April 1, 2003 – 1625hrs
Operation Iraqi Freedom
The rumbling of a convoy shakes the ground underneath it. Staff Sergeant Steve Solex is shown riding in the passenger seat of a humvee that is second in the convoy. The second vehicle in the convoy is usually reserved for the Convoy Commander, and in this case that would be Steve Solex. Solex points to the right of the dirt road, up toward the glassless window opening of a war-torn building. He shouts something inaudible and the driver slams on the brakes to the humvee. The entire convoy comes to an abrupt stop and Solex jumps out of the humvee with his M4 in hand. He sights his rifle on the window and slowly walks toward the building with a great deal of caution. His driver runs him down and covers his six.
“Watch the window, Frankie!” Solex shouts to his driver. In less than twenty seconds, Solex is leading a formation of six troops toward the building. Weapons are pointed in every direction, troops are marching forward, and the machine gunner takes up the rear of the formation. They stack against the side of the building and prepare to breach the door.
A grenade is dropped from the top story window, explodes almost instantly and and without hesitation…chaos ensues. Solex boots the door to the building in. The troops are in the building, right behind him.
“CLEAR!” Solex shouts as he clears the first room and takes up position in the corner.
The number two man is up the stairs in an instant, and a gun shot rings out.
“Man down!” The number two man has been shot. Solex immediately bolts past him and begins to clear the upstairs, making a path for the medic.
Solex is knocked unconscious with an axe handle to the back of the head.
April 2, 2003 – 0102hrs
Baghdad, Iraq – Hospital
Operation Iraqi Freedom
The scene fades in as Solex opens his eyes. He’s been unconscious since being hit over the head, but for some reason unknown to him, a couple of military policemen standing over his bed.
“What is it?” Solex asks, grunting and groaning as he adjusts his position in bed.
“We have a couple of questions for you, Sergeant Solex?” The younger of the two men asks.
“Well…ask away, asshat.”
He scoffs at Solex’s comment.
“What happened to the man in that building?” The MP asks.
Solex rolls his eyes before answering, “Now how the fuck should I know? I was hit over the goddamn head.”
“Then how do you explain that?” The other MP asks, pointing at Solex’s blood covered hands.
Solex looks at his hands in disbelief.
“What the fuck is this?” Solex asks, turning his hands over and over, attempting to find the wound.
“That’s not your blood, Sergeant,” the younger MP says, shaking his head. “Now tell us what happened?”
Solex looks at the MP with a raised eyebrow. “I gotta take a piss,” Solex says before ripping the IV right out of his hand. He jumps to his feet and heads to the bathroom.
“Sergeant Solex, freeze!”
“Can it, junior. I’ll be right back!”
Solex heads into the bathroom and flicks on the light. He leans over the sink, pressing his hands into either side of the rim.
“What the fuck is happening to me? I don’t remember shit!” Solex mutters to himself, still foggy from the knock on the head. He flips on the faucet and begins washing his hands in the sink. He watches the blood clear off his hands and whirl down the drain. He splashes some water on his face, and looks up into the mirror.
We did it.
The words are written in blood on the mirror.“What the fuck?”
He tries to wipe the blood off the mirror, but instead smears it in. He grabs a towel and frantically tries to wipe down the mirror with very little success. He hurries to open the door, and rushes back out into his room.
“What the fuck is this!?”
The two MPs are both face down on the ground. Both men are bloodied from head wounds. Written on the floor next to the younger MP, in blood are the words…
We did it.
“Who the fuck is we?”
March 3, 2020
Cue the 1950’s television music. The scene fades in and immediately a montage is displayed across the screen. Random clips of the Solex family playing catch, barbecuing, and laughing on the sofa are shown as the music continues to play. A shot of the Solex residence; white picket fence, freshly cut front lawn and the Solex family on the porch waving to the camera is shown as the music fades.
Filmed in front of a live studio audience.
The crowd claps in the show as the opening credits roll on the lower third of the screen. The crowd begins to howl as Steven Solex walks down the stairs and into the living room. His son, Jebidiah is seated on the television in his 1950’s boy scout uniform; little ascott, hat and all. The boy is looking down and seems to be crying.
“What’s the matter, sport?” Steven asks as he plops down on the couch next to his son.
“(sniff)Oh, nothing paw.(sniff)” Jebidiah replies as he wipes the snot from his nose with his sleeve.
Solex gives the boy a sideways look and the crowd erupts into laughter.
“Oh, come on, buddy. It’s me. Dad. Daddy. Dadderino. The ol’ Dadster!” The crowd applauds as Steven nudges his son with his elbow.
“It’s that kid from school again(sniff). You know…(sniff)…Roger.”
The crowd oo’s as Solex sits forward in the sofa, resting his elbows on his knees.
“What did that rapscallion do to you this time, my boy?”
“He tripped me(sniff) and my(sniff) books went flying into a puddle! And now Mr. Davenport, my English teacher, says I won’t pass my class unless I turn in a new English book!(sniff),” Jebidiah says, struggling to fight back the tears.
“Well, son. What have I told you about bullies?” Steven asks his son, placing a hand on his shoulder attempting to comfort the young Solex.
“To punch them right in the kisser!” Jebidiah’s face lights up as he shouts out.
Steven shakes his head and looks into his son’s eyes.
“No, son. (cue the cheesy lecture music) We never counter violence with violence. The best thing you can do about a bully, is to ignore him, son. A boy like that is just looking for attention. So, if you see Roger. I want you to turn around and walk in the opposite direction! Do you hear me, son?”
Jebidiah looks back down toward the floor, and nods his head in agreement.
“Do you understand me, little amigo?” Steven asks, in the corniest of tones.
“(mumbles)Yes, sir,” the boy replies.
“That’s a good boy. Now run along and go play outside!”
Jebidiah mumbles some expletives under his breath as he darts out the front door. The cheesy smile on Steven’s face lets you know that he heard nothing of what the boy said.
“That little so and so! He’s a good boy, that one!”
Transition music plays over as the scene fades.
March 4, 2020
The transition music brings in the next scene. Steven is shown sitting on the sofa reading the newspaper. The crowd applauds as the scene comes into focus and cheers as little Jebidiah rushes in the front door with a huge smile on his face. Solex peers over the paper.
“Woah, son! Woah!” He shouts, stopping his son dead in his tracks. “Freeze!” Steven says, and Jebidiah is quick to oblige by freezing in a mid run causing the crowd to laugh hysterically.
“What’s the good word, perd?” Steven asks in a confused tone. “Perd? Where did that come from?” He asks himself. “What’s up, sport? Why all smiles?”
“The best thing happened!” Jebidiah shouts in excitement.
“Do tell, son.”
“Well…well…well…Roger…and…and…well,” Jebidiah can’t keep it together and the crowd continues to laugh at the boy’s comic relief. Steven stands up and approaches his son. He drops to a knee and gets eye to eye with the boy, grabbing a hold of his shoulder.
“Ta..ta…ta…ta…today junior!” Stevens exclaims before looking directly into the camera and winking as the crowd goes into hilarity hysterics. “Calm down, son. One word at a time, let’s go. You’ve got this.”
“Well, Dad. Daddy. Dadderino. You know that bully, Roger? Well, something happened to him.”
“Well, spit it out boy!”
“Someone broke into his house last night and beat him up!”
The crowd goes silent as Steven’s eyes widen at the news.
“Not only that! Whoever beat him up, also beat up his Dad! And his uncle!”
That’s when Steven noticed the red tint on the knuckles of his right hand. The crowd oo’s as Steven yanks his right hand from his son’s shoulder and quickly places it into his pocket.
“Run along, son,” Steven says, prompting the boy to run out of the living room and into the kitchen. Steven gets his feet and pulls his hand from his pocket. His knuckles are swollen and red, but only when his son told him the story did he notice.
“Did I do this?” He asks himself as intense music begins to play.
“No, way,” he says to himself as he rubs his knuckles.
“Hey, honey!” The crowd cheers wildly as Steven’s wife, Karen, walks into the living room. She outfitted in her early sixties mom-cleaning-attire, frilly little apron and all.
“Where were ya’ last night, ya’ silly goose?” She inquires as she begins dusting the bookshelf behind the sofa.
“What do you mean?” Steven asks.
“Well, I woke up at about two-thirty in the gull-darn mornin’, and you weren’t in bed. I searched the house for ya’, but you were nowhere to be found,” She says as she continues to dust.
“Oh…sorry, honey. I, uh…I couldn’t sleep, so I, uh…went for a walk around the block. Just had to get some fresh air and clear out the ol’ noggin,” he says, clearing lying through his teeth.
Karen doesn’t think twice about it, “Oh, ok. Well, did ya’ get some sleep? Cause those bags under your eyes could use some cucumber!” She’s all sunshine and rainbows about the whole thing.
“Yeah, I think so,” he says, still staring at his knuckles, his voice low and monotone.
“Okie dokie, artichokie!” Karen says before walking out of the room.
Karen whimsically prances out of the room, dusting the ledges and shelves on her way out as the crowd applauds her. Steven stays down on a knee and runs his fingers through his hair. When he lifts his arm, his long sleeve is pulled up his forearm and Steven notices something even more disconcerting.
“We did it?” He reads the words that are literally carved into his inner forearm.
“Who the fuck is we?”
Tuesday – Memorial Day, 5:30am
June 1, 2021
I hate running in foreign countries. It’s not the people or the roads, but the smells. It’s not that it smells bad, just unusual. I just got done with a five mile run through Tokyo, and this place is exactly how I remember it. Lee Best really does know how and when to book a good venue. There’s not other place I’d rather be for War Games this year, to be honest. Last year I was forced out of War Games, and I’d like to place all of the blame for that on that prick Joe Bergman, but instead…I’ll just blame that shitbag Ryan McAvay instead..
Why Ryan McAvay?
Because I fuckin’ said so, that’s why. I don’t even know the prick, but I know that I don’t like him…that’s for sure. Anyone who aligns themselves with the self proclaimed Queen is a shit person in my book. In fact, I’ll blame their whole fuckin’ team, while I’m at it. Like what the fuck is even going on with that team anyway? Why the fuck is Dan Ryan on this team? Seriously, why? I thought he and the queen cunt broke up…suddenly they’re back together again?
These are the questions that don’t keep me up at night. Why don’t they? Because in all honesty, I just don’t give a flyin’ fuck anymore. I hardly know who’s on my War Games team, but I know that Lee picked every single one of them, so I don’t have any doubts that they’re the right men for the job.
How many times do I have to wrestle Zeb Martin and Conor Fuse? I mean, holy shit. The little gamer fuck and the fake country-boy may have gotten luck a few times, but geezuz…I’m over it. Feed me some fresh meat, man. But I have to trust the plan and the man; and I do.
“Hey, dick hole. Why didn’t you tell me you were going for a run?” Shawn shouts as he jogs down the front steps of our hotel. I just shake my head and try to walk past him, but he grabs ahold of my wrist. I ask him what he wants, and he replies “Let’s fuckin’ go. We have a match to train for.”
I don’t understand why he continues to say we have a match. He’s not even going to be in there when the shit hits the fan. I feel like I’m a sports team and he keeps referring to the team as we like he’s on the team. I fuckin’ hate people that do that, by the way. But I won’t tell that to Shawn; I don’t think he’d like it much.
“Come on, let’s go. Five miles, pal,” Shawn says, tugging at my wrist.
I let him know that I just ran five miles and he shouts at me “I don’t give a fuck. Let’s go!”
I roll my eyes and I feel Shawn open hand slap my right across the face. I close my eyes from the sting and when I open them…he’s right there in my face, staring at me…eye to eye.
“Now listen to me, you fuck,” he begins. “You have done jack shit this last year, and I’m here to save your sorry ass. I don’t know why Lee continues to book you in the matches that he does, he must see something in you that I don’t. But I’ll tell you this: I will not let you squander this opportunity. The opportunity to wrestle on a War Games show is enough for some people…for some people, that’s a life goal. But we, you sorry sack of shit…we have the opportunity to wrestle in the War Games match. Don’t you see how important that is for us? To be in the main event of War Games with the chance to win ourselves some championship gold. So, I’m here to get you right and get you ready, so that we can win.”
I look away from him, not because I’m scared of him. But because I know he’s right. I scratch at the back of my head and mutter okay to him.
“Now that’s what the fuck I’m talking about. Let’s go!”
We have a match?