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The Tenth Letter
Author Message
Jay Omega Offline
Galactic Gladiator

XWF FanBase:

(loved by some; hated by some; dips between clean/dirty)

01-29-2023, 11:31 PM

A/N: All alien languages translated to English approximations for convenience. Similarly, dates are given relative to Earth.

"Across the sea of space, the stars are other suns."
-Carl Sagan
Quinn Residence, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
27/2/2022, 2337 Hrs, Local Time
~Despite the illumination provided by the streetlamps, the moonless night was possessed of an oppressive darkness. Though the Bridle Path - one of Toronto's more affluent neighbourhoods - was typically a subdued area, this night seemed to hold an unnatural stillness. A pinprick of vantablack appeared above the driveway of one particular house, and rapidly expanded into a light-eating cuboid that measured 10 feet on each side. The anti-flash of nothingness only existed for the space between a heartbeat, then vanished with a *phoompf* of different atmospheres mixing.

  There now stood two men where none had before, nearly identical in features. On the left was Jim Quinn, owner of the home at the end of the driveway, loving father of five children, and earlier that evening, a professional wrestler in his debut match. On the right was the space-faring, reality-hopping, occasional hero for hire, Jay Omega; another pro wrestler in his spare time, though one with a slightly more eventful career, most recently a failed bid for the XWF Tag Team Championships.

  "Well, that was a painful experience," Quinn said as he massaged his right shoulder, "Still had a good time, though. Sorry about not winning the titles."

  "Bah, not your fault," Omega replied with a dismissive wave, "Nature of the business; anyone can win or lose on any given night."

  "Yeah, I guess so," Quinn said in acceptance, then gestured up toward his porch. "Can I invite you up for a couple bong rips?"

  "You can, but I'd have to decline," The Omega Man said, rather cheerfully, "As you know, I got married again recently, or maybe marrieder? Whatever, point is, I've got a second wife now, and I promised the two of them we'd go on our honeymoon if you and I didn't snag the titles tonight."

  "Oh, yeah, no, that's probably a bigger priority. Though I have no idea how you manage two wives," The Omega Dad said with a rueful shake of his head, "Goin' anywhere good for the honeymoon? I hear the Maldives are nice this time of year."

 Jay chuckled at his doppelganger's incredulity over his marital status, then shook his head with a condescending smile at the thought of vacationing somewhere so mundane as the Maldives.

  "Nah, there's this Galactic Combat League I've been meaning to check out for a while now, and the ladies talked me into this interplanetary bloodsport tour; should be fun."

  "That's what you call a fun honeymoon?" Jim shook his head incredulously, "For all our similarities, you just highlighted the biggest difference between us."

  "Well, that, and I'm better looking," Omega quipped with a roguish grin, "Besides, both Tasha and Ev get turned on watching me fight; if I win, there's a fantastic celebration, and if I lose, there's one Hell of a consolation. It's win-win, really. Anyhoo, time for me hit the road; have fun being the daddest dad who ever dadded."

  "For sure, and you have fun with the limitless alien sex and alien violence."

  "You know it! Later, dude!"

  Quinn wearily trudged up the driveway, pausing at the porch to turn back and wave goodbye as Omega used the Wearable Espionage and Information Retrieval Device strapped to his left forearm to remotely access the Quantum Micro Tunnel Stabilizer aboard his starship, the Independent Support Vessel Khybaris. With a cheerful wave to his alternate universe counterpart, Jay activated the recall function, and vanished with a *bamf* of imploding air rushing to fill the space he had just occupied. From The Omega Man's perspective, he went from a driveway in Toronto to the advanced technological bowels of a starship in the blink of an eye. The moment he was back aboard his ship, the familiar feeling of another presence bloomed in his mind as the digital sophont known as Erin greeted him.

  "Welcome home, Captain," the AI said directly into his brain, "My condolences on your loss this evening."

  "Enh, it's no biggie," Jay replied casually, adding a dismissive wave of his hand, "Can't win 'em all. And I thought we had talked about you using external comms instead of talking straight into my skull; I've had too much experience with voices in my head for my liking."

  "Sorry," Erin apologized sheepishly, her voice now coming from the W.E.I.R.D. strapped to Omega's arm, "It's just that interfacing with your neural implants is faster than accessing comms by point-oh-eight milliseconds."

  "I mean, that small a timespan shouldn't make much difference, should it?" Omega asked, as he began making his way to the command deck.

  "Maybe not for you, but it's an interminably long time for me," explained the digital person sharing his cranium, "It's the equivalent of sending a text versus mailing a handwritten letter."

  "Okay, I can see how that's frustrating," Jay conceded with a half shrug, "I'm just still getting used to having another person living in my cyber-brain, I guess."

  "... It's been seven years, how much time do you need?" Erin asked in a flat tone.

  "More than I'll ever have, that's for sure." Omega shook his head in disbelief as he stepped into the personnel lift, "Granted, it's hardly the weirdest thing that's happened to me, considering I'm a resurrected clone of a time traveling, interdimensional superhero and all."

  "You're a cellular match for the Jay Omega I bonded with, and you've retained all your memories; that makes you the same man by any definition that matters." Despite her clear intention to make him feel better, Erin's words had the opposite effect.

  "Yeah, I intentionally try not to think about it all that much, thanks for stoking the ol' existential crisis," Jay said uncomfortably as he stepped off the lift; he didn't feel any different from before his skull was ventilated all those years ago, but how could he possibly know for sure? "Anyways, can you get the pre-flight systems ready and let Treepis-Tohn know we'll be heading to the nearest jumpgate shortly? I'm gonna relieve Ev for a few hours, let her get some rest with Tasha."

  "Acknowledged, Captain," confirmed Erin, then fell silent as Omega strode along the corridor.

  Upon entering the operations center, The Omega Man shared a loving look and a brief embrace with his second wife - Evelyn "Darkmaw" Nakamura-yl'Megaron-su'Andwalu - relieved her of duty, and sent her off to bed with a light swat to her backside as she turned away before settling into the captain's chair. There was little need for any of the crew to actually be present in the ops center; with a superintelligent datamind inhabiting the ship's computational systems, the Khybaris was largely autonomous. However, since she was initially a military construct, Erin respected the chain of command, and ensured any matters of importance were relayed to whomever was in command at the time.

  Treepis-Tohn, the six-limbed Ylolt pilot, hooted at Jay, both greeting him and confirming the ship's travel-ready status. Omega took a few moments to settle into his seat, quickly went over the list of messages and memos pending, then decided to have a more thorough look once underway.

  "All right, Treepis-Tohn," Jay began in a jovial tone, "Let's burn sky until we can spin up the distortion drive, then haul ass to the jumpgate. Engage."~

"The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug."
-Chris Hedges
In Orbit Above Kentassi, Nargrok System
19/1/2023, 1720 Hrs, Shipboard Time
~Battered and bruised from his most recent bout, Jay Omega leaned back in the command chair and tried to ease the stiffness in his shoulders. Though not all his forays into interplanetary combat sports had been successful this past year, Jay had still amassed a respectable collection of trophies, sashes, medals, totems, talismans, and in one case, a terrifying reptilian cat-like thing the size of a small panther called a vaaltarz which had immediately been claimed by his first wife Ymsyllynt'ash'Andwalu-yl'Megaron-su'Nakamura, informally known as Tasha. She had named the thing Fohkor, to Omega's endless amusement.

  Jay reached into the inside pocket of his omnicoat and withdrew the latest token of victory - a small obsidian trophy carved in his likeness with the ancient Kentassi symbol for "champion" engraved on the chest and inlaid with gold. Turning the figurine over in his hands, Omega contemplated all the various species and their champions he had fought over the last year; the events he'd taken part in had run the gamut from a disorganized city-wide brawl to a tightly structured tournament of singles bouts. The tournament had actually been the worst experience; six fights over the course of one day had left him exhausted when he stepped into the hexagonal arena of Nujyapa for the last time.

  His reverie was interrupted by what felt like a gentle but insistent prodding in the back of his mind. Jay sighed and put the statuette back in his pocket, then levered himself to his feet and made his way to the captain's cabin, adjacent to the bridge. Upon entering his quarters, Omega was greeted by the sight of his breathtakingly beautiful alien wife running a brush through her aquamarine crest of hair, wearing very little. Jay's thoughts immediately turned to the lascivious; his fantasy so intense it took him a moment to realize Tasha had spoken. With a quick shake of his head, he asked her to repeat herself.

  "Is my appearance truly so distracting, darahi?" Asked the exiled princess with a musical laugh, "I congratulated you for once again demonstrating your battle prowess so… admirably."

  "Well, not to toot my own horn, but I am the baddest ass in the galaxy, milady," Omega declared casually, letting a wolfish smile spread across his face, "But that ain't the only reason you called me in here, is it?"

  "No, it was not," replied the Darrikaan expat, then answered Jay's smile with an impish grin of her own, "And while I most certainly appreciate your libido, that is not why I requested your presence either. Do you know what day it is?"

  "Like, on Kentassi?" Omega asked with some confusion, "No idea."

  "No, by Earth's calendar." Tasha clarified as she began to get dressed.

  "Yeah, still no idea, to be honest. Hang on," The Omega Man tapped his W.E.I.R.D. to wake up Erin, "Hey Erin, what's today's date on Earth?"

  "Today's date, relative to Earth, is Thursday, January Nineteenth, Two Thousand Twenty Three," was the AI's prompt response.

  "Oh damn, we missed New Year's," Jay stated absently, his mind preoccupied with trying to discern the date's significance. At length, he gave up, and fixed a blank look on Tasha's face, "Sorry babe, I've still got nothing."

  "Less than two of your months from today will mark one Earth year since we opened our hearts to Evelyn," Tasha reminded him, slightly vexed at Omega's forgetfulness, "It is tradition to celebrate such events, is it not?"

  "Oh fuck, our wedding anniversary is coming up? Yeah, that's important," Jay ran a hand through his hair then tapped at his chin contemplatively, "Gotta do something awesome for her, well, for both of you, really, but what?"

  Tasha opened her mouth to reply but was cut off by a chirrup from the device on Omega's forearm; a priority one message alert. Jay frowned down at the screen, and tapped the icon to view the missive.

  "What am I looking at here, Erin?"

  "It's a wide band distress call emanating from the somewhere inside the Cygnus Rift," answered Erin cheerfully, "Merchant ship, according to its transponder. Apparently a micrometeor impact disabled their engines, and the resulting feedback shorted their inertial dampeners. Long range scans suggest we are the closest ship capable of rendering aid."

  "Sounds like a job for Nicky and Treepis-Tohn," mused The Omega Man, "Well, I guess we should get to rendering then, eh?"

  Jay invited Tasha to join him as he strode back toward the bridge, now that she was fully clothed. Upon reentering the center of operations, Omega settled into the command chair and pulled Tasha into his lap.

  "Treepis-Tohn, set up a jumproute for the 'gate closest to the Cygnus Rift, and get us to the Nargrok 'gate at maximum distortion," Jay ordered, receiving a warbling hoot in confirmation, then hit a toggle switch on the arm of his chair, "Hey Nicky, stop what you're doing and come up to the bridge; got a mission for ya."

  "Don't call me Nicky," replied the surly, Serbian voice of Nikola Tesla, time-displaced mad scientist and Chief Engineer of the Khybaris, "I'm not some scruffy potato farmer! What is the nature of this mission? You know I loathe perilous situations."

  "Bullshit, you fucking love showing off your gadgets," Omega said with a wry smirk, "But don't worry, this should be just a simple patch job; got a distress call from a merchant ship with a blown engine, I figured you could probably get 'em up and running again."

  "There's no 'probably' about it," Tesla stated, equal parts prideful and insulted, "Thus far I seem to be the only reasonably capable engineer in the galaxy; so many vital systems are crafted with the least suitable materials!"

  "Yeah, yeah, we all know about your hate-boner for shoddy workmanship," said Jay with a roll of his eyes, "Just get your crazy ass up here so you can go over the mission specs with Treepis-Tohn; he'll be tagging along to give ya a hand, or tentacle, or whatever."

  With the order acknowledged, Omega turned off the comms, wrapped his arms around his wife, and shifted slightly in his seat to find a more comfortable position as he settled in for a lengthy ride. Even traveling at a million times the speed of light, space was still mind-bogglingly huge, and it would take some time to reach their destination with nothing to do in the interim but wait.~

"How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home."
-William C. Faulkner
Cygnus Rift, Interstellar Medium, 2842ly From Earth
24/1/2023, 1108 Hrs, Shipboard Time
~It had taken the better part of five days to effect repairs to Tesla's satisfaction, though it would have been much less if he hadn't insisted on also fixing every "catastrophe-in-waiting" he laid eyes on while aboard the Ramphu freighter. The upshot, in Jay's estimation, was the crate of top shelf exotic luxury items the crew of the RFMS* Promising Horizon had gifted to Omega and his crew in thanks for their help; surely he'd find something special in there to give each of his wives for their upcoming anniversary.
(*=Ramphu Federation Merchant Ship)

  Jay still didn't have the slightest clue what to do for said anniversary; there were several magnificent resort planets scattered around the galaxy, perhaps some pampering and decadence were in order? But no, neither of his wives were soft, fragile creatures who would enjoy lounging about and being waited on. Like him, Tasha and Evelyn were the kind of people who preferred action over indolence; an appropriate vacation destination would need to host a variety of engaging activities if Omega wanted to woo his wives wholeheartedly, which was the plan after all.

  Now that he thought about it, they were fairly close to Earth, and hadn't been back since just after their weird polygamous marriage ceremony on Hardavast; both Tasha and Evelyn had enjoyed their time spent on Earth, and Jay was certainly familiar with the territory, surely he could plan out something everyone would be satisfied with. His mind made up, Omega turned from the hangar where the Starlight Lost had completed docking, and began making his way to the command deck to begin flight preparations.~

Aitken Crater, Luna, Sol System
29/1/2023, 1836 Hrs, Pacific Standard Time
~Cruising at one third maximum speed - or just over 300,000 times the speed of light - it had taken just over three days to get to Earth. Upon arrival in the solar system, Jay had remembered a slight logistical snag; neither Omega's private island, nor the high-tech facility in the Rocky Mountains existed in this universe, leaving no place to safely make planetfall in the Khybaris. For now, Jay had left orders to degauss the ship on the far side of Earth's moon before heading to the ancient bunker hidden in a hollowed out asteroid in the Main Belt

  Meanwhile, Omega was heading down to the planet's surface in the Starlight Lost, accompanied by both his wives, with Erin riding shotgun in his head. Without access to the fortune he was accustomed to, Erin's presence was indispensable to Jay's plan; there were more than enough illegal slush funds around the world that Omega didn't feel the slightest pang of guilt at siphoning off a few million in order to show the ladies a good time. And The Omega Man had the perfect place to start the festivities of this extended vacation; VIP tickets to XWF: Snow Job.

  The arrangements had all been made the day before, as soon as Erin had been able to connect to a satellite. Those weren't the only arrangements she had made on Jay's behalf; in addition to a flexible itinerary suitable for a romantic vacation, Erin had also secretly reactivated Omega's contract with the XWF, managing to get him placed into a bracket for an upcoming tournament just under the wire. A placeholder bracket was already up on the XWF website, though two of the entrants were listed only by their first initial; himself and one other.

  Though he had an advantage in knowing who his opponent would be, The Omega Man refused to make preparations for the as-yet unannounced match before the official card was released; while not strictly against the rules, it didn't feel like good sportsmanship. Besides, Jay was eminently confident in his ability; either he would win, or his opponent would prove himself the better man, and Omega would simply take whatever target he was next pointed at. He doubted it would come to that, though; despite the man's history with XWF, Bobby Bourbon wasn't going to know what hit him.

  Jay smiled to himself as the Starlight Lost touched down and activated the stealth systems that would keep the small ship out of the public eye. Erin had already set up a hotel suite and made a dinner reservation, and as expected, there was a hired car waiting at the side of the road as they stepped out of the snow-blanketed woodland near the intersection of Lineville Road and Laveview Drive; barely a ten minute drive from the Green Bay city center. Despite running the heater full blast into town, Tasha still complained about the cold all through dinner.

  Granted, her homeworld of Aja Darrik was on the inner edge of the habitable zone circling Daran - a blue star more than twice as hot as Sol - and life outside the coastal cities was deadly difficult under the brutal heat. Evelyn was nearly silent the entire time, as she usually was, but Omega and Tasha could read her face and body language well enough at this point that she was still part of the conversation. Conversation which soon turned to after-dinner plans; he hadn't told the women they were attending a wrestling show yet.

  Evelyn's understated reaction spoke volumes regarding her excitement, while Tasha's demeanor immediately became intensely bubbly; according to her, the only way the evening's plan could be better was if Jay were somehow competing on the card. To which Omega had replied that it had been far too late to take part in the events of Snow Job with a secretive smile, then refused to answer any questions until after they arrived at Lambeau Field. Even after being shown to their private suite in the 7000 level, Jay remained tight-lipped about the details, assuring his wives that all would be revealed by the end of the night.~

Official List of XWF Achievements and Accomplishments

I ain't done shit.

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