Chapter 6: Insert Training Montage Here

Chapter 6: Insert Training Montage Here

A Chapter by Cameron Lockhart

The villains do some combat training to prepare for their upcoming assault on the afterlife.


Being the offspring of a notorious criminal, it was expected that Mike Jr. and Josephine's lives (and afterlives) would be consistently thrilling and filled to the brim with twists and turns. But no amount of unpredictable chaos could top what had happened the previous day. After being sent out to retrieve a magical staff for their scheming mother, the twins soon discovered the secret supervillain lair she'd built under their mansion, before getting a full taste of her ultimate evil plan and the goons she'd recruited to help her out. While it was nice to learn a bit more about what Katherine was up to, it only made the twins' own scheme harder to concoct. There was a chance it could be too simple to counteract it, but Josephine, who couldn't even remember the last time she was wrong about something, insisted that they'd be fine.

For now, the two decided that the best thing they could do was play along. The following morning, they woke up bright and early to meet their mother in the lair, alongside Queen Cobra, Pygmy Hippo, and Balthazar. This time, they were in a separate room they'd never seen before, containing a rack filled with varied weaponry and a wrestling ring in the center.

"Well, it's great to see everyone back here bright and early," Katherine chirped, her cheeky grin accompanied by a twitch of the eye.

"Yeah, yeah, save it Mom." Josephine folded her arms, scowling as always. No way her mother hadn't chugged a surplus of coffee before arriving here. She was never as pessimistic as her father, but she was never this perky either. "Just tell us what we're doing here."

"Well since you asked so nicely, I figured that since we've finally assembled a team, we should hone our fighting abilities so we can be truly unstoppable. Voodoo can't solve all our problems, can it?"

"No, I suppose not." Balthazar shrugged, looking about as eager to be here as the twins were.

"нет." Queen Cobra shook her head.

"Fantastic! So now it's time to test out all of your base abilities, and we'll go from there," Katherine explained. "Let's start with the more seasoned criminals, shall we?"

"Wait, what the hell?! But we're seas- mmpphh!" Mike Jr. was silenced by his sister kneeing him in the groin, leaving him writhing on the floor.

"Pygmy Hippo? You're up."

In response to a boxing chime, the overweight Asian guy got a sprinting start and clumsily flipped into the ring, adjusting his luchador mask and sumo bottoms as he stood back up. He pounded his chest and shadowboxed a bit to pump himself up, watching with a cocky grin as a random woman in a bedazzled bikini opened a large door, releasing a troupe of trained langur monkeys that made a beeline for him. At the same time a similarly-dressed woman briefly strutted across the ring with a "Round 1" sign.

"As you all can see, we don't just use boring old training dummies down here," Katherine said. "Totally evil, am I right?"

"Yep, totally," Josephine snarked, rolling her eyes.

"Oh man, please tell me there are bears in there! What I'd give to wrestle with one in a cage match!" Mike Jr. had on a grin that would put the Joker to shame.

"Wrestling with bears is child's play where I'm from," Queen Cobra replied with her usual stoicism.

So far, it seemed that Pygmy Hippo's fighting prowess was matching up to the level of his ego. Those small monkeys were a little tough to hand a hit on, given their agility, but each one went down pretty fast, no thanks to his trademark combination of boxing and lucha libre. He seemed to be keeping a good pace, knocking out each langur with his jabs and hooks, and sometimes taking out a small cluster of them with his aerial wrestling maneuvers.

He managed to take down every last monkey in the troupe, pinning down an oncoming orangutan with a powerful suplex, but things quickly went sour when a trained chimp made his appearance. Rushing in at full speed, he swung off the ropes and bounced into the air, knocking Pygmy Hippo down after coiling its legs around his neck, before repeatedly whacking him in the face as he screamed and sobbed, struggling to remove it. Eventually, the chimp leapt back, but his opponent was confronted by a couple of vicious shrews before he could get back up.

"Yeah, he was mainly picked because I couldn't find anyone else." Katherine sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose as her recruit scampered out of the ring, a little disoriented but unharmed from the beating he took. "Queen Cobra? Your turn."

The Russian assassin just grunted as she climbed into the ring, standing up straight and loosely balling her fists at her sides as she faced away from the door her opponents emerged from. A wild horse charged into the room and jumped over the ropes, about to bite Queen Cobra before she backflipped over him, curled into a tight ball. She bounced off the ropes to dodge another kick, landing on his back and holding him in a headlock with her legs. As the horse continued to buck, she held on tight, using this to her advantage as he took out an oncoming swarm of lemurs.

Once they were all knocked out, she summoned every ounce of lower-body strength she had and hurled the horse over onto his back, much to the shock her audience. Landing on his chest with a dive kick, Queen Cobra managed to knock him out, and all she had left to do was spar with a group of baboons with her flawless kicks, chops, and jabs, all the while dodging and sprinting around like a ninja. After taking most of them out, she leapt backwards, hopping a little on the ropes before she launched herself high into the air. There, she thrust out her legs in a split and spun around, drilling through the remaining baboons with a series of rapid kicks and landing flawlessly in the center of the ring.

"Anyone else find it weird how the American guy does sambo, but the Russian is a ninja?" Mike Jr. scratched his gelled head.

"Pretty sure it's just you, son. Now, Balty?" Katherine turned to her remaining goon.

"Right then," Balthazar said with a nod, strutting into the ring with a neutral expression.

Following the chiming of the boxing bell, a pair of warthogs wasted no time charging into the ring from either side, but what Balthazar did in response was far from expected. Right when both pigs were just inches from him, he teleported away in a flash of salmon pink, a feat that even Josephine seemed to be astonished by.

"Wait, what the f**k?! Since when does anyone in this universe have powers?!" Pygmy Hippo gawked.

"No clue, but I'm guessing it has something to do with his religion, that being Satanism," Josephine replied, looking only slightly less bitter than before. "There have been reports of demon usage being used on Earth to attain some benefits, and I guess since Balthazar is in the afterlife, the abilities they gave him have become more potent."

Ignoring the commentary, Balthazar continued to warp away from the warthogs, letting them crash into each other over and over again until they managed to knock each other down. Reappearing between them, he dropped down and performed a breakdance kick, coating his legs in scarlet flames as he sent them both flying out of the ring. He couldn't dawdle too much as a crocodile nearly bit his leg, but he teleported behind him and grabbed his tail, spinning him around and using him like a thick, scaly whip to take out a pack of wolves that surrounded him.

Once they were all gone, Balthazar tossed the gator into the air like a javelin and used the ropes to catapult himself after him, teleporting around his victim and nailing him with various types of kicks. Finally, he ended his combo with a vicious flaming chop that rendered him unconscious in the middle of the lightly smoking ring.

"Take notes, Hippo." he smirked as he blew off his fist, dusting his hands off as he exited the ring.

"Oh, up yours too, ya' blowhard!" Pygmy Hippo scoffed.

"Well now, are you two impressed by what you saw?" Katherine turned to her children.

"Hells yeah! What kind of question is that?" Mike Jr. put on a face-splitting grin.

"To be honest, yes," Josephine replied.

"Well then, why don't you two see if you can top that? See what roles you should play when it comes time to fight off the opposition," Katherine suggested.

"Say no more, then!" Mike Jr. put on a smirk, jogging over to the ring and flipping over the ropes. Without hesitating, he ripped off his shirt, retaining his neckerchief as he flexed for a bit, eliciting eye-rolls from his sister and a scoff from Balthazar. "Let's do this!"

He slammed his fists together as he eyed the door, watching as the bikini-clad woman opened it with some difficulty, and trying not to get too distracted by her. Still, he did hold out some hope that he'd get to spend some time with her after the training session. First up were a lion and tiger, both charging into the ring as if they were teamed up. Instead of using brute force, Mike Jr. decided to put his more strategic side to good use and dove to the ground to dodge, letting the two big cats ram into each other mid-pounce. He kicked himself back up to ward them off with his jabs and hooks, swaying and bobbing to avoid the bites and claw swipes that came his way, and once he'd created enough distance, he leapt a few feet off the ground and did a split, nailing them both in the face as they tried to pounce again.

With his opponents distracted, he flipped over to the other side of the ring and grabbed both of their tails, swinging them around with his immense strength and even whacking them into the ground and each other. After he tossed them both into the wall outside of the ring, the elder twin didn't have much time to dawdle as a disgruntled sloth bear made his entrance. He was quickly subject to a devastating suplex, followed up by a roundhouse kick into the corner of the ring. Mike Jr. was quick enough to stop a buck from ramming into him; grabbing it by its horns, he leapt into the air and flipped around, tossing him into the wall and breaking off its horns in the first place. Would've been a lot more painful, if not for the afterlife protecting him. From there, Mike Jr. used the horns to clash with the bear's claws for a spell, throwing in a spin-kick that threw him off guard.

Tossing both of the buck's horns at his opponent's face, he flipped backwards onto the ropes and launched himself forward for a dropkick to the bear's gut. He then bounced on the opposite ropes while holding onto its neck, launching them both into the air and pile-driving him onto the floor, finally knocking him out. After kicking the bear out of the ring, Mike Jr. didn't even need to turn around to notice another brute charging at him. Putting on a cocky smirk, he raised his fist, nailing a large bull right between the horns; whipping around, he followed up with a flurry of kicks to the face, sliding under him when he raised his front legs. Mike Jr. then grabbed his back legs and body slammed him onto the ground, before spinning him around at an ever-increasing speed and tossing him against the ropes. The bull bounced off with enough force to reel right back at him, but Mike Jr. kept his cool and performed a chest bump that sent him high into the air. Bouncing on the ropes to catch up, he then performed an elbow drop, knocking the bull out upon impact and making the whole room shake for a bit.

"Aaannnddd, that's how it's done!" he proclaimed, continuing to showboat as he stepped off the ring.

Everyone but Josephine applauded after the boxing bell went off, with the applause from Queen Cobra and Balthazar looking a little less enthusiastic.

"Excellent work, son! Really, it does a mother proud to have brought up such a brute… Josephine, you're up last, so don't forget to make me proud too!" Katherine gave her daughter a light shrug.

"I'll give you something to be proud of…" Josephine said in an ominous voice as she stalked to the ring. Her words sounded brash, but they didn't match the scowl permanently etched on her face.

For the younger twin, her first opponents were a pair of elk, charging in from either side, but she nailed them both in the face by performing a split in midair. She wasn't as strong as her brother, but she was strong enough to knock them both into the ropes. She then leapt high into the air and during her elegant stunt, the two elk bounced off the ropes and hit each other, falling unconscious so she could kick them aside. A wolf, a coyote, and a dingo charged into the arena next, but the latter two were hit by the flying elk, heavy enough to slam them into the wall and knock them out. Josephine tangled with the wolf for a bit, using her rolls and stunts to dodge his attacks and retaliating with her mixed martial arts.

When he tried to bite her again, she hopped off the ground like a ballerina, gracefully using his snout as a stepping stone and flipping into a handstand on his back. While maintaining a grip on his ribcage, she flipped right-side up again and body-slammed him into the ground; she then launched him out of the ring with a butterfly kick, where he unintentionally knocked out his partners, who had only just recovered from the previous blow. An oncoming baboon was downed with a leg sweep, knocked out of the ring just seconds later with an uppercut. For her final challenger, a large silverback gorilla barged in and immediately went on the offensive. Josephine dodged several of his punches and ground slams with her acrobatics, rolling to the side to avoid a downward punch, and then sliding under him to outmaneuver another one.

Unfortunately for her, the gorilla was quicker than she anticipated and managed to knock her down with a backhanded slap. Ignoring the cackling from her brother, Josephine grit her teeth and rolled backwards into a handstand, using a scorpion kick to clash with the oncoming fist before she could get slugged again. Now back on her feet, she backflipped onto the ropes to avoid the gorilla's next attack, in the form of clapping his hands together at an arm's length in front of him. She then bounced high into the air and flipped behind him again, this time prepared to do her specialty. Leaping onto the ape at blinding speeds, she hurriedly crawled all over his much larger body in a snake-like fashion, disorienting him in the process. Then came a spin-kick to his left cheek, a flip-kick to his right, and finally a powerful chop to the top of his head. Landing mere feet right in front of him, Josephine sent him flying with a series of helicopter kicks to the face, launching him onto the ropes and sending him bouncing away as she broke her own fall by backflipping into the center of the ring.

"Another fine display, young lady," Katherine said with a nod, giving a golf clap. The others showed their approval in varied but subtle ways, while Mike Jr. maintained his conceited sneer, convinced that no one could surpass his combat performance. "I can tell that we… or at least most of us-"

"Hey!" Pygmy Hippo pouted, balling his fists.

"Like I said, most of us… will be an unstoppable unit when it comes time to rule over both the living and the posthumous world!" Katherine finished her tirade with a depraved cackle. "But moving on, why don't we wrap up our little training session with some sparring amongst ourselves. Then we rinse and repeat until the big day!"

"Are you f*****g serious?" Mike Jr.'s jaw dropped in disbelief.

"Of course I am! Being well prepped for any evil endeavor is the number one rule of being a villain! What, were you dropped when you were little? …don't answer that. Of course you were, as was your twin! So reprehensibly evil, eh?"

Someone really needs to knock her down about a million pegs, Josephine thought as she narrowed her eyes.

© 2022 Cameron Lockhart

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Added on September 15, 2022
Last Updated on September 15, 2022
Tags: antihero, afterlife, action, humor, family, drama, comedy, redemption


Cameron Lockhart
Cameron Lockhart

Charleston, SC

I've loved writing ever since I could properly hold a pencil, and I currently strive to become a published author someday. In 2021, I earned a BA in Creative Writing; I primarily focused on prose and .. more..