King Earth is an unstoppable wrestler. They put a cape on the Earth. They took many long-distance shots. Then they started facing King Earth against other wrestlers in the ring!
Some people think that wrestling isn’t real. But there’s nothing staged about the brutal conflicts with King Earth. It’s the ancient struggle of man against nature, only nature’s wearing a cape and man is wearing baggy reflective shorts. The human tries to grab King Earth, but King Earth rotates at 1, 038 miles per hour to get out of the way. The human tries to slam King Earth against the net, but the laws of action, reaction, and leverage make it impossible. King Earth is slow, but King Earth is powerful. In the end, gravity always brings his enemies down.
Some people allege that King Earth is actually a girl. It’s a tantalizing rumor that plays around the edges of the pro wrestling scene. But few people credit it. Not after the plate tectonics incident. So King Earth’s unstoppable star continues to rise.
“Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand,” said Archimedes, “and I can move the world.”
Maybe so, Archimedes. Maybe so. But you’re the only one.
In fact, that’s the problem. It’s time, based on the good judgment of the management, for King Earth to take a dive. And he won’t. They’ve thought about blowing him up or having him die in an “accident.” But environmentalists protest! Plus, even the management has to live on King Earth. If they kill him first, that’s kind of awkward. But no matter how much they hint that, for publicity reasons, King Earth might want to lose a match against Suburban Pirate, or Hallelujah Valentine, or the Squirrel-Suited Man More Glorious Than Most, King Earth just won’t.
Suburban Pirate staggers and falls.
Hallelujah Valentine staggers and falls.
The Squirrel-Suited Man, More Glorious Than Most, surrenders halfway through the fight. He’s not really that good of a wrestler. He’s just better than most of the others who wear squirrel suits.
“There’s nothing for it,” says Mr. Boss, who runs this whole wrestling conglomerate. “We need Archimedes.”
“He lived a long time ago,” answers Mr. Minion. “Years! I think he’s dead.”
“We have a Hallelujah Valentine rematch,” says Mr. Boss. “A real high-profile match. If he hurls himself around King Earth fast enough, he’ll travel backwards in time, like Superman. Then he can make our pitch to Archimedes.”
So that’s how Hallelujah Valentine winds up in ancient Greece.
Archimedes is dozing. The ancient Greeks didn’t say, “zzzz” when they dozed. They said, “Omega, omega, omega, omega, omega.” This is true of every culture that doesn’t use the Roman alphabet—they don’t use z. They use the last letter they actually have! In addition, they don’t count sheep when going to sleep. They count local animals. In Archimedes’ case, he counts sheeptaurs, a rowdy and lecherous species of half-humans and half-sheep renowned for their wild parties and great wisdom. They are similar to the centaurs but their dark lusts have a greater tendency to involve shearing fantasies. Rapunzel would have had problems in ancient Greece—she’d have been a magnet for the sheeptaurs! Later, all the sheeptaurs died out, leaving only mysterious bones that scientists described as ‘legless indigenes riding headless sheep.’
“Omega,” mumbles Archimedes. “Omega, omega, omega.” He starts awake. “Eureka!” Then he dozes off again. “Omega.”
“Sir,” says Hallelujah Valentine, in the fluent ancient Greek that had been his entrance ticket into the wrestling world. “Sir, wake up.”
“Eureka!” cries Archimedes, sitting up.
“I have found it,” Archimedes explains. “The perfect argument to shut down that stubborn orator at the forums once and for all. I’ll quote from Homer to demonstrate that I’m not the one redefining the word ‘arete’—he is!”
“I need you to come forward millions of years through time,” Hallelujah Valentine says, “to defeat the dread wrestler, King Earth!”
“Tempting,” says Archimedes. “Tempting! But how does my life end if I stay here?”
Hallelujah Valentine thinks. He has no idea. “I think you drink hemlock,” he says.
“Hemlock!” Archimedes exclaims. “The demon drug.”
Archimedes straightens. “I’ll do it!” he says. “Fetch me my shiny shorts.”