Marcus Anderson is on the dance floor, surrounded by women dancing with him. An ordinary day? Maybe. Chris Parsons is at a nearby table with several empty glasses on the table that belong to him and Marcus. A rathe busty waitress is taking a new drink order while Chris sips at what appears to be the fru-fruiest drink in the club.
CHRIS PARSONS: Two more Patriotic Specials, sugartits.
Yes, the drink looks sort of like a bombsicle in that it is layered red, white, and blue in colors. The waitress has a name tag that literally says “Sugartits”.
SUGARTITS: Your boy doing awful fine for himself out there. He’s kind of cute in a “I’m banging illegal Justin Bieber” kind of way.
CHRIS PARSONS: He’s got enough tail out there chasing him that you would think that he was illegal Justin Bieber, but he’s twenty one. But enough about him, let’s talk about you and me…
Sugartits scoffs at Parsons and walks away to order the two drinks in question. Before the drinks come, a young man walks up to Chris Parsons and sits himself down. Chris eyes the young man, frowning as the young man seems familiar somehow.
CHRIS PARSONS: We ain’t doing autographs right now. The kid’s celebrating a win over a former RSW World champion right now.
The young man glances over to where one of the girls Marcus is dancing with has “backed that thang up” and is grinding her butt against Marcus’ hips.
YOUNG MAN: I need your help. You and Marcus share a common enemy with myself.
Chris looks at the young man with narrowed eyes. Who was he?
CHRIS PARSONS: Look, I ain’t here in the business of granting favors, punk. Move yourself along before I have to stomp you into the dirt.
The young man sits at the table with a heavy sigh.
YOUNG MAN: I don’t know who else to turn to! I would ask my cousin, but she’s locked away. My half-brother is dead. I have no way to get onto the black ship!
The Black Ship? The very one that Armand flies from show location to show location in?
CHRIS PARSONS: Jesus, kid. You sure know how to kill a party.
YOUNG MAN: I’m dead serious!
Sugartits brings the two drinks over to the table, which brings Marcus to begin sipping at it. Chris sips a little at his fresh drink while keeping the young man in sight.
CHRIS PARSONS: No sense fucking around, so try not to get offended crazy man I don’t know. Who the fuck are you and why are you trying to into Armand’s black ship? No one just calls it that unless they know what the fuck it really is, so out with it kid or I swear to fuck you’re gonna regret fucking up my night.
YOUNG MAN: My name is Johnathan Mills and my father, Thomas Mills is imprisoned onboard the black ship.
MARCUS ANDERSON: That’s horrible! Of cour-
CHRIS PARSONS: How do you know that Thomas is on the black ship and not in the pits wherever the Krimson Kharnival is at?
Johnathan looks from Marcus to Chris before answering.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: I went to Gabriel Tuck and discovered that Thomas is being held for blackmail purposes. He’s blackmailing my cousin, Tabitha Osborne, to try to help him take over Sakura Shouju Stampede. I need to get him out of there before Armand decides to have him in the pits instead!
Chris Parsons breathes in deep, holding up a restraining finger to Marcus, who was about to speak again.
CHRIS PARSONS: How do you think that we can help? The black ship is in the sky most of the time.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: If you two schedule a meeting with Armand on the black ship, they will have to weigh anchor. I can climb the chain, scale the side of the ship, and enter from there. I’ll free Thomas and we can figure out how to escape from there.
For a long time the only sounds are the ones of the club, no one at the table say anything as Marcus and Chris stare at Johnathan as if he has just grown a second head on his shoulders.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: What? I once scaled a skyscraper just to play a prank on PT Merciless to show him that I could.
MARCUS ANDERSON: How stupid could you be?
CHRIS PARSONS: This from someone who had to fight once in the pits in order to escape after a failed infiltration?
Marcus just blows air up to rustle his hair in a pout, but doesn’t argue the point. Chris just chuckles as he was a part of that failed mission.
CHRIS PARSONS: Kid…I don’t know that we can help. There’s getting on Army’s radar and there’s getting dead into his sights.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: Please! I’m desperate!
CHRIS PARSONS: I’m going to regret this, but what do you say, Macro?
MARCUS ANDERSON: I think we should help him. Thomas shouldn’t have to be a guest of Armand’s any longer than he has to.
Chris’ hand goes to the eye patch that normally hides underneath his sunglasses, a reminder of the hospitality of Armand von Krauss. Thomas Mills had likewise lost an eye in the pits before being rescued before.
CHRIS PARSONS: Of course you do, you’re not old enough to know better yet…fine. I’ll set up the meeting here in a bit. Aren’t you a wrestler?
JOHNATHAN MILLS: I am, but I’m not booked. I decided to go on this quest to find my father after I found my cousin in the asylum.
MARCUS ANDERSON: We’re booked against Rob Riot and Frank Windsor! Should be a great match up.
Johnathan twitches a little, revealing his disgust for the mentioned wrestlers.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: Bastards…
MARCUS ANDERSON: That is the stable name that they are known for. You know them?
JOHNATHAN MILLS: I faced them in Wrestlewars. I nearly defeated Rob Riot in the ring before, but lost when going for the main title. They are what their name is. Bastards.
MARCUS ANDERSON: We face them in tag team action. Though I think I have watched Wrestewars before. You were on that? Frank Windsor is currently on his way to either come out of the closet or become Francine Windsor as compared to what he was before.
Parsons puts his phone away and takes a long drink.
CHRIS PARSONS: Alright. It’s set up for tomorrow. In the meantime, we have a celebration to finish…where we’re we? Another round…and two for our friend here, he’s got some catching up to do!
The next day outside at a park, the black ship hovers a few feet off of the ground as Chris Parsons, Marcus Anderson, and Johnathan Mills stand nearby.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: I don’t understand the plan. I’m your agent? Why can’t I just scale the side of the ship now that it’s almost within reach?
Chris Parsons sighs, nodding to the armed security standing by the railing of the ship.
CHRIS PARSONS: Because those armed guards are watching all sides of the ship. As soon. As you climbed over the side of the ship, they would spot you and shoot you dead. So…James Bachman, you’re our agent.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: Fine. Let’s be serious about things then instead of daring do.
MARCUS ANDERSON: We can’t all be idiot daredevils.
A gangplank is lowered down so that the three may climb aboard the ship. Shockingly, only two armed guards show up at the top of the plank to escort them through the maze of hallways, down an elevator, and into the main observation deck.
Armand von Krauss stands by the glass with his back to the group as he smokes his Egyptian cigarette.
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: You wanted to meet with me about your match with the Bastards, Herr Parsons?
Armand turns around, greeting the eyes of Chris, Marcus, and then stops when he sees Johnathan Mills. His lip curls into a distasteful sneer.
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: Who is this?
CHRIS PARSONS: He’s James Bachman, our agent. Is there a problem with that?
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: I speak not with this…tollwütiger hund. I trust. That you recall the way out…Bachman?
Johnathan blinks in confusion at first, but slowly nods.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: Of cour-
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: There’s no need to speak. Just leave.
Johnathan nods again and leaves the room. Armand smiles, blowing a cloud of smoke into the air.
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: Now, what about facing the Bastards in the ring troubles you?
Johnathan Mills walks down the hall, taking an elevator, and going down instead of up to the surface of the ship.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: If I were a prisoner, where would I be? The bowels of the ship.
Once the elevator hits the bottom, the doors open up to reveal a single crewman waiting to enter the room. His eyes go wide when he sees Johnathan out of place from where he should be. Johnathan grabs him by the arm, pulls him in, and strikes him in the side of the head with an elbow to stun him. He shoves the crewman face first into the wall of the elevator, applying a chicken wing.
JOHNATHAN MIILLS: Where is Thomas Mills being kept? Quickly!
CREWMAN: Last room on the left! Lemme go!
JOHNATHAN MILLS: Of course.
Johnathan releases the crewman, but smashes his face into the wall to knock him out. He drops the man onto the floor of the elevator and exits, knowing that he has a limited amount of time before the man is discovered and the alarm is sounded. He makes his way down the empty hallway to the last door on the left. It’s locked, but opens from the outside.
THOMAS MILLS: Fuck off, Armand! I won’t give you the pleasure of conversation!
Johnathan opens the door fully to see Thomas Mills sitting on a cot. He looks haggard, a wild head of hair, a beard, and one eye. A jagged hole exists where his other eye should be. He’s wearing a tan prison jumpsuit.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: Dad? What have they done to you?
Thomas looks at Johnathan much as if he had seen a ghost. He blinks rapidly and stands up.
THOMAS MILLS: Johnny? I thought I lost you! You died in Hawaii!
Despite this fact, Thomas rushes to hug Johnathan.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: I got better? We’ll have time to catch up later. I’ve got to get you out of here somehow before the-
The alarm sounds.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: Crap on a cracker!
Back in the observation deck, Armand von Krauss chuckles.
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: If that schwein decides to change the rules of the match in order to help himself get the win, I will come out and change them back. If you back me against him, Herr Parsons, he cannot win the management game.
CHRIS PARSONS: And should I like the rules that he comes up with?
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: Then we will let the rules stay as they are.
Chris Parsons looks to Marcus and winks. They’ve been going around in circles for a bit of time now.
CHRIS PARSONS: And should I decide to change the rules of the match so that we can win easier? Will you back me then?
Armand sighs, taking out yet another of his expensive imported Egyptian cigarettes and lights it.
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: I see no point in going over this again. I suppose that since you have asked for my support against Rob Riot and his ilk that I will-
The alarm to the ship begins to sound, but Armand himself does not look alarmed. He dials a room on the intercom and presses a button to open the channel.
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: He has finally found his father. You may kill them both now, Herr Hammerhand.
MARCUS ANDERSON: What are you talking about?
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: You think I don’t recognize every single soul that I have had my Hammerhand claim? The last time Blake Luthor faced Johnathan Mills, both of them died. This time things will be vastly different.
Marcus looks on in alarm, glancing from Armand to the two armed guards who are blocking the door.
MARCUS ANDERSON: Parsons? What do we do?
Chris looks from the guards, who look like they are just itching to shoot both him and Marcus if they try for the door.
CHRIS PARSONS: What if…Johnathan defeats Hammerhand?
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: Then they may both leave, but he won’t survive the encounter.
CHRIS PARSONS: We wait, Marco. We wait and we hope.
Downstairs, Johnathan Mills and Thomas Mills are walking down the hallway to the elevator. So far, no guards have jumped out of the works. In fact, the elevator is open with the knocked out crewman still on the floor where Johnathan had left them.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: Maybe Parsons did something rash like attacking Armand. They don’t seem to be onto-
“Hammerhand” Blake Luthor steps into the hallway from a side door to stand in the hallway in front of the elevator. He pops his knuckles with sharp metallic pings. Johnathan stops speaking, going pale as he sees Blake Luthor slowly advance.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: No…
BLAKE LUTHOR: You didn’t think that you would come back without me being there as well. Did you?
Johnathan backs up into Thomas, almost literally quaking in his boots.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: Father, it was him. It was him who had killed me before
As if to remind Johnathan of what he’s dealing with, Blake punches the metallic wall. He leaves a bloody dent from the severity of his impact.
THOMAS MILLS: He can’t defeat us both, son. We have to try.
Johnathan swallows hard, keenly aware of a crewman stepping up behind Blake with a phone trained on what’s to be Johnathan’s final, final fight. Probably streaming what could be a grisly execution straight to Armand himself.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: No, father. I will do this alone.
Johnathan rushes at Blake, sidestepping a punch, and striking with an elbow to the chin that Blake ignores the impact of. He strikes Johnathan in the jaw, sending him back to the wall. His head swims from the impact. He tries to strike back with another elbow, but misses badly. Blake hits a body shot and shoves Johnathan back against the wall again.
BLAKE LUTHOR: How did you think this was going to end? I’m stronger than you.
Blake pulls Johnathan away from the wall just so he can slam him back into it and hit another body blow.
BLAKE LUTHOR: I’m better than you in every way.
Johnathan drops to his hands and knees, blood dripping from his mouth from the internal bleeding. It’s over already. Johnathan can feel it as the outer edges of his vision begin to go dark. He’s going to die again and this time bring his father with him.
BLAKE LUTHOR: I went through the veil of death just to see you sent back. It’s over, Mills.
Johnathan breathes in deeply, gathering his courage. He puts his hands together, turns, and strikes Blake in the nuts with a double axe handle.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: NEVER!
Blake doubles over, Johnathan jumping up with an uppercut to the throat. He grabs Blake by the back of the head and slams it into the metallic wall as hard as he can.
JOHNATHAN MILLS: YOU! WILL! NOT! BE! THE! END! OF! ME!
With each screamed word, Johnathan slams Blake’s head into the wall, denting it in. When he releases Blake, the pit fighter falls unconscious to the floor. Thomas Mills grabs Johnathan before he falls, the adrenaline rush having worn off.
THOMAS MILLS: It’s alright, son. I have you.
The crewman with the phone backs away as the pair head to the elevator.
This is seen on a television screen in the observation deck. Chris Parsons looks smugly at Armand.
CHRIS PARSONS: Looks like your boy has lost. Time to let us all go, Army.
Armand flicks his cigarette butt at the main window of the deck where it explodes in a shower of sparks. He crushes the smart phone feeding the stream to the television in his hand with a snarl.
ARMAND VON KRAUSS: You may have won today, but you won’t do so again. I will still support you against the Bastards if it is needed, but expect it to be the last time.
Chris reaches into Armand’s pocket, grabbing himself up an Egyptian cigarette, and lighting it with his own lighter.
CHRIS PARSONS: Oh, we ain’t done, Army. Not by a long shot.
MARCUS ANDERSON: You’ll pay for killing my dad!
Armand motions to the guards to let Chris and Marcus out. They meet Johnathan and Thomas at the elevator to get to the surface of the ship and escape off via the gang plank.
They look back to see Armand von Krauss standing at the railing of the ship.
MARCUS ANDERSON: He looks pissed.
CHRIS PARSONS: Just think of how he’ll look when we get even with that sorry sack of shit once and for all.
MARCUS ANDERSON: Dead…