The nightmares are here again.
The screams echoed in the distance as I look upon Elric being stabbed by Schamor. These memories… They were not mine.
Revenant. Remember. You are not who you think you are.
Alarm goes off and I find myself on the floor.
“Not this again?” I whispered.
My nightmares are back. It’s been months that Schamor had disappeared with SSRI. With him so were my nightmares. But now, dreams, no, memories of someone else come to me at night. I stand in front of the mirror and see my transformed face. I looked nothing like I used to before.
“Hey, Martin---” Jake opens the door and stops mid-sentence looking at me.
I looked at back at him feeling the sweat on my body drench my clothes.
“Martin, did you start seeing them again?” Jake inquired.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” I replied and took my towel and went to take a bath.
*A dim light bulb attached to a string hung above a chair. Sitting on the chair was a man whose face couldn’t be seen.*
A man, forgotten.
There was no one who looked for me all these months that I was gone. It goes to show how little did I really mattered in the time where I was alive. It was no wonder Schamor was able to sacrifice me without any hesitation. Cause this world wouldn’t miss an Elric Fonze, an average man living his average life. So the question becomes how did I get mixed up in this in the first place? Where should I begin? Let's start from the beginning.
I grew up in a town called Redhill. It was a small town and everyone knew everyone because of it. My day time job was as a librarian. Not the most rewarding job in the world but a job is a job and well, it paid me enough to get by. But sadly because of it, I was not a suitable candidate for girls to go after. It didn’t really help that I didn’t even have the manly features that women swoon over. Nah, that’s not me. I was like an old man in the body of a 20-year-old weakling.
My daily routine involved waking up at 7 am, making breakfast, eating said breakfast, riding on my worn-out bicycle to the library and spend my time there doing crosswords in the newspaper. I was living the life. The life of a sloth.
But being the librarian wasn’t all that bad, to be honest. I might not have much of social life or an exciting life for that matter but I had access to numerous books and all the time in the world. However, it also made me interact with a particular group of people, old people doing research work or students who were nerds. I didn’t mind, to be honest, but every day when I woke up I felt a part of me was missing. As days passed I would spend in the library drowning myself in the fantasy books for escape.
One day the town bell rang. It was nothing unusual. Every month the town bell would ring for a town meeting. I usually avoided it but this time I was summoned. I was annoyed but I cannot avoid it anymore. So I wore my best white shirt and my best blue tie. I looked like a waiter but I never said I was a fancy man. I didn’t realize that was the day my life was going to change.
Standing at the podium was none other than Schamor. He was in a lab coat talking about a medicine that could potentially cure cancer but to make said medicine he needed our help. He wanted to use our fields to farm the plants which he will need to make this medicine. He also said that if his medicine is successful he will credit our town in his research and help bring business into the town. The mayor bought into his crap, hell, I bought into his crap. Imagine living day to day seeing no change, no excitement around you and suddenly someone comes along and brings something revolutionary. I was mesmerized by this man.
As days went by I saw how Schamor slowly became the town’s doctor. Healing the sick around the town while he waited for these plants to grow. Children would look up to this man, cheering, calling him their hero, their role-model. As days went by I too wished to be more like him. Studying up on his past research. Ordering books in the library which he wrote. This man was a mad genius. And I started to follow his every move as if imitation would be enough to make me more like him…
He finally noticed my potential and took me under his wing. He taught me what he knew and I was eager to think like a sponge and absorb everything. He put me in charge of making the medicine from the plants. He told me the formula and I slowly implemented it. The medicine was ready… or so I thought.
He made me give the medicine out to the hospital in the town and what came next scarred me for the rest of my life. Three days after administering the medicine they all turned into beastmen. Half animal- half man. They lost their minds and attacked the town people. I realized what caused this and went after Schamor only to find him packing everything in his lab. I begged him to help but then he looked me straight in the eye and told me this: “You just doomed this town and even if you deny it no one will believe you. You were in charge of the medicine and now take a look at what’s happening. But don’t say I’m not a kind man, I am willing to save you from this place. Come with me and I’ll show you a world full of possibilities. Stay and you die here.”
I was scared and I didn’t know what to do. What can I do? I did what everyone in my position would have done. I abandoned the town and left with Schamor. See Schamor needed a body of some who was compatible with Martin’s DNA. I, of course, didn’t know that at the time…
*He comes out of the darkness and underneath the light.*
Some time ago a man named Martin Bailer lost his life in a plane accident. No one knew why it happened but CWF lost Pandalike forever. But just like the phoenix, from the ashes, came the rebirth of a new man. Heaven caught on fire and hell froze over, for an unnatural being walked into CWF. His name was Revenant. He was the unholy fusion of Elric Fonze and Martin Bailer. A man who didn’t know who he was. A man who had his freedom taken as a hostage by Schamor. As time went by Revenant recovered some memories of Martin Bailer’s past and then came the time when he dawned on Martin’s old mask. He became Pandalike. He walked among the crowd and he got cheers and love and attention from the people. But something felt off about him. He was not his usual self. You see Pandalike was never a beloved person in CWF. No, no, no, he was the man who spoke against the CWF management, he was a bitter, bitter man. So the question becomes who is this new Pandalike who stands in the ring?
See I was looking for an answer for a long time. I thought I was paranoid. I stepped back from the wrestling world and became Martin Bailer. I lived his life and called everything he had as my own, his child, his wife, his brother. But it didn’t feel right. But one day I woke up and everything clicked for me. I started to gain Elric’s memories. The night Martin was attacked by Jake, Schamor took some of his DNA and mixed it with Elric’s body to make me. It’s not reincarnation, neither was it reviving magic. You see, I was Schamor’s Frankenstein. Every time Schamor talked to me he would tell me that my name was the Revenant but not Martin and it annoyed me. But now I understand. I understand that I am neither Martin or Elric. I am someone completely new. Someone who had the brains of Elric and athleticism of Martin.
So the question now becomes, what should I do? Should I continue to be someone I’m not or should I become the person I want to be? Pandalike’s ideas don’t live within me and neither does Elric’s thirst for fame. And frankly, I am done pretending.
Pretending to be Pandalike. Pretending to be Martin Bailer. Pretending to be someone I clearly am not. For I am the Revenant. SSRI might be dead but I’m not. At Frozen Over I kept contemplating at how I lost that match. That match should’ve been mine. You see time is a river that waits for no one. As time passes by new wrestlers step into CWF. They reached new heights of fame and success and I reach new depths of failure. Take the current CWF champion. He is the Shadow. Granted he is good but he joined CWF after me. He was just a rookie trying to find his way in CWF but look at him now. Just look the FUCK at him. He is the CWF champion! He is my greatest fear realized. My fear of being just a footnote in CWF history. A man who never became a champion, a man who made no difference whatsoever.
Now, now, to some of you fans out there might point at me and say, well you are not Martin. You can’t call his failures as your own but I can, after all, Martin AND Elric are my past, present, and future. But yes, I can’t dwell in the past any longer. I must look towards the future and the future is the Modern Warfare Tournament. I am booked against one half of the current tag champion. Hell, I am not even expected to win according to some people.
Understandable though. Being dubbed as the ultimate underdog, I am starting to see that I am not really valued in this company. I don’t fit the wrestling mold. They say I am not intimidating, strong and tall. I wear the Panda suit and advocate for a species that’s only attraction is its cuteness. But, but there is so much more to that. Pandalike was a name dubbed by Martin to honor his late sister’s memories. Even the worst men in the world have something they hold precious. For Martin, it was his sister.
Sadly clinging to the past had hindered him from making any headway in CWF. Maybe it’s his fault or maybe it’s CWF’s fault. Regardless I choose to learn from his mistakes and be better.
Nathan, you are my testing ground. You see, when I said I was going to be champion, I didn’t limit myself to CWF’s world title. I am coming for them all. You will be the warning that I’ll send to all the current and the future champions. I am sick of being at the bottom of the barrel. I am sick of looking up at people all the time as they topple over me and move on to their goals. I am sick of being just an obstacle for someone else’s story. I am sick of being just a presence. No. I don’t care whether I become the most fear or beloved man in the world. No. I don’t care if tonight I don't win the hearts of the people. No. I don’t care if you Nathan Paradine don’t think much of me. Cause tonight I show the world exactly why I was the man who Schamor chose as his weapon. I will take everything CWF has to offer and more and then the world will know you just don’t mess with
This is my debut and I am coming for you, Paradine.