Post by Peter Vaughn on Jun 1, 2023 16:21:55 GMT -5
~The picture comes up, crossing over a drawn symbol on the ground. At each point, we see an item positioned. An action figure. A bible. A championship belt. A wrapped piece of physical remains. A deceased wrestler's promotional photo: Christian Cain, otherwise known as Outcast. We see how Outcast looked a short time before his corpse was found in an RV by his love, Veronica Strader. The shot shifts, showing four men standing nearby, all in a state of readiness, while a woman moves in front of them, splashing each with an unknown liquid.~
Maria: For your safety. For your return.
~Maria then turns back to the symbol, muttering some more words under her breath, before throwing down the liquid. It spreads across the symbol, seemingly doing nothing at first. Suddenly, the floor drops away, collapsing into the ground. After a few seconds, the previously sturdy concrete floor is now a stone stairway leading downwards into the depths. Maria turns to them all, nodding, before stepping backwards.~
Maria: Remember, your time down there is limited. Stay too long, and your excursion becomes an eternity.
~The first man steps forward, a small smile forming on his lips.~
Vaughn: Nothing like a vacation to loosen us up before a match, huh, boyos?
~The second man walks closer to the entrance, raising up a broadsword in front of him.~
Mac: These demons don't know the Hell they're in for... but they're going to learn.
~As Vaughn and Mac start down the stairs, the third man steps forward, smirking.~
Flynn: I have shit to do, VAUGHNAROO. Let's get this done.
~Flynn begins to descend as well, leaving only the fourth man standing there, indecisive.~
Cholo: Maybe Paco was right. It isn't easy having amigos.
~With a deep breath, Cholo starts going down the stairs... only to bang his leg hard on an 'invisible' floor, causing him to jump backwards. He tries again, but the barrier won't let him through. Vaughn turns around and comes back, hopping up the stairs.~
Vaughn: Let's go, Cholo! We've got a time limit, remember?
Cholo: What do you think Cholo’s trying to do, Pedro??
~Cholo kicks at the barrier again, showing that it's right over where Vaughn is standing.~
Maria: Intriguing. It appears that Cholo's spirit is too good to be able to enter Hell.
Vaughn: That certainly says something about the rest of us, doesn't it? Here, Cholo, try this.
~Vaughn reaches into the bag he's carrying, slipping out a champagne bottle.~
Vaughn: Just smash this over Maria's head. That ought to get you in.
~Maria takes a step back, but Cholo shakes his head.~
Cholo: Cholo would never do a thing like that.
~Cholo then tosses the bottle over his shoulder, away from Maria, where it crashes to the ground behind them. Vaughn's mouth opens wide in shock.
Vaughn: .... That was a Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grand Cru 1945. It was worth around half a million dollars...
~Cholo gawks at Vaughn for a moment, before looking back at the broken bottle.~
Cholo: Why did you have that?? AND WHY DID YOU GIVE IT TO CHOLO TO SMASH??
~Cholo moves towards Vaughn, upset... but after a second, he realizes that he's now able to take the first step down the stairs. Confused, Cholo stares at his feet, as Vaughn laughs.~
Vaughn: Guess even the Powers That Be aren't happy with lost alcohol. Don't worry, you can apologize to the guy I st-, er, 'borrowed it' from when we get back from Purgatory. C'mon, we've got an Outcast to rescue!
~Vaughn drags an annoyed Cholo with him down the stairs, as they head after Flynn & Mac. Maria looks after them, shaking her head.~
Maria: I hope you all return... except you, Peter... you belong down there...
~Maria moves off, as the venture towards the bowels of Hell finally begins.~
~The group moves around the winding staircase, traveling deeper into the depths below Hell's Gate. Finally, after such a long journey, Flynn gestures ahead of them.~
Flynn: Looks like it opens up below. Get ready.
~The men come around the last rotation of stairs, before stepping out into a large, rocky area. The air in the distance appears to be ablaze, making the whole area feel almost apocalyptic. Vaughn nods, pulling a gun out of his backpack and checking the load. He then pulls out what appears to be an old-school compass, checking the direction.~
Vaughn: Assuming Maria did this right, Outcast is that way. Let's go, but keep your heads down. The longer we can stay out of view...
~As Vaughn steps forward onto the rocky landscape, there's the sudden eruption of thousands of voices screaming at once. It echoes all around, a hideous noise that causes everyone to wince. After a moment, the screams slowly fade, but their noise is replaced by the sound of stampeding footsteps heading their direction. Coming over the rise, we can see a virtual army of demons and devils making their way towards the intruders, craving their blood. Vaughn looks back at his comrades, shrugging his shoulders.~
Vaughn: So... new plan. We fight our way through.
~Vaughn then spins around, opening fire on the demons rushing him. The Super Soaker blasts off, shooting a spray of holy water right into their faces. They scream in agony, falling off to the sides, as Vaughn keeps shooting. Mac and Flynn charge past, brandishing their weapons and swinging away on either side, while Cholo covers their flank, slashing with a machete at a winged monster divebombing them.~
Cholo: Back off!
~Cholo manages to cut one of the wings, but the creature still crashes into him, slashing away. Cholo, in desperation, reaches up with both hands, pushing it backwards. Surprisingly, the creature shrieks and jumps away from him. There are two golden handprints on either side of its head. Cholo gets up, looking at his hands for a second, before turning to his allies, who are too busy fighting to be able to see what happened.~
Cholo: Guys! Guys! Cholo is too good to be here!! CHOLO IS HARRY POTTER!!!
~Cholo races forward, stretching out his hands to any demons nearby, as the battle through Hell continues.~
~The furious war against the minions of the Underworld has relentlessly continued. The group has spread out, unable to stick together too closely in the melee. In the distance, Vaughn is chucking water balloons towards a giant Leviathan, trying to cut it down to size. Cholo is seen riding on the back of a succubus, gripping it tightly ignoring its screams. The shot cuts to the side, where we see Flynn grabbing hold of a flying Manananggal and bringing it to the ground with the Logical Conclusion!! The beast's neck cracks, keeping it down, even as Flynn pops up. He notices something to his right, doing a double-take.~
Flynn: Hey! HEY!!! You piece of shit, get back here!!
~Flynn starts racing to the right, away from everyone else, as we see a long-armed creature trying to flee. Flynn doesn't let him get away, using all his speed to catch up and tackle the beast, who instinctively swings his claws at him. Flynn ducks under it, though, then punches the monster numerous times in the face, all while screaming at him.~
Flynn: GIVE! ME! MY! FUCKING! JACKET! BACK!!!
~With the creature now unconscious, Flynn flips him over and works to free the jacket from its back. It's not easy, as those arms are long, but Flynn finally manages it. He laughs, putting it back on and adjusting the collar.~
Flynn: Told Irwin I'd get it back. It's my favorite, damn... it...
~Suddenly, Flynn takes in that he's surrounded by dozens of demons, wanting revenge for their friend. Flynn shrugs his shoulders.~
Flynn: Hey, Demons. Any fiddle players? No? Okay then.
~Flynn leaps towards the first one, as we cut away.~
~Nearby, we see Mac as he swings away with his broadsword, cutting down demon after demon. A Barghest, spikes & fangs glistening in the sinister glow, magically appears in front of him. It roars, leaping towards him, with Bane preparing to swing. But the Barghest suddenly disappears from view. Recognizing the moment from his vision, Mac suddenly spins, changing his trajectory to the side.~
Mac: Not this time, Fido!!
~Bane's swing lands true, catching the reappearing barghest right across the head! Half the skull falls to the ground, with the barghest taking a few steps more, before finally collapsing. Mac stands over it, breathing heavily, but a look of triumph comes over his face.~
Mac: Hah! You didn't trick me that time, you son of a...
~Another barghest suddenly appears above Bane, dropping down on his shoulders. It knocks him down, face-first. The broadsword clatters away, with the barghest growling as it leans over Bane's back, set to bite into him. Despite being startled, Bane's instincts kick in. He throws back his head, catching the barghest right in the jaw!! It howls and drops off, as Bane scrambles forward, reaching for his weapon. He turns just as the barghest leaps again... only to be pierced right through with the broadsword!! The beast collapses onto Bane, who takes a second to breathe.~
Mac: Could have... used a head's up on that one... as well, Maria... get... off!!
~Bane strains his muscles, as his eyes once again seem to darken. It seems to work, as Bane is able to shove the carcass off to the side and get up. He looks over to where Flynn is currently battling dozens of Shedim monsters. Bane cracks his neck, before beginning to jog that direction.~
Mac: This day just keeps getting better and better...
~As Bane rushes in, slashing the creatures in the back, we cut away.~
Is this or is this not the most incredible, awe-inspiring team you've ever laid eyes on? They're damn unstoppable!
And obviously, that fact will remain true at War Games, against Jimmy's clown-car of a squad.
Let's just run down the list, shall we? A fun game of "Let's compare":
For rhyming's sake, we'll start with Bane vs. Main. You've got two powerful veterans of the game, two men who absolutely love to fight. The main difference? Mac hasn't been sitting on his ass eating Cheetos for the past dozen months. He's been out winning World Championships and decimating the competition. Robert's time was great... but it's passed him by. You remember when Sugar Ray Leonard kept trying to return, only to get knocked the fuck out? Yeah. That'll likely be Main. One point for Team Vaughn.
How about Flynn vs. Waters? Their comparison is made easy thanks to the XWF. Flynn has dominated there, won all the championships, and squashed the competition every time he fights. Waters has a few random title reigns that she snuck in before quickly landing on her back for the 3 count. Flynn is a monster main eventer who will probably carry his team to victory at XWF's War Games. Waters is lucky her team hasn't kicked her out yet. 2-0, Team Vaughn.
Next up, we can pit Cholo against Lycana, although it's again, not a very fair comparison. We'd have to go back to Lycana's prime to make this even slightly close. Right now, in the present day? The Intercontinental Champion tames the she-wolf and puts the cone of shame on her, sending her howling back into retirement. Three points for Team Vaughn, it's looking good.
Can the newest substitute who no one asked for do any better? Adams? Maybe if this was a situation where he could hide in the corner for a while, avoiding all confrontations until he has a chance to strike. But this is War Games, baby, ain't no place to hide. Outcast has been through hell, you can bet he's going to feel right at home in that cage. He's likely to torch Adams and leave him a smoldering ruin, wondering why on earth he volunteered to replace Nova Skye. 4-0, Team Vaughn.
And then, the final comparison, Jimmy: you vs. me. Well, that one's been written pretty heavily in stone, hasn't it? I've faced you twice, and I've pinned you both times. Sure, you may want a "Best of 5" or something, but that doesn't change the fact that you've never been able to take me down. That's not about to change at War Games, especially with the heat I'm packing in my team, and some of the plans we've got lined up. You may have some skills, Jimmy, but until you can prove it in that ring, they don't mean squat to me.
Face it, Jimmy. It's going to be a clean sweep. Team Vaughn all the way.
Team Caedus? Maybe you guys can go get shawarmas afterwards to nurse your sorrows. Of course, that depends on how many of you we send to the hospital, I guess, doesn't it?
~We return to Vaughn, who is taking advantage of a brief respite to scan with his compass. Interestingly, the close-up of the compass shows two needles, red and black, which are steadily beginning to separate. As Vaughn considers his next move, there’s a yell behind him. He spins, seeing Cholo plunge past him, hanging onto a large minotaur. The desperate beast turns to the left, diving forward... straight into a burning bush!! Cholo, taken off-guard, ends up in the flames as well, rolling out of it on fire! Thinking fast, Vaughn darts forward, blasting what appears to be the last of his Super Soaker supply. The holy water drenches Cholo, who checks himself over. He turns to Vaughn with a worried look.~
Cholo: Is it bad?
Vaughn: I, uh... nah... I'm sure it can be... fixed...
~Slowly, Cholo reaches up above his head, touching at his afro. A portion of it has been singed away from the hellish flames. Cholo, feeling it, sighs deeply.~
Cholo: This is truly Hell.
~Shaking his head, Vaughn steps over, offering Cholo a hand. He hauls him up, before turning back to where Bane and Flynn are fighting their direction. Vaughn then glances at his compass again.~
Vaughn: Well, Cholo, looks like this is where our paths diverge.
Cholo: ... What?
Vaughn: Just head over that ridge there. That's where you'll find Christian. Good luck, my friend.
~Cholo, stunned, watches as Vaughn jogs away, still following his compass. In the meantime, Bane and Flynn manage to get closer, both looking like their clothes have been through a shredder.~
Flynn: Where's he going?
Cholo: ... Don't worry about Pedro. We have a job to do.
~Cholo leads a puzzled Bane and Flynn off, heading away as Vaughn separates from his group, his own mission in mind.~
~As Vaughn slowly climbs up the large hill, swinging a barbed-wire baseball bat at a few creatures that come too close, he remembers the moment that brought him here: when he met, secretly, with Maria, nearly a month ago now, to discuss his recent... issues with seeing other personalities. Vaughn remembers her voice like it was yesterday:.~
Maria: There is one relic that might help you: the Deacon Brodie pendant. This cursed item was worn by a good man who was destroyed by his other selves, getting dragged to Hell for his actions. Rumors state that this pendant can reunite fragmented minds. Many have searched for it. None have returned.
Vaughn: But you're already creating our talisman to find Outcast. Can't you do the same for this artifact?
Maria: I can. But you will have to make a choice, Peter, when you reach it. It can be extremely costly to procure, so consider well before you move to possess it.
~Vaughn nods, turning away, but he stops when Maria grabs his arm.~
Maria: And if your actions harm Mac... you will wish you stayed in Hell.
~Vaughn stares at her, as the vision shifts back to the current time. We see a cave up in front, with a large barbarian standing in front of it. The barbarian smiles darkly, raising up six arms with six swords. Vaughn returns the smile, charging forward and swinging away.~
~The picture shifts back to the rest of the group, as they've moved downhill... to a very specific altar.~
Flynn: There he is!
~We can see Outcast, bloodied and battered, hanging from his restraints. As if alerted to the team's mission, two large Dullahan demons ride towards them, their skulls glowing madly as they charge their horses forward. However, Cholo reacts quickly, grabbing one horse by its mane and causing it to painfully stumble, throwing the Dullahan off. Meanwhile, Flynn is able to fling a captured scythe straight at the second Dullahan, bisecting him with one swipe! As the guardians fall to pieces, Mac steps forward, raising up his scorched broadsword.~
Mac: Outcast... you've been here long enough.
~With that, Mac unleashes two mighty swings, slashing through the restraints. Cholo moves in, managing to catch the wrestler, helping keep him up.~
Cholo: Don’t worry amigo, Cholo gotcha. We're here to take you home...
~Suddenly, Cholo chokes, as Outcast wraps his hands around his throat!! Cholo struggles against it, instinctively putting his hands on Outcast's arms, but it has no effect. Outcast pulls him closer, glaring at him.~
Outcast: I AM home.
~As Mac steps forward, startled, Outcast suddenly spins, throwing Cholo with incredible strength right at him. The two men collide, collapsing to the ground. Flynn immediately leaps in, trying to grab Outcast from behind.~
Flynn: Stop it, you idiot, we're here to get you out of Hell!
~But Outcast ignites, the unholy flames driving Flynn off of him. As Flynn falls back, Outcast spins, smashing Flynn in the side of the head, knocking him down.~
Outcast: I deserve to be in Hell... for my son... I deserve it!
~Outcast then leaps up, soaring higher than any human could jump, before coming down hard on Flynn's back with the OD!!! Flynn's down, as Outcast turns, stomping towards where the others are struggling to get up, facing a foe that no one had prepared for...~
~.. Except maybe one. Vaughn is shown standing over the fallen barbarian. He starts limping towards the cave that houses the Brodie Cross. He stops, though, when he hears yells from down below. Looking back, he sees that the mission has gone sideways. Vaughn, hesitant, looks back towards the cave, freely open to him, then back to the battlefield. He turns again to the cave, taking a single step towards it...~
~Back down below, Cholo goes flying by, knocked senseless by a crashing shot from Outcast. Mac rushes at him, swinging the broadsword, but Outcast, still imbued with the powers of Hell, manages to catch the blade, stopping it in midair.~
Mac: That's impossi...
~Outcast rips away the sword, while simultaneously launching a meteor-sized rock straight at Mac, sending him 20 feet backwards. Outcast then raises the sword, walking towards Mac with the blade outstretched.~
Outcast: I deserve this... I will never leave... and neither... will you...
~Outcast hefts up the sword... then, on pure instinct, thrusts it behind him. It stabs deep, gaining purchase in the flesh. He turns around... to find Vaughn standing there, having been stabbed through the side! An appearance of a familiar face seems to stir something in Outcast, as he takes in what he's done.~
Outcast: ... Peter...
Vaughn: Hey there... Outcast... quick as ever... I see...
~Speechless, Outcast watches as Vaughn slides back off the edge of the blade, dropping to his knees. But Vaughn manages to lift up his hand, showing Outcast what he's holding.~
Vaughn: Figured... you'd want to see... what you're missing...
~Outcast's eyes gravitate to the picture that Vaughn’s holding. In it, we can see Ronnie Strader, smiling, holding up their daughter, Christian Michelle. There's a message scrawled on the bottom of the picture, saying simply: "Christian, please come home to us." On either side of the picture, there are bags containing hair from Ronnie & the child. Outcast hesitantly reaches out, grabbing them. There's a sudden shock, as if a lightning bolt had hit! A few seconds later, we can see Outcast holding onto the picture, a pure smile on his face. He appears to be completely healed up, looking like his old self again. He turns, looking down at Vaughn, who's still on the ground.~
Outcast: I... I don't...
Vaughn: Your life... is waiting... for you... Christian...
~Vaughn's eyes then flutter, as his head drops backwards. He's unconscious, likely due to the blood loss. Outcast looks around as the other men start to pull themselves up. Outcast then shows his Hellish strength, as he picks Vaughn up off the ground with ease.~
Outcast: Let's get out of here.
~The others nod and join Outcast as they start moving off, with another wave of warriors likely in their path. Those warriors... don't stand a chance.~
And now, my team is complete. Sure, it didn't end in the best way for me, but why worry about spilled blood at this point?
Suffice to say, my gamble paid off. Outcast is stronger than ever. He will be the catalyst to the complete annihilation of the outsiders from the WGWF. With Outcast's firepower, Flynn's strategery, Mac's strength, Cholo's wit, and my willingness to excel, there's not a single team in this world that can stand against us. I'd pit us against the best of the best, a squad involving Page, Raven, Knox, ALIAS, and Fenix, for example. I'd certainly bet everything I have that we'll tear through the disjointed unit that Jimmy thought could stand against us.
I'm not going to tell anyone to show mercy, Jimmy. I want Cholo to make Adams submit to El Matador. I'm anxious to see Main squashed like a grape under Outcast's OD shoes. I'm excited for Flynn to show Lycana that it's The End. I'm impatiently waiting for Bane to deliver some Blunt Force Trama to Waters. And I really, REALLY can't wait to finally squash you once more, Jimmy, with my favorite move.
It won't be easy in that cage, but I'll find a way.
And after it's all over, and the apocalyptic damage is viewed from afar, everyone will realize that the WGWF... much like TPW... truly belongs to Peter Vaughn, and anyone willing to ally with him.
Prepare for a bad time, Jimmy. Prepare for a Plunge.
~An unknown amount of time later... Vaughn wakes, pushing himself up. He gasps, before quickly checking his side... which is miraculously unscarred. Vaughn double checks it, before turning back to look at everyone smirking down at him.~
Cholo: About time. You missed all the second half fun, Pedro!
Flynn: Some leader, needing to be carried out, VAUGHNAROO!
Mac: Thanks for getting your blood on my broadsword. It'll never be the same.
~Vaughn looks at all three of them, extremely confused.~
Vaughn: What... how did I...
Mac: Maria healed you. It was a mystical wound, after all. She didn't want to, but I made her.
~Vaughn achingly gets up, still sore. He looks around.~
Vaughn: But... we got him?
~With a smile, Mac steps aside, showing Outcast standing nearby, staring out at the sunset. He turns back, looking over at Vaughn and the rest, his hand still clutching the picture of Ronnie & his daughter. He can only barely get out the words he's feeling.~
Outcast: ... Thank you... all of you...
~The group nods in unison, none of them wanting to make a big thing out of it... even though it WAS a big thing. Vaughn can't help but smile.~
Vaughn: And now... we're ready for our War Games match.
Outcast: ... Match?
Cholo: Don't worry, we'll fill you in.
~Cholo laughs, his relief evident at having escaped Hell. The men come together, showing comradery as a team as they head outside to enjoy the sunset. Only Vaughn takes a moment, looking back at the floor, thinking about what was missed... and what the cost might be, in the future. We fade out.~