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[IC] New Day, New Job


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Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

“The Palace of Practice”, The Waterfront, Freedom City

8:47 AM



The Palace of Practice, UWL’s fabled gym and training area, was quite a sight to behold. While the upper floors of the building belonged to the UWL’s business side, the basement was a large room, spanning the limits of the property the building stood on into all sides, with multiple floors in height. UWL was fairly big and popular, but that didn’t explain how they’d been able something like this. This place truly was the best way to exercise that various internet and industry rumours made it out to be. It accommodated various powers, from weights ranging up to multiple tons in the lowest floor, to a large open area going through all the floors for flying.


Standing in a group on the topmost floor of the gym was Kwame Harris, Hammer. He was part of the UWL’s most recent batch of new hires, standing in a half circle together with about ten others, three women and seven men. He recognized three of them, people who had made it to some fame in the US, including Jesse “The Spur“ Cassidy, a Canadian with the ability to turn into iron (His real name actually was Lawrie Stott, but that didn’t matter). Kwame had worked a program with him for some months a few years ago, and the two still had some contact.


On top of a small stage made of various wooden elements that were easy to move stood two people. Both of them were easily recognizable, and Kwame had dealt with one of them before. Hedley DeShaek, endearingly called the “Orangutan” by both fans and wrestlers. The former wrestler of some fame was UWL’s main booker, he was responsible for everything from storylines to the length of matches. The other, a tall masked man. His mask covered the upper part of his head, white and black, mimicking the look of feathers. His torso was undressed, while his pants fit the look of his mask.


As the last few people found their way into the room, DeShaek began to speak, his mouth moving above his ginger full beard. “Good to see you all made it. Welcome, to Ultimate Wrestling League! And welcome to the Palace of Practice! You’ll be spending most of your time in here, but it’s cozy, no worries. Now, before we start, do any of you already have questions?”

Edited by olopi
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Kwame took a  moment to look at the other new recruits.  Some of them were very interesting but it did get him wondering how things were going to play out.  


"Yeah, I've got a quick question.  I know this is wrestling, so I assume it's pretty much the same as the mundane leagues, but I've got to ask, with this being the superpowered league, how real do we get?"  He gesture over at one of the petite new members as he continued.  "I mean, I'm pretty strong and Jesse's pretty much invulnerable. We're going to need to be pretty careful with someone as small as him.  I'm assuming your one of those agility type wrestlers, always jumping around the ring, showing off how quick you are?"


"I don't want to hurt anyone, but to make this look impressive, we'll need to know just how far we can go."  Kwame looked back at DeShaek as he finished.

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DeShaek responded to Hammer’s question with a smile. Clearly, it was a question that was asked often, and for good reason. He looked at the various new recruits, people of various body types, with various powers, and nodded.


“That’s a good question. We usually give a basic introduction later on, once we show you the ring, but, as a quick rundown, we can do it now.” He turned towards the middle of the half-circle, addressing everyone in the room and occasionally looking at them.  “All of our gear is specifically made for combat purposes, so even those of you without super-toughness should be able to take a hit that goes wrong. “


A short pause, to let that sink in. A few people looked at each other, some seemed to know already, others looked relived. “In general, it’s the rule of “hit softly, let them act out the damage”. But, it depends on who you’re facing. Some of you pretty much don’t feel any pain, so there you can probably go in a bit harder. Leave it up to the Bookers and Agents to worry about that, general rule is to make your hits look real, without making them hurt, as usual.”


The large man turned to face the wrestler who had accompanied him. A fairly tall, lean man, with a body that looked well-trained, without being over the top. “For example.” The two met eyes, before DeShaek, looking a bit rusty, threw a punch. He stopped in the middle of it, less than an inch before hitting the masked man. After about a second, once everyone had seen the punch, the wrestler then threw himself backwards a few feet, as if propelled by the punch.


He turned back towards the new arrivals, focusing his attention on the right half of the circle, where the more green people seemed to stand. “Those of you with experience already know how to do that. Those of you that are new, you’ll learn soon enough. It’s a lot more difficult than it looks. If powers are involved there’s a bit more to it, but we’ve got a few tricks to make it look real. More on that later on. Anything else? We’ve got all day. “

Edited by olopi
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Kwame watched the display and nodded his head at the maneuver.  He had performed the same move during his bouts with the PCW and TNA wrestling groups but that was normal wrestling.  He was interested how well a punch could be pulled when both fighters had the ability to destroy buildings.


Kwame shook his head showing that he had no further questions.  He was getting more interested in seeing the rest of the workings of the league.  So far, it was just what he wanted.

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None of the other recruits seemed to have a question either. After a few seconds of silence DeShaek nodded, and walked up to the edge of the stage, where he began, a big smile on his face.


“Okay. So, welcome to Ultimate Wrestling League. We’ve all met before, so I won’t introduce myself. Here with me is Alejandro, whom some of you may know as … let me try to get the pronunciation right … El cigüeña blanca. He’ll show you some of the more active parts of being an Ultimate. “


The luchador had by now retaken his position slightly behind and to the side of DeShaek. He raised his hand and waved slightly, his eyes wandering through the crowd.


“You’re all here because you are one of our newest recruits, one of our newest Ultimates. Some of you already were in the ‘biz. Some of you are total rookies. But all of you have shown us that you deserve a place here. Now, I can stand up here and talk all day, but you’ll hear enough of me during promo class. Let’s get to the tour instead. Follow me.”


The burly man walked over to the steps leading off the stage, before walking into the first room of the gym through the large doorway behind him. The rest of the crowd followed, before forming in a half circle around him. This first level of the gym seemed to be a big central room, with a variety of smaller ones leading off to all sides.


On a first glance, the equipment was no different than the one in ordinary, mundane fitness centres. A bit of everything. The only thing that stood out was six rings, all quite large (UWL standard, about 50% larger than most used by wrestling promotions), in the middle of it all. 


“This is level one. There’s a bit of everything here. Over there’s the classrooms. No worries, you’re not going to school again. But there’s theory, and it’s more comfortable to sit on a chair than the ground. Those are our rings; you know the deal. This is, for the most part, the level for classes. Those of you with little experience will be here a lot, the others too, but not as much. You’re all gonna start here later on today. “

Edited by olopi
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Kwame searched his memory about Alejandro but didn't recall much about the wrestler.  He must have been pretty good for people to know who he is.  I'll have to look him up once I get a chance.  Perhaps I can get Endeavor to help me out.  She's pretty good with searching the net.  Endeavor, or Sakurako Hina, was one of the young heroes he met the other day at the Christmas block party.  She was pretty handy with computers and gadgets.  She had agreed to help Kwame set up his superhero profile.


Kwame stepped in line with the others, following the old wrestler into the next section of the gym.  He stared in awe at the huge rings centered in the room.  Not only were they wider than what he was used it, they were also taller.  Falling out of the ring is going to hurt a lot more now.  Glad I got the tough package.  What would I have done if that stuff had turned me into a speedster or worst yet one of those blasters?  I'd have a much harder time adjusting to the Ultimates.  Thank God for small miracles.


Kwame turned his attention back to the lecture on the facilities. He wanted to ask about the fitness equipment and whether it was adjusted to their more powerful abilities but decided not to.  It only made sense that the equipment would be able to push all the athletes to their limits.  If not, then there must be some place nearby that could.  Instead, he simply nodded his head in understanding.  Glad I won't have to sit in on those classes again.  It was a pain in the rear the first time through.  No need to suffer a second time.

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Seeing the UWL rings up close was quite intimidating, and there was some rumbling in the crowd as various people spoke with each other. From next to him, Kwame managed to catch a few words. They came from a group of three people, probably friends judging by their behaviour. He didn’t know any of them.  


“Whoa. They’re that big?” “They didn’t look that huge on TV.” “That just makes topes more dangerous.” “I love it though. “


Their guide let them speak for a few seconds, before speaking up again. His voice was rather loud, even if he wasn’t directly trying to shut anybody down.


“Next up, Level Two. Once more, follow me. “


After a short ride in an elevator that easily fit the entire group (and probably at least one of UWL’s rings), they arrived on the previously mentioned level two. It was just one room, with what appeared to be a variety of ways to do cardio. A variety of bike machines. A bunch of steppers, quite a few treadmills and some rowing machines. All colour coded, there probably was an explanation to why they all were in differing bright colours.


Leading around the edge of the room was a running track, judging by its size and width probably one that comforted to olympic standards. And, scattered around the room, various mats for ground exercise, as well as some weights.


“Level Two. The place for cardio! Lots of ways to train here. And if you know of one we don’t have, tell us and we’ll see about adding it in. Now, I see some of you wondering about why all exercise machines are painted. It’s a quick way of identifying what kind of machine it is. Depending on the colour, it’s either close to mundane, or specialized for those with powers that would apply to it. So, I suggest those of you without superspeed don’t go onto any purple treadmills. You’ll get a cheat sheet about what s what once we’re done with the tour, no worries. “



Edited by olopi
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Kwame looked around the room.  Cardio wasn't something he was really into since he preferred to gain muscle mass.  Still, cardio had its place in a workout.  Especially for the life of a wrestler, cardio was needed to ensure that everyone had the stamina to last a match.


So they do have stuff for the different types of powers.  that's good to know.  I'll have to be careful with the ones I use.   "Hey, Jesse, it looks like you'll finally get a chance to show me just how fast you really are.  We'll just put you on the speedster treadmill and and figure out just how far you can get thrown!  Actually, that would be a pretty good gimmick in the ring.  I can see it now."  Kwame spread his arms as if pointing out the headlines of a billboard.  "Ring Toss Match!  First person thrown from the treadmill loses."


He jabbed an elbow into Jesse's side as he finished.  A few of the recruits laughed at the joke and even Jesse gave a half-hearted smirk in response.  Kwame and Jesse, had their share of rivalry but it was inflated by the publicity aspect of the matches.  In reality, the two were fairly good friends.


"Me, getting tossed?  I believe you're referring about yourself.  Hey it's called Hammer toss for a reason!" Jesse jabbed back which got a few louder laughs than Kwame's line.  Kwame laughed with the others.  "Good one, Jesse.  Good one."

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The luchador accompanying DeShaek joined in with the laugther, and even the Orang-Utan himself couldn’t help but chuckle a bit at the conversation. He was glad to see that people already got along, even if it was two who had known each other beforehand. It would help with some of the plans the writing and booking groups had made for the future.


The burly man waited for the laughter to die down, then continued onwards. “That’s everything you have to know about level two for now, let’s continue onwards. We’re taking the elevator again. Just so I don’t forget, there’s also personal elevators and stairs over there. But with a group this size, this is the best way of doing it, so let’s go. “


On the elevator, Kwame got a better look at some of his fellow recruits. All kinds of people, with all kinds of builds and body-types. A few seemed to be really well trained, others looked about average. But then again, some of the strongest people Kwame had worked with in the past were people that looked a lot less imposing than him. He was about average in height, as was common when wrestling. Two people stood out when it came to height. One was about 7 ft. tall, all within boundaries, while the other’s size, slightly larger, seemed to be courtesy of some sort of power.


As the group stepped out, they were greeted by what would have been a strange sight anywhere else. Steel chairs, Kendo Sticks, Baseball bats and other things were neatly stored away into wall-mounted racks. The middle of the room was made up of two rings, with steel cages set up on them. And along the rest of the room there were other things used in gimmick matches, both more traditional ones and ones (mostly) unique to the UWL.


Once more the group gathered around DeShaek in a half-circle. And Alejandro, the luchador, had already grabbed a kendo stick from nearby and brought it along.


“Welcome to most people’s favourite level. Level three, where we train for all sort of non-standard matches. You’ve got everything here, if we don’t use the equipment it wanders down here. It’s both storage and training area, convenient, right? It’s not used as often as other levels, but a lot of Ultimates actually spend their free-time down here, perfecting those blows and throws. If you can’t actually injure your opponent it’s much easier to get them right. “


The luchador, still with kendo stick in his hand, just smiled and nodded.

Edited by olopi
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The large elevator was actually pretty impressive.  Kwame figured that at least 30 to forty normal people people could fit inside with room to spare.  The large rings in the cardio room could easily fit within the elevator as well.  Contemplating the size of the elevator got Kwame looking at the other recruits again. 


Jesse, "The Spur", who could turn his body into iron, was a powerhouse like himself.  His power however came from his transformed condition.  As a wrestler, Jesse's style was more of the direct punishment variety which fit his new powers.  Kwame recalled how they would often team up during their days together in TNA.  Kwame's mastery of submission holds coupled with Jesse's straight damaging style worked well.  Hopefully the two would get the chance to work together again here.  Kwame was sad when Jesse left TNA due to his powers appearing but glad that his friend had some experience with powers when he gained his own.  Jesse had been the first person Kwame had turned to for help.  Together, they managed to work through the basics of his powers as well as help him adjust to his new life.


Standing next to Jesse was Sharon "Vixen" Nelson.  Kwame remember working with her during his early career with the PCW out of Chicago.  He didn't know that she was a metahuman and had no ideas what her abilities were now, but back in the day, she was one of the more agile fighters he had the pleasure of working with.  They even had a few dates before she suddenly left the circuit.  Kwame didn't recall hearing anything about her since he last saw her.  Vixen's toned body hinted that she had continued wrestling after leaving the PCW.


Kwame blinked as he recognized the tall man standing in the group.  Standing at an impressive 7 feet tall was none other than The Big Cactus, one of the tallest wrestlers coming out of the WWE!  The Big Cactus was one of the greats that Kwame had fashioned his own style upon.  He was a submissive type that used his long limbs to force his opponents to literally beg to be released.  Kwame was surprised to see such a famous wrestler was now with the UWL and wondered exactly what kind of powers the star now had.


The others were still a mystery to him.  Veronica Sellers,  the shortest member of the group.  She resembled a child in a candy store for th first time.  Her head swiveled from side to side as she tried to take in everything all at once.  I remember when I was like that.  I thought everything was magical back then.  That was before I started getting thrown around like a rag doll.


At least Veronica had the body type of a wrestler.  The lanky man standing next to her wasn't as lucky.   He had given the name of Thomas Barr which Kwame figured was a stage name like Jesse.  Thomas looked more suited to the life of a runway model than as a wrestler.  He also showed signs of having little knowledge of the wrestling world.


The twins, Mike and Paul, were a strange duo.  They had introduced themselves as having experience and fighting under the tag team name, The MPs.  Kwame hadn't heard of the duo as they worked mostly in the indie groups located in Mexico.  though they were both on the heavy side, neither gave the appearance of being powerhouse style fighters.  Instead, Mike's sudden interest in the cardio room and the speedster treadmill implied he was a speedster while Paul's interests remained a mystery.


Hannah Taylor, a beautiful Scottish red head, stood the tallest in the group.  At 7 feet 3 inches, she was even taller than The Big Cactus.  However, her frame was covered in very powerful muscles that rivaled Jesse's when he was in iron form.  Her unusual size was obviously due to her powers and Kwame suspected that she would take a name that included mention of the fact.


The remaining two recruits in the group were Canadian brothers.  The older brother, Zayn Lee, had experience wrestling in Europe.  He had the frame of an agile wrestler.  His younger brother, Aiden Lee, was harder to learn anything about.  Kwame found it hard to focus on the young wrestler.  After a few moments, he simply decided to give up.  I'll have to watch out for that one.  If he learns how to wrestle, he might cause a me a lot of problems in the ring.


Kwame took a moment to let his eyes readjust tot eh group in a whole just as the doors opened to reveal the newest level.  He nodded in appreciation of the work space and knew he would need to use it quite a lot once he learned more about his new coworkers.

Edited by MBCE
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Once more, the group’s guide waited for any questions or witty comments. After a few seconds of silence, he looked back towards the elevator, and began to walk towards it once more.


“One more level coming up. Then we’re done with this tour. “


The elevator had remained where it had been before, and once the entire group was inside, the doors closed and it descended. It wasn’t the fastest elevator. Soon, it arrived at the bottom level, and as the doors opened, Kwame could see a room, about as large as the ones above, split neatly into two sections.


One section held all the strength exercise machines one could dream of. Once more colour-coded, there was everything from the more classical weights benches to dumbbells the size of truck wheels. There weren’t a lot of them unfortunately, so it would probably get somewhat packed in here when many people were working out.


The other section contained more rings, like the floors above. They were all pretty close together, with just enough space to walk between them. It seemed to be normal rings, without anything special about them.


“The final level. Down here you find everything you need to work out if level one isn’t enough. Weights go up to … 5 tons I think? Quite a lot. We don’t have a lot of them, they’re not all that cheap, but there’s usually enough space down here. And over there’s the ring section. You’ll end up spending a lot of time down here, it’s probably the area that gets the most traffic. “


DeShaek looked over towards Alejandro, who nodded in his general direction. Once more he waited for anyone to speak up and ask questions, but everybody seemed content with what they saw. A few comments inside the groups, especially between the brothers, but none addressed to the Orang-Utan himself.  He took a bunch of paper sheets from a pocket, holding them out in front of him.


“That’s the tour done. Come take a schedule from me, then you’re free to leave until after lunch. Go around and talk with some people, they should arrive in a bit. Hammer, Spur, Vixen and Zayn, your schedule’s a bit different. Please wait for a second while the others leave. “

Edited by olopi
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Kwame's eyes widen when they reached the next level.  Finally!  Here's a place I can really test out my strength!  See just where my limit is now.  He gave a slight rib gab to Jesse as he flexed his biceps.  "Looks like we can see who really is the strongest one!" he said with a smile upon his face.


Though the equipment looked limited, Kwame had worked with worst in the past.  Any true bodybuilder knew how to think outside of the box when it came to working out.  The extra rings on this level also gave Kwame hope.  Hmm, with the closeness of these rings, I can watch others practicing their moves while I work out.  Great!  Kill two birds with one stone.  I'll just have to remember to be careful with my throws.  With those rings as close as they are, I expect we'll see a lot of people disrupting others.


Kwame nodded his understanding when DeShaek asked for him and the others to remain behind.  He was curious as to why his and the others had different schedules but he knew the answer would come soon.  He looked over at Zayn with a curious look.


"Zayn, are you going to come up with a stage name?  There are some wrestlers that tend to go with their own name but I always found it better to have a working name."


"I don't know," Zayn replied.  "I tried having a name when I was in Europe, but nothing ever stuck.  Now that I'm here, I might try to get one. How did you choose your name?"


"Mine was easy.  When I tried out for the PCW, the first wrestling group I started with, the guy I was fighting said I hit like a hammer.  After that, the name stuck.  Of course, I've adapted my style over the years since then to one using submissive holds a little more but I like it."


"I was there," Vixen chimed in.  "And that's not how I remember it.  You got the name after your debut match.  We all went out to celebrate and Kwame drank so much that he passed out.  The rest of us started calling him 'Hammer' in reference to that!"


The others standing around laughed and Kwame just shook his head in wonder.  "Why'd you have to ruin the dream!" he said in a joking manner.

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DeShaek had a hearty laugh, as he once more proved upon hearing the story about Hammer’s name. After joining in with the others (and a clap to Kwame’s back), he calmed down a bit and looked at the others, neatly assembled around him.


“These stories always are cool. Remember them, tell them. Great way to break the ice, especially now that you’re here at UWL for the first time. Everybody’s got their stories. Some people don’t take too kindly to the new faces, but we can’t do much to change that.  


“Now, the reason I told you all to stay behind. You might have picked it up already, you might not have. The UWL has an upcoming promotional show, next month. One of the program’s points is to introduce some of our new recruits. We decided on the four of you. All of you have enough experience that we can justify throwing you right into the action. “


“While the others will be working a more basic training program, we’re skipping the absolute basics with the four of you. You, and Cactus, will instead be working the standard regime. We’ll get you up to action for January, let you train with the people you’ll be facing off with in exhibition matches, and let you make some good first impressions at the show. “


“And afterwards, we’ve got some further plans. You’ll be on TV sooner than you think, no worries. If it goes according to plan, we’ll have you working together, as a faction. Now, I understand this is all a bit sudden and we’ve not really spoken about it before, so it’s obviously subject to change, but what do you say?”

Edited by olopi
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Kwame looked at the others standing with him.  Both Spur and Vixen, he worked with before.  He was curious to see how Vixen had changed since their last time working together.  Her powers were still a mystery to him, but he knew it would be a fun experience to work with the two again.


Zayn was a completely unknown entity.  Kwame knew little of the European wrestling scene.  There were some very popular wrestlers coming from Japan, but he couldn't recall any specifically from Europe.  The thought of working with such an unknown component was getting Kwame excited.


"I'm good with that!  I've been itching to get back in the ring.  Getting the chance to debut with people that I actually know, that'll make the experience that much better.  I'm even excited to work with Zayn.  I always enjoyed working with new people and it's better to be on the same team first.  This should be fun!"


Jesse, The Spur, smiled in agreement.  "Yeah.  I can even get in the Hammer Toss maneuver!  Can you picture me tossing you across the ring at somebody?"  He slapped Kwame on the back.


Sharon, Vixen, shock her head in amusement.  "That would be something nice to see.  Perhaps we could even work out having me ride him as you throw him?  I could be the flying Vixen then!"


Zayn looked back and forth between the three old friends, feeling slightly out of place.  "I guess it could be fun.  We'll have to practice a bit to get our timing right, but I think we could do it."


Kwame nodded at Zayn's words.  "Yeah, and we need to work on a name for you.  Something with a little flair.  Hopefully during practice, we'll find one for you."  Zayn nodded his agreement and smiled.  "We're all in Chief!"

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DaShaek looked quite happy at the confirmation, and as he continued to speak, he sounded so too.


“Good, good. “


He, once more, took some paper sheets from a pocket on his shirt. After unfolding them, he handed one to each of the four. They included a variety of information. Where various machines could be found, the colour-coding and where one could check in case they lost the sheet, Information on various schedules and classes, and, most importantly, the Wi-Fi password.


“There’s the most important information. All of you will also get a website login, once we manage to get it to work, where you can access all of that stuff, and some other things too. Will also allow for easier communication, if I understood it right. Now, one more thing, follow me.“


He walked over the rings, getting onto the stairs leading up to one of the corners, and looking at the group from there.


“You can start training right now. The other Ultimates should arrive in 20 or so minutes. The ones you will have matches with at the Promotion already know you’re down here, they’ll come and talk to you. But until then, you’ve got this all for yourself. Get warmed up, practice some easy stuff, but don’t overdo yourself just yet, the entire day’s yet to come. “


The Orang-Utan descended the stairs, walking straight to the smaller elevators, but continuing to address the group nevertheless.


“Now, if you have any further questions, come ask the others, me upstairs or one of the trainers. They’ll arrive soon too.”

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Kwame and the others watched as The Orang-Utan left them to their own devices.  Once hew as out of sight, Jess clapped his hands together in eager anticipation.   "Alright! Now let's just see how strong we really are!"  He moved over to the strength exercise section  and began looking at the various machines and their color codes.


The others moved over to join him.  Kwame looked at his packet of information for the meaning of the colors listed.  "It seems there are only 4 colors.  The yellow is the lowest level, categorized as normal level.  The green comes next and that's for the gifted.  The blue comes next which is marked as superhuman.  Last comes red for high superhuman."  Kwame looked up from the packet to over look the machines.  "Seems pretty easy to me.  Where should be start?"


Sharon looked over the machines with a slow smile on her face.  "How about a friendly competition?"


"What do you have in mind?" Zayn said as everyone regarded the young woman.


Sharon placed her hand on the nearest machine and slowly walked around it.  Her movements were very sensual, one of the reasons for her stage name, Vixen. "Oh, I don't know. Whomever can lift the most gets to demand one thing from each of the losers."


Kwame looked at the machines and shrugged.  "I guess I'm game. Should be fun.  Besides, knowing our upper limits would help us out a lot." Both Jess and Zayn nodded their agreement and four began the competition.


"Okay, since I came up with this, I'll go last."  


"I'll go first then.  Since none of you will be able to keep up with my awesomeness, this should be a pretty simple win for me."  Jess, The Spur, moved over to the first machine.  "I'll skip the yellow.  These guns don't need no warming up!"


* * * * * *

"Looks like it's just you and me, Hammer," Vixen said as she watched Zayn fail to lift the latest weight of 3 tons.  The group had steadily advanced through the weights on both the green and blue levels.  The Spur was surprisingly the first to be knocked out of the running.  Even with his iron form, he was unable to  go beyond the 3,000 lbs.   


Zayn got up to make room for Hammer to take his place.  "Wow.  I didn't know I could even go that high."  He looked over at Jess who was sulking in his iron form.  "Hey, don't let it get you down.  It's not the end of the world."


Kwame moved to the machine and easily lifted the 3 tons.  "Your turn Vixen!" he said as he made room for Sharon to take her place.  Vixen smiled before easily lifting the weight.  


"Looks like extra innings, boys."

* * * * * *

Kwame looked at the weights sitting on the machine.  It had finally been maxed out at 5 tons.  He looked over at Sharon who was smiling at him.  Something's not really right here.  She doesn't seem to have the body type to keep up with this weight, yet she's managed to keep up with me.  Perhaps there's more than muscles with Vixen now.  Kwame took his place and placed his hand on the bar.  "Time for Hammer to knock this out of the park!"  Kwame easily lifted the bar, surprised to realize that the 5 tons still felt extremely light to him.  "Your turn."


Sharon shrugged and moved into position.  Kwame watched closely but couldn't see how Vixen managed to lift the bar just as easily as he had.  "Looks like it's a tie," Jess said as he shook his head in disbelief.  "That didn't seem to bother either of you.  Just how much can you lift?"


Vixen stood up and shook Hammer's hand.  "I guess we'll never know using the weights here."

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As the remaining two new recruits began to lift the 5 ton weight, the heaviest one that was available in the Palace, the first of their new co-workers began to arrive. Immediately, some of them turned their attention towards the new Ultimates’ show of strength. More people continued to arrive, by now there were maybe 20 people down here, some of which were more recognizable than others.


As the two finished, both managing to lift the rather large weights, a few people had gathered around them. One of them approached, a rather large man, his skin fairly pale. Kwame has seen him before, when getting some basic information on the UWL. He was Glacier, one of UWL’s top stars. He’d been with the company for almost all of its existence, and was one of their most decorated wrestlers. His powers were based around turning himself into ice, which, contrary to physics perhaps, also made him stronger and tougher. Quite similar to Jesse’s powers, but the UWL having a pattern in their hiring was hardly surprising.


“Enough ways to test it. Be creative, there’s always heavier stuff!”


He extended his hand towards Kwame, looking at him with a friendly smile.


“Glacier, but call me Austin. Nice to meet you, I’ve followed your progress for some time. And I’m the guy assigned to working with you for now. “


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Kwame took the offered hand and shook it firmly.  "Wow, this is such an honor!  I never thought I'd get the chance of working with Glacier so soon after joining the league.  I figured I'd end up starting as a Jobber first until I had proven myself."


Kwame then finally noticed the large number of people who were watching the test of strength.  He was surprised to see so many of the wrestlers there.  He noted a few of the Jobbers in the crowd.  There was Zima II, the masked wrestler in a matching singlet, The Grappler, a bare-chested man with four arms, The Dancer, a very large woman in a black singlet and pink tutu, Bastante Venenoso, a female lizardfolk with a tail, and others.  The four jobbers were some of the people Kwame had studied up on before joining the UWL.  He had assumed that his progression would work similar to his time in normal wrestling.  Start as a jobber and work his way up to the spotlight.  It seems the UWL worked slightly differently.


"I think we'll let it stand as is now," Sharon said.  "A girl's got to keep some of her secrets!"  She moved over to the group of wrestlers introducing herself.  Jess and Zayn also followed suit until everyone had been introduced.


"So Gla--, I mean Austin, do you often get to train with the new recruits?  I would figure they would hold you in reserve for some really proven wrestlers."  Kwame looked surprised as he noted a number of the wrestlers smiling as he spoke.  It seems they were in some kind of a joke that had eluded Kwame.


The Dancer moved up beside Kwame and placed her hand on his shoulder.  "Isn't he cute, Austin?  I think you should just Hammer it into him!"  Laughter filled the gym at the silly pun.

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The Glacier did his best to answer with a firm shake of his own. If either of the two did not have superhuman toughness, it probably wouldn’t have ended too nicely, but this way it just looked like a firm handshake to everybody. The large man smiled once more, before Kwame managed to ask his question, and The Dancer moved over to the two.


He turned towards her, as the experienced wrestler spoke, loud and friendly, most of the gym was probably able to hear it.


“Oh, trust me, I will. That’s literally my job, isn’t it?”


Then, he addressed Kwame’s previous question, more quiet again, but still with a certain force behind his words.


“Usually, yeah. But, on one hand I’ve been personally following your work for some time, so I requested an opportunity to work with you when I heard you joined. On the other hand, Management has quite some plans for you. You’re proven quality, and you’ve already managed to get into the news outside of the League. And trust me, they’re big on that. So long as it’s good publicity. Otherwise … eh, just try to never have that happen. “


The Glacier took a few steps up the metal stairs leading to one of the rings. From up there, he looked down. “What do you say? Want to get started? The bigger the head start we get on your friends, the more you’ll stand out at the exhibition. “


A statement addressed at the other new recruits, but one that was friendly in it’s motivation and tone. Clearly, the veteran knew how to get some friendly competition going.  



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  • 3 weeks later...

Kwame smiled as he looked up at Glacier. It had been while since he had last felt the thrill of a challenge.  "I'm up for a little bit of fun!"  Kwame leaped into the ring, easily clearing the ropes.  His new teammates nodded their heads in quiet approval.


Hammer then quickly dropped down and lunged for Glacier's legs.  I'll start with a simple leg tackle.  If I move fast enough, I should get him before he can...What the --?!?  Though Hammer's movements were fast and skillful, Glacier's were better.  Much better.  The experienced wrestler easily sidestepped the lunged and wrapped his own massive arms around Hammer's torso.  In the same simple movement, he lifted Hammer off his feet and crashed him down to the mat.


Hammer blinked in surprised, unsure of how he had just ended up on his back with Glacier standing a few feet away.  "You'll have to do better than that, Hammer."


Hammer stood up and faced Glacier.  "I'm gonna show you what I can do."  Again, he charged in at Glacier, this time looking to grapple him into a submission hold.

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This time, Glacier didn’t dodge. He let Hammer grab his arm and whip around, and didn’t fight. Hammer worked quickly, and within moments, he’d put his opponent into a textbook standing crossface chicken wing, holding one of Glacier’s huge arms and locking it behind his back, with Hammer’s other arm wrapped around his opponent’s throat.


“Good, good. Looks good, and you know how to do it properly. Now, let’s see…”


Within a moment, the previously standing Glacier abruptly turned to the side slightly, loosening Hammer’s grip on his arm, before falling to one knee.


“Assist me here, jump.”


And with that, the large man used all his force to pull Hammer forward, over his shoulder, all the while having his arm escape the other lock. With Hammer taking a slight jump himself, it didn’t take much for Glacier to pull him over. And thanks to the vast experience of the veteran, Kwame had just enough velocity behind him to stick the landing.


“Okay, that seems to work just fine. Let’s try it again and see if you manage to land on your knees, I’ve got an idea….”


Somehow, it felt as if Kwame’s career as a wrestler had only just began.


~ Fin ~




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