Friday, January 28th, 2022
Outside the Wells Fargo Center
A plethora of colors swirls around my body while I return back to reality. My mind still cannot fathom everything I witnessed within that hellhole. A look of confusion glazes over my face as I am jettisoned back to Philadelphia. In the blink of an eye, a worm hole opens beneath my feet and I’m swallowed up. After a short, stiff fall back into this realm, I crash into the pavement with violent force. Every bone and muscle in my body aches.
Peeling my ragged and torn body off the pavement, I turn my head to see Meredith. The expression of worry melts off her face. My Love’s audible sigh of relief raises my concern levels.
“Where the FUCK have you been? You’re late for the open training session. Do you know much text messages from the HOW office have blown up my phone?” Meredith continues to lecture me in a stern tone. But I tune her incessant nagging off in the background.
A bewildered look fills my face and my neck snaps back and forth. Everything looks the same as I left it. Nothing’s changed! I could have sworn SIX WHOLE MONTHS passed. I scratch my beard while I try to process all the emotions and sensations related to my experience.
“AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET THAT WRETCHED MOP OFF YOUR GOD DAMN FACE!” Meredith screeches before yanking at my facial hair.
“OWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!” I yelp out at her before pulling away from her. The intensity behind my glare burns like the hot lava of Mordor. I could only muster up the strength to shake my head in minuet motions.
“Hardy Har Har,” Meredith’s sarcastic tone echoes around the vast open spaces around the arena. “That’s a funny joke, you sure got me this time…”
“IT’S REAL!!!” I groan out in a slow manner, cutting her off midsentence. “I-I can’t explain what happened. You wouldn’t believe me if I tried, babe. There is a shark person…maybe shark people….I don’t know what the fuck is going on any more. I’ve been in a war with Xander…”
She returns the favor by interrupting me. “Yes, for my honor! He tried to sacrifice me to some false idol bullshit. I know the story well.”
Grabbing her hand, I attempt to explain things better. “No, I fought ALONGSIDE Xander in a six-month war. At least, I thought it was six months. Look I promise I took my Xanax and haven’t turned back to my drug and alcohol habits babe.”
The dubious look on her face tells me all. With her eye brows raised, she lingers out her next words. “SUUUUUUUUURE, honey! Whatever you say. Please stop talking and get your ass into practice.”
In a panicked frenzy, I reach down to retrieve my duffel bag off the ground. I couldn’t afford to waste another 15 minutes explaining the grandiose sights. I NEED TO PRACTICE NOW! I’ve got to win those Tag Team Championships!!!!
Sunday, January 30th, 2022
P.J. Whelihan’s Pub (Inside Wells Fargo Center)
It’s weird to see the amount of respect I’ve earned over the last few weeks. Under normal circumstances, most vendors wouldn’t give me the time of day. They’d ignore me like I’m some pathetic cockroach after the show. They didn’t deem me important enough to partake in the leftovers from the events. They made my existence in the HOW machine feel meaningless.
But tonight, everyone acted different. After approaching the bartender to ask for a root beer, they obliged. The server grabs an ice-cold beer mug and fills it to the brim with some A&W.
I can feel my body jitter at the refreshing look of the foam pouring down the side of the cup. The sound of the glass sliding against the oak varnish sent chills down my spine.
Ah! The sweet solace of a three-match win streak! It’s been a long time since I felt like this. There’s still doubts shrouding my mind over my recent success. But I want to take time to appreciate the journey, not grow overconfident or complacent. Anything could still happen in this tournament.
I express my appreciation to my former manservant. He’s gone up in the world. “That hits the spot, Chives! You’re doing well on your new adventures! I’m proud of you.”
“Uh….I’m Joel, ass hat! I told you that many times after I quit. Besides, you didn’t pay me what you promised.”
I slapped $500 right down on the table. It’s $400 than I promised him for running around the arena carrying my bags earlier in the day. “You’re the best Chives that’s ever worked for me, bud. Keep it all!” I exclaim to the confused young lad.
As I bring the crisp glass up to my lips, a patron bumps into me. My mug shatters everywhere and glass shards scatter against the wooden floor. I whip my head around to lay eyes on the one and only Bumbling Brian Bare. His sloshing movements almost triggers my motion sickness. Grabbing the poor man and sitting him down, he apologizes profusely.
“I’m sorry, Zion. I didn’t mean to ruin your night, man.” Bare asks me for forgiveness. He wastes no time in shouting out his order to Chives. I could make out the faint sounds of Bud Light draft. I raise my hand to flag down my good friend behind the bar.
“Another A&W, Chives, please!” I slap another $50 down on the table and pick up Bare’s tab too.
Sitting back down next to Bare, a strange odor fills my nostrils. Maybe he ate some bad catering or has a stomach bug. I think nothing of it and enjoy my root beer.
Wasting no time, Brian interjects to make amends. “Thanks dude! I owe you one. How about I record you cutting a promo for next show. Gotta get those views up for your journey back to chasing the HOTv and Tag Team Championships.”
I shrug at him. “Sure, why the fuck not!” I exclaim before preparing for the camera.
Brian wastes no time in pulling out his cell phone and hitting the record button.
He went straight into the interview, no struggling. “This is HOW Ace Reporter Brian Bare here with one of tonight’s Maurako cup winners, Darin Zion. Zion, tell me something. Xander and you clicked like true tag team partners. A few months ago, you two were at each other’s throats. You vowed to kill the man. What changed over the last 24 hours between you two?” He asked.
Something feels off kilter here. My eye brows raise up while I look him in the eye. His neck begins to make a small twitch. The smile on my face washes away while I proceed to answer with caution.
‘Blah! Blah! Blah, multiverse stuff. You know me, gotta keep the gimmick up. In all honesty, I can’t explain the magic. Nothing really changed. We’re both great competitors and somehow it came together out there. I still have my doubts about Xander’s motives for working with me. I expressed my concerns before I left the locker room. You need to keep your head on a swivel here in HOW. But the man came through and proved his worth. It’s the one time I’m grateful the randomizer blessed me. It could change tomorrow. But right now, I take my victory in stride. One day at a time I always say.”
A scowl forms on Bare’s face before he lets out a loud blech. An audible gurgling sound comes from his belly. Suddenly, he grabs his ribcage while shutting off the recording. A white foam begins to ooze from his mouth. “Sorry, Zion! I can’t…finish! I, uh, gotta….”
Bare scurries off while I rest my palm against my forehead. I couldn’t bare to watch the man losing his lunch all over the floor. When I turn around, a trail of pink slime trails out of the bar. Extracting a sample of it, I slide a flask into my hoodie pocket. “Clean up on aisle six, Chives!” I exclaim out loud before darting for the door. This situation has become an urgent matter.
Outside the Multiverse
“You did the right thing in reporting this incident, Zion.” Aeon Khronos thanks me in abundance. “I recognize that pink slime anywhere. It’s one of the Shark’s informants. It’s clear that strange man’s out to find out about our secret operation.
Aeon paces back and forth near his hologram board, pondering next steps. I continue to dispense more information.
“Soooo…there’s spies out there who fuckin’ shapeshift? What the hell kind of man takes the shape of one of HOW’s worst backstage correspondents?” I ask in disbelief.
“Afraid so!” Aeon confesses to me. His head lowers down to the ground. “They take the form of anyone you trust to gain access to any information for this war.
A hysterical laugh erupts from my lungs. I slap my thighs in an attempt to control my laughter. “No! No! You don’t understand. That guy is a fuckin’ idiot! He changed into the worst fuckin’ HOW employee ever. He could have transformed into the seductive Blair Moise. She’s a better employee than that worthless fuckstick.”
“To be fair, he met you with the person that makes sense to report on someone like you. After all, your 3-year record speaks volumes across the all realms.” Aeon humbles me as I shoot him a dirty glare.
“Before I grind your bones to feed the Shark, let’s get back to the big picture. What the fuck does this guy want from me?” I inquire from Aeon. I still don’t grasp all these strange events occurring in my life.
Aeon folds his hands behind his back and pauses. He takes a moment to concoct his best explanation of the scenario. “To be frank with you, we don’t have a lot of information. All our agents have discovered now, HOW becomes a multiverse threat in wrestling. Couldn’t tell you how Lee Best does it, but the man’s a genius. All forecasting scenarios show only one outcome leads to success. When you and Xander pulverize the hell out of each other, everything collapses. But when you gain the HOW Tag Belts, the threats subside.”
I sit down in a silver floating hover chair and spin around. Nothing’s connecting with all this number talk. I crave nothing more than escaping this wretched wasteland. Solutions talk better to me than all this mumbo jumbo. I ask in a nonchalant tone to my host. “Can’t I issue some sanctions to this piece of trash guppy? If HOW controls the multiverse, I can swing my weight around. I’m the self-proclaimed CFO. I can charge him 20 million credits and put HOW profits in the black line. That bastard couldn’t crawl out of debt if his life depended on it.”
Aeon rolls his eyes at me. “He’s a fuckin’ criminal! Your mind tricks won’t work on him! You got to do what you do best and fight.”
Pounding my fist together, I like the sound of his proposition. “Hell yeah! Now you’re speaking my favorite language. Anyways, I need to jet now. Gotta train for two Canadian Morons who think they stand a chance against the Masters of the Multiverse. They’ll probably spend too much time polishing their hockey sticks to even focus on us. You know, some bullshit excuse like that. Send my regards to the Klingon army. I’m gonna report back to my Love Meredith and bring her up to speed.”
While I head for the portal door, Aeon slides in front of me and blocks the path. “What the heck are you doing, Mr. Khronos? I said I need to go home.”
“YOU CAN’T TELL ANYONE WHAT YOU’VE SEEN HERE! NOT…ONE…SOUL!” Aeon declares with force.
“Yeah, yeah, sure!” I retort ignoring the poor virgin multiverse number crunching dork. While I continue my stroll back home, a clicking noise catches my attention. I snap my neck around to see Mr. Khronos pressed a button. Lights flare and alarms squeal out before a giant tube floats overhead. In one fail safe swoop, a giant green blob engulfs me. It whips futuristic retrains around my hands before expelling me. My eyes widen while I witness it transform into a tall, buff, Hungarian man.
“OH HOW FLIPPING COOL! It’s an interstellar Chives! It’s what I always wanted!!!” I shriek out in joy. Aeon shared a different opinion.
“This is my good friend in auditing, Glorblatt. Let’s just say he’s going to watch over you to make sure you don’t make any mistakes. It’s crucial to the mission, Zion.”
But it doesn’t matter! There’s a multiverse Chives meant for me! I wave in enthusiasm as the tall being carries me back home through the portal.
Last week I did exactly what I set out to do. I overcame the odds and planted my mentors head straight into the mat. I concussed the poor Hall of Fame bastard with my own two hands. I shred another weakness on my path back to MY HOTv Championship. And to think, you hoped you cure your Zion problem with your quick wit and strength. You’d hope I’d give up on this so-called suicide mission. You wanted so desperately to break my spirit and crush my enthusiasm under your boot.
All you did was awaken MY WRATH. You fueled the rage and hunger. You gave birth to my bloodlust. Now I’m on a war path in the Maurako Cup. I claimed my third straight victory, but I’m not settling for scraps. Your grace and mercy didn’t suffice me. You afflicted me with a curse that I will inflict upon the rest of the HOW roster. I won’t rest until I earn my fair shake against you again. I beg the higher ups to give me you at March to Glory. I don’t care I have to win my way to you or force your damn hand. I’m going to blaze a trail of bodies until I can stand across the ring from you again. I won’t be satisfied until I can wrench my hands against your throat. I won’t get any pleasure until I watch you fade out to the Red Rings of Death.
It’s our destiny to tango again. Rather you share those sentiments or not, it’s gonna happen.
Watch this week’s match. HOW officials are feeding me two moronic Canadian twat waffles. These two poor bastards have no idea what’s in store for them. They’re too busy trying to score a Hat Trick with Bobbinette Carey. Scottywood’s Stick Boiz couldn’t even polish their hockey tools if their lives depended on it. For fuck sakes, these two ignorant Stans think muscles and power solve everything. They’re denser than Durango’s thick fucking skull. Hell, I bet you these idiots think they’re fighting for the Stanley Cup. Clearly, they don’t know they’re in the battle for their lives over the most coveted cup in Tag Team Wrestling.
But I can’t blame those dipshits. Scotty’s their fucking manager. He might have one countless championships. Hell, he’s a Hall of Fame worth talent. I can’t take his accomplishments away from him. He’s one helluva a fighter.
Unfortunately, that idiot has the attention span of a goldfish. That half brained goon couldn’t keep his eyes on the damn prize for 1 nanosecond. This man beat Mike Best. He could have won the biggest match at Rumble at the Rock and become HOTv Champion. He could have salvaged his pathetic third era career. The man had all the momentum in the world! He beat the unbeatable Mike Best! Something I only could dream to achieve. He could have soared on with that momentum. But he got thirsty for the sweat off Mike’s balls. He lost all his HOW career. The idiot couldn’t make a Shot on Goal. He whiffed that shot and lost a few brain cells along the way.
What’s the matter, Scotty? Cat got your tongue? You didn’t want to chime in with your blusterous mouth? The King of Trash Talking doesn’t got game for the pathetic loser named Zion? Everyone’s gifted you all the ammo in the world about my pathetic streak. You couldn’t take two minutes to jump on your Zamboni and polish that shit out?
It’s sad how well I know you, Scotty. After all these years, you don’t think I pay attention to you. You think I recycle all the bullshit everyone else shares about you. You think I’m some unimaginative dipshit destined to fail in HOW.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here. You’re the damn reason the Order failed. You couldn’t pull your head out of your ass to help us finish the damn cause. All you thought about was destroying our own members. The only notable thing you accomplished was attacking our own member, Scott Stevens. Let’s talk about your failed stint with Carey too. You couldn’t follow any simple orders she gave you. You had to make HOW about you. You two pouted, groaned and moaned after you brought Lee’s rage on. You fucking stole his tag belts and made a mockery out of caliber prizes in this industry.
Now you think you can mold two moose-sized lumber jackoffs into killer athletes? I’m afraid they’re about to choke better than their master. It won’t take me 7 years to choke the air out of Chet and Tanner’s lungs. It’ll will happen in a flash. I’ll wrap the Red Rings of Death around their necks and strangle every ounce of life out of their HOW careers. I’ll ruin their careers first than Mike Best can tweet an insult.
I’m that damn serious about the damage I’m about to cause. It’s not about showing you respect, Scotty. You damn well know from our years on the road; I will tip my hat to you and your talents. But I’m not about to let another opportunity pass me. I’m not gonna sit back and let you squat over my hopes and dreams.
I’m fucking hungry. I’m going to take back my good name. I’m going to leave another example for JJR to watch. I’m going to win those Tag Team Championships and HOTv Title. I’m going to earn my first double championship reign in the Machine.
And I don’t care about whose toes I’m going to step on along that path. Cry me a river like Jatt Sparrow did. Maybe you two dinguses can share a bird bath together and sulk yourselves away.
The Masters of the Multiverse will claim gold. It might be a tough and rigid path to the top. We might fight and bicker. But we KNOW the end game. We KNOW our mission. We won’t lose our focus no matter how hard you try to spout your mouth off.
I promise you, Scotty. I’m gonna wreck your boys. I’ll ship their lifeless corpses to Jeffrey’s cell personally this week.
I’m gonna wreck your life Scotty. And there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop me. Not even your goddamn zamboni!
And after I gain my next win, I’ll be one step closer from rescuing the #97Green from that giant Neanderthal criminal called Jeffrey James Roberts. ”