He took a moment to adjust his red mask and tighten his blue headband. He scanned the area with his keen green eyes. He saw it: a large sports van, civilian-looking on the outside, but he knew it had been modified to be as impenetrable as a tank.
“They’re here, alright,” he whispered to himself. Ducking low, he approached a door and tested its handle. It was unlocked. He smiled as he opened it and dashed inside, sealing it behind him.
The skylight above, and the full moon above it, provided a decent amount of illumination. The room was filled with large wooden crates. He approached one, noting that it had a logo on its side which read, “God Tier Sports Gear.”
‘Figures,’ he thought. ‘If I were as whacked as Muttonstache, I’d steal crates of sports shit too.’
He moved around, careful to be as silent as possible. ‘They’ve got to be around somewhere… sleeping, probably… if I can just get the whistle away from Muttonstache’s neck, his henchmen won’t be able to touch me. But where—’
His train of thought was suddenly derailed as a large spotlight was turned on and pointed directly at him, blinding him temporarily. Suddenly, more came on, all around him. They moved in circles, in a pattern not unlike one would see at a sporting event.
“Well, well, well, if it ain’t the Actor!” Evan heard the unmistakable, growling voice of Coach Muttonstache from above. He looked up, seeing the man standing on a metal catwalk, looking down at him, a fat cigar hanging from the bush of his muttonstache.
“Muttonstache…” Evan muttered.
“I was wonderin’ when someone was gonna come lookin’ for us, here in our little home,” the coach began, leaning over the railing. “I didn’t think it’d be the loner loser!”
“None of the other teams would accept my resume,” Evan said, looking around. “My references didn’t check out.” He didn’t see any of the Sports League. That was bad. He had to keep the coach talking, had to formulate a plan.
“I’m not shocked,” Coach laughed. “After all, what can an actor really do? It ain’t even a real sport! It’s a fake sport, the worst kind! Like TV wrestlin’ and cricket.”
“You’d be surprised what actors can do,” Evan said, his green eyes darting about the room. The spinning lights made it hard to see. He thought he saw a shadow moving, but when he looked it was gone.
“I gotta say, you hero types amuse the hell out of me, but you’re just pathetic, Actor,” Coach laughed, his gut rumbling. “I was hopin’ to give my boys more of a workout, but since it’s just you, you’ll have to do.”
He took out his whistle and blew it, the sharp note ringing throughout the area.
A crate full of tennis balls exploded as Pigskin leapt out of it, growling. The fuzzy green balls flew everywhere, and the football warrior wasted no time in charging directly at Evan, whose eyes widened.
Evan leapt forward, flipping over Pigskin, who crashed into a crate behind him, one full of tennis rackets, ironically enough. The actor turned, but then heard a familiar sound: one of a basketball bouncing.
The Basketball leapt over a large pile of crates, landing a few feet away from Evan, then springing forward and tackling the youth. Now atop him, the tall, orange villain began punching Evan in the face.
Thinking fast, despite the pain, Evan brought up his legs and hooked them around the Basketball’s neck and pulled hard, throwing the bouncy man away. The Basketball landed and his feet, performed a backflip and then slid to a stop.
Evan shook his head, his vision straightening. He looked for a solution as the Basketball began bounding towards him in long strides. Evan stood his ground and performed a spinning back-kick, one which the villain dodged, but then the actor used the same leg to sweep the orange man’s legs out from underneath him.
The Basketball landed on his back and bounced to the side. This gave Evan enough time to run to a nearby open crate and grab a length of volleyball net, which he wasted no time in unraveling. Before the Basketball could get up, Evan leapt atop him with the net, pushing him to the ground and using all of his strength to roll the Basketball up into the net, trapping him.
He stood, looking at the orange man struggle. Evan was about to smile in spite of the moment, but then he heard a crazed voice, incomprehensible, and hard footsteps approaching him from behind. The actor turned and delivered a fierce punch into Homerun’s face, then pulled his hand back in pain.
Homerun turned his head a little, as if the punch had rendered him temporarily curious, before he returned the favor and punched Evan in the gut with the force of a baseball thrown by a pro athlete. It nearly knocked the wind out of the actor.
Homerun was a hard-hitter, and so they traded blows, with Evan taking exceptional care to not get hit by the baseball warrior’s fierce attacks. The white skin of Homerun, patched up with erratic lines of red fabric, glistened in the light and his eyes were wide and unblinking.
Evan knew he couldn’t keep this up forever. Homerun’s hits were simply too strong. Thankfully, Pigskin was a few players short of a dugout, and charged at both of them, having broken out of the tennis racket box.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Evan leapt up, grabbing onto a hook hanging from a thick metal wire on the ceiling, as Pigskin collided with Homerun like a train hitting a car. Both of them vanished into a pile of crates, which fell atop them.
“Hah!” Evan shouted, before he saw a man-sized soccer ball heading directly for him. He dropped to the ground, dodging the attack, and the actor turned to see the ball unfold itself into Soccer Spectre. The figure floated there, before flying at Evan, fists clenched and leading his charge.
Evan braced himself, then performed an agile backflip, both of his feet connecting with Soccer Spectre’s jaw, deflecting the villain’s attack. Distracted, the patterned minion hit the metal wall and slid to the floor.
The Basketball was still struggling to get out of his net. Evan thought himself free for a moment, before Homerun broke free from a nearby crate, sending shattered splinters soaring, holding a metal bat.
“Oh, fuck me,” Evan muttered.
Homerun charged at him, swinging fast and furiously, leaving Evan no room to dodge. As Homerun’s endless assault continued, Pigskin freed himself from a large crate taking his time to tear open a large, rectangular crate that contained the parts to a basketball hoop. He picked up the large black pole, with the backboard and hoop attached to it, and lifted it up over his shoulder like a greataxe.
He roared and charged with it, using all of his strength to swing it at Evan, who saw it coming at just the right second and jumped over it. Homerun did the same, dodging it as well, and the makeshift weapon sliced into a crate and was stuck there.
Soccer Spectre, having recovered, had been helping the Basketball out of his admittedly embarrassing situation. Pigskin dropped his end of the basketball hoop’s pole, and ran at Evan once more, this time being careful not to tackle Homerun.
Rolling to the side, the actor once more dodged the dumb brute, but Homerun was on him. Now on the floor, Evan turned and kicked outwards, managing to plant his foot on Homerun’s chest and grunted as he pushed the psychotic baseball onto his back.
Suddenly, he felt hands enclose around his wrists as Soccer Spectre emerged from the ground below him, gripping tightly and forcing his arms behind his back. The soccer minion’s fingers dug tightly into the actor’s arms as Evan kicked and tried to escape, but now he was floating in the air, suspended by Soccer Spectre.
The Basketball, the tallest minion, was quick to reach up and grab both of Evan’s feet, holding them in place.
Now he was truly caught. But never did he stop struggling against his captor’s strong grip, even though it was futile.
He heard low laughter as Coach Muttonstache appeared on the ground floor, wearing what appeared to be metal boxing gloves. Pigskin and Homerun stepped aside as he neared the actor, and his captors lowered him a little to be on eye-to-eye level with the coach. “You got spirit, Actor, and spunk too, and hell, I’ll be fair and say you got skills, but you ain’t nothin’ next to my boys. You shoulda stayed away, kid. Now I get to finish ya off, nice an’ slow.”
‘Well, fuck,’ Evan thought to himself, panting and sweating. “To die at your hands is a shitty way to go,” he remarked. “No honor to it.”
“Maybe,” Coach Muttonstache shrugged, “But I ain’t a chinamen. I don’t believe in honor.”
As the coach began punching Evan in the chest, repeatedly, causing the youth to cough up blood, which showed up as darker stains on his red mask, his smile grew with each blow. “Boxing? That’s a man’s sport, haha!” he said in glee, slamming his fists into Evan’s ribs, breaking one or two.
He threw in one solid swipe against Evan’s face, causing his eye to tear and swell up. He kept going, and his minions watched with murderous fascination.
Evan held on for as long as he could, but the pain was overwhelming. Darkness bid him welcome…
Before the side of the warehouse exploded from the outside, and lights from a truck shown in. A group of figures appeared, standing in the dust and light, obscuring their identities. The coach and his Sports League all looked, as did Evan, struggling to remain conscious as he saw the silhouettes.
But even in his weakened state, he recognized the voice that shouted, “Drop that actor you fat son-of-a-bitch.”
To be continued…