Second Strike

“What on Earth were you thinking, Jeremiah?”

“God’s Gift” Jeremiah Vastrix sits at a bar, nursing a fufu drink. He thinks back to the conversation that he last had with Olivia Cooke on the eve of the last show for UOW.

“You kissed her on live television, Jeremiah. How could it be nothing! Twice! You did it. Twice! If the first time was nothing, how could it be nothing if it happened again! You're fucking her aren’t you?”

Jeremiah had tried to explain to his fiancé, Olivia Cooke, that the first time that he had kissed his ex-girlfriend, Rose Johnston, that it was just to show up Lulu Biggs who was trashing his manliness. After the match...just sort of happened. Was it his fault that even with glowing eyes that he was still God's Gift to Women?

Apparently, it was the exact wrong thing to say and he was kicked out of the apartment that they shared until he could redeem himself in some way.

Jeremiah sighed as he took another sip of his drink. He had thought and discarded a number of plans that involved spending an inordinate amount of money to bed and plead his way back into Olivia’s good graces, but as he thought of these plans he discarded them. Flowers and chocolates were simply a bandaid to a deeper issue.

Jeremiah Vastrix had spent so long flitting from one woman to the next that it was really hard to even imagine settling down with just one. Was he even really ready to become a one woman man? After all, his relationship with Rose Johnston was as short lived as any other as he had moved on to greener pastures, leaving heartache in his wake. He knows that she was as shocked as Olivia likely was when he planted that first kiss on her at the show. Just like Rose was undoubtedly changed forever when she shot Tarrasque in the head.

Jeremiah finishes his drink, ordering another one. He lights a cigarette and smiles.

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: You always lurking behind me, Rose? Come sit. I can order you a drink if you like.

Rose Johnston walks from behind Jeremiah, taking up a seat next to him with a bit of a blush.

ROSE JOHNSTON: I forgot about the 360 degree vision. I want to apologize for the kiss after the match. When you had kissed me before the match, I thought. Well, I kind of stopped thinking and all of the old feelings just flooded in. Is Olivia mad?

Jeremiah smiled. Mad didn't even begin to cover it. More than half of the things that could be thrown and broken in their shared apartment are broken, having been thrown at his head. He orders a drink for Rose as his drink arrives, blowing smoke into the air.

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: She's mad. She's hurt. I don't know how to console her. I tried talking to her and explain how and why things went down, but I think I made things worse.

Rose nods, taking a sip of her drink.

ROSE JOHNSTON: That sounds like the Jeremiah I know. That's why I did what I did.

Jeremiah flicks ashes into an ashtray on the bar with a look of concern. Why him and Rose were not together comes crashing back to his mind. Rose was aggressive and did things for Jeremiah that he may or may not have wanted to have done himself. It was too much for him then and might be now.

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: What? What did you do, Rose?

Rose playfully slaps Jeremiah on the shoulder.

ROSE JOHNSTON: Relax, Jeremiah. I only sent an apology note and a bunch of flowers to the apartment. Stuff that you too often overthink will work.

Jeremiah smiles. It’s true that he tends to overthink things and that the simple solution is often the best. It was also true that Jeremiah had needed Rose too much and that it had scared him away.

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: Thank you for that. You’re a good friend.

Rose gives Jeremiah a hug and while they are in this embrace that neither noticed Olivia Cooke walk into the bar before it’s too late. She doesn’t notice the hug until she’s standing next to the pair.

OLIVIA COOKE: Jeremiah, I got your flowers. I’m sorry that I overreacted to-WHAT THE FUCK?

Olivia drops the vase of flowers from her hands where it crashes onto the floor, startling Jeremiah and Rose. They both turn to see Olivia as she fumes.

ROSE JOHNSTON: Olivia! I swear, this isn’t what looks like!

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: Hi, honey! We were just talking about you!

Olivia ignores Jeremiah, focusing her ire upon Rose.

OLIVIA COOKE: We have one fight. ONE! And you think that you can make a move on my man? You dirty hussy, I'll tear you apart!

Olivia slaps Rose, grabs her by the shoulders, and rips her off of the bar stool.

OLIVIA COOKE: You fucking think you can steal my man? Bitch!

Rose holds her face, rising quick to anger at being struck. She slaps Olivia back.

ROSE JOHNSTON: Bitch, I ain't trying to steal your man!

Olivia snarls, grabbing Rose by the shoulder strap of her dress to yank it down and pull her into a side headlock.


Rose shoves Olivia off of her, not noticing or caring that her shoulder strap of her dress has gone down so far as to wholly expose a breast. She instead spears Olivia, sending the two rolling on the floor. Jeremiah hovers over the fight helplessly, trying to find a way to stop it.

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: Girls. Please. It's just been a big misunderstanding!

Olivia flips Rose over to the floor and perches on top of her, she lays into Rose with a couple of open hand slaps before Rose gets a hand to the top of Olivia's dress to pull it down. Olivia follows it to try to keep the top of her dress on, failing miserably as she's pulled into an elbow strike to the side of the head that sends her to the side.

Rose perches on Olivia, grabbing her arms, and holding them down with her face just inches from Olivia's.

ROSE JOHNSTON: I'm not trying to get back with Jeremiah! You gotta believe me!

Olivia struggles, but cant break free from a combination of Rose’s strength and weight bearing down upon her.

OLIVIA COOKE: That's not what it fucking looks like!

Both women look up to Jeremiah, who stands wordlessly as he watches both women in various nudity fight over him. He tries to hide his excitement, but neither woman is fooled. Rose sighs and kisses Olivia passionately, her chest pressed against Olivia’s as she does so. Olivia, shocked at such an action, accepts the kiss readily. Rose pulls away, looking down at Olivia though their faces are still inches apart.

ROSE JOHNSTON: There. Does that balance the scales? I didn't mean to hurt you. I just went with my feelings at the moment and I know that I should not have. The first kiss was on Jeremiah. The second was on me. Can you forgive me?

Olivia blinks, looking to Jeremiah for a moment, who seems similarly stunned. She gets a mischievous smile and kisses Rose again, more passionately this time. When they finally part, Olivia laughs.

OLIVIA COOKE: Now the scales are balanced.

Rose and Olivia look into each other's eyes for a long time before Jeremiah clears his throat. This is where Rose notices that she's still holding Olivia down and that both of the tops of their dresses are down. She gets off of Olivia, both standing and adjusting themselves to be covered once again even as the collective men in the bar groan in sadness at the show ending.

They both look to Jeremiah with a smile, who looks to them with a hopeful smile as his eyes glitter blue.


OLIVIA COOKE: Yeah, right.

ROSE JOHNSTON: Who said we'd let you in?

Jeremiah smiles, glad that at least the fighting is over with. His eyes suddenly go wide and he leaps behind Olivia, intercepting a man midway into a spear. He picks the man up and hurls him across a table, knocking over drinks in the process. The man stands up with a roar, revealing himself. Jeremiah looks upon him with his jaw hanging down.

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: Tarrasque? How? You were killed!

Tarrasque rips his tshirt away while flexing his muscles and letting out an inhuman roar.

TARRASQUE: Me no dead! Me am strong! Time you die!

Tarrasque flings the table at Jeremiah, who blocks it with preternatural reflexes. By the time he knocks it to the side though, Tarrasque barrels through him and knocks him to the floor. He pounces on the downed Jeremiah, who gets his feet up in time to kick Tarrasque in the gut and send him to the side.

Both Jeremiah and Tarrasque get to their feet, exchanging blows though Tarrasque staggers Jeremiah with a hard right hand before seizing him by the throat and choke slamming him through a nearby table.

Olivia and Rose go on the attack before Tarrasque can continue his assault upon Jeremiah, slapping and scratching at him while screaming. Tarrasque kicks Olivia in the gut and grabs Rose by the hair before delivering a stunning headbutt. With both women dropped to the floor, Tarrasque turns back to the downed Jeremiah.

TARRASQUE: Now you die.

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: You hit my girls…

Tarrasque kneels down, wrapping his beefy hands around Jeremiah's throats even as Jeremiah’s eyes begin to glow bright blue.

TARRASQUE: Me kill yo-

Tarrasque doesn't get to finish his statement as twin beams of blue energy pour from Jeremiah’s eyes and disintegrate the top half of Tarrasque head in a shower of fire, blood, bone, and brain. Jeremiah shoves the now dead body of Tarrasque over and stands up as everyone in the bar stare at him.

Jeremiah helps Olivia and Rose stand up. He finds his way to his table and picks up his glass into the air.

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: The next round is on me!

A cheer goes up in the bar as bartenders begin taking drink orders. Jeremiah brings Olivia and Rose into a hug.

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: You girls alright? I'm sure the FBI will along shortly to help sort this out. I just want to know one thing.

ROSE JOHNSTON: Why isn't Tarrasque dead? I shot him in the head!

Olivia looks over at the nearly headless corpse that is spewing blood onto the floor that bar patrons step around in their urgency to get their free drinks.

OLIVIA COOKE: He looks pretty dead now.

The bartender brings Jeremiah, Olivia, and Rose a round of drinks.

BARTENDER: The police are on their way.

JEREMIAH VASTRIX: Well, the FBI and the Police will be here. I just need to get through this and concentrate on training for Lulu Biggs. I'm sure he'll be wanting revenge for the trouncing that I gave him.

ROSE JOHNSTON: Don't let Lulu’s shit Talk get under your skin. You took him last time and you can do it again.

OLIVIA COOKE: He's big, but you can do it, J.

Jeremiah smiles big.


Olivia playfully hits Jeremiah on the shoulder, but she doesn't say no.

Jeremiah takes a sip of his drink and looks down to the dead Tarrasque again, deep in thought. He saw the last time where the dead Tarrasque was taken away. How is he back?

At a facility in the dead heart of Africa where lies the secretive Hammer Industries industrial complex known as Desolation. Cardinal Mariano Urizar and Allen Anderson stand in front of a dark glass tank that's a cylinder that stands ten feet tall.

CARDINAL URIZAR: One of my spies has just informed me that the second Tarrasque has been killed.

Anderson leans heavily on his cane as he looks into the murky depths of the tank a face comes into view inside the darkness.


ALLEN ANDERSON: I gave that buffoon, Lulu Biggs, a device that will give him a distinct advantage in their match. He should be able to destroy Jeremiah. If that fails…

The camera view pans back to reveal more water tanks with Tarrasque forms growing in them. Many, many more. Anderson lets out a laugh that is soon joined by Cardinal Urizar.

CARDINAL URIZAR: To the old ways…

ALLEN ANDERSON: To the old ways…

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