It wasn’t. Upon seeing the death of the man she so dearly loved, Jeannine sprang forward, out of her seat and into the stadium. She had little difficulty sneaking past the security guards, just as she’d had little difficulty sneaking past the guards the night she first met John. If his life were in danger then, it was in much more now. She reached his body and picked it up, cradling the lifeless corpse in her arms.
“I don’t care what I have to do. I will help you regain your life, John!” she said, tears streaming down her face. “Well, there are a few things I won’t do, obviously. But I’ll do most things!”
Shortly thereafter, Bill managed to extricate himself from the hot dog cart and, ignoring his pain, went down to join Jeannine. He stood beside her, for once at a loss for words. But then he found some.
“I have an idea!” he said. “Why don’t we go ask Hades to bring John back from the dead? My mom told me I could do that when my pet lemming Tissues died, but I was too scared, and I didn’t like Tissues much because he always used to bite me when I took his food away when I was hungry. But I’ll do it for John! He’s my friend, I think.”
“That’s a good idea, Bill. But will it work?” asked Jeannine, choking back tears.
“Almost certainly not,” said Josiah, strutting toward them arrogantly. “No, nothing is going to bring this one back from the dead – not on my watch. I’ll see to it that his corpse is summarily incinerated. Now give it here!”
“No!” protested Jeannine, desperately trying to fight off the much stronger, much smarter man. “Bill, do something!”
“Umm…umm, hey, we can use that whistle Shamus gave us!” remembered Bill, taking the whistle from John’s pocket and blowing it.
A shrill note pierced the air, causing visible pain to everybody in the stadium, including Josiah. In the time it took him to recover, Shamus had already arrived, flying in through the Coliseum’s open roof and landing between Josiah and Jeannine, ready for action.
“Hello there again, laddie!” he called to Josiah. “I’m sure as shamrocks you remember me. I was your driver for a while! Oh, and I also put you into a coma that one time, didn’t I? Yes, it’s me: Shamus Flanagan!
“Yes, I remember you well, Flanagan. You’re the guy who put me into that co – right. But it won’t happen again; this time, I am prepared.”
He wasn’t. Shamus threw a punch that sent Josiah flying no fewer than 90 feet backward, crashing spectacularly through a wall, which crumbled as easily as though it were made of sand.
“I’ll hold him off! You two be gettin' John’s body to the Underworld!”
“Right!” they said in unison.
Jeannine and Bill picked up John’s lifeless body and ran out of the Coliseum. All the while, Mischa looked on, too nervous to choose a side in the conflict. He would rather have been getting to know his new wife, who he noticed had come down from the observation box with Josiah.
“Hello there, Comrade! I mean, Cyprus. Comrade Cyprus. My name is Mischa Petrovitch. I am your new husband!” he said.
“I know. I’m psychic,” said Cyprus.
“Oh. Well, I guess we should be getting to know each other, maybe?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
Meanwhile, the battle raged on between Josiah and Shamus. Neither one seemed to be able to gain an advantage over the other. Mysteriously, Josiah had become many times stronger while in the coma – though the fact that he had undergone an operation to replace his bones with a new, super-dense titanium alloy might have had something to do with it.
They fought to a standstill. The stadium was still packed; everyone assumed this battle was just part of the show. Josiah smirked, lit a cigarette (his first since regaining consciousness!) and walked over to Cyprus and Mischa, leaving Shamus looking on, perplexed as to why Josiah had stopped fighting.
“Sorry Flanagan, but I have more important things to do than fight you. Mischa! You won Cyprus fair and square. John is dead, so by the rules of the contest, you get to marry her,” he said.
“Really? I never thought you would actually follow through with your word! I mean, there is always some sort of a catch with you, Mr. Malum. I am so grateful!”
“Oh, there’s a catch all right. As your superior, I order you to forfeit Cyprus to me.”
“Yes sir, Mr. Malum,” said Mischa bitterly.
“And go find Jeannine and the stupid one; make sure they don’t make it to the Underworld successfully,” ordered Josiah.
“Yes sir, Mr. Malum,” said Mischa again.
“And start trembling when you answer me again. It makes me feel better about myself.”
“Y-yes sir, Mr. M-malum, sir!” said Mischa.
“Ah, yes, that’s it.”