The scene cuts to the ring. Mark Kendrick stands in the middle. On his right side are CICADA and Brock Holloway. On his left side are Avalanche Anderson and Ultimo Muerte. The camera briefly cuts to Pandora, standing outside the ring with the Horizon Championship. The camera cuts back to Mark Kendrick, microphone in hand.
Mark Kendrick: I apologize for any confusion…
Ultimo Muerte and CICADA do not look confused. In fact, it is hard to tell what they feel behind their masks. Avalanche and Holloway do seem a bit lost though.
Mark Kendrick: You see, I’ve been trying to give the currently undefeated CICADA his title match against Ultimo Muerte, but at every turn, these two men just cause chaos. So, I decided that both men need a lesson in teamwork, which is why, tonight, CICADA and Brock Holloway will take on Ultimo Muerte and Avalanche Anderson in a tag team match!
Mark Kendrick nods happily to himself as he exits the ring. Holloway and Anderson still seem confused and uncertain of what to do, while Muerte and CICADA glare at each other across the ring. They then turn to their partners and size them up for a moment before returning to glare at their respective rivals.
Maria Madden: Well, that is an interesting choice, boss.
Mark Kendrick You know, I just can’t let these two turn every episode of REIGN into pure-
As if psychically connected, Muerte and CICADA immediately turn on their ‘partners’ at the same time. CICADA plants a hard spinning kick to the jaw of Holloway while Muerte takes down Avalanche with a devastating clothesline.
Mark Kendrick: -chaos…
Muerte has picked up Avalanche and locks him into the pump handle, while CICADA has grabbed Holloway’s arms and prepares for his signature face stomps. They both stare at each other for a second. They nod to one another before Muerte lits Avalanche into the tombstone position and drops him with the piledriver while CICADA proceeds to stomp Holloways face into oblivion. CICADA looks to transition into his triangle choke with elbows, but Muerte bursts forward and clotheslines CICADA out of the ring. CICADA lands on his feet, but checks his mouth, clearly shaken up by the move. Muerte motions for CICADA to get in the ring, but a plethora of REIGN staff is already at ringside to stop CICADA from getting in the ring. Muerte laughs triumphantly as Pandora joins him in the ring. Pandora walks around Ultimo Muerte with the championship on her shoulder. She looks over at Kendrick on the announce table and smiles sheepishly at him.
Pandora: Mr. Kendrick, my client has no time for these silly games…
Mark Kendrick: Your client’s been propagating the “chaos” that everything becomes!
Pandora: Ultimo Muerte and CICADA are two cuts from the same cloth. They can not be restrained by security forever. They are warriors, souls cursed to destroy one another in the REIGN ring, one way or another.
Pandora turns her attention to CICADA and walks over to him, still being held back by security.
Pandora: Ultimo Muerte appreciates the way you handle your business, CICADA. He enjoys your interactions more than you know. In fact, I believe that you are the perfect opponent for Ultimo Muerte and his Horizon Championship that I hold over my shoulder. However, Ultimo Muerte is an old…old soul, and we believe you are not YET on his level.
Pandora saunters over to Mark Kendrick once again, looking down at him from the ring.
Pandora: With your approval or not, Mr. Kendrick, Ultimo Muerte challenges CICADA to prove his worth in one of the most brutal, violent ways known to the wrestling world. Neither beast needs barbed wire or explosives. No, the only way the fire in these beasts can be contained is in A STEEL CAGE.
The fans in the arena EXPLODE at the idea. Mark Kendrick gulps. After a few tense moments of silence, the arena goes dark.
Maria Madden: Oh no, I hate this part.
The Speaker appears on the screens, providing the only source of light in the arena.
The Speaker: Hello REIGN audience, Mr. Kendrick, Mr. Muerte, and Ms. Paaaaaaaaaaaaaandora-ra-ra-ra-ra. We are so happy you have decided to offer my client, [REDACTED], this opportunity. We did not choose you, Mr. Muerte, because you were a champion. Your winning of the Horiz-z-z-z-z-zon Championship was not the recent my client wished to interact with you. We had chosen you before you won the title. We chose you because of what your speaker just said.
You are an old soul. You are a being of violence. We appreciate that.
Mark Kendrick: Wait…this wasn’t even about the title?
The Speaker: We gladly accept your challenge. However, we want to add one stipulation. In a cage match, the winner can be decided by escaping.
The screen goes blank with a series of loud pops and crackles.
The Speaker: We do not want you to escape. The match will take place in a cage, but can only be decided by pinfall, submission, or TOTAL ANNIHILATION.
Do you accept these terms?
Pandora, facing the screens, nods once. Ultimo Muerte stands behind her with his massive arms crossed over his chest. Pandora remains fixated on the screen.
Pandora: Ultimo Muerte welcomes this stipulation as he does death.
Ultimo Muerte takes that as a cue to open his arms. He turns to CICADA, gesturing at him to “bring it”.
The Speaker: Wonderful. Our client is pleased. We shall see you soon.
The screen fades to black, bathing the arena in darkness.
The Speaker: Oh…and one more thing.
The Speaker: W̛̟̎͊͝͏ȩ̩̜̒̐͞ ̸̺̩͙̂̓́̚a̱̘͐̽̓͜͡r̴̷̖̗͗̔̒͗̅͏͚̅ḛ̘̜̐̐̕ ̯̆͏̴̞̘̋̆m̖͎͐̄͋͐̓̽̃o̸̤̓̈͆̅r̠̮͈̦͖͋̔̈̌͆̆̂e͚̖̟͒́͞ ̸̹̀̌̐̕a͔̗̍͊̇͊͋̈́́n̸͏͍͍̜͕̮͛̀̕c̸̡̳̫̭̳̖͌̅͢i̸̙̊̓̄̓ȩ̱̝̓̓̀n̯̘̤̳̉͂́ẗ̴̵̢̠̗̜͉̞ ̵̢̣̘̯̹̔̍͟t̢̤̿̽̀̽͆̿͘͘͡h͚͈̟͓͂̾͗̇͊͗ͅa̛͇͔̣̘̰̾̈́͌́ͅn̘͙̍̄̿̕ͅ ̖͓̲̿̎̊͆͆́͏͜ÿ̷̖̩̬́͒̂͜͝͠o̺̥͇̳̓̿̅̓̂͝u͙̖͔̦̎̃̚ ̮̹̔̏́̕ͅ͏̾̈͘c̵̪͖͔̈́̃̋̀ò̶̴͉̻̘̓̋́͢͢ư̸̶̏̿̽̏̄̾͢l͙͎͎̺̝͑̅̔̒͢d̯͇̥̓̍̒̑͗͞ ̨̳̈̇̇͜͠͏p̡̖̲͚̎̏̄́̕͡ͅó̹̠͛̋̉̍̕͞s̼̄̀̽̉̃͆̽ş̵͓̫͊̑̽̂ḯ̶̻̞͙͓̔͑̀̑͡b̨̗̗͇̽̆͗l̷̢̜̱̙͊̎͌̅̇͠y̢̦̹̳̖̺̝͌͊̇̽ ̼̖̱̳̠̔̽̆͑̕͝k̷̫̖̬̉̏̚n̡͓̬̣̿̾͘o̵̧̰̙̬̱̻̒͋̌͒̈ẉ̢̘͔̟̐.̼̬͔̗̖̎͒̅͒͝͠
The Speaker’s disappearance leaves the arena in darkness. A buzz falls over the fans for a moment before the lights come back up. Where once Ultimo Muerte and Pandora stood is only a bouquet of black roses. The camera zooms in on a tarot card leaning up against the flowers.
Maria Madden: DON’T TELL ME. I HATE THIS SPOOKY SHIT.
Mark Kendrick: It’s…it’s the Ten of Swords.
CICADA stares into the ring at the bouquet, unphased. The fans pop as the card remains on the large screen over the entrance. Deals have been made. Fates have been sealed. Annihilation awaits.