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We open just outside the home of ReVival 37, a night of surprisements and borderline miracles…not the least of which is the victory of one Kenny Freeman, who now moves on to the next round of the Almasy Invitational. He and fellow Rock-Paper-Scissors victor Randall Schwartz have made their exit from the arena, ready to head to their rental when a flash of light signals the arrival of Aeon Khronos…who is not looking very happy, a snarl on his face as he snaps at the Masters of the Moscowverse.
“What did you do, Kenny!?
Freeman is taken aback by the inquiry, something that seems contradictory to a statement his dimension-hopping friend had made not long ago.
“What’d you mean? You said I had a chance to change things for the better by getting through the Almasy In–”
“That is not what I’m talking about,” replies Aeon in a sharp tone of voice, glaring at him and The Entertainer before softening up enough to offer some congratulations. “Though certainly you deserve your kudos for that…but no, this is about something a little bigger than that.”
This statement confuses Randall a good deal, though in fairness one could tell him it was about to rain and get a response of asking for a cup.
“What the hell is bigger than getting to the next round of the Almasy? It’s the biggest opportunity of Kenny’s career! He has a chance to get closer to the finals, to win the whole damn thing, and go on to face and, uh–” Randall turns to Kenny, who shoots him a bit of side-eye before the Entertainer finishes his sentence “–do his best and maybe even beat our pal Ivan for the Universal Championship.”
Aeon just shakes his head at all this before responding.
“Being the champion of the universe is great and all, but it’ll mean precisely zilch if the entire multiverse falls apart. I’m not saying your victory tonight caused this…but I’m trying to figure out what the hell you did beforehand that might’ve.”
As if by force of habit, Kenny immediately turns his attention to Randall, who just shrugs his shoulders.
“Don’t look at me,” states the Entertainer with a look of utter confusion on his face. “I learned my lesson after Darinville, and I haven’t so much as touched the portal gun since we got back.”
Kenny takes a moment to ponder on that, as he begins to check his pockets for the very item…until he remembers that he is still in his wrestling gear, which has a sum total of zero pockets. Maybe someday, he can find a tailor that will make him gear with pockets…imagine the possibilities. Imagine all the hot dates he can go on, because chicks dig dudes in wrestling g–sorry, got sidetracked for a second.
“Where’d we leave that thing, anyway?”
“Don’t be silly, Kenny,” replies Randall, shaking his head with a chuckle. “We wouldn’t be silly enough to bring that thing with us to the show, you never know whose hands it could fall into. We left it in the hotel room, of course.”
Kenny nods his head, mouthing “of course” to himself in agreement…but this is not a satisfactory answer to Aeon, who glares at the Masters once more.
“And did you keep it secure in the hotel room?”
Kenny and Randall look at each other, when the Entertainer’s eyes widen in worry.
“Oh no, we’re gonna find a big ol’ blue portal in the hotel room, aren’t we?”
“Oh, for the love of–”
The Masters and Aeon have arrived at the hotel room, the door swung wide open as they step in…finding, sure enough, a large, shimmering blue portal in the middle of the room. Before they have time to intervene, however, the portal closes in the blink of an eye, leaving Aeon to shake his head at the Masters before pulling out his Breacher.
“And that is why this planet is a conceal and carry portal gun world,” quips the quantum traveler as he aims his Breacher, creating an orange portal where the blue one had been previously. This confuses Kenny and Randall somewhat, realizing that this follows a similar model to their last journey across the multiverse…when something finally dawns on Kenny, like a lightbulb flashing in his mind.
“Your device is connected to the portal gun somehow isn’t it? That’s how we were able to follow Randall last time…and we can use it to track down whoever used it tonight.”
“Now you’re learning, Kenny,” replies Aeon with a smirk on his face as he motions to the portal. “Off we go, gents. Time for a retrieval mission, and hopefully we can keep the thing safe after this.”
With that, the Masters step through the portal with Aeon following close behind as the portal closes faster than one can say “blog post time.”
How many people expected Kenny Freeman to pull off the win at ReVival 37? It’s okay if the answer is zero, or at least less than five people. Pretty sure my mom was rooting for me the whole time, at least. Hi, mom!
But I did it, gang gang. Kenny Freeman, possibly the biggest underdog in this whole tournament…is now in round two, against Hayes freakin’ Hanlon. Ah, shit. I was aware that there would be multiple corners of the tourney brackets feeling the pressure of facing a former Universal Champion, but I can’t help but feel it even more with the Hayward Son.
A man who has held that title twice, and a former Five Star Champion to boot. So yeah, fully aware of the challenge coming my way at ReVival 38…a challenge I’m ready to tackle head-on. Because if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s leaving a nice little surprise for those who doubt me…and I’m not talking about a cherry bomb in the toilet. That was a one-time affair, something I promised I’d never do ag–sorry, getting sidetracked.
Hayes, you and I have quite a bit in common despite our very different choices in fashion, grooming, and friends. We both had to make a tough, tough decision in regards to our allegiances…but it’s become all too clear that you chose the path of least resistance with your new friends, whereas I chose to walk the less-traveled road.
A path with a lot less glue holding it together.
Nothing I’ve done has ever been easy, but that challenge makes the reward all the more fulfilling…and I am gonna feel hella fulfilled when I beat Hayes Hanlon in Greensboro, and move on to the third round of a tournament people expected me to be knocked out of by now. My eyes are on the prize at the end of all this, but I won’t let that distract me from the achievement that comes from making a damn fool out of a former Two-niversal Champion.
You may have been the champion of the universe, but I’m a Master of the Moscowverse…and I will show you the mastery I am capable of. When it’s all said and done, the Red Army marches on as the Glueminati find their plans falling apart at the seams.
I will prove my worth to Ivan, and your buddies are gonna be left wondering if they were better off trying to recruit…I dunno, Rocky de Leon or something. And with any luck, I’m gonna knock that mustache clean off that face of yours.
The man that has called himself the Event Horizon is gonna end up looking like Sam Neil from that film when I’m done…and you won’t be able to wake up from the nightmare that’s coming.
See you in Greensboro, Haystacks.
Somewhere in the Multiverse
“And don’t forget to bring that pig with you.”
The voice of Randall Schwartz cuts through as the portal opens, nearly spitting the Masters and Aeon onto the ground. As the trio get back on their feet, Kenny immediately looks over at the Entertainer with a look of confusion.
“What are you talking about?”
“Isn’t Hanlon the one with the pig?” Randall asks, looking equally if not more confused as to why Kenny doesn’t know what he’s referring to. Kenny just shakes his head at this query, however.
“No, ya goofball…that’s Nate Colton. Hayes is the one with the mustache.”
This only serves to further complicate the thinking process for the Entertainer, however.
“But you can’t make bacon out of mustaches.”
Kenny shudders at the thought, but soon finds himself preoccupied with the contents of the ground below them…because this is no dirt field, nor some sort of brick road. No, the streets here are paved with glue…and it’s gotten all over the men’s feet, much to their chagrin as they try to walk in all this muck and goo.
Kenny’s focus is squarely on trying to make forward progress, but Randall’s eyes are drawn to a street sign above them, prompting the Entertainer to call out to Aeon.
“Hey, we’re uh…we’re not in Darinville again are we?”
Aeon looks up at the sign, and well…it opened up his eyes, but not in a good way.
“No, Randall, this is much worse.”
Kenny looks up to see what the fuss is about, reading aloud the sign his compatriots are so focused on, a raised eyebrow all the while.
“Now entering…Glue York.”
Suddenly, as if the mere mention of the location triggered some sort of Siri-like alert in this corner of the multiverse, we hear some music playing from a loudspeaker nearby, what sounds like synthpop…when suddenly, a large LCD screen springs up from underneath the glue. As the glue falls off the screen, Kenny notices a man being shown…a man who looks an awful lot like Kenny’s opponent at ReVival 38.
A lower-third graphic reveals the man’s name as Haylor Swift, and Kenny realizes what’s about to come next…but he cannot stop the man from singing, and for the sake of keeping the reader’s sanity we shall merely provide a transcript of the mercifully short version of this disasterpiece:
Welcome to Glue York, it’s been waiting for you
Welcome to Glue York, welcome to Glue York
It’s a glue soundtrack, I can dance to this beat, beat
Until I’m sore, the glue falling over my feet, feet
The rest of the song is, thankfully, muffled as the trio put their hands over their ears…when suddenly, they catch a glimpse of the very culprit they’d hoped to find upon their arrival in this Hoyt-forsaken place. Aeon just looks at the person in silence, but it is soon broken by Kenny’s voice as he calls out…
Indeed, the female representation of the Council of Concerned Kennys and the Grand Champion of Fuerza Pro, Kendra Freeman, stands there with a portal gun in her hand…and the BANG! All Day Championship slung over her shoulder. Much like the trio, she has been on her own journey of traversing this absolute mess when she turns to notice them staring her down.
With a sly smile and a wave of her free arm, Kendra aims the portal gun just above the glue, lifting a foot high enough to step into it before she falls through. Aeon just rolls his eyes at the escape attempt before opening a portal of his own, nearly dragging the Masters alongside him to use the momentum to their advantage before the portal closes back up…
…and quicker than one can say “glue me harder,” we find ourselves back in the hotel room, where an embarrassed Kendra hands over the portal gun and the championship to Kenny with a flustered look on her face.
“Sorry, Kenny,” she states, trying not to feel any worse about the situation. “Someone wanted me to grab the title from ya, and when I got here I started fooling around with the portal gun…next thing I knew, I got stuck in an absolute mess.”
Aeon just shakes his head at the response before turning his attention back to the Masters, pointing at Kendra as he speaks.
“And this is exactly what I’ve been warning you two about. We’re done here, after this there is no more multiverse-hopping to be had from you two.”
Aeon holds his hand out now, a sour look on his face.
“I’ll be having that portal gun back, now. I obviously can’t trust you two with it, and I don’t dare let anyone else mess around with it.”
Kenny hesitates for a moment, looking at the portal gun, at Randall and Kendra, and then at Aeon as he hands the device over to the weary spaceman, who quickly pockets the gun as he shakes his head once more.
“As long as you two are running around with Ivan Stanislav, you cannot be trusted with this much power. If you’re going to continue being Masters of the Moscowverse, you cannot–and will not–be Masters of the Multiverse.”
And with that, Aeon disappears in a flash of light, leaving the Masters and the golden-laced counterpart to think about what has transpired today. For Kendra, it means being in a heap of trouble ahead of her first title defense…for Randall, it means no more “accidentally” going to another world to enjoy some truly fine dining…and for Kenny, it means having to choose between the destiny he was called to and the man he now serves as part of the Red Army. Kenny realizes what this means for him, and ends up muttering an obscenity to himself as we fade to black.