Koyaanisqatsi III: Perchance to Dream Oct 4, 2015 16:16:22 GMT -5 6ix God, Wade Moor, and 1 more like this
Post by God King Dune on Oct 4, 2015 16:16:22 GMT -5
(OOC: Read Joey Flash’s 3rd WAR promo first to get the full effect!)
Koyaanisqatsi (ko-yaa-nis-katsi): Life in turmoil
“Day of wrath - that dreadful day - will bury the world in ashes.” - Dies Irae (Day of Wrath)
“Reduce it all to ash.” - Joey Flash
War within a Breath
Dusk settles on an abandoned town in the middle of nowhere. It was once an army satellite-base for families during the days of nuclear-bomb testing in the Mojave, but the enormous magma basin that sits beneath it was already creeping toward the surface by the time it was completed. The locals call it Satan’s Maw, and it’s long been said that the bombs themselves triggered the upwelling magma that spills out as lava, which too, like man’s greatest folly, destroys everything in it’s path.
The shot fades to another. It’s Dune, though he walks down the main drag of the burned-down town without his mask. His face is difficult to behold even when drowned in shadow.
But while on the surface he may look the same, something has infiltrated his mind and taken over his body: the Jackal - another phenomenon born of the nuclear blasts...though born may not be the best wording. Awoken serves better, or perhaps summoned. Either way, the innate desire for chaos that reigns within man is what fuels this extra-dimensional being, and he seeks it out and causes it wherever he goes.
From within, the Jackal pulls the strings and slows Dune to a stop. He turns to face the lens as he speaks.
Dune: How are you, Joseph? The wedding must have taken a lot out of you - it certainly took a lot FROM you. And to have endured such tragedy with your long-dreamt-of World Title match less than a day away. Shame, isn't’ it?
The Jackal cracks a smile.
Dune: Don’t play the fool - you know who this is. I’m one you’ll never forget. You should have followed me when I offered you the chance in the desert. We could have ruined Dune together, and I could have left you alone for all-time. I could have given you the world, Joseph. Instead you chose death.
So I’ll ask again: how are you, Joseph - how you feeling?
I could come and find out if I wanted to. I could come and infiltrate that pathetic mind of yours and get a real feel for all the pain and anguish that’s surely got you crippled and in a corner by now. Or maybe you’re angry by now - like I sincerely hope you are. I hope you’re mad as hell at what happened on what should have been the best day of your life. You’ve got a fight on the horizon - the fight of your life - and you’ll need all the help you can get to survive it.
I’ll be at WAR too, just like I was at your wedding a week ago. What a lovely affair it was: the fire; the screams; the death. There’ll be more of the same tomorrow night in the ring. Had it only been you and Dune it may have been a lesser affair...but I’m going to help liven it up a bit. In this vessel, I have the most powerful fighter in the world. You claim to be quicker - more precise - but apparently you haven’t seen Dune move. And with me behind the controls, there’s no telling what sort of damage I can inflict on the twig of a man you are. The man who rose to the top of the WCF may have been unrivaled in talent and tenacity on his own, but now he’s got the ultimate P.E.D. on his side. Thankfully your filthy-rich boss doesn’t test for my kind.
But don’t worry. I won’t let Dune go unpunished. After all, he was anything but cooperative during the whole ordeal, aside from the very outset when I met him at the crossroads. It was just after he found Pinky and his unborn child dead by your hand...or so he was so eager to presume. And though he eventually caught on, there was nothing he could do to change your fate...much as he tried. And he did try, Joey - as fruitlessly as you tried to save his unborn child in the desert. If I had any compassion whatsoever it would have brought me to tears to see him in the aftermath...but in truth it only made me lust for more.
He might not fight you without my help, Joseph. In truth, I’ve broken him. Have I broken you?
If not, I will with this body in the ring. It’s gonna be a real back and forth battle that night. From the Champ to the Challenger I’ll shift, turning the tides of the match each time. You’ll never know you were capable of such carnage as when I’m controlling your otherwise ill-used machine. And while I’m laying into Dune as Joey Flash, I won’t have to wonder how you’re feeling; I’ll know. But then again, I already have a fairly good idea. It’s likely the same you felt when I took control of you in the desert:
Ring a bell, Joseph? Yeah - you know what I’m talking about.
You’re hollow inside just like your words. You’re empty of anything good aside from learned-compassion, which makes a fine enough substitute for the real thing...but only for so long. The so-called love you feel for others isn’t rooted in anything solid because you grew up without it. That’s why the saying “this too shall pass” will prove especially true for you after seeing with your own eyes what Dune did on your wedding day. And yet you’ve convinced yourself your heart isn’t empty and black, just like you’ve convinced yourself that you’re actually a better fighter than all the rest in your pathetic Federation.
You may have been alone your whole life, Joseph - even in the most crowded of rooms; the most crowded of cities - but you won’t be alone in the ring at WAR. I’ll be there...but you’ll find I give no quarter to those who’ve snubbed my gracious offer of partnership. I don’t extend my hand to many, and in turning it down you doomed yourself to a worse fate at WAR than the already brutal one you would have suffered otherwise.
I could have given you everything, Joseph - the World Title included. But you chose death. Dune delivered on that promise for me, so don’t expect any different when I promise that you won’t be walking away from WAR tomorrow night with the Title around your waist.
Besides...a bit of gold can’t save you now. WAR may be the end of your clumsy climb to the brink, but it’s not the end of the world. That, unfortunately, is a long ways off. But for you, it may as well be. Because I’ll always be here to watch over you, Joseph.
Dune’s voice cuts off as the Jackal stops speaking. His icy blue eyes smile atop his shredded lips, gleaming in the moonlight as he turns and walks off-screen. A bit of lava seeps to the surface in the distance, and we cut to it before zooming in on its fiery glow. When it fills the screen, the shot segues into another.
A low-burning ember is all we see. In zooming out slowly, a thin black line that marks its spherical boundary makes itself known. A column of smoke dances up from the ember, which comes to life as a surge of oxygen rushes through it. The background is dark and out of focus, and it remains ill-lit even when it begins to shift and come into view. A man hidden in shadow flicks at the cigarette now shown in full and exhales a cloud of smoke before we cut away.
Two men sit at a table. One we know: the Jackal - but the other is a stranger. He goes by Sam, and he takes another drag from his cigarette before he speaks.
Sam: It’s dirty.
Jackal: I didn’t say it’d be clean.
Sam: It’s her wedding for fuck’s sake.
Jackal: And the entire Allegri family will be there to see Alessandra wed Joey Malignaggi - your primary target, the boss Bernardo, included. The big daddy, so to speak.
The Jackal winks his way, then turns to a corner out of the shot to make sure everything’s still in order. It is, and he turns back to Sam.
Sam: Why should I allow some schlub to manipulate the chessboard like this. The balance of power is fragile. The Allegri’s may be the top family in Sicily right now, but say you help me take them out - what are you gonna want down the line when I’m running the show?
Jackal: Nothing. My client only wants one thing, and he’ll have it before night falls on the day of the wedding.
Sam: I don’t believe you.
Jackal: Oh come now, you’re being paranoid. Are you saying no to the opportunity to become the most powerful man in Italy; to becoming even more exorbitantly rich than you already are today? We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars for you LITERALLY overnight...and the power. Just think of it, “Sam.”
The Jackal smiles, knowing full well his true identity. “Sam” remains silent, and the Jackal speaks up as he assesses his commitment to the hit.
Jackal: Power isn’t given, Sam. It’s taken.
Sam: Alright, well what’s in it for you then, Jack? I mean...who are you besides a guy with a lot of money to spare up front?
Jackal: I am no one. I merely represent my client.
He turns his focus to the man sitting off screen.
Jackal: And I think you can guess what he’s after.
Sam: I don’t know. I’m not convinced the time is right...
Jackal: I know what’s holding you up: the thought of the repercussions. But if we do this right - and believe me, we will - there won’t be anyone of significance left in the Allegri family to come after you and yours. You’ll be able to plug yourself into the top spot and run the business as you see fit without fear or worry of retaliation. Take the power, Sam. Do the right thing here.
After a moment of hesitation, he answers.
Sam: GodDAMN it’s dirty...but I’m in. So long as you promise my anonymity should things go south with your client.
Jackal: Of course...but don’t expect any hitches to go off. When it comes to killers, none are so efficient and calculated as him.
The Jackal smiles as he holds out his hand. The two shake and rise from their chairs. In the light, we see “Sam’s” face for the first time. It’s handsome and vaguely familiar, and his tall, thin frame adds to his almost feminine appeal.
His name is Paolo Allegri - future brother-in-law of Joey Malignaggi and son of Bernardo Allegri, the boss of the most powerful crime family in Sicily.
Jackal: See? That wasn’t so hard. I knew it wouldn’t take long for you to see reason.
Paolo: What about HIM?
He once more turns his attention off-screen.
Jackal: What ABOUT him?
Paolo: What’s he gonna do?
Jackal: Don’t worry about the finer details. He’s been killing all his life; it’s what he does best. He’ll take care of your father, but like you there’s one he targets above all others:
The Jackal turns and looks over his shoulder before we cut to a dark corner where their sightlines meet. There, the WCF World Champion sits in a wooden chair, apparently unconscious as his half-masked face rests atop the shelf his massive chest provides.
Jackal: Joey Flash.
Paolo: What’s he - asleep or something?
Jackal: Or something.
The two stare at each other. It doesn’t take long for the Jackal’s gaze to make Paolo feel incredibly ill at ease. He looks away just in time to see Dune twitch in his chair, and the Jackal turns to see him do it again. He glares at the sight before continuing.
Jackal: Then it’s a deal, Sam. From here, my client will take over, and from him you can expect nothing less than flawless execution. But I’m afraid for now you should be going. He’s been under constant strain of late, and when he comes to I can’t guarantee he’ll be in a welcoming mood. It’s Flash you see...he murdered his unborn child.
Says the man who murdered Dune’s unborn child. Though Paolo is none the wiser. The Jackal ushers him out of the room, then turns toward Dune as the door closes behind him. The WCF World Champion trembles in his chair as the Jackal’s form begins to fade. He closes the gap between them, and just as Dune’s eyes flick open, he utters three words.
Jackal: Let me in.
His ethereal form melts into Dune’s, and an internal struggle ensues. We zoom in on one of his agony-laced eyes at an exponentially faster rate until finally the darkness at the center overcomes the screen.
Waters Dark and Deep
Dune comes to as the otherworldly pain subsides, though light doesn’t greet his frame of vision. In fact he has no eyes to see; no hands to feel his body and assure it’s there. He has a voice though, if only audible to his possessor.
Dune: You can’t keep this game up forever, you know.
Jackal: Why not?
Dune: Because I know how to win, and as soon as that happens - game over.
Jackal: Shh...you can’t win.
Dune isn’t panicked. He knows what’s happened: yet again he’s proven incapable of stopping the Jackal from invading his mind and overtaking his body. And so the WCF World Champion is bound within once more.
He lost himself the first time - forgot who he was entirely as he walked in place on the sands for what seemed like an eternity - but finally a spark ignited to reveal a glimpse of the horrible reality that had befallen him. In a flash he had remembered everything with crystal-clear clarity: Joey Flash in the desert; the Jackal intercepting them both for the same purpose - the destruction of the other. Flash refused, yet when the Jackal convinced Dune that Joey was guilty of murdering his unborn child, Dune accepted.
But as Dune’s murderous rage became a slightly more rational one, he began to question the Jackal’s intentions. In turn he was shown false visions that convinced him of Flash’s guilt, but soon the Jackal showed him true ones; ones that showed the Jackal possessing the outlaw who butchered Dune’s face and proceeded to murder his brother long ago, and Dune realized he’d made a terrible mistake in aligning himself with the Jackal. He fled, but he didn’t get far before his mind was infiltrated for the first time.
“Let me in.”
And he was trapped inside...as he is now. Here he has no concept of time. Here there is nothing aside from his thoughts, as if he were some god in a void awaiting creation.
Dune: Let me out.
Jackal: I will, but not yet. Only when the time is right.
Dune: And when’s that? What the fuck are you planning?!
Jackal: Blood;vengeance;death - my part of the deal. Yours was simply to let me in, which you’ve been so gracious about. I’d feel awful if I didn’t deliver upon what you’d asked of me in the desert.
Dune: Leave Joey Flash out of this!
Jackal: Far too late for that, I’m afraid.
Dune isn’t lost inside his mind though - not anymore. Freed of having to focus his consciousness on the outside world, he soon found that here, every thought or experience was instantly accessible. Now he travels far back in time before a voice rings out in the void. It’s one he’s heard before, but only as an infant.
Her maternal chords are ingrained in his mind, and he accesses them at will. It’s as if she’s right beside him as she repeats the name given to him at birth. Her voice soothes his troubles, though he doesn’t linger long. He has one goal: to break free, and the words of John Mullins are all he has to go on.
“I’ve been inside his mind, and the only way to beat him is at his own game.”
Jackal: Don’t even try it. You won’t like what you find there - believe me.
But at that moment he breaks through to the Jackal’s mind...and in it nothing is withheld from him. Most of the information is either useless or far beyond a human level of understanding, though he learns a bitter truth that stabs at his insides and brings him to knees that aren’t there. In seeing the Jackal murder his unborn child - in seeing Joey Flash try his damndest to save Pinky in the aftermath - he retreats out of the Jackal’s mind.
Jackal: I warned you.
Dune is speechless with horrible realization. The Jackal smiles from without before speaking to his vessel within.
Jackal: Don’t let your temporary blindness at the crossroads get you down. I often have that effect on people. You’re all so weak - so easily manipulated - from embryo to death…
Dune: Shut the fuck up.
Jackal: I didn’t want to kill him, Dune. And it was a “he”, for what it’s worth. He would’ve been special, just like his father. I felt as much as the life drained out of him along with the blood that drained from his mother’s womb.
Dune: SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Silence. A few seconds of it pass...or perhaps a lifetime. Dune can’t tell. From the void, he gathers his thoughts on Joey Flash, realizing the extreme error of his ways, and in the darkness his voice rings out.
Dune: Joey...can you hear me? I doubt you can, but if the Jackal’s words of, “Let me in,” have formed some sort of communicative-wormhole between us, and you can even sense the severity of this message, don’t fail to heed it’s warning. He’s coming, Joey. I don’t know what he plans to do, but I can assure you it’s far worse than anything you or I could imagine.
I’m not a god-fearing man. I don’t believe in that bullshit. But this whole experience is making me reconsider everything. If there is a god up there, I pray he watches over you in the coming hours. I’m the only other who knows the Jackal has you in his sights, and I’m going to do everything I can to stop him. Still - you’re not safe, Joey. Neither is your family. He mentioned your wedding before he took over.
Call it off.
Can you fucking hear me, Joey? Call it off!
He’s coming, and it’s under the ruse of reaping vengeance from you in my name that he closes on you and yours as I speak. It’s blood he wants; it’s death.
Maybe it’s too late already. Maybe he’s ruined your wedding day in whichever way he’s seen fit. If so, I hope you’re alright, Joey, even though you’ve been nothing but a straight razor through my cockhead since April. But I can forgive you of everything in light of what’s happened...
I haven’t seen her since the day you tried to save her. Thank you, Joey. I saw what you did, and I can never thank you enough. Though I don’t hope to remain in your debt forever. I’m going to get out of here - break free of these binds. I don’t know how I’m going to do it. I’m told there’s only one way out: through the mind of the Jackal.
But know this, Joey: to save you - to save the ones you love - I’d swim through any waters, dark and deep as they may be. I’d do anything to keep him from you, and if I have to sacrifice myself to do so, I’d gladly end it all.
He’s coming, Joey...but I won’t let him get to you.
Silence once more. It continues for a few seconds, and it fades into delicate music as the darkness breaks.
Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) I
Maurice Ravel’s “Pavane pour une infante defunte” plays in the background as we open on St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. What appears to be a joyous affair is brought down by the somber tones of the tune, though the herd of people filtering into the church don’t seem to hear it. They hug and laugh and make their way inside, where the wedding of Joseph Malignaggi and Alessandre Allegri is set to take place.
We cut to an elderly gentlemen as he makes his way up the cathedral steps. It’s Bernardo Allegri - the most powerful man in Sicily and Joey’s soon-to-be father-in-law. He walks beside his beautiful wife, almost the spitting image of her daughter, even now. She has no idea that these are the last moments she’ll be spending with her beloved husband as they make their way beneath the great doors.
Within is a who’s-who of powerful crime-family members of every variety. Loyalties to the Sicilian Allegri’s are set aside for a few hours as they all gather to celebrate the wedding of the boss’ daughter.
Bernardo speaks with a few other high ranking crimelords when a young boy stumbles into the circle and hugs at his knee.
Christian Malignaggi: Found you!
Bernardo Allegri: You sure did!
He bends down and picks the young boy up as his nanny for the day runs over.
Nanny: I’m so sorry, Mr. Allegri.
Bernardo Allegri: For what? There’s no one I’d rather see at this moment or any other than this young man. Gentlemen, meet my grandson, Christian Malignaggi.
Each man laughs and shakes the four year old son of Joey Flash’s hand as we pan away. We leave the crowd and enter the cathedral’s main hall. It’s architectural beauty is profound, and we lift up toward the marvelous ceiling before a thin balcony hidden in shadow comes into view. Two men sit atop it. One is the Jackal as we’ve come to know him; the other wears a dark hood that covers his face. His identity remains a mystery until he speaks.
Dune: You can’t do this.
He looks up at the Jackal, revealing his butchered, unmasked face.
Jackal: I can, and I will.
Dune tries to move, but he remains frozen as he’d been since waking up here hours before.
Jackal: Let this be a lesson to you: never make promises you can’t keep. You can’t stop what’s going to happen in the next few hours; you can’t save Joey Flash from his fate...or yours, for that matter.
The Jackal’s face goes sour as he silences Dune’s attempt to rouse the attention of somebody - anybody - though the echo dies unheard. The Jackal stands and creeps toward Dune.
Jackal: What’d I say? Obey me. You don’t do such a good job of that.
Paralyzed completely now, Dune’s wrath has nowhere to displace itself. Still the Jackal closes.
Jackal: I gave you a chance. I allowed you to have your body and mind back. But you can’t follow the simplest instruction. You’re a bit too wilful for my liking, and I’m afraid I’ll have to correct you before it gets out of hand. Now let me in.
Blackness overtakes the screen, but it doesn’t last long.
Music fades in once more, though instead of a song of death, we hear the familiar tones of “Here comes the bride.” The stunning Alessandre Allegri walks toward Joseph Malignaggi, who stands humbled by her presence upon the alter.
We cut to a shot of what Joey sees: his beautiful wife coming toward him; his four year old son smiling on...though what he doesn’t see is the shadow up high in the rafters. We begin to zoom in on it, and as the crowd of mafia crime lords and their not-so innocent loved ones falls below the frame, the figure comes into view. It’s the WCF World Champion, and he looks down on the wedding wearing a sinister expression he’s never donned before.
But that’s because this isn’t Dune; it’s the Jackal. And now, for the first time, he’s allowing his vessel to see what he sees while possessing his body.
Dune stares out through his own eyes, powerless to move his body as the Jackal projects his voice inward.
Jackal: Ah, you’re awake. Took longer this time. You’ll be glad to hear the explosives are triggered and the gunmen are ready.
Dune takes in the crowd below as he tries to make sense of the situation.
Dune: God damn you! Stop this! This isn’t what I called for in the desert! This isn’t what I wanted!
Jackal: It’s what you’ll get.
Dune: Joey! JOEY!!
Jackal: He can’t hear you. No one can.
Dune looks down at his long time rival, seen now in a different light. He’s gone from a man he wanted simply to pin in the ring, to a man he wanted to murder for killing his unborn child, to a man he wanted nothing more than to aid in this desperate hour. But again, as before in another desperate hour long ago, he remains bound and powerless to act.
Dune: Take me instead! What’s one life for another? Joey has a family - a child! He -
He cuts off, and the Jackal laughs in understanding.
Jackal: A child he has, indeed.
Dune: No. Please, no.
Jackal: Shh...they’re about to say their vows.
Dune: Not him too. Leave him out of this! Take me god damnit! Take me - not his child!
Jackal: Christian’s his name. But don’t worry - I’ll introduce you to him soon enough. Quiet, the time is almost here.
Dune: You’ve murdered one child already! You slaughtered my unborn son - wasn’t that enough?!
Jackal: Eye for an eye; tooth for a tooth. I have to maintain the balance, Daniel. And after I’ve broken the both of you, we’ll go to WAR in the ring. There you can explain to Flash how you murdered his child. Are you up for it? Because unlike you, he won’t find out the truth. I’m going to make damn sure he sees the man who reduced his world to ash in a single moment.
Dune: NO! GODDAMNIT NO!
Jackal: And that man is you.
Dune: NOOOO -
His voice cuts off as the Jackal begins a countdown.
Dune’s shredded lips curl into a smile as the priest utters the words the Jackal has awaited.
Priest: If anyone knows why these two should not be wed in holy matrimony speak now or forever hold your peace.
KABOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Through the Eyes of a Child
The blissful existence four year old Christian Malignaggi has known since birth comes crashing down along with the walls of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Frightened unlike any other in the room, the child frantically seeks out his parents in the smoke and fire that follows. He becomes dizzy and scared unlike ever before, and he chooses a direction and begins running.
But he doesn’t make it far before a friendly voice speaks up behind him.
Jackal: My boy, over here!
Gunfire rings out along with screams. In the panic, the boy turns to see the Jackal standing about ten yards away in his grey suit, clean as ever despite the dust and ash that covers everything else. He walks toward the child, exuding an angelic glow. None seem to see him, which doesn’t register as being strange in the child’s eyes. Fear has taken him, and here is someone he could trust.
The Jackal reaches Christian and kneels down, smiling as he speaks.
Christian Malignaggi: Where’s daddy?
He says it with a smile, though it fades as his face becomes something black and inhuman along with his voice.
Jackal: Gone forever!
Christian screams in a fear few people have been unfortunate enough to experience, and the now-monstrous Jackal pulls him close before uttering three words in a demonic, multi-toned voice.
Jackal: Let me in!
Christian’s screams are silenced as we cut to black.
Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) II
Dune’s eyes open on the cathedral’s precipice. Fire rages all around, and black smoke fills the hall... but that’s not what draws his attention. Young Christian Malignaggi stands before him, and the fear in the boy’s eyes nearly makes Dune’s heart break
Dune: Hi, Christian. I know who you are. I’m going to help you, okay?
Christian Malignaggi: Daddy! Mommy!
He cries as Dune drops his hood. Up til now the boy had been told monsters weren’t real, but the disfigured face of the man who towers before him amidst the flames convinces him otherwise.
Dune: I know your father, Christian. He’s a good man, and he’s down there somewhere. Take my hand and we’ll go find him, what do you say?
But the child backs away.
Dune: I know my face is ugly, Christian, but I promise you can trust me. I won’t let anything happen to you. But you’ve got to take my hand - it’s very dangerous up here.
Dune reaches out his arm, but again the child backs away. This time he’s run out of room though, and his back foot scrapes over the ledge before Dune shoots toward him. He grabs his arm just in time, pulling him back in as Christian screams and struggles to break free.
Dune: It’s okay - it’s okay…
But the child’s eyes go wide as he sees the man from before - the one whose face had turned black before taking over his body.
The Jackal stands behind Dune, who turns just in time to see him disappear.
Pain shoots through him, and though he fights with all his will, the Jackal takes over once more. He walks toward Christian Malignaggi, who cries to see the Jackal disappear and a change come over Dune. The Jackal speaks through Dune as he nears.
Jackal: How’d you like to get down from here, Christian?
Dune rages silently from within.
Dune: Leave him alone!
Jackal: You want to see your father, do you?
The boy’s face changes at the word, and he stops crying.
Jackal: He’s down there, you know. Right there...see?
Dune points below, where we see Joseph Malignaggi run into the frame. The boy’s eyes go wide in seeing his father.
Christian: Daddy! Daddy!
The Jackal turns the expression on Dune’s face to one of pure evil as he closes on the boy in a flash. He grabs him by the arm, yanking him up as the boy’s calls for his father become screams of fear and confusion. The Jackal calls out in Dune’s voice.
Jackal: Daddy! Daddy!
Dune: Put him down goddamnit! Please, my god please!
Jackal: Can’t you see us, Joseph? Just look at us now!
The words of Freeman replay in Dune’s mind. “Something terrible is going to happen, Dune. But I don’t know what, or to whom.” Dune looks through eyes that aren’t his own at Christian Malignaggi, and he knows…
But it’s too late.
With the child writhing in his arms, Dune steps toward the brink and calls out in hatred to the man below.
Dune: Please! PLEASE!
From the ground, Joseph Malignaggi looks up in horror. There, Dune holds his child out over the edge. The fires show him in a demonic light, and a darkness pervades his presence as he lifts the child up over his head.
Jackal: For the sins of the father!
His eyes go wide, reflecting the flames before he arches back…
Joey watches Dune lob his son off the precipice. His fall is long and seems to last forever...if only that were the case.
We cut to Dune as the chill of death shoots up and down his spine. He’s regained possession of his body, and he falls to his knees to see Christian Malignaggi splayed out on the ground far below. His heart shatters over and over and over again as an agonizing darkness floods in.
His screams are audible now. Tears fill his eyes and a world-ending grief overcomes him. He watches as Joey kneels next to his son, and he reaches out to them both as if it might somehow help. But it won’t, and he knows it. Nothing can absolve him of this, and an infernal wrath surges through him as he turns at the sound of a voice.
Jackal: We’d better get out of here.
Dune charges the Jackal, grabbing hold of his throat with force that would otherwise crush a man’s windpipe, though it has no effect on him.
Dune: You killed him! My god you fucking killed him!
Jackal: No - you killed him. Joey Flash saw it with his own eyes. He’s on his way up now, and I don’t think he’s in the mood for explanations...much like you weren’t when we met at the crossroads and struck this deal. Blood; vengeance...death. I’ve just delivered on my part...
Dune lunges at the Jackal, but to no avail.
Jackal: So let me in.
And as he takes possession of Dune’s mind once more, the screen cuts to black.
The Maw Again
We fade in where we started: at the place called Satan’s Maw on the night before WAR. It’s been a week since the Jackal had used Dune’s body to murder Christian Malignaggi. The moon lights up Dune’s icy blue eyes as the Jackal speaks through him, continuing where he left off earlier.
Dune: Christian Malignaggi - Rest in Peace.
A smile comes over his face.
Dune: You thought I was going to let you off easy, didn’t you, Joseph? I offered you the world, but instead you chose death. I’m not one to let a man die without suffering a bit, and what better way for man to suffer than by allowing him the opportunity to bury his own son? Shame your similarly-childless pal Dune won’t get the opportunity to bury the fetus that was growing inside Pinky when the three of us has our little meet and greet in the desert.
He was so convinced you did it, Joey. And when he finally learned the truth...what a beautiful feeling it was. I was in control of him by then, just like I’ll be in control of him tomorrow night. But don’t worry. I’ll allow you and Dune a proper hello before I step in.
He’s changed...I can feel it as I speak. That’s not to say he won’t protect himself from your onslaught, which you’re sure to bring. Dune murdered your son, Joseph - of course you’ll bring it. You want to kill him now, just as he wanted to kill you. But don’t listen to his pleas. Don’t allow him to get inside your head. Kill him, Joseph - if you can. Kill him just like he killed your four year old son. Let the thought of poor Christian broken at your feet fuel the fire that burns within. If that doesn’t give you enough might to bring Dune to his knees, nothing will, and you’ll have proven yourself unworthy of the pathetic World Title he wears.
I won’t allow you to walk out of there on your own accord. You’ll lie broken beside Dune. Do you truly covet the World Title now, Joseph? Do you truly want nothing more than to say you’re the greatest fighter in the world? No. You want much more than that. You want your son back...but he’s gone forever. You can never have him back, and so the only thing you can do is cling to your hatred and attempt to dismantle the World Champion and murderer of your beloved…
The Jackal continues to talk through Dune, but his voice fades as we zoom in on his unmasked face. When darkness overtakes the screen, we can hear his voice no more.
A few seconds pass before a light appears in the darkness, and there stands the WCF World Champion as we’ve come to know him. He exists only in his mind now, though we see him all the same. Darkness surrounds him, and we zoom in on his half-masked face as he speaks.
Dune: Joey - my god, Joey...
I couldn’t break free in time. I couldn’t stop him. I tried, but he was too strong...
I don’t know what he has planned, but I can guess, and I can also say without a doubt that he’s not done with either of us. WAR - it’s where he wants to break us...and it has me fearing the worst.
Take no mercy on me there, Joey. I doubt you would anyway. I wouldn’t have on you before I learned the truth - that you didn’t kill my son. Should you come to your senses and realize I’d never harm a hair on a child’s head, let alone murder one, then perhaps WAR won’t be the murderous bloodbath the Jackal expects it to be. It’s what the WCF Faithful want too. They’ll be salivating like Pavlov’s dogs at the sound of the opening bell. They’ve been waiting months for me to finally get my hands on you and tear you to pieces before pinning you and retaining my World Title. I’ve been waiting with them...but everything changed that day in the desert.
You were there, Joey - don’t deny it. You know exactly what the fuck I’m talking about.
I’ve never killed anyone who didn’t have it coming. Can you think of anyone you’ve met recently who would kill someone as innocent as Christian? As innocent as my unborn son?! Don’t let your anger blind you, Joey! You’ve seen what the Jackal can do! You watched him kill my son just as you watched him kill yours! I was trapped inside - locked away and powerless to stop him. You have to believe me, Joey! You have to believe me…
But I ask you show no mercy on me all the same. What I’ve been through this past week has nearly vanquished me, Joey. I’m no less the fighter that’s made me the most dominant force in this business, but the Jackal has done everything in his power to break me. He hasn’t yet, but in his eyes that’s what WAR is for. And should you find me in a similarly vanquished state in the ring after he’s paralyzed me and allowed you to pummel me to your heart’s content, I’ll still ask no quarter of you...but know that I’ll provide none for you in return.
The position I find myself in is a difficult one. In light of what’s happened, I could choose not to fight back and give in to death. But in my case, Bill Shakespeare said it best:
“To die, to sleep; to sleep, perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub. For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil must give us pause.”
And pause is exactly what I feel when I consider showing you mercy, Joey. Were this last Sunday, mere hours after my vicarious murder of your son due entirely to the Jackal, I surely would have lied down and let your fatherly rage do its worst...but time doesn’t stand still, and life goes on.
If you won’t see reason - if you refuse to acknowledge my innocence regarding the death of your son - I’ll have no choice but to put an end to this in the ring, where it all began. I’m not going to lay down. That’s not what World Champions do. You still want to be the best, Joey? Well you’ve got to beat me first. Had your son not been murdered in front of your eyes by a man you presume to have been me, there’s no fucking way you would have been able to come anywhere near to defeating me at WAR. Now that the Jackal has ravaged you as he did me though, it’ll make for a much more interesting affair.
Don’t blame me for your losses on the road to WAR, Joey, great as they may be. You know better...or so I would think. But as far as the match itself - the fight that’s been brewing since the spring - that’s a loss you’ll have the distinct displeasure of chalking up to me for all-time...and for it, I’ll take full responsibility.
We begin to zoom out, and before long he’s nothing more than a speck in a sea of darkness. Finally we find ourselves back in the Maw, where the Jackal looks out through the icy blue eyes of Dune. The WCF World Champion turns and exits the frame before the screen fades to black.
(4:00 > )