April 14, 2022
Cue the shitty 1950s theme show music, and let’s get started. A montage of the Solex family is shown on screen as the credits begin to roll on the lower third. Little Scotty Stevens-Solex Jr. and Steven Solex are shown tossing the baseball back and forth before the scene is cut to the kitchen, where Constance – Steven’s wife – is shown cooking God knows what on the stove. The corniness of the entire intro is almost too much to bear. After showing each of the Solex family members’ names on screen, the scene finally cuts to the backyard of the Solex residence, where Steven and Little Scotty are shown. As Steven is shown down on a knee next to the petulant little shit, the words Filmed in front of a live studio audience are displayed on the lower third. The crowd begins to applaud as the music slowly fades out.
Little Scotty has woodland style, camouflage face paint all over his face in a tiger-striped pattern. Steven, per usual, is rockin’ the #1 Dad attire perfect; his mustache is glorious…as always.
“That’s it, son. First, you have to conduct the circuit test, and then you place the claymore mine out on the battlefield, and you place the side that says Front Toward Enemy toward the enemy. Just like that!” Steven says as the boy aims the claymore toward the shed in the backyard.
The boy looks up at Steven and gives him a big smile, the kind of shit-eating grin you’d see on an old cereal box.
“This is too easy, pop. I think even Christopher America could handle this!” The little fucker says before looking into the camera and giving the trademark Solex wink to a perfectly timed ding as the crowd erupts in laughter.
“Now, you have to low crawl behind some cover. See those sandbags over there?” Steven asks the boy, pointing to the OD green sandbags ten meters behind the boy.
“That’s what those are for,” Steven continues.
“What’s this?!” Little Scotty asks, his voice full of fake cheer and bullshit.
Steven snatches the devices and cord out of the kid’s hand.
“This is what sets off the mine. It’s called a blasting cap. Never ever put the blasting cap in your mouth! You do that, and it’ll be the last thing you ever do, do you understand?” Steven asks, pointing at the blasting cap.
The crowd collectively oo’s as the boy looks at Solex with that deer in the headlights look, his eyes almost rolling entirely into the back of his head. This is the same way his real father looks anytime he’s in front of a camera, y’all know what I mean.
“What do you mean, the last thing?” The little dumb shit asks.
“Your head will be blown right off your shoulders, son. Just don’t do it,” Steven says as a few members of the live studio audience audibly gasp at the potential danger the boy might be in.
Steven looks past the camera, presumably where the live studio audience is sitting, and gives them a sarcastic, sideways smile which elicits a few grunts and manplause from the male audience members.
Steven hands the blasting cap back to the boy. The little boy quickly becomes a nervous wreck after hearing about the possibility of death from the MERCDAD. The shaky little prick immediately places the blasting cap into the detonator well and secures it with the shipping plug.
“Ok, now. You’ll have to low-crawl to the sandbags. You want to stay low and out of sight. Enemy fire will undoubtedly be a concern if the situation has called for a claymore. You’ll need to keep this in mind. So, stay low!” Steven says firmly, much like you’d expect a Drill Sergeant to sound.
Scotty drags his little body in a low crawl back behind the sandbags.
“Stay low!” Steven shouts at the boy.
Little Scotty carefully peers over the top of the sandbags, taking a peek at the claymore.
“Now turn the safety to the On position,” Steven instructs.
The boy complies and does as he’s told. He then looks up at Steven and nods.
“CLAYMORE! CLAYMORE! CLAYMORE! Now squeeze the handle!” Steven shouts out while holding a fist up in the air.
The boy squeezes the handle, and a loud pop makes the live studio audience gasp again, but the only thing that explodes out of the claymore is a bunch of confetti and string. The gasps quickly turn into laughter as Steven is shown laughing hysterically with both hands placed on his belly as he arches backward.
Little Scotty jumps to his feet, his fake Army helmet falling down to the dirt. He grins from ear to ear and jumps up in the air in excitement as the crowd cheers him on. The boy runs to Steven and jumps into the #1 Dad-Soldier’s arms.
“I did it!” The boy exclaims, celebrating like he detonated a real fuckin’ claymore on an actual battlefield or some bullshit.
“Yeah, you did!” Steven says as he holds the boy up. The crowd cheers wildly as the father and son duo celebrates with a fake-ass high five.
“Now, son, there will be a time when you will have to do this with a real claymore mine. Whether it’s tomorrow, next year, or twenty years, the day will come. I’m preparing you for real combat, son. Always be prepared,” Steven says, making sure he and the boy look eye to eye.
“Just don’t forget, Scotty, that you must always shout claymore three times before firing it. This is vitally important, son. Do you understand?” Steven asks in a perfect dad tone.
The little boy looks down and nods. Steven lifts the boy’s head back up with a finger under the chin, forcing Scotty to look him straight in the eye.
“Yes, sir,” Scotty whispers.
Steven immediately drops the boy to the ground. The boy lands on his feet and stands up straight in the position of attention.
“Do you understand, Soldier!?” Steven shouts, putting a knife-edged hand in the boy’s face.
“YES, SIR!” The boy shouts back, causing the crowd to erupt in cheers.
Both Solex men snap their heads in the direction of the back door, spotting the lone lady Solex, Constance, standing in the doorway, holding open the screen door. The crowd cheers her entrance as she stands still, soaking it in with the biggest, whitest grin you’ve ever seen. Her red lipstick is applied perfectly, and every lock of golden blonde hair is in just the right place.
“Go ahead, boy. Go get you some chow; you’ve earned it, ” Solex says, tussling the boy’s hair.
The crowd awes at the father-son moment as the boy darts toward the house and through the back door. Constance smiles big as the boy runs past her, but just as he passes, the smile fades. She stares out into the yard at Solex. The crowd lets out a collective oooo as Constance saunters down the back steps. She folds her arms across her chest and gets right in her husband’s face.
“Yes, dear?” Steven asks, trying to hide the smile on his face.
“What are you teaching that boy?” She asks, her country accent bleeding through.
“This is man stuff, Babe. You wouldn’t understand,” Steven says, still fighting back the smile.
“I wouldn’t understand? It’s man stuff?” She sasses as she rolls her eyes.
Steven giggles as the crowd once again lets out a collective ooooo.
Steven winks at his wife, puts his arm around her waist, and pulls her into him tightly. He plants a big kiss, smearing her once perfectly applied lipstick. He smiles big and wipes the transferred lipstick from his lips using the inside of his shirt.
They walk toward the backdoor as the closing credits play over the screen. The theme music fades in, but just before they start up the steps, Solex looks back into the camera and winks to a perfectly timed ding as the scene freezes and then fades to black.
June 8, 2022
“You’ll never get a word out of me, Igor! Don’t you know the drill?” Solex yelled at the top of his lungs as he hung upside down, six feet above a horse trough filled to the rim with Ukrainian pond water.
Solex had been captured just three hours prior by a squad of Russian FSB (formerly known as KGB), and they’d been waterboarding him since. They handcuffed his hands behind his back and hung him from a chain wrapped around his feet. The chain had been secured to a metal cable that ran through a pulley that had been welded to an I-beam that ran the length of the ceiling. The FSB had occupied the building in this Northeastern part of Ukraine just the day prior. The FSB troops were very aware of who Solex was, in and out of the ring, and they were not taking any chances.
“You will give information. And I am not Igor; I am General Fedorov,” the Russian General said through an incredibly thick Russian accent.
Solex knew precisely who the General was. Solex had a mission, and Federov was the objective.
General Fedorov wasn’t just some Russian General.
He was the Russian General.
General Federov may have looked old, fat, and weak on this day. But Federov had been leading troops into combat since the – then – Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and fought against another US-funded Army, otherwise known as the Taliban, in 1979. Federov knew the hardships of war and was a brave soldier in his own right. He had earned the Russian Medal of Valor and many other medals for his bravery in combat.
Solex smiled as water dripped from his mustache and into his nose.
“If I could just get someone to itch my nose, that would be fuckin’ amazing! These eight-gauge mustache hairs are ticklin’ my nostrils!” Solex joked, clearly infuriating the Russian troops.
“You will give us the American position!” The General shouted as he pulled a map out from his coat pocket.
“Look, Igor…I’ve got a wrestling match. I’ve really got to get to Kyiv before this weekend. I’m gonna be live on pay-per-view. It’s a worldwide event. War Games. Ever heard of it?” Solex’s sarcasm and arrogance only enraged the Russian General more and more.
“I am not Igor! I am Russian General!” The General shouted as he slammed the map onto a table. He then pointed to the General insignia on the shoulders of his coat.
“Look (cough), General. Don’t you watch the news? The Americans aren’t in Ukraine. They are in Poland; that’s as close as they’ll get. They’re not trying to get involved here. Unless you call sending billions to the Ukrainian government involved, the US is in the clear!” Solex smirked as he pleaded his case in a very unconvincing tone.
“Then why does the famous Super Soldier visit Ukraine?” The Russian General inquired as he pointed at Solex.
Solex laughed to himself, realizing that he was, in fact, the Super Soldier that the General was referencing.
“I told you, War … Games,” Solex said, spacing out the words heavily as he mocked the General.
“Yes, WAR!” General Federov shouted back in response.
Clearly frustrated with the back and forth, the General flipped the table into the air and sent it tumbling across the concrete floor.
“DUNK HIM!” The General ordered.
One of the two FSB troops on either side of the General ran over to the metal cable hanging from the pulley and released the tension sending Solex head first into the horse trough. The General bellowed with laughter as Solex thrashed around as he attempted to get his head above the rim of the horse trough.
“LIFT HIM!” The General demanded.
The FSB troop lifted Solex from the water using the pullet system and then quickly secured the cable to the side of the building, ensuring Solex would stay dangling above the water as he was before.
“Is he dead?” The cable handling troop asked the General.
The General shrugged, and just as he did, Solex coughed up water and began to laugh maniacally. He opened his eyes wide and stared down at the General.
“War … Games,” he said again slowly like a narcissist would talk to a deaf person.
“It’s wrestling. High Octane Wrestling. Lee Best. All that shit. Ring a bell?” Solex continued to explain himself in a tone that mocked the Russians.
The Russians began to confer together but in Russian. Solex didn’t speak Russian. That wasn’t his specialty. It didn’t matter anyway; Solex didn’t give two shits what was said.
“You are Super Soldier, yet somehow….you get caught by Russian FSB?” The General asked suspiciously.
“This does not add up,” he continued as he rubbed his chin.
He could feel that the day prior’s shave had worn off, but that was the least of the Russian’s worries. He was right to be suspicious of Solex; this was uncharacteristic of the #1 MERCDAD.
“IT’S A WRESTLING EVENT! IT’S PAY-PER-VIEW! IT’S IN KYIV!” Solex shouted, but it seemed as though he wasn’t trying to be convincing at all. It seemed like he was trying to bide his time.
The General snatched an AK-47 off the back of one of his FSB troops, charged the rifle, and aimed it right at Solex. The Russian wouldn’t need to be any kind of marksman to hit Solex from this range; anybody with any sort of weapons training at all would be fit for this job.
But somehow, Solex remained calm.
“Don’t do that,” Solex said, still smiling.
“Why do you smile?” Federov asked, his eyes widened and his voice a bit shaky.
“CLAYMORE! CLAYMORE! CLAYMORE!”
The Russians, confused, turned around. All three of them looked toward the ground, and there it was:
A claymore mine.
An explosion rang out, and all three Russians flopped to the floor. Smoked filled the room, making visibility impossible, even at the height from which Solex hung.
The smoke settled, and out stepped Scotty Stevens-Solex Jr., in all his glory. His face was painted in woodland camo in a tiger-striped pattern, his – now real – Army helmet firmly strapped atop his head.
Solex stared down at his adopted son and smiled proudly. His eyes began to well up with tears as the young Soldier approached. Scotty walked over to the metal cable and pulled out a bayonet from the sheath attached to his belt.
“Don’t cut the cab…..!” Solex began to shout, but it was too late.
Scotty had cut the cable, and Solex went headfirst into the horse trough, splashing water all over. Scotty ran over to his old man to check on him, but Solex quickly got out of the water and to his feet.
Solex cracked his neck on both sides and fixed his mustache.
“…cable,” Solex said before glaring over at the boy.
“You … will … lose.”
The voice of General Federov startled Solex momentarily. How he had survived the explosion was a mystery but a pleasant surprise for Solex. Solex wanted to look into the General’s eyes as he died. And now, that was all but guaranteed.
Solex walked over to Scotty and reached into the boy’s backpack. He smiled big as he yanked out an M9 pistol. Solex cocked the gun and pointed it at the General.
“You won’t do it…”
The shot echoed throughout the building as Solex pulled the trigger before Federov could finish his thought. A pool of blood began to form on the cement as Solex cleared the weapon and pulled a radio from the boy’s backpack. The bullet found its mark right between the Russian General’s eyes.
“Spartan Six, this is Gator Two One, over,” Solex spoke into the handheld radio.
“This is Spartan Six,” Commander Wade replied.
June 8, 2022
Solex and Scotty Stevens-Solex Jr. had been picked up by a Blackhawk from and taken to the Kyiv Airport after a brief pitstop at the Forward Operating Base to clean up and visit Commander Wade. Solex and Scotty walked through the airport and up to a terminal. Solex kneeled down to get eye to eye with Scotty, pinned an envelope to his coat, and gave the young man a hug.
“Great job today, son,” Solex said, his eyes teary and his voice cracking.
“I’m proud of you. You did something that few men could do, and you did it no questions asked. You’re a man now,” Solex said.
“Why are you sending me home then? I can help you in War Games,” the young man said, his voice cracking.
Solex smiled at the boy’s persistence, but he knew it was time to send Scotty home.
“You’ve got to take care of your mother, now. I’ll see you soon,” Solex said as he tousled the boy’s hair.
Solex quickly stood up and walked away. The boy was a young man now, and Solex knew that he had to treat him as such. The young Solex looked at the envelope pinned to his chest and opened it up, even though he was instructed not to do so until he got home.
You’re a man now. I know that you want to help me at War Games. But I know that you want to confront that piece of shit dad of yours most of all.
Trust me when I say this, son, you will get the opportunity to do both of those things, but not just yet.
I have to focus. I have to ensure that Clay, Harrison, and I do our jobs to the absolute best of our abilities. I have to make sure that the three of us survive War Games, and I have to do that alone.
Scotty, your dad, will be wrestling his last match this weekend, so take pride in that. Because you were able to execute the plan just as we designed it, I will be able to do that for you. For you, I will end his career. I’ve beaten that Lonesome Loser – a name he loves for some dumb fuckin’ reason – time and time again, and this time will be no different.
The only reason he’s in the match, to begin with, is that someone else fucked around and got fired. He doesn’t deserve this opportunity, and I’m going to make him pay for that fact. So rest easy, young man; I got your back.
You are not like him, Scotty. You are a winner, a man, and a future #1 MERCDAD, just like me. When you get home, your mom and I will make it official. You’ll no longer be some bullshit hyphenate, and you’ll no longer be Scotty Jr.
You, sir, will be Steven Solex Jr.
So you get home safe, son. (Yeah, I know you’re still in the terminal…come on, I’m the #1 Dad for a reason.) I’ll be here taking care of business, and working on coming home with a World Championship.
We’ll celebrate together in a week.
Can’t wait. Great job.
Your #1 Dad