Las Vegas, Nevada
“Well, what the hell are we supposed to do?”
The question coming from Randall Schwartz was a fair one, after roughly two weeks of the Masters of the Multiverse B-Team putting up with a bit of a problem. After bumping into what appeared to be another Randall, from another universe, the duo felt they had no choice but to bring him along for the ride.
After all, Aeon Khronos had explained that this Randall was a tertiary member of the original Masters of the Multiverse, but unlike Xander Azula and Darin Zion, was off the radar for some time. The understanding was that he’d returned to his home world, but inexplicably found his way back here.
And we do mean inexplicably, true believers, for there is not nearly enough time in the world to explain the hoops this man jumped through to return to this narrative, and besides, we have far more important things to attend to…such as how the B-Team have made him out to be something of an errand boy over the past several days.
As a matter of fact, as the B-Team are discussing their next steps leading into UltraViolence, the question we started with was raised just as the man himself arrived at the hotel room with coffee for the both of them. Randall–who we’ll be referring to as Mr. Schwartz henceforth, for the sake of clarity–hands the other Randall his Americano iced mocha latte and Kenny his triple shot espresso mocha. If neither of those sound like they make sense, fret not…they don’t, and as Randall takes a sip of his drink he comes to grips with this immediately.
“What in the fresh hell is this?”
Mr. Schwartz nearly winces from Randall’s shouting, as he recalls the order he placed at the coffee shop.
“That, my buddy, is an Americano iced mocha latte. Something hot, something cold, something bitter, something sweet, just like you asked for.”
This is met with a stare from Randall, who shakes his head in disappointment.
“That’s not at all what I asked for, man. Do you know what an Americano is?”
After a moment’s hesitation, Mr. Schwartz just shakes his head…much to the frustration of Randall.
“It’s an espresso drink made with hot water, whereas a latte is an espresso drink made with steamed milk. Those are, therefore, two entirely different drinks! It’d be like giving someone a Yoo-Hoo that also had chocolate milk in it.”
This remark only further perplexes Mr. Schwartz, who looks like he’s just been given a revelation of the largest magnitude.
“Wait, you mean Yoo-Hoo isn’t chocolate milk?”
The question takes both Randall and Kenny by surprise, forcing them to exclaim in unison.
The outburst is quickly stopped by a knock at the door, which opens to reveal Aeon Khronos with a smile on his face…a smile that soon fades as he looks at the trio standing before him.
“What are you lot banging on about?”
Aeon notices the coffee in everyone’s hands, causing a smirk to grow on his face as he shakes his head.
“Are you arguing about coffee again? I thought we talked about this.”
The three coffee fiends just look at each other with a furthered sense of confusion, before Randall speaks up.
“Hold up…you think this is about coffee?”
Kenny just rolls his eyes at the thought, before chiming in.
“I mean, it is…but see, our friend over here doesn’t know the difference between an Americano and a latte, so it got awkward real quick.”
Mr. Schwartz hangs his head in shame, but Aeon rests a hand on his shoulder.
“There there, Randy.”
This gets a glare from the Entertainer from another world, much to Aeon’s surprise.
Randall looks up, quickly realizing he wasn’t being spoken to as Aeon raises a hand of reassurance.
Kenny interrupts, stopping an infinite loop of apology with a heavy sigh. This manages to get Aeon back on track as he speaks up again.
“Anyway, I think this is a teachable moment, lads. Mr. Schwartz here might actually be onto something. See, in the same way that an Americano looks a great deal like a latte but is quite structurally different, so too are the people that occupy different corners of the multiverse. Case in point, we have two very different Randalls here. One that knows his way around coffee, and one that, well…doesn’t. No offense.”
Mr. Schwartz gives a nod of acknowledge, muttering “none taken” as Aeon continues.
“So, gentlemen, that’s the thing you have to understand. That’s why I specifically told you not to get too caught up with what your other selves are up to.”
This gets a knowing smirk from the B-Team.
“Oh, you mean like not going out on a date with ourselves?”
Aeon furrows his brow at this remark.
“It wasn’t a date, damn it.”
His face just as quickly softens, though his tone remains firm.
“It was a very important meeting of the minds, to get a better understanding of these portals and inflection points. I finally understand why I was getting false positives about the Grand having such an inflection point. I was clued in on a place right in Vegas that meets all the criteria, checks all the boxes, and happens to be within the general vicinity. A place that was previously not on my radar, because it looked far too shady…turns out, that sleazy overtone was the perfect cover.”
This has the B-Team pondering just what place would fit the bill…but it is Mr. Schwartz who chimes in immediately, knowing just where Aeon is referring to.
“Oh, the Velvet Rabbit!”
The others just give him a stare, a reaction that confuses Mr. Schwartz.
“What? They have some rad chicken wings.”
Aeon brushes the review off as he continues.
“So, gentlemen, while you’re preparing for your match against Dangerous Mix at UltraViolence, I will be investigating the Velvet Rabbit. You two did a really good job against David Fox and Mushigihara the first time around, and this is your chance to seize the moment you’ve been looking for. I have complete and utter faith in you two to get the job done. Now, if you’ll excuse me…”
Aeon adjusts the collar on his shirt before stepping back to the door, turning his attention back to the trio before opening it.
“…I have a date at the Velvet Rabbit.”
Aeon smirks, much to the amusement of the B-Team and Mr. Schwartz as Aeon opens the door, revealing the other Aeon with a smirk on her face to match her counterpart.
Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money…now imagine twice that much.
Think, for just a moment, about all the things that amount of cash can buy.
A decent car, unless you really want a Tesla…then maybe, like, the front half of one. You can pay off certain debts you might have. Hell, you could even…donate it to charity.
And that’s what we’re doing here, at the end of the day.
When we issued the Fund-O-Matic Challenge, we promised that we would support a worthy cause, one way or another.
We’ve chosen our charity to back, and the Dangerous Mix have settled on theirs. So now, it’s just a matter of seeing which cause earns the full proceeds of this bout.
Randall and I believe heavily in our cause, because GREAT SCOTT is a good man–nay, a GREAT man–who deserves the best home possible. And with a combined twenty grand to spare, we can build a lovely house for SCOTT, his bear, and his glare to reside comfortably!
And because we believe so strongly in A GREAT HOME FOR GREAT SCOTT, we have a responsibility as the Masters of the Multiverse to secure this victory at UltraViolence…by any means necessary.
See, we’ve been hearing the chuckles and guffaws that echo through the halls of the MGM Grand every so often. We hear the occasional “coffee boys” and “goofball” jokes y’all like to make over and over again, like a meme you just can’t get away from.
We’re fully aware of what people still think of us…and as much as simply “not losing” at Great American Nightmare helped stave some of those jokes off, it’s clear that nothing short of a flat-out victory against the Dangerous Mix will suffice to finally cement our place in the tag team division…and trust me, we’re gonna make it a win.
Especially after what’s been going on the past few weeks.
I know, I know…the infomercials, the jokes, and this charity challenge might be red flags for anyone looking to take the B-Team seriously…but it’s time I let you all on in on a little secret.
Everything we’ve done between the Great American Nightmare show and now has been done with a purpose…and a pretty brilliant one, when you look back at it.
You see how annoyed Fox and Mushi have been over all this? How mad they’ve gotten?
They’re now going into this looking to tear us apart, beat us from pillar to post, and despite their attitude they’re insisting they’ve got a game plan to all this.
Well, lemme tell ya…you get mad enough about something, you forget that game plan pretty damn quickly. That’s the secret to overcoming a seemingly impossible task, folks…you break it down to its parts, and you solve each part on its own.
Fox has the agility and technical game down pat, and Mushi is a big boi that can do a lotta damage. So, how do we account for that?
I know a move or two myself, you know! I proved that against Mortimer Whatshisface, even if I didn’t quite get a win…yeah, shut up David. I know you beat Zion, good for you.
And Randall? Well…he can throw a pretty mean punch when necessary. A closed fist, even.
Don’t worry, we’ll make sure the ref doesn’t see it.
Besides, something Aeon told me recently got those wheels turning in this brain o’ mine, a backup plan if all else fails…oh, but I can’t tell you. Not right now, anyway.
~ Kenny Freeman
Somewhere in Las Vegas
It’s a warm evening in Sin City, and we find ourselves in a dark alleyway. The area is so dimly-lit that it’s unclear where exactly we are, but we do notice what appears to be a neon rabbit sign shining in the distance as the sound of footprints get louder and louder, indicating the arrival of someone…or rather, someones. Suddenly, the feet making those sounds come into view…and eventually, we look up to see whose feet they are.
Kenny Freeman and the two Randalls, a smirk on their faces as the Randall we’re more familiar with speaks up.
“So this is the place, huh?”
Kenny nods his head as he looks up to the sign in the distance.
“Apparently the inflection point is not inside the building itself…which is probably better for us, to be honest. Last thing we want is our friend crashing onto a dancer.”
This gets a nod of agreement from the Randalls as a blue light begins to shine on the trio…and soon, a portal opens up overhead. The shimmer and shine just about entrances the men watching, until someone comes falling to the ground with a thud. Kenny raises a hand to his face with a gasp, worried about the fall hurting the young man that slowly stands to his feet…a man who nearly has a panic attack at the sight of his own doppelganger.
That’s right, folks…Kenny Freeman has met his match…literally.
“What…why…where the hell am I!?”
This draws a chuckle from the Randalls, who respond in unison as the other Kenny just looks on in stunned silence.
“Welcome to Vegas!”
This only further confuses the new Kenny, who stares at the twin Randalls standing in front of him.
“What is…why do you two look…and who the hell are you!?”
That last remark is directed at the silent Kenny, who eventually speaks up.
This, naturally, gets a look of dismissal from nu-Kenny.
“The hell you are, buddy. I’m Kenny Freeman.”
Our Kenny just nods in agreement to this.
“Oh, I know. The last-ever Light-Heavyweight Champion in your promotion, a loveable underdog who finally got the girl in the end…something I only wish I could accomplish, myself.”
This draws a confused stare from the double.
“Wait, how do you know about that?”
“It’s…it’s a long story.”
This promptly reminds us of the moment Kenny fell into someone’s apartment elsewhere in the multiverse, where he saw those plaques and replica championships months ago…as Kenny comes to grips with the fact that the resident of that apartment is now here, right in front of him. That very resident who continues to look around in utter confusion.
“Okay, but why am I here?”
Kenny is nervous about answering the question, allowing Randall to essentially blurt out the plan they’d discussed before arriving here.
“We got a job for ya, Mr. Freeman. Welcome to the team.”
The man addressed as Mr. Freeman seems curious about such an offer…much to the disappointment of someone watching from the distance. A man shaking his head in disapproval at how low his B-Team would stoop to pick up a win in PRIME…Aeon Khronos. He turns his back on the scene unfolding down the alley, walking away as we fade to black.