Part 5: The Sword of Crushing
Boy, this has been one rotten day.
When we reformed the Four Horsemen of the Schmoedown and headed over with our Horsemen army to demand that Finstock release the grip on the Movie Trivia Schmoedown, I had no idea that I would wind up as, perhaps, the sole survivor of our group and taken away by the poltergeist version of mark Reilly to a strange, possibly magical white cave.
It was a confusing time in my life. This was way worse than the first time I joined the Horsemen.
“Hell-oooo,” I said, as the echo cascaded through the cavernous landscape. “Anyone here? Growl, growl?”
Growl, growl, the echo restated.
“Huh, now what?”
As if on cue, the Mark Reilly ghost reappeared in the cave, floating about the ground.
“Ah good,” I said, “I was hoping you would come back. Question. Are you a Force ghost Reilly or a Casper the Friendly Ghost Reilly?”
“Beast, you must be prepared for what is next,” groaned the spirit.
“Prepared? Yes, that would have been a good idea. Say… how long has Ken Napzok been able to use the dark side of the Force like the Emperor and how long has Donica been able to use slices from the wheel like ninja stars?”
“Are either of those important? Do we need to waste time on revealing unimportant back stories?”
“I’m just sayin’, someone will be complaining about plot holes,” I said. “You know what the Internet is like.”
“You are here, William Bibbiani, to be the Beast once more. Only you can put what is wrong, right again.”
“How am I supposed to do that?” I asked as Reilly caught my interest.
“Everything went wrong in the past… and that is where the fix needs to go.”
“Time travel? That never works right,” I said.
“And yet, it is the only hope. The Schmoedown will never survive the slaughter that Finstock committed. He over-estimated his ability to get away with his evil plans. When he had android Reilly kill your partner, Seibold…”
“Yes, do you think he just deserted you? Once, at the time, Tom Dagnino got away with that, the power went to his head. However, the slaughter at Collider could not be covered and would result in his jailing.”
“Yay!” I said.
“For the murder of most of your group of Horsemen,” Reilly continued.
“Oh… yeah…not yay.”
“The scandal would forever taint the brand of the Schmoedown, ending it once and for all.”
“Dark,” I said. “So what do I do?”
“I have brought you to the Cave of Light so you can stand before the judgment. She will determine if you truly are the one to save the Schmoedown,” said Reilly.
“Her? Her who?”
“It is I, William Bibbiani,” said the female voice. The cave filled with an illumination unlike anything I have ever seen. The brightness forced me to turn my remaining eye away in hopes of preventing any further damage. I knew immediately whose voice was speaking.
“Yes, Beast, it is I. I have watched with great sadness as the Schmoedown collapsed around Tom Dagnino, and how the heroes tried to stage a return. I grieve for my fellow Fyffe Club members.”
“What can I do?” I asked.
Rachel held out her hand, and slammed her second hand into it, rubbing them together. She was still “The Crusher.”
“That really is your gimmick,” I said.
But she was not finished. Pulling her hands apart, a silver bladed sword formed between her hands.
“This is the Sword of Crushing,” she said, “and if you are the one to help try to save the Schmoedown, you will be able to wield this weapon. If not, it will disintegrate in your hands.”
“Ah, no pressure.”
I reached out to take the sword from the hands of the glowing beacon of goodness that was Rachel Cushing and I had only one thought… growl, growl.
The sword was in my hand!
“Excellent!” she said. “Now, you must prepare yourself for the training.”
Three Years Later
“You are ready, Beast, to head to the past and save the Schmoedown,” said Rachel.
“I should hope so. Been here a long time. Look at the grey in my hair. I look like Reed Richards,” I said.
“Time does not matter here. A minute is like a year.”
“Yeah, I got it,” I said.
“Sadly, there is only limited amount of power from the Sword of Crushing in the real world. Once it is done, you will be pulled back here.”
“Do you remember the plan?”
“Yes, Crusher, I do,” I said, yelling out for ghost Reilly. Once he appeared before me, I held out the sword and his essence was sucked into the blade.
“Good luck, Beast. My time be with you.”
I plunged the sword into the ground at my feet and the white smoke billowed around me. Suddenly, I arrived at the Collider studios with a whoosh. This was my first stop.
In the back room, the dead body of Mark Reilly had been covered. When I burst from his chest, they waited until after taping was done to call anyone. I know… kind of dark for these guys. But it gave me a chance. Removing the cover, I plunged the Sword of Crushing into the wound in Mark Reilly’s chest. The essence from the sword came from the blade, back into the corpse of the former Movie Trivia Champion.
Reilly sat up quickly, gasping for air and coughing up junk from his lungs (probably remnants of my alien form). Before he realized that I had a sword in his chest, I pulled it free and hid behind the couch.
“Ugh… that’s the last time I eat across the street,” said Reilly.
One down. One to go. I plunge the Sword of Crushing into the ground again and I am tossed through time and space in a puff of smoke, landing directly within an interview segment of the Lion’s Den with Jenn Sterger.
“Aaahhh,” I yelled, landing in their segment.
“Oh, no, this blowhard,” said Dagnino.
“Oh God, oh God,” I said. “Wait…what day is it…Jeff…Jeff…have you had your contender’s match?
“That’s sharp,” said Jenn, as I was waving about the Sword of Cushing.
“No…no.. we have…I haven’t played yet,” said Sneider. I was doing my best not to picture the man who had been so corrupted that he ditched his long time partner and allowed Dagnino to turn him into an evil puppet.
“Then it’s not too late,” I said, trying to gather my breath. The time travel had taken a toll on my body. “I have come from the future to save the Schmoedown. If I don’t use my contenders spot to take you on, everyone in the Schmoedown is going to die!”
“So it’s up to…ha…me to save everybody?” giggled Sneider.
“Well, it’s up to US, man. It’s up to you… and an earlier version of me… before the gray hair, before the Horsemen reassembled, before everyone else died, before I got…”
“the Sword of Crushing.”
“Bibbs!” Sneider interrupted. “Beast, say no more, I’m in. I want you. That desk, right there.” Sneider pointed to the Schmoedown set.
“Then the future is saved! The future is saved!” I said, feeling the Sword of Cushing pulling me back, it’s energy level nearly depleted. “Oh, one last thing…don’t let Dagnino get that j………………..aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh”
“Uh, well, we do accept the match,” said Dagnino, “but what we don’t accept is the drugs he’s on.”
The Lion’s Den departed.
I found myself back to the Cave of Light. Rachel was there to greet me.
“You’ve done it, Beast. The future has been saved.”
“What happens to me now?” I asked.
“Your timeline is gone, so now you must remain here in the Land of Light. There was always going to be a sacrifice.”
“I guess…growl, growl.”
I looked around at my new home and a thought came me.
“Say, do I beat Sneider in that number one contender’s match?”
“My dear Beast… that would be a SPOILER.”