When your skull get rumbled by a few cheap shots and lapse into momentary unconsciousness, the dark becomes your friend.
There’s no pain in the dark. No thought in the dark. No noise in the dark. The Multitudes still rummage around, trying to get things up and running before Dr. Fihlguud comes along and tries to carve them up. And it doesn’t matter how many times you say she wouldn’t do such a thing, Lindsay. They don’t trust doctors. They have no reason to trust doctors. Doctors are supposed to help and heal, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, doctors prefer to shoot a bullshit message into a wall and debate pressing the button that ends the stagnate dream of a megalomaniac.
In other words, they are useless.
A soldier doesn’t hesitate. Oh, don’t get me wrong. They will struggle with the action both before and after. They will carry the weight of their choices and fallen until they are either forced to let them go or the whole thing crushes them to death. But when the time comes, they bite the bullet and question the widescale morality of it later. Much later. When the sleepless nights show up.
Of course, this is nothing but subconscious babble having nothing to do with the battle she will go through with Jacob Mephisto or anybody else, to be quite honest. Sometimes there are connections to things that are stong. Sometimes, they are flimsy or vague or barely existing. And then there’s the times where stuff in close proximity isn’t linked at all. They both just so happen to exist at roughly the same point in a mental current. The only important part of this is that it forces the vessel to wake the fuck up.
The vessel’s eyes flutter to concrete and the barking of Bucky. He’s concerned, yet he also knows better. Mom is and has always been tougher than she looks, especially when Number Lady is in view. A hand runs through his shadow fur.
“About fucking time, wasn’t it?”
Bucky’s head tilts in question. Nobody should be hurting his mother like that! He should’ve stabbed the Meh-Fisto guy! Dad would’ve ate him…
“No, Bucky. We’ve gotten this far just to make sure it had to be between us. You’re here for a reason, remember? Distract the Twins. And you did a good job.”
It’s true. Were it not for Bucky being a good boy, the Twins would’ve thumped her ass a long time ago. Even if he doesn’t understand why they would want to do that, he didn’t have to understand. If Mom said he did a good job, he did a good job. Not to mention he gained a nice new toy.
As the vessel rises from the granite and brushes off the dirt from skin, her eyes catch a glimpse at the leather collar. Fingertips feeling the softness of the dead cow hide, tracing the letters that form his name. BUCKY. A fitting collar for a wonderful pet. And in the tracing of that name, something comes alight in her eyes.
That’s absolutely it.
UltraViolence is just around the corner. The first alteration of the PRIMEverse shall be done in blood.
The first time we met, Jake. Even with our brains scrambled, we can remember it so cleanly. The way you slunk along and just so happened to “bump” into us with your minions in tow. Our little chat. Patience snarling over the fact that we didn’t get on our knees and perform fellatio on you at the blink of an eye. Oh, do we remember it so! It’s the picture of two outsiders, neither one meant for this ‘verse, sensing each other out before the inevitable clash. A tale as old as time.
…well, not quite. But you know what we mean.
Now, that’s the part you do know. Here’s the part you don’t. In that little stretch of time between our wave to Cuntface McGillicutty and our entrance to the ring, we had another conversation. Consider it a conference of sorts. We all took our proper spaces, our seats in our Senate, and we looked at two face painted figures in our mind’s eye.
On the left stood Timo Bolamba. Or if one wishes to get technical about things, a fragment of PRIME’s resident frequent flyer. The very fragment that chastised us–US!–when we threatened to take his masked buddy’s head. This vapor that thumped on the Jabber about how “you’re a public figure, Anna! That’s not your role, Anna!”. He babbled on in our brainstem in that moment not exactly knowing what he was arguing against. We heard that man talk so passionately in spite of the fact that at that point, he was merely a recording of frustration of the perversion of good and evil.
On the right was another man. He’s not from this ‘verse. We’re not sure if an equivalent even exists. He looked the way he did in his youth: the short bleach blonde hair, the face paint, the tan from his beloved Venice Beach sun. The fringe that ran down the arms of his jacket. Matching boots and matching tights. And as a resident hero of his own puzzle piece, he heard Recording Timo’s voice and agreed with the Samoan Not-At-All-Silencer.
So you would think that these two manifestations being in agreement with a path means that would be the right path, right?
Because here’s the thing about
(What can we call him? Hold on a moment while we consult our normal-to-Fire Pro name manual.
A bit boring. Fine. Okay. Could be worse.)
The Spike. He’s very much the spitting image of Timo’s ideal. A hero among heroes. Perhaps the most unproblematic man in any version of the wrestling business bar none. Even that time in the 90s when he turned into a mute and started lurking in the rafters like a gargoyle statue, even when his fans questioned his convictions, he didn’t really waver from them. Spike was always the pure goodness at heart, the hero they never deserved, the one that was destined to fight against evil not for his own gain but because it was the right thing to do. In his slice of time, he’s an icon.
And for the majority of that time, he was also considered to be a giant idiot.
The problem with the Spike is he took the adage “forgive and forget” to extremes. After a little while, he’d forget all the bad shit that happened and forgive the cocky arrogant bastard when said cocky arrogant bastard allegedly turned a new leaf. All would be well for a while…until the bastard stabbed him in the back and the process started all over again.
And you’re saying “Anna, what does this have to do with Jacob Mephisto?”. We’re almost to the point. Settle down. This is the important part that ties the room together. Because this process of forgive, forget, backstab, repeat didn’t just happen once. Or twice. It happened over and over and over again. For decades. Most of those times, it was the same guy putting his knives into him! Even when it was incredibly obvious to everybody what the warning signs were, Spike WOULD STILL FUCKING DO IT.
So here we are after this first meeting with these two men in our head. And gods damn it, ForceGhost!Timo, we know what our role is supposed to be! We’re supposed to go on our merry way, right? We’re supposed to go forward and tell everyone to buy the shirts and not think about what was said. But we couldn’t.
“Not the time or the place, dear.”
Such a sentence insinuates that there would be a time and a place. You telegraphed it so cleanly that a blind man with no teaching and only two brain cells to rub together could tell that something was going to happen. It literally slapped us in the face, so solid it was.
Now, Jake. It may be hard to understand why we would put ourself into the business. Part of it is that we love the artistry of professional wrestling. We love both the physical and violent side and the theatre of the subconscious that comes with it. In the widest sense, professional wrestling is simply another form of storytelling and storytelling creates myths. Legends. Whole worlds. Entire universes. We don’t play by the rules because we have to. We play by the rules because we want to.
With you, big bad Allfather, SHOOT’s former Iron Fist, we couldn’t even pretend to play ignorant. Selfishly speaking, playing ignorant to a statement so blunt would’ve made us the Spike. And for your first true foray into this world, your first honest taste of such, you very much deserved better than us playing dumb. You deserve might just as strong. You deserve a challenge that could either push you to your limits or destroy you underfoot. Nothing else would do.
So yes. We became the hunter. We came to your hunting grounds and watched you and yours from afar. We attacked you before you could attack us. Our doggo made your minions look like fools which we’ll admit wasn’t exactly the plan. But damn, was it funny! We pushed you into attacking with your own bare hands. Then for the grand finale, we have pushed you into a dog collar match. Quite honestly, one of the most raw and brutal matches pound for pound in the game period.
We heard your insides screaming as we dropped that chain. We wish we could tell you that this was an entire master plan concocted right then in those moments between words and bells while the painted men made friends. That wouldn’t be true though. We simply acted according to our own nature and look at what it has created.
The only thing we’ve been trying to puzzle out isn’t why you were going to come after us. After all, we’ve been steadily making our dent as one to watch since the very beginning. So somebody hunting us to make their dent is logical. What we’ve been trying to puzzle out is why now? You’ve been sitting in the background, Jake. You barely done shit. You’ve been rolling in, losing matches, and rolling out. It is only over the past few shows that you’ve actually shown any real interest in PRIME. And after all this time together, we can perhaps make a pretty nice guess as to why.
You finally felt what we’ve been waiting for since this company came back.
The inevitable has happened. The old guard, those that were supposed to cement this world into place while the new guard bloomed, has been slowly dwindling with each passing arc. The supposed new guard, the ones they thought would step up, are either gone or have become silent. This era of PRIME has become fluid. The identity is no longer completely rooted in what used to be and has yet to blossom into its brand new form. If there is any time to make your imprint on this ‘verse, it is right now.
Your fellow cult leaders taste it too. Hoyt has been like us in a way, playing the long game and slowly chipping away with Balaam against the Anglo Luchador. Bathory has exploded into the stratosphere by ruling MESSIAH with an actual iron fist and making his presence felt by battering Phil Atken to near death, cementing his place as the true threat…
And here we are, giving your opportunity to make an impact on a silver platter.
It may not have seemed like it at first. It must’ve felt like we were ruining your plans at every turn. But the truth is we made it more enticing. Because now you have every single right to bludgeon us, Jake. Granted, it doesn’t come without risk. We did challenge you to a match that haunts your nightmares. Dog collar matches nearly killed your career and decimated your life twice over. You have scars on your soul that match the pattern of that chain.
Yet if you can swallow your fear.
If you can push yourself once more.
If you can survive one more time.
Jacob Mephisto can shine just as bright. Jacob Mephisto can be a god here. Jacob Mephisto can begin his own reign of violence. There are two things standing between you and that dream. Your haunted memories and us.
Do you think for one motherfucking second that we will allow you to skip the line? That we would be okay with you taking our place without paying the iron price, at the very very least? That you would grasp the world without penalty?
No. You can’t be that foolish. Then again, we’ve been wrong on the intelligence of humans before.
Truth is we have yet to show our brutality to the PRIMEates (finally, a fitting name). That little four way we had on the last pay-per-view/premium live event/monetary shitshow program was like a random bit you get from a Whitman’s sampler. It teases the tastebuds and doesn’t conquer neither the temptation nor the hunger. And we keep hearing the same thing over and over again. That PRIME is difficult to get a foothold in. That it’s so hard because everyone on the roster is so talented. Blah blah blah. And as much as you may need to prove, we also have a point to make dangerously clear.
If one plans to use us as their stepping stool, they should be ready to run the risk of being devoured. From the feet onward.
Back in Australia, both four legged and two legged return to their humble abode.
Casa Daniels. Built on a plot of land that doesn’t exist on a street named after a damn good the Cure song, bathed in the light of the sun, the grass growing a bright shade of red. A castle, yet not. A haven, yet not. Its very form and function is an ever shifting abomination fitting the inhabitants that live there. Shadows to hide in and wild things to explore for the doggo. Hidden training grounds, portals to where squids sleep, and a hint of the 1980’s for the man of the house.
And for Anna? For the Multitudes? All they want right now is a chair.
One appears behind them, big and red like an empty rerun of Blue’s Clues. The vessel sits upon it and silently calls for a cup of tea given instantaneously by the many faceless of the Apocalypse Suite. There’s a nod of thanks and a moment of cool down for the liquid as their eyes look to the skies above them, grand and wide and free of obstructions. For a moment, they compare it to the sky above Las Vegas and how clustered it could feel.
Then they let it go, relax completely, and embrace/consume the world completely.