Once upon many times, there was a woman who got very very sick of losing all her friends.
It was something she could never explain, nor did she really know the root of it. But every time she got close to anybody by becoming their friend (or worse yet, their lover), something would always happen that forced them to disappear. And each time they disappeared, there was never a goodbye or a see you later or even an explanation. It was like one day, they were here. The next day, they were gone. It didn’t matter where she was, what the planet was called, which timeline. Once she got even the slightest bit comfortable or a little less worried, that would be the time they’d vanish.
The first few times, it was forgiven. It can’t be helped, right? Things happen, right? And though it would hurt badly for a piece of her went with them, she would suck it up and move on. Even as the ghosts of their memory haunted her. She would pick up their mantles one by one and keep going with them in her head and sorrow in her chest.
But here’s the thing. When this kind of thing happens for decades, one builds a bit of a reputation. It got to a point where despite all the timeline hopping, said reputation followed her around. When people are being warned that your vagina is the Bermuda Triangle and people die around you, it makes any connection–sexual or otherwise–that much harder. This was the kind of thing that wears a person down.
So when she did make a friend, she began to think. How do I keep her?
Wandering about the streets of New Orleans one day, she spotted her answer. A voodoo doll.
The first one was modelled after the friend. They looked like foot tall cotton Funko Pops. How they came alive is still a mystery, except to her. But from the first Puppet came happiness. In case the friend disappeared, there was the proxy. And while the personality of the Puppet was but an over exaggeration and oversimplification of the real deal, there was an ability they had to eventually think for themselves and perhaps grow from it. When she shared the first one with the world, they were all abuzz about it. Many more would be spawned after that. But the first was always the nearest and dearest.
She would also be the one to betray.
The thing about being a Puppet to a happy person that happens to be a professional wrestler is there’s always people wanting to ruin said happiness just to be absolute shitbags. Being the “mascot” of being said happy person means they aim at you. They aim to kill you. And while there were many dopplegangers and switcharoos to be had, having so many meatbags trying to kill you causes you to have a good amount of hate even if your intelligence is artificial.
The story of PuppetLisa’s crusade to take over the world/kill all the humans and the creator that had to bare the weight is a story far too long, too complicated, and quite unbelievable to put back into print. Just the Disneyland Massacre alone would be more than baffling enough. Nevermind the murders on the private island of Kalistan or the Grand Finale that would nearly predict the Trump presidency in its insanity before taking it much, much farther. Even if I had it in me to rewrite it all, any trace of it happening has been systematically removed for the better. It’s only burnt and damaged fragments of memory in our head now. And all that will matter to you, dear reader, is what happened at the end.
After everything was all settled and the dust was clear, the then-Anna Mathews (or rather Dodobird), attempted savior of two different universes, ended up losing both. And though she would officially die and regenerate many years later in Tijuana, that part of her died amongst the ashes. For the rest of her time in that body, she was little more than a shambling corpse with one thought that broke her hearts. A thought that has become the Multitudes’ strength.
Everything is temporary. Everyone is temporary. Except for me.
We’ve been called stupid all our life.
Half the time, they didn’t use that word exactly. Back on the Homeplanet, they would call us “mɛlisɔd”. To you humans, that would be the equivalent of “idiot”. In training, when we didn’t get anything right the first time, that would be a chant. When we first came to Earth, stupid was truly the word of the day and we can’t really say that anybody was wrong because it was true back then. But even now, even with everything we’ve done and have been doing, every now and then there’s some ignorant fuck that tries to fling that at us and pretend that it’s so original. It even happened here in the PRIMEverse
(And yes, we’re still calling it that despite recent events. No takesie backsies.)
when PRIME’s Favorite Roid Abuser all but called us austitic because the brat took so many needles to the asscheeks that not only did her ovaries become nonexistent, but also her limited brain cells and her father’s balls–which were conveniently in her purse–evaporated off the face of the Earth. Hell, the other bumbling drug addict, old Pepperoni Nips did similar shit.
“But Anna!”, you say. “They both won against you! They both beat your super secret powers! They may have altered the win-loss record after the fact. B-but the tape doesn’t lie! And it spells disaster for you at–!”
Oh, sorry. Had to shoot an owl. But to that we say, “Are you sure about that?”
Because what exactly happened immediately after they said those things? What happened after those matches? Teddy Palmer threw the second biggest temper tantrum in PRIME’s recent history because “HOW DARE SHE BE IN THE SAME RING AS ME AFTER I BEAT HER? THIS IS BULLSHIT! MOMMYYYYYYYY!”, got blitzed on whatever he could get his pathetic little hands on, and is most likely dead in one of the many ditches this place apparently spawns. Cecilia Ryan yeeted and deleted whatever legacy her, her daddy, her daddy’s daddy, her daddy’s daddy’s daddy, her grand-uncle’s blind dog, and almost anybody who’s related to her ever had and is also in a ditch where nobody will miss her or care.
We don’t even have to stop there. Let’s go back further. Nicolas Pfefferman thought he was the smartest motherfucker on the roster when the Almasy came around. But he exploded into dust after being outwrestled by us. In fact, out of all the one on one battles we’ve had here, only two people still live: Filmix and Rezin. Rezin is too stubborn to die and Filmix is like that guy with the butterfly meme asking “is this a suplex?” Everyone else that has been in singles matches against us acted smug against us, belittled us, thought they were better than us, overlooked us, underestimated us…only to be forgotten the instant afterwards.
Now let’s say you’re right, Tom. Let’s say for the sake of argument that we are nothing more than a fraud blowing smoke up people’s ass and doing a weak Doctor Who impersonation. You practically admitted having that mindset on the Jabber. We’re used to people believing that we’re lying. We’re used to people thinking we’re fucking stupid. You’re allowed to have the opinion no matter how idiotic it is. But
Look back at everything we’ve just said. Look back at the asskickings we took in the match where you were gifted that shiny Diet Deathmatch belt. Look at every asskicking we took before that. Look at the oceans of shirts when you get to the ring. And listen, if you would, at whose name keeps popping out of everybody’s mouths. Think. Ask yourself.
“Is this really the mɛlisɔd I should be overlooking right now?”
Because it certainly seems that way. You’re too busy thinking about open challenges and Aztec gods and ancient luchadors screeching betrayal to not even consider what’s in front of you. You are making the same mistake everybody else has done and it never works!
If anything, Tom, what you should be doing is seeing this as an opportunity. This should be the first step in proving that you truly deserve to be legitimately called champion. That despite Johnny Gamble’s fuckery and all the easy swipes, you have the ability to raise that Intense title to new heights or insane lows, whichever comes first. And this is even the best match to road test that claim. We’re the hottest thing going on this roster in both success and failure. We’re the New Era in PRIME! We’re the baddest bitch in this entire roster, pound for pound.
Yet instead of looking at all that, you go “hurr hurr Dr. Who”.
Ya know, we were going to give you a fair amount of respect. Because as we’ve mentioned before, we would’ve done the same thing in your shoes that night. We would’ve taken advantage of any type of distraction. We remember that this is the wrestling business, not the wrestling hobby. We know that from bell to bell, you do what you gotta do. However, looking back at the manner of disrespect we’ve been given since we got here and your recent comments, we’re finally just pissed off now. Not to the point of blinding rage. Just at the edge of doing something horrible and given no fucks about hurting feelings or even potential consequences.
We don’t expect anybody on the roster to kiss our ass. We don’t expect them to be nice when faced off against us. We know that’s not how it works. We know that we have to earn our spot and the respect that comes with it. But at this point, we do expect people to be a little bit smarter. Especially people who have shared a ring with us before.
You don’t see us as your equal.
You don’t see us as a warrior.
You don’t see us as a threat, with all due respect to Atken.
And worst of all, you’re too cowardly to actually say so.
That’s alright, Tom. We got the message loud and clear anyway. Now you and any other braindead organism in the Grand will get ours, one match at a time. First, we’ll pimp slap you so hard, you’ll turn back into Jericholic Anonymous. Then we’ll cave your skull in so badly, even Youngblood won’t want it for his throne. And you’ll have nobody to blame but yourself.
Put in your nickels, press a button and the food pops out.
Such is lunchtime at an automat. It’s Russian Roulette with food. Sometimes, you get lucky and get the freshest slice of pie. Other times, you get the stale one that the unseen cooks behind all the slots haven’t replaced yet. It’s an archaic way of serving food, out of place and out of time, demolished by the magic of fast food. But with the crowd of harried workers from the 1900’s catching a break and 1970’s unemployables, that doesn’t matter. The ghosts sit down and enjoy what they can get.
The vessel sits, nibbling on chocolate cake and watches everything from afar. Her empty eyes scan the landscape. Shouldn’t they be in Vegas right now? Perhaps. But what the hell can they possibly do there besides beat asses, sell shirts, and leave? The only person they have any real link to is injured. How injured? Nobody knows. How long? Nobody knows. Will she be back? Possibly, but nobody knows. Not even her.
It’s at this point that they play another game of Russian Roulette. It’s called “Who else can we connect with?” Cally? That might work. They have an open invite! But what if this match doesn’t ease the manicness and they get Impulse next? That friendship would end in a hurry. Timo? He’s pretty much PRIME’s team dad. He’s also made an offer. His number’s in the phone. But we’re about to bludgeon his friend to death. That’d be awkward. This list goes on and on. It runs through everyone and there’s always something. Half the list are potential worries, the other half just excuses. The more they think about it, the more it drains the life out of them.
The vessel takes another bite as the screaming in her head starts again.