bhutapati Posted June 27, 2018 Share Posted June 27, 2018 (Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. Night.) A man is standing by the waterfront, looking out over the Hong Kong Island skyline. The city lights are reflected in the water; the bright reds, oranges, purples and electric blues rippling away. An ancient-looking Chinese junk passes through the harbour ahead of him, cutting a black line that blots out the lights. On the street behind him, a long black limousine slows down. The rear window opens up. "Are you here by Qiang's invitation?" The man turns. "I am." "Get in." The window rolls up before he can get a glimpse of the one inside. Briefly hesitating, he opens the door and climbs in. The interior lights are dim. The man inside wears a high peaked cap that covers his eyes. "Lady Qiang is waiting for us at her private estate. We will meet the other fighters there. We cannot allow you to know the location. I'll ask you to place this black bag over your head. Is this acceptable to you?" He reaches out, holding the bag. "What is this?" "This is a mere security precaution. As you may be aware, the central government in Beijing has clamped down on certain liberties previously enjoyed on this island. For an... enterprise such as this, we would like to exercise an abundance of caution." "And what does that mean?" A beat. "It means you have to put on the goddamned bag." He takes the bag. "Before I put this on, I have one more question to ask you." "Yes?" "Are you... wearing a cape?" The man shifts in his seat uncomfortably, and tips his cap lower. "That's enough, Mr. Omega." He taps on the glass behind him. "Driver!" The limousine pulls away and Kenny Omega heads into the darkness... (Lady Qiang's estate. The dining room.) Kenny Omega enters the dining room through the heavy oak double doors. It appears he is the last fighter to arrive. He sees some familiar faces, some unknown to him. Some are standing in groups, talking quietly. Others stand alone, watching the room with tension. He adjusts the cufflinks of his suit and enters. He notices a dark figure watching him from the corner. He turns. "¿Qué miras?" "Penta. What are you doing here?" "I have invitation from la chinita." "So they're looking for the best of the best, huh?" He scans the room. "Is that... La Parka?" Across the room, a man in a familiar mask with a pot bellied figure relaxes in a chair, smoking a cigar. At the other end of the room, another set of double doors open. A diminutive, older woman enters. She takes her seat at the end of the table. "Come. Sit. I am Countess Qiang. I am the one who has arranged for you all to be brought here. I am sure you have already figured out my intentions by now." The fighters take their place at the long dining table. "In a few weeks time, I will be holding a tournament at a location yet to be disclosed. I have assembled some forty of you for this purpose. The purpose of the tournament is simple. I need a champion. Xiaoxiao!" From behind her, a dark-eyed girl in a bob haircut appears. "Xiaoxiao. Show them the prize." Xiaoxiao stares at Countess Qiang blanky." "The mace, dear girl." Xiaoxiao keeps staring. "The... thing. You know the thing." The countess makes a swinging gesture. "The thing. Show them the thing, Xiaoxiao." Xiaoxiao moves to the side of the room, and dramatically pulls a white blanket off a display case, revealing the contents inside: a beautiful, golden mace, inlaid with rubies and pearls. "This was a treasure bequeathed to me by my late husband, a collector of antiquities. This dates to the late Mughal period and was wielded by the most powerful emperors of India. I call it the Chakravarti Mace. It is a worthy weapon, one that calls out for a worthy champion to hold it." "That's it?" "Excuse me?" "A bloody mace? You brought us all the way here to fight over that thing?" "Quiet yourself, Mr. Ospreay. The mace is merely a symbol of authority. A totem, if you will. I assure you, the prize money for the winner will be more than worth the time I have asked of you. Jingjing, the briefcase please." Another dark-eyed girl with bangs emerges, holding a briefcase. She pops it open and it's filled with crisp American dollars. "You'll be paid to fight. More importantly, you'll be paid to win. Forty fighters divides neatly into five brackets. Five brackets means five winners. How much money is in the case, Jingjing?" "Five million dollars, mother." "Well. Even Xiaoxiao can figure out how that divides five ways. And there's more where that came from, too. Don't worry. You'll have plenty of opportunity to make more money than you ever dreamed of. But the real reason you should be here - and I trust that's why you're all here - is for the thrill of the fight. Because once I get this forty down to five, you will face the deadliest challenge of your lives... the Five Deadly Venoms match. Quite simply, I will put five of you in a cage and lock it shut until only one remains standing. And that one left standing will hold my Chakravarti Mace and be my first champion." "And that's it?" Omega asks. "Oh no, my dear boy. Not by a long shot. The holder of the mace will be the champion of my new promotion, Wuxiandou. And the meaning of Wuxiandou is simple: infinite battle. Infinite with regard to all limits - no time, no space, no ruleset can contain this battle." Lady Qiang raises her champagne glass. "And for those who are about to die, I salute you!" (End of prologue.) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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