It’s a relatively uneventful night for the PRIME Tag Team champions. With nothing booked match-wise, and no plans to watch their UltraViolence opponents again, the pair find themselves meandering through the hallways of the MGM Grand in masks and street clothes.
Reina Raspberry: The way you stood outside the door, it was like you were working up the courage to ask out a prom date.
King Blueberry: Thanks, I think?
Reina Raspberry: Maybe next time just slide a note under the door. “Dear Brandon, will you go out with me? Circle one Y or N.”
King Blueberry: We can stop talking about this now.
Reina Raspberry: And you didn’t even knock.
King Blueberry: No point.
Despite the size difference, the hand on his arm is enough to make him stop in his tracks.
Reina Raspberry: I’m going to need you to explain this to me. Why did you go there at all if you weren’t going to talk?
Later, where there isn’t the omnipresent threat of cameras lingering, there’ll be a conversation about pecking orders, and King Blueberry’s perceived place in them; about how 20 years of scrutiny in the public eye can inform your sense of self. But that’s a problem for Future Berries to contend with; an issue to solve far from the prying eyes and ears of thousands upon thousands of viewers.
At the moment?
King Blueberry: Can we not right now?
Reina Raspberry: Will you at least tell me what you were gonna say?
A long sigh escapes the Blueberry’s lips, but he doesn’t break his stride.
King Blueberry: Not going to let this go, are you?
Reina Raspberry: Something’s up, that’s for sure. I just want to know what.
King Blueberry: I wanted to know what it fe…
The rest of that sentence dies in his throat as the two round the corner. In front of them is a large wooden crate with the word “SWORDS” spray painted at an angle across its surface. The contents of this box have been picked clean, with only a few blades remaining.
Standing in front of the crate, holding a type of Indian cavalry saber, is the incomparable Baron von Blackberry. The Devil Fruit, in all of his glory, carrying a sword. Things could not possibly be any worse than this.
Baron von Blackberry: Ah, hello, fellow Kings. As you can see, we have chosen arms on this day. Because, uh… okay, look, we’re not going to talk about who found the swords and where they came from and who Sid had to powerbomb to acquire these, but the important thing is that there are now swords.
Speaking of Sid, he’s standing there with an expression on his face that suggests that he definitely just powerbombed someone. In his hand, almost as an afterthought, is a letter opener.
The moment he sees the berries, he hastily hides the legs of someone behind the crate.
Sid Phillips: Oh, hey. It’s the berries again. We sure do seem to run into each other, huh? Ahaha…
And then there’s Joe. Joe has eight katanas strapped to his body, but the sword that’s actually in his hand is a rapier.
Joe Fontaine: Hey! Check me out. I’m like several Deadpools combined into one, now!
He starts making kung fu poses, despite the European nature of the weapon in his hand. He also nearly cuts Blackberry with it.
Baron von Blackberry: YOU FOOL! Do not go waving your Samoan meat stick at me, all willy-nilly!
Joe Fontaine: It’s not even Samoan, dude.
Baron von Blackberry: BAH! Details.
He turns his attention back to King Blueberry and Reina Raspberry.
Baron von Blackberry: In any case, hello! Please, help yourselves.
To the surprise of everyone watching – those with a pulse, at least – Blueberry does not take his hands from his pockets. This despite the veritable sword buffet splayed out before him. Of course, it’s still his partner who’s the sensible one. She raises both of her hands and speaks one word; just one.
Reina Raspberry: NOPE!
Then turns around and walks right back the way she came, never once looking over her shoulder to see what fresh horror is unfolding behind her. The rationale is simple to follow: this group of fools is dangerous enough with only the letter opener, but now they have swords, so someone is for sure about to die here.
King Blueberry: This is… ummm… huh.
The downshift from wondering about his place in the grand scheme of things to being confronted by an absolute barrage of bladed weaponry is a little much for Blueberry to handle. Amidst the rest of his thoughts, a single salient question forms.
King Blueberry: So are these real?
Baron von Blackberry: So, I don’t know the full story. We simply happened upon these on our way to the ring for our match, and Sid… well, you know how Sid gets when he sees an opportunity for swords.
Sid Phillips: No he doesn’t.
King Blueberry: No, I don’t.
Baron von Blackberry: Anyway, you know how Sid gets when he sees an opportunity for powerbombs.
Sid Phillips: Yes, he does.
King Blueberry: Yeah, no, that one I read loud and clear.
Joe Fontaine: It’s more a statement of fact, really.
Sid Phillips: Yes.
Baron von Blackberry: Verily.
There is a pause.
Baron von Blackberry: What was the question, again?
King Blueberry: You have a crate full of swords plus one letter opener. Are they real? The swords, I mean. I assume the letter opener is, because there are offices here and even though everything is electronic these days, some people still get normal mail.
Sid Phillips: Imma be honest with you, no idea how this thing is supposed to get used.
King Blueberry: My advice is to wait until Melvin comes back from his ass-ache and have him explain it to you. Up close. Preferably with something that’s really hard to open.
Sid Phillips: I don’t know. I’d hate to get fined again. I’ve had to attend classes about how to not powerbomb Enemigos.
Baron von Blackberry: I’m teaching those.
Sid Phillips: His lessons are painful and probably should’ve sent me to the hospital.
Joe Fontaine: Or the morgue.
Baron von Blackberry: Oh, no, those lessons come later. If you misbehave.
Sid Phillips: Gulp.
Yes, he actually says the word “gulp”.
The conversation is abruptly broken as a hurricane of fur bounds into the crowd. Padded paws skid across on the tiled floor, as Bucky Rex Daniels tries to find his footing. He slides to a stop, his butt bumping softly against the wooden crate. You know, the same one where the swords are kept.
Would you like to guess what happens next?
First, Patience and Decius turn the corner at a sprint, pausing only to acknowledge that they’ve found their quarry. Then, Bucky does the one thing that all gud bois do: steal the shit he’s not supposed to have. In this case that’s a sword, clutched in his mouth by the hilt.
King Blueberry: Whoa, hey there, buddy. Be a good boy and put the sword d-AH!!
Contrary to popular belief, King Blueberry isn’t stupid. Okay, so he’s a little stupid. Not really stupid, maybe just impulsive. Look, he never had a dog growing up, so he doesn’t understand that there’s a careful dance that needs to happen in order for a pup to drop the thing it’s not supposed to have, whether that be a bone, a shoe, or a two-handed bastard sword with a worked leather hilt and a skull-shaped pommel.
King Blueberry: Son of a bitch!
In this case, yes, quite literally.
King Blueberry: That one’s real!
Later, he’ll have to explain to Dr. Fihlguud why there’s a 2 inch slice across his palm, and after that he’ll relay the story to his tag partner. Neither conversation will earn him any favors.
Bucky, now armed to the teeth (again, also quite literally), bolts down the hall in the direction he came, and the two Montgomery twins charge off in a full sprint. After all, what’s the first thing you should do when you see a dog with a sword? In the words of Matt Smith, “Basically, run.”
King Blueberry: Well congrats, guys. We’ve just unleashed a fuckin’ Dark Souls boss on the locker room. Great job, us.
Baron von Blackberry: You know, now I have to start thinking about weight distribution about a dog with a four foot bastard sword. Can’t imagine it’s that easy for that good, good boy. Really, I’m impressed. Boy’s got a good swing.
Joe, having watched the whole thing unfold, points at the hall where they disappeared.
Joe Fontaine: Who were those guys?
Baron von Blackberry: Don’t worry about it. I’m sure they’ll be fine. Also, you’re not wrestling with all of those eBay katanas strapped to your body, get rid of them.
Joe Fontaine: What? Man. I wanted to look cool, though. I never get to look cool.
Baron von Blackberry: Yes, yes, well… no one with eight katanas looks cool unless they’re an eight-armed samurai. Note to self, build a robot samurai with eight arms once I have returned to my fortress-castle at Fruitstadt, the next step towards my true goal of world domination! AHAHAHA!
He shakes his fist in the air.
In a show of absent-minded solidarity, King Blueberry also shakes his fist in the air. That’s when he notices the streaks of red seeping from his palm and down his forearm. When he uncurls his fingers, the sight is enough to send him into immediate action.
King Blueberry: Well guys, it’s been fun as always, but I think I should probably get this looked at. Last thing I want is to end up a one-armed man in a powerbomb contest in a few weeks, because I don’t think that ends well. I mean, I’m probably not powerbombing anyone at UltraViolence anyway, but a guy can dre- Oh fuck it. This hurts.
He flicks a few drops of red from his fingertips before setting off in search of an adult. Specifically, an adult with a degree and a license to practice medicine.
Baron von Blackberry: Should not have messed with that dog.
He waves the Winds forward.
Baron von Blackberry: Onward, then! Let’s go get some autographs from SGRNR, by way of a wrestling match!
Sid Phillips: Whatever.
The Winds depart, with Joe still trying to get rid of the cheap katanas on their way out of the scene. As soon as the diabolical berry and his charges leave, another masked wrestler comes walking into the frame, whistling “Garbage Bag Johnny Will Win Zero2Hero.” It’s the Anglo Luchador, clad in his gear with his Intense Championship belt around his waist. He chances upon the crate, and his eyes bug out of his head like he’s a cartoon wolf who has just seen a comely lass singing at a cabaret.
TAL: Sweet huitlacoche! Could it be?
He rubs his eyes to make sure he’s not dreaming the crate crudely marked “SWORDS” in front of him.
TAL: The gods have blessed me on this day!
He reaches into crate to pick out the right sword from the slim pickings that remain. Finally, he grasps onto one that looks like Longclaw from Game of Thrones. He holds it up into the air as if he was trying to attract a lightning strike.
In case you couldn’t translate the above, he made the sound various Zelda games make when you open a treasure chest. He swings the sword softly, holding the blade to his face.
TAL: Finally, The Anglo Luchador has a sword. AHAHAHAHAH!
He swings it with more vigor this time, only to see the sword blade detach right from the hilt. The blade goes flying, hitting a coffee urn flush before shattering into a billion little pieces. The Anglo Luchador picked up the prop sword out of an entire crate of real blades.
TAL: OH SH…
He goes to reach for another sword, but the crate is gone. The stagehands Sid Phillips had threatened with powerbombs returned to take the crate away, and they had started dragging while he was swinging his prop sword.
TAL: COME BACK! COME BACK HERE! I NEED MY SWORD!
The luchador chases them as the camera cuts to the ringside area.