U NO JAB?
A small puddle on the ground stands dormant until a single drop disturbs the peace, sending ripples racing to the edges. The camera pans up to find the source of the drop, which just so happens to be a bag of ice that just so happens to be pressed against the cheek of the Permascar Superstar. The now bruised cheek after an ungrateful Mortimer Knightingale decided to swing on the Gamble Adoration Syndicate’s fearless leader unprovoked.
Frank Pastore: I told you he didn’t like us.
Sitting across from The Grin is one half of No Laughing Matter, the other half is standing to his left punching fist into palm.
Domingo Cruz: Shoulda let me drop that fool, Frankie.
Pastore shakes his head.
Frank Pastore: Priority was getting Tony out of harm’s way. He had just finished his match, no reason to let him risk getting hurt for no reason.
Tony chuckles softly, his eyes cleaning softly as a sharp pain takes him by surprise.
Tony Gamble: Halo’s coming up soon, gotta be ready for it.
Domingo Cruz: How hard did he…
Frank glances over his shoulder, shaking his head slightly.
Frank Pastore: Culture Shock is right around the corner, shame you don’t have a match on night one.
Domingo Cruz: Speaking of night one matches. We making sure Morty isn’t having one next week, or what?
Frank Pastore: Well, if he’s not with us he’s against us. And after what he did earlier, it’s pretty safe to say he’s against us.
As if seemingly from nowhere, Mortimer Knightingale is standing in front of the three men, his hands up, slowly taking a step towards them. Cruz and Pastore immediately take a defensive stance whereas Tony Gamble glares daggers at the man who assaulted him earlier in the evening.
Mortimer Knightingale: You, uh…..mentioned earlier that you could help me in my impendin’ match against Darin Zion?
Tony Gamble furrows his brow, unsure what to make of this turn of events. The Grin motions for Cruz and Pastore to stand down. They both do so reluctantly.
Mortimer Knightingale: And, uh, I’m sorry Tony. I’m sorry for everythin’ that’s happened tonight.
Frank Pastore: The set of balls on this guy.
Tony puts the bag of ice down and stands up, placing a hand on Frank’s shoulder as the other rubs at his jaw.
Tony Gamble: Huge balls, Frank, because after the shit he pulled earlier…here he is with his tail tucked between his legs like a freaking dog. What’s changed Morty?
Mortimer Knightingale is silent for a moment. He looks down at his hand, still throbbing from earlier in the evening. He notices some blood on his knuckle. Her blood. He quickly puts his hand in his pocket.
Mortimer Knightingale: You wanted me a part of this crew? You got it. But it’s my choice. No bullshit contracts. Maybe I just wanna win the Alias championship. Maybe I got nothin’ else. Maybe I’m just a piece of….Why question it? You wanted me a part of G.A.S., I’m a part of G.A.S.. But, and I say this once, no more derogatorical remarks about Kohime Mori. They’re hurtful and they’re destructive.
Tony completes his smile, smacking Cruz lightly with the back of his hand as he shakes his head.
Tony Gamble: I question it, Morty, because you had a lot of hurtful and destructive things to say about me earlier, and I’m not too sure what to make of your little apology. Then, after telling me that you want to join us without any strings attached or having it forced upon you…you add a but, and not the kind Jared Sykes likes to snack on either.
The Grin gets closer to Mortimer, his hands now clasped behind his back.
Tony Gamble: You do realize that you’re going to need to hurt her more than my words ever can, if you truly want to become the ALIAS champion. Don’t you?
Mortimer Knightingale: Who the fuck is Jared Sykes?
Tony Gamble: A man with a title that no longer has any value, tag team champ that went by King Blueberry. Not sure if it really matters, though.
Tony turns away from Knightingale and walks over to his bag.
Tony Gamble: What does matter though, Morty, is how devoted you’re going to be to the cause…because there’s not going to be anymore half-assing it. I need to know that if I’m going to help you, that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Mortimer Knightingale: You’re….the boss.
Tony turns around with a smile as big as Texas on his face, and a black tie dangling from his hand.
Tony Gamble: I hear you, Morty, but I’m going to need a little more than a couple of words to truly believe you.
The Permascar Superstar reaches out to hand the tie back to Knightingale.
Tony Gamble: I’m going to need you to treat this tie the way Brandon Youngblood treats Alexei’s sympathy.
Underneath the mask, Mortimer Knightingale has the confused look of a second grader being handed a screwdriver and being told to use it to cook a progressive five course meal with a French-Mexican fusion flair as he takes the tie.