::::SCENE: Outside of the apocalypse bunker of the heroic and legendary Jatt Starr about twelve miles from Havre, Montana. The professionally named, The Switch but parentally named Hugo Scorpio paces in front of the decrepit shed housing the secret entrance to the Jattlantic City idol’s bunker. His employer has been down there for two and a half days, no doubt surviving on his supply of sardines, kipper snacks, and canned creamed corn.
The Switch checks his phone for the time. It reads 1:47 PM. He places his cell phone in the pocket of his black and white tracksuit, as per the StarrSek Industries Employee Dress Code, for which he is the only one. “All waste management types wear this when not in coveralls.” as explained by Jatt Starr two weeks ago during a fifteen minute orientation in the back of their van, the StarrSek Enterprise.
The van has since been retired due to Jatt Starr’s refusal to drive in a vehicle where John Sektor has “fornicated” with “twentysomething bimbos that may or may not be carrying STD’s such as gonorrhea or harpies”. The Switch plans on getting Jatt Starr a “Word A Day” calendar for the holidays.
The Switch rubs hands through his slicked back black hair as he continues to pace back and forth. There are concerns for his boss, who has been holed up in the bunker for the past couple of days.
Gilda leaving Jatt for her mother was a blessing and a curse. The Switch has noticed that the Sultan of SeaJattle has been successful in the ring, showing the world why he is a Hall of Famer. But Gilda leaving, it cut Jatt deeply, there was pain. She took something with her when she left.
Could it be companionship? The way Jatt Starr has been hanging around Sektor lately has been borderline creepy. Especially since Catwoman did not show at their expected rendezvous over a week ago. He heard Sektor mention to Steve Solex that Jatt Starr was sitting inside the booth at the diner for over an hour before he gave up.
The rejection and humiliation the Hero of Jattlanta must have felt, considering he wouldn’t shut up about her during the last couple of days leading up to his match against Kevin Capone. Elsa this, Catwoman that. It was really fucking annoying.
When she didn’t show, suddenly, he amped up building a more brotherly relationship with Sektor. Overcompensation.
That was last week.
Since returning home, he has locked himself away like a hermit, doing God knows what down there.
The Switch had no choice but to call on the only man he could think of to coax the Jatt-i Master from his fortress of solitude.
And he’s late.
The Switch could try knocking on the door again, but that hasn’t worked the last twenty-eight times, would a twenty-ninth really be that different?
The sounds of tires going over the gravel is heard. Moments later, a car door opens and closes. The sound of boots crunching against gravel, leaves, and twigs gets closer and closer until, from around the side of the house emerges John Sektor.
Sektor sporting his luxurious moustache, a bright salmon colored shirt, and jeans approaches the Switch.::::
SEKTOR: What the fuck is going on here?
SWITCH: I’m concerned about Jatt.
SEKTOR: Holy shit! You can talk?
SWITCH: Yeah, of course I can.
SEKTOR: Well, damn. Here I thought you were just a silent, disfigured freak.
SWITCH: Jatt has made it clear that he doesn’t pay me to talk. And right now, he is down in his bomb shelter or whatever, he’s been in there for a couple of days, and he won’t come out.
SEKTOR: Jesus. I came all the way over here for that?
SWITCH: He doesn’t typically spend more than an hour or two down there.
SEKTOR: So fucking what? It’s his bomb shelter, he can do whatever he wants down there!
SWITCH: He’s your best friend.
SEKTOR: Whoa! Let’s not start labeling shit here.
SWITCH: Fine, you’re HIS best friend. He has a match against Conor Fuse, you have a match against Eric Dane. After Rumble at the Rock, you have a tag team championship match at some point. You need each other.
:::A frustrated Sektor lets out a groan which sounds more like a growl.::::
SEKTOR: Fuck it. Fine, he hasn’t returned any of my calls or texts. You know he’s a shit wingman, right?
:::The Switch offers up a half-hearted shrug.:::
SEKTOR: But he’s a damn talented wrestler. One of the best…if not THE best I have ever worked with. And if you tell him I said that, I will shove my hand up your ass, remove your spleen, and shove it down your fucking throat.
::::Something in the intensity of Sektor’s eyes tells the Switch that Sektor will follow through that threat. The Switch nods fearfully. Satisfied that The Switch will not blab, Sektor enters the shed and sees two double doors in the middle of the floor. There is a large dirty carpet thrown to the left of the doors. The shed reeks of must and pine.
Sektor opens the double doors to reveal stairs leading down into darkness.:::
SEKTOR: Hey! Switch Guy!
SEKTOR: What are the odds Jatt is naked and doing some freaky shit down there?
SEKTOR: If I go down there and he’s wearing nothing but clown makeup, I’ll fuck you up.
SWITCH: I would say it’s unlikely….but not impossible.
::::Sektor slowly walks down the stairs. Each steps creaks. Sektor retrieves his cell phone and activates the flashlight. He continues down for about twenty more steps before reaching a large metal door.:::
SEKTOR: What the fuck?
::::Sektor bangs on the door. No answer. He knocks again, no answer. As he knocks for a third time, he hears a click. The door is pulled open to a crack.::::
JATT STARR (whispering): What is the music of life?
SEKTOR: Open the fucking door, Jatt!
JATT STARR (whispering): You are not worthy.
:::The Ruler of Jattlantis attempts to close the door but Sektor pushes his way in. There are several candles burning emitting various citrus scents to the bunker. Past the short hallway to the exit, Sektor notices several shelves against the wall to his right containing various canned goods (soup, sardines, kipper snacks, creamed corn, and black beans), boxes of Ramen Noodles, and cases of bottled water. There is a large leather couch in the middle of the room, two recliners (one red and one tan with a brown flowery print) on either side. In front of the couch there are several books, a couple of empty cans of Mug Root Beer, an empty bottle of Macallan, and a Playstation 4 on a black rectangular coffee table. The PS4 is connected to a 50” Samsung TV (which is off).:::
SEKTOR: What the fuck is going on?
:::Sektor turns towards Jatt Starr who is wearing a red satin robe, Space Invaders shorts, Pac Man socks, and a “Go Bots” t-shirt. His hair is dishevelled, the dimly lit room makes it difficult to get a good look at his face.::::
SEKTOR: Go Bots? Seriously?
JATT STARR: What’s happening, John? You really should have called first. I would have tidied up.
SEKTOR: I did call.
JATT STARR: Yeah, my cell reception down here is rubbish. Come in, come in. Have a seat. Can I get you something to drink? Coffee? Water?
JATT STARR: Ooo…no can do. Most of the alcohol hasn’t made its way down here yet. Well, none that haven’t been, you know, consumed. Especially after I consumed a belly full of mead yesterday.
SEKTOR: Whatever you got.
::::Jatt Starr opens a cupboard next to the television to reveal a bunch of PS4 games on one shelf and a bottle of Absolut, about one third full. The Starrabian Knight tosses the bottle to Sektor, who did not expect it, fumbles the bottle, but ultimately catches before it could land, crashing on the floor.:::
JATT STARR: Hail Sithis, comrade.
::::Sektor opens the bottle and takes a swig as he sits in the red recliner and Jatt Starr plops down on the couch. His t-shirt rides up exposing his belly.::::
JATT STARR: What is up, Shield-Brother?
SEKTOR: That Two-Face looking motherfucker upstairs reached out, saying he was worried about your sorry ass.
JATT STARR: And you came to check on me?
:::A look of pure joy and emotion comes across the Jattlantic City Idol’s face. Emotion so strong, he feels tears starting to well up in his eyes. Sektor’s eyes roll like a teenager listening to a bad pun.:::
SEKTOR: Shit, dude, it’s not a big deal.
JATT STARR: I knew you cared. It’s the first step to healing your, no, our mutual pain. We’re connected in—-
SEKTOR: Oh Jesus. What the fuck! More of this touchy feely bullshit? No more, Jatt. No more.
JATT STARR: Fine. We won’t go down that road. Not today. But we will.
SEKTOR: Fuck that.
::::Jatt Starr silently nods and leans back on the couch, looking up at the concrete ceiling.:::
SEKTOR: Seriously, what is going on with you?
JATT STARR: What? Nothing. Never better.
::::The Mayor of ManJattan looks over at Sektor and forces a smile.::::
SEKTOR: Jatt. Don’t bullshit me.
JATT STARR: Have you felt that sometimes the universe is trying to tell you something, but you don’t realize it at the time?
JATT STARR: Philistine. It occured to me that motivating myself to defeat Conor Fuse with the creation of the High Octane Ultimate Gaming Champion Of The Universe and Beyond Championship was perhaps a mistake. I admit it, I got cocky. I was focusing on showing the world I am better than Conor Fuse with a spectacularly crafted belt. In doing so, I let my guard down.
SEKTOR: What’s your point?
JATT STARR: When Elsa didn’t show—
SEKTOR: That twat again? The bitch didn’t show, get over it.
JATT STARR: I will in my own time, chillax home skillet. But you need to let me finish. When she didn’t show, I thought it was a rejection of me. But, she wasn’t rejecting me. She was, in fact, rejecting the Conor Fuse side of me.
SEKTOR: Wait, she…what?
JATT STARR: Hear me out before you pass judgment. She was completely enamored with me, but her womanly instincts told her to be repulsed by the Conor Fuse side of me. That’s why she didn’t show.
SEKTOR: Did Conor Fuse give you a fucking concussion?
JATT STARR: Maybe the universe was telling me that in order to beat Conor Fuse, I must first understand who he is. To experience what he experiences. Is he out there dating? Is he out there getting drunk every night, socializing with his best friend? No. No woman will have him….well, maybe his mother but probably not in some weird, creepy incestuous way. Wait. He doesn’t live on a moonshine farm in West Virginia, does he?
SEKTOR: No, and I’m pretty you don’t farm—
JATT STARR: I figure since Conor Fuse probably lives in his mother’s basement chowing down on Kool Aid and Fruit Roll Ups, I would hunker down in here….
:::Jatt Starr theatrically waves his arms in the air, pointing at everything and nothing in particular.:::
JATT STARR: ..drinking root beer and enjoying sweet rolls and Ramen noodles. With the occasional cup of tea, cup of coffee, mead, and Scotch, naturally.
JATT STARR: There’s no more Scotch.
JATT STARR: Or mead. Or beer.
::::Sektor does not continue his clear request for Scotch and instead takes another swig of vodka.:::
JATT STARR: Conor Fuse immerses himself in gaming to the point where reality and fantasy blend together where he lives a delusion. But why? I figured it out! I know his “cheat sheet”. He escapes reality because his reality sucks monkey testicles.
:::The Ruler of Jattlantis stares off for a second, his lip twitches? Or maybe it’s a quiver? He clears his throat.::::
JATT STARR: So, I began playing the most immersive game that I could think of, “Skyrim”. Yeah, I could have pulled out the old SNES and some old Mario games. Maybe I could have purchased some “Shrooms”, as the kids say, from the hippies down the road, popped some in my mouth and gone full on “Super Starrio” and stomped Fuse’s Koopa ass.
SEKTOR: Shrooms don’t work like that. Where do these hippies live?
JATT STARR: Instead, I chose “Skyrim”.
:::The Thane of Starrkarth looks over at the wireless PS4 controller next to the TV, feeling the urge to continue his journey.:::
JATT STARR: From a wrongly accused prisoner to becoming the Thane of all the Holds. I have led the Imperials to victory. Screw Ulfric Stormcloak and his elf bigotry. Stormcloack pricks. Unfortunately, my victory had an unforeseen consequence. I truly feel awful that Laila Law-Giver was unceremoniously relieved of her duties as the Jarl of Riften in favor of that condescending bitch, Maven Black-Briar. I really liked Laila, she had a good heart, you can tell she truly cared about her people. The politics in Skyrim are all kinds of bull-scutter.
SEKTOR: I have no idea what you’re talking—-
JATT STARR: After the war was over, I joined the Companions and became the Harbinger. Of course, I refer to myself as The Starrbinger. No one else does, though. Afterwards, I was conflicted in my feelings towards Mjoll the Lioness and Njada Strong-Arm. Mjoll is pure, loyal, and full of integrity. The fact that she cannot be killed is a plus, especially after the unfortunate demise of Uthgerd the Unbroken at the hands of a bear. A bear! Can you believe it? Lesson learned: never take on a bear at level four.
::::Sektor can only shake his head, either in frustration or to keep himself awake.::::
JATT STARR: Anyway, Mjoll, she has this guy Aerin who creepily stalks her. Aerin saved her life, probably thinking she’d bang him afterwards, but clearly not. She’s got morals and a code. Njada is a little more of a hot head. She’s got moxie, I like that. Ultimately, it came down to one day, Njada saying that her and I were the only two people in Skyrim worth loving, that sealed it. Married her the following day. It was a lovely ceremony.
:::The Hero of Jattlanta’s eyes widen, his mouth opens and gasps as he has an epiphany.:::
JATT STARR: Do you think Elsa didn’t show up to the diner because I wasn’t wearing an Amulet of Mara?
SEKTOR: Bro, you know this is just a video game, right?
:::Jatt Starr turns back to the PS4, not really listening to Sektor at this point. He continues to share the story of his Altmer Sneak Assassin, “El Jatterino”.::::
JATT STARR: Of course, Njada’s a little salty if you ask her to make you a meal, but that’s fine. Anyway, you actually showed up about twenty minutes after I completed the Dark Brotherhood questline. Yeah, I bashed the Emperor’s skull in with the Mace of Molag Bal. I am the Listener and de facto leader of the Dark Brotherhood. Assassins for hire. In fact, Sektor, to increase my odds of victory in my inevitable battle against Conor Fuse, I was hoping you could….
:::Jatt Starr seems to stare off for a moment, his mouth open, mid-sentence as if he is in a trance. Suddenly, he snaps out of it.:::
JATT STARR: ….do me a favor.
JATT STARR: You will need to perform The Black Sacrament. You will need to obtain a skull, bones, a heart — human, and flesh and create a sort of representation of Conor Fuse. Then, with a dagger rubbed with Nightshade pedals stab the “Conor Fuse” skeleton while whispering “Sweet Mother, Sweet Mother, send your child unto me, for the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear.” Once the Night Mother summons me—
:::Sektor suddenly stands up and takes a very large swig of vodka, effectively finishing off the bottle and tosses the empty bottle on the recliner behind him.:::
SEKTOR: Okay, you know what? You’re just having a shitty fucking week, that’s all. What you need is to get laid, man. Go, get some sleep, we’ll take a flight into San Francisco. Five star hotel. Separate rooms. And let’s just get piss drunk and bang some babes.
::::The Starrabian Knight slowly turns his head towards Sektor. His eyes bloodshot, weary bags under his eyes, his face showing some scruff. Jatt Starr looks like the posterboy of fatigue.:::
SEKTOR: Jesus, when was the last time you slept?
JATT STARR: I had a nap yesterday. It was between curing myself of lycanthropy at Ysgramor’s Tomb and killing Grelod the Kind.
SEKTOR: Get some fucking sleep. No wonder you’re acting all fucking mental.
JATT STARR: Does Conor Fuse sleep? Probably not. He probably has The Game Boy sleep for him. He’s bananas, a real mental case. He’s….
::::The Earl of GlouStarr proceeds to just stare off, a blank expression on his face. Sektor looks at Jatt Starr, expectantly, waiting for him to complete his sentence. Jatt Starr jerks back.::::
JATT STARR: What was I saying?
SEKTOR: You were mentioning that you are about to go to sleep and afterwards we would go to San Francisco, party, train, party some more and kick the shit out of Fuse.
JATT STARR: Yes, of course. While I’m asleep, you make sure you perform the Black Sacrament.
SEKTOR: Yeah. You got it.
:::Sektor gives him a thumbs up with no real meaning behind it as Jatt Starr groans as he rises from the couch.::::
JATT STARR: If you wanna hang here, you can. No chicks. Don’t need everyone knowing the location of the Jatt Cave. The couch folds out if you feel the need, bro.
::::The Ruler of Jattlantis flippantly waves to Sektor as he walks down a short hallway, passing a bathroom on the right and a bedroom on the left (complete with five cots and two bookshelves containing a multitude of books, none of which Jatt has read). He walks to the door to the master bedroom. He opens the door and shuts it behind him. The room is dark except for the television screen illuminating the room in a bright blue tint.
The cause of his most recent sojourn into compulsive madness is in the VCR. Sunday, after arriving home, as he did the week before, he would have a glass of Scotch and pop one of the videos left by Gilda in the VHS player. The videos are mainly of Gilda dancing in some harvest festival, talking about horses, what she learned that day from her “studies”, Gilda’s mother waxing nostalgic about music and old movies, usually ones starring Rita Hayworth or Humphrey Bogart.
Watching Gilda from age seven to her teens (with some significant gaps) over the course of four plus hours did not fill his void. But it gave him some peace in between the footage of some curious and potentially disturbing cult speak.
But the Children of Ota’Topeht…..other than Brother Dominic, who apparently is some kind of blacksmith (and appeared to be a mentor of sorts to Gilda) and her mother, some of the more featured members in the videos are either fanatical or skeevy as all hell.
Images of the younger version of that douchebag, Paxton, that broke into his home and got the piss beat of him. The thought of that turdbag turns Jatt Starr’s stomach. Gilda let him off too easy.
Jatt Starr removes his robe and tosses on the floor. He sits on the bed in front of the television and plays the tape. A partial image of Gilda’s face appears, her blue eyes puffy and red, the faint glistening on her cheeks. She is the vision of anger and determination..::::
GILDA’S MOTHER: —have to do. You’ll know when it’s time. You grab your backpack and go—
::::The Ruler of Jattlantis pauses the video and stares for a moment at the screen, Gilda’s Mother’s eyes are full of determination, not pain. He chooses to power off the VCR and turn off the TV. He lays back on the bed in total darkness waiting to fall asleep. In silence.::::
:::Last Sunday afternoon, Jatt Starr had arrived home from Refueled, placed his briefcase containing the HOUGCOTUAB belt in his bedroom with his luggage, before heading to his apocalypse bunker, where he poured himself a Scotch and went into the master bedroom. He pressed play on the VCR to see more of Gilda’s missed childhood. Her strange, unusual, and occasionally unsettling childhood.
The image is the interior of what appears to be an RV. There is something covering a portion of the shot. There is continued banging heard. The camera shifts a bit and a figure wearing a handmade, torn cream dress with several patches on it walks across the frame. It is Gilda’s Mother.::::
GILDA’S MOTHER: Coming!
:::The sound of the door opening and then a slight scream followed by a choking noise. There is a thump.:::
MAN’S VOICE: You was warned! You don’t mess around with the preachin’s and proclamations of the Founder.
::::Gilda’s Mother ensures that she has crawled to a seat opposite of the camera. Her eyes are wide with fright. The man has a lisp and southern drawl behind it.::::
GILDA’S MOTHER: Paxton…(gasp)….what are….
PAXTON: Don’t you dare try to fib your way outta this’un.
GILDA’S MOTHER: I’m….
:::The jeans of Paxton obscure the shot.::::
PAXTON: I’m goin’ to be nice, right here. Real civil-like.
::::Paxton sits across from Gilda’s Mother and Jatt Starr gets a pretty good look of the man who broke into his house, only several years younger. The pasty, oily face, the sunken eyes.::::
PAXTON: Ya see, you cain’t change things now, no ma’am. The Founder done told me what you’re fixin’ to do. You tryin’ to rob me of my moment for the third year in a row? That baby girl of yours was promised to me six years ago. Six motherfuckin’ years I been a-waitin’ and I ain’t gonna wait no more.
GILDA MOTHER: Paxton, please….you don’t—-
::::WHACK! Paxton backhands Gilda’s Mother to the side of her face.:::
PAXTON: You will shut your little fuckin’ mouth, ya hear?
::::Gilda’s Mother closes her mouth and looks down.:::
PAXTON: You made a vow in front of the Founder, the Tribunal, and almighty Ota’Topeht, praise him, that she would be one of the Chosen and The Founder, in his divine wisdom, declare she was to be MINE!
::::Gilda’s Mother’s head moves up slightly, perhaps to shoot daggers into the degenerate scum in front of her using her eyes.:::
PAXTON: What, you think your baby girl is special, cuz she’s yours? Uh-uh, no ma’am. She is just another vessel in which to purge our sins.
::::Paxton violently grabs Gilda’s Mother’s hair and pulls her close to his greasy, pasty white face.:::
PAXTON: You think you just gonna take her place again? Fuck no. You all used up. This year, I ain’t gettin’ no one else’s sloppy seconds, no ma’am. One way or another, she will be takin’ part of the Cleansin’ tomorrow night and I will be releasin’ all my sins into her.
::::Paxton throws her back into the chair, releasing her. He stands up and walks out of the frame.:::
PAXTON: Oh, and if y’all is thinkin’ about runnin’? Just remember what happened the last time you ran. I promise you, we will find you and it will be much, much worse an’ we ain’t just gonna punish you, now. It’ll be both of y’all, so you best get her prepared cuz I done a lotta sinnin’. Praise be to Ota-Topeht.
::::The sound of the RV door opening and closing as Paxton exits. Gilda’s Mother grabs onto her hair and a low, strangled scream escapes her body. She takes a breath, calmly wipes her cheeks with her hands, and walks back to the camera.:::
GILDA’S MOTHER: You can see it, these are inhuman monsters. Especially that filthy, fuck nugget. Eighteen years of this fear, manipulation, and…and…abuse ends tonight, Gillie. I have no choice anymore, I have to move forward. I can’t let this stand any longer and I know what I—
:::Jatt Starr pauses, feeling nauseated at what he has just witnessed. His breathing becomes heavier and heavier, the rage inside of him mounts, about to erupt like a volcano.
Everything rises to the surface….
Elsa standing him up…..
That cumberworld, Conor Fuse, getting the better of him…..
The video….witnessing just a sample of the abuse that Gilda and her mother had to endure….
The anger that comes with knowledge that all of that could have been avoided if she had just told him…..
He stands and turns, throwing his glass of Scotch across the room, shattering the glass. There is no other outlet for his rage. Mister Whacky is in the house with a multitude of other implements he can use to cause property damage inside the room. He can only scream and scream until all he has left is hyperventilation….until he blacks out.:::