:::SCENE: The soundproof room in an undisclosed apartment in Chicago, Illinois, on a very brisk Valentine’s night. The room is painted a crimson red, the lights are dimmed. The faint sounds of Fleetwood Mac can be heard outside of the “CRACK!” and the following pained, agonizing groans of an individual. There is a bar screwed into the wall, the hands of Jatt Starr grip it as if he were on a high speed roller coaster and his safety harness is ineffectual. He is shirtless, facing the wall. The look in his eyes after feeling the stinging, unforgiving crack of leather striking his flesh is one of anguish.
The woman holding the cat o’ nine tails, the thick leather straps protruding from the handle, is tall, about four inches taller than the Sultan of SeaJattle, her long light brown curly hair with blonde highlights, has an almost satisfied sneer as she looks down at Jatt Starr. Her catlike brown eyes narrow as she brings the whip down across his back again.
WOMAN: ANSWER ME!!!
JATT STARR: NO!!!!
WOMAN: IS HE BETTER THAN YOU?
JATT STARR: NO HE IS NOT!!!!
::::CRACK!!! Another strike with the whip. Jatt Starr grits his teeth and closes his eyes, this time stifling the need to groan as his the pain emanates from his back.::::
WOMAN: ADMIT IT!!! ZEB MARTIN IS MORE MAN THAN YOU’LL EVER BE!!!
JATT STARR: NEVER!!!!
WOMAN: HE’S GOING TO CRUSH YOU LIKE THE BUG YOU ARE!!!
JATT STARR: NO. HE. WILL. NOT!
WOMAN: YOU’RE A FRAUD OF A CHAMPION! ADMIT IT!
JATT STARR: ZEB MARTIN IS…A….MEASLE!!!
WOMAN: TELL ME HOW HOT I AM!!!
JATT STARR: NO! Wait…What???? “GHANDI”!!!!
::::The mention of the safeword flips a switch in the tall, thin woman. Her face shows no sign of the sadistic display she was showing mere seconds earlier. Her heavily made up face shows signs of worry. Her voice goes from authoritarian to soothing.:::
WOMAN: What? What’s wrong?
::::The Ruler of Jattlantis slowly gets to his feet and looks at “Cloud” (a nickname given to her by her hippie uncle and it somehow stuck). He leans back against the wall and immediately winces in pain. He proceeds to take a step forward, looking ruefully at the wall. He turns back to Cloud.::::
JATT STARR: That’s not part of it.
JATT STARR: “Tell me how hot I am”?
CLOUD: It’s Valentine’s Day. A girl needs to hear these things.
JATT STARR: Geez, you know I think you’re gorgeous. Remember, in here I’m—
CLOUD: Jatt Starr – Ruler of Worlds, Kicker of Asses, LSD Champion Extraordinaire. And out there, you’re Simon Sparrow. I know, I get that. But I figured, we’ve been on what? Five? Six dates? Why not take it to the next step?
JATT STARR: We have an arrangement. I increase my tolerance for pain and you have a healthy way to relieve your anger and stress.
CLOUD: We can alter it.
::::Cloud takes a couple of sensual steps towards the Thane of Starrkarth, giving him a smile, exposing her perfect teeth. Jatt Starr, however, looks over his shoulder, probably hoping to develop the ability to turn his head completely around as shown by Linda Blair in “The Exorcist”. Instead he manages to spin in circles like a dog chasing his tail..::::
JATT STARR: Am I bleeding? Did you break the skin?
::::Cloud places her hands on his shoulders, stopping the endless circling of the Jattagonian Giant and looks at the multitude of welts forming on his back and shoulders.::::
CLOUD: No blood.
::::Cloud wraps her long, slim arms around his waist before giving his shoulder a small kiss.::::
JATT STARR: What are you doing?
JATT STARR: It doesn’t seem like nothing.
CLOUD: What do you think about changing our arrangement?
JATT STARR: I would love nothing more than for things to get more…..physical with you. You have no idea. But there’s the match coming up, I have a strategy session tomorrow with Sektor, training—-
CLOUD (mimicking Jan Brady): Sektor, Sektor, Sektor.
JATT STARR: Oh stop it!
::::Jatt Starr starts looking around the floor, no doubt seeking out his clothes.:::
CLOUD: So, you’re leaving now….
:::::Jatt Starr crouches down and picks up his shirt from the floor and starts to put it on.::::
JATT STARR: OWIE! OWIE! OW!
::::The Jattlantic City Idol then grabs his jacket from the floor.::::
JATT STARR: I have a full day tomorrow.
CLOUD: You know I could get any man OR woman for that matter that I want, you realize that, right?
JATT STARR: I am not rejecting you. I’d have to be bonkers to do that! This is the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in with a woman. I don’t want to lose that. I’m just saying, right now, I’m in a good place professionally. If I get too “attached” to you, not only will I lose BOTH my championships but you will then see what a huge mess I really am.
CLOUD: And I’m the face of good mental health?
JATT STARR: Weren’t you though? What was that drug you were on the poster of?
CLOUD: Fuck off.
JATT STARR: Kidding.
CLOUD: The next time you crack a joke, just remember who cracks the whip.
JATT STARR: The whip I bought, by the way. Look, I just need consistency right now which means taking things slow. No huge, massive changes. I am on a motherloving roll right now and I cannot get curtailed. Next week, after StarrSek Industries pummels those two codpieces next week, maybe there’s a little one on one celebration…..
::::The look of disappointment in Cloud’s eyes is apparent but she forces a belabored smile. While normally Jatt Starr would miss the nuanced dismay in Cloud’s face, he does not this time.::::
JATT STARR: Tell you what, Friday night there’s a midnight showing of “Night of the Living Dead”, we’ll go. Maybe get all dressed up in zombie makeup? But no Milk Duds! LSD Champions don’t eat Milk Duds.
JATT STARR: Alright?
CLOUD: I said “Okay”. Frick.
JATT STARR: I’ll call you later.
::::Jatt Starr gives her a warm, comforting, genuine look. Cloud nods and forces a little smile and Jatt Starr leans in, they kiss, it’s short and sweet. He smiles slightly at her and proceeds to leave.
The scene cuts to Monday afternoon. 4:47 pm, Eastern Standard Time. One of the perks of being the LSD Champion, HOW Tag Team Champion, and co-co leader of the Best Alliance is the company paid luxury hotel room four miles from the Best Arena.
Standing in front of the elevators sporting an olive green and steel gray “StarrSek Industries” tracksuit is Hugo Scorpio. He stares at the fern on the redwood table across the elevator doors wondering if it’s real or fake and why would a luxury hotel have a fern of all plants decorating the hallway.
The elevator doors open revealing, not-so-shockingly, Jatt Starr. He is, however, dressed to the nines. A tan designer suit, white dress shirt, and a gold and burgundy ascot tucked under the shirt. For a moment, he considered going full Ralph Furley but, at the advice of someone with more fashion sense that he, decided to tuck it in.
Yes, Cloud, a young woman of which he has become recently acquainted has been a great help in several facets of his life. But, the Ruler of Jattlantis must remind himself, there is an order. LSD Championship. Sektor and the Tag Team Championship. Everything else.
LSD Champions don’t get tied down.
The Thane of Starrkarth exits the elevator.::::
JATT STARR: Hugo, make a note. I need you to send flowers to someone. Make it lilies. No, carnations. No, roses. Are roses too romantic? I don’t want it too romantic. No, make it lilies. What says “had a great time last night but, as per our mutual agreement and as intimate as it is, we need to keep our relationship as is for the near future”?
:::The thought of Cloud and her proclivities make the Jattlantic City Idol’s back itch, especially after the previous night’s escapades.::::
HUGO: Isn’t that Ellie’s job?
JATT STARR: Screw that foul strumpet. She’s out. Gone.
HUGO: What happened?
JATT STARR: The balls on that bitch thinking that she can resign, so I fired her.
HUGO: So I’m back to—?
JATT STARR: Yep.
HUGO: Are you looking for—?
JATT STARR: At some point. This time it needs to be a group decision. But with an impending HOW Tag Team Title match coming up, it won’t be any time soon.
::::The Sovereign of Starrgentina starts down the hallway. The burgundy carpeting with a hunter green border muffling his steps.:::
JATT STARR: Send her some Valentine’s Day chocolates, they should be on sale now, right? The kind in the hearts. I’ll text you the deets.
HUGO: “The deets”?
JATT STARR: It’s short for details.
HUGO: I know. I’m surprised you did.
JATT STARR: Cloud likes to say that.
::::The duo of the Jattagonian Giant and his disfigured employee continue down the hallway, an odor of culinary delight wafts into the hallway, something in the Mexican genre. Paella perhaps? The Starrcelona Icon’s stomach grumbles loudly as if it were Audrey II screaming “Feed Me, Seymour!”.::::
JATT STARR: Arrangements made at that steakhouse?
HUGO: What about your cholesterol?
JATT STARR: LSD Champions don’t have cholesterol.
HUGO: I’m sure the medical community would dis—
JATT STARR: Shut up! And make a note to kick the ass of the manager of this hotel for not putting Sektor’s room closer to mine!
::::Jatt Starr finally stops in front of room 522. He proceeds to knock on the door.
RAP! RAP! RAP!
JATT STARR: You stay outside.
HUGO: I always—-
JATT STARR: No complaining.
::::The Jattylvanian Count waits. As each moment passes, he becomes increasingly impatient. He starts rocking back and forth, trying not to feel like a sucker, especially if Sektor had already left without him. If he did leave and did not tell the Starrkham Savior, that would be a breach of trust at the highest level. But, as Brannigan O’Sexchap says “I can forgive a brother, but I can’t forgive a friend”. Lucky for Sektor that Jatt Starr believes him to be his brother. He knocks again, louder and harder.
BANG! BANG! BANG! (on the door, baby):::::
Finally the door opens.::::
JATT STARR: There he is! John, how—-
::::The Ruler of Jattlantis just stops. His face is frozen. He wants to move but he cannot. It is as if he has come face-to-face with Medusa and he has been turned to stone. He stands in stunned silence. At the image standing before him, all he can muster is…..:::
JATT STARR: Um….
::::Jatt’s mouth is gaping like a black hole as he slowly pans is eyes over Sektor from top to bottom::::
SEKTOR: Ahh, Jatt, lovely. I’m glad you’re here..
::::Jatt is still frozen in time, gawking at what stands before him. Picture this: John Sektor, the Gold Standard, one of the most fearsome and aggressive wrestlers in the business, known for being serious and brooding, is now completely clad from top to toe in DRAG. On his feet are a pair of ruby red high heels as fishnet stockings ascend his toned legs like vines. A leather corset covers his crotch and body up to the armpits. Sat, atop his head, is a curly black wig styled into a perm and his makeup is horrendously over the top as thick blue eye liner weighs heavy on his cupid skin, layered on top of a foundation of white. His lips are bright purple:::
JATT STARR: I…Uhm..whaaaa..
:::Jatt looks like he’s either had a seizure or is completely stunned into an apoplectic state of shock. Sektor raises an eyebrow, appearing as though he’s losing patience.:::
SEKTOR: For fucks sake, man! Spit it out!
JATT STARR: I..uhm…I mean I suppose if anyone has the legs for this outfit, it’s you? But there is a question, I have.
SEKTOR: Go on.
JATT STARR: Why didn’t you tell me? How long has this been going on? Did you shave or wax? Is this for some Ziggy Stardust cover band party? Why didn’t you tell me? How can you walk in those things? And oh yeah…WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME???
::::Sektor, his glorious moustache prevalent in his glamazon attire, opens his mouth to respond to one or all of the Hero of Jattlanta’s questions, but is immediately cut off. Jatt Starr pushes his way into the room.::::
JATT STARR: We could have gone to midnight showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” together! Of course, when I wear my Frank N. Furter ensemble, I have to wear sneakers, because I twisted my ankle the one time I tried high heels. And let me tell you, those Rocky Horror fans are vicious. The ridicule. There’s a midnight showing tonight! I can grab some toast. Of course, there can’t be two Frank N. Furters.
SEKTOR: What the hell are you talking about?
JATT STARR: You’re dressed….
::::The King of Grapple from the Big Apple is unable to finish the sentence in this climate of political correctness. Instead, he just waves towards Sektor’s attire.:::
SEKTOR: Am I supposed to answer the door with my cock hanging out?
JATT STARR: No….
SEKTOR: What the fuck is wrong with you?
JATT STARR: Is this is a sex thing? Do you have a kinky coed in here somewhere? I mean, I get it. We all have our own dirty little secrets. Like last night, I had this woman I am courting whip me like a racehorse.
SEKTOR: That’s fucked up.
JATT STARR: Oh, and this is normal? Look bro, LSD Champions need to have a high tolerance for pain. But this? This is out of character for you. But, I accept you.
::::Jatt Starr extends his arms and proceeds to give Sektor a big bear hug, holding on a little too long, verging to the point of creepy, especially since Sektor is not hugging back. His face is expressionless. The Champion of Jattanooga releases his tag team partner.::::
SEKTOR: Are you okay? Because you are acting really fucking strange.
::::The Jattinum Standard opens his mouth to say something but refrains. He looks as confused as a first grader being given a lesson on trigonometry by a music teacher. Then, a thought dawns on him, Sektor has gone mental. It’s clear to Jatt that Sektor is not embracing the RuPaul Drag Race lifestyle. Sektor has a loose screw somewhere. Considering that Sektor has not asked him to “put the lotion on it’s skin before it gets the hose again”, Jatt believes there’s still hope.::::
JATT STARR: You know, John. It’s still John, right?
JATT STARR: You are aware that we have a match this weekend and we were supposed to go out, have a big steak dinner, drink a bit, and talk strategy.
SEKTOR: Oh. Well, let me get my purse.
JATT STARR: Yeah, I have to wonder if you are in the proper mental state to have that conversation. So maybe let’s put a pin on that.
::::The Baron of Boca Jatton takes a seat on the plush chair to the left of the television. Sektor decides to sit across from his tag team partner on the edge of the couch. Sektor takes a seat, his left arm outstretched across the top of the couch, his legs spread. The King of Grapple from the Big Apple instinctively looks at the ceiling, the cheap painting of a boat hanging on the wall, the light fixtures because this is certainly more of his tag team partner that he wants to see..:::
JATT STARR: Okay, nope.
::::The LSD Champion stands up and moves over towards the kitchen area and leans against the wall as Sektor shifts more to the center of the couch.::::
JATT STARR: John, my friend, mi amigo, mi comrade. I don’t know what you are going through. I don’t know if this is just some new form of midlife crisis you are suffering from or maybe you are trying to debase yourself because you lost your HOFC match against….um, I forget.
::::Sektor’s body stiffens a bit and he crosses his arms over his chest. He stares silently at the thirty-eight inch flatscreen, barely making out his image from the reflection in the screen.::::
JATT STARR: Or maybe it’s because, and I apologize, you got humiliated by that hillbilly boy in like four seconds. And you know what? You have every right to be. There is no way that someone like you, a certified LEGEND, should be beaten by someone whose family tree is a sapling. With the amount of incest that goes on in that family, it’s surprising that he doesn’t look more like the mutants in “The Hills Have Eyes”.
::::The Ruler of Jattlantis begins pacing the room behind his partner.::::
JATT STARR: Whatever it is you are going through, I support you. If this is the new you, then great. Our stock in the LGBTQ would rise “expostentially”. You’re my brother. Or sister. Or…what do we call those who are non-binary? Cousin? Cuz? That doesn’t seem right. Broster? Sisther? Sibling? I’m not up to date on this. Maybe Hugo will know. Nah, I’ll ask him later. However you choose to identify, I support you.
::::The Earl of GlouStarr places his hands on Sektor’s tense shoulders, looking down at the curly black wig on the top of his head wondering it is synthetic or made with real hair. He pushes that thought aside for another time.:::::
JATT STARR: The fact is, if you want to become the Trans-Seks-ual Gold Standard, I got your back. If this is the way you want to dress, fabulous.
SEKTOR: What is wrong with the way—
JATT STARR: Shush! I’m not done yet.
::::The King of Grapple from the Big Apple releases Sektor’s shoulders and places his hands on the back of the couch. He cannot make out Sektor’s reflection from the television, it’s just a darkened blob of an image.::::
JATT STARR: But, if this is you punishing yourself for getting blindsided by Zeb, there’s a lot simpler ways. Cloud, she’s the girl I’m sort of having a thing with, has a sister who, for the right price, will shove a ball gag in your mouth and a three foot dildo up your poop chute while calling you a filthy whore. Apparently they had a rough childhood. Do you know this chick is twenty-four and has a brand fucking new Mercedes doing that shit? Unbelievable. The degenerates of the world unite.
::::The Sultan of SeaJattle looks down at Sektor and, feeling a slight twinge of guilt in the pit of his stomach, backtracks ever so slightly. There is a fine line between tough love and abuse, and there is one thing that the Jattsylvanian Count will never abuse is drugs, women not named Lindsay Troy, and his friendship with Sektor.::::
JATT STARR: No offense. Not that YOU’RE a degenerate. You are far from it. Especially if you want me to put in that call. It’s not my thing. But, apparently, you’ll be sufficiently demeaned.
::::The Thane of Starrkarth slaps Sektor’s shoulders before moving over to the chair. He takes a seat and focuses his gaze towards Sektor’s head which is still turned towards the television. Expressionless. Motionless. There is some worry building inside Jatt Starr, but more than that…..fear.::::
JATT STARR: What I am saying is, this better not impact our match this weekend. The Ruler of Jattlantis is a double champion! StarrSek Industries are the tag team champions. We went into this thing together. You and me. The Gold Standard and the Jattinum Standard. Teaming together, not just to set the STANDARD for the entire HOW Tag Team but to become the ONLY team relevant enough and deserving to carry these belts. And, I’m donning my LSD Champion hat here, the truth is, there is no way in fucking hell I am losing my….OUR….tag team championship belts to some inbred yokel whose idea of fun is throwing firecrackers at ducks, “moonshinin’”, and “mudboggin’’’, whatever the hell that is, and Teddy Fucking Suckspin.
:::Jatt Starr looks at Sektor, expectantly, the way a boss would look at an underling after asking them for a summary off report that would make or break a potential hostile takeover that would yield an obscene amount of money that would arouse Gordon Gekko. He is, however, met with silence.::::
JATT STARR: So, what do—-
SEKTOR: What do you want me to say, hermano?
JATT STARR: Something. Anything.
SEKTOR: There’s nothing wrong. I’m fine.
::::The Sovereign of Starrgentina narrows his eyes as Gold Standard as if by squinting he will be able to see into the mind of his co-tag team champion. LSD Champions, unfortunately, do not possess that particular superpower.::::
JATT STARR: It’s okay. You need time to process this. But rest assured, the Sektor I see in the ring Saturday night better be kicking ass.
SEKTOR: Are we going out or not?
JATT STARR: Um, we can. Isn’t what you are wearing somewhat, I don’t know, indecent?
::::Sektor looks down and nods in agreement.::::
SEKTOR: I can’t go out like this! What am I thinkin’?
JATT STARR: Yes! Finally!
SEKTOR: Hold on, let me throw somethin’ on.
::::Sektor gets up and heads to the bedroom of his hotel room and closes the door behind him. Jatt Starr lets out a disbelieving exhale. He goes over to the door to the room and opens it. Hugo enters.::::
HUGO: Everything good.
JATT STARR: It’s getting there. It was a crisis and I think I handled it amazingly well.
::::The LSD Champion pulls out his phone from his pocket and begins typing on the screen.::::
JATT STARR: I’ve sent you the info on that thing we talked about earlier. Handle it while Sektor and I are out.
HUGO: Got it. Red or white.
JATT STARR: Go with a chardonnay.
::::The bedroom door opens and Sektor emerges wearing a purple and silver sequined ombre mini dress, his right hand is limp with a silver purse hanging over his arm. Hugo’s response to this jarring image is a brief startled silence followed by his eyes rolling into the back of his head and ultimately collapsing in a heap onto the floor. Jatt Starr looks at Sektor and then down at Hugo and then back to Sektor.::::
SEKTOR: What’s his problem?
JATT STARR: Low blood sugar?
SEKTOR: Been dyin’ to try out this little number.
::::The Sultan of SeaJattle chooses to ignore that statement and crouches down and begins slapping Hugo in the face, and not lightly, the slaps verge into Ike Turner territory.:::
JATT STARR: HEY!!! WAKE UP!!!!
::::Hugo opens his eyes and lets out a groan. Jatt Starr helps Hugo up.::::
HUGO: What happened?
JATT STARR: Nothing. We’re ready to—
HUGO: What the fuck is that?
SEKTOR: You got somethin’ to say?
:::Sektor, even in high heels, is able to take a threatening step towards Hugo, his eyes revealing a level of rage that neither Jatt nor Hugo want to necessarily unearth at this particular moment. Especially since Jatt Starr is feeling peckish.::::
::::Hugo proceeds to open the door and Jatt Starr exits followed by Sektor who glares at Hugo as he passes.::::
JATT STARR: By the way, if anyone thinks we’re on a date of some kind, we need to kick their ass.
SEKTOR: Why would they think that?
JATT STARR: You’re right. I would assume people would think I could do better than you.
SEKTOR: Fuck you.
::::Hugo proceeds to follow them out down the corridor and the door closes behind them. Jatt Starr is left wondering what the hell is going to happen. But there is fear. LSD Champions fear nothing. But a tag team champion? There is safety in knowing what your partner is thinking, there is safety in predictability and reliability. But now? There is a building sense of terror rising within the Ruler of Jattlantis. Sektor’s sudden transformation might just be superficial, maybe there is no cry for help here, maybe Jatt is overreacting, maybe comes to the ring looking tremendous, and just absolutely dominates. That’s a lot of “maybes”. One thing that Jatt Starr knows is LSD Champions don’t win on maybes. But those thoughts should be saved for later….for now, he chooses to focus on prime rib. END SCENE.:::::