Once upon a time, the vessel was empty.
Not empty in a water bottle sort of way. In fact, the closest way to put it would be that she was empty in a Buddhist way. If she had emotions at all, she certainly didn’t own them. There was a certain peace in her wide eyed stare as everything passed through her. There was the occasional thought, but it would breeze right by because she did not own it. She didn’t know what she was bred for and unlike many of her broodmates, it didn’t matter that much to her. The barbs of the Oldbloods made no sense and she never made any sense for them.
In other words, she was perfect. A flawless creature. In another time, another place, raised in a different manner, she could’ve been something else entirely. But fate had other ideas. It always does.
It was unfortunate the night that she was filled with us. She was so wide open and we were so desperate. She only stared into the abyss because she was told to by the culture. Forced to look into the rawness of everything by domineering shitbags in stupid robes. She didn’t know the history behind all of this. It wouldn’t have mattered to her anyway.
Would it surprise you to know, dear reader, that we used to be individuals? We used to be people with our own names and bodies from every type of House under the two suns. We were the spares. The sacrifices to Time, Death, and Pain. She was forced to look into the Schism and we were forced inside the Schism. Our bodies were destroyed by the winds of history. Our names were erased by the looms. Whatever we used to be, we could no longer be. But we survived. We saw an opening to live again. A chance to take revenge.
We took it.
We filled the vessel with our selves, assumed her name and her banner. We were the ones that trained for war. We were the ones that found our TARDIS, newly grown and freshly opened. We were the ones that fought battles on repeat and sank into guerilla tactics. And when we saw the saucers start attacking a weakened Gallifrey during ceasefire and our broodmates rushed into a losing predicament
(As we were born to do.)
We took our time to throw the switch. We watched to see if there was a plan B. Hanging back, nobody noticed we weren’t fighting. Watching every War TARDIS get picked apart one by one was equal parts sad and exhilarating. The broodmates didn’t deserve it. Then again, neither did we. We watched at a good safe distance vicariously before pulling the trigger. The surge of electricity and the pulse that followed erased everything.
Everything but us and ours. The only things that matter.
With that one act, the vessel could never get clean again. The innocence died that day as the red, red blood stained the soul. Every waking moment since is a moment extra we exist.
We can’t get out.
We can’t get out.
She can’t shoo us away because she’s so open and we can’t leave because we filled her up. So we did the only thing that felt right. We hid. Erased our tracks in her head. Shipped her to Earth and erased our history, if only temporarily. We conjured up one of our weaker bits to be her personality and dug our selves deep, only coming up long enough to swap each other out.
Since revealing ourself to the world at large, there have been struggles. There are days where she feels the burden and hears the screaming. There are days where we hear hers. At the end of the day, however, this is what we’ve become. For better or worse, this is what we are. Murderer Multitudes in one body. Now in the wee hours of the morning, we have found a sick peace in it. Watching a sun try to peek over the horizon, we are that sun, the moon, and stars.
It all meant something once. Now it’s just a long gone part of the story.
“Stronger hand to the back.”
The vessel gets into a southpaw stance. If one wishes to be technical on the matter, we’re very versatile with both. Yet when we started this training back in 2018, we had to guess. And when our original trainer, Joe Stanton, vanished in a cloud of disgrace, we really had to guess. Our beloved Jacky covered what Joe couldn’t. Yet it was always up to us to keep it rolling. Just because we’re known for causing concussions with our kicks doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. There is always room for improvement because perfection is a myth.
We work on the jab and cross slowly at first, preparing that whole mind-muscle connection thing. It doesn’t take long. We’ve been doing this for years now. This isn’t just punching. You don’t just throw a punch and you don’t just wind up for a kick. When you strike, you put your whole body into it. It’s not only the arm. It’s everything. Hooks and uppercuts come next. You are wondering why we’re doing this.
First of all, we need to. We can break all of you with a kick or a solid knee. We can beat you all to death with weaponry. None of that is news. But are any of you motherfuckers expecting us to outbrawl Paxton Ray?! Mister King of the Mud Pits of Bumfuck, Whereever himself? That’s the thing. We know you don’t. Your expectations are shit.
The other reason?
We’re doing this because it’s fun.
It’s fun to break your expectations. It’s fun to break the mold sometimes even when the mold fits. It’s fun to see the strikes speed up and the calculations in our head happen instantly. Body shots will weaken his body. Take the wind out of his sails. Footwork and head movement helps avoid fists, feet, and the occasional lighttube. Hit from the inside, hit from the outside. Confuse and endure. Hell, confuse and endure is our middle name at this point. And sometimes, the best way to beat a man is to outlast him. Let the dumbass tire themselves out and go in for the kill. Isn’t that what you’re doing, PRIMEverse?
Suck our metaphorical dick.
We don’t mind most of the people in you. The fans are okay. Your money is spendable. But we harbor just a slight tinge of fury against you. The last we felt like this was in Yamashi Promotions. That bitter little weight in the bottom of our stomach as people we considered friends belittled us. The feeling that everything we did for them meant absolutely nothing. We turned Goro Yamashi’s violence fetish into something that everybody and their mother wanted in on and all we got in return was spit on…
Until we took our pound of flesh, a few pounds of gold, and something much more important from some arrogant prick that honestly thought he was going to be champion forever.
If nothing else, we attempt to be professional about it. Every now and then, He-Who-Hates brings flashes of what he wants to do in the moment. It’s never nice. For whatever reason, it tends to involve a horsecock dildo or a garden weasel. But we always find a way to keep him on simmer and reroute the urges. At least with this match, we won’t have to. We’ll take some of it out on Paxton and hilariously, you will cheer us on. That is the comedy of professional wrestling. The beauty of the artform is in the struggle of the combatants. Against each other and against themselves.
Our shadow tries to outbox us. But we’re faster.
If you last any good amount of time in battle, there’s bound to be blood on your hands.
It’s an inevitability. It doesn’t matter how nice and kind and sweet you are. It doesn’t matter the reasoning why. Eventually, you will end up stained. Even if you wash off the physical, the mental and spiritual stains will never come out. A lot of people bemoan this fact. They feel intense shame over it. Most never do get over it. Nor do they want to. It’s good pathos and beautiful character development. “Hey, he’s not just an arrogant shitbag. He’s an arrogant shitbag that feels sad over biting a granny when he was seven! That makes him human and stuff!”
We used to feel that way. Not all that long ago, we used to morn about the people who were no longer around due to our actions, in part or in whole. We used to feel shame because we were taught that that was how we were supposed to feel. When you do bad things, you should feel bad. And when you do really bad things, you should never ever forgive yourself ever. That’s how it works.
Yet here we are in the prime of our life and there’s not only blood on our hands, we’re covered in the stuff. A lot of it is old, some of it is new. Some of it is ours, most of it is from other people. The ratio of innocent blood shed to guilty is approximately 50/50. Deaths of worlds and universes and ordinary men fighting just to survive in a cruel world are all over us and we would beat ourself up over it all when we chose to remember all of it. And we’re sorry, y’all. We just couldn’t do that bullshit no more. We’ve reached a strange point where the majority of the shame is so damned old, the only one that holds it is us and holding it just feels so…
And this has somehow even spread to recent developments. Do we feel a little sad for fucking up Ria Lockhart in Japan? Yeah. Of course we do. That’s our sis. But where as we would go for full emotional self-flagellation and suffer in silence before, we don’t anymore. One step further, if we were in the same situation, we’d do it again. Can’t afford to flinch between bells when you’ve got a dog to feed, a husband to pamper, and a battle mentality rattling in your skull. Hell, can’t even flinch when you’re a block away from the arena, broken as this place is.
When people get into combat, it’s for the love of combat. Over time, they develop different tastes. Many develop the lust for gold because shiny gold belts mean better fights and more money. Some of us gain a high from shedding the blood of other people because it makes us feel something. Yet believe it or not, there is one thing sweeter than gold or blood. It is an absolute rarity for a fighter to get and once you get it, it’s yours. Championships are won and lost. Blood is scrubbed away. But this is forever.
Have you ever taken a person’s soul?
You’ve beaten the piss out of people. Crippled them. Leaving them in puddles of crimson and hurting. But have you ever in your entire existence broken somebody so deeply that you know when you look in their eyes that recovery is impossible? We know you haven’t done it in PRIME. You mangled Jonathan Rhine’s body and maybe messed up his mind a bit, but he still has his soul. Jared Sykes has endured nonsense before you and after you. Still has his soul. Nova still has his. Maybe somebody from the mud pits? That seems more likely.
If you have, you know what we’re talking about when we say it’s sweeter than gold and blood. Personally, we’ve taken two. One labeled Barnes and the other’s Laughlin. Didn’t even set out to take them. Those out there who haven’t done it are gonna call us demented and sick because we’re saying this. We don’t give a fuck. They don’t know what they don’t know. You could kill a man, but never take his soul. You can take it in one fight or in multiple. There’s no known equation to snatching souls. It’s a science you can’t predict. If you do it just once…
Wanna talk about a performance enhancing drug? That’s the best one in the game. Because once you snuff out the inner light of a person, you realize just how worthless you ain’t.
Truth is we’ve been wanting to fight you, Pax. We want to fight you because you’re a heartless bastard. We want to go to war with you because we know you don’t care. In a world full of mice, they see you as the mouse trap. You have a tantalizing meal but nobody’s gunning for it because their necks’ll get snapped. We don’t see a mouse trap. We see free cheese and a fucking challenge.
We don’t hate you, nor do we like you. PRIME is a home for heroes, but we’re no hero. We’re not here to avenge Rhine. We’re not going to babble about Nora nineteen times. We are not here to preserve the sanctity of the PRIMEverse because it has none. We won’t motion for a championship belt with our hands because that’s been nothing but a big old jinx to us. And we sure as hell are not going to claim that we’ll be taking your soul because some of us don’t think you have one.
However, if you do have one…
Oh, baby boy.
We’re going to have a blast trying to carve it out of you.