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The plane had been hijacked, that was pretty obvious. Some little UFO-like ship had pulled up next to the 747 and hooked up to the rear entrance. Now several men in black jumpsuits and ski masks were on board looking for an "Issac Warner."

When they came to Stingray's seat, one cried out, "Here he is!" Aiming his gun at the wrestler, he said in a mocking voice, "I've got a little message to send from Tazakles to Covenant, and it's gonna be you!" He then proceeded to open fire.

The bullets bounced harmlessly off Stingray's body, ricocheting off into walls, windows, and other passengers. Total chaos broke out as pressurization alarms went off and little masks dropped out of the over head compartments. Only this would-be assassin and Stingray were keeping calm.

Stingray's eyes were now glowing a fiery red and a grimace of rage contorted his face. The flames in his eyes grew and grew...

There were no survivors in the subsequent explosion.

by Chad Imbrogno
Identity Crisis

Issac was getting pissed and it wasn't a good thing. He was sure that the press would be all over him when he got back to the states and he wanted to seem as cheery as possible. Unfortunately, someone had stolen his plane ticket and Issac now had to ride in a rickety commuter plane.

He should consider himself lucky, he reassured himself. From what he heard at the terminal in Rome, the 747 he was supposed to be on had crashed in a ball of flame. He hadn't heard if there were any survivors yet. He hoped the ticket thief wasn't one of them.

The plane began making little "I think I can I think I can" noises as it began to descend for its landing. The handful of other passengers on the plane looked about worriedly, but Issac was confident he wouldn't die in a plane crash. His life had been too weird for that kind of mundane ending. No, being eaten by a demon or something would probably be how it ended. Some demon looking for Allen, the bastard.

Issac winced at his harsh thoughts for his former friend, but they were true. Allen Covenant had come waltzing into Issac's life asking for help in saving a boy's life. The result was a several month jaunt into the edges of madness. In fact, thanks to Allen's own lunacy, Issac had gone quite mad. Images of doom and judgement still haunted his dreams and probably would for the rest of his life. One couldn't be touched by God's wrath and forget about it.

At least some of the damage was being undone now. The Sumerian war god Nergal had left Issac's body when his madness began. Considering his current state, or rather lack, of mind, Nergal wouldn't be bothering anyone for a long time. So Allen said.

Allen had also said that Issac could return to normal life and claim have been kidnapped by the wanted felon. "Blame everything on me and get back to your life," Allen had said. Issac had no problem with that what so ever. Of course, he'd have to fess up to the truth when and if (a very big 'if') Allen brought Dynamax down and cleared his name, but that was a ways off. Until then, Issac would enjoy a blissful life devoid of magic, Omegas, and the supernatural in general.

The plane set down and Issac got up with the rest of the passengers, ready to take on the press.

Blink. That's all Issac could manage to do as he looked out the exit of the small commuter plane. There was one lone reporter/ photographer waiting, and he was there for one of the other passengers. Issac walked down the stairs in wonder.

As he dazedly wandered towards a taxi, the reporter noticed him and suddenly hurried in his direction. "Stingray! Stingray, wait!"

"Didn't anyone know I was coming?" Issac asked testily. He had called his agent to arrange for it immediately after he missed his plane.

The reporter had the look of a man about to get a scoop. "Stingray, how did you survive that terrible explosion? There was no way anyone could survive that crash! And don't give me any of that more than a man crap."

Issac was back on his home turf in Phoenix and he was already getting confused like Allen was around. "I didn't survive the explosion. I missed that flight. Why do you think I just got off of that plane? And my name's Issac Warner, not Stingray."

"But you said -"

"I didn't say anything yet!" Issac shouted. "I just got back here, for God's sake! Just push off. I'll feed you jackals when I'm in a better mood and there's more of you worth talking to."

"What a bastard," the reporter muttered as Issac stormed off towards his taxi.

When Issac finally arrived at his house around eight o' clock, he was met by another surprise. Everything was in perfect order. He had expected the place to have been torn apart by Dynamax agents looking for information. If they hadn't done so, it meant he was off the hook even more than expected.

As he walked over to the answering machine, he began to notice something even more disconcerting than the room being in shambles. It had been rearranged. What the Hell?

Even more disturbing was the fact there were only four messages on his machine. Surely more people had called during his absence. Issac pressed the play button.

"BEEP. Hey, Iss- Stingray. This is Chris Snyder. I got your call and we would be honored to have you in the UVWF. This'll be a major part of picking up the IDWF's pieces. We'll talk later."

"BEEP. Hey, Issac, this is Rick Slade. What's this happy horseshit about you officaly changing your name to Stingray? You got WWFitis or something? Call me. We'll get smashed or something."

"BEEP. Hello, this is Jake Hubert from Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Just verifying our interview at six o'clock tomorrow. Call me at 555-9070 if you have to cancel. Later."

"BEEP. Hey, Stingray babe! This is Lou. Just makin' sure you're OK for your big comeback. Trust me, man, with the McMan down we'll be eating the circuit alive! Talk to me. Chow."

Issac simply stared at the answering machine. It was if someone had been taking care of his life while he was out. He had a uncanny case of the creeps. He decided to call his manager Lou first. After a few rings his manager's abrasive voice piped over the phone.

"Yeah, this is Big Lou! Whachya want?"

"Lou, this is Issac. What the Hell's been going on? Where were the reporters today?"

"What reporters? All you've had wad the interview with PWI. An' I thought you was going by Stingray now."

"And that's another thing, Lou. What's all this about me changing my name? I just got in the country this afternoon for God's sake, and you're already planning my big comeback."

"Jeez, 'Ray, I just been doing whatchya been wantin' me to. You want to back out now or somethin'?"

The creeps that Issac had been experiencing had become a full fledged terror. He slowly hung up the phone as Lou's faint voice called out, "'Ray? Issac?" Issac just stared out into space for a while.

(an exerpt from Pro Wrestling Illustrated)

by Jake Hubert

The IDWF. Some abhor it, some worship it. One thing that everyone agrees about is that it was for real.
Back in the 40' or 50's, in the backstreets and hideaways of the most disreputable places, pro wrestling was for real. Two guys were thrown into a ring and beat the living bejesus out of each other while a small crowd of gamblers rooted for their man.
Eventually, it came out of the backstreets and into the bars and really small arenas. The rules had been adjusted to tame it down a bit and real pro wrestling was a underground spectator sport. The fake stuff we'll come to later.
Anyways, all over the nation there were small leagues of real pro wrestlers, divided into little districts. Each had their own champion and pretty much ignored each other (except for when a wrestler changed districts).
Eventually, when mass communication really began to take hold in the sixties and seventies, they realized that they couldn't ignore each other. The fans from the MPWA wanted to know if their champ could beat the champ of the UVWF. Districts began to merge and champs began to wrestle each other.
Then came the man with a dream, jestingly referred to as President I due to his hard to pronounce Italian last name (or just 'P.I.' by friends.) He united the three largest leagues, the UVWF, the MPWA, and the UWA, and joined them all together in the IDWF: Inter District Wrestling Federation. With such a large portion of the nation united together, the smaller leagues all were either turned over or bought out.
There were problems at first. When the IDWF tried to get it's first regular show on TV, there were too many complaints about it being too violent. In response, President I. with his VP Dave Long and two chairmen Chris Snyder and Ed Slover completely revamped the rules to make real pro wrestling less of a brawl and more of a sport.
So for about one and a half decades the IDWF flourished. There was a brief stint in which VP Long was discovered to be giving out steroids to certain wrestlers, but he was replaced by Snyder and the league survived. He tried to start his own league up again, the UWF, but it failed piteously.
Along side and parallel to real pro wrestling was a choreographed style of wrestling. It's own history was much similar to the IDWF's in that one man, namely Vince McMan, united and bought out a mass of smaller leagues and united them under the WWF. Unfortunately for the WWF, though, it was blatently fake and most wrestling fans at the time preferred the true sportsmanship of the IDWF.
Then, in the late eighties, the WWF discovered that it's secret to success wasn't in following the IDWF's foot steps but going in the opposite direction. The IDWF had to be tame because everything was real. The WWF was under no such stipulations.
Led by the charge of their highly charismatic champion, Bulk Logan, the WWF began a tradition of spectacle that had a special appeal to children. The IDWF found itself losing air time and fans. There was a brief glimmer of hope when the IDWF champion, Stingray, caught the world's attention with his amazing victories against seemingly unbeatable opponents, but it eventually ended. Around 1990, the IDWF collapsed and folded back into it's seperate districts and leagues. Most of the wrestlers either joined the choreographed leagues, disappeared into obscurity, or retired.
Stingray was one of those who had retired. Now he's hoping, with President Chris Snyder, to bring the IDWF back to life by coming out again and hoping others follow.

Issac was scared. He walked over to his television set, flipped it on, and slumped into his Chestershire sofa. He was hoping the news was on to give him a little information, but it was just prime time crap. It seemed that hospital dramas had become all the rage while he was out. He flipped to CNN and hoped for the best there.

"Today, in business, the stock market dropped slightly..."

If his mind would have had the presence to do so, it would have been amused. He was expecting to see some news flash about Omega terrorists blowing something up or how this vigilante was causing trouble. Instead, the world was going about it's daily business. It could live just fine without all of the weirdness that had been going on in Issac's life.

Issac found himself wishing that he could live without all of the weirdness also. Maybe if he just ignored it, everything would go away and turn out to be a figament of his imagination.

Just then, the front door burst open and several men dressed in black sweatsuits and ski-masks charged in. They were all armed with sub-machine guns that were aimed in Issac's direction. Issac resignedly rose his hands into the air and didn't move.

"Ok, Mr.Warner," one of them said, "Our boss wants to have a little talk with you."

Issac's television was still on. None of the police had touched it. Currently, a scene from his front yard was on the 11 o'clock news. A reporter was standing there with a microphone in hand.

"Around eight o'clock tonight, a team of armed men were seen to break into the home of Issac Warner, now known officaly as Stingray." The camera turned and Stingray was there with a mic in his face. "Stingray, you were very fortunate not to be home at the time of this attack. Do you have any ideas on who it was?"

"Yes, Carla, I do," Stingray said, "I imagine that it was the group of Omega Terrorists calling themselves the Colony, working with that *beep* Allen Covenant who had kidnapped me earlier." Stingray turned his attention directly at the camera and said confidently, "Don't worry, wrestling fans. This won't stop me, Stingray, from coming back. Nothing's gonna stop me!"

NEXT ISSUE: What's going on? We'll all find out when I write it, now won't we?

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