There is a Lost Week in the collective memory of Anna Daniels.
To this very day, the majority of the Multitudes can only recall the events before and after. But not during. Never during. This is by design. To explain it, we’re gonna need to go back somewhat. Sometime in the early to mid-aughts in Orlando, Florida. Once upon a time, a man named Anubis decided he wanted to run roughshod over a wrestling promotion. He also decided that the best to do this was with a stable. He began to build it with fresh faces that had just appeared from the newest crop coming in from Nashville.
Emphasis on he began to build. Because while he wanted so desperately to be a mastermind, he was also very, very lazy. So in truth, he drew in one guy and said “Pick three others and we’ll destroy this place.”
This one guy, a short furry angsty fuck called Feral, proceeded to do so. His first pick was Loco, a six foot tall Australian who looked like the Crow. His second was a not quite as tall but equally as angsty and ultimately more clueless Canadian boy, one Alex Kincaid. And that was all the picks Feral ever needed to make. The fourth came to him. A woman who stood about as tall as he did with dubious origins. She chainsmoked, snarked, and was doing her best impression of a human. By “human”, we mean “edgelord” because when you force all your memories of your old life into a watch and all you see around you are moody little bitches…yeah.
It took no time at all to realise that Anubis couldn’t be bothered to do anything and less than that to unceremoniously throw his ass out. At a bar, the quartet managed to get increasingly drunk and toasted to being siblings-in-arms.
Then just as quickly as all of that, three-fourths of this alleged new order left. Leaving one to fend for herself. They didn’t even leave a note! Confused but willing to hold down the fort until the rest returned, she managed to keep rolling, keep struggling, and (if we must be honest) keep jobbing. Even though her win-loss record was abyssmal, she kept the faith that her comrades would come. All she would have to do is keep trying. Force herself to be better…
This would keep going for months.
One night, she began to walk to her car. Unlocked said vehicle remotely. She was about a foot away from being able to leave the premises of the soundstage when the smell of chloroform hit.
This was the start of the Lost Week. You see, Anubis may have been a lazy sack of shit when it came to bringing his plans into fruition. But when it came to revenge? He knew right when to strike. It also helped that there was only one person to strike against. A person who, by all degrees, would’ve been the weakest link of the group anyway. Despite her bravado, anybody could tell she was only called up to the main roster for the sake of numbers. She was the easiest target. And there were several ways to break her.
This is where the memories end for all the Multitudes save for one. The only ones that remember–only in glimpses at best–are Firebug and the vessel herself. Chained to chainlink. The screaming. The pain. The blankness of her eyes and the deviousness of his. The knowledge that nobody was there to save her. The knowledge that nobody even noticed that she was gone. Nobody cared and she would be left here in this warehouse to wither and die and fester and rot and become meaningless.
Nobody loves you.
You. Are. Nothing.
Where the collective remembrance kicks in next is after she was saved. If you’d even call it that. Anubis was long gone. They don’t remember breaking some of the chain. They don’t remember the phone call. They don’t even remember how these wanna be heroes got here.
“Did he do anything to you?”
The vessel tried to say something but having no voice of her own, she shook her head no instead. Firebug, still floating high above the ruckus, knew it was a lie. The questions blur together. The next memory is of being handed pepper spray and a taser. The vessel could only dumbly nod in thanks. But deep down, something in her burned.
They were well-meaning gifts. Yet it felt like an insult.
We’ve had a pretty long and extremely eventful wrestling career so far. Watched universes come and go. Tattooed our name into the skin of promotions just to watch them all blow away. Held way too many belts, the majority don’t matter anymore. But if memory serves us correctly
(given the amnesia we had after regenerating in Mexico and the occasional pruning of feelings of memories we occasionally do, there are times where it doesn’t)
this is the first time we’ve been summoned into a boss’ office where said boss points at an image of a human being and says “This guy. Kill him.” Now obviously, Lady Troy didn’t say it in exactly that way. She’s better at the whole words thing than most. But the message was pretty loud and clear. She makes no bones about not liking you, Ned. She would most prefer if you didn’t exist, let alone clog up precious television time being a giant annoyance on her show. Seeing as how you either can’t or won’t take the hint, you’ve left her no alternative but to unleash somebody to bludgeon you for her entertainment.
Now that’s all well and good! No matter which ‘verse you’re at, the wrestling business remains the wrestling business. There are tropes for a reason and even when they’re recited a billion times, they rarely get old in the public eye. We could easily get into a whole rant about how most stories that get told and embedded into culture are absolute bullshit. Yet surely as an educated man, you would know that already. So we shall refresh the bottom line of it all that even when we realise that said stories are bullshit, we still gravitate towards them any way because said tales are just as old as the first storytellers. And thus from this old chestnut, we have our roles. The Annoyance (that’s you, Ned), the Annoyed (Lindsay Troy), and the Mercenary (us).
But why us?
Lindsay Troy has an entire roster to choose from. Some of the young pups would no doubt be very willing to do whatever it takes to impress the boss. Since you’ve bothered so much of the roster, they’d probably do it just to shut you up because let’s be honest, there’s plenty of pomposity about here without you. If we were her, we would take Brandon Youngblood–a man who is built like a behemoth and fueled by enough anger to demolish planets at the moment–and say “You wanna kill Flambo? Hurt this dweeb and we’ll book it.” Or a guy like Sid Phillips with only a simple instruction of “POWERBOMB”. We could summon a champion to dispose of you but that would just be a waste. The possibilities are only limited to the roster cap.
Instead, she chose little ol’ us.
You have your interpretation of why we were chosen. Naturally, sir, your interpretation is a result of endless stroking of alleged intellect as well as a not at all subtle undercurrent of bloodlust. Not to mention you…are doing the exact same thing that we pummeled the Anglo Luchador for. The same stuff that others before you have done. We could copy-paste exactly what we said to him here and it would be equally as relevant.
(we could also do another Family Ryan joke here too. but we shall refrain. let decomposing corpses lie.)
Instead of repeating ourselves, we shall circle back to why us? Why given all the choices she had at her disposal, she made us the Mercenary? One could think that she perhaps wanted somebody that wasn’t distracted to do the job. Another can point out the fallacy of that statement given our current mess with Jake Mephisto and how that may factor into the fray. Yet even with that, Lindz knows what we can do. We can usually do the thing that most wrestlers can’t. We can compartilise. We can put all of our stuff to the side and focus between the bells because at that frame of time, that is all that matters.
Maybe it’s because she knows we can be quite the destructive force. The things one does outside of this ‘verse may not ultimately matter here. Doesn’t mean there isn’t eyes watching. Maybe it’s because when we’re in a room together, we can do that Spidermen pointing at each other meme.
Ultimately, the answer to the question doesn’t matter.
To be honest, we don’t really care about the answer.
We don’t care about the answer nor the reasoning behind why you would come back to a profession where people can turn the great Dr. Reform into a braindead shell of himself when you could’ve easily just kept on berating college students that survive on ramen and a prayer to keep your ego satiated. We don’t care how good you allegedly were everywhere else. Your hate boner for Lindsay Troy is less than meaningless as well as hers for you.
We were bred in an atmosphere where we would fight the same battles over and over and over again because neither side would ever allow themselves to admit they lost. In those battles with each reset, we saw our superiors slowly and steadily lose their individuality. Lose who they used to be. Become machines, mentally and physically. Until what was left wasn’t them anymore. At the end, they were even less than the timeships they flew because at least the ship still had a soul.
We made a promise that we would never be like that.
There was a time where we would’ve taken you up on the offer, Ned. Gods, would we have loved to let go of being what we are! And it wasn’t like we haven’t tried! We have sealed the memories away once. We have had them forcefully erased. We have tried to just settle in on Earth and blend in. WE. HAVE. MADE. THE. ATTEMPTS.
No amount of asskickings
No amount of repeated threats
No amount of your egostroking is going to change what and who we are.
Annaperennaepsilonomnicrex Daniels-vol-Xianthellipse. Born on Gallifrey. Living in Australia. Married to Nyatharlotep. Dog mom to the best boi. A soldier, locked out of the War we’ve been bred to fight. Time Lord by force, wrestler by choice, Multitudes. And we in our madness are stronger, faster, smarter, and damn sure better than you.
You wanna help someone?
Don’t come to the Grand. Don’t get this asskicking that’s coming to you. Because you may see this as therapy for us. And you might just be right. However, it won’t be in the way you expect.
The bastards trickled back in after the Lost Week.
They avoided Anna…mostly.
Feral at least had the balls to apologize for bailing. He also declared his love to her, which the poor creature accepted. Then she saw him with another girl at a bar, beat his ass in the parking lot, then he got his neck broken via a piledriver onto steel steps. Somehow, his protege believed she was the reason why his hero nearly became crippled. That little bit of a war is its own story.
Loco would go on to make the rooftop his personal stomping grounds. He became world champion for a short period of time but ultimately couldn’t handle the pressure. He would vanish again, potentially going back to Adelaide, more than likely dead.
Alex Kincaid would/still lives in a revolving door state. Here and gone, here and gone. He would eventually fluke into being X-Division champ for a hot minute in a match that was notable for the then-champ going on an unhinged tirade before the match about the promotion’s wellness policy. He would then lose on his very first defense to a white hot Anna. This win would be the start of a reign that would last two years and twenty-eight days, to the very end of the promotion. He still exists (barely) always hunting for that one good run that will never happen because he never lasts longer than a cup of coffee anywhere.
Anubis was never seen again.
The ‘verse is placed in a graveyard orbit, hidden amongst the stars. The building and its parking lot forever frozen on November 12, 2011, the date of the failed relaunch and subsequent closing. It is still open to visits if you know the right coordinates albeit in a skeletal form. You can go inside the studio and look at the relics of yesteryear. All the nameplates are still on the locker room doors. All the remnants of warriors enshrined in the rooms and elsewhere. An ominous foreboding still lingers in the boiler room while the rafters are haunted by the ghostly flock of ravens and fortune tellers.
When they need the reminder, they will punch in those coordinates. They will linger in the parking lot and watch the roof. They will step into those halls and occasionally see a reminder they haven’t seen before. They will sit on one of the dusty seats. They will spit on the reboot’s ring, four sides where there should be six. It was hell, but it was also home.
And when they walk back to their timeship, the Multitudes always watch their back.
Normalcy is a weakness they can never afford.