Guest
Nate Hollis remembered the warzone of Melee number 2 as he crossed with the crosswalk towards the F2W headquarters. The Scientology Squad had been precise in their methods, but callous in their handling of the studio. Nate, after that grim broadcast day, left as rescue crews worked to free members of the studio team trapped on upper floors behind walls of fire. He vividly remembered the smashed equipment, stepping over broken glass, and destroyed signage of the F2W studio and couldn't help but reminisce starkly about what had befallen his last job at the Alpha Wrestling Empire as it underwent its own brand of turmoil. There he'd made it to episode 4 before being fired amidst shakeups and backstage politics. Here in Fight 2 Win, he assumed Episode 3 of Melee would never happen. Stranger still, no word had been given not to show up to work to ready for broadcast.

He rode the elevator up feeling dread as he watched the red numbers change floors before the doors dinged open. Nate Hollis cringed in preparation, but instead blinked as he stepped off the elevator not into the rubble of an almost entirely destroyed studio, but a floor being re-finished and sanded down by workmen. The sound of hammers, and work tools greeted him as walls were repainted; men on ladders fixed light fixtures and Nate Hollis regarded it all as if he'd gotten off on the wrong floor. He wandered down the hall as if on a different planet, into the main studio space where a large group of people he recognized as his fellow F2W employees stood listening to a presentation coming from the front of the room. There stood a resplendent Angelina Altamonte, flanked by men in suits, giving a warm run through of something Nate couldn't quite wrap his ears around. And then he saw Brad Stokes at the back of the room listening. Nate approached to stand beside his announce partner.

Brad smiled at Nate.

"Can you believe it?" Brad asked in a hushed voice so as not to interrupt the meeting. Nate's frown set deeper on his face.

"What's going on?"

Brad shook his head with serene wonder.

"Some kind of insurance policy payoff. We're getting a stadium."

Shock. Nate stood up straight to peek over the heads of his coworkers at the presentation being unveiled via power point and old-fashioned oversized chart paper. Angelina Altamonte was in her element. In a moment her eyes met Nate's and he swore she winked at him before continuing to hold the eyes of everyone in the room.

"Thanks to the opportune employment of an insurance policy covering the premises and equipment destroyed in last month's hijacking by the Scientologists, as well as the lucky financial investment of some of our silent partners, Fight 2 Win officially has enough money to ensure that construction crews break ground on the first of December for what will be the Fight 2 Win specialty sports complex."

The audience applauded. Nate felt stunned, overwhelmed, and bewildered. So fast? Just like that. He glanced speechless to Brad who looked back with a shit-eating trademark Brad Stokes grin.

"They're letting anyone propose names for it. The Stokes Stadium. How's that sound?"

Nate blinked incredulously at his announce partner, as stunned by the reality of a new sports stadium as the idea of Brad getting to name it. Nate’s eyes peered up from Brad's grandiose vision to a line of people standing beside him.

"These are my kids," Brad nodded pridefully at Nate. Nate eyed down the line of people who looked nothing like Brad with confusion that could only deepen when in Brad’s presence.

"These are grown human beings, Brad." Nate whispered.

"I just met them. I'm a father, Nate."

Brad's eyes were wide with the pride of a fresh father. Nate stuttered and stumbled, eyeing Brad's supposed children before,

"What year is this?"

Brad chewed his gum and smiled with a nod without answering. Nate counted Brad's kids and struggled with the math and the logic required to make sense of how all of it was possible before he glanced back at the presentation in progress.

"Construction is planned to take 3 months, barring unforeseen circumstances. As for the here and now, obviously," Angelina continued, "Melee 3 will continue as planned, but in a new location so as to prevent any further potential hostage situations. You’ll all sign binding Non-Disclosure Agreements to ensure secrecy. Nate Hollis, and Brad Stokes, will lead us boldly into the future while continuing to provide the same exceptional play-by-play they always have."

The gathered crowd turned at Angelina's behest to applaud Nate and his announce partner. Nate remained stunned, looking down to see a hand being offered to shake his.

"I'm Tad Stokes. Love ya stuff.” Nate blinked down at the hand, wondering whether he’d call this a nightmare or a good dream when he woke up.

“This is my son, Tad, Nate. And this is Vlad. And here’s Chad. And this is my current favorite, Thad—“

Nate stood there amidst the applause in this bizarre makeshift almost-funhouse receiving line of Brad’s lately announced extended family of kids, and Angelina’s voice wafted over it serenely.

“At long last, out of the ashes those who would see us fail tried to leave us in, Fight 2 Win is officially set to build upon a solid foundation towards a brighter future.”



Da DUN da DUN!

It’s the best, most exciting notes to be struck on the introduction to a Melee broadcast in at least a month. It’s like a newscast. The camera tilts down and dollies forward on the polished silver announce desk behind which sits Nate Hollis and Brad Stokes clad in nearly identical three-piece suits. Nate’s overcome the earlier shock and is back in his element! Brad’s tie is covered in Tie Fighters, and Nate has a simple blue tie.

NATE HOLLIS: Welcome Fight 2 Winners to another action-packed episode of Melee. With me is the man, the myth, the legend, Brad Stokes—

Brad nods like a seasoned professional.

NATE HOLLIS: And I’m Nate Hollis.

BRAD STOKES: And we are broadcasting LIVE from—

NATE HOLLIS: Shhh-shhh.

Brad glares the unspoken question at Nate.

NATE HOLLIS: It’s a secret, Brad.

BRAD STOKES: We’re in a bunker, Nate. How many bunkers are there in the United States?

NATE HOLLIS: I don’t know.

BRAD STOKES: Exactly. [Brad’s wide grin returns to look into the camera] We’re broadcasting LIVE to you from a bunker somewhere in the United States capable of withstanding the impending nuclear holocaust, and better yet, you will NEVER FIND US YA SCIENTOLOGIST ASSHOLES! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! DO YOUR WORST TO THE OVERWORLD!!! I DON'T CARE HERE NESTLED IN THE SAFETY OF MY BOMB SHELTER LOCATED IN--

Nate cringes.

NATE HOLLIS: Brad. We talked about this.

Brad straightens.

BRAD STOKES: You’re right. I’m sorry. Spare my children from your wrath, please. I haven’t learned all their names, yet.

The one sticking point Nate still hasn’t wrapped his head around is mentioned. He frowns at Brad who blinks with a warm smile into the camera, growing uncomfortable in Nate’s silence. Brad clears his throat and taps the edges of his notes on the desk, rousing Nate from his confusion.

NATE HOLLIS: Right. For those of you not currently binge-watching us, starting in at episode 3, let me catch you up to speed. Last Episode the hated Blackstar and his Scientology Squad of soldiers hijacked our broadcast in order to hold us hostage.

BRAD STOKES: Did we ever figure out why they did that?

NATE HOLLIS: To get information regarding the nature of the hijacking of their Starship currently in orbit around the planet earth which took place on the first episode of Melee. That cost Blackstar a possible victory and the Melee title belt which ended up in the hands of our current champion, Natalie King.

BRAD STOKES: Right. Can’t forget the spaceship hijack fiasco that revealed the existence of space aliens to the world. And, the only slightly less startling revelation that singing sensation CHER has now died. Did they actually get the information they were looking for?

Nate has to think about it.

NATE HOLLIS: I’m not sure, actually.

Silence between the commentators as they contemplate last month’s harrowing ordeal that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and even almost took Brad’s life. Finally,

BRAD STOKES:  Kind of makes you wonder what it was all for.

NATE HOLLIS: I guess...

Another beat as the two commentators contemplate their lives. And then,

NATE HOLLIS: So, anyway, tonight, in order to keep our broadcast secure, Brad and I will be calling all the action from a secret, undisclosed location.

BRAD STOKES: Just as God intended.

NATE HOLLIS: Sure. And what a night of action it is. We have the debut of Starlight as she goes head to head with the leader of the Puppet Pals himself, Adam Wolfe.

BRAD STOKES: A fight sure to impress as we get our first look inside—

Brad reads the notes in front of him with a squint.

BRAD STOKES: Star…Light’s… Dimension…?

NATE HOLLIS: True. Here at Fight 2 Win, we bring the fight to the competitors. We bring the cameras to a venue especially selected by our combatants and watch the combat take place from the safety of this here broadcast studio.

BRAD STOKES: But not forever.

NATE HOLLIS: That’s right, fight fans. The big news we’ve been cleared to tell you about is this:

BRAD STOKES: WE’RE GETTING A FREAKING STADIUM!

Brad’s excitement causes the audio to clip a second.

NATE HOLLIS: Brad.

Brad doesn’t listen.

BRAD STOKES: THAT’S WHAT I SAID! A MOTHER FUC—

Nate looks to the sound guy off-camera with a "cut him off" signal with his hand. Brad’s audio is cut off before he can finish his sentence.Nate smiles with Brad beside him shouting his lungs out with no one to hear him.

NATE HOLLIS: It’s true. If all goes to plan, in three months time, all these fighters are going to be walking down to the ring in high defintion audio to their hand-selected music which, up till now, hasn’t meant much, in our very own self-styled sports complex!

Brad, winded, sits back down, his audio cuts back in. He’s out of breath.

BRAD STOKES: But that’s not all!

NATE HOLLIS: No it is not. We need help naming the stadium, friends. You pitch us your ideas for the Fight 2 Win Stadium, get at us on Twitter, or however you'd like to offer suggestions, and there’s a chance it’s going to be the name we’re calling the stadium forever after!

BRAD STOKES: Fantana Hall!

NATE HOLLIS: Or King’s Palace.

BRAD STOKES: The Devlin Dome!

NATE HOLLIS: The board will vote on the suggestions and announce the winner the closer we get to completion.

BRAD STOKES: The A$hley Quidd Center!

NATE HOLLIS: That’s enough, Brad. They get the idea.

BRAD STOKES: I don’t think they do. This world is an unenlightened cesspool, and it's up to me to educate the unwashed masses.

NATE HOLLIS: Better get on that.

BRAD STOKES: I'm biding my time.

NATE HOLLIS: As for tonight, not only will we see the debut of Starlight, we’ll see a title fight to mark the calendars for as Zack Fantana challenges Natalie King for her Melee Championship.

BRAD STOKES: Also gonna see Brennan Devlin and Ric Greene prove that girls can’t wrestle.

NATE HOLLIS: I wouldn’t count on it.

BRAD STOKES: Yeah, but what do you know?

NATE HOLLIS: I know when to keep my mouth shut in the midst of a media environment growing increasingly aware of sexism. A skill you’ve yet to master.

BRAD STOKES: Haha, that’s so true. It’s like written in the stars, Nate. It’s like a law of nature! I’m gonna fuck-up! HAHA.

NATE HOLLIS: Right. Also written in the stars is the return of Blackstar as he combats Alfie Tenner on Hollywood Boulevard.

BRAD STOKES: Nice segue!

NATE HOLLIS: I thought so. We take you there now to watch the action unfold.

BRAD STOKES: You’re getting pretty good at this, Nate. Your fresh new sound will play nicely in our fresh new stadium.

NATE HOLLIS: It plays pretty nicely right here, Brad.

BRAD STOKES: Trying to segue, Nate.

NATE HOLLIS: Let’s cut to the match.

BRAD STOKES: Dammit.

The camera is focused on a series of stars on the walk of fame. We tilt up to see the forecourt of the famed Chinese theater on Hollywood Boulevard. There is a ring set up, with a crowd surrounding it. Standing room only.

From out of one set of doors at the side of the theater comes Alfie Tenner looking focused on his way to the ring with A$hley Quidd behind him giving him encouraging pats on the back amid a hail of cheers from people in the crowd who recognize Alfie Tenner. He climbs into the ring and swings a few warm-up punches.

And then, on the other side of the theater, another set of doors swing open, and out steps The Blackstar looking grim and imposing. He strides purposefully towards the ring, his eye surveying his audience before locking his sight on Alfie Tenner and setting a stoic expression of impending violence on his face. He climbs into the ring and glares disdainfully at his opponent.

NATE HOLLIS: And there they are, fight fans. This one’s going to be a good one—

In the ring, Blackstar holds up a hand.

BLACKSTAR: I DEMAND MUSIC.

BRAD STOKES: Uhh… he what?

Suddenly, a semi-truck roars down the boulevard. It stops with the flatbed out front of the entrance.

BRAD STOKES: Uhh… is that--

Beck and his full band are already ready. The opening d-tuned guitar plays the opening notes of “Loser”. The drums enter. The Blackstar lowers his hand as if signaling for the fight to begin.

NATE HOLLIS: Unorthodox introduction to a fight.

BRAD STOKES: Why Beck? Why didn’t he get Drake to play? Drake’s so hot right now.

NATE HOLLIS: I don’t think Drake’s a Scientologist.

BRAD STOKES: Oh yeah.  Well, still, tribe mentality isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Just ask Lemmings.

NATE HOLLIS: That's actually a myth about Lemmings. The truth is--

BRAD STOKES: No one cares, Nate.

Blackstar strides confidently from his corner as Beck and his band play on. Alfie Tenner isn’t standing on ceremony. He rushes Blackstar with a rising knee that slams surprise up into Blackstar’s jaw and immediately staggers him backward. Alfie wastes no time taking advantage of Blackstar’s being momentarily stunned by gripping hold of Blackstar’s arm and dragging him down to the canvas into an arm lock!

NATE HOLLIS: Alfie Tenner is going to work quickly on The Blackstar. He’s working that arm like he means business.

BRAD STOKES: Someone needs to avenge the damage that bastard Scientologist did to our studio.

NATE HOLLIS: Technically, he handed Angelina Altamonte an open door to landing our stadium, so I’m not sure that’s something he needs to be punished for.

BRAD STOKES: Right. Still. KICK HIS ASS, ALFIE!

Alfie has the arm lock on tight and Blackstar is visibly in pain. Alfie grits his teeth, digs on foot into the side of Blackstar, tight into his ribs, and slams his other foot unexpectedly off Blackstar’s face!

NATE HOLLIS: Alfie Tenner is bringing the offence right now against Blackstar! And I’m not sure the Scientologist Supreme has an answer to it.

BRAD STOKES: And Beck’s hitting that chorus with the long note, Nate. I didn’t think he had it in him, but he does! Loving the musical accompaniment.

Blackstar unexpectedly wrenches his own arm painfully sideways like he’s dislocating it in an effort to free himself from Alfie’s arm lock! Alfie hangs on tight, slamming his heel once more into Blackstar’s face, which seems to be enough for Blackstar to will his way out of the arm lock much to Alfie’s surprise and rise to his knee with an angry glare. Alfie is up to his feet in a hurry and rushing Blackstar once more, only this time Blackstar catches Alfie before he can execute further offence and SLAMS Alfie across the canvas with an exploder suplex!

NATE HOLLIS: Stunningly quick reversal of fortune there for Alfie Tenner.

BRAD STOKES: I saw it coming.

Blackstar winces as he feels the shoulder Alfie was working on with the arm lock and half joints it back into place with an uncomfortable grimace before rising to his feet. Alfie is already climbing up to his feet with the help of the ropes but Blackstar moves in and slams a knee into Alfie’s back pinning him against the ropes. Another slam of the knee into Alfie’s spine, then another before forcing his knee into Alfie’s back to agonize Alfie across the ropes before letting up and performing his TAUNT of SUPREMACY!

NATE HOLLIS: That crowd’s a mixed bag. I’m not sure every one of them is a supporter of the Scientologist Supreme.

BRAD STOKES: We all know the only true religion is Dunkin Donuts, Nate.

NATE HOLLIS: What?

BRAD STOKES: You heard me. Don’t waste your time on this phony space pirate religion. Enjoy a cream glazed with a dunk in your two-cream and two-sugar latte and just let the universe flow over you like smooth, silky cream pouring into the coffee of your soul, man.

NATE HOLLIS: Are you alright?

BRAD STOKES: Becoming a father has turned me into a wise old sage, Nate. You should the new slippers I bought. Matches my bathrobe.

NATE HOLLIS: I'll pass.

Blackstar grips the back of Alfie’s head and forces him up to his feet only to be greeted with a swift elbow thrust up under Blackstar’s jaw for his trouble! Alfie takes the opportunity to slam a knee into Blackstar’s midsection to double him over, then absolutely plants Blackstar down into the canvas with a DDT! Alfie quickly maneuvers around the downed Blackstar, angling to get him into a reverse naked choke only for Blackstar to rise up angrily, disrupting Alfie’s movement and slams a back elbow into Tenner that staggers him backward. Blackstar glares at Alfie with disdain, regarding the insolence it requires to attack him as Alfie has with disrespect as he swipes repeated knife-edge chops across Alfie’s bare chest, backing him into the ropes.

NATE HOLLIS: Alfie’s having trouble keeping Blackstar down for long enough to capitalize on his momentum.

BRAD STOKES: It’ll happen. This Scientology punk needs a good ass kicking to realize you don’t mess with Brad Stokes!

NATE HOLLIS: I don’t think Alfie’s representing you, Brad.

BRAD STOKES: Well fuck him, then.

Blackstar lines up another backhanded chop that has the crowd wincing along with Alfie. Blackstar grins at his control of the match before Irish whipping Alfie into the opposite ropes and readies for the return with a clothesline which Alfie ducks and turns it into a stunning back body drop he rolls into a quick schoolboy pin!

1…

2..

KICKOUT!

Blackstar indignantly kicks out with a glare at Alfie as he rubs the back of his neck, obviously not pleased with Alfie’s effect on him. Alfie is on his feet with a crooked and confident grin, lifting his fists up at the ready. Blackstar snarls and approaches Alfie half-daring him to take a swing, which Alfie does only to have Blackstar block it with an arm, casting the blow aside and forcing Alfie to back up as Blackstar strides towards him.

NATE HOLLIS: Ever the intimidator, Blackstar is practically daring Alfie to try to him him.

BRAD STOKES: Kick him in the nuts. That’ll get him.

Alfie takes another swing with the left which Blackstar forces to glance off his shoulder before aiming a kick to Alfie’s thigh which Alfie takes and uses the opening to slam a stiff rabbit punch into Blackstar’s side.

BRAD STOKES: It's no kick to the nuts, but that got him!

Indeed, Blackstar wasn’t expecting the swift retaliation. Alfie steps in to slam Blackstar down with a Russian Leg Sweep, only for Blackstar to invert and bring Alfie down hard and then roll him over for the cover!

1…

Tw—

Alfie powers out with authority, much to Blackstar’s chagrin.

NATE HOLLIS: Neither of these competitors is hinting at slowing down.

BRAD STOKES: Give ‘em a good kick to the balls. That’ll do ‘er.

NATE HOLLIS: That's enough, Brad.

BRAD STOKES: It's never enough, Nate. Don't test me. I’m a father. I’ll kick your ass.

Alfie is up, but not before Blackstar locks him into a side headlock and slams him down to the canvas with a bulldog he’s not entirely finished with, driving himself, and Alfie back up to his feet about to deliver another but Alfie pushes his head free sending Blackstar staggering forward. Alfie rushes him before he can turn around and slams a dropkick into Blackstars back that sends the Scientologist Supreme into the turnbuckle! With the crowd pumped, Alfie takes a running headstart and aims a splash into Blackstar’s back only for Blackstar to move out of the way with but seconds to spare!

NATE HOLLIS: Alfie just got a face full of the turnbuckle there!

As Alfie bounces back, stunned, off the turnbuckle, Blackstar wastes no time rebounding off the ropes and nailing Alfie with a high impact lariatthat downs Alfie to his knees!

NATE HOLLIS: The Reality Adjustment! Alfie’s in trouble!

And with that momentum, Blackstar lifts off the middle rope and slams a shin kick to the back of Alfie’s head!

NATE HOLLIS: The Disconnection!

BRAD STOKES: Damn! Alfie might be out!

Blackstar forcefully kicks Alfie over onto his back and lands for a soft, disdainful cover.

1…

2…

3!!!

BRAD STOKES: Son of a… I can’t believe that PONCE won.

NATE HOLLIS: Alfie put up a valiant effort, but in the end Blackstar came out on top.

Blackstar rises smugly, glaring down at Alfie. Before his smugness can amount to anything more, the referee approaches only to be stopped by Blackstar.

BLACKSTAR: You DARE approach me?

The referee nervously stops and eyes Blackstar.

REFEREE: I—I have this.

He holds up a t-shirt.

Blackstar eyes the shirt with smug displeasure.

BLACKSTAR: This is neither a SIZE nor a COLOR that appeals to me. EXPLAIN yourself.

REFEREE: [Sheepishly] It-it’s actually for A-Alfie Tenner.

Blackstar’s eyes narrow angrily. He plucks the shirt from the referee’s hands with distaste and glares at it a moment before tossing it behind him and letting it land over Alfie’s face and steps with purpose out of the ring.

NATE HOLLIS: And there you have it! Alfie Tenner won the t-shirt tonight!

BRAD STOKES: Bitchin’ t-shirt. Can’t believe that Scientology punk didn’t just take the shirt.

NATE HOLLIS: I’m not sure the Blackstar goes in for mindless pleasures, Brad.

BRAD STOKES: Lame. He better damn well get his soon, Nate. Revenge is making me thirsty.


As the sun sets, a mob of angry citizens descend on City Hall, with pitchforks and lit torches hoisted in the air, and signs that read JUSTICE FOR CHER and SCIENTOLOGY KILLS. All of them yelling. Their eyes full of madness.

LAPD officers have formed a barricade to prevent them from storming into the building. For now, the mob has taken position on the stairs leading up to the line of police officers. They are screaming directly at the cops, threatening them with violence if they aren’t allowed in. With every second, the situation grows more dangerous and there is no sign of an end to the standoff…until—

A loud horn cuts through the discord. The citizens turn around to see a double decker bus pull up to the curb. Its hydraulic brakes hiss as it comes to a stop. Then the doors opens and two men come bouncing out of the bus. One of them is operating a large digital video camera. The other has a boom mic held up in the air and an audio recorder dangling from his shoulder. Both are wearing t-shirts with the A&E logo on the back.

Sweaty and out-of-shape, they run slowly up the steps, all the way, to take a spot behind the mob whose anger has clouded with confusion.

CAMERA OPERATOR: [Into his walkie talkie] We’re in place and rolling.

There’s movement inside the bus—a figure climbing the stairs, then walking out onto the open-air upper deck. The silhouette approaches the rail to face the crowd and is bathed in the torchlight. The figure is a woman—gorgeous, with long, dark hair and dressed head to toe in Alexander McQueen. She is instantly recognized as:

MOB: (shouting) Leah! Leah Remini! Remini! Remini!

TV’s Leah Remini snaps her fingers, summoning a production assistant with a microphone. She takes it and waves the P.A. off.

LEAH REMINI: People of Los Angeles.

Her voice booms out of the bus’ intercom system.

LH: You came to City Hall looking for justice, but I have some unfortunate news. Mayor Garcetti is nothing more than another puppet of the Church of Scientology.

The mob gets riled up. Pitchforks and torches stab into the air.

LH: He is another in a long line of politicians who turn a blind eye to the LIES of David Miscavige, Tom Cruise, and the so-called Supreme Leader of Scientology—Blackstar. But worry not, because me and my crack production team are here.

The crowd yells in approval.

LH: Last month, the Church of Scientology murdered Cher on Netflix for the whole world to see, and what happened? Nothing! How can that be? Why haven’t the police arrested these maniacs? I’ll tell you why. Because Scientology controls Netflix. It controls the media. It controls the police. People are afraid to stand against them, but you know who isn’t?

CAMERA OPERATOR: Zooming in…

LH: ME!

The people respond with cheers. They go for half a minute before she quiets them down with a wave of her hand.

LH: But I have to warn you, if it is justice you want, then you should look elsewhere. I am not here for justice. There is no justice in a world where men can murder Cher live on the internet without fear of repercussions. What I offer is VENGEANCE.

She turns, pointing behind her toward the Hollywood sign in the distance, and Castle Stargazer sitting atop the mountain.

LH: THAT is where Blackstar is. I am going to drive this fucking bus all the way to its front doors. If they don’t open, I’ll ram them down! If his guards get in my way, I’ll run them over! I’ll climb to the highest tower until I find that purple son of a bitch, and them I am going to do what these cowards in the LAPD don’t have the guts to do. I’m going to KILL HIM.

The crowd is enraged.

LH: I only have one question: Who’s coming with me?!

She drops the microphone and throws her arms up. The mass of people rush down the steps toward the bus, throwing their torches aside. One by one they file onto the bus with their pitchforks and rage, but there are too many bodies and too few seats. Panic threatens a stampede when people start shoving and forcing their way ahead.

Honk honk!

Another double decker bus rolls up behind that one. Half of the group splits off to head for it. On the steps of City Hall, the camera crew stops recording and heads down to board the bus as well.

Leah Remini remains in place. Her hands grip the railing and she leans out to watch the maddened people. A smile plays across her lips.

LH: Tonight, I end Scientology. Once and for all.


NATE HOLLIS: And here we fight fans, onto match 2 on the night.

BRAD STOKES: What exactly is this room supposed to be about?

NATE HOLLIS: Well, Brad, it’s Starlight’s Dimension.  It’s a veritable smorgasbord of endless possibilities!

Adam Wolfe strolls out of a spiraled wall and into what gives off the impression of a scene from Superjail: there are various oddities and cosmic haunts that surround the large rectangular space.  A giant floating eyeball gives a wink to the Franchinger.  The Franchinger also winks back to the shock of Adam, who had no control whatsoever in making the puppet return the gesture.

FRANCHINGER: *random robotized mumbling*

ADAM WOLFE: What the…

FRANCHINGER: PREPARE TO DIE.

Without warning, Wolfe begins to jam the Franchinger down his throat, however the surprised look is not from the immediate gagging but from the loss of control of his own finger.  He vomits a viscous dark fluid out of his mouth, and the puddle of pre-digestion begins to slowly materialize into the form of Starlight with a demonic smile on her face.

NATE HOLLIS: Well, just when we thought we’d seen everything, fans…only in F2W would an opponent make their grand entrance directly out of someone’s esophagus.

BRAD STOKES: Eh, not that impressive.  Did I mention to you, Nate, that I’ve recently become a father?

NATE HOLLIS: You may have mentioned it, yes.

BRAD STOKES: Excellent. Just making sure.

Wolfe, still thoroughly confused, manages to, at the very least, get into a fighting stance.  And by fighting stance, we mean that he’s opted for the one-legged crane a-la Karate Kid.  However, a kick is not the first thing he decides to throw.

ADAM WOLFE: ULTIMATE PUNCH!

Taking a queue from the movie Hot Rod, Wolfe throws a fairly weak strike with plenty of theatrics…which goes right through Starlight.

BRAD STOKES: It’s…it’s just a mirage…

NATE HOLLIS: Starlight is really using her dimension to her advantage, as she is starting the pace off by toying with Adam.  But where is she?

A voice is heard calling out to Adam, who turns to see a painting of the American Gothic.  The lips of the man donning the pitchfork begin to move in sync: it is the eerie and recognizable voice of Mister J.

MISTER J: Welcome home, Mister Wolfe.  You’ve made it all the way here, but you need have not traveled this way the whole time.

The setting then completely evaporates, leaving Adam and the Franchinger in a white-washed background.  Without warning, though, the room begins to materialize into the main hall of the Puppet Pals Play Pen.  Wolfe is not greeted with a warm reception from his puppets, though.  Instead, he is jumped on from behind by a non-holographic Starlight.  Using the point of her boot, she jams a foot directly into the back of his femur, bringing him quickly to his knees.

NATE HOLLIS: Starlight is apparently showing the F2W audience that she knows exactly how to use her mystique to her advantage, as the Last Ronin has effectively confused Adam Wolfe enough to capitalize in the early stages of this fight!

BRAD STOKES: Please. Adam Wolfe’s brain looks like a six-year-old’s doodling.  There is nothing that he isn’t prepared for, Hollis. Nothing!

As if Starlight had heard Brad, she proceeds to lock her arm around Wolfe’s neck in a rear naked choke.  Within full view of Adam’s beloved puppets, she gives a slight nod and whispers into his ear, pointing to them with her free arm. The puppets then spontaneously combust into flames.

ADAM WOLFE: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

BRAD STOKES: Okay, maybe he wasn’t ready for that. But the next time he’s got this!

With the magic show complete, Starlight turns her focus towards offense, leap-frogging over Wolfe’s head and delivering a nasty mule kick to his jaw.  Keeping up with the offensive, she throws carefully-placed strikes with the strength of haymakers to the head and chest, softening him up to weaken Adam’s height and weight advantage.

Wolfe is certainly woozy, but despite the power behind the fists and forearms of the Last Ronin, his eyes revert back to a state of panic as he watches his beloved toys burn like wooden torches.  Surprisingly, despite the strength of the flames, they have not even shown a sign of disintegration.  Starlight brings Wolfe up to his feet, but seems to be toying with Adam, as she gives him about five seconds to collect his bearings.

NATE HOLLIS: I’m not sure what she’s setting up here, but Adam Wolfe is not one you normally want to allow a breather.

BRAD STOKES: He’s the human reset button!  But I don’t think it matters – he cares way too much about those puppets to even focus on getting a leg back up in this fight!

Brad is correct, as Adam simply starts to rush toward the puppets to put out the fire with his body.  However, he doesn’t make it too far, as it was merely a setup for Starlight to spit a blinding mist into his face!

NATE HOLLIS: The strategic move paid off, as Wolfe is now visually impaired!

BRAD STOKES: And he can’t even see, Nate!

NATE HOLLIS: …color commentary, folks.

Wolfe, now flailing his arms for dear life, is of course oblivious to the fact that Starlight has now placed herself in a crouching position and is prepared to pounce and finish the drill.  Unfortunately, what she did not count on is the omnipresence of one man…

FRANCHINGER: Adam, she’s to your left!  She’s about to spear you!

BRAD STOKES: Good thing that puppet is with him, or Wolfe wouldn’t stand a chance.

NATE HOLLIS: I’d be surprised, but we’re currently watching a fight unfold in an otherworldly dimension inhabited by a demon.

At this point, Starlight had shot off like a dart, but the finger puppet’s warning was just enough to allow for Adam to side-step her attempt.  She crashes to the ground, but is quick to rise to her feet and recuperate.  Still blinded, Wolfe seeks out the advice of his partner.

ADAM WOLFE: Now what? Franchinger! Guide me, Obi Wan!

Wolfe stands at the ready like a blind Luke Skywalker trying to sense the presence of the training droid threatening to blast him with a training laser.

FRANCHINGER: I don’t know!  I’m not the fighter here!  I guess…um…shove me in her eye! 3 degrees starboard, HIYAAA!

ADAM WOLFE: GREAT IDEA!

Wolfe lunges in the direction Franchinger has indicated only for Starlight to block the blow, casting Adam’s arm to the side and through gritted teeth grips Adam’s hand, and more importantly the Franchinger puppet! With one fell pull Starlight rips the puppet off Adam’s finger!

ADAM WOLFE: AHHHHHHHHHHH! NOOOOOO! 

And Adam drops to his knees clutching his hand in pure, unadulterated shock.

ADAM WOLFE:  NOOOOO!!!! YOU’RE NOT MY FATHER!

Adam agonizes as Starlight stands with a smirk on her face, disappearing the Franchinger puppet into a tiny bag that disappears as quick as it appeared.

BRAD STOKES: He knows he hasn’t lost his hand, right?

NATE HOLLIS: I’m not sure. He could be re-enacting a scene from Star Wars here…

With Adam Wolfe down, Starlight suddenly rushes him and SLAMS a Boston Knee Party into Adam’s head knocking him senselessly down to the ground. Starlight goes for the cover.

1…

2..

3!!

NATE HOLLIS: Starlight has done it! She’s beaten Adam Wolfe!

BRAD STOKES: And she stole the Franchinger!

Half-giddy, Starlight rises up off the pained and writhing Adam Wolfe and strides off with a smirking peek back at him over her shoulder as she walks right into one of the walls and disappears. A voice echoes through the hall,

MISTER J: What time is it, Mister Wolfe?

Adam grips his wrist, stumbling around still blind, groping madly for his Franchinger.

MISTER J: Time for you to leave.

And it’s like the entire room is being vacuumed into a black hole, being scrunched up tighter than a pinhead before disappearing entirely, leaving Adam Wolfe inside of his TRUE Puppet Pals Play Pen, illuminated by more darkness than light gripping his hand in pain.

BRAD STOKES: That is fuckin’ harsh…



The double-decker busses roar up the winding road, past the Hollywood Sign, to the very top of the mountain where CASTLE STARGAZER awaits. The busses roll through the open portcullis and swerve into the outer courtyard before grinding to a stop outside the barbican. There are no Scientologists to be seen. Stargazer appears deserted…

CLOSE ON: Leah Remini, sitting behind the wheel of the first bus, looks into the A&E camera over her shoulder.

LH: I don’t fucking believe this.

One of the angry citizens shouts out:

CITIZEN: Did we miss him?

LH: (pissed off) He’s fucking in there. I can feel it. Come on.

She opens the accordian doors and exits the bus, followed closely by the cameraman and sound guy. She waits as the people file off the busses, with a bit less gusto than before.

LH: Good evening, comrades.

MOB: Where are the guards? Yeah! Are they gone? We missed them!

Remini puts two fingers to her lips and whistles loudly, cutting through the dissonant voices. The personal assistant comes out of the crowd to hand Remini the microphone again.

The actress waits a beat, shaking her head, before speaking. Her voice cracks from the tincan speakers.

LH: You want to know where the guards are? You want to know why we aren’t staring down the barrels of space lasers wielded by stormtrooper knock-offs? Because that purple-skinned dickhole is fucking scared. He can’t kill all of us without exposing his cult for the monsters they truly are. So they pulled back and now he’s hoping we’ll just leave empty handed. Well, I got news for him. I’m not going anywhere.

She pointed to the tallest of the castle towers.

LH: He’s in there. I know it in my soul…

She stops for a moment, then continues.

LH: Soul—that word should have new meaning for all of us today. I look around here and I see real people with real faith. People who believe in the power of the spirit, no matter the god they pray to. Every religion on this earth believes in an indelible spirit—except for one.

Beat.

LH: (cont'd) These Scientologists don’t believe in souls. They think our bodies are full of millions of tiny little aliens who are trying to make us sick, and the only way to learn to control them is to pay millions of dollars to the Church of Scientology.

She looks over the faces.

LH: We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We must be UNITED in our common interests. These assholes killed CHER.

MOB: (whistles and cheers) YEAH!

LH: Perhaps it’s fate that today we stand at the beginning of the holiday season, when we will once again be fighting for our right to celebrate our chosen faiths, which are very real and totally not fake like Scientology.

Beat. Someone clears their throat in the background.

LH: We are also fighting for our right to live, to exist, because Blackstar wants to convert everyone on this planet to Scientology. He wants to infect us with his insanity and drain our bank accounts, forcing us to work for a basic cable channel to make ends meet. But I say to you, NO MORE.

LH: (cont’d) Today, the people of earth declare, ‘We will not go quietly into the night!…We will not vanish without a fight!…We’re going to live on!…We’re going to survive!…’

Beat.

LH: Today we celebrate…our Independence Day!!!

The crowd erupts into applause and cheers. Pitchforks raise into the air in waves. Remini hands off the microphone and turns to the A&E crew.

LH: You two are with me.

She then looks back to the mob and picks out four strapping men in bright red t-shirts, with C-H-E-R spelled out across their chests in white letters.

LH: You guys, too. Come on.

She directs the rest of the mob to take strategic positions in the courtyard in case any Scientologists show up. Then, with the TV crew and the four men from the crowd, she marches through the gatehouse and into the castle.

LH: Let’s go fuck this clown in his tax-exempt asshole.

Leah Remini leads the A&E crew and the four red shirted protesters inside.



Brennan Devlin’s venue is called The Altar. It’s an old church situated on the outskirts of San Andreas, California.

NATE HOLLIS: We’re back on the scene with match number 3, fight fans. And this one’s going to take us to Brennan Devlin’s altar.

BRAD STOKES: This place is almost as impressive as I am, Nate. Almost.

Our camera is overhead of the church grounds that stand silent in the night. Crickets chirp around the Brennan Devlin statue spewing water in the fountain. And a short distance from there is the beaming statue of Ramona, Devlin’s longtime consort, and potentially soon-to-be wife.  A slow crane shot carries us over the steeple and into a momentary hanging shot on the full moon overhead before we fade into a walk through the woods towards a brightly lit clearing where bleachers are set up with a throng of fans surrounding an open space.

NATE HOLLIS: Brennan Devlin is never short on showmanship.

BRAD STOKES: Place needs more Stokes, Nate.

Inside three of them stand. Brennan Devlin on one edge of the grassy clearing, Ric Greene opposite him, and Angelica Vaughn rounding out the obtuse triangle of fighters eyeing each other down and moving closer to the center of the small field edged in by bleachers filled with fans.

NATE HOLLIS: Our first three-way dance to be held on an episode of F2W’s Melee. And we’re about to get right down to it.

Ric Greene swings first, taking a swipe at Devlin who was clearly expecting Vaughn to strike first. Devlin still manages to narrowly dodge the quick swipe of Greene’s fist, and instead he walks right into a high kick from the 5’9, most of it leg, of Angelica Vaughn who slams a standing sidekick into Greene’s jaw, blasting him sideways.

NATE HOLLIS: Strong strikers, each of these competitors. Expect blood here, fans.

BRAD STOKES: I expect blood every time I leave the house, Nate. Other people’s blood. Never mine.

NATE HOLLIS: That’s great, Brad.

Vaughn immediately turns her attention to Devlin, there’s animosity here, and she unleashes an even quicker sidekick that clips Devlin and sends him staggering with surprise. Vaughn’s about to press her advantage as Devlin puts up his fists, readying to fight, and then takes off running through the trees.

BRAD STOKES: WHAT?! AHAHAHA! Devlin took off running! What a coward!

NATE HOLLIS: Don’t be so quick to judge, there may be method to his madness.

Greene recovers to see Vaughn racing after Devlin. Ric’s got that “wtf” look and decides to stand and watch the Cincinatti Hit Girls kicker charge after Devlin.

BRAD STOKES: At least Ric Greene seems like the smart one here, more inclined to not waste his time chasing after people.

The camera tracks with Devlin, intercut with his pursuer Angelica Vaughn racing after him at a frenetic pace.

BRAD STOKES: How’d it work with Blackstar? PLAY INTENSE MUSIC.

No music starts.

BRAD STOKES: I forgot, Beck doesn’t do that.

NATE HOLLIS: Might have something to do with it.

BRAD STOKES: I'm sure of it.

Devlin knows the grounds far better than Angelica and he darts and weaves around trees purposefully with Vaughn in hot pursuit. She rounds a tree and looks ahead to the see the old church but is quickly caught by an unexpected arm drag from Devlin who’d been hiding behind a tree in wait for the Vaughnemous One who lands in a pile of pine needles.

NATE HOLLIS: As I suspected, Devlin was luring Angelica to chase him and is now enjoying the upper hand!

With a snicker, Brennan stands over Vaughn before jumping up looking to land with a double foot stomp but Vaughn rolls out of the way. Brennan glares after her as Angelica scrambles to her feet. But Devlin’s not standing for long, finding himself on the wrong end of a jumping side kick to his head from a Ric Greene who decided he’d waited too long. Devlin is on his back before he knows it and Greene mounts him for some punches but Devlin’s knees are up and slamming into his back before he can get any leverage and he tumbles off giving Devlin room to kickflip up to a stand.

NATE HOLLIS: It’s both blessing and curse in a three-way fight. You’ve got to be ever conscious of the third opponent in the fight. You can’t lose sight of anybody or else you end up paying for it like Devlin did right there.

Devlin locks eyes with Vaughn who has quickly caught wind of the type of fight THIS is going to be and takes off for the old church with Devlin watching with narrowed, gleaming eyes. This is his venue, and he watches as Vaughn unwittingly disappears into one of the many attack dog traps hidden on the grounds!

BRAD STOKES: This is wild. Devlin must’ve been prepping those grounds for weeks in advance.

NATE HOLLIS: That seems to be the case, Brad.

Devlin snickers, believing Vaughn to be out of the picture, he turns in time to catch a wicked fence punch from Ric Greene who goes to work slamming a series of hard rights into Devlin’s face before slamming his head off a tree!

NATE HOLLIS: Everyime we get a look at Ric Greene he is consistently out to prove he’s one of the baddest men currently on the Fight 2 Win Roster. He almost crushed Devlin’s head right there like a cantaloupe.

BRAD STOKES: Should be wearing hard hats on those premises. That’s a hazard.

NATE HOLLIS: I thought you wanted to see blood?

BRAD STOKES: True, but I’m also a father, Nate.

Devlin’s stunned but that doesn’t stop him from dropping Greene with a facebuster into the dirt and pine needles. Devlin staggers to his feet and drops a pair of knees right into Greene’s spine, and follows it with a stiff kick into Ric’s side to make sure he’s down.

NATE HOLLIS: Devlin’s been around long enough in this business to recognize those moments when you make sure your opponent won’t be getting back up. Three-way matches are the closest things to clutch opportunities as you can get in a wrestling context.

BRAD STOKES: What the hell are you talking about?

NATE HOLLIS: I’m attempting to offer insight to the viewers at home, Brad.

BRAD STOKES: Oh yeah?

NATE HOLLIS: Yeah.

BRAD STOKES: Just checking.

Devlin turns his curiosity to Vaughn and the attack dog pit. He moves to check in on her, certain she’s faced a grim fate only to be surprised as Vaughn swings her feet up to connect with Devlin’s jaw and letting Angelica up out of the dog pit filled with vicious, snarling, barking Pomeranians.

BRAD STOKES: Are those Pomeranians?

NATE HOLLIS: They are indeed Pomeranians, yes.

BRAD STOKES: That’s the most adorable death-trap I’ve ever seen.

NATE HOLLIS: It is definitely up there.

Vaughn has Devlin back up to his feet, doubled over and slammed down with a scissor kick that looks to knock Devlin senseless! Vaughn’s about to drop down for the cover when Ric Greene plays spoiler once more by leaping and slamming Vaughn with an impressive swinging neckbreaker onto the ground. Greene is up but not quick enough to capitalize with Vaughn slamming both of her feet up into his midsection and getting to her feet and slamming a stiff kick up into Greene’s jaw and staggering him uncontrollably backward into the water fountain, with the water spout spewing out of Devlin’s mouth onto Greene’s head!

NATE HOLLIS: Not the place Ric Greene wanted to end up!

BRAD STOKES: Insight, huh? Watch this: Correction, Nate. That’s exactly where Ric Greene wants to be, as a cool shower can just be the thing a competitor needs to get his head back in the game. HA! How’s that, ya putz?

NATE HOLLIS: Shut up, Brad.

BRAD STOKES: Ah, touche. Doing the ol' 'use Brad's Bits against him ploy, huh? Same thing my ex-wife did.

NATE HOLLIS: You mean the mother of all 8 of your children?

BRAD STOKES: 7. And no. This is a different wife. I don't think I actually know those kid's moms.

NATE HOLLIS: ....

BRAD STOKES: How about this match? Lovin' Devlin and Greene. And this chick they're fighting seems okay.

NATE HOLLIS: [Sigh]

Vaughn’s distracted with her handiwork and doesn’t see Devlin rise up and slam her down with a double knee backbreaker and quickly hooks the leg for a cover, but the referee is still trying to find where they went. Devlin scowls, hearing the referee lost in the woods somewhere. He’s about to stand up to berate the man when he’s caught by Vaughn with a headscissor takedown she can’t capitalize on as once more Ric Greene has exited, soaking wet, from the fountain and slammed a stiff right hand into Vaughn to keep her down.

NATE HOLLIS: Once more, Ric Greene is there to halt the momentum of anyone seemingly getting close to getting an upper hand here!

Greene grabs Devlin up to his feet and brings him over to the lip of the fountain about to slam Devlin’s face off the stone but Devlin brings up an elbow into Greene’s chest, halting that plan, and slams Greene’s face off the stone himself!

BRAD STOKES: I love how vicious these two are. You’d NEVER get that with Angelica Vaughn. She’s all cutesy-boo flowers and puppy dog tails. Too light and fluffy. She’s in there with killers.

NATE HOLLIS: And she’s holding her own quite nicely, I’d say!

BRAD STOKES: That’s a matter of opinion.

Vaughn is up to her feet. The referee has emerged from the woods looking winded but ready to do his job after being lost for 5 minutes. Vaughn sees an opportunity as Devlin has dunked Greene’s head under the water to quickly grip Devlin by the hair and angrily tug him back and into a snap inverted suplex that has got to hurt with Devlin’s body slamming off the ground like that.

NATE HOLLIS: Vaughn’s got a lot of reason to be angry with Devlin after the way he’s treated her, and the things he’s had to say not only about her, but about females in the wrestling industry.

BRAD STOKES: All completely true.

NATE HOLLIS: Brad.

BRAD STOKES: What? Girls can’t wrestle.

NATE HOLLIS: You’re gonna get us cancelled.

BRAD STOKES: We’re under contract.

NATE HOLLIS: Good point.

BRAD STOKES: I can say as many offensive statements as I damn well please, Nate.

NATE HOLLIS: Please don’t.

BRAD STOKES: Agreed.

Vaughn has Devlin back up and locked into a double underhook suplex that takes even her by surprise as she slams Devlin HARD into the ground then moves in for the cover!

1…

But Ric Green is there to kick her off Devlin before the count can progress any further.

NATE HOLLIS: Ric Greene’s proving to be a difficult opponent to keep down and out of the action.

BRAD STOKES: I told him to do that.

NATE HOLLIS: When?

BRAD STOKES: Before the match. I’m his life coach. Like my son, Thad.

NATE HOLLIS: Oh, god.

BRAD STOKES: What? You seem standoffish in regards to my family, Nate. What the hell. Why?

NATE HOLLIS: Are you sure those kids are yours?

BRAD STOKES: Of course I’m sure. They have my last name. What further proof could a father need?

NATE HOLLIS: One of them is BLACK, Brad. 

BRAD STOKES: He has… a NAME, Nate.   

NATE HOLLIS: You’re hopeless.  Back to the important matter of this match, Ric Greene has Angelica Vaughn up and is setting her up for a Jacknife powerbomb!

But Devlin is up and clotheslining Ric Greene into the ground with authority! Devlin drops to his knees, clearly frustrated, and starts dragging Ric Greene’s face into the dirt with gritted teeth. In between dragging Greene’s face into the dirt, Devlin drops an elbow periodically into his spine before finally dragging Ric up to his feet!

NATE HOLLIS: Greene is severely stunned! It’s not looking good!

Devlin has him right where he wants him! He turns into a diamond cutter position!

BRAD STOKES: THE FACE OFF! IT’S HAPPENING!

But before he can execute, Vaughn is up and pulling Devlin away from Ric before the finisher can be completed. Much to Devlin’s surprise Vaughn, through gritted teeth, is pulling Devlin into a surprise knee strike then taking advantage of Devlin’s stunned and prone form to quickly suplex him up and over right down into the exposed Pomeranian Dog pit amid a hail of feisty barking!

NATE HOLLIS: She just forced Devlin into the dog pit!
 
BRAD STOKES: He’s going to be cuddled to death!!!

With Devlin out of the picture, Vaughn can see an open road towards Ric Greene who is just barely conscience now, dropped to his knees in an effort to recover some coherence. Vaughn sees her opening, lines him up, and rushes him for a soccer kick only to be scooped into the cloaked arms of a figure in a white mask!

NATE HOLLIS: It’s one of Devlin’s followers!!!!!

BRAD STOKES: Where’s he taking her?

Angelica is stunned as the cloaked figure in the white mask rushes her quickly towards the church and disappears her behind a rapidly slammed door! You can hear it lock!

NATE HOLLIS: Angelica Vaughn just got kidnapped!!!

BRAD STOKES: This match is Ric Greene’s!

Ric Greene, stunned but able to get to his feet stumbles confusedly towards the dog pit after watching Angelica disappear before his very eyes. He looks down expecting to see shreds of Devlin, but instead sees a pit of placid Pomeranians sleeping. With a frown Greene turns around to see Devlin standing right behind him and in a hurry SLAMS Greene down with the Face Off!

NATE HOLLIS: I don’t believe it! Where did Devlin come from!

BRAD STOKES: THE FIFTH DIMENSION, NATE! HE’S GOT THE PIN!

Devlin has Greene’s leg hooked, and the referee is in place to count!

1…

2…

3!!

NATE HOLLIS: Devlin did it! Someone rubbed Angelica Vaughn off the play!! Where is she?!

BRAD STOKES: Who cares? DEVLIN WON!

NATE HOLLIS: Some shady business going on in that match!

BRAD STOKES: I SAID: WHO CARES. DEVLIN WON!

NATE HOLLIS: We heard you, Brad!

BRAD STOKES: Bah!

One month ago…

An abandoned amusement park. A pitch-black night somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Louisiana. People might question Kassandrah’s good judgment, why would she follow a series of anonymous instructions leading her up to such a creepy place? Isn’t this how a horror movie would start?

The pale moon gleamed out from behind a cloud, illuminating the psychic’s face for a moment. No second thoughts, no hesitation in her eyes as she walked through the rusty and creaking old gate. Only one light shone in the whole park, a beacon guiding her through the deserted path, surrounded by the crumbling and vandalized attractions of the once glorious Pure Amusement Park. With every step she took, what started as a feeling in the back of her brain, became a certainty. Whoever set this up, was leading her to a place she knew oh so well. Her old Fortune Teller stand was standing out in the darkness of the night, glaring with red led lights framing its contour. That odd and somehow disturbing feeling of being observed never left her as she was quickly approaching her destination and, hopefully, the answers she was looking for. Despite how hard she tried to convince herself that it was just a suggestion, a trick her mind was playing.

She finally arrived in front of the stand, peeking inside. No one was there. “Odd, but not completely unexpected.” She thought as she walked around and entered through the backdoor. So many memories… Some of her trinkets, lame tourist traps with no value or meaning, was still there, scattered all over the counter, covered by a layer of dust and dirt. An old ouija board was laying on the floor, broken in half. Kassandrah’s eyes were wandering all around the booth, her mind taking her back to those good old days. So absorbed in her thoughts she didn’t notice the oddly dressed figure entering the stall. His light brown hair floating as he moved smoothly, without making any noise, sliding behind her back. A sliver of moonlight reflected on a metallic object on his chest, a fancy dagger from what could be seen.

“Who are you? And what do you want from me? “ She asked, without even turning.

“I think you know the answers to both questions, Kassandrah.”

“You…” She stared at the young man in front of her, shocked. Those green eyes peering out from his ruffled hair, hovering on his face, obvious consequence of the cold Louisiana wind, the fancy clothes, and that mask covering his mouth and nose. She was trying to remember his name “...Sybyl.”

He nodded, crossing his arms over his chest. Suddenly, everything made perfect sense to Kassandrah. In the short time they path crossed, right here in Purity Louisiana, she always looked at this elusive wrestler with curiosity. In a world where people do whatever in their power to stay under the spotlights, he shied away from them. He never seemed to fight for the sake of competition, for money or fame, driven by something different, something higher, so to speak.

Truth.

“The truth hides behind the door of perception.” She repeated the same phrase he used to start this whole treasure hunt.

“Indeed. What people see, is what they want them to see. A lie, a deceit. The doors must be open for everyone to see the rotten foundations the system is built on.” He spoke in that calm, pompous tone.

“What’s in it for you?”

“Beg your pardon?” Her direct question took him off guard, something that didn’t happen so often.

“Proving she’s involved in some shady business may facilitate our takeover of F2W. I don’t get why you would be doing this…”

“You don’t know me too well then... “ He said, shaking his head. “Everything I do, I do it for the sake of truth. I want to save F2W, before it’s too late.”

Kassandrah looked at him. She knew from experience that Sybyl never speaks just to hear himself talking. It was clear that he knew something. Something they could use.

“Save it from Angelina Altomonte?”

“She’s a good woman, her heart is in the right place. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Another cryptic answer. Kassandrah started questioning the reasons of her presence here. He was the one suggesting that what could look one of Cuppola’s many pindaric flights, or the vague gut feeling of a psychic had some truth behind, he was the one strewing hints for her to follow, all the way to a place that certainly was picked for a reason. Then why was he stalling now? Why wouldn’t he help her? And what did he mean by saying he wants to save F2W?

“A lot of pressure comes from living and fulfilling someone else’s dream. And you don’t realize how heavy is the head that wears the crown until its weight crush you.”

“Fight 2 Win was her father’s vision. All the money, sponsorship and contracts vanished and revoked when Jack died…” Kassandrah repeated to herself, trying to follow his thinking.

“Did he?”

Two words. That was all it took him to undermine her certainties. “What do you mean?”

“What I said.” He replied dryly. “The truth needs proof, and there’s none when it comes to Jack Altomonte’s death. Nothing tangible at least.”

Kassandrah shook her head. Why couldn’t he be more clear? What he was suggesting, could have so many implications. IF Jack Altomonte was still alive, why leave everything in his daughter’s hands? Why did he fake his own death? And what happened to all the funds he gathered? “Sybyl, if you have any evidence in support to this hypothesis…”

“I have none.” He could see a slight disappointment in her eyes.

“I came here because I thought you had the answer I was looking for. And I go home empty handed.” She provoked him.

“Not quite. You leave Purity with more questions.”  Sybyl replied. “And that, Kassandrah, is the only way to find the answers.”

And that was his cue, leaving Kassandrah alone with her thoughts.




BRAD STOKES: Weird. We’re breaking the laws of space-time going back in time for a clip like that, Nate.

NATE HOLLIS: I tell you who doesn’t care about the unities, Brad.

BRAD STOKES: Who? Who would DARE?

NATE HOLLIS: Your boy Zack Fantana.

BRAD STOKES: Ohhhhhh. Nice, nice. He is my boy. You’re right.

NATE HOLLIS: Different last name, though.

BRAD STOKES: Really makes you think. You could be my son for all we know, Nate.

NATE HOLLIS: I shudder to contemplate that proposition.

BRAD STOKES: Don't we all.

Zack Fantana and Bobby Franchise walk up to The Whale. Bobby Franchise keeps walking because this cannot possibly be the bar Fantana was wrestling at tonight. Zack stops him and they open the door. The music is what hits them first with a hard blast of stale air. It is the distorted thrashing of a hardcore band. They play off to the side but the people inside all have their attention on Zack and Bobby. In the middle of the bar there is a ring with the thing that has Zack’s attention. Natalie King and an F2W referee stand in the middle and she holds the Melee Championship above her head. The small crowd forms a path for him to get to the ring and he sighs, then appears nonchalant as he walks in. Bobby Franchise follows with a look of slight disgust on his face. He makes sure nobody touches his suit. He spots the bar and turns right for it securing a seat for himself between two lovely ladies. Zack turns to give Bobby his jacket but finds nobody there. Shaking his head he enters the ring and after a tense staredown and handshake the match begins.

NATE HOLLIS: A huge match if ever there was one. No theatrics. No unnecessary build-up. Just two gladiators at the height of their powers about to fight a contest to see who walks away the Champion of Melee.

The match starts as a striking match as both Zack and Natalie put their arms up to guard their face. Natalie goes for some low kicks which Zack checks making him dance around the ring. She then blocks two jabs and a punch flurry. Before Zack backs her into the corner she opens up to hit Zack with a surprise thrust kick. Fantana falls on his back but then kips up immediately downing King with a lariat. The crowd in the bar slap the mat to clap so as not to let go of their beers.

NATE HOLLIS: Fantana’s not an easy man to take down and keep down for the three count. Nat King better hope she’s fully rested after last Melee, and that fight with the guy and his particle beam.

BRAD STOKES: Don’t remind me.

Zack picks Natalie up and punches her in the midsection to back her up into the corner. Then he grabs onto the middle rope and drives his shoulder into her stomach three times. He scoops her her up and drives her into the turnbuckle then picks her up again and turns to hit her with a spinebuster. He continues to work her midsection by driving his elbow onto her back. She rolls over to the ropes but Zack pulls the champion back and kicks her repeatedly. He goes for a quick pin but King kicks out immediately with a hurtful looking jerk of her legs.

NATE HOLLIS: Not looking good for Natalie King here, with Zack Fantana in control.

BRAD STOKES: Don’t be fooled, Nate. This right here is every woman’s fantasy. Or should I say, “Fantanasy”.

Fantana picks her up and sets her up for the Sleep Apnea pumphandle gutbuster but when he swings her up she kicks him in the head. King immediately goes on the offensive hooking Zack into a clutch and hitting him with some kicks to the stomach, chest and finally his head.

BRAD STOKES: Hard to believe I was wrong about the Fantanasy thing. It’s literally Zack’s nickname. Perhaps I’ve miscalculated Natalie King’s turn-ons.

NATE HOLLIS: Boggles the mind.

BRAD STOKES: I have it all written down in my notes, though. Literally every turn-on of every roster member ever alive anywhere, throughout history.

NATE HOLLIS: No you don’t.

BRAD STOKES: Then why do I think I do, Nate?

NATE HOLLIS: I honestly have no idea.

BRAD STOKES: Exactly.

Zack covers as best he can from Nat’s strikes, but some do get through. He is backed away into the ropes until his final relief comes as he sits on the middle rope. King lets go but runs back to bounce against the opposite ropes and dashes across the ring to kick him through the ropes and into the outside. She takes her time to raise her hands and walk around the ring to get some cheers from the fans. When she comes back around Zack pulls her out from the bottom ropes.

NATE HOLLIS: It didn’t take too long for this thing to spill outside, did it?

BRAD STOKES: Just a second. Tell them to hold the fight. I’m revising my notes.

NATE HOLLIS: I’ll do that, Brad.

BRAD STOKES: Thank you.

They exchange a few hard elbows and proceed to fight around the crowd. Zack tries to weave in and out between people to strike at King and she shoves people aside to get at him. They finally make it to the bar. Bobby Franchise notices Zack Fantana fighting and raises his glass in salute. Zack grabs it and drinks but spits it out on King after she kicks him in the stomach. He apologizes and tries to wipe it off but she headbutts him and hits him with another flurry of punches and elbows.

BRAD STOKES: Can you believe that? Zack is such a gentleman, and Nat just throws it right back in his face.

NATE HOLLIS: Hard to imagine.

Zack escapes by ducking a punch and returning a hard one to her midsection. She bowls over in pain and Zack grabs her by the head and slams her head against the bar then throws her over. Zack jumps onto the bar and Bobby grabs his leg to stop him. He looks a little tipsy

ZACK FANTANA: What? Why?

BOBBY FRANCHISE: I’d like to propose a toast. Show these barbarians how it’s done.

ZACK FANTANA: Now is not really the time, Bobby.

BOBBY FRANCHISE: Nonsense. Here.

 Bobby turns to the crowd and raises a glass.

BRAD STOKES: This is my favorite part of every wrestling match.

NATE HOLLIS: This isn’t—Nevermind.

BRAD STOKES: Spare me my shreds of dignity.

Everyone with a drink raises it as well. The band goes quiet. One of his lady friends tries to give Zack a shot but Natalie King pulls him back behind the bar. Bobby Franchise continues as they occasionally pop up behind him in the brawl.

BOBBY FRANCHISE: I’d like to thank you people. When we showed up in our expensive jackets and my complicatedly patterned suit I thought you people were savages. You hang around here in this filthy bar and drink watered down slosh and you take it. I admire that. You accept your lot in life but I also accept that you accepted us. It almost brings a tear to my eye is it wasn’t surgically repaired to keep my perfect 20/20 vision at all times. So a toast! To you crazy apocalyptic rejects for… What are you guys looking at?

He turns around to see Fantana and King on top of the bar trying to get the better of one another in a clinch. Zack reaches over with his leg and presses on the back of Natalie’s knee. He punches her in the forehead and draws blood. He looks at his hand in disgust and wipes it on Bobby’s suit. Bobby almost faints and the women take him to the bathroom. Natalie lunges at Zack’s leg and hits him with a shoulder to the shin. Zack stumbles back and Natalie stands up looking possessed with rage. The band starts back up to fuel her anger.

NATE HOLLIS: Definitely not the fight I was expecting.

BRAD STOKES: I dreamed this whole thing last night. None of it is currently surprising me.

Zack sees a few empty glasses behind the bar and throws them at King as she advances. She blocks the first one but the glass shatters on her face making her cuts worse. She then punches the next glass out of the air. She walks forward and punches each glass he throws at her to pieces. When she reaches him he tries to hit her with two glasses in his hands but she ducks and dodges each strike until the punches them out too.

BRAD STOKES: This is how I used to train.

NATE HOLLIS: You were a paragon.

BRAD STOKES: ‘Keep up’. That’s my motto.

NATE HOLLIS: Was. Was your motto.

BRAD STOKES: Still is. And you just proved it. Keep up, Nate.

He swings again and she ducks but he immediately hits the Sleepwalk pele kick hitting her right in the middle of her face. She stumbles back but doesn’t fall. She yells to try to regain her composure and Zack advances. He runs at her but she scoops him up and tosses him over her with an Exploder Suplex right onto the bar littered with broken glass. They both fall and land on the floor.

NATE HOLLIS: Stunning reversal there by Natalie King!

Zack crawls back to the ring and gets up onto the apron. Natalie runs at him to take his feet out from under him again but he jumps up and stomps down onto her. He throws her into the ring and she rolls to the middle as he waits. When she gets up he jumps up on the top rope and springs off them to hit her with the Flight of Fantasy but Natalie stands defiantly and dodges the strike. She positions herself so that Fantana lands perfectly into her No Halo guillotine choke. King squeezes the choke and pulls hard as the fans go wild. Zack is almost out until he pushes her to the ropes. King pulls hard but Zack manages to squat down and spring up to flip them both over the top rope and into the crowd.

NATE HOLLIS: These two are putting on a clinic!

Zack gets on the apron to recover as Natalie is lost on the floor. She tries to get up but it looks like she landed a bit too hard. Fantana rolls into the ring and holds his neck waiting her for her to get up. When she does he jumps on the top rope and hits Flight of Fantasy on the outside taking out Natalie King and a number of audience members. He dashes into the ring pushing more people out of the way and another melee ensues. Somewhere in the confusion someone started throwing punches and more people join in. The referee tries to look for Natalie in the chaos that starts to overtake the entire bar. Glasses and bottles start flying and the staff tries to protect the few stools left in the place. A circle opens up in the middle like a maelstrom as Natalie King fights her way back to the ring. She stumbles into the ring and Zack jumps on her to his the Reverie!

NATE HOLLIS: Zack has her!

The ref counts

1…..

2……….

And a few of the fans enter the ring to scuffle right over them.

BRAD STOKES: This one’s turning into a rager!

NATE HOLLIS: Not sure how this one’s going to play out with the crowd getting invovled like this.

Zack is livid and he superkicks anyone in the ring stopping when he almost decapitates the ref.

BRAD STOKES: He’s going to superkick them, Nate. HAHAHA. That’s the Fantana way!

NATE HOLLIS: My mistake.

BRAD STOKES: You can apologize after the show.

He clears the ring and turns his attention back to King. He picks her up and hits her with a powerbomb by the corner. He climbs the ropes and slowly gets up. A few of the crowd stop fighting and notice the majestic Fantana raise his arms and a few voice their concern for King.

NATE HOLLIS: This could be it! Fantana’s up top with nothing standing in his way but to jump!

Zack jumps off to spin in the air with the Lucid Dream but King, at the last moment, rolls up her legs over her shoulders and Zack misses! He crashes and burns. The majority of the crowd come back to cheer Natalie on and she goes over to him to hit her Snap Piledriver but he slips out as her hands are too damaged to pick him up. He steps back chops her a few times and knees her in the stomach.She doubles over and at the same time he tries to go for The Reverie again but she wraps her arms around his legs and rolls forward to muffle the blow. Zack rolls back and when they stand she uses her arms to hit a crude Exploder Suplex. He pops up to be hit with a Ballad of Fallen Angels spin kick and he crumples back down. Natalie wills him to get back up and when he does she gets him with No Sympathy and covers.

1….



2……



3!

NATE HOLLIS: KING DID IT! NATALIE KING RETAINS!

BRAD STOKES: After all that?! NO EFFING WAY! ZACK HAD HER!

NATE HOLLIS: In the end, he didn’t.

BRAD STOKES: Awww man! What a rip off!

Natalie King wins! The referee hands her the Melee Championship and raises her hand as she yells out in victory then collapses to her knees to be seen by medical personnel… who is just a patron that happens to be a nurse.

NATE HOLLIS: I’m sure she’ll be fine, folks.

BRAD STOKES: Better not be. I crave blood.

NATE HOLLIS: She’s bleeding.

BRAD STOKES: I crave more blood.

NATE HOLLIS: She’s ready to pass out from blood loss.

BRAD STOKES: I’m getting sleepy, too.

NATE HOLLIS: How the hell does anyone take you seriously.

BRAD STOKES: It takes a lot of practice. ‘Keep Up’. Remember?

NATE HOLLIS: Eehhhhh. That’s it for us tonight, fight fans. For Brad Stokes, and myself, Nate Hollis, we hope you enjoyed Melee 3!



The SEVEN vigilantes strut through the inner courtyard like gunfighters out of the Old West. The exterior castle shares many similarities with classic medieval architecture, but the interior is nothing of the sort. Stone and wood is replaced with cold, black durasteel floors and walls. The inner courtyard is massive, but much of it is lost in an unsettling darkness that swells and contracts in the cavernous space between the shafts of light coming from lamps far, far above.

They enter a turbolift at the base of the main tower. The doors slide shut and the lift surges upward, racing to the top floor.

Remini looks to each of them, and then into the camera.

LH: Avoid conversation with the Blackstar. He is a liar. He will lie to confuse us, but he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological. And powerful. And fucking creepy. So don't listen. Remember that, do not listen.

INT. THE TOWER HALLWAY

When the elevator opens, the camera operator darts out first, hurrying down the hallway, just short of the door at the end. He takes a spot low to the ground and aims back at the turbolift, capturing TV’S LEAH REMINI marching forward, determined and ready to do battle, flanked by the four red shirts and the audio technician.

The camera swings up and moves behind Remini as she passes by and approaches the automatic door. It slides open and the seven enter THE HIGH CHAMBER.

A lush purple runner leads from the door. It matches the softly curving walls and the recessed lights in the ceiling.  Leah Remini steps forward with her compatriots fanning out behind her. The four red shirts have their pitchforks held forward, jutting out past her in a defense position.

LH: Blackstar!

A single chair rests at the end of the runner. It is turned away, facing the huge arc of window and its view of downtown Los Angeles. The chair rotates forward, revealing the SUPREME LEADER of the CHURCH of SCIENTOLOGY. His true glory is hidden beneath a black hood and robe.

BLACKSTAR: AH, Leah Remini. Have you come to PLEAD for MERCY?

LH: Please. (scoffs) We’ve come to kill you. If anyone needs to start begging for mercy—

She reaches back and pulls a silver Desert Eagle handgun from her waistband.

LH: —it’s you.

BLACKSTAR: YOU threaten ME?

LH: You will answer for Cher’s death, you son of a bitch.

Remini is cut off by Blackstar’s loud, cackling laugh.

LH: What’s so funny?

BLACKSTAR: You say Cher is dead AND YET…

Another door, to the right, opens with a woosh. A woman enters the high chamber. Tall, with milk-white skin and long, straight midnight hair.

LH: It can’t be…

It is. Cher, back from the dead, clad in a gold, slave girl bikini. She crosses the room and takes her place beside Blackstar.

She flips her hair back while licking her lips, then says:

CHER: Scientology has shown me that there really is life after love.

She places her hand on the Blackstar’s should and then runs it across his chest.

BLACKSTAR: (speaking to the redshirts) AS YOU CAN SEE, CHER is more alive than ever. You have been mislead by this TRAITOR SCUM. Drop your pitchforks and EMBRACE SCIENTOLOGY.

LH: Do not listen to him. That thing is not Cher!

The redshirts stand ready to attack.

BLACKSTAR: (amused) VERY WELL.

He rises from his seat and holds out his arms. Cher removes the robe, revealing his biomechanical battlesuit.

BLACKSTAR: You cannot stop me. NO ONE CAN. My POWER is greater than YOURS or ANY.

LH: (enraged) I’ll show you power, you purple cock gobbler!

She pulls the trigger. Bang! Bang! Bang-Bang! Four bullets rip from the gun’s barrel in a flash. The Blackstar reacts with inhuman speed, crossing his left arm over his chest. The slugs explode against his gauntlet, sending sparks and shrapnel harmlessly away.

Remini can’t believe it. Fear begins to eat at her and her cohorts.

BLACKSTAR: HA HA HA. I am required by the CELESTIALS to compete in FIGHT 2 WIN at a mere 1% of my POWER, but—

His right hand is at his chest, fingers on a small dial. A small LED panel above it reads a mere 25%.

BLACKSTAR: —that limitation is RESCINDED in defense against ARMED VIGILANTES.

He throws his right hand down and from his hip it retrieves a hilt. With a flick, a purple particle beam extends as a laser blade. THEN—

The Blackstar launches himself over the desk, flipping forward. He lands in a SUPER ACTION POSE.

BLACKSTAR: You should have stayed in the Church, Remini. Now you will DIE with these FOOLS.

Blackstar thrusts his particle sword forward. Remini barely moves in time, darting to the side. The beam instead stabs one of the Redshirts in the face. When the blade pulls back, it leaves behind a cauterized hole. As the body falls, Blackstar turns to the other three Redshirts. The pitchforks offer no defense. In quick succession, he cuts all of them down. The loudness of their screams distort the audio.

Remini shoves past the A&E crewmen and runs for the turbolift. The cameraman bolts after her and we LOSE SIGHT of the carnage of the High Chamber, but we HEAR the sizzling clash of the particle sword, followed by the audio technician’s high pitched death cry.

Remini boards the Turbolift first. She waves on the cameraman, who is struggling to keep the frame steady as he hurries toward her. He enters the lift and spins around, aiming the lens over her shoulder.

The Blackstar is back in frame, stalking his way down the hallway. She holds out the gun and empties the last bullets. They deflect off the Supreme Leader’s gauntlets as he races toward them.

But the doors shut in time. The lift launches downward, back to the inner courtyard.

The camera is on Remini. She’s taking quick, panic-fueled breaths and trembling with her arms wrapped around herself. Audio is lost, leaving the feed drowned in silence. At last, Remini lifts her head, and turns to the camera. The fear has gone from her eyes, now replaced with righteous fury.


A slow push in to the office of Angelina Altamonte. A placid smirk on her face with her phone nestled close to her ear. We’ve entered into a conversation in progress.

ANGELINA ALTAMONTE: No, it wouldn’t be wise to have you come in currently. I want to keep you a secret. Can’t have your face on CCTV. Just in case. We don't want to leave a trail.

She listens to the voice we can’t hear on the other end. Her smirk widens so slightly.

ANGELINA ALTAMONTE: It’s worked out better than I’d imagined. When I hired you to infiltrate Cuppola’s little Scooby Doo gang in order to set him up to take a fall, I had no idea the Scientologist’s would inadvertently trigger that insurance policy for me. Quite a stroke of luck, wouldn’t you say?

Again, she listens, leaning back in her chair with an amused frown on her face.

ANGELINA ALTAMONTE: They unwittingly set us ahead 3 months ahead of schedule. Now the only thing left is the loose end of Cuppola. You’re sure you can manipulate him and his gang?

A giggle. The news coming from the other end is obviously to her liking. Slowly she frowns.

ANGELINA ALTAMONTE: Well, why is he doing that? Never in a million years could I have imagined that the biggest threat to my father’s dream, and the future of Fight 2 Win would come in the form of an inept former director, a supposed psychic and someone who’s name is a number.

It’s comical to her, hard to say the reaction on the other end of the line. Her frown grows as she hears more news.

ANGELINA ALTAMONTE: I’m confused. What does bread have to do with anything?

She shakes her head immediately after asking, correcting herself internally.

ANGELINA ALTAMONTE: You know what? Nevermind. I’m never going to understand that man. So we’ll leave it at that. You know exactly what you need to do. Steer him, manipulate him, and there’s going to be a sizeable chunk of the pie left waiting for you upon successful completion of the task. Understood?

There’s agreement on the other end.

ANGELINA ALTAMONTE: Good. I knew I could count on you.

And then she clicks off the line with a satisfied grin as she sets the phone down on the desk and eyes her office. One she’ll be renovating, and moving on up out of in no time.

ANGELINA ALTAMONTE: The future looks bright, dad. I'm doing you proud. Shame you're not here to see it.

She smirks thoughtfully.

And we fade.