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“Bruno Sammartino Conquers The Martians” by Jon Krampner — Across The Margin

An providing of absurdist, science fiction where the only hope for Earth’s survival lies within the arms of a man often known as the Abruzzi Strongboy…

by: Jon Krampner

The Martians have been upon us so shortly. Searing blasts from their alien craft warmth rays toppled the toppled the Empire State Building and destroyed the U.S. Capitol in mere minutes. The world watched on televisions and smartphones as the Capitol burned and collapsed — it was the very last thing many would see earlier than the transmission went out — and have been struck mute. The strong floor of yesterday had liquefied into a primordial ooze of terror, and nothing was sure, least of all our own prospects for survival.

It wasn’t simply the People who suffered, although left-wingers definitely warned anybody within earshot what was about to happen across the globe. In London, the Martians obliterated the Homes of Parliament, the well-known clock face of Huge Ben tumbling earthward and splashing into the rolling Thames like a poorly thrown frisbee. In Paris, what had been a easy earthworm, irradiated by Martian gamma rays, grew to a number of hundred ft in length, wrapping itself across the Eiffel Tower and crushing it. Everywhere in the world, there was destruction and homicide on a scale undreamed of. Refugees poured out of the cities, abandoning urban landscapes charred by the relentless Martian on slaught.

An emergency assembly of the UN Security Council was convened in Hoboken, New York, the primary and perhaps the one time the town would serve as a middle of worldwide diplomacy. Delegates have been at a loss for a plan to save lots of the Earth from the invaders, seeing because the world’s great army machines had been laid to waste by the Martians’ Pearl Harbor-style attack.

“What about Bruno Sammartino?” the Italian representative requested his U.S. counterpart. “Maybe he can do something.”

Sammartino had been champion of the World-Broad Wrestling Federation from 1963 via 1971, and once more from 1973 by way of 1977. In an period distinguished by notorious ring villains like Gorilla Monsoon, Killer Kowalski and Freddie Blassie, Bruno Sammartino was the charismatic image of excellent and the American Dream. The brief, stocky body of the Abruzzi Strongboy, as ring announcers referred to as him, his angelic smile, and his insistence on clear and truthful techniques made him a favorite with ring fans in all places.

The American representative scoffed on the Italian representatives’ concept, stating that wrestling matches have been fastened, with The New Yorker as soon as having run a cartoon featuring the credits on the finish of a televised wrestling match including one for choreography. However bereft of better concepts, the Safety Council determined to ask Sammartino to carry humanity’s banner towards the Martians. The Council dispatched a consultant to Floral Park on Lengthy Island, where Sammartino, now retired, lived in a split-level house together with his spouse and trophies from his glory days of wrestling. Somewhat smaller, more wizened and hairless, Sammartino now seemed like the famous Yankee baseball player Yogi Berra. He nonetheless labored out frequently, though, and was in terrific form. Ever the avatar of goodness, Sammartino and his spouse had taken in a number of refugees who had fled New York Metropolis in the face of the Martian onslaught.

Sammartino was humanity’s last hope, the UN envoy stated. His wife begged him to remain house, but the identical intrinsic goodness and internal power that had led him to show again Russian madman Nikolai Volkoff in a steel-cage match at Madison Sq. Backyard shone via, and he vowed to battle for humankind. He and his spouse exchanged a tearful goodbye — being that it is perhaps the last time they might see each other —  and Sammartino trudged off to New York Metropolis,which has turn out to be the Martian de facto capital.

The Martian mother ship hovered above Manhattan, perched atop the forty-floor stump of the Empire State Building. Sammartino walked all the best way to Astoria, Queens, with a knapsack of provisions and his wrestling regalia packed by his wife. There he found a canoe and paddled throughout the East River to Manhattan. The devastation reminded him of that wrought by the Nazis in his hometown of Abruzzi, in southern Italy, when he was a boy.

A cordon of Martians surrounded the Empire State Constructing. They have been unattractive, brief creatures wearing silver-colored uniforms. That they had giant, glowing eyes which protruded from their seen bowling-ball-sized brains, all encased in plexiglass-like helmets that enabled them to breathe their Martian environment. As an alternative of arms, that they had what seemed to be small, metallic grappling hooks.

“Take-a me to your leader,” Sammartino stated, never having utterly mastered the language of his adopted homeland, which was a part of his immigrant appeal. The Martian sentinels appeared to know, and one tele-transported him high above to the mothership, the place the Martian ruler Zorgg the Conqueror was in residence.

Zorgg was seated at a console in the windowless area ship, his again to Sammartino. Screens on the console showed pictures from the worldwide community of prison camps into which the Martians had herded most of the surviving humans.

The Martian leader levitated himself and his chair, turning around so he now confronted Sammartino at eye degree. Zorgg was greater and brawnier than his four-foot, six-inch minions, but had the same ghoulish smile. In contrast to the others, his silver jumpsuit was trimmed with one thing that seemed like ermine, and there was a rotating metallic tuning fork atop his helmet. Although a status marker, it reminded Sammartino of the runway radar at LaGuardia.

Sammartino locked eyes with the floating Martian despot. The battle of wills had begun and Sammartino issued his challenge: We wrestle for the destiny of the earth. If I win, you and your –— he was going to say “people,” however they weren’t exactly individuals, have been they? — you and your forces depart. If I lose, Earth is yours for the taking.

Zorgg was intrigued. Earth was in the bag anyway, and what might one lousy human do? He thought. Again in high school, Zorgg had been an All-Mars wrestling champion, and had all the time enjoyed a first-rate challenge, which the invasion of Earth to date had not been.

So it was determined they might wrestle for the fate of Earth in an outside ring the Martians had constructed in an open area in front of Fraunces Tavern in downtown Manhattan. The audience for the match can be principally Martians, as few people dared enterprise into the destroyed metropolis.

Only two human can be in the viewers. One was a wino who had been dwelling in Grand Central Station and had missed your complete invasion because of a blackout prompted by a three-day bender. “I’m rooting for you, pal,” he informed Sammartino at ringside. “That other guy is just too ugly.” The other was senior counselor to the U.S. president, Kellyanne Conway. She had survived the preliminary Martian assault in a command bunker under the White Home bunker and had by some means made it again as much as New York, curious if she might salvage any gadgets from her Trump Tower condo.

The Earthling champion Sammartinoentered the ring in darkish blue wrestling trunks and warm-up jacket to match and a pair of wrestling boots. Zorgg, however, wore an elaborate spangled and prismatic gown that made him seem like a Martian Beautiful George. Although nervous, Sammartino couldn’t help considering What a ham!

The match began. The surprisingly fast and agile Zorgg positioned Sammartino in an armlock. The Martian crowd made hissing noises, which Sammartino assumed was their model of cheers. The Martian referee began to rely: one…two…three… The two humans in attendance began to fret that Zorgg would shortly rating a pin on Sammartino. Thankfully, humanity’s champion flipped the Martian ruler throughout the ring. The two opponents prowled around one another, probing for any potential weaknesses.

Sammartino mounted the ring’s turnbuckle, leapt down at Zorgg, swung round behind, grabbed him around the midsection, and flung him to the canvas, overlaying him for the pin. One…two…three…the reluctant Martian referee started to rely.

Nevertheless, Sammartino and the now prostrate Zorgg have been too close to the ring’s edge. Overcome by emotion (and yes, these Vulcan-like creatures from the Pink Planet did have them), a Martian in the front row sprang to his ft, grabbed a metallic chair, and slammed it over Sammartino’s head. This allowed the Martian leader to escape the pin. Sammartino was momentarily dizzy and, to make issues worse, whereas he was nonetheless dazed and wandering across the ring, Zorgg injected him with several volts of electricity via his pincers. Sammartino felt as he had as a younger boy in Abruzzi when the oak tree he and his brother had taken refuge beneath throughout a spring rainstorm was struck by lightning.

Bruno, stumbling, fell flat on his again on the canvas. But Zorgg, as an alternative of masking him for the pin, strutted and preened around the ring, enjoying to the gang which hissed in approval. Identical to Buddy Rogers, Sammartino woozily thought, recalling the vain, taunting wrestler he had defeated to win his first championship. However Sammartino was not just defending his homeland, he was defending his residence planet. He needed to wrestle the match of his life. Whereas Zorgg was levitating above the ring, accepting the adulation of the cheering Martian crowd, Sammartino picked himself up and stalked over to the stunned Martian leader. Concentrating with each fiber of his being, Sammartino leaped within the air, wrapped his legs around Zorgg’s helmet and slammed the surprised Martian leader to the mat. By employing the flying head scissors transfer, the ageing Sammartino had completely pinned the Martian leader to the ground. Zorgg was unable to rise. The Martian referee gave a sluggish rely, but Zorgg couldn’t make it off the canvas and the disbelieving Martian raised Sammartino’s hand in victory.

One last time, the magnificent Bruno Sammartino had gained the day. His grit, stamina and courage assured that the traditions of Earthly civilization that sprang up a millennia ago in Athens, China, and Babylon wouldn’t be extinguished by the extraterrestrial interlopers.

Epilogue

When the match was over, President Kellyanne Conway whispered in Zorgg’s ear that each one he wanted to do was broadcast a message on prison camp tele-screens worldwide claiming that Sammartino’s victory was simply pretend information and the Earth was his. Although Zorgg and his forces made good on their vow to depart the Earth, a few third of People voluntarily remained in the Martian prison camps. This struck Sammartino as odd, but he returned to his split-level in Floral Park, where he was tearfully greeted by his spouse. They lived fortunately ever after, although in fact, they missed a few of their neighbors.