grimaces.
“I’ll be seeing you soon, Arthur.”
JESSIE MARTIN VS. TOMASSO VITALE
The Insurgent picked up a huge debut victory last week but can he continue his winning ways against the heavy hitting gangster Vitale?
The bell sounds as both men rush forward, meeting eachother with heavy lefts and rights, a battle that Vitale gets the better of with a big knee to the jaw before tossing Martin over his shoulder with a big T-Bone Suplex. Martin stumbles to his feet, just ducking under a wild clothesline before landing a stiff headbutt that staggers Vitale back, giving Martin enough room to drill Vitale with a massive Lariat of his own. Vitale crashes to the mat as Martin leaps up with a sickening kneedrop that may well have broken Vitale’s nose.
Tomasso tries to rise to his feet but Martin delivers a stiff kick to the jaw, keeping him down on the mat as he pulls Vitale’s arms up and begins stomping down on his skull. Stomp after stomp, mostly driven down onto the nose as Vitale’s face is a mess of blood as Martin finally drops his arms and pulls the hurting Vitale to his feet. A stiff elbow to the jaw rocks Tomasso as Martin backs up, BREACH OF THE…VITALE DUCKS, BELLY TO BACK SUPLEX!
Tomasso roars in anger as he rushes forward at a rising Martin, THE…SPINEBUSTER! Martin counters the Superkick with a massive Spinebuster as he drives his right foot down onto Vitale’s once more before backing up. Tomasso slowly rises to his feet, BREACH OF PEACE! The Superkick hits flush as Vitale drops to one knee, damn near out as Martin slowly walks around to his back, drawing one hand across his throat before delivering a second BREACH OF PEACE to the back of Vitale’s head. Tomasso collapses to the mat as Martin covers, ONE…TWO…THREE!!!
The Insurgent picks up another hard fought victory here tonight, absolutely brutalising Tomasso Vitale along the way.
“TRACK AND SEIZE”
Aligned together, stood around a war table of sorts, with a large map located in the middle of it. They’re looking over various information, trying to come to a conclusion.
“We have three different locations,” Intrepid says, pointing to each one. “The hacks came from these.”
“Whoever’s hacking you is trying to cover their tracks by moving around, but there’s a pattern,” Spero says drawing a line between the locations. “They’re close to the Tap Room every time.”
Intrepid though, looks nervous. “Look guys, I know I said I’d help with this but time is running out and we need to make a move. The next location could be in any of these four buildings.”
Spero and Gameboy share a glance.
“Track and seize?” Gameboy asks.
Spero nods. “We must divide ourselves and conquer. Intrepid got us this information and he’s right, we have to act on it fast.”
Intrepid continues. “The quicker we resolve this, the quicker we can get back to discussing my planet and your ring, Spero.”
Spero lowers his head, almost shamefully.
“I know you don’t want to leave,” Intrepid admits. “But I need you. Millions of people depend on it.”
Gameboy interrupts. “One problem at a time, gentlemen.”
Intrepid puts his hands on his hips.
Spero looks up.
“Let’s get this done at Pandemonium,” The Last Hope decides. “And then we can talk.”
A flashlight moves between ears of corn, drifting left to right and back again, a pendulum, beaming, piercing through the darkness.
Nightstick marches with that flashlight in hand, slowly, deliberately.
Then, as so often happens with our officer of the law, something catches his eye.
Bloodstains all over corn stalk to his left.
Nightstick stops and places the flashlight between his teeth. He pulls a particularly bloody leaf from the stalk and places it in an evidence bag.
“Something is strange about all this,” Nightstick says after dropping the flashlight back into his palm. He places the evidence bag in his back pocket.
Then the million dollar question emerges from his lips.
“What am I missing?”
Nightstick continues his march through the corn. Each step of his heavy boots crunching leaves on the ground beneath him, old and fallen from harvests past.
As he steps into a clearing, he sees something truly terrifying.
The Scarecrow’s perch.
But the Scarecrow does not rest on it.
Nightstick approaches the perch with his flashlight.
Nightstick swivels his head around.
Just in time to catch a fist from the Scarecrow straight into his neck.
LONGFELLOW VS. REDMOND QUINN
Tricked into erasing the very existence of his life’s worth, Khalil is a man dangling on the edge. Will the Tutor be able to calm his rage or will the Poet’s tear him in two?
The bell sounds as Longfellow rushes forward, laying into Quinn with heavy lefts and rights, leaving the Tutor trying to desperately defend himself. A stiff headbutt stuns Quinn before he’s spun around and dropped right on his head with a Snap German Suplex! Quinn’s damn near out of it as he tries to stand but falls right back onto his knees. A huge knee damn near breaks Quinn’s jaw before he’s pulled roughly to his feet, YAKUZA KICK! Quinn crashes into the buckles as Longfellow rushes forward delivering a massive dropkick that shakes the very ring before he pulls Quinn out of the corner, hoisting him onto his shoulder as he backs up a few steps
AND DOT’S THE TUTOR’S EYES! The Snake Eyes drives Quinn down onto the steel as he looks out on his feet. Longfellow smirks before rushing to the ropes, springboarding off…RIGHT INTO A MASSIVE ROUNDHOUSE KICK! Quinn kicks Longfellow right out of the air in pure instinct but that takes everything out of the Tutor as he collapses to the mat. Both men slowly rise to their feet, Quinn ducking under a wild right before peppering Khalil with kicks. A low kick, one to the stomach before another Roundhouse leaves Longfellow out on his feet as he’s thrown across the ring with a massive Belly to Belly Suplex
Longfellow rises to his feet right into a running European Uppercut before a huge skull cracking Enziguri leaves him out on his feet. Quinn backs up, rushing forward once more, DETENTION…NO! Longfellow catches him mid flip, swinging him back around and driving him into the canvas with a massive Alabama Slam! Quinn is down as Longfellow wastes no time, rushing to the ropes as he dives off, FLIP THE PAGE…QUINN MOVES! Longfellow rolls through onto his feet, rushing right into CLASS DISMISSED! Quinn hits the Pumphandle Flatliner out of nowhere as he hooks the leg. ONE…TWO…THREE!!!
The Tutor picks up a hard fought victory tonight, weathering the rage to dismiss the poet’s rage here on VHS.
“COME TO JESUS”
The world passes you by.
Sometimes you have to stop, take a look out of a window and watch for a while.
The Chief stands before a large window and appears to be doing exactly that. His eyes focus on the beauty before him, perhaps taking his mind away from the hatred thrust upon him.
Then The Scarecrow appears.
Yahweh turns to face him, displeased.
“Did you do it?” He asks firmly. “Did you kill The God’s?”
There’s a pause.
Before The Scarecrow can respond, The Chief cuts in.
“Word has filtered through that Gods living in harmony, at peace, as human beings, have been slaughtered. They fell with the others and hid away from what was to come.”
He approaches the Hayman, with tears in his eyes.
“They didn’t deserve to die,” The Chief continues.
“You created Mother to birth me as a child of destruction,” The Scarecrow interrupts. “You said that I had been created for this; now you berate me for actions sought my existence for?”
There’s another pause.
“What about you?” The Monster asks. “You can’t make your mind up what you want, can you? The almighty creator is a hypocrite.”
“Careful,” The Chief responds quickly, his eyes brightening a shade of white. “Remember who you’re talking to.”
The Scarecrow folds his arms.
“What do you want, Chief? People came to Jesus at the end of the world and showered you with love and appreciation. You broke the covenant of Elysium Fields to save the world from eternal damnation. These Gods you once worked with, wish to see you punished.”
Yahweh turns away, walking back to the window.
“They’re scared because it chases them,” The Chief says with his back turned to The Scarecrow. “And I did that.”
“Then perhaps ‘it’ is the culprit you both seek.”
We close in on The Chief’s wanting eyes.
He doesn’t believe that.
Redwing stands alone backstage, mentally preparing for a huge match in tonight’s main event.
Darkwish flies out of nowhere to tackle Redwing to the ground. He lays in a forearm to the face, before picking up the Caped Crusader by the chin.
“I’m surprised you haven’t come for me, ‘hero.’” The Terror taunts. “But then again, you always were weak. Ineffective.”
Another forearm to the face.
“You’ve always had someone to watch your back. But I had nobody!”
Redwing doesn’t resist.
“Please,” The Red Knight croaks out. “You had me. Let me talk to you. Let’s settle this.”
Darkwish lifts Redwing all the way up this time, staring into his eyes.
“Tell me,” He begins. “What is there to talk about? You can beg, plead, and apologize, but it changes nothing. Nothing I lost is coming back, so why shouldn’t I just end it right now?”
Sadness takes the eyes of the Caped Crusader.
“If you wanted it to end,” Redwing replies. “Then you would have already ended it. You’ve chosen this, Darkwish.”
The Terror of the Night throws Redwing to the ground, and watches the Red Knight back away.
“I didn’t choose any of this.” Darkwish spits. “Jigsaw kidnapped us. You tried to save us. They died. Your decisions. Not mine.”
Darkwish shakes his head before pointing at Redwing.
“All I wanted to do was kill Jigsaw, but when I did it, I didn’t feel any better. But there’s a million Jigsaw’s out there, Bill. And I’ll kill every last one of them if it means that your precious justice is done. That’s when I’ve won, when Redwing stands for nothing. You took everything from me, so I’m taking everything from you.”
With a sudden turn, Darkwish walks away.
Redwing is left alone, his eyes still in sadness’s grasp.
He’s still got a gigantic match coming up!
MYSTERION VS. KING ARTHUR
Last week they fought alongside others but tonight they fight a singular war as the Lich King goes to battle against the Cloaked Conundrum
The bell sounds as Arthur rushes forward with a surprising speed, drilling an unsuspecting Mysterion with a hard uppercut, rocking the super villain before a stiff boot to the midsection sends him flying into the ropes. Mysterion staggers forward right into Arthur who tosses him over his hip onto the mat with a thunderous crash. Mysterion is dazed as Arthur drops down, driving his body weight down onto Mysterion’s left knee before trying to lock in the Guinevere’s Grace! Mysterion quickly fights out, scrambling to the ropes as he forces a break.
Mysterion keeps hold of the ropes as Arthur tries to pull him to his feet. The villain takes his hand off the ropes only to grab Arthur by the strap across his chest and pull him down throat first onto the middle rope. Arthur’s gasping for breath as Mysterion flips over, driving both knees into the King’s back as he drives the rope further forward before standing up and placing his feet square down on Arthur, cutting off all his breath. The referee warns Mysterion who simply smiles, finally letting up as the Lich King gasps for air.
The villain pulls Arthur to his feet, driving him down to the mat with a stiff DDT before heading up to the top rope. Mysterion aims himself for a moment before diving off, MASTER PLAN…HITS KNEES! Mysterion staggers to his feet dazed as he walks right into a massive Big Boot that damn near takes his head off. The Lich King has had enough as he sizes Mysterion up for the kill, the Cloaked Conundrum slowly rising to his feet right into an onrushing Arthur. KING’S….DOOM! Mysterion lands a perfect Punch of Doom right as Arthur nails him with the knee. Both men collapse to the canvas, Mysterion landing right on Arthur as the referee counts. ONE…TWO…THREE!!!
The Cloaked Conundrum steals a victory here tonight, lady lucky on his side as he manages to steal a victory from the Lich King out of nowhere
“FROST AND FLAME”
Khalil screams and lunges at Monty!
Monty is tackled to the ash covered floor. Khalil begins laying fists into the Straight Shooter’s face!
But Monty meets Khalil’s nose with a vicious headbutt! Khalil winces and falls away from his mounted position.
Monty stands to his feet and wipes his suit with his hands.
Ash flies off of the fabric and circulates in the air.
“Look at me,” Monty says. “Covered in the remains of what used to be the life of a great man.”
“Better to have been a great man,” Khalil replies. “Than to have been you.”
Khalil lunges again, only this time, he stops cold in his tracks.
Monty’s eye twinkles.
Khalil grabs his chest and falls to his knees. He lays down on the ground, gritting his teeth and groaning.
“How?” Khalil asks. “How are you hurting me like this?”
“I told you earlier,” replies Straight. “Your soul is rotting.”
Khalil rolls around on the floor, stirring up ashes as he screams in pain!
“A lifeless life begets a soulless soul,” Monty sneers. “See, with every passing second of your life becoming lifeless, your soul is dying. All of the poetry, the arts and knowledge you were collecting. That is what made your life worthwhile.”
Khalil winces on the floor as he writhes around. Monty steps around Longfellow and moves for the door.
“It is also what gave your soul purpose.”
Monty steps out of the study.
And all we are left with is Khalil’s screams.
His agonizing, soul crushing screams.
“THE NEXT STEP”
Music, alcohol, and dancing fills the small club in downtown Miami.
In the corner booth, Zander Zane sits with a bevy of beautiful women practically clawing over themselves for the Rock God’s attention. A litany of drinks cover the table as Zander Zane holds one aloft.
“…and that’s how Rubix cubes and penises are alike!”
A chorus of laughter comes from the table as Zane feels a vibration in his pocket. He reaches in and pulls out his phone only to see that Alfred is calling. He rolls his eyes and puts the phone away. A waiter comes by.
“What do you say, ladies? Shall we take this somehow more friendly?”
He reaches into his wallet and hands a card across to the waiter.
A moment passes before the waiter returns with a puzzled expression.
“Umm, sir, do you have another card that I could run? This one is being declined.”
“Declined?! No, no way! I just got a check for my voice being used in Scooby Doo: Legends of Rock! Should be ten grand in there, easy.”
The waiter looks just as confused as another figure steps into picture. The women begin looking amongst themselves perplexed before sliding out of the booth slowly one at a time.
“Wait, ladies, don’t! It’s just some sort of a misunderstanding…”
But it’s too late, the ladies are gone. However, a man dressed nicely in a pinstripe suit walks up and hands a wad of money to the waiter. They walk away as a concerned face slides into the booth next to Zander Zane.
“Zandy, my friend!”
Zander crosses his arms as his ladies have vanished into the night just as his funds seemingly have as well. Tomasso Vitale sighs and leans back in the booth.
“I’m sorry that your funds seem to keep declining so rapidly, friend. Perhaps, I can be of some assistance?”
The Rock God’s eyes narrow on Tomasso Vitale.
“And what would you want in return?”
Vitale smiles as he leans in.
“I’m just looking for a few favors.”
Vitale extends his hand.
“In due time, my friend. That’ll be the next step in our worthwhile business arrangement. But first, let’s get you some money, and let’s talk about that record label. With my funding and your creative talents, I think we can make big money together.”
Zander Zane looks at the hand before shaking as a grin grows across his face.
A device explodes underneath the table as the two men look alarmed before smoke begins filtering upwards from the detonation. Screams are heard through the club as people run in fear. Zane tries to escape his booth, but he falls forward onto the floor with a thud as Vitale is face-down on the table.
The pair of purple boots step into picture beside Zane as it pans up to reveal Mysterion wearing a gas mask over his own regular mask and some sort of alternative grenade launcher across his shoulder.
MANSON & FOREVER VS. GAMEBOY & SPERO
TAG TEAM MATCH
It’s a huge tag team match here tonight with Eli Forever and David Manson teaming up against Gameboy and Spero!
The bell sounds as it’s Gameboy and David Manson starting this one off! LEVEL ONE! But no! Manson catches the boot, not going to be caught by it this week! He spins Gameboy around before nailing him with a clothesline right over the top rope! MANSON CLOTHESLINE! Both men go over the top rope to the floor! Spero and Eli Forever both leap into the ring to take their place. They begin trading blows, but Forever gets the better of the exchange with a huge uppercut. He hits the ropes, but Spero leaps up and nails a hurricanrana!
Spero climbs to the top rope and motions for a frog splash, but Manson pushes him off the top into the center of the ring. Spero rolls through, but Forever nails him with a huge running haymaker! Spero staggers into the ropes where Manson bashes him over the back of his head! He staggers forward where Forever kicks him in the gut four times followed by three huge chops! THE SEVEN SINS! Eli Forever covers him! One…TWO…THR-BROKEN UP! Gameboy manages to break it up, but David Manson drags him back out of the ring before ramming him into the barricade! Manson grins down at Gameboy.
Forever grabs Spero’s head and bends it backwards in a dragon sleeper! SLEEP TO DREAM! Spero is kicking wildly as the pain is setting in! Manson lifts up Gameboy on the outside, but he nails a jawbreaker! Gameboy leaps into the ring. Eli looks up at him in shock as Gameboy begins setting up his superkick! But Manson drills him with a huge running knee! Gameboy is blasted right out of the ring! Manson drives two boots right into the chest of Spero forcing the hold to do even more damage! Spero has no choice as he begins to tap out!
Eli Forever releases the hold as Spero slumps to the mat holding his neck. He rises to his feet as The Nightmare joins him with a devilish grin.
“SPEAK FOR YOURSELF”
A graveyard. Mist rolls in, setting an eerie ambiance. It is here that we find Rain, crouching next to a row of graves. He seems deep in conversation, talking to the space above one of the headstones, though nobody else seems to be around. He speaks in a voice that is somewhat consoling.
“It’s okay. I understand.”
A very real noise from behind him catches his attention and draws his gaze away from his conversation. The sound of footsteps approaching, a figure emerges from the mist.
“I thought I could find you around here.”
Redmond Quinn approaches, approaching somewhat suspiciously. Rain, turns and stands to meet him.
“There’s always plenty of folks hanging around here. Plenty of lost and confused souls. They’re just trying to work things out like the rest of us.”
Quinn looks around, seeing nobody but Rain himself. Rain continues.
“Just because you die doesn’t mean you all of a sudden get answers. Assholes who were assholes in life don’t all of a sudden turn into angels in death. I just listen to them and pass on their messages.”
Quinn smiles at this, a waiting smile that is poised on more information.
“So… What have you heard from Luther then? Does he know who killed him?”
Rain backs away slightly from Quinn, shaking his head.
“I told you last week. I don’t think you understand how this works. I haven’t seen Luther Creed. Nobody around has seen him, they haven’t heard from him. I’ve asked, but I cannot connect with a soul that does not want to be found.”
Quinn’s face changes. The desperation returns to his eyes. He lunges at Rain, but trips over a gravestone and falls flat on his face. Scrambling to his feet, he calls out to the Ghostwalker with a voice equally as desperate as he looks.
“Luther Creed would not hide away from the truth. There must be another answer. You’re not trying hard enough. Rain… You’re the only one that can help me!”
Rain continues to back away.
“Be that as it may… I cannot help you unless they help me. No connection means no answers. Move on Redmond, this is only going to drive you mad.”
Quinn has no interest in Rain’s excuses or his suggestions. His voice echoes around the mist of the graveyard.
“Next week. Pandemonium. I will beat the answers out of you.”
All around the world, people are in mourning.
Nigh on every single God has perished.
Some time ago, it was faith that kept these people going. They had no proof that their God existed, but deep down within their soul, they believed in it.
They had faith.
When the Chief revealed himself to be the vessel for Yahweh, Christians rejoiced and those who believed in other Gods, understandably, changed their beliefs.
The one true God had been revealed.
Or so they thought.
When Elysium Fields revealed themselves to be fallen Gods, such as Odin, Zeus, Themis and more, their once believers rejoiced.
And when every God fell, those who didn’t believe, chose their God to believe in.
All Gods existed.
Finally, religion had been vindicated.
But what humanity didn’t know is their power. It was their prayer that powered the Gods; that kept them in their own respective paradises. It gave them the power to move between worlds, between realms, to create and dispose. It gave them the power to hide from ‘it’.
When everyone chose Yahweh to believe in, the other Gods became powerless.
And now that all of them have died, bar three.
Humanity now has more power than they know.
Their belief in Yahweh, stronger than ever.
But those who believe in Zeus and Odin, continue to grow in number.
And this bitter war will soon reach its grizzly end.
BERENGAR VS. NOCTURNE
Berengar, the Knight of the Void, takes on an entitle void of all goodness named Nocturne, in a steel cage match for the ages here on VHS.
The bell rings and the much bigger Berengar sends a big boot into Nocturne’s chest taking him down right away to the mat. Berengar grabs Nocturne by his hair and throws him out of the ring and into the steel cage! Nocturne’s body hits the floor beneath him. Berengar steps outside the ring and pursues the angel-turned-demon. Berengar scoops Nocturne up and slams him onto the hard ground below him! Then, right away, Berengar rolls Nocturne into the ring.
As Berengar follows behind him, Nocturne destroys his testicles with a lowblow from Hell! The lowblow from Hell drops Berengar to the ground, robbing him of what little monentum he already had! Nocturne leaps onto the top turnbuckle! MOURNING STAR! THE IMPLODING SHOOTING STAR PRESS TO BERENGAR!!! Nocturne makes the cover!! One! Two! KICKOUT by Berengar! Nocturne grabs Berengar and slowly helps his much larger opponent to his feet. LEGSWEEP BY NOCTURNE! AVENGED!! Nocturne looks towards the cage! He runs to the top turnbuckle and leaps onto the cage, locking his hands and feet so he can escape.
Slowly but surely, Nocturne takes one step after another to climb up that steel cage and escape. As he does so, Berengar stirs in the ring. Nearly halfway up the steel cage Nocturne never sees nor pays attention to Berengar, who is actually in close pursuit. Just as Nocturne hits the top of the cage, Berengar has Nocturne by the ankle! Nocturne tries to shake Berengar loose! Berengar tries to pull Nocturne down!! But this time, NOCTURNE KICKS BERENGAR OFF THE CAGE! BERENGAR HITS THE WRESTLING RING LIKE A MISSILE DROPPED FROM ABOVE! Nocturne climbs over the cage and hits the ground for the victory.
Once again Nocturne picks up a very impressive victory. Can anyone stop the demon? His arms are raised high in victory outside the cage as we ponder such questions.
“CABIN IN THE FIELDS”
Nightstick wakes up, snapping his head upward.
Wooden walls. Wooden floors.
A wooden chair he is tied to, bound across his chest and at his ankles.
Nightstick tries to free his wrists, but his own handcuffs have been used against him.
“Crow!” Nightstick screams. “Let me out of here, now.”
“Are you on the Chief’s side, or not? Hmm?”
The Scarecrow stands before the OSW World Champion.
“Of course I am,” Nightstick professes.
Scarecrow folds his arms, “Then why are you helping those who seek to hurt him?”
“I don’t,” Nightstick says. “I’m trying to find out who would seek to hurt him. And you?”
Nightstick’s eyes narrow.
“You’re trying to stop me.”
Scarecrow almost laughs.
“Yes,” he admits. “I am trying to stop you.”
This time it is the Hayman’s eyes that narrow.
“I am trying to stop you from ruining everything.”
“Ruining what!?!” Nightstick screams, trying to burst free from the binds that keep him tied to the chair.
“Everything,” the Scarecrow reiterates.
Nightstick groans as Scarecrow walks behind him.
“Keep your hands off me,” Nightstick says.
But he finds the Scarecrow frees him from the handcuffs and the binds that keep him to the chair.
Nightstick stands up and turns around to face his ally.
“Stop meddling in these divine affairs,” Scarecrow says. “You are going to ruin things of which you have no idea.”
“I won’t stop,” replies Nightstick. “I gave my word to someone I have already betrayed. God, enemy, or not. I cannot break my word again.”
“For all of your good qualities, Nightstick,” the Scarecrow states. “None of them have saved you from being a complete and utter fool.”
The Scarecrow sends a stiff punch into Nightstick’s face, causing him to sprawl backwards to the floor.
“You cannot be trusted. Not by me, not by Chief, and not with that OSW World Championship. At Pandemonium…”
The Hayman places his boot on Nightstick’s throat.
“I am taking it from you.”
Nightstick fights to free his neck from the pressure of Scarecrow’s boot, and finally resorts to reaching for his hip and grabbing his namesake weapon, jabbing it straight into Scarecrow’s ankle.
Scarecrow falls over, clutching his leg as Nightstick scrambles to his feet. Nightstick quickly grabs the wooden chair.
Scarecrow stands to his feet.
Nightstick BREAKS the chair over Scarecrow’s head and runs out of the cabin he was kept in.
Straight into a field of corn.
As he sprints, in the corners of his eyes, he catches glimpses of a fluttering bird.
He knows the Scarecrow follows.
He knows it will follow him all the way to Pandemonium.
In a darkened room, David Manson sits at the head of a long wooden table. How they got one into the Tap Room somewhere is anyone’s guess.
But this is Manson’s sanctuary.
“I’ll tell ya’something, bubba,” Manson barks. “There’s nothing like hope for those trapped.”
He takes a swig out of a rusted chalice, dark liquid running down his beard.
“The little bastards look so smug when they think they’ve fucked you. They ain’t even see that they’re taking their last breath.”
“Eli thinks he’s got me right where he wants me. Cunt’s got the knife.”
Manson stands up, his eyes turning to a red stain on the back of the chair he rose from.
“Maybe he’ll slit my throat. Maybe he’ll run it through my back. But Eli’s got death on the mind.”
The Nightmare smiles across the table into the darkness.
Is someone there?
“But so do I.”
He grins as he approaches the darkness.
“Fucker thinks he has me. They know where the bitch is. He’s got the knife. Now he thinks he’s gonna go get her and all this will be over.”
A deep laugh erupts from his belly.
“Well ain’t that a bitch, bubba. I’m just gonna die, ain’t I?”
Stepping into the darkness, Manson almost seems to be lost until we faintly see his eyes standing above a form.
“It took him long enough, but the trap is finally set. It’s time to do what I’ve been waiting to do for months.”
Manson reaches down to the form below him, running his fingers along the neck.
Stepping out of the darkness, David Manson holds a human skull in his hand. It’s not the first time.
“Cut the head off the Forever Family, and show them that the Nightmare ain’t even started.”
BATTLE OF THE CHAMPIONS I
THE MAIN EVENT
The Battle of the Belts.
Let’s fucking go.
The bell rings and Redwing flies across the squared circle and takes down Rain with a lariat! Nightstick flies across the ring and nails Redwing with a big boot! Zander Zane dropkicks Nightstick, sending him toppling over the ropes to hit the floor on the outside!
DEAL BREAKER BY MONTY STRAIGHT TO ZANDER ZANE!
Monty stands up!
STRAIGHT SHOOTING TO ZANDER!
The sharpshooter submission from Monty Straight! Already, Zander Zane is about to tap out!
But Redwing nails Monty in the chest with a Yakuza kick!
Redwing lifts Monty to his feet and tosses him outside the ring…
NIGHTSTICK CATCHES HIM!
BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX RIGHT INTO THE FUCKING GUARDRAIL!
Nightstick slides back into the ring. Redwing and Nightstick step towards each other and stand toe to toe. Face to face. A big right hand from Nightstick! A big right hand from Redwing! Right hand from Nightstick! Right hand from Redwing! Nightstick! Redwing! Nightstick! Redwing! Nightstick, Redwing, Nightstick, Redwing!
ZANDER FUCKING ZANE WITH A DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE!
ACID RAIN OUT OF NOWHERE TO ZANDER’S FACE!
Rain sends a boot to Zander Zane’s gut!
Rain makes the cover!
THREE–NO! ZANE KICKS OUT!
Monty Straight rolls back into the ring just in time to catch Rain on his way back to his feet with a boot right to his fucking head!
Monty helps Rain get to his feet by pulling him up by the hair!
TERMS AND CONDITIONS TO RAIN!
ODE TO BOSS MAN TO MONTY STRAIGHT!
RETURN TO ARKHAM TO NIGHTSTICK!
MIC DROP TO REDWING!
Zane makes the cover after Redwing hits the mat!
THREE–JESUS CHRIST REDWING KICKED OUT JUST IN TIME!
Redwing pounds the mat in frustration. He stands up just in time to catch a big forearm to the jaw from Rain! Rain whips The Caped Crusader into the ropes! The Ghostwalker nails a big time leg lariat that drops Redwing to the mat.
But Zander was standing there waiting!
ANOTHER MIC DROP!
ZANDER JUMPS TO HIS FEET!
BOOT TO THE GUT FROM NIGHTSTICK!
NIGHTSTICK MAKES THE COVER!
MONTY STRAIGHT WITH A BOOT STRAIGHT ACROSS NIGHTSTICK’S JAW!!!
MONTY MAKES THE COVER!
BROKEN UP BY RAIN!
Rain takes advantage of the situation and drops Monty Straight with a shoulder block! Straight stands back up and gets dropped by another shoulder block! Straight stands back up and gets dropped by another– NO! CROSSFACED CHICKENWING SUBMISSION REVERSAL BY MONTY STRAIGHT!
But Nightstick breaks the hold with a vicious stomp across the side of Straight’s skull! Nightstick helps Straight to his feet and tosses him outside of the ring!
REDWING CHARGES NIGHTSTICK!
BACKBODY DROP BY THE WORLD CHAMPION! REDWING SOARS OVER THE TOP ROPE AND HITS THE FLOOR!!!!
ZANE CHARGES NIGHTSTICK AS WELL, BUT IS THROWN OVER THE TOP BY THE OFFICER!
Nightstick sends a couple of boots into the ribs and midsection of Rain, before lifting the Ghostwalker back to his feet! He whips Rain into the ropes!
NIGHTSTICK MAKES THE COVER!!!
NO!!! SMALL PACKAGE REVERSAL FROM RAIN!!
Rain steals victory from the jaws of defeat once again tonight, proving why he has carried two tag team titles all on his own.
“JESUS COME TO ME”
Having retreated, Odin, Zeus and Troy Solveig stand in a rocky and dimly lit cavern in a location that is momentarily unknown.
Until it isn’t.
Stood before a gate known to have sealed Lee Crowley within, Odin, Zeus and Solveig have come to the most unlikely of places for answers.
“Are you sure this is wise?” Zeus asks, running a hand across the door. “Despite only three Gods remaining, we may not be powerful enough to close it.”
“They still don’t believe in us,” Odin replies shamefully. “Perhaps this will sway their opinion?”
Suddenly, a cackling laughter can be heard from behind.
Laughter belonging to Nocturne.
“Opening the gates of the Underworld?” He asks, waltzing over to them fearlessly. “I highly doubt that’ll garner you favour with mortals. Do you know who resides behind this door? Lee Crowley.”
“The King of the Underworld.” Troy chimes in.
“Precisely,” Nocturne chuckles. “And the last thing humanity wants is for you to open this door and release him unto the world.”
Odin steps forward, getting right up close and personal with The Demon.
“I should destroy you where you stand,” he angrily growls. Nocturne smiles, stepping backwards. “I have every notion of walking through that door and bargaining with your creator to have you summoned, stripped of all power and released unto me a willing dog.”
The Demon shrugs, walking away.
“I get it, I tried to kill you earlier and you’re upset. Now you understand where I’m coming from. Only – your actual dog,” he says pointing to Solveig, “Did kill me. Despite all that, I believe we both have something the other wants.”
Odin listens intently as Solveig smiles.
“You want to know how to summon Yahweh; how his angels request an audience, am I correct? You want to bring him to you, unaware, blissfully ignorant at what awaits him?”
The Allfather nods.
“And I want vengeance.”
Nocturne and Odin once again meet face to face.
“You’re proposing a trade?” Odin asks, looking into his eyes. “My warrior for an audience?”
Solveig looks at him with dismay.
Nocturne turns to see his face, his own now grinning with glee.
“I accept,” Odin says, looking to Solveig unapologetically. “But I won’t hand Troy Solveig over to you to be murdered. That isn’t how it works.”
Nocturne laughs. “I’m glad you said that.”
“At Pandemonium, he will surrender to you inside the ring and you will do battle. No tricks, no ploys, no dogs – just a battle between you.”
The Demon nods in agreement.
“And whatever shall be, shall be.”
Troy, at one time dismayed, now smiles.
“Now, tell me Nocturne – how do I summon Yahweh?”
Nocturne tilts his head. “Do you still have my grace?”