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Post  Stan Daniels on Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:41 pm

DETAILS: Finally, the match that this month has been building toward, featuring the match-up that has been building for months. X-Factor Champion versus Superstar Champion, former tag team partners Alan Scott and Jason Storm face off in what might possibly be the biggest, nastiest match of them all.

And what match is that? Krusher's very own twist on an old favorite - The Tower of Doom - A triple-stack of fun! Three cages, stacked on top of each other, each cage smaller than the one below it. The top cage measures 10 feet by 15 feet, the middle cage measures 20 feet by 30 feet, and the bottom cage is a whopping 40 feet by 60 feet. Why so big? Because inside the bottom cage are going to be two rings - pushed together side by side. The two men will start outside the cage and when the bell rings, they have to climb to the top and enter through the trap door in the very top of the top cage. Every ten minutes the trap doors between the three cages will open for exactly two minutes before slamming shut again. If you don't make it through before the door shuts, you just have to wait. So, how do you win this match? Simple - be the first person to climb all the way up, get inside the top cage and then climb all the way down, exiting through the single door in the bottom cage. Easy, right?

Well, of course not. Why? Because the top cage will become electrified at random intervals - you'll never know when it's coming, but it is. The middle cage will contain two very special weapons - a matched set of viking shields - solid wood reinforced with bands of iron. And the bottom cage? We've invited all fourteen of the eliminated King of the Cage contestants to hang out in the bottom cage and throw Alan and Storm a party.

Oh, and there's a special guest time-keeper as well, whose only job is to press the button that releases the magnetic lock on the door leading out of the final cage. This button MUST be pressed at least once every twenty minutes or it releases itself. The door will remain unlocked for a random interval - anywhere from thirty seconds to two minutes. Who is the special guest time-keeper? Glad you asked. A little lady named Faith.

Have fun, boys,

RP RULES: All King of the Cage tournament matches are seventy-two hours with a three posts per day hard cap. In addition, there is a two hour continuation rule, meaning that one wrestler may not post back-to-back flashes until at least two hours has passed from the posting time of the first flash.

RP JUDGES: Krusher/Cedrick Caesar- Tiebreaker Living Deadgirl


About One Hour Till The Final.....

Jason sat alone in the back of the Karmic Legacy Suite. A tradition of sorts starting with his match against Haley. While the rest of the IKI was busy working out last minute details, Storm usually used this time to get focused on the task to come, to center himself on the target of Karma, to understand just how his mistress wanted thier debt repaid. Tonight he would face his former tag team partner Alan Scott.. Scott had not been an original target of Karmic Legacy the night he and Emissary revealed thier existence to the world....But since that time, Alan had proven to be quite the sinner in his own right. Sins of Lust, Wrath, Pride, Greed, and Gluttony filled his soul and it was up to Storm to do for Alan what he'd done for Rude. Set his soul free. Yet there was cause for doubt on this night. As Storm sat trying to focus he looked at his reflection in the mirror. Two black half crescents under his eyes, His nose still skewed to one side, His jaw still swollen from having missing teeth replaced coupled with a hairline fracture to the left side of his jaw, His right calf wrapped from where Rude had taken a chunk out of his leg, and of course the Coup de gras......the 4 unhealed stab wounds he had taken at the hands of Cian Maccormick. They had been ripped open, beaten and bloodied at the hands of Rude. In short, Storm was lucky to even be able to walk.

That however wasn't the only distraction that Jason faced. As much as he tried to focus on Alan the mysterious and yet familiar voice he had heard while retorting to Alan's comments kept repeating in his mind. He wasn't sure what language had been spoken and it bothered him even more that he understood what had been said.

"Déan gléas chun síochána díom id láimh, a Thiarna San áit a bhfuil fuath go gcuire me an grá"

Storm understood it to mean "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love." Could it have been another trick? A message from whoever had been running around lately trying to portray themselves as The Shepherd? That would of course be a simple answer but Jason had his doubts. Major ones for that matter. Jason knew Nighthawk's voice well. The person who spoke those words to him didn't sound like Nighthawk but the fact that the voice was so familiar bothered him greatly. The last thing he needed on this night was another unknown factor to keep him from his work.

As if this wasn't enough of a distraction Jason was also dealing with thoughts of his beloved wife Faith. She had returned and made it perfectly clear why she had come back. The hairline fracture of his jaw, the missing teeth, and the broken nose all a testement to her mission. According to her, She was to be the hammer of the person running around pretending to be Nighthawk. She was here to stop Karmic Legacy.....and Storm's dark mistress wasn't going to allow that to happen. Storm knew it and it was causing a great conflict within him. His beliefs told him that Faith would have to be stopped. Thier cause was to great, to benefical to the world to be put asunder. His love told him he couldn't harm his soulmate. Throughout his life Jason had loved nothing more, cherished nothing more then Faith. If push came to shove he didn't know if he could do what must be done.

He removed the silver wedding band from his finger and for the second time this week looked at Faith's name embedded in black ink around his finger. She had been the missing pice of his puzzle, she was the mother of his son, and she was his light in the dark. She was also going to be out there tonight with her finger on the proverbial trigger. She would control each cage door, opening them and closing them at her whim. In other words, His wife held the key to his success or failure. All of it weighed heavy on his mind. Almost like his doubt was broadcasting in waves, A knock at the door drew his attention away from the internal debate.

"Come in."

The door opened and in walked the large frame of Nathan. He walked over to Storm, pulled up a stool, and took a seat.

"You're still troubled about tonight aren't you?" Nathan asked.

"I know what has to be done."

"Of that I have no doubt but this thing with Faith weighs on you as if you carried the world on your shoulders."

"Don't I? Karma has made me her lightning rod. Through me she extracts what's owed her and now my wife will be in her sights. You understand this is hard for me?"

"Of course. I wouldn't expect it to be easy but she is testing you. Karma is testing you."

"Look at me Nathan. Have I not proven my convictions over the last three weeks?"

"You have Jason. You have made Karmic Legacy and the IKI Proud......But you must find it in yourself to take the last step."

"I will take the last step." Storm said sounding as if he was challenging Nathan's questions.

"I know you will. Do not worry about Faith. She will not play the part you think she may....not on this night at least."

"You do what you must Nathan but do not hurt her....It's not your place to take her debt. Karma demands I do it. You understand?"

"Of course sir. I'll leave you be now. If you need anything just call me and I'll be here for you."

"Thank you Nathan."

Nathan stood up and patted Storm on the shoulder before heading out of the room and closing the door behind him. Alone again, Storm tried to focus on Alan but the imagine of his wife would not leave him. No matter how much he tried the conflict within him grew. Somehow he would have to quell it. Put it out of his head. He had to stay focused on Alan and worry about dealing with Faith later. Closing his eyes, he slid the silver band back on his finger and cleared his mind. He took a deep breath preparing to center his thoughts again........until that familiar voice spoke to him in the darkness.

"san áit a bhfuil amhras go gcuire me creideamh"

The voice startled Storm and he sat forward in the chair.

"I'm not going to play this game False Prophet. I know you're not the Shepherd."

"Aye, ya'd be right as rain then"

"Then show yourself! Tell me who the fuck you are!"

"Aye, In time, Fer now all ye be needin to know is I'm 'ere ta help ya."

"Then show yourself! Tell me who you are."

There was no reply.

"Come on! Who are you!"

Still no reply. Storm sat back in the chair as his mind raced. He knew that voice...but it carried an accent he'd not heard before and that was enough to confuse him further.

"san áit a bhfuil amhras go gcuire me creideamh." Jason said aloud in a language he shouldn't have known nor understood....but he understood it nonetheless. "Where there is doubt, faith"



Alan stared up at the structure and his heart quickened in pace. He had not moved in over seven minutes, simply allowing his eyes to carry over every square inch of the deathtrap that was about to play host to the greatest tournament final in the history of professional wrestling. He could smell the grease they had used to get everything settled into the right place, and he could hear the slight groan of the lowest cage as the upper tiers shifted subtly on the foundation. The structure was an improvement over the original design, which had held battles that were epic in nature. Alan could still remember the night that he watched NightHawk and Diggzy Brown almost murder each other inside the Tower, and the look on Diggzy face when NightHawk quite literally gave him the win.

Alan knew that look. He saw it in the mirror every single time that he thought about Storm.

Alan circled to his left, slowly working his way around the structure. He knew that he needed to make sure he saw and understood every inch of the competition before it happened. Other wrestlers would be caught up in the moment, and the euphoria of having qualified for the finals, but Alan Scott wasn’t like other wrestlers. All of his life Alan had dared to dream bigger and set his sights higher than anyone he had known. Of course with great expectations often came great disappointment. Alan reached out and entwined his fingers through the cage, feeling the course, unfinished nature of the steel. He let the breath slip from his throat as he thought about what he had to do.

Johnny B Rude: It all comes down to tonight, doesn’t it?

Alan recoiled from the cage like it had bitten him, and then flushed slightly when he reazlied that the man he considered a friend had startled him so badly. He had really been lost in his thoughts and the intense scrutiny he was putting the structure under. He turned and offered a loose grin to Rude, who returned it and slapped Alan on the back as he walked closer.

Johnny: I’m serious. I can see it on your face. This is the one that matters.

Alan nodded his head. He was surprised by how well Johnny understood him, given how different their upbringings were. They had taken vastly different paths to get to where they now stood, and while Alan was younger than John, they had resumes that while not identical, certainly established them as peers. Alan had accomplished more in federation X, while Johnny clearly shone brighter in Wrassle’s numerous organizations. Still, Rude could see through the bravado and confidence that every wrestler in the world had to wear like an armor. Maybe because he was in such an introspective phase in recent days.

Alan Scott: It is.

Alan stroked the cage like the hair of a loved one as he said it.

Alan: It really is. This is my Everest.

Rude respected the moment enough to remain silent. Unlike so many of their peers, he was smart enough to know when not to talk. That didn’t always stop him, of course, but on this occasion he was containing himself. The man standing in front of him had opened his eyes to an option he had not yet considered in the struggle that was coming, and for that alone, Rude owed him the moment. He could see in the look on Alan’s face though that he had hit the mark dead on. Alan Scott was lost in the battle that was coming, and it wasn’t just because it was against Storm.

Alan turned from the cage and offered a stronger smile.

Alan: Thanks for coming.

Rude looked around. He was the only one there. He didn’t know how Alan had arranged it, but the young superstar had managed to get everyone cleared out of the arena for a little while, so he could spend some time alone preparing for the biggest match of his career.

Johnny: No problem. Thanks for sharing the truth about The Shepherd’s appearance in the first round.

Alan nodded. Rude had asked him a question he had been reluctant to answer in recent weeks, but Alan had determined that if anyone had a right to know the truth, it was John. After all, Hunter was his brother.

Alan: John, I need to ask you something, and I need to believe that you’re still the same guy who would never lie to me.

Johnny chuckled. Hell no, he wasn’t still the same guy. Looking inward as he had been for days, he knew that he was now perhaps the best man he could possibly be. The man Alan was referring to was a man who didn’t lie, but who also attacked innocent people and savagely destroyed anyone who stood between himself and greatness. Still….

Johnny: I won’t lie to you Alan, if that’s what you’re asking. As for being the same man? Well….

Alan grinned. He hadn’t been quite sure what to make of the changes to Johnny in recent days. It was perhaps the first time since Rude’s aborted stable had put him out of wrestling for over a month that Alan didn’t know exactly who he was dealing with. Still, he liked what he had seen so far. Besides, he needed to know. After all, so many things might hinge on it.

Alan: Fair enough. You see this bottom cage?

Alan leaned his head backwards just enough for his neck to crack and both men to raise an eyebrow at how loud it was. Johnny nodded his answer instead of responding, and then watched as Alan turned somberly towards the cage and wrapped the fingers of both of his hands into the course steel. He looked like the boy who was watching his friends in a swimming pool, desperate to be invited in.

Alan: This is where it’s all going to be decided John. Right here.

Rude walked up beside Alan and looked into the cage, staring in silent understanding at the double ring that was laid out in front of him. He lifted his eyes for a moment, turning his attention to the two tiers above the final one. When he lowered his gaze, Alan was already speaking again.

Alan: Forget those cages. They’re just fuel for the climax. We’ll beat each other, and let some blood in those cages…….but the match won’t be won or lost up there. That’s just for the fans to drink in. This……this is where my career will be decided.

Johnny blinked. Had he heard Alan right?

Johnny: You mean the match. Your career still has decades in front of it Alan. One match won’t define you.

Alan: You’re wrong John. No matter what happens after tonight…..no matter how high my career rises……this is the night that will forever define me. And it will all happen right there……in those rings.

Rude frowned, but didn’t react. Alan seemed…..almost fatalistic about the match for some reason. He knew the young star had hit some speedbumps on the way to the top, but they had been overcome. They were all in the past. He was the X-Factor Champion, a King of The Cage finalist, and one half of the tag team champions. Every belt he had set his sights on had become his. It didn’t make any sense at all.

Johnny: Even if it does….I think you’re wrong.


Alan caught himself when he realized that he was yelling. He was wound so tight that he hadn’t even been able to stop himself. He was silent for a moment before he repeated himself softly.

Alan: I’m not wrong John. You weren’t there. You don’t understand.

Jonathon Wilson hadn’t had time to learn very much from his brother, but he had learned one truly valuable skill; knowing when not to speak. Hunter made an art form out of not jumping into conversations and sharing his opinion, and in the end John had seen it for what an effective support mechanism it was. It allowed people to sort through things on their own, which is what they really needed all along.

Alan: I can’t fail again John. I……

Alan was silent again. It was like he was reliving his failures right there, in that moment.

Alan: We were better than Stevie I Conn. Did you know that?

Alan looked over and saw Johnny shake his head. He had heard the story. Stevie I Conn had won Federation X’s Rough Enough season 1, and had gotten a coveted contract with the company, while the runners up, a young tag team known as The New Breed, had been forced to work the circuits in Mexico. He had heard that it was a terrible life.

Alan: It’s true. The producers told us. We were the better athletes, but they had picked Stevie for one simple reason. I wasn’t good enough on the mic. Do you know what that did to me? To have to look at Layne every day and know that I had been the reason he had lost out on his dream?

Johnny: But you guys didn’t fail. You bounced back. You made it.

Alan snorted. It wasn’t that he didn’t appreciate Rude’s support, but there was just so much that Rude didn’t understand.

Alan: For a while. Did you know that in our first run as a tag team, I was the one who got pinned.

Johnny: Not every time though.

Alan: Every time John. Every time. Six championship matches.....all losses. The failure was mine.

Johnny Wilson had wallowed in enough pity to understand what he was listening to. He had endured tests to his spirit on more occasions than he cared to admit in public, and he recognized all the signs. Alan Scott was reliving every catastrophic defeat that had ever been handed to him and the pile was large enough that it was eating away at him. In order to overcome it, he had put everything he had, every ounce of will, into winning the King of The Cage. Johnny’s brainchild.

Johnny: Self pity is an ugly color on you Alan.

Alan smiled and nodded his head. He didn’t need to keep rehashing it anyways. That wasn’t why he had asked John to come and speak with him.

Alan: That all ends tonight John. Tonight I prove that I can win when its all on the line. Right there. In that ring.

Johnny: Good. I hope you do.

Alan raised an eyebrow and turned away from the cage to stare at his friend.

Alan: Do you?

Rude frowned. Something was up.

Johnny: Yes…………………………. why?

Alan: Because John……….right there in that cage………you’re going to be one of the people who decides the outcome of the match. And what I want to ask……what I need to know……….is who’s side you’ll be on when the time comes. Your friend's or the man who brought you out of the darkness?


“…..and in other news, tonight will feature the long anticipated match-up between wrestling legend Storm and the young phenom Alan Scott, who are hooking up in the finals of the King of The Cage tournament. Their battle will take place in what many consider the greatest cage of them all; the Tower of Doom.

Now as many of you know, I’m a lifelong Storm mark….and I’ve been telling you all for weeks that the kind of roll he’s on now means that he’s unbeatable in this event. And look what it’s gotten me. I have in front of me thousands and thousands of emails from unhappy SBFFans who think I’m overlooking the company’s hand picked cornerstone. Well I have news for all of you……that’s why you’re all living at home in Mommy and Daddy’s basement and I have a real job. For the record, I’ve never been anti-Alan Scott. I’m just a realist and I know when a man is in over his head. But for the sake of you raging Alanholics who flood my email box each week, I’m prepared to tell you why.

Has Alan Scott been successful as a wrestler? Absolutely, and I won’t stand here and argue that he’s not one of the faces of tomorrow in this industry. But when you dig a little deeper into his success, and wipe away the big gaudy victories that his promoters hype a little bit too much, what you find underneath is an ugly truth; Alan Scott has never won the ‘big one.’ You heard me right. Oh sure, he’s won some big matches here and there. But who hasn’t? When you get pushed by promoters as much as this kid has, you’re bound to get some victories under your belt. But when I say…..’THE BIG ONE’……I mean a match that is epic in nature.

Allow me to explain. Alan’s first big moment in professional wrestling came as part of the ill-fated New Breed tag team with partner Layne Flack. They were finalists on Rough Enough, the only tag team to ever compete on the show, losing out to eventual wrestling wash-out Stevie I Conn. Strike One. Now as many of you know, Alan eventually made his way back to the big time with Layne as his partner, and while he worked hard, his big opportunity to break through came in a Superstar Championship match against the Hall of Fame performer The Mad Bomber. Does anyone remember the outcome of that match? No. And do you idiots at home know why? It’s because Alan Scott is a footnote in The Mad Bomber’s career. The kid choked. So badly that Federation X terminated his contract and he once more dropped off of everyone’s radar for the better part of three years. When he made his comeback, he was in better shape than ever before, and it showed. He had found a renewed passion for the industry and was taking the world by……..if you’ll pardon the pun……..storm. But eight months and six USOB competitions later, he left Wrassle without winning one major event. He even failed to qualify for The One. Why? Because when the pressure was on…..truly on…….he just didn’t have it.

Which is why he won’t defeat Storm tonight. He lacks what storm exudes. ‘It.’ If he….”

Shelly Simmons motioned to the technical team and they turned off the feed, while she adjusted her skirt and turned, making sure to keep her legs tightly together as she did, to sit facing Alan Scott. The two of them were sitting on director’s chairs in the middle of one of the twin rings that would be the final battleground in one of the biggest matches of the year. They were recording for playback later in the night.

Shelly Simmons: Well Alan, I don’t see any point in beating around the bush. That was from Dave Meltzer’s recent podcast and everyone in the wrestling business thinks he knows more about the sport than any other critic in its history. How do you respond to something like that.

Alan Scott: Shelly I’ve always tried to be respectful of Mr. Meltzer, but at the same time I have to take what he says with a grain of salt. He’s an outside observer. There’s a limit to how much he can know or even truly understand about what it is that we do.

Shelly: Are you dismissing Dave’s suggestion that at the biggest possible moments of your career you’ve…..well….

Alan: Its alright, you can say it. I’ve choked. And No. I’m not arguing against history. Dave does his background better than just about anyone I’ve ever seen. But while he may have nailed the fact that I haven’t ever won ‘the big one’ he’s completely missing the fact that my entire career…..young as it is…..has all been building to one moment.

Shelly: The King of The Cage.

Alan nodded his head. It was his job to make sure that everyone watching saw him as confident and capable, but it was also something he needed to do to make sure his head was on straight going into the battle. Jason Emerson was a dangerous man, and backed as he was by a fanatical belief in karma, he became unpredictable as well. He continued to find ridiculous justifications for any and every action that he took, regardless of how unorthodox or nonsensical it was. The man had moved outside of his own comfort zone, and that was going to be troublesome enough. Alan didn’t need to carry the weight of the pressure he had put on himself around as well.

Yet how could he avoid it?

Alan: Yes, although it isn’t just that. Listen, I may not believe in karma, and to be honest…..I’m not sure what it is that I do believe at this point…..but even I know that something special is being presented to me tonight. The biggest match, on the biggest night in the biggest tournament is being laid at my doorstep and on top of all of that the man who qualified to face me is the one man I have been promising for over a month to get my hands on? Shelly that isn’t a ‘big moment’…….that’s an EPIC moment. That’s a moment that defines a man’s career.

The questions was…..how would it define Alan’s?

Shelly: Alright Alan, so let me ask you the question that everyone wants me to ask. Can you beat Storm?

There it was. The proverbial softball, lobbed to him so that he could wind up and hit it out of the park. Alan smiled, and he hoped that the uneasiness didn’t show through. It had only been a short while since he had met with a number of the eliminated competitors in the King of The Cage tournament to find out what their plans would be once the two men entered the final cage, and he wasn’t certain that he liked all of the answers that he got. Johnny’s was probably the least committal of all of them, which made him a big unknown.

Alan: Shelly, people have been counting me out from the moment this tournament started. They talked about the stars that would be standing in my path and they said it just wasn’t my time yet. But I’m still here…..and all but one of those stars are gone now. On top of that I’m the longest reigning X-Factor Champion of all time. Not good enough? How about the fact that I also hold the record as the only undefeated and longest reigning X-Ecutioner Champion ever? You want to know if I can beat Storm?

Shelly: I think we all want to hear it from you. In your words Alan.

Alan button his lip and nodded his head as he weighed the statement he was about to make.

Alan: HONESTLY? I think Storm’s about to enter the most painful match of his career. He’s going to step into that cage and I am going to dismantle him and take from him everything that he covets. Every tool he uses to spread his infectious, diseased message is going to be stripped away from him, and before the night is over……nobody will ever again wonder if I can do this. NOBODY.

Alan’s fervor was palpable. It wasn’t just how badly he wanted to get his hands on Storm. Everyone had already seen that side of him. It was the way that he was putting everything he had into the match. They could feel the need inside of him. The desperation to finally make the statement that couldn’t be ignored.

Shelly: Now before we let that statement go Alan……I think we should talk about the other people who will be involved in the match. Fourteen other competitors, plus a special timekeeper have been assigned to the match to add a little something special to the competition. What roll will they all play in deciding who’s going to win?

Alan looked at Shelly and arched an eyebrow.

Alan: Well that’s the question isn’t it Shelly. Which of them will even show up, given that half of them work for Wrassle Industries and were knocked out in the first round of this thing. Will those that do take sides, or just make it harder for both of us? The TRUTH is Shelly……….

I don’t have a clue!


About 15 Minutes Before The Final.....

Jason pulled the laces on his boots tight wearing a grimace on his face. Just bending down proved to be a choir in his current condition. When he was finished he stood up and looked back over at the Monitor where Shelly's recorded interview with Alan was being played. Alan's brash words caused Storm to smirk ever so slightly.

"HONESTLY? I think Storm’s about to enter the most painful match of his career. He’s going to step into that cage and I am going to dismantle him and take from him everything that he covets. Every tool he uses to spread his infectious, diseased message is going to be stripped away from him, and before the night is over……nobody will ever again wonder if I can do this. NOBODY."

So many words, so much violence behind each one. A statement riddled with arrogance...and yet for all his words, it was what Alan didn't say that drew most of Jason's interest. Something to remember for later when Shelly came calling for him. As he wrapped his left hand and wrist he couldn't help but shake his head. On the eve of perhaps the greatest epic battle Fed X had seen since it's rebirth and Alan was still trying to convince the whole world what a pushover this would be for him. Jason would address it all soon enough.

Slapping both hands together he took another look into the mirror. James and the trainer had assisted him in wrapping the stab wounds. James had once again used duct tape as an added measure. Not pretty but it would get the job done. As he slipped the sleeveless Karmic Legacy T-shirt on gingerly over his head his thoughts once again turned to Faith. Alone now for perhaps another minute or two, Jason picked up his phone and made the call.

" 'ello luv. wonderin when I'd 'ear from ya."

"It's been awhile my love....I see you haven't lost a step or your swing."

"Aye, Tis been far to long for Al. "ow are ya luv? Gonna stop this 'ere insanity?"

"It's not insanity Faith. This is what the world needs."

"Aye, I know ya be thinkin that but tis not the way luv. I 'ave ta stop ya."

"You only think you need to stop me because someone is masquerading around as the Shepherd by I'm telling you my darling. It's not Him. Nighthawk would support what I'm trying to do."

"Right, 'ave ya gone completely daft lover? Ya know tis 'awk who called me ta be 'is 'ammer."

"No Faith, You're the one who's been duped. Not me. That's not what I called for. I called to ask you, beg you, Please....Don't get in my way tonight. If you want to talk soul saving then you and I can sit down and talk all you like AFTER this is all over....Just promise you'll stay out of this tonight. Do your job and leave it at that. Please?"

"Aye luv, ya know I can't be makin promises."

"Yes...I figured as much. Take care love."

Storm hung up the phone knowing nothing was going to change. Faith would be Faith just like He would be himself. So be it. Before he could think more on it another knock. This time Grayson poked his head through the door.

"The Trainer's here to see you one last time before we go out."

"Thank you, Send him in please."

Storm watched as one of the Fed X Trainers who had become more open to the ideas of Karmic Legacy and the IKI walked into his private room. As the door closed the trainer set his bag down and pulled out a large Hypo.

"This should keep you coherent for at least an hour. It won't take away all the pain but it'll do what you need it to. Just bare in mind as time goes on it's effects are going to wear off."

"Just give me the injection please....I'll worry about the rest later."

The Trainer sunk the hypo into Storm's Stomach. He grimaced as the plunger was pushed down. When he was done Jason slid his shirt back down over his stomach and turned to the trainer.

"You should start feeling the effects in the next 5 minutes or so."

"Thank you Randy....Karma won't forget what you've done here tonight."

The trainer nodded and followed storm out into the big common area. As he took of Storm turned to Nathan and Grayson.

"Has our issue been resolved Richard?"

"I was all over it. No need to worry. it's been taken care of."

"Good, Then let's go show Alan the ways of Karma."

With Grayson and Nathan in tow, Storm made his way towards the Gorilla position. The Injection was doing it's work but still, Jason wasn't fresh....and all the drugs in the world wouldn't change that. As he got closer to the tech table he could see Shelly waiting.

"Storm! Can I get a few words with you before you head out for perhaps the biggest match ever in Fed X history?"

"By all means Shelly."

"I'll assume you've seen my interview with Alan Scott plus Dave Meltzer's shining review of why he thinks you've got this won. Thoughts?"

"I could care less what people like Meltzer think. Unlike my for this evening I won't deny that Alan is a very talented young man. He has the tools to be one of the greatest of all time. However, he must overcome his sins. he must overcomehis lust...his greedy, his pride. Only then will Alan be able to embrace the greatness that awaits him. I will help him Shelly much like I did when I showed Rude the path to his salvation. Rude chose his path...I showed him the way.....Much like I will show Alan tonight."

"What about his comments saying he'll dismantle you?"

"Of course you refere to when you asked him if he could beat me. I remember. Funny thing about that Shelly is Do you ever recall him saying he could beat me?"

"well he said he was going to rip you apart and..."

"Come now Shelly...Claiming to rip someone apart isn't saying you can beat them. Look at me. I've been ripped apart for three weeks and yet still I walk away in victory....because it's Karma's will that I do. Perhaps Alan will dismantle me....rip me limb from limb.....But he will not acheive victory on this night. Even if his hand is raised....he will not be the victor."

"I'm not sure I understand....What you...."

"No Shelly, I suppose you don't....But Alan does. Now if you'll excuse me. I have to head to the ring."

Storm excused himself and then got a nod from the tech. Out in the arena, the lights dimmed down as the IKI Flag flew on the X-Tron. As it had for the past three weeks, the crowd became a massive living thing throwing all it's hatred up the ramp as the Superstar Champion's own voice announced his arrival.

IN THIS RING............YOU..........CAN'T.........TOUCH ME!"

Trash flew, profanity filled the air, as Storm limped his way out flanked by Nathan and Grayson. They didn't pose, didn't show boat, they simply walked down the aisle towards the Tower of Terror.

"Who would have thought Hank that when this day came we'd witness Alan Scott going head to head with Jason Storm? The X-Factor Champion Vs The Superstar Champion for the King Of The Ring Final."

"I Told you all along everyone underrated Storm but here he is....somehow...after all the things that have been done to him. You maynot like what he stands for but...You have to respect his drive."

"I'm sure Alan won't. Alan thinks this washed up old man has no business out here."

"Yeah, Well Alan has a lot of room to talk. He cakewalked his way into the final as far as I'm concerned. Hooligan didn't even put up a fight."

"Aaron and Geno did!"

"Yeah...But Alan doesn't look like Storm right now does he. I think Storm has proven he belongs here."

As Hank and John argue like they tend to do. Storm and Company arrive at the side of the tower. As Storm touches the bars on the lowest cage, Grayson pulls out a mic.

"Ladies and Gentlemen...I have a major announcement to make regarding our Tower of Terror Match. With a Majority vote of 3 to 2 by the Powerbase done on secret ballot. The following Stipulation has changed."

"Due to concerns for his safety, None of the eliminated particapants will be allowed inside the cage as specified in the original match stips. Due to the sheer hatred most of them feel towards the Superstar Champion, it is felt that this would give Alan Scott and unfair advantage. factor in one of these wrestlers stabbed Storm and you can see why his safety and the fairness of this match come into question. Thus the ruling has been made and pasted by majority vote. Thank you for you time and enjoy the final."

This was meant with another outburst of trash, booing, and profanity.

"Well you had to expect something like this John."

"Yeah...I suppose so...since we know Grayson has been sipping the Kool aid. Makes me wonder who else voted to change that stip. Are they drinking the Kool aid too?"

"Good question..,...good question." Hank replied.



There was no answer so Alan knocked again. Until recently he had his own key to the suite, but he had turned it in at the outset of the tournament, knowing that with three of the people residing there in the tournament it would be a tense place. On top of that, there was the underlying problem between himself and Chance that simply kept raising its ugly head. It threatened his burgeoning relationship with Eve Riley, so it all simply made sense. Alan moved out. But that didn’t mean that he didn’t still feel welcomed there. After all, his Grampa Geno and Gramma Haley spent all of their free time in the suite, as did Eve.

When he lifted his hand to knock the third time, Alan was startled as the door pulled open. Haley was standing there, staring back at him.

Alan Scott: Hi Grams…

Alan smiled at her and then moved to walk into the room. Haley didn’t step out of the way, or open the door enough to let Alan in. Instead she stood her ground and blocked his path. Alan paused and almost stumbled forwards before he caught his balance and slammed his palms onto the doorframe to brace himself. He gave Haley a quizzical look.

Alan: Ummmm…..is there a problem?

Haley’s expression never changed, nor did it warm to the young superstar who continued to call her Grams against her wishes, and against Geno’s vociferous objection. Alan thought it was endearing and was helping to build a bond between them not unlike the one he had with his SBFF. Alan was, of course, wrong.

Haley: No….there’s no problem. We’re just a little busy in here. Why don’t you come back another time Alan?

Alan frowned. That was unlike Haley. Even at her worst she had never been so openly unwelcoming to him, but to stand in the doorway and prevent him from even coming into the Megasuite was unprecedented. Alan tried to look over her shoulder and spy Geno or Eve, but Haley just closed the door a little more and waited for Alan to look her back in the eye.

Alan: You…..you seriously won’t let me in?

Haley nodded.

Haley: That’s right.

Alan: But Haley…..I…..I need to see Geno. I need to talk to you guys. I face Storm in about…..thirty minutes and I need to go over some plans with you two.

Haley shook her head slowly, and Alan started to feel something balling up in the pit of his stomach. His eyes slowly lowered to the cell phone in Haley’s hand. He could see the little blinking light that indicated missed calls, and he knew who those calls were from. Alan had been calling for Genocide since the morning, and he had not been able to figure out why the calls kept going straight to voice mail.

Alan: Haley……what’s going on? Why are you and Geno avoiding me? This is it! This is the time when we come together and Storm pays for what he’s done. This is….

Haley lifted her hand, and for a moment Alan thought he heard a touch of tenderness in her voice.

Haley: I’m sorry Alan, but………..this is Network business. You’re…………you’re on your own tonight.

Haley stepped back and closed the door in Alan’s face. He just stood staring at it with eyes as wide as a child on Christmas morning. Had his SBFF’s wife just told him that he was on his own now that they finally had Storm right where they had wanted him all month long? Alan’s mind raced. He knew that Haley had put control of the Network on the line for the entire month in her first round match-up with Storm, but certainly they wouldn’t let that get in the way of their friendship with Alan. Would they? Alan lifted his hand to knock again, but after letting it sit limply in the air for a few minutes he finally lowered it.

The truth was settling in for Alan Scott.

He was on his own.



Alan let out a guttural shout as he slammed his fist into the side of his locker and dented it pretty severely. Thankfully he had had the foresight to tape his hands before he lost his temper thinking about what was going on. In front of him was a moment that would never come along again; redemption. Alan Scott had taken the road less traveled, and along his path he had stumbled and fallen more often than he ever cared to admit, but he had always picked himself back up and soldiered on. He had believed, with every fiber of his being, that an opportunity to define his greatness was always just around the next corner.

He had sought out and surrounded himself with the greatest talents of their generation in an effort to learn from them. Reverend Future, who was the epitome of tag team championship wrestling for over twenty years. Genocide, who defined everything that was ever great about championship wrestling in all of its forms. There were the men who had helped him to raise himself up above the level of his peers and set a standard that he himself found daunting. Yet when push came to shove, and when the moment of truth was at last upon him, they were all gone. He was alone.

Alan seethed.

Alan: It’s JUST a fuckin’ stable! I can’t believe they would betray me over a stupid fuckin’ stable!

Alan had been raging to himself for the better part of twenty minutes when the phone rang. It started Alan out of his frustration, and calmed him for the moment. That was probably a good thing, because Alan had a tendency to lose himself in violence when his rage grew beyond control. While that might seem the strategic choice for a battle like the Tower of Doom, Alan knew better than to assume that a mindless pain machine would be able to dismantle Storm the way that he needed to be dismantled.

Alan answered the phone.

Alan: Alan Scott.

Marlowe: Alan? Marlowe. Turn on your monitor.

Alan didn’t even waste time asking questions. Marlowe and Alan had briefly been partners before the company had decided to blow up the tag team division and hold a Lethal Lottery, and in their short time together Alan had recognized in the Journeyman a cunning business mogul in the making. If Marlowe was calling him on the very cusp of his entrance into the match, there was a good reason for it. Alan strode across the floor and flipped the switch on the monitor. He didn’t make it a habit to listen to Storm’s promos because it really annoyed him to hear somebody try and twist his words, or play semantics in an effort to change Alan’s meaning into something different. It was as bad as being a liar. Storm, of course, was both.

Alan smirked as he listened, but the smile evaporated when Grayson took the mic and made his big announcement.

Alan: Can he do that Marlowe? Seriously? I can’t believe….

Marlowe: ALAN!

Marlowe snapped the young stars name and got his attention off of the screen.

Marlowe: It’s already taken care of.

That got Alan’s attention. As far as he knew, Grayson carried the biggest stick in the company. Plus he was standing in the ring openly stating that he had two other votes from Powerbase members giving him the majority vote he required. Alan did the quick math in his head and had a hard time figuring out who else would have voted with Grayson. He had an even harder time figuring out how a retired wrestler turned manager was going to solve the problem.

Alan: How?

There was a light chuckle that echoed through the telephone.

Marlowe: How else do you put a big dog in his place Alan?

A knock at the door interrupted them. Alan kept the phone to his ear, as he walked to the door and swung it open. He stopped. Living Deadgirl was standing in his doorway. She gave Alan an even look, locking eyes with him as he heard Marlowe answer his own question into the phone.

Marlowe: You get a BIGGER dog.

Living Deadgirl stepped out of the way and Alan saw a massive man standing behind her in the hallway. He was clothed all in black, from head to toe, with a spiked collar around his neck that made certain that his mask would not come off. Alan didn’t even need to see the man’s masked face to know who it was, but he couldn’t help himself. In all of his time with the company he had never met the man. Hell, the man remained only a rumor.

Alan dropped his phone, and his jaw hung open.

He was face to face with….


"Stranger X?" Alan Said with soft wonder.

"That's right Alan....Stranger X." Liv said with a smile.

"But how.....how did he get here so fast....and why?"

"I'm here Alan...."X said with a low booming voice. "To insure that Grayson doesn't skew this match to Storm's favor. This event is to big to be ruined by such petty things as favoritism."

"Then you'll be reversing Grayson's decision?"

"No. I won't" X said.

"I'm sorry what?" Liv said suprised.

"I won't reverse Grayson's majority vote......because I'm of the opinion he's correct. It matters little what I think of Jason Storm but the fact remains he is perhaps the most hated man in Fed X right now. To allow the other 14 to be involved would be too stack the deck against our Superstar Champion. I might also add that allowing the man who stabbed him inot the cage isn't exactly a bright idea either."

"So then why are you here?" Alan asked annoyed.

"To make sure that any other suprises Grayson tries to pull are taken care of as I have no doubt he'll have something up his sleeve to make the match unfair to Alan."

Alan looked at X and then to his phone. He had a thought to call Marlowe back and say "Gee, It's all been taken care of my ass." However....X did say he wouldn't allow Grayson to abuse his power in favor of Storm so having him here did have a benefit.

Still....Alan found himself right where he was just a minute ago.....and in spite of the fact that X was here.....For the moment it served him no purpose.


The Announce Table.....

"The crowd is starting to get restless Hank as we await the arrival of the X-Factor Champion."

"Yeah....He should have been out here a couple minutes ago."

"Makes you wonder if Storm and his goons don't have something to do with this. All Alan has wanted this month was to get his hands on the Superstar Champion. Now with that moment here I can't imagine any good reason why he's not out here."

"Maybe he's scared John?"

"Alan...Scared of Storm? Right. And they'll start serving ice water in hell any minute now."

"Well why do we have to jump to the conclusion that Storm did something to Alan? After all...we got a big long interview about Alan's glorious failures. What if he came out here and failed tonight? What if he walked out here and fell flat on his face? His career would be ruined. Maybe that's why he's not out here."

"Oh I doubt that. This is Honest Alan we're talking about."

"Yeah....Honest Alan...who can't be honest about the fact that he's facing perhaps his most difficult adversasy to date. A man who can't give Storm credit where credit is due. Even you have given the man praise and you hate him....But Honest Alan? He can't say one positive word about Storm at all.....all he does is take credit for Storm's accomplishments. I bet if you asked HONEST Alan....he'd say he's the reason Storm is the record setting Superstar Champion."

"Well...I don't......I mean I think......."

As much as John wanted to deny it....there was a sick sort of logic to what he had to say.


Skybox #12

A lone man stood in the shadows....his eyes locked on Jason. The man was impressed with the demeanor in which Jason carried himself. Beaten to a pulp and barely able to defend himself the man looked calm in the face of what most considered his worst beating to come yet. Of course he knew Jason well. This was not the first time he had seen such bravado from the man and it would likely not be the last.

Admiration aside, that is not why he was here on this night. He was here at the behest of another. He would play an important role in the outcome of this event. If he failed, Jason's twisted mind would only grow darker with the notion that what he was doing was for a good cause. It would make Karmic Legacy and the IKI Stronger. If he succeeded, He might just be able to pull Jason back from the brink.

"Where there is doubt......Faith Jason.....Faith."


At Ringside......

Storm leaned with his back against the bottom cage. Beside him Grayson paced as Nathan stood with his arms crossed.

"What the hell is going on back there?" Grayson asked.

"No one would touch him would they?" Storm asked in retort.

"No sir....they know the drill...No one is to touch him." Nathan replied

"So what the hell is the hold up?" Storm asked getting annoyed now.

His question was interupted by the X-Tron coming on as the lights dimmed. "London Calling" By the Clash signaled the arrival of Jason's wife Faith. She walked out on to the ramp with Al resting on her shoulder. The crowd went ballistic for her as she stood there looking down on her husband.

When Jason locked eyes with her he took a few steps forward.

"And here comes our guest timekeeper Hank. Faith, the wife of Storm who damn near cost him his match last week. This week she has chance to cost him again as she will have control over the final trap door that gives access to the last cage."

"That seems to make you happy. Does it make you happy John that the PB tried to stack this whole match against Storm?"

"Well no...it's not that.....It's just....well..."

"Yeah John....stammer over that a bit longer...It's ok."

As Faith drew near to ringside, Storm stepped a few feet forward again. Nathan reached out and took Storm by the arm to hold him back but the champion pulled away. Something Nathan didn't like based on the current look on his face. As Faith got to the bottom of the ramp she now stood face to face....mere inches from her husband.

" 'ello luv"

"Hello back beautiful."

"Yer not worried I might take a swing atcha with Al?"

"Not at the moment.....I'm sure at some point you'll try but now is not the time. I missed ya babe."

"I missed ya a bit meself."

Storm suddenly reached out and pulled Faith to him. He planted a kiss on her that would curl a women's toes....and to the crowd's amazement....she kissed him back.

"Well I'll be damned. Last week she was trying to kill him and this week they're making out like two teens at Prom right on the ramp!"

"Jesus John....Shut up and enjoy the moment."

As they broke thier kiss, Storm bit Faith's lower lip and she returned the favor. many old time Fed X fans could remember moments like this as it was in Fed X that Storm and Faith met....and that they had started this strange tradition of biting each other's lips hard enough to draw blood.

"Ya know I can't be wishin ya no luck luv."

"I don't need Luck love....I have Karma on my side."


Stan Daniels
Stan Daniels

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Post  Stan Daniels on Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:41 pm


Moments Before The Opening Bell.....

"Our Superstar Champion is here. Our special guest timekeeper is here. The Tower of Doom is set and ready. All we need now is our X-Factor Champion Alan Scott....who I might add is being thought of as a coward by Hank."

"I didn't say he WAS a coward John. I said it could be possible. Even now you can't shrug off what I said earlier. If Alan falls on his face again....his career in our sport, His future as one of the big names of the industry comes into question. That's alot for his young shoulders to carry is it not?"

"As much as it pains me to ever agree with you. I can't deny it. Losing tonight could be devestating for the young man."

As the last words left John's lips. The X-Tron suddenly popped to life. The crowd rose in one mass as the arrival of thier X-Factor Champion.....thier own personal hero of the evening, was signaled by the opening chords of JUST LIKE YOU as it Rang out through the arena.

"There he is fans. Our longest reigning X-Factor Champion of all time....Honest Alan Scott! So much for being a coward huh Hank?"

"The night is still young John.....We'll have to wait and see what "Karma" has in store for Alan."

Alan stopped on the ramp and raised his hands into the air to the cheers of the fans who gave the man a thunderous ovation. Unlike Storm, Alan made his way towards the ring without being pelted by trash or profanity....that is till he got closer to ringside within range of the now 300 plus contingent of IKI fans who'd managed to take up the entire camera view section of ringside.

"Alan getting a little taste of what Storm endured when he came out as those lousy IKI fans pelt him with trash of jeers of thier own."

"It's amazing.....You have to admit. Each week Storm wins and his legion of IKI fans grow. If he keeps it up. We may wind up in an arena filled to the brim with IKI followers."

As Alan closed the gap between himself and Storm, The Superstar Champion looked on his opponent with that trademark cocky smirk of his. As Security arrived at the railing to get the IKI fans under a bit more control, Alan walked right up to Storm. Nathan and Grayson tryed to cut him off but Storm waved them off. Alan took another step in and now the two men stood nose to nose.

"Now your ass belongs to me Storm."

"My ass as it were belongs to karma Alan......And so to will yours when this night is over."

"You couldn't hang with me back in Victory....what makes you think you can hang with me now?"

"You overconfidence will be your own undoing."

"Keep thinking that Storm....I'm going to prove to the world what I already know. You're a has been and your sham of a run here in Fed X comes to an aburpt stop....tonight."

Before Storm could say another word Alan rocked him back hard with a right hook that took the Superstar Champion to his knees. Earl Croniker, The ref assigned to this huge affair quickly called for the bell as Alan unsnapped the X-Factor Championship and tossed it to one of the ring girls.

"Here we go! Alan rocks Storm with a right hook as Cronkier puts us offically underway!"

Storm tried to stand up but all the damage his head had taken over the last few weeks had got to him. The match wasn't even 10 seconds old and already he was wobbling on his feet. As he stood up, Alan grabbed him by the left arm and whipped him with all he had into the side of the unforgiving steel structure.

"Storm slams hard into the cage and goes down face first."

"Alan could make a dash to get to the top but remember....he has 10 minutes till that top trap door opens....and the top cage is electrified at random intervals. The smart thing to do is to take Storm down as many nothces as he can before making the climb."

"It appears Alan is going to do just that. He has Storm by the neck. Scott pulling Storm to his feet and a shortarm clothesline takes the Superstar Champion back down to the floor!"

Alan had the advantage and wasn't about to give it up. With Storm flat on his back, The X-Factor Champion dropped a heavy knee right across The Superstar Champion's wounded stomach. The impact of the blow was enough to make Storm almost go fetal but Alan was on him quickly, Straddling his chest.

"Scott on top of Storm now and he's pummeling the already injured face of The Real Deal!"


Karmic Legacy/Network Suite.

Genocide watched as Alan tried to punch Storm's face into oblivion. Next to him sat Emissary with his crutches nearby. Not to far from them sat Haley who smiled a little bigger with each hit Alan landed. As Geno watched, Emissary leaned in close and whispered in his ear.

"How does it feel to watch the man who retired you going for the big prize?"

"It sucks....any more stupid questions?"

"You do understand what is required of you tonight yes?"

"I know what you want me to do yeah....But at this point I don't really give a shit what you want."

"I believe you do Geno. Oh sure, Alan led a rally cry to have your career reinstated.....But....Do you remember what he did before that? Do you remember how he opened up that little promo?"

Genocide sat back in his chair as flashes of the night after returned to him. He could hear Alan's voice as clearly as if Alan was sitting next to him.

Alan Scott: Good evening. My name is Alan Scott…….and I am…..


Geno closed his eyes and could see Alan in his head wearing that piece of shit shirt that said "I retired My SBFF!"......Of course Alan had gone on to say more. More about saving Geno's career...But not before declaring to the world how he knew he was going to beat Geno. That in and of itself pissed the Hall of Famer off a great deal.

"I remember."

"He may claim to feel sorry for doing it. He may actually want you to get your career back, but that didn't stop his sin of pride from gloating about it first. Think about that while you deal with the reservations about what is asked of you this evening."

Emissary sat back and watched as Geno looked away. Several seconds went by before Genocide stood up and looked over at Haley.

"Let's go make sure The Network stays The Network babe."


At The Announce Table....

"Amazing! Not even two minutes in and we got blood! If Storm's nose was set back you can bet it's broken again Johnny Boy!"

"You're thirst for blood makes me uneasy...you know that?"

"Hey, I like what I like...Deal with it."

Alan began to stand up over Storm. At that moment, Grayson got in the offical's face and began to complain. The second Cronkier's back was slightly turned, Nathan came out of nowhere and hammered the side of Alan's head with a huge size 14 boot. The force of the blow took Alan off his feet and sent him skidding across the floor.

"Damn it all to hell! Here we go with the cheapshots!"

"Well in a match like this....with no rules....as long as they're on the outside of the tower.....It's pretty much the nature of the beast."

Over by the timekeeper's seat, Faith stood up with Al in hand ready to intervene but when Nathan backed off she sat back down. Cronkier turned away from Grayson but not in time to see what had happened. Not that it really mattered If he had. At best he could usher them away from ringside but as it stood now...he saw nothing so he could do little more then give Nathan a tongue lashing. The big man held his hands up and backed away as Earl hollered at him.

On the floor, Jason sat back up with great effort. His stomach was on fire and his face was almost numb from the powerful shots Alan had dropped on him. With blood runnning down his face from his now twice broken nose, The Superstar Champion looked around in time to see Alan getting back to his knees. He had no idea how Alan had gone down nor did he care. What was important was that Alan was no longer on him. Using the side of the cage, Storm pulled himself back vertical and then turned to see Alan coming at him.

"One upset Alan Scott is coming at Storm ready to take his head clean off with....no! Storm steps out of the way of that right hand and then shoves Alan from behind hard face first into the side of the cage!"

"With Alan down, Storm is heading up the side of the first cage John!"

"The time is right. With 5 minutes left before it opens someone has to make a move. Alan is sitting back up now. I can't imagine in Storm's condition there was alot of "Uhmp" behind that shove."

John was right, While being shoved into the cage had rung a bell or two, Alan wasn't really worse for wear. Storm was halfway up the side of the first cage when Alan turned and began to climb himself. He could have stopped Storm but why? Better to get him up off the floor first then dump him off. In the condition his foe was in....that might be the killing blow Alan needed to win this match in record time.

"It's a race up the side of the cage with Scott taking the lead from Storm!"

"Alan is the fresher man John so it's no suprise. The question is, what does Scott do if he beats Storm up the side of the first cage?"

"Well....The best option is to send him....Wait a second...We got some kind of commotion in the crowd."

Scott reached the top of the bottom cage first. He pulled himself up and then turned his attention to Storm who was trying to pull himself up. The unhealed stab wounds were giving him fits as he tried to throw a leg up over the side. So focused was Scott on Storm that he never noticed the IKI fans parting like the Red Sea....Nor did he see Genocide walk through them as he hopped over the guardrail.

"Genocide!! What the hell is Geno doing here?"

"He's probably here to help his SBFF win the match. I knew Alan was a lair! he's going to cheat to win!"

"Oh, I see. Nathan can kick Scott in the side of the head and that's ok with you but If Scott gets help it's cheating."

"Well......yeah...Pretty much."

With Storm at his mercy, Alan bent down and grabbed him by the neck. He would pull him up and then toss him like a ragdoll off the top of the first cage down to the floor. As he pulled Storm up, He still had yet to notice Genocide climbing up the far end of the cage. It wasn't till Genocide was on the top of the first cage and it wasn't till Scott had Storm up holding him on the brink of falling that he noticed his SBFF.

"It looks like Scott has some bad intentions as he hold Storm on the edge of a nice long fall to the floor. If Genocide is here to help Scott it could be a very long.....Whoa whoa!! Hold the phone! Genocide Just nailed Alan flush on the jaw with the Geno kick!! What the hell is that about!!"

"Oh what's wrong Johnny? Did you forget that Geno is Network? The same Network Storm has control over?"

"But that's his SBFF!"

"And the Network is his wife's prized possesion."

When the kick connected with Alan's jaw, Storm fell back and just barely managed to hold on to the top of the cage. Scott didn't fare as well as the Superstar Champion. He didn't fall off the cage from the blow. Instead he was tossed by Geno over the side where he landed in a heap on the floor.

"I can't believe what I just saw and it happened only a few yards away from me. Genocide just tossed his SBFF off the top of the first cage!"

"I'll do you one better John. Geno is helping Storm UP the cage!"

It was a fact. Geno walked over to Storm and grabbed him by both hands. With one tug he pulled Storm up to the top of the cage. The Superstar Champion found a way to smile at his oldest friend but that smile wasn't returned.

"If I didn't hate you enough already for what you've done.....That was the last straw....when this is all said an done....somehow......someway....You'll have to deal with me."

"And when that time comes I'll be ready. Still, Part of you felt good to do that to him. After all...he did gloat about ending your career did he not?"

Geno couldn't help but think about that for a second. Part of him couldn't deny that in a small way it had felt good. He allowed the moment to come and go before putting his nose up to Storm's

"I did my bit for King and Country.....for the Network. Don't call on me again...and you better uphold the end of our deal."

Geno shoved Storm sideways out of his way and then quickly climbed down the cage. Earl moved in to go at him but Geno didn't stop. He was already halfway up the ramp cursing under his breath for what he felt he had to do.

Back at the side of the cage, Alan lay on the mat trying to regain his focus while above, Storm started the slow climb of the second tier cage.



"Fans, If you're just tuning in I have to tell you you missed something none of us thoought we'd ever see and that's Genocide tossing his SBFF of the side of the first cage." John Exclaimed

"I think it's quite obvious that Geno didn't want to do it. You know Storm and the IKI had to put him up to it as they control the Network for a few more weeks."

"At this point I don't think it matters. What's done is done. This could wind up costing Alan."

"Maybe...maybe not. Alan is getting back to his feet."

The fall had taken it's toll but Scott was clearly in a better condition then Storm was after three weeks. That was going to play a huge factor in the match before the night was over. As The SUperstar Champion slowly made his way up the second tier, Scott staggered to his feet and shook his head. Still a bit dazed and confused, Alan lumbered over to the side of the bottom cage and started to climb. Nathan made a move in Scott's direction but Cronkier cut him off. Now it was a race and even with the damage he had taken, Alan was still going to be the odds on favorite to win this little race.

"Alan is back up on the cage wall and even in his current condition he's making better time then our Superstar Champion."

"Well Duh John. I'm suprised Storm can climb at all."

Alan was already getting to his feet on top of the bottom cage as Storm reached the edge of the second tier cell. Try as he might to pull himself up, Storm was having problems as Scott staggered over to the second cage wall and began to climb. The Superstar Champion threw his leg up to the top of the second cage but missed. As he tried again, a hand grasped his ankle and yanked down hard. Storm almost fell but barely held on. He looked down to see Alan yanking at his leg. He tried to kick Alan's hand away but Scott was able to give him another good yank. That was enough to break Storm's grasp on the cage.

"Scott yanks Storm free and now the Superstar Champ collides with the X-Factor champion taking them both down to the roof of the first cage!"

"I think Storm landed stomach first on Scott's knees. He clutching at his stomach again!"

"You may be right. Scott shoves Storm off him and Storm isn't moving. Scott getting back to his feet now. He's got Storm by the neck and he's lifting him up. I think he's going to return the favor and pitch Storm off the top of that cage!"

Paragon was more right then he knew. Although feeling betrayed, Alan knew in the back of his mind that Karmic Legacy had somehow forced Genocide to do what he did. What better way to repay Storm for his underhanded bullshit then to chuck him off from the same spot. Grabbing the back of his tights with a firm grasp on the back of Storm's neck, He took the three steps he needed to and gave Storm the old Heave Ho....

But as we learn week in and week out....even the best laid plans sometimes go astray.

"Time for that rat bastard Storm to take a ride and.....Oh OH!! Storm grabs on to Scott at the last second and BOTH MEN GO OVER THE EDGE!!"

"YES! That's what I'm talking about! Complete Carnage!"

"This could be over right here and now yet you love it? I will never understand you."

"Considering you say the same thing week in and week out...I'm not suprised."

"Ugh...*sighs and looks back over at the mess that is Alan and Jason*....It's a car wreck on the floor. Both men landed hard and slid across the floor into the railing."

This time, Scott landed on Storm breaking his fall But his ribs made impact with Storm's knees. Skidding into the side of the railing head first didn't help either. Still, Alan was able to sit up before Storm and that alone was to his advantage. He reached up and tried to use the railing to assist him. The only problem was the railing in question wa right in front of the 300 plus mass of IKI fans. The second Alan's hand touched the rail, One of the IKI fans slammed thier Replica Superstar Championship belt across his fingers. This did two things. It caused Alan to lose his grip and it got the IKI fan ejected quickly at the hands of Fed X security.

"Did you see that Hank? One of those crappy kool aid drinking IKI fans just nailed Scott on the finges with that belt of his!"

"You have to give the IKI fans a bit of credit. They're full of insane loyality."

"And I suppose you condone that?"

"Hey, if you got it, flaunt it."

With sore fingers on his right hand, Alan reached up with his left hand and this time none of the IKI fans took a free shot. Most likely because Fed X security was standing close by. With no one to stop him, Alan pulled up to his feet and winced as his ribs protested. Hunched over slightly, He looked down at his foe and stomped him once in the stomach for Good measure. As The Superstar Champion clutched his gut, The X-Factor Champion staggered back over to the side of the bottom cage. The top trap door on the third cage was set to open within the next two minutes. Alan had every intention of making it to the top before that door opened. High above Scott, on the third tier, Sparks flew off the bars as a random charge flowed through the metal...as if inviting some unluck person to come on up and give it a try.

"Alan is back up holding his ribs but he's up. He's making his way back to the cage and Storm is till down."

"As much as I hate to say it. I think Storm pushed one match to many. His injures are going to cost him this one."

"Very true Hank. I'm suprised he's not dead yet.....But I agree, I think he pushed himself to far this time. Scott is making his way up the side of the cage slowly but Storm still hasn't moved from the floor."

As Scott reached halfway up on the bottom cage, The IKI fans started a chant for Storm hoping they could help him reach down and find whatever had pushed him the last three weeks. Cronkier stood between Nathan and Grayson waiting for one of them to make a move. Oddly enough, Each man just watched Alan climb the wall calmly. Scott reached for the top and found purchase. Pulling himself up. Hs struggled slightly but got his body up and over the top. He took a knee and then looked back over his Shoulder. Storm was still down but beginning to move. With a deep breath, Scott got back up and grabbed hold of the second tier cage.

"He's got a minute maybe less to get to the top of the third cage and Storm is just now sitting back up. If Scott makes it inside and Storm doesn't well I think we can safely assume Scott will be our new king."

"Maybe....Maybe not. Have we not seen this before? Someone on the verge of beating Storm only to see it all fall apart? If I was You or Alan for that matter I wouldn't get too cocky."

"I know nothing is a given after what we've seen in our Superstar Champion's matches but that still doesn't change the fact that Alan has a huge lead and Storm is still sitting on his ass."

"I got a feeling this is far from over John.....FAR from over."

"We'll see. Alan is almost to the top of the second cage and Storm just got to his feet with the assistance of the railing. The Real Deal takes a step but falters and falls to a knee holding that stomach of his."

Scott was gaining momemtum. With each grasp of the second cage wall he moved faster. Above him, The third tier cell sparked again. One hand movd over the other and before Scott knew it he was pulling himself up to the roof of the second cell. he glanced down at Storm to see him just now getting to the bottom cage. He knew in Storm's condition there was no way he was going to make it up in time. Now all he had to do was judge the random shocks and move quickly.

Another shock ran through the upper cell and then with a loud pop. The trap door opened.

"There it is! The top cell is open and all Scott has to do now it time in right."

"Yeah, Timing is everything. I certainly wouldn't want to get jolted way up there."

"Scott reaching out and taps the cage testing it to make sure it's not juiced."

Alan touched the cage twice after the last current ranr though it. Feeling it was now safe, The X-Factor champion grabbed the cell wall and started to climb. Storm was just now starting his own climb way back down on the floor below. Behind Storm, Cronkier stood between Nathan and Grayson who still had yet to make a move. That is till Grayson looked behind him up the ramp and made a cut throat motion with his index finger. It went unnoticed by most everyone including John Paragon.

"Did you see that John?"

"See what?"

"Oh nothing....Just the lights bouncing off the ramp I guess."

On top of the third Tier, Scott reached for the edge to pull himself up....and then the jolts hit him. Not a Jolt but several jolts one on top of the other. As the crowd watched in awe. Scott would shake with the force of each Jolt, Relax for a millisecond, then shake again. This went on several times to the dismay of John Paragon.

"Oh dear Lord! What the hell is happening? I thought it was random shocks....not one on top of the other!!"

"Hmmm....Maybe that guy on the tron has something to do with it."

John looked at the tron and his jaw flew open. There stood Malcolm Reynolds with the timer device in his hands. He was flipping the timer switch back and forth shocking the hell out of Alan in the process. He wore an IKI shirt but didn't seem too happy to be doing hat he was doing.

"Are you serious?? Malcolm Reynolds is IKI too? First Grayson and now Mal??"

"Looks that way."

"Good God someone has to stop....NO!! NO!! Scott just got shocked off the side of the third tier! He's falling!!"

The force of the last jolt took Scott off the side of the cage. He fell and rolled off the third tier. Landing akwardly on the second tier, He bounced to close to the edge and actually fell to the bottom cage roof where he landed in a heap. On the tron. Malcolm slammed the device back down on the table in disgust and walked away.

"This is just insane! Alan takes a MIGHTY FALL and now the newest member of the Powerbase ha joined ranks with Grayson!"

"Or maybe...just maybe, Grayson somehow forced Mal into doing that. After all, Mal didn't seem to be enjoying himself."

"Could that be it? Maybe Grayson threatened his Job and forced him to do it. That could be possible. Anything could be possible with Grayson part of the IKI."

"Right....Unless Mal was acting as if he was upset to throw us all off.....That could be possible to ya know."

While John pondered Hank's last observation, Scott lay in a heap on the top of the bottom cage. Above him the trap door slammed shut. It would be another 10 minutes before it opened. As for Storm? He sat with his back to the bottom cage still tryting to recover from the pain flowing from his stomach to the rest of his body.


Skybox #12

The man watched as Scott took the tumble from the top of the tower. He shook his head as he watched the people around Jason pulling the strings like puppet masters.

"What did ya get yerself in to Jason?"

One thing became clear to the man as he watched things unfold. It was going to be much harder to succeed then he orignally thought....But his one saving grace, His ace in the hole was still Faith....who had yet to play her part in this affair.




Alan hadn’t been gone out of his locker room for more than thirty seconds when Living Deadgirl spun and stared at her boss with fire in her eyes. She knew the rules. She understood that locking horns with X had never lead to victory for anyone. She still didn’t care. She couldn’t believe that he had just stood in the room and undermined the whole reason that they had gone to see Alan once the vote was done.

Living Deadgirl: This isn’t what we talked about! This isn’t why I called you…

X’s hand raised calmly, and Liv fell silent. It wasn’t why she had called the company’s principle owner and the enigmatic force behind it. She had called him as soon as Grayson had walked out of the impromptu meeting because she had hated the way he had leveraged his way into getting Storm the best possible scenario for victory. A lot of time and planning had gone into the strategy behind the Tower of Doom’s layout and subtle changes and she knew that X had been there to approve every it every single step of the way. She had even been lead to understand that he was in full agreement with her, and had told her to let Alan know they were coming to put a stop to Grayson’s mad power mongering.

Stranger X: Relax.

One word. Short sentences. That was X’s way. Liv had been more than a little taken aback by how talkative he had been with Alan, but she assumed that he understood the gravity of the moment in the young man’s life. Still, to have her get Marlowe to call and let Alan know that everything was under control and then NOT do anything productive didn’t make any sense. There was no need to meet with Alan if he wasn’t going to do anything. The whole reason for…

Stranger X: The boy doesn’t need to know.

Liv froze, and a smile crept onto her face. Now THAT was a little bit more like the stranger who had appeared without warning and turned the entire wrestling world on its ear. Nothing was ever what it seemed at first with the man. Then she frowned. If he was still planning to overrule Grayson then why not…

Stranger X: Timing is everything.

Liv smiled openly. The man had a way with words. He didn’t use a lot of them, but the ones he did use were always well chosen. She ignored the way he was almost preternatural in his anticipation of her thought process and walked across the room to where Alan had left his cell phone. It thankfully had gone into autolock mode yet and so she called back the last number. It rang only once before Marlowe’s voice was on the other end.

Marlowe: Alan?

Living Deadgirl: Nice try. Give Faith the signal.

Marlowe: I’m on it.

Liv hung up the phone and turned to nod approvingly at the boss, but X was already walking out the door. He had some paperwork to sign.


There was no count. Alan could lay on his back, wondering if that was really his rib he could feel sawing in and out of his flesh for as long as he wanted and nothing would end. The pain wouldn’t go away. The match wouldn’t be over. Most importantly though……the betrayal by Genocide would never, ever end. There was simply no reason good enough for a man to betray his best friend. Alan wanted to just lie there, on his back, and give in. It would be easier that way. Sure, he would drop the X-Factor Championship to the douchebag, but those were matches he could win. He’d already won three of them. It would just be…..easier to lie there and suffer.

The emotional wounds ran easily as deep as the physical ones. The Genocide he knew would never have thrown him off of the top of a cage and risked his life for something as meaningless as a stable. Sure, Storm had clearly put him up to it, but it still didn’t make any sense. Alan Scott had horribly misjudged just what kind of person Genocide was, and that was the wound that cut deepest and hurt worst. He had been wrong about so many things in his young career, but Geno was the one friend he truly thought that he could count on. They were the tag team champions of the world, and Geno had just walked out and shit all over that relationship. And for who? Storm? It was….

Alan Scott: Arghhhhhhhhh!

The Last Honest Man rolled over and cradled his ribs. His knees rested on the sagging cage that only moments before had bitten into the flesh of his back. He lifted his head and the crowd saw for the first time the terrible gash that had been carved into his forehead when he had slipped over the lip of the second cage. Blood had covered his face and painted a truly gruesome mask. Alan ignored it though, and focused his will. The pain had made it easy to wallow in the pity of Geno’s stinging betrayal. But deep down he knew better. He had been betrayed before. By friends and by tag team partners. One of them was slowly getting to his feet on the concrete below.

Alan bit his lip.

He was caught in the moment that would determine the rest of the match. His bite stung, but it focused his mind at the same time. Would he push through the pains that tortured his body and mind or would he release the tide and be swept away in the suffering of it all? Grayson, Genocide, Malcolm, the IKI……Storm had brought an army to face him and the mountain he so desperately wanted to climb simply continued to grow higher and higher. No sane man could expect to face them all and still come out on top. It was……..unthinkable.

Alan: FUUuuuuuuuuck it.

Alan’s curse drew out as his face turned into a snarl beneath the mask of blood. His will might have been sapped by one, or two of the things that had been done to tilt the balance in Storm’s favor. He might have been broken by a betrayal or the odds being stacked against him at ringside. But somewhere inside the heart of the boy who would be a man was a fighter. The kind of fighter who got knocked down over and over again and still had the tenacity to dream that one day he would be one of the greats. He had failed on Rough Enough. He had failed at the USOB. He had failed in his bid to join The One.

Alan: Enough!

Alan walked to the edge and looked down at where Storm had a hand resting on the cage. The other hand was wrapped around his torso, where the stab wounds once again showed signs of open bleeding, and he was taking in short small breaths as he prepared himself to try and climb the Tower again. There was a roar amongst the crowd though, and Storm was veteran enough to know that it was because his opponent was doing something that they liked. Perhaps they thought that Alan was going to throw himself off the cage and try and put an end to Storm once and for all.

But Alan Scott had made a promise.

Alan: Drag your ass to the top…..

Alan paused and clutched at his side as his broken rib felt like it was going to puncture his lung. He fought off the pain with little more than sheer determination and pressed on.

Alan: I’ll be waiting in the cage……where the fight really begins. Bring as many of your crutches as you think you need.

Alan turned and staggered towards the wall of the second tier. Storm had barely managed to get a foot off of the ground when Alan had leaned over the side and shouted instructions at him. He pulled his hand tentatively away from the wounds to his stomach and reached up, even as his face displayed the enormity of the suffering that the Superstar Champion was prepared to fight through. One foot at a time he slowly began his ascent in pursuit of the X-Factor Champion. Both men had taken some serious blows before the match, in all real sense, had even started. The battle on the outside of the Tower was never intended to be the playground in which they truly fought, and yet it had been the highlight to that point.

Storm was only a foot from the top of the bottom tier when Alan rolled over the shelf and onto the second tier. He rested for a moment before he slowly rose to his feet. He didn’t waste any time or effort looking back down. Storm would come. He and his seemingly endless stream of minions and soldiers would see to that. Alan only had himself to worry about, and there was something liberating in knowing that that was all he could count on. Alan approached the third cage and stared at it. He turned his hands over and looked at the palms where he had been scorched, literally, by the open cheating and betrayal of the Powerbase. Alan lifted his eyes from the cage, the frustration showing on his face for the cameras that were mounted everywhere on the structure.

Alan turned and looked a long way down. He could see Grayson was once again motioning towards the back, and he knew what that had resulted in the last time. Alan wanted to lift his voice and scream defiance at the world. He was sooooooo……angry.

So he did.


Alan’s final word dies in his throat. He sees movement above him, just beyond the lighting rigs. Somebody…..somebody’s up there. The movement slowly gets closer and closer……and Alan realizes that something is falling directly towards him. It lands with a soft thud only a foot away from him and Alan stares at it in momentary confusion. And then he understands.

A smile spreads across his face.

Insulated gloves.


Grayson: Just tell me why it didn’t work!

Standing only a couple of feet away from John Paragon and Hank Proctner, Richard Grayson was screaming into his two-way. He had ordered one of his ‘tools’ in the back to turn on the electrical current once again, but Alan Scott had climbed the third cage with no current knocking him loose once again. Grayson, and at his side Nathan, was infuriated. It took a lot of work and planning to make sure that karma did what it was supposed to do! He slammed the two-way down onto the announcer’s table and cast a withering eye at John Paragon, who held a steady gaze back at the company’s Vice President of Business Affairs.

Grayson: What the hell are you staring at Paragon?

John was quiet for a moment, and then moved the mic that was on his headset just enough to remind Grayson that every word was being picked up and transmitted out over their broadcast and to the world at large.

John Paragon: I’m staring at you. And what I’m trying to figure out is if everyone in the Instant Karma Initiative has so little faith in karma.

Hank Proctner: John! How dare you challenge our leader’s resolve like that….

Paragon didn’t wait for Hank to finish his retort, nor did he provide Grayson a forum under which to try and spin or deflect the question. John Paragon was a man who had stared down the barrels of Earth’s most terrifying weapons and failed to flinch. He certainly wasn’t going to be cowed or frightened into stumbling over his words by Hank Proctner and Richard Grayson.

John: I’ll tell you how Hank…..because what I’m seeing tells me that none of these idiots even believe in karma. It’s all a convenient fabrication to justify their behavior.

Grayson: That’s outrageous!

Paragon: Is it? Then why don’t you let karma decide if Storm is destined to win? You…..Malcolm…..the fans…..Nathan……you’ve all gotten involved and attacked Alan Scott. And nobody watching needs an explanation of why. The answer is simple; none of you believe in karma. If you did…….you wouldn’t have had to so much as lift a finger to tip this match in Storm’s favor.

Grayson: Now……..that is…………you’ve got this all wrong.

Paragon: NO.

Paragon slowly rose from his seat, and Hank Proctner immediately recognized the change in his longtime broadcasting partner. It had happened from time to time, when John felt that he had been pushed too far by somebody. He had risen slowly to his feet, and stood his ground. On most occasions it had meant that the person provoking him had been fortunate to leave the area without a trip to the hospital.

John Paragon slowly lifted his hands to remove the headset, but Grayson was already backing away from the situation. It was one thing for him to threaten people’s jobs or coerce support from his fellow Powerbase members, but it was entirely another to push the buttons of the most powerful man on Earth. Should John Paragon decide to ‘resign’ Grayson knew he might well not recover from it. He continued to shake his head and disagree with Paragon, but he chose to do it from a safer distance.

Paragon lowered himself back into his seat and cast a glance at Hank that clarified just how much crap he was prepared to listen to for the rest of the night.

Paragon: Folks….Alan Scott is now waiting on the…..yes….there it is! The trap door has opened. Alan Scott is in the first cage!

Proctner: That’s a two minute head start! He could…..why isn’t he just dropping down through all three levels of the cage?

Paragon: I think the answer’s obvious Hank. He wants STORM.

Paragon was right of course. Alan Scott landed on the steel mesh floor of the first cage and looked around. The cage was relatively small, at only ten feet by fifteen feet, but it would give him enough room to maneuver Storm. He cast his eyes to the second tier below, and shook his head. Going down to the second tier would only make him wait for Storm longer. There were three stages to the fight, and Alan intended to battle through every single one of them.

Storm might have figured out how to stack the odds against him, but he hadn’t counted on Alan’s resolve. The mountain in front of him loomed larger than ever…..and it only served to redouble Alan’s will. Storm had made a precious mistake. Alan looked to the outside, where Storm had only just made his way onto the second tier, and it was evident that he was losing a lot of blood…..possibly too much….from the wounds in his stomach. Alan turned his eyes upwards at the trap door and the magnetic lock that would be sealing back into place in the next thirty seconds. A quick glance back at Storm told him what he needed to do.

Alan pulled the rubber gloves off of his hands and doubled them over, making them twice as thick. He heard the buzzer that signaled the end of the trap door’s period and watched as the hatch started to swing shut on the magnetic circuit. Alan leapt up and jammed the gloves between the trap door and the locking mechanism. He held his breath as he landed and balanced himself on the awkward unstable chain floor, and then looked up to see if it had worked. It had. The door was wedged open, the lock not engaged. Alan turned and stared through the cage at the man slowly staggering towards the ladder on the outside.

Paragon: Scott is pacing around the cage, waiting for Storm to make his way into it. You’ll notice he’s being very careful not to make contact with the cage walls though Hank.

Proctner: After the shocking lesson he got last time? Maybe you can teach a monkey with aversion therapy after all.

Paragon: This is an agonizing wait though Hank, as Storm tries to continue his climb. As injured as Alan is, and I think we all saw that on the fall he took with Storm…and then the electrical betrayal by the Powerbase….I still think Storm’s injuries might actually be life threatening. He shouldn’t be in this match.

Proctner: He’s the Superstar Champion John! He’s been a fighting champion through the whole event, and he wasn’t going to bow out now. Not with both titles and the King of The Cage on the line!

Paragon: He just pulled himself up and over the top of the final cage folks…..and look at the way that Alan is standing right beneath the trap door! He looks like a wild dog at feeding time! This is what he’s been waiting for!

Hank was hard pressed to disagree, especially when the roar of the crowd rose to deafening levels.

Proctner: Sounds like a lot of people have been waiting for this moment. I guess NOBODY likes Alan Scott anymore.

John just scowled at his partner as they watched Storm reach out and pry the trap door open. His body was threatening to give out on him, and yet he simply would not give in to the suffering. He pulled himself through the door and crashed down onto the cage floor below, narrowly missing his opponent. The gloves pulled loose behind him and the magnetic lock slammed into place. Storm rolled onto his back, just in time to see Alan’s heel slamming down into the side of his face. He recoiled, though not quickly enough and the impact ground his skull backwards into the steel mesh floor.

Alan threw in three more stomps, almost unaware of the way that each little breath felt like a stab wound in his chest, and then reached down and picked Storm up. Lifting the man to his feet proved to be like lifting dead weight, but Alan didn’t trouble himself with that. He heard the sizzle of the cage walls starting to fire up and immediately shoved Storm towards it. The Real Deal caught only the last second of the voltage and almost seemed to bounce off of it, staggering into Alan ducking low and driving his elbow forward into the gashes on Storm’s stomach.


The crowd could not stop themselves from empathizing with the agony that it must have caused Storm. Alan moved in a second time, and pulled that man he had learned to loathe into a standing position once again, but Storm was not without his senses. Despite the pain he was quick enough to shove a thumb into Alan’s throat in self-defense. The move cut off Alan’s breath, and he staggered away as he tried to reclaim it. Storm seized the moment and lunged into Alan’s back, shoving him forwards and into the electrified cage…

Stan Daniels
Stan Daniels

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Post  Stan Daniels on Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:42 pm


The crowd was up and out of their seats as the action inside the Tower of Doom finally started to build. Every eye in the arena was focused on the upper cage when the ear piece Faith was wearing startled her away from that. She lifted a hand to cup the ear and make sure she could hear what was being said clearly. A smile formed on her dour expression as she listened to Marlowe explain the plan to her. She liked it.

Faith reached out and flipped the switch on the magnetic lock that held the exit from the Tower shut. A loud buzzer rang out, catching the attention of almost everyone around the lower tier, and Grayson immediately whirled and stared in shock as the door swung open. From seemingly out of nowhere a stream of masked wrestlers of all shapes and sizes came out of the crowd.

Paragon: Wrestlers are coming from everywhere Hank! Masked men….and I think women…..are charging over the barricade and in through the door that Faith just opened!

Proctner: But…..but…..Grayson gave orders! HE GAVE ORDERS JOHN!

Paragon: It looks like the Whiskey Fueled Bitch doesn’t much care Hank! Nathan just moved to stop her, and then reconsidered when she tried to introduce him to Al!

Proctner: Well Grayson’s motioning for the IKI...............and here they come! He's ordering the IKI into the cage as well! He’s going to get them to remove these masked thugs! He……she closed the door! She closed the door on them!

Eight members of the IKI had made it in through the door, in an effort to remove about twelve masked men and women. All trapped inside together, while Faith stood guard over the only switch to open the door and let them out. For the next twenty minutes…..nobody was getting in or out!

That wasn’t why Grayson was looking around wildly and trying to figure out his next move though. No…..it was the masks that bothered him. All the same.


With a red X over the left eye.


Backstage Near The Timer Device For the Third Cage...

Malcolm Reynolds looked fit to be tied. He wanted no part of this affair. Bad enough he had to push this damn button but wearing the IKI shirt made him want to puke. As he paced the floor back and forth trying to walk his way to China, a feeling like eyes were on him made him stop. He turned around expecting to find Shelly Simmons and a mic screaming "Why Mal Why!". Instead he came face to chest with the masked man simply known as X. He took a step back thinking perhaps this was some new talent someone signed without telling him. Whoever he was Mal didn't have time for him.

"Look, I guess your new here and all but i'm not the guy to help right now. So I reckon you should run along to the powerbase office and see Miss Twinpeaks. She can get you set up with whatever it is you need."

"You have no idea who you're talking to do you Mal?" Said Liv as she stepped out from behind X.

"No...I'm I suppose to?"

"This is the owner of Fed X Mal....this is Stranger X."


"Mal? X and I would like to know exactly what is is you think your doing?"

"I'm savin my job little lady. What does it look like?"

Liv looked up at X and then back to Mal

"What do you mean saving your job?"

"I mean Grayson called me into his office today. Said if i didn't do this he'd fire me....and well, I sorta need this job ya know. If I got canned I might have to go back to that other place...the one on it's last leg and all....so I didn't have much choice."

"Let me make sure I get this right. Grayson told you to do this. Said if you didn't he'd fire you? Can I make an assumption that he also forced you to vote for his removal of the Stipulation as well?"

"He damn sure did. Said it was my loyal duty and some such nonsense. I didn't want to lose my job so what could I do?"

Liv looked at Malcolm. She had dealt with a ton of liars over the years but she could see nothing dishonest in Mal's big dough eyes. She turned to X who simply nodded. Then she turned back to Mal.

"He can't fire you Mal....Only X can."

"Ah hell...you mean I let him play me for a fool?"

"Yeah Mal but don't be too upset....he's played alot of us for fools. Now why don't you take off that stupid shirt and head back to your office."

"I'm not in trouble?"

"NO." Was the simple one word reply from Stranger X.

"Go ahead now Mal. We'll meet you back in the office shortly."

Happy to be done with this burden, Mal took the IKI shirt off and threw it in the trash before heading off to the Powerbase office. Liv watched him go and then looked at X.



At The Announce Table....

"Now what kinda of bullcrap is this John?"

"What do you mean bullcrap?"

"Oh come on man. Everyone and his brother thinks this is all skewed in Storm's favor but this little move....Faith opening the exit door to the bottom cage allowing all these Stranger X wannbe's into cage. Now tell us again John how the PB is so Pro Storm. Obviously someone in the PB is letting this happen and don't tell me for one second that those masked men in the ring are a bunch of nobodies. You and I both know who's under those masks!"

"So you think the Powerbase has someting to do with Faith letting them in?"

"Well duh John. Why else would they be wearing Stranger X masks. I'll do you one better....The OWNER OF THE COMPANY IS TRYING TO SCREW OVER OUR SUPERSTAR CHAMPION.....Did you hear that?"

"Come on now Hank. You better watch what you say. You don't know that for sure."

"I know that X has been reported to be in the building and you know it too...You heard the same messages in your headset I hear in mine."

"As true as that is, it doesn't mean X had anything to do with this."

"Right Mr Paragon of Virtue....You keep telling yourself that."

Inside the lower part of the cage, It was all out warfare. even thought they were outnumbered, The IKI members weren't pushovers. Several small fights had broken out all over the place but the one of most interest was the two IKI members that had one of the masked X wrestlers trapped in the corner of the cage. The two IKI goons had the person pinned tight to the corner, both of them ramming knees into the masked wrestlers gut. Outside the ring, Grayson barked orders through the cage.

"Now we'll see the truth John. Grayson is ordering the men to take his mask off!"

"That he is Hank. One of the goons has the man's arms hooked to his sides while the other goon tries to peel off the mask!"

"Now we'll see the truth of what I already know! The mask is coming off....and it's....it's..."

"Hairy!! It's Hairy under the mask!!!" John Shouted

"I told you John....I TOLD YOU!"

"Just because it's Hairy doesn't mean all of them are the other partic...."

"Oh bullshit. That fat masked guy has to be Aaron and what about the chick with the huge rack. Tell me that's not Haley?"

"Huge breasts don't mean it's Haley. ya know."

"Well..ok that's true....But what about that guy right there. Tell me that body langauge doesn't scream Johnny Rude. He throws punches just like him!"

"In this mayhem it could be anyone."

While this was going on in the bottom of the cage, Up in the top tier, Storm and Scott were both still down. The jolt that hit Alan had coursed through his body into Storm's taking them both out. Storm sat up and without worrying about Alan, lifted his shirt and looked at the dressings around his stomach. Somehow Blood had began to seep through the bandges and the duct tape. This was dire. The blood wasn't pumping out but it was enough to cause him problems the longer this went on. Pulling his shirt back down, Storm looked over towards Alan who was just sitting back up himself.

It was then Storm's attention was drawn to the cage below. Seeing the masked men left him clueless. Seeing the IKI members in the ring made him livid. In each match of this event, Storm had used all manner of things fair and unfair to show the sinners the errors of thier way. This match was different. Storm had told Nathan, Emissary, and Grayson that by defeating Alan alone....that would be punishment enough. That was the debt karma wanted and that was the thing that would save Alan from himself.

If he lost to Storm, if he lost to a man barely able to walk let alone fight, would that not humble the man of his pride and greed? Jason knew this to be true. Suffice to say, Nathan, Emissary, and Grayson did not...or at least that was what Jason was led to believe. Perhaps they thought he couldn't finish the job. perhaps Grayson's way of thinking had clouded Nathan's judgement. Storm didn't know. What he did know is he wanted it to stop. He stood up and went to give Nathan a signal that would tell his most trusted aide to back off. Alan however had other plans.

"Storm is looking down at Nathan maybe trying to tell him something and OH!! Scott just rammed him head first into the side of the cage wall!"

"Sure John get excited.....but don't you ever call me baised again. You and your Alan lovers can enjoy your moment."

"Stop being such a whiney baby!"

In the upper cell, Alan rammed Storm's head into the side of the cage two more times. When he let him go Storm wobbled and staggered from left to right, backed up a step, and then for the hell of it, Scott shoved him hard in the back just as another jolt hit the cage.

"Storm get's juiced again!" John Yelled.

"Oh no...Look where he landed?" Hank said pointing upwards.

"He's on the trap door to the second cell!"

The jolt knocked Storm back where he landed on the trap door leading down to the next cage. Alan took a step towards him to unleash more pent up rage on his former partner.....that is till the buzzer sounded and the click of the trap door opening went off again.


"My God...Did you see the way he just landed!?!"

Storm lay in a heap not moving, Blood oozing from his nose and various places on his head. The most disturbing thing was the way his right arm was skewed at a very unnatural angle. Above him, Alan looked through the trap door with a bloody grin. This was turning out to not be such a bad day after all.


The Timekeeper's Table.....

Faith watched the war in the bottom of the cage with joy. She hadn't really been looking up till she heard the buzzer signaling the trap door to the second cage go off. What she saw didn't make her react on the outside but inside her heart skipped a beat. She had seen her husband take beatings that would make most men lay down and die. She had seen him go beyond the point of human desire on more then one occasion.

That aside she knew what she had to do and she told herself that this had to be done. If she was going to save the man she loved from himself and these Kool aid cultists who somehow brainwashed him then everything that was happening needed to be done.

Then the earpiece she had in crackled....and the voice that spoke wasn't the one who spoke to her earlier.

"I know what ya be tryin to do Faith but 'e's yer 'usband. did ya not promise to cherish 'im? 'onor 'im? did ya not pledge yer life to 'is?...because if ya did lass....'ow can ya let the man ya luv suffer darlin?

The earpiece crackled then stopped transmitting leaving Faith somewhat confused.

High above in Skybox #12, The man sat near the window in the center seat smiling. His message had been sent as was apparent by the look on Faith's face.



Two minutes was a long time.

It had been almost nine seconds since Storm dropped through the trap door into the second tier like a ragdoll, and Alan Scott had spent every second enjoying the view. Two forces were at work within him and one of them was most certainly a thirst for vengeance. Jason Emerson had once been his tag team partner, but it wasn’t the dissolution of that team that had Alan frothing for the man’s blood. Storm had swerved a woman who looked up to him and adored him as family. An innocent who only wanted to be able to learn from him and be a part of his life. Storm had attacked her repeatedly and then tried vainly to make people believe that it was an act of benevolence. It sickened Alan to see a man attack any woman with such savage ignorance, but it was made all the worse by his heartfelt love of Eve Riley.

The other emotion had been pushing Alan on up until that moment. He needed the win in ways that Jason would never understand. Alan knew that his opponent had climbed to the heights that he still only dared to dream about. He had worn USOB championships on more than one occasion, and he had been inducted into the Hall of Fame. He had climbed his mountain and dispelled any question as to his stature in the sport. Alan’s mountain still loomed large in front of him. That was pushed from his mind though as he remembered the horrible beatings that Eve Riley had suffered at Storm’s hands. The punishment that the ruthless idiot had heaped on her for no other reason than because he could get away with it.

Alan had made a promise at the start of the tournament.

Alan Scott: It’s time Storm.

Alan stepped over the void in the floor and dropped like a stone. Twenty feet looked like a long way, but gravity had a way of making it a much shorter distance than one might expect. Alan knew that the fall would only aggravate the injury to his ribs, but it was a small price to pay for having Storm in a position like that. Twenty feet. The image would be epic. As he fell, Alan pulled his knees into his chest, and let his body rotate, as he had done thousands of times on a diving board as a child. As he approached Storm at breakneck speeds, Alan threw his arms and legs out, and brought the already screaming crowd to a crescendo that rocked the structure.


John Paragon: Folks…..that was the most incredible thing I’ve seen in this sport since Jimmy Snuka leapt off the top of a cage at Bob Backlund. Somehow Storm how the intestinal fortitude to roll his body over just one time….and Alan Scott crashed into the steel mesh floor of the cage! I…..don’t know how Storm did it.

Hank: I’ll tell you how……..KARMA!

John: I…….that’s possible. I’d like to think that years of keenly developed fighter’s instincts took over though. That last close-up showed bleeding from his nose, and I think at least one of his ears. His arm didn’t look very good either.

Hank: Don’t you worry about Storm……he’ll find a way. It’s what he does.

John could hardly argue, because Storm had found a way to shock the world for months. When he first captured the Superstar Championship, optimistic forecasts saw him holding the title maybe through his first title defense. He held it through every person the company chose to throw at him, seemingly getting stronger with each confrontation. It was almost as if the constant challenges were making him better. When the King of The Cage rolled around he was certainly considered one of the people projected for the Elite Eight…..but arguments questioned if he could maintain the workrate he had been putting out in title defenses against the best competitors in the world.

He did all that and more.

Now battered and obviously broken, he still pushed onwards. He wanted nothing more than to let karma guide him to victory and defeat a man he had once foolishly hoped would be an agent of karma at his side. Obviously his initiates and allies saw things differently. They had broken his commandment and been helping him since the outset of the match, something he was too distracted to recognize until he spotted the IKI in the bottom cage battling it out with a gathering of masked wrestlers. Still……it was not too late for Storm to do the unthinkable once more. After all…..

……that was his trademark.

Hank: Storm’s moving! He’s trying to roll over onto his knees! What a warrior! Men want to be him, and women want to be with him!

John: Well that might become an option, because despite that kiss we saw earlier, all reports are that his wife has been steering a wide berth around him recently. She’s admitted openly that she’s here to put a stop to his efforts.

Hank: Well she can do that after he disposes of Alan Scott. Storm’s back on his feet….

John: …but he looks like’s he fighting malaria! Seriously Hank, he looks terrible. His face is losing color, and his arm is hanging limply at his side. How is he even on his feet?

Hank: I don’t know…..but with the trap door to the final cage now closed…..it looks like he’s turned his attention to Alan! OH! A nice smooth kick to the ribs there!

John: Hank the weapons of choice on that level are wooden shields. How in the heck is Storm going to use one of those when that left arm of his looks like its dislocated?

Sometimes in wrestling matches it’s almost like the wrestler can hear the commentator. After a second kick to Alan’s ribs, which flipped the young champion onto his back and let Storm see that he was clasping and favoring his left side, while take short, shallow, gasping breaths. Storm knew that without deep, oxygen enriching breaths Alan’s recovery would take longer, and he had a few moments. He turned and walked to the cage wall, finding the reinforcing strut that held the structure of the cage firmly in place. Then he turned his shoulder into it.

Frowns crossed faces as fans and commentators alike tried to figure out what exactly it was that The Real Deal was trying to do, but they didn’t understand the helplessness of having an arm hanging limply at your side in the middle of the biggest fight of the year. The they saw Storm jam his shoulder hard into the strut while he turned his body sharply away from it, and they heard his scream echo across the arena.

Storm: arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The pain was so intense that tears forced their way into the eyes of Federation X’s Superstar Champion, and he didn’t waste the time wiping them away. Instead he clenched and unclenched his hand. He could feel his fingers again, so that was a good thing. His shoulder would hurt for days….maybe weeks, and he would need a doctor to make sure that it was properly set. All of that could wait until after the match though. He stepped away from the cage wall, and staggered as his body reminded him that he was injured in so many other places. He sank slowly to one knee, making sure to steady himself as he went and then he pushed back up, using the strong of his two arms to lift the shield he had just gotten his hands on.

Alan lifted his head as he tried to get to his feet just in time to see the edge of the shield in front of his face and coming hard.



Richard Grayson: You just have them ready Nathan! I’ll deal with Faith!

Nathan didn’t like that idea and he made sure to let the company’s Vice President know it. While Storm was doing everything he could to fight through the fact that his body should be in a coma, Nathan was trying to get things on the ground floor under control. But Faith? She was supposed to be as off limits as Alan was. Storm had insisted. Of course Nathan had found a reason to ignore that when he kicked Alan in the face, so he was having a hard time explaining why suddenly he was so sure that the rules weren’t made to be broken.

Nathan: Listen Grayson….

Grayson: No. We need to get control of this thing Nathan. Those eight guys are doing alright…..but even they have their limits. Just get ready.

Grayson was walking towards Faith even as he was giving the instructions. He stopped right in front of her and then spoke to Nathan and made sure she could hear him.

Grayson: Faith will do what she’s told…….or she’ll never set foot in a Federation X arena again.

Faith lifted her head only slightly and stared at Grayson out from under her bangs. She tried to look unimpressed with the way the boss was threatening her, and that wasn’t hard given who she was. She didn’t fight for the money, and she had long since gotten her fair share of fame. She fought because she had a purpose, and even Richard Grayson couldn’t take that away from her.

Which didn’t mean he wouldn’t try.

Grayson: I’m serious Faith. I’m only going to say this once. I’m not waiting seven more minutes. Open the cage.

Faith: Or?

She was truly nonplussed by his tone.

Grayson: Or I…..

Grayson, along with everyone who wasn’t involved in fighting for their lives, or in the very least their health, was caught in mid-sentence when the X-Tron suddenly came to life. A roar went up as the crowd saw Living Deadgirl standing in front of a black backdrop. She had a very satisfied smile on her face.

Grayson: Ah, what the hell do you…

Living Deadgirl: Ohhhhhhhh, I think you’re going to want to shut up and listen to what I have to say Richard.

Grayson actually stopped, looking a little bit flustered. Had she just…..

Living Deadgirl: It would appear that you’ve been threatening a lot more than just my job in recent days……and you’ve been using that threat to bully a lot of people into doing things for you that they wouldn’t otherwise have done. Well I’ve got some very important news for you sir. I guess you could call it a message from the boss.

Liv smiled as the camera panned back and it slowly became evident that the black backdrop was actually the enigmatic X, owner of the company. The camera stopped panning back once he was completely on the screen. Grayson was frozen, his heart was pounding so loud in his chest that he couldn’t even hear the screams of the fans all around him.

But he heard the next two words very clearly.

Stranger X: YOU’RE FIRED!


At The Announce Table.....


"What I see Hank is the owner of the company firing a man who let his personal views effect his decision making. What I hear from Liv is X firing a man who may have bullied the other two votes he needed from other Powerbase members. Now that I think about it, Malcolm Reynolds didn't look to happy to be pushing that button that juiced Alan off the cage. I think Mal was one of the people Grayson may have bullied. So no Hank, I don't see him screwing Storm...I see him setting things right!"

"And I think your blind as a bat John. X for some reason has become an Alanoholic and that's just fine with you since you drink the same Alanweisers X drinks!"

"You're hopeless Hank."

"And so are you John!"

On the tron, Liv snapped her fingers. The Fed X security detail that had been watching over the rabid IKI fans suddenly moved in on Grayson. The man who ran Fed X found himself backpedaling away from his own security force. Tripping on the edge of the ramp. Grayson fell on his ass hard as Security closed in.

"You touch me and you're fired....I swear to God if any of you lays a finger on me I'll sue you, your wives, your kids, and your mothers!"

The threats of course held no weight now and it did little to stop the security team from plucking Grayson off the floor. As they yanked him to his feet he began to kick and curse. He tried to pull away but it was like watching a row boat go toe to toe with a destroyer. As they drug him up the ramp, Grayson continued to scream.


Standing by the side of the cage, Nathan didn't move a muscle. He stood there and watched, arms folded, as the Security team took Grayson backstage. With Grayson now gone, Nathan looked up at the tron. He locked eyes on the black mask with the red X on it and smirked....like he knew something no one else knew. When the tron blinked off, Nathan turned back around towards the cage.

"Gee Hank. What could be up with Nathan? He didn't raise a finger to save Grayson?"

"That's a damn good question! What the hell are you thinking Nathan!?!" Hank shouted in his direction.

Nathan heard the question but ignored Hank. As he stared up towards the second tier watching Storm on his knee barely able to hold the shield, His thoughts turned to Grayson. The man was suppose to be a valued member of the IKI. He had done his job well till he ignored Storm's orders. The sad part was, Nathan knew he would. He had expressed his concern over allowing Grayson into the fold. The man who ran the company was alot of things but subtle wasn't one of them. When Storm ignored his suggestion Nathan said nothing else on the subject. Now with his firing, Nathan found the smirk returning to his face.

For you see Grayson had served his purpose. On this night he'd become a liablity.....and the large leader of the IKI was about to handle businees with Grayson himself but thanks to X, he didn't have to soil his hands. Now with Grayson gone, Karma could work her magic. A price would be paid on this night....and Nathan would do her bidding gladly.

"Now that the Huge distraction named Richard Grayson has been fired....maybe we can get back to this match up."

"You mean maybe we can get back to "Hey, Let's watch X hand the King Of The Cage over to Alan" Don't you?" Hank said, his voice dripping with sarcasim.

"If you don't stop with your bitter attitude I swear to you what I was about to do to Grayson....I'll do to you instead."

"Fine...Fine...Whatever...Just do your job and let me do mine."

The action in the bottom cage was intense to say the least. Outnumbered and with no other backup the IKI goons we're slowly losing the battle to the masked men. That however was secondary to what was going on right above them. All eyes watched as Alan rolled onto his back holding his ribs while fresh blood seeped out from his hairline after getting thumped with the shield. Then there was Storm who was now using the shield to lean on. His shoulder throbbed making it almost impossible for him to lift the shield again. His gut screamed in agony with every breath. Whatever the trainer had given him to quell his pain had worn off already. He felt faint, Light headed, and woozy. Still, he found some way to dig down and move. His mission was far from over and Karma wouldn't take defeat as payment owed. He tried to stand up and wound up dropping the shield. It mattered little to the Superstar Champion as he knew he'd likely never get it up again to use it. Taking two half steps he reached down to peel Alan off the cage floor......Alan of course wasn't planning to come along quietly.

"Storm reaching for his foe. He's bending down to pick Alan up but the X-Factor Champion ROCKS him with a stiff left hand shot to the jaw!"

"Damn it! Come on Storm!"

"Worried Hank?"

"Hell no! Karma will have Storm's back...You just watch!"

Storm popped straight back up but the force of the blow and his weak condition took his body over till his back was almost at a 45 degree angle. He dropped back hard on the cage roof and stared up at the lights. Alan sat back up and then rolled to his knee. Still clutching his ribs, He tried to stand but his head was still somewhere on the corner of 5th and Oak. He staggered across the cell floor to the other side of the cage before falling into the wall.

"How the man keeps going is anyone's guess but Somehow Storm is on his belly crawling for all he's worth to the side fartherest from Alan."

"It's heart and desire that drives Storm John. Heart and Desire!"

"Or his insane notion that Alan is an evil sinner...take your pick. Scott now using the cage to get his feet under him. He's back up and right next to the second shield. If he gets that thing in hand I got a feeling Storm is done for."

Alan had to yank twice to free the shield from it's place on the wall. Behind him, The Superstar Champion pulled himself up and leaned against the cage wall for support. In his confused state, He didn't see Alan staggering towards him with the heavy shield in hand. Alan allowed himself a small smile as he closed in on Storm. He would nail Storm once to take him down...then beat him near to death. Once that was done. All he had to do was wait for the trap door to open and out he'd go. The big one would finally be his.

Yet as it's been proven time and time again throughout this tournament, Even the best laid plans don't always pan out. As Alan took another step forward Storm glanced through his blood soaked hair and saw what was coming. Out of nowhere he planted his left foot. Hank just about lost his mind as for this moment, he got the jump on John.


"Once again as he's done many times throughout this tourney, Storm pulls that superkick out of nowhere and drives the shield back into Scott's face!"

Scott staggered and dropped the shield. He wobbled for a second more and then down he went face first landing on the shield he just dropped. Even though the superkick didn't have as much snap behind it as it normally would, The shield itself did the damage Storm's kick couldn't. The Superstar Champion fell to a knee after the kick and it was all he could do to keep from flopping on his own face. With Alan down, Jason found a way to smile every so slighlty. Taking in a breath, he stood back up and staggered around Alan to the other shield that laid nearby. With all he could muster, he picked it up and then placed it over Alan's head.

"Oh no....No...This is to much....He can't possibly do what I think he's going to do can he?" John asked.

"Oh I think he can and he will. Ladies and Gentlemen, get ready because you're about to see the world's very first....Conshieldo!"

Storm raised the shield over his head and let out a scream of pain as his entire body protested against him. He was going to crush Alan's skull right here and right now.....Until that mysterious voice made a nuiscance of itself once more.

"san áit a bhfuil amhras go gcuire me creideamh"

Jason paused holding the shield over his head. Once again the voice spoke in a language he couldn't name but that he understood with clarity. "where there is injury, pardon". He shook his head trying to ignore it but the voice spoke again.

"Aye lad....If it's a price 'e be payin yer girl karma....why then would ya be tryin to kill 'im? Ya know that little blow ya want to rap 'im with is gonna do more then just take a debt owed don'tcha?"

It was all here, Alan was defenseless. One drop of this shield and it would all be over. The only problem is the voice was right. Scott's head would give way like a grape under the weight alone of these shield coming together. With a great sigh he dropped the shield behind his back and fell to his knees next to Alan. the question was, Was it mercy caused by the voice in his head or exhaustion that made him drop the shield? Back at the announce table John was about to make Hank blow a gasket.

"Well I'll be damned. Could my own eyes deceive me or did Jason Storm just show mercy to Alan Scott?"

"Mercy? Are you serious? The man can barely function. It's no suprise that he dropped the shield."

"Really Hank? You don't sound so convincing."

Back up above in the second cell, The mysterious voice rang in Storm's ears again.

"Impressive lad. Perhaps yer worth savin after all?"

With Alan still open to whatever whim crossed Jason's mind, He did something no one expected....and he backed away. When his back touched the cell wall he leaned into it and took slow breaths.

Down below, Faith watched all that had transpired. Before she had time to process a reason why her husband didn't deliver the blow. The earpeice crackled again.

"Do ya see luv? I know yer to be the 'ammer but maybe a 'ammer isn;t what 'e needs to save 'im? in áit na éadóchas; go gcuire me an dóchas Faith. Where there is Despair.....'ope. Remember that lass."

The earpiece went quiet again leaving Faith more perplexed then before. next to the cage, Nathan looked up and watched as Storm took a much needed breather. One might think he'd be worried after watching Storm not take the death blow open to him but he was not. All this was going according to plan, karma's plan....all of it.


Skybox #12...

The man smiled knowing now in his heart that there was something left inside Jason worth saving. The question was, Could he keep Faith at bay long enough to drag what goodness was left there out? Would Faith's way be the only way to save him.

Or would he be lost to both of them forever?



Just twenty minutes from the Main Event, in a makeshift office on the other side of the arena.

Haley needed some privacy for a change. And the fact that Callisto was calling made it important.

Haley was waiting to be connected...and then...she was.

Callisto: Hi Luv

Haley: Hey Callisto. How's things?

Callisto: Been better. I wish I could have been there tonight. But I have a flight to Australia in thirty minutes.

Haley: I know, with our home office just a half mile away from the Garden, I was expecting to see you. It would of been nice. Lord knows I can use a friendly face.

Callisto: Thanks luv. So the Board have asked me to talk to you about Storm and Alan.

Haley: Look, I know I TOLD the IKI that I'd help them. But f*** it. I can't. Alan's a good friend of Geno and has been good to me in recent weeks. I can't just screw him over like that.

Callisto: You're going to have to.

Haley: Say what?

Callisto: The IKI is part of the Network, Haley.

Haley: I know. Trust me, I know.

Callisto: They've made us a ton of money so far.

Haley: Oh yeah?

Callisto: It's something the Board of Directors would like to see more of. They WANT Storm to win tonight.

Haley: You HAVE TO be kidding me.

Callisto: They see mostly green, luv. We both know that.

Haley: I knew we should of kept the company private.

Callisto: We had no choice a few years ago. And in the long run, it's been paying off.

Haley: I know, business-wise it made perfect sense. But in the wrassling world, it causes conflicts.

Callisto: Agreed, but it's the nature of the beast. So you know what must happen.

Haley: I don't know if I can bring myself to screw over Alan.

Callisto: He's not Network, luv. Storm technically is. The Board of Directors would....

Haley: OK OK! Enough. *sigh* I know what I have to do.

The two long time friends share goodbyes and disconnect. Haley rises and leaves the office. As she does, she doesnt notice that Nathan was listening the entire time. A smile came across his face, knowing that Haley was painted into a corner. She would be helping them defeat Alan tonight. One way or another

Haley: Babe?

Geno: Yeah?

Haley: There's something we have to do tonight. And you're not going to like it one bit....


Fast foward to Geno's interference in the match. Taking out his SBFF was hard on the man, but for his wife, for the Network, for his future (personal), it needed to be done.

But meanwhile, Haley had just scanned a set of documents and sent them to the Network HQ via email. She had called ahead to the COO of the Network's NY HQ to let him know the documents were on their way.

Haley: I should have done this weeks ago.



Karmic Legacy/Network Suite.....

"Shouldn't we be doing more?" Young James Miller asked.

"No.....we must stay the course" Emissary replied.

"But look at him Emissary. He looks as if he's on death's doorstep."

"That he does.....But he must finish what he started. It's all part of Karma's grand design."

James let out a sigh. "I understand."

Emissary looked at the young man next to him and patted him on the shoulder. He was a good man who understood what had to be done. He was zealous in his beliefs. So much so that turning his back on his own father was never an issue for what he thought was right.

"Not to worry James. Just know that this is what Karma demands. When all is said and done. Her cards will fall as they should."

"I know but still....How far is he going to take this?"

"The question is not how far. The question is, does he possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far is as needed?"

James nodded in understanding then looked back to the montior.


Inside The Second Tier Cell.....

Scott pushed himself up off the cell floor and looked over to see Storm seated, leaning against the cell wall. He saw the shield he had fallen on and the other shield nearby. As he shook his head he was vaguely aware that his hated foe stood above him ready to compress his head flat as a pancake.....and then nothing. Now he stared long and hard at Jason who hadn't moved. His head was down and if Alan didn't know better he could swear he heard him talking to himself. Questions raced through the young man's head. Why had Storm not finished him off? Why was he not getting ready to defend himself? Was the man exhausted or was he not the devil Alan thought him to be?

No was the answer in his head. Be it mercy or exhaustion, Alan didn't care. What he had done to Eve was to much to forgive even if it was mercy that stayed Storm's hand from the final blow. Now on his hands and kness, Alan crawled towards Storm. As he drew closer he could hear Storm mumbling.

"When I raise my flashing sword, and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance upon mine enemies, and I will repay those who haze me. Oh, Lord, raise me to Thy right hand and count me among Thy saints."

Alan pushed himself upright and staggered a bit with a smirk of his own. How this man before him could ask God to count him amoung his saints was mere folly. He was going to show his former tag team partner that even God could not save him. He took another step closer to Storm and the man remained motionless still mumbling.

"Destroy all that which is evil.....So that which is good may flourish."

Despite the pain he was in, Alan almost laughed.

"Your prayers are about to get answered Storm because I'm going to destroy evil."

Scott reached out and grabbed Storm by the neck yanking him back to his feet. The Superstar Champion screamed in agony as every mucsle in his body rebelled against the most minor of movements. The scream almost caused Alan to release his hold but he held fast. With one huge burst of strength, Scott heaved Storm across the cell and sent him crashing into the far cage wall.

"I'm not sure why Storm chose not to hit Scott while he had the opening but he's paying for it now. Scott just tossed him into the side of the cell like a ragdoll!"

"It figures! Storm shows his rival mercy and this is how Good old "Honest" Alan repays him!"

"You don't know if that was mercy Hank."

"Ok maybe not but still.....Scott's a douche!"

"Stunning come back Hank. Scott is on the move as Storm tries to sit up."

As Alan closes the gap, He kicks The Superstar Champion in the ribs. At the moment his foot makes contact the buzzer sounds in the arena and the second trap door pops up. Below in the Bottom cell, The masked wrestlers have all but overcome the IKI members. As the trap door pops open they all look up giving one the impression of sharks waiting for thier meal to be dropped to them from above. Back up in the second cell, Alan turns to see the door open.

"The door is open and now they have two minutes to make it to the bottom cell or be trapped there for another 10 minutes."

"The best thing Storm could do now is knock Alan loopy and then get the hell out of dodge......IF there wasn't 12 people down there wearing Stranger X masks waiting to make mincmeat out of him. Tell me again how this is fair John?"

"You don't know that Hank. All we do know is that X made things right by turning the tide on Grayson's bogus attempt to change the match."

"Keep telling yourself that Johnny, I hope it helps you sleep better tonight."

With the door open, Scott made a move towards it but stopped. He could drop down and more then likely Faith would buzz the door and let him out. Of course there were outside factors to take into account. Although he was pretty sure who was under all those masks....What if they weren't who he expected? For all he knew they could be more IKI members. That wasn't the only issue either. The history of this event thus far had taught Alan one thing. That when things looked the darkest for Storm....somehow he pulled victory from the jaws of defeat. Hell, even before this tournament started He had done the same thing. While defending his Superstar championship Alan could recount half a dozen moments where he thought Storm was going to fail only to watch the man win. No, Now was not the time to rush for a victory.

Turning his attention back to Storm the plan came to him quickly. Take the next minute and take it to Storm hard. Then drop down into the bottom ring with only seconds left. The door would slam closed trapping Storm above and giving Alan 10 minutes to find victory should he find himself under attack below. It was a solid plan.

"I'm not sure why but for some reason Scott has opted not to head to the bottom cage. Instead he's going after Storm...probably to do more damage to the poor guy but more so because he's a prick." Hank said matter of factly.

"Or....maybe he's going to soften Storm up a little more and then exit at the last second to trap his foe. A good tactic if you aked me."

"First off, I didn't ask, and secondly, Good or not, It doesn't change the fact that Alan is a douche."

"Name calling is for those who lack intellegence to properly express themselves Hank."

".............whatever assclown."

"Exactly. Scott has Storm again by the neck and yanks him to his feet."

Storm could barely stand on his own power. Alan had to strain just to keep the man upright. As he held his former tag team partner up he looked into his face.

"It doesn't matter how much you pray Storm....No one is going to save you tonight. Now I'm going to end you."

With another toss, Scott sends Storm flying across the cage again. The Real Deal hits the wall hard and lays motionless. Alan staggers to the other side of the cage and again kicks the downed man in his stomach. With seconds ticking by, Alan pulls Storm back up again. Straining to keep him up, Alan backs up towards one of the shields laying on the cage floor. As he pulls Storm over to it he whispers into the man's ear.

"This ends now.....say goodbye to all of it."

"Scott hooks his arm around Storm's head! He's calling for a DDT on the shield! This is going to be all she wr....No! No Not yet! Storm fires off with a right hand into Scott's damaged ribcage! Another right!! And another!!"

"YES! YES! Don't Count him out yet Johnny boy!!"

"Another right hand to the ribs and Scott has to let him go! The X-Factor Champion staggers back! Storm tries to nail him with a kick! Scott Catches it and OH LORD! Enziguri by Storm LEVELS Scott!"

10 seconds to go before the trap door snaps shut. Scott flops forward on his face. Likewise Storm lands on his stomach and rolls over. 7 seconds and Storm rolls over the opening. Half his body hangs from the trap door. Alan looks up and tries to reach for Storm's ankle....But with only 2 seconds left, Storm's body slides through the opening and out of Scott's grasp.


"OH GOD! Storm just hit the ropes to the two rings and gets sprung into the air!"

Storm shot up off the ropes and landed akwardly in the ring to the left. All around his broken frame, the masked wrestlers closed in slowly from all sides. Two of the masked wrestlers in the ring already pulled thier masks off.

"Is that.....is that Omega and Carnage?"

"Your damn right it is John....You see...I told you...I told you!"

Two more of the masked wrestlers climbed into the ring. They pulled off the Stranger X masks to the pop of the crowd.

"Look! It's Aaron Action and Oh My God....Is that Eve Riley??"

"Go ahead John, Tell me how this isn't stacked against Storm!"

Hairy who had already been unmasked joined the crew in the ring. More masks came off to reveal Cian Maccormick, Battlestone, Michael Kasmir, Holly, and Chance. In fact....everyone unmasked so far had a score to settle with the man laying motionless in the ring. They all closed in and began to stomp away on Storm....with the last two remaining masked wrestlers climbing in the ring.

"Now Tell me John how this isn't a plot to screw Storm. Every person in that ring has a grude to settle with the man!"

"I'm not sure what to say Hank....I...."


As the all out assault continued, The last two masked wrestlers entered the ring. They both rushed the crowd of wrestlers stomping Storm into obliviion and then something truely amazing happened. Instead of attacking Storm they started shoved and pushing away the people assualting him. When they had pushed back everyone they ripped off thier masked to reavel themselves.

"Are you kidding me? That's Haley! That's Johnny Rude...and they're defending Storm of all people!?" John exclaimed in amazement.

Inside the ring, Bewildered looks went all around. Haley and Rude stood on either side of the man holding off the others who wanted nothing more then to rip Storm to peices. Eve was the first to speak up.

"What are you doing Haley? Get out of the way! He deserves this!!"

"I'm sorry babes...I can't....I have to do this no matter how sick it makes me feel."

On the other side, Rude stood his ground. Although he would do nothing to harm Alan Scott, With him now trapped high above, He felt it was his place to defend the man who had finally shown him a new path to take in life. In short, Unlike Haley who was under order to defend Storm, Rude felt defending Storm was the right thing to do.

"I can't believe what I'm seeing Hank. I think it's obvious why Haley is defending Storm but Rude? Who ever thought they'd see this day?"

"I don't care why...as long as they keep those other jerks at bay I'm good!"

At the timekeeper's table, Faith watched it all unfold and part of her felt a jolt of pain. Jason needed to be brought back to reality...But knowing the hell that could be unleashed on him at any second would lie soley on her bothered her inside greatly. She had smiled when she let them in and part of her knew it must be done.....But she also loved the man and seeing him now like this was taking it's toll. Her resolve was great. She would not wavier, But she was still human....and felt pain.

In the skybox above.....The man watched as Storm lay helpless on the mat with Rude and Haley holding the rest at bay.

"And I shall count thee among my favored sheep, and you shall have the protection of all the Angels in Heaven"

The man once known as Sabre in the wrestling world continued to watch. Faith had been sent to be the hammer. The Shepherd of Men had Sent Sabre aka Matthew Aldridge, The cousin of Jason Emerson to be his voice. Sabre, the long time apostale of Nighthawk made the sign of the cross and then turned away leaving the skybox.

In the ring, Storm's eyes flew open as it all came rushing in. The myesterious voice had spoken Irish Gaelic, The native tongue of his cousin and the Emerson clan. It had been Sabre all along. Unlike Brett & Jason, Matthew had been raised in Dublin. He had long since lost the accent but used it when it fit his needs. Now Storm understood why he had felt comfort in the words spoken to him throughout the night. He reached out his hand and touched Rude's leg. Rude looked down at him as Storm spoke.

"And I shall count thee among my favored sheep, and you shall have the protection of all the Angels in Heaven."

Rude looke down upon Storm and found a small smile before turning back to the ones who would do him harm while High above, Alan began to stomp on the trap door for all he was worth. He couldn't wait another 10 minutes to be free.


Stan Daniels
Stan Daniels

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Post  Stan Daniels on Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:42 pm


Alan: Stupid! Stupid stupid stupid Alan!

Alan Scott cursed himself as he threw every ounce of his weight and strength into breaking through the steel mesh trap door which separated him from Storm and the chance to win the King of The Cage. He had seen masks coming off beneath him and had spotted all manner of Federation X stars, including some of the participants of the King of The Cage who had already been eliminated. His heart had caught in his throat when he spotted Eve Riley though. The last thing he wanted was for her to be anywhere near Storm or the IKI!

Alan: Arghhhhhhhhhhh!

Alan shouted in rage and staggered away from the trap door. He had failed in his effort to force the latch to give way and grant him access to the final tier of the battle, but that didn’t mean he was giving up. He had come so far, and endured so much…….he would not stop. He COULD not stop. Alan dragged one of the large shields over to the trap door and started trying to wedge the edge under the lip of the steel door. The gap was just large enough for Alan to get it inserted, but he doubted whether it would work as a lever. More than likely the wood would release before the clasp on the door would.


Below Alan a lopsided standoff had been created. With eight members of the IKI all but incapacitated after their struggle against the masked wrestlers, the masks had all come off when Storm had made his escape into the final cage. Among the twelve remaining faces in the cage, only two of them stood in Storm’s defense against ten who would just as soon see him broken and battered. Haley Miller and Jonathon Wilson were all that stood between Storm and potentially the end of his career. The odds weren’t good, but they did have a few things going in their favor.

Eve Riley: I…..please……Haley…..just…..just….

Haley simply shook her head. She had made her decision….or rather the Board of Directors had made her decision for her. The rules of The Network forbade her from attacking another member of the stable outside of a match she was in, and those rules also protected Storm from Network members who entered the match as a lumberjack. Haley was there to make sure that the Board got their wish and the company’s rules were enforced. Which meant that Eve Riley couldn’t attack Storm either, regardless of how angry she was.

Eve: I……can’t fight you Haley.

The young girl let her shoulders slump and was immediately consoled by Chance. The Star of The Show and her uncle had already had their fair share of infamous conflicts, so being blocked from having one more didn’t seem to be a major problem for her. She slowly backed Eve away from the confrontation trying to console her friend, who was emotional at finding herself at odds with Haley more than anything. That all ended though when another voice broke the momentary silence.

Michael Kashmir: Well I sure can!

Kashmir stepped into the small space between the two groups and threw one hell of a haymaker, catching Haley in the jaw and sending her crashing to the canvas. Rude’s eyes grew wide as he saw it happen, but before he could react Eve and Chance had already nailed Kashmir with a double dropkick. It wasn’t that they were defending Storm, so much as it was that they were protecting the other HOT Girl. That didn’t seem to matter though, as it sparked off an eruption of violence that began with Cian slamming into Rude and spearing him backwards over top of Storm’s prone body. Aaron Action smiled and started towards Storm, but Holly decided to be her typical controversial self and she caught Aaron with a superkick just under his third chin.

Violence and action erupted in the rings below Alan, and the crowd watched in rapt amazement as the lumberjacks struggled with each other. It was like Kashmir had been the spark that landed on the powder keg. Some of the IKI initiates even recovered enough to inject themselves into the battles that were going on all around them. The crowd roared as two of them suplexed Battlestone over the middle of the double ring, and groaned as they watched Eve suffer a powerbomb at the hands of Kashmir. Rude was on top of Cian and trying desperately to disengage, but Wrassle’s sole participant in the match simply refused to let him.

John Paragon: This is getting out of control folks, and Faith just signaled to me that the buzzer is about to sound! It’s been almost twenty minutes since the fight in the bottom cage started and we’re about to witness the first opportunity for one of the participants to escape from the cage!

Hank Proctner: Well unless somebody does something to help Storm out, I don’t see how that’s going to happen. This whole damn thing has been rigged against him anyways! It’s a farce!

Paragon: Well you might just get your wish, because it looks like three members of the IKI have fought their way into the ring where he was still lying in obvious agony, and cradling his body, and it looks like they have a plan.

Proctner: The plan better be to make sure karma happens and Storm wins!

Paragon: How exactly do you MAKE karma happen Hank?

Proctner: You trap Alan Scott on the second tier……that’s how! And don’t you get on your horse about that again either! The IKI is only in there to protect Storm from the way the Powerbase have been working to rig this match against him!

Paragon: Uh huh.

Proctner: It’s true! I can hear Nathan telling them that even as we speak!

Paragon: I guess they’re just still confused by the directions Grayson was giving them?

Proctner: Exactly!


When the buzzer sounded, it drowned out the sound of the second wood shield splintering. Alan cursed under his breath and then quickly started to throw the debris away from the trap door. He was starting to shake his head back and forth in desperation, his mouth constantly repeating the words ‘not again, not again.’ Alan afforded himself a moment to look down and see what was going on beneath him in the final chamber. Two IKI thugs were slowly trying to rouse Storm to his feet, while a few of the wrestlers were doing their best to make sure that that didn’t happen. One thing was glaringly obvious to Alan though;

Geno wasn’t there.

Cry or scream. Those were Alan’s options and a mixture of pain and fear washed over his body. Betrayed by his best friend in the world, he was now helpless to stop Storm from taking the prize from him. He had come so close……given it everything that he had, and yet he was going to come up short. The door wouldn’t stay open for long, but it didn’t need to. Just long enough for Storm to get through it. Alan slowly shook his head. He couldn’t believe it was going to happen again.

It was all going to be taken from him again!


Alan straddled the trap door and reached down. He laced his fingers into it, ignoring the way that the rough edges of the steel bit into his flesh. He was desperate. On too many occasions he had allowed a little bit of pain, or a little bit of suffering to be the hurdle that kept him from the prize.

Alan: Not again. Not this time!

Blood began to flow openly from small abrasions in his skin, but Alan didn’t care. The muscles in his legs and his back strained until they felt like they were on fire, and through it all the injuries to his ribs stabbed at his lungs and kept him from getting the kind of breath that he needed. He looked skyward and let out a roar of agony as he strained with every fibre of his being, trying desperately to pull the door free of its mooring.

And then he collapsed…..

He could not do it.

Alan looked down, and watched helplessly as four IKI thugs formed a barricade and cleared a path for Storm towards the door.


Proctner: Three more steps! It’S OVER! Storm is going to be our King of The Cage John!

Paragon: Well…..I’m not as excited about it as you are Hank…..but as he staggers towards that door I don’t see how anyone can stop him…..wait a minute! A man just came out of the crowd! He just came out of the crowd and dove through the doorway, causing a major pileup! Storm’s on the bottom of that pile…..along with the IKI and……I can’t see……Hank……who was that?

The buzzer sounded, and the door swung shut, closing only inches from where seven bodies were struggling to gain control and assert themselves. Finally the man who had just stopped Storm from escaping rose to his feet.

Proctner: That’s…..that’s….



...Watching from the rafters above, a man in a lumberjack uniform and Stranger X mask shook his head as he watched what appeared to be Alan Scott giving up hope. It's as though he's resigned himself to failure, and is now merely accepting of failure's supremacy over him. This is not the Alan Scott he knows. Somewhere in there burns the desire that has taken him to these great heights in such a short career. It's time to bring it out of him...


Proctner: Three more steps! It’S OVER! Storm is going to be our King of The Cage John!

Paragon: Well…..I’m not as excited about it as you are Hank…..but as he staggers towards that door I don’t see how anyone can stop him…..wait a minute! A man just came out of the crowd! He just came out of the crowd and dove through the doorway, causing a major pileup! Storm’s on the bottom of that pile…..along with the IKI and……I can’t see……Hank……who was that?

The buzzer sounded, and the door swung shut, closing only inches from where seven bodies were struggling to gain control and assert themselves. Finally the man who had just stopped Storm from escaping rose to his feet.

Proctner: That’s…..that’s….



...A perfect diversion, and time to swing into action. While the attention of the fans and competitors alike are focused on Storm's failed attempt to claim victory, a figure in a dark costume with a black bag hanging from his shoulders slowly descends from above, landing gently atop the massive structure and dropping through the trap door down to the middle tier where Alan Scott lays broken and beaten...

"Alan...get the hell up off your ass and finish this!"

...Confused, Alan starts to look around for the voice. As he tries to place it, he is suddenly grabbed by a pair of hands and lifted up to his knees. The man in the X mask leans in closely and speaks to him...

"Alan, you need to stop blaming yourself for everything. You alone were not responsible for our failures. How do you think you got this far? By failing? Alan, these are businessmen - if you were a failure, you would be back in Mexico..."

...Flashbacks of the beyond difficult beginnings of his professional wrestling career flooded Alan's thoughts as he tried to focus his eyes to pick up some clue as to who the masked man was...

"That's right Alan, these men believe in you, whether you realize it or not. Your biggest fault in your life has been taking the entire weight of the world onto your shoulders, and then collapsing when you fail to rise up to impossible expectations that no man could reach. The fact that you believe you SHOULD be able to accomplish everything should tell you enough about that giant heart beating inside your chest."

...Alan's eyes gradually grow larger as it begins to dawn on him who the masked figure is...

"Layne...is that you? Is it really you?"

...With his right hand, the mask is slowly lifted over the man's head and Alan's suspicions are confirmed even before Layne Flack's flowing brown locks dispel across his shoulders...


"Who the hell is that guy?" asks Hank Proctner.

"That guy is the man who stood side by side with Alan Scott when he first arrived on the professional wrestling circuit," answered John Paragon. "That guy is Layne Flack...the other half of the New Breed. These two were a sight to see when they were together..."

...Paragon goes on to extol the virtues of what was once the brightest up and coming tag team in wrestling history before Layne's career was derailed by a devastating injury, forcing Alan to follow his current path. Meanwhile, back in the middle tier of the Tower...


"Did you think I would miss the biggest night of your professional career?" responded Flack. "I've been trying to get a hold of you for weeks, ever since you started thinking of yourself as a failure. Enough of that B.S. You got this match for a reason, and now it's time you get back in it and show Storm and everyone else exactly why you belong sharing a stage with them!"

...After helping Alan back to his feet, Layne reaches for his bag and reveals a giant set of bolt cutters, and quickly chews enough of the trap door away so that Alan Scott can slip through rather than wait any longer for the timer to go off. Alan drops down, catches sight of the melee that has been going on beneath him for the last few minutes, and resolves himself to get back into the fight...


Alan’s legs landed on the canvas and the weight of the drop threatened to buckle him at his knee. He gritted his teeth and pushed past the pain, adrenaline surging through his body in a way that it had not done during the entire match. Alan looked up and saw Layne smiling down at him. He blinked and then looked away, spying his cousin going one on four with members of the Instant Karma Initiative. All three men who had had worn tights which read ‘NEW BREED’ on them were standing inside the Tower of Doom together in that one moment in time. Alan unconsciously fingered the small tattoo over his left breast in memoriam to Kyp.

Alan Scott: All four of us Kyp, all four of us.

When Genocide had turned on him earlier in the night Alan had never felt so isolated and alone, so utterly hopeless. Layne and Ryan changed that. He should have known, should never have doubted that they were there for him. That they believed in him. For the briefest of moments he drew in a deep breath and squared his shoulders. Layne Flack believed that he could do it. Ryan was prepared to fight the IKI alone because he believed in his cousin. The smile spread from corner to corner of his mouth. Adrenaline started pumping through his veins and Alan started rolling his neck as though he was just getting started in a match.

As one of the IKI goons grabbed hold of Ryan and slammed him into the cage, the Royal one slammed a fist into his throat and cut off his airflow. The man stumbled away, but two of his cohorts replaced him, pummeling the audacious Scott into the cage wall. Ryan started to sink down, slowly heading towards the floor. Alan grabbed hold of the ropes and pulled himself into the air before landing briefly on the top ropes and launching himself in a high trajectory.

John Paragon: Alan Scott with a bodypress into the two men who are battling his cousin! They all go down in a heap against the side of the cage……but Alan just fights his way back up! He’s shoving men out of the way….he’s……now Ryan’s up!


Paragon ignored his broadcast partner.

Paragon: We haven’t seen this in almost a year folks, but Ryan and Alan Scott are fighting back to back against any and all comers! They’re outnumbered…….no wait…..Battlestone just joined the fight! And Kashmir’s there!

Proctner: Faith still won’t sound that buzzer and let her husband take the win he’s earned! That’s what’s wrong with this world……wives just don’t know their place anymore!

Paragon: Do you want to tell Faith that?

Proctner: Sure…………..but maybe not right this minute.

Paragon: I thought not.

The battle in the double wide cage raged on and on. Ryan and Alan got separated as Ryan ended up getting jumped by Holly while an IKI thug drove a knee into his ribs. He went down in a sea of body parts, leaving Alan wading through flying fists from Hairy, Battlestone and a number of the IKI. Alan just deflected and dodged though. He didn’t want them. He wanted….

Storm: Scoooooooott!

Alan heard his name and turned to stare incredulously at the battered and broken man that was barely in a vertical position in one of the two rings. He held up his hands in an effort to get everyone to quiet, but it didn’t matter. The crowd were amped much to high to stop screaming, and Alan could hear him anyways; there were mics everywhere. Storm gestured all around at the chaos, and Alan’s eyes followed the gesture. Aaron Action and Cian MacCormack were slamming each other into the cage wall, while Rude was fending off an attack by Chance. It was the same everywhere that Alan looked.

Storm: Is this what……..*arghh*…..you want?

Alan shook his head. All he wanted was Storm. The rest of it was all just window dressing.

Storm: You………..*ungh*…..and me………one……….*ungh*…..on one. Let…..let…..karma……decide.

Alan slowly nodded his head, and as he started to take steps towards the ring apron, the head nodding got larger and larger until it was emphatic. He slid under the bottom rope and stood up only four feet from where Storm was. Alan wasted no time in gesturing that Storm should ‘come get some’ but Storm shook his head. He wasn’t quite ready for that yet.

Storm: Faith……love……get the rest…..*arghhh*………..get them out.

A loud and prolonged jeer rose up from the crowd, who were enjoying the scrum in the cage, but Alan turned and nodded his head in the directed of Faith. He gave her a couple of gestures to make sure he was being clear. The time had come. Alan Scott v Jason Storm with no distractions. Just two men going one on one for the biggest prizes in professional wrestling. Faith stared back at both men, her features unflinching as she weighed what was being said.

The buzzer suddenly sounded and the magnetic lock allowed the exit door to swing open. Nobody moved. Storm turned and shouted one word at Nathan, and suddenly the man was scrambling around the cage barking at members of the IKI. It was clear that they were being ordered out of the cage. After a few moments, when most of them were gone, Alan looked over at Ryan and nodded his head. The Royal One immediately started shouting at wrestlers to get out of the cage as well. There was some pushing and certainly a few pot shots were taken as the process took place, but in a little under two minutes, the cage was empty of everyone except Alan and Storm.

The door swung shut and locked into place.

Paragon: Well folks…..this is what we’ve all been waiting for. At the start of the tournament these two men were promising anyone who would listen that they wanted each other in the ring…..and they’re about to get what they asked for.

Proctner: …..Action……….Scott………Flack………Nathan………

Paragon turned and frowned at his broadcast partner as Alan circled Storm in the ring.

Paragon: Would you care to tell me what you’re doing?

Proctner: I’m…..counting.

Paragon: I can see that. Why?

Proctner: One second……Holly………Kashmir…………….Battlestone………….is that…….that’s it.

Paragon: What’s it?

Proctner: I’m done. I counted. 21 people left the ring, including Flack who carved his way out of the second cage after he helped Alan. The cheater.

Paragon: Right so can we get back to the………wait a minute. Did you say twenty-one?

Proctner: Sure, why?

John Paragon stood up and immediately started sweeping his eyes over the collection of wrestlers and Instant Karma Initiative members who had exited the ring at the behest of the combatants. His eyes scanned the collection with the accuracy and speed that only a body powered by super-neutrinos could ever achieved. Paragon then turned and looked at Proctner.

Paragon: Hank………what happened to Haley?

Inside the ring Alan studied the man standing a few feet away from him as they circled each other. Each step forced Alan to take smaller and smaller breaths, but he pushed that out of his mind. He refused to give in to despair. His body would do what it was told to do. It was his moment…….his time. Storm feinted and Alan recoiled, but he noticed that Storm’s feint had included a little extra blood on his shirt. The stitches.

Alan moved to lock up and at the last second pulled back and planted a kick right into the same spot the blood appeared to be coming from. Storm let out a shout of pain and collapsed to a knee, allowing Alan to catch him with an overhand left that knocked the Superstar Champion to the ground. Alan quickly threw three more kicks right to the abdomen, and watched Storm squirm in agony from each one. He had the man at his mercy.

The same man who had hesitated when Alan lay in ruins.

Alan paused and looked at Storm lying in front of him. Was it possible that Alan had misjudged him? Had not seen the good in what he was trying to do?

Alan: Fuck that!

Alan started stomping and kicking again. Each effort took a little something out of him, but it took more out of Storm. Alan didn’t relent. He didn’t let up. Storm had tortured and attacked people that he cared about! Storm had injured Eve and put her in the hospital! Storm had lied and cheated and betrayed people! He did not deserve Alan’s pity. What he deserved was pain.

Alan dropped to his knees and started throwing right after left into Storm’s face. Six punches in it started to look just like Alan’s bloody mess. The crowd was drinking it up. Alan rose to his feet and pulled Storm up after him. The effort caused him to cough and bite his tongue in pain, but Alan didn’t care. It was right there in front of him, and he couldn’t let it go. He had been chasing this dream since he was a little boy.

Haley: Alan.

Alan heard her voice and froze.

He turned around and saw her standing in the ring.

Haley: Alan, I’m sorry……..

Alan’s attention was only turned for a split second, but Storm made the most of it. He lunged forward and slammed his elbow into the back of Alan’s head.

For Alan…..things went black.


"Thank God For Haley" Shouted Hank.

"You mean thank god Storm is part of the Network or THAT would have never happened."

"You're wrong John.....Karma would have made it happen."

In the ring, Scott went down face first from the elbow shot to the back of the head. In his seriously dazed and confused condition, Storm had no idea Haley was still in the ring or behind Alan. Now as he wobbled just to stay upright he looked up through a crimson haze from the blood in his eyes. He could barely tell who it was in front of him. The only thing for sure was he knew it was a woman.


"In your dreams Stormy."

If Jason had it left in him he might have smiled. How fitting was it that now, on the cusp of it all being over, The first person he had to get by was now inside the cage with him in the final moments. Storm staggered forward and fell to his knees just in front of Haley.

"Get.....Get out."

"Sorry Stormy, No can do. Executive order."

"Get out....now......or say.....goodbye.....to your Network."

"You woul..."


Through a face twisted in pain and hair matted with his own blood, Storm looked over to his wife and she pushed the button again. The door flung open and Haley made her way to the door. She didn't want to go against an executive order but she also knew Storm had the power to dismantle all she had worked for. With one last hesitation, Haley stepped out as the door slammed shut once more. Jason reached out and grabbed the ropes in front of him Pulling with what little he had left. He managed to get to a half standing half leaning position and turned around to see Scott trying to get back up.

"That was a bad move" Hank said in an unusally calm voice.

"Why Hank? I thought he had this in the bag remember? Why would he need Haley's help?"

"I guess he doesn't."

Back in the cage, the only thing keeping Storm upright was the ropes he leaned on. Scott was back to a knee. He looked up at Storm and then used the ropes next to him for support. He pulled himself up and winced as the pain in his ribs shot just under his skin like an icy blade. When he was upright, He let go of the rope and looked at Storm.

"Just......Just you......and me kid.......the way.....it ought to be."

Alan looked around and realized Storm wasn't lying. Haley was now outside the cage. The wrestlers and IKI members alike had left ringside and gone to the back. With her job done, Haley did the same and took off up the ramp. In fact, the only people left outside the cage were Nathan, Faith, Cronkier, and the Announce team. Even Layne had gone from sight, perhaps back up into the rafters. Scott turned back to Storm content in the fact that this would finish the way it should have started. One on one.

With the feeling of victory swelling in his chest. Scott took the first step and clotheslined Storm from one ring to the other. He leaned on the ropes looking down on Storm. He placed one foot through the ropes to follow but then thought about it for a second. In the condition Storm was in it was likely he couldn't stop him now and victory was only 30 feet away. There was no reason for Faith not to open the door either. Alan looked back down at Jason and it all became clear. Grabbing the top rope, He used them to slingshot himself into the other ring driving both his knees into The Superstar Champions wounded stomach. The move however would not come without a price.

"Scott with an amazing slingshot between the two rings as he lands both knees in the wounded gut of Storm."

"Yeah, it was amazing alright and stupid. Scott is holding his own ribs. The impact must have given him one hell of a jar when he hit."

"Yes, Scott did hurt himself but he's using the ropes again to get up."

Hunched over from the pain in his ribs, Alan slid his hand along the rope and headed for the corner. The crowd began to come alive thinking some high risk move might come next. Instead, Alan worked his way through the ropes and gingerly dropped to the apron, then to the floor.

"This is it! Watch right here and now as Alan leaves the cage and becomes King assuming Faith pushes that button!"

At this point, several things happened at once. Alan staggered towards the door. Faith smiled at him as she raised her hand to hit the button that would free Alan and give him victory. In the far ring, Storm pulled himself up and looked out of the cell with blood running from his lower lip. Nathan looked over towards Faith and nodded his head......and as for John Paragon, he found himself Sans partner.

"Can you believe this Hank? Hank? OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING HANK?!?!"

Faith heard John shout and turned around just in time to catch a crowbar across the top of the head from none other then Hank Proctor himself. She slummed over and fell to the floor leaving the button to the cage unpushed. John watched with his jaw hanging open as Nathan nodded to Hank. Hank returned the nod with a bow and then opened his sportcoat to reveal his new IKI shirt.


Hank got up and went to remove his headset when something else drew his attention. Storm had pulled himself back up and was all but falling all over the ring trying to get to the outside. He was also screaming his wife's name over and over again.

"FAITH.............FAITH............*coughing up a huge clot of blood*......FAAAAITH!"

Scott was so confused by what had just gone down he wasn't sure what to do. He saw Storm spill through the ropes to the floor and Start to pull himself up. Assuming he was about to come under attack he got ready. Suddenly the door behind him buzzed and Slammed open. He tried to turn around defend himself but Nathan literally exploded forward and sent Scott spinning head over heels. Outside by the release button, Hank was clapping his approval.

"I....I don't know what to say. Apparently my broadcast partner really did drink the kool aid and now it looks as if Karmic Legacy and the IKI have screwed over Alan Scott."

In the cage, Nathan walked past the downed body of Scott and over to Storm. He pulled Jason up to his feet and the Co-Leader of Karmic Legacy grimaced

"Nathan...No.....not suppose.....to be....this way."

"Actually Jason....it is....because Karma demands it be that way."

Then to the shock of everyone watching, Nathan raised his knee into Storm's gut.


Nathan flippped Storm over his shoulder and then rammed him upside down and face first into the side of the steel cage. Then without missing a beat he pivoted on his left foot and drove Storm down to the floor in the exact same manner. With his work done, Nathan stood and looked down upon Storm. With a half smile, He stepped over Storm and then walked past Alan who had sat back up just in time to see Nathan take out his leader. Another step and he was outside the door as it slammed shut once again. With a single nod to Hank, The Color man took his crowbar and smashed the trigger release making it useless.

"I can't believe what we just saw. Have Karmic Legacy and the IKI just turned thier backs to thier co-leader?"


In the Karmic Legacy Suite Emissary had to hold James back with an arm around his neck.

"Let me go damn it!! Nathan turned his back on us!! We have to save Jason!!"

"No James.....no....This had to be done for the good of Karmic Legacy and the IKI. Trust me.....This has to be done to save Jason.."

"But I don't....I mean...How can we....."

"Listen James....Just listen...Nathan will explain it all...and then you will understand. Nathan will explain it all."


As if he had heard the questionof both John and James, Nathan held his hand out as Hank tossed him a mic. With his role in this story done, Hank rushed back over to sit next to John.

"I should Rip you apart for what you did."

"Shut up and listen John.....just shut up and listen."

"I'm sorry it had to come to this Storm but we all knew Karma demanded a debt be paid tonight....Only thing is we never said it was going to be Alan Scott who paid that debt. You have sinned to punish sinners Jason. it is part of what had to be done. We all understand that. Karma took her debts for your sins. Your wife attacking you, Cian stabbing you. All forms or repayment....and while you have been successful in humbling those who sin, in collecting debt....You have become a sinner yourself. No longer do you fight for Karma or for us. You've been fighting for yourself."

"When Haley was humbled you said Karmic Legacy did it. When you Humbled Cian, You gave us all credit, But when you humbled Rude, You said it was all your doing. Somewhere along the line you forgot the cause and started to only think of yourself. At some point you allowed the sin of Pride to guide your path. You have lost your way brother, and this is the only way to get you back on course. This is not how we wanted it Jason....But you made it be this way. You showed Mercy to Alan, You fought with half the heart of which you are capable, and the worst part sir....is that you put your wife above all else. You failed the biggest test of all."

"Did I not tell you that our mistress comes first? Did I not tell you Faith had a price to pay? Did I not tell you to do what must be done? And yet you care so much for this sinner you would foresaken your beliefs and call to her with tears in your eyes rather then humble Alan Scott?"

"This is why tonight, Karma absolves Alan of his debt placing it squarely on your shoulders Jason. You will not only pay what Scott owes Karma, But you will pay for your sins as well. Only then can you be cleansed, Only after you pay can we begin anew.

"I'm truely sorry it came to this Jason but you brought this on yourself. When you have purged your sins, We'll await you with open arms brothers. Now I leave you to pay the debts owed."

Nathan dropped the mic and then turned his back to the cage. He walked up the ramp and never once looked back. Inside the cage, Alan Scott was in a state of shock to what he had just witnessed. Out at the announce table, Hank was all smiles till John Grabbed him by the throat and slammed him on the table.

"You son of a bitch!! How could you??"

"I could John.....because I Believe...because NATHAN! THE TRUE LEADER OF KARMIC LEGACY TOLD ME TOO!!!'

"True leader? What the hell are you talking about?"

"You Can't see for yourself? That is why you are blind John....but not me...I know who's been pulling the strings all along because I'm smart.....I pay attention.....if you paid attention you'd know that our leader Nathan is the true way of Karma!"

In the back of the crowd hidden in shadows, Sabre watched and nodded. The Shepherd had told him what was coming to pass and it had unfolded exactly how he said it was. His cousin had risen to a great height with Karmic Legacy, A height he hadn't been to in many years....but like all men who rise to far to fast, There always comes a great fall. There was nothing left to do here and it was time to leave. From here on out it would be Scott and Storm. One would find the way to win, the other would fail. it was a simple as that.



Haley scooped up the headset that was lying on the table beside John Paragon and pulled it on. She flashed an intense look at the retired super-hero and blurted a question that made it clear that she had no more time to give waiting for answers.

Haley: They can patch me through to the Megasuite like a switchboard on this thing right?

Paragon nodded his head and Haley immediately went into instruction mode. Three seconds ago Nathan had betrayed Storm, a move which he considered tactical, necessary and cunning. Haley, the sharpest business mind in the wrestling world considered it something else; an opportunity. It took her almost four more seconds to convince the production team in the tech booth to patch her through to the Megasuite, and two more seconds before she heard her husbands voice answer the phone.

Genocide: Netw….

She cut him off.

Haley: Tell me you have them on the phone. Tell me they saw what just happened.

Geno: Yeah, they’re on the cell phone right now. I’m just waiting for somebody to give me an answer. One second honey……they’re arguing about it. I can hear them debating the technical terms of tha contract you signed…..

Haley: No! No more waiting! He’s walking away Geno…..walking away…..

Geno: Just one second Haley.................Yeah?........OK........Perfect!

Haley heard Geno direct the comment excitedly into the other phone and then hang up. A second later he was back on the line with her.

Geno: We’re clear. You can take them down!

The Instant Karma Initiative followed Nathan as he marched proudly through the curtains and into the back, but they hadn’t been gone for a second when Haley brought her fingers to her mouth and whisteled for the attention of the other wrestlers at ringside. What she really wanted was the attention of Chance and Eve. As soon as she got it she pointed up the ramp.

Haley: They’re all ours now girls……they just quit the Network!

Haley, Chance and Eve took off running, and a few of the non Network members actually fell in behind them, enticed by the idea of getting a little bit of payback on the douchebags who had just had the audacity to upstage the biggest match in the company’s history. The ringside area cleared out in a big hurry, though the X-Tron came to life just in time to catch Nathan rounding the corner to leave the staging area…..

……and getting a mouthful of Geno!


Hank Proctner: I don’t know what everyone’s so upset about John……it’s just karma.

John Paragon didn’t answer his broadcast partner. At that moment it was taking everything that he had not to hurt the man. His allegiance to the twisted organization wasn’t just some random act of heat generation, it was support for a group of people who were actively injuring and hurting company employees. In John’s eyes it was treason against the company. So instead he focused his attention on the ring, where Alan Scott had managed to pull himself into a standing position and was kicking away at the locked cage door.

Faith was down, and still unconscious, but even that wasn’t the point any longer. The point was that the switch to open the door was broken, and that meant that Alan and Storm were stuck in the ring together until the gate opened automatically. Another thirteen minutes away. Alan kicked the gate for the fourth time, but it didn’t yield. He backed off, and held his rib in place to ease the pain of breathing as he lined it up for another kick. As he looked up towards the gate though, he saw Layne and Ryan standing staring at him. He could almost read it on their faces. He turned slowly and looked at Storm, who was bleeding profusely, and trying to pull himself off the floor. It was like time was slowing down for Alan, and he could hear his heart beating louder and louder.

He looked back at Ryan and Layne and they both nodded at him.

It was time!

As Storm rose up, using the ring apron as his brace, Alan moved in behind him and shoved him into the ring under the bottom rope. Storm rolled twice and then came to rest on his back. His breathing was shallow, but as the full enormity of what had just happened sank in, adrenaline began to pump through his system. Alan rushed up the ring steps and then grabbed the ropes and leapt up onto the top rope, slingshotting himself into the air. Storm blinked twice when he saw the shadow, and then registered what it was. He rolled once in an effort to escape Alan’s flying legdrop, but all that meant was that it caught the back of his neck instead of the front.

Storm’s face was smashed into the canvas.

Instead of taking what little fight was left in the Superstar Champion, the pain was released at the exact same moment as Storm’s adrenaline started to kick in. He had been betrayed! His wife had been attacked! The pain awoke his senses, and pushed him through agony and out the other side. Tomorrow, or the next day he would curse his body for making him believe it could go on, but in that moment he felt…….unbreakable. Alan moved to his feet with all of the agility that he had left, but he was surprised to see Storm matching his speed.

For Storm, it was a simple case of Alan Scott being the man that stood between him and the safety of his wife. He let out a guttural roar and slammed a fist into the side of Alan’s face, driving him back into the ropes with the second one which landed a split second later. The third one made the lighting spin for Alan, and Storm grabbed him and whipped him across the ring. The effort stretched out Storm’s abdomen and caused him to stagger onto a knee, but he bit into his own lip and embraced the pain as Alan rebounded at him. Storm lunged back to his feet and caught Alan with a diving clothesline that elicited a loud reaction from the crowd as it caused Alan to spin over one hundred and eighty degress in the air.

Storm slapped the canvas as he came to rest on his knees, as fired up as he had been in the entire match. He had a small window, although he wasn’t thinking clearly enough to know it. His body would run out of adrenaline soon, and when it did, he would crash.....and crash hard. Perhaps worse than ever before. He had never put his body through so much in such a short period of time! He needed to act while he still could. He grabbed Alan by the back of his head and pulled him off the canvas, while also throwing his own momentum forward and slamming a forearm into Alan’s head. The move was less effective than at other times because the coating of blood on Alan’s face caused much of the impact to reflect.

Alan had no option. Storm was in a frenzy and battering him relentlessly. With his near hand he reached out and drove his thumb into Storm’s wounds with all of the pressure he could muster. Storm screamed and recoiled, the agony overcoming the adrenaline in that moment. Alan rolled away, but when he came to rest on his knees he found Storm was already recovering. Alan could hardly believe the man could walk, let alone continue to fight in his condition, but somehow the pain seemed to be focusing him. He was getting…..more dangerous.

Alan could see the veins popping in Storm’s neck and his eyes almost seemed to have glazed over as he lunged at the X-Factor Champion again. Alan barely got up a hand to protect his head and drove a shoulder forward into Storm’s abdomen to break up the attack. Storm recoiled in agony, and Alan took short, painful gasps as he tried to refill his lungs with air. How in the hell was the man still fighting? It didn’t matter. Alan had waited his whole life. He would not be denied. It was his moment.


Alan surged up to his feet, ignoring the way that his body screamed at him and it felt like a small bomb was going off in his chest. He caught Storm trying to fight through another wave of agony that was ripping through his body. He shoved Storm back into the ropes and then whipped him across the ring. Alan lowered himself and braced. He would hit the spear…..crush his shoulder into Storm’s wounds for all he was worth…..and take the victory he had waited his entire life for.

And then it happened.

Storm hit the far ropes and stumbled as he came off of them. The stumbled became exaggerated, and Storm made no obvious effort to correct it or protect himself as he went face first into the canvas. Alan froze, and waited……but Storm didn’t move.

Ten seconds passed.

Then twenty.

Finally Alan Scott moved over and crouched down. It took him a second, but he rolled Storm over. Alan stared, his eyes growing wide in panic. He started waving frantically, and motioning without even looking over his shoulder.

The mics at ringside only picked up three words;



Stan Daniels
Stan Daniels

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