Running Away is NOT Punk Rock!
We go backstage in the gorilla position. Junior reporter Simon Tillier is standing by with a mic in hand and a wholesome smile on his face.
Standing beside him is a man whose entire face is obscured behind a beard that is billowing out from the force of an electric blow dryer. Based on his numerous recognizable tattoos, it’s quite obviously the notorious dope-smoking daredevil and PRIME’s resident anarchist, Rezin.
Simon Tillier: Good evening, PRIME Faithful! The action continues here at ReVival 7, but right now, I have here with me one of the competitors in the next contest… the Escape Artist, Rezin!
The Goat Bastard shuts off the blow dryer and haphazardly tosses it off camera. His beard drops to reveal a worried expression on his face. He acknowledges the greeting with a surly grunt.
Simon Tillier: Rezin, here in just a few short minutes, you are going to be standing face to face with the terrifying Mask of Malice, BALAAM…
The Goat Bastard cringes, as though the name itself induces feelings of dread.
Simon Tillier: I can’t help but notice you look a bit on edge. Are you nervous about tonight?
Rezin’s eyes rapidly dart around in every direction, searching for someone–or something–that is out to get him.
Rezin: Nervous? Me!? HMPH! How could I possibly be nervous right now, Simon? I’m only about to be forced out there to dance with a three-hundred and fifty pound OGRE who could easily rip my face off and eat it like a strip of beef jerky… and my Viking bodyguard is completely AWOL tonight! NERVOUS?! I’m fan-friggin’-TASTIC right now, Simon! My spirits have never been HIGH-ER!
He snorts. Sarcasm drips heavy from every word. He is clearly rapt with paranoia.
Rezin: Lemme tell ya somethin’, Simple Simon… lately, it feels like the whole world has had it in for Hell’s Favorite Hoosier! Bank’s got my house! Ref screws me out of the Five Star Championship! Olvir gave up booty bangin’ for budget balancin’! Ria STILL rejects my every advance! And now? I’m being PUNISHED by the management! For the crime of being ME!
Simon Tillier: Well, Rezin, I’m sure there isn’t anyone who would envy the position you’re in right now, but given your out-of-control actions backstage at Culture Shock, it goes without saying that you have only yourself to blame for this. Perhaps when all is said and done, a valuable lesson can be learned from this?
Rezin’s demeanor suddenly changes from anxious to obstinate.
Rezin: Ohhhh… you are RIGHT as REEFER on that, Simon! Only not the way you might think! See, if anybody’s gonna learn any lessons tonight, it’s those snooty PRIME Overlords who put me in this pickle!
He looks into the camera and flashes a defiant snarl.
Rezin: Specifically, they’re gonna learn that the harder they try to extinguish this FIRE that’s runnin’ wild through their company, the hotter it’s gonna BURN! Do ya think wreckin’ some fancy, expensive junk and roughin’ up a few Ene-cochinos is the worst I can do? HAH!! You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, PRIME!
Simon Tillier: Okay, then maybe you can tell us what we can expect to see when you stand in the ring against a certified monster in Balaam, the Mask of Malice?
Rezin grumbles as his attention goes back to the junior reporter.
Rezin: Look, Simon, let’s cut to brass tacks here: I know exactly what’s waitin’ for me on the other side of that curtain, and I am in no way lookin’ forward to it. However this turns out, I think it’s safe to say I won’t be walkin’ out with anything less than an epic-level ass-kickin’… provided I manage to walk out at all! But what would ya have me do? Run and hide like some NORMIE!?
Simon Tillier: I mean… I would.
Rezin: Well yeah, obviously YOU would… but not THIS ol’ Dopesmoker! Hiding myself from this “punishment” is exactly what the Overlords are expecting me to do! They want me to see me run! They want to see me try and ESCAPE! They want the satisfaction of knowing they put the fear of TROY in me!
He scoffs and shakes his head.
Rezin: But naahh… it ain’t gonna happen, Simon! Not tonight, and not ever! They could throw a DOZEN monsters the size of Balaam at me, and I’ll still be standin’ my ground, fixin’ to prove ‘em wrong! Cause there ain’t anything PUNK ROCK about runnin’ away! Not that it would do me much good, if that friggin’ BEAST out there already has my scent…
Simon Tillier: Trust me, Rezin… everybody has your scent.
He raises an arm and takes a quick whiff of his pit. Whatever he smells causes him to shrug.
Rezin: Then what the HELL was the point of those stormtroopers hosing me down earlier out there in the parking lot?! “Minimum hygiene standards,” my ASS!
The Goat Bastard grumbles obscenities toward the Enemigos under his breath. Simon decides it would be best to just press one with the interview.
Simon Tillier: Anyway, the fact that you intend to resolutely stand your ground is all well and good, but lest we not forget who we’re talking about here. Balaam has been nothing less than a force of destruction ever since JK Royko Jr. was coerced into donning the Mask of Malice.
Rezin groans, and nods, begrudgingly accepting this truth.
Rezin: …yeah, that dude is definitely all kinds of scary.
Simon Tillier: So it begs the question: how do you manage to defeat–let alone survive–a seemingly unstoppable force like that?
The hash-smoking high flyer’s face scrunches up and he scratches at his skullet, seemingly incapable of coming up with a suitable answer.
Rezin: Well damb, Simon… wish I could tell ya. As it is, I left my bazooka at home…
He suddenly perks up and slaps Simon on the chest, nearly knocking the junior reporter over, before brazenly sticking a thumb into his own.
Rezin: But hey, this is ME we’re talkin’ about! And what everyone should damb well know by now is that what I lack in size and strength, I more than make up for in MOXY and MADNESS! Besides, if things were to get really dicey out there, I bet Timo can wrangle with him long enough for me to make my ESCAPE! Or maybe those damb Ene-cochinos can stick to their reputation for using excessive force and ZAP him into a coma! HAH! Imagine, THAT! That big, dumb knuckle-dragger lyin’ on the ground, droolin’ all over himself, pissin’ his pants! Ol’ Hoyt would prolly piss himself too! Seein’ his big, scary “monster” all laid out and… Simon? SIMON! Dambit, Simon, are you even listening to me right now?! Why are you looking BEHIND me, instead of AT me?! And what’s with that aghast expression on your face? And dude, you are white as a GHOST right now! Like you’re lookin’ at something absolutely HORRIFYING right now! Simon? SIMON! HELLOOO!!
The sound of a heavy metal chain being dragged across the floor causes Rezin to trail off. He is all but painfully aware that standing immediately behind him and breathing down his neck is the wall of a man named John Kennedy Royko Jr.
Or, as he’s more infamously known: BALAAM, THE MASK OF MALICE!
Like a man at the gallows, Rezin rumbles with a gravelly and woeful sigh of defeat.
Rezin: (whispering) Simon… buddy… in the future… when you see a bloodthirsty three-hundred and fifty pound monster standing immediately behind me… it would be rather courteous of you to inform me that–BLEGHK!!
The Goat Bastard’s words are cut off when two MASSIVE hands seize him by the neck and proceed to throttle him with reckless abandon. Simon, wisely, makes himself scarce. Balaam tosses Rezin past the camera.
The camera swivels around in time to catch Rezin tumbling into the janitor’s mop bucket and splashing filthy water everywhere. Defiled once again, the Goat Bastard sits up, soaked and sputtering. Then a massive HAND encompasses his entire face and pulls him back to his feet.
The Harbinger of Malice, Duke Williams, allows more slack on the chain giving the monster more freedom. Joe Burro is in the background spraying Hawaiian Tropic Febreze in the direction of Rezin.
Effortlessly, the Mask of Malice lifts Rezin off the floor and flings him like a Frisbee into the camera.
Cut to static!