MD 149 - Lynx vs Triple X
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Reinstate The Fox!
Received: Today, March 17th, 11:17pm
‘Hey Xander. Look, I know it didn’t go your way tonight babe but…I just wanted to let you know that I’m so proud of you. You kicked ass in both your matches and it took the very best to keep you down in both. I know you won’t see it this way but you should be really proud of yourself. This isn’t the end, either. Just the beginning. You need to believe that. I do. I love you. See you when you’re home.’
Two Weeks after Lethal Lottery 2018
Heather poured herself and Frank a coffee, and took her seat to the side of him. They were sat in their kitchen, middle of the afternoon, with the sun pouring through the windows.
‘You need to worry about him less.’
‘Oh, coming from you, that’s a bit rich.’
‘Hey; once a sponsor, always a sponsor.’
‘Well, once a mother, always a-‘
‘Okay, okay. Fair point.’ He added some sugar to his drink before taking a short sip. ‘Xander’s his own man, and he isn’t foolish.’
‘I never said that-‘
‘I know you didn’t. But you worry. I can see it on your face. You’ve seen the way he’s been; he has become obsessed with his goals and all of a sudden he hasn’t accomplished what he set out to do. That’s a tough pill to swallow.’
‘So…you’re telling me not to worry when my son’s poured his heart and soul into this life and he keeps hitting these walls?’
‘No. no, absolutely not. Worrying is normal, but Xander’s a strong kid. He’ll get over his issues and he’ll bounce back to his feet.’
‘I have faith in my son, Frank.’
‘I know you do. But I can also tell when you start to question the life he leads.’
Heather paused for a moment. ‘I just…He started out so well. He won everything there was to win, then he moved over to WZCW and…it didn’t start straight away but somewhere along the line he changed.’ She laughed to herself for a moment. ‘I know this will sound harsh coming from his mother but, it’s almost like the spark went out inside of him that made him who he was, and in its place theres…I dunno-‘
‘A black hole consuming everything put in front of him?’
She smiled at Frank. ‘A bit darker than I’d have phrased it, but yeah.’
‘Xander loves to accomplish things. And he won a title very early on in that run, which was one hell of an impressive achievement. Then things went downhill, he found himself again, but couldn’t get it done.’
‘There’s no shame in him not winning.’
‘I’m not saying there is. But he won’t see it like that.’
In the background, they heard the door close. Heather stood to greet the guest, who, as the door to the kitchen opened, revealed herself to be Talia.
‘Talia. Always a pleasure.’
‘How you doing, lovely?’
‘Fine. I’m good. Listen, is Xander here?’
Heather looked over to Frank. ‘No, sweetie he hasn’t been by. We didn’t even know you guys were in town.’
‘Is he okay?’
‘I-‘ Talia walked over and took a seat, tapping her hands on the table nervously. ‘I’m really not sure.’
‘He hasn’t been the same since the Lottery, has he?’
She looked over to Frank and nodded. ‘It isn’t the same as when he left last time but…I’m worried this could turn into that.’
‘And you have no idea where he is?’
‘None.’ She ran her fingers through her hair, frustrated. ‘He said he needed to go somewhere where he could be honest, and I thought it would be home, but-‘
‘Free, huh?’ Frank drank the last of his coffee and stood up, grabbing his coat. ‘Stay here, I’ll bring him home.’
‘Think about where he used to go when he felt lost. When he needed to vent.’
Heather nodded, taking her seat again.
‘Tal, honestly. Stay here. I’ll be back with him before you know it.’
‘But I don’t get it; where is he?’
Frank turned back as he opened the door. ‘Talking to an old friend.’
The sun was beginning to set, sending a warm orange glow over the cemetery. Very few people were there; the few that were stood before the graves of their respected departed, locked in thought. As was Triple X, who knelt there, eyes closed, deep in his thoughts in front of one particular gravestone. Twelve rows up, three from the end, seventy-two steps from the start of the path. The cold, grey, unforgiving stone had a name etched into it that had burned itself into X’s very soul many years ago.
He knelt there, thinking everything over. The loss against Titus, making it to the last two of the fatal fourway but falling to the man he had previously beaten twice. And the loss in the Lottery, making it so far in with little to show for it. Sure, he’d performed better than he’d ever had in the match, and was arguably the MVP outside of the eventual winner, but that didn’t matter.
He wasn’t number one contender.
‘Penny for ‘em?’
X sighed, unmoving. Frank approached him, crouching beside him. ‘Figured you’d be here.’
‘Frank, I appreciate it, but I’m better off being left alone.’
‘Well the last time you did that you took up cage fighting in a Russian barn. So I’d argue the point.’
Xander smiled, and opened his eyes. ‘You have a point.’
‘So do me a solid. What’s on your mind.’
‘You know exactly-‘
‘I want to hear it from you.’
X looked to the ground, before looking back at the headstone.
‘Twelve years. Not a long time, but a lifetime in the same breath.’
‘You don’t have to remind me.’
‘Yeah…never thought I’d have to remind myself.’
X stood up and turned away. Frank made it to his feet himself. ‘Whats that supposed to mean?’
‘I used to think about her every single day. Through rehab. Through training. Even through wrestling. And at some point-‘
‘You learned to cope without thinking of her.’
X turned and looked at Frank. ‘You say it so normally like it isn’t wrong.’
‘Whats so wrong about moving on Xander? You’re living your dream, you’re one of the best in the world’ I doubt very much that she’d want you to dwell on her. I mean, look at you and Tal.’
‘It’s not my dream, Frank. It was never my dream.’ He turns back to face the grave. ‘It was hers. It was always hers.’
‘So what; you feel like shes living through you or something?’
Xander gave no response. He just kept staring intently at the gravestone.
‘Xander, the life you chose may have started as living her dream, but you wouldn’t have stuck it out if it wasn’t now your dream.’
‘But I keep messing up. I keep getting so far then throwing it all away.’ He dropped to his knees again. ‘I don’t know how much of that I can take.’
Frank knelt down next to him, putting his hand on his shoulder. ‘You think you’re alone in feeling like that? Christ Xander; do you think you’re the only person who’s ever hit a setback?’
He patted X’s shoulder. ‘The world throws challenges at you constantly. It’s all a test. The challenge is to find out why its testing you. And once you know, you can move past it.’ X smiled as Frank continued. ‘Start focusing on whats right in front of you; both in and out the ring. The World Title isn’t going anywhere. It’s still your goal. But take on your immediate threats and work up to it. Don’t start thinking about how you’re gonna take the throne until you’re actually up alongside it.’
Xander looked down and chuckled. ‘You never used to be this smart.’
Frank stood up, holding his hand out. ‘It’s called wisdom that comes with old age, kid.’ X took his hand and Frank helped pull him up.
He took a long look at the grave before answering. ‘Putting things in perspective.’
Frank smiled. ‘So, speaking of perspective. Next match; who you got?’
‘And what are you going to do?’
‘Well, not take him lightly. I did that last time and it bit me in the ass.’
‘Yeah, just a little.’
‘Well, this time he’s Elite Openweight Champion. A belt I’ve held an incarnation of. So the difference between now and then is I know he’s good.’
‘So what are you gonna do about it?’
X smiled. ‘Not make the same mistakes. And prove I’m better.’
Frank slapped him on the back. ‘Damn right. Now come on, Talia’s worried. Let’s get you home.’
Frank stopped walking down the path, turning to X.
‘Thank you. For everything.’
Frank smiled, placing his arm around Xander as they walked.
‘Thank me by beating Lynx, and taking that first step.’
Hey, I'm just sayin'.
March 29th, 2018
It took them a while to find the bar where they were supposed to have the meeting at. Even though Lynx had followed the directions provided to them, it turned out to be tougher than he thought to find a bar near a park at the outskirts of town. He and Doreen had been driving through the winding roads of the large park for exactly five hours, twenty minutes, and nine seconds. At least they had now found the place. Lynx was sure of it. Doreen, not so much.
Doreen: She's not sure if this is it, Lynx.
He looked up at the sign in flashing lights above the entrance. It read "Cheryl & Tony's" A smaller sign under that displayed that it was under new management.
Lynx: I'm positive. How many any bars named Cheryl & Tony's could there be in this town? That was the name of the place he said the informant would meet with me at. This is the place. Park the car.
They pulled into a parking spot. The only one Doreen could find was in a small space between two large trucks so she had to shift gears several times in order to squeeze into the spot. It was even tougher for her due to the truck to the right of the spot had not parked between the lines and is partially in the spot Doreen was trying to park in. Lynx opens the passenger door and slams it shut in frustration.
Lynx: Man.... Whoever parked that truck like that is a jerk. I hate it when people do that!
He looks over at Doreen who is still sitting in the driver's seat of the rental car and sees that she is checking something on her iPhone.
Lynx: You coming?
Doreen: Just a moment. She is checking to see if there is a response to the email Doreen sent to Becky Serra last night.
Lynx: What are you talking to Becky for? Is it regarding the Elite Openweight League?
The Elite Openweight League. A new opportunity for many competitors in WZCW. It would last through the next few rounds to determine contendership for Lynx's Elite Openweight Championship for Kingdom Come. Lynx had found out about it one week ago through a message sent to him by a high ranking Talent Relations executive named "Get These Fists!".
Doreen: Becky has not responded back to Doreen yet.
Lynx: That can wait. Come on, let's go inside. The informant is likely here already.
Lynx approaches the entrance and goes inside the bar. Doreen follows him in. Inside they see two tables in opposite corners. There's several empty bottles and a box of matches on the table at the left with nobody sitting at it. The other table has nothing on it, though a guy with a red hat is sitting at that table. The man in the red hat sees Lynx looking in his direction. He waves at Lynx and then points to the two empty stools across from him at the table.
Guy In The Red Hat: Lynx. Come. Have a seat.
Doreen and Lynx look at each other and nod. They go over to the table and sit down at the empty stools across from the guy in the hat.
Guy In The Hat: Normally I would expect someone from the future to be on time.
The man had a stern tone at first but then he laughs to himself.
Lynx: I try to be punctual. I wouldn't have been late had those roads in that park not been such a maze out there.
Guy In The Hat: You wouldn't be the first to get lost out there on those roads. Oh, excuse me, forgot to introduce myself. Name's Jonn.
Lynx: John? Is that with or without an H?
Jonn: No H. Two N's.
Lynx: J-O-N-N? Who the heck spells John with two N's? Next thing you'll tell me is that your last name has three X's in it, right?
Jonn: Yes it does as a matter of fact. Three X's. Just like Triple X, your opponent at Meltdown 149.
The mention of Triple X's name fills Lynx with anger. He mentally recalls the moment of sitting in the back watching a monitor with several of his peers at the Lethal Lottery as they awaited their turn. Theron had entered the match as a surprise entrant and was eliminated by Triple X before Lynx had even entered the match.
Jonn: Yep. Three X's. Although unlike Triple X, my name's X's are right next to each other. Jonn Maxxxwell is my full name.
Doreen is silent. Lynx is as well for a few seconds before slowly mouthing "Okay" in disbelief at the man's name. The silence is broken by a brunette in a cowboy hat approaching the table. Her nametag reads "Ashley".
Ashley: What'll it be?
Lynx: None for me, thanks. I've noticed that the drinks served in these types of establishments have a tendency to make people from this time period act very strangely.
Ashley: Ummmm ok. And for the lady?
Doreen shakes her head.
Lynx: She's driving, so, nothing for her either.
Ashley: How about you, Mr Maxxxwell? Another round?
Jonn: Yes. Put it on my tab.
Ashley scribbles something on her notepad and walks away from the table.
Jonn: Well then. Shall we get down to business?
Lynx: Sure. What can you tell me about the challenge that was presented to me?
Jonn leans forward.
Jonn: The match with Triple X, you mean?
The very mention of the man's name angers Lynx further.
Lynx: What? NO! I defeated him already at Unscripted. I thought I was done with him but now there's some unfinished business between the two of us that will get handled in the ring. That wasn't what I was asking about though.
Jonn: Then what were you referring to?
Lynx: Dude, stop joking around. Theron said something about some kind of challenge he had for me after the Lethal Lottery. I always looked up to the guy, so obviously I'm up for the challenge. When I tried to contact him again once the Lethal Lottery ended, the only response has been a message to meet an informant here at this bar for a hint. So what's the hint?
Jonn: Think you'll defeat Triple X?
Lynx: YES, but that's not the point! You never answered my question. What's the big hint you had for me?
Ashley comes back to the table and hands Jonn his drink. He grabs it and stands up.
Jonn: Well, best of luck to you against Triple X. See ya!
He begins to leave but Lynx stands up and stops him.
Lynx: Hang on. You don't get to just leave like that. What was the hint?
Jonn: Think about it. You'll figure it out.
Jonn leaves, still holding his drink. Lynx sits back down and Doreen looks puzzled.
Lynx: All he did was talk about Triple X and the match I have on Meltdown....
Doreen: She thought Jonn was a bit strange, Lynx.
Then it dawned on Lynx. Could Triple X have been the hint?
Lynx: Show me that message from Theron again.
Doreen: Right away. Doreen has it on her iPhone.
She pulls out her iPhone. They both read the message from Theron.
Doreen: Doreen's not following, Lynx. Explain it to her.
Lynx: My most difficult opponent to this point has been Triple X. I survived against him at Unscripted. I have the chance to not only avenge Theron's Lethal Lottery elimination, but also to truly overcome Triple X as an obstacle from the past.
Lynx smiles. He felt better now that he believed he had figured the cryptic hint out. Doreen nods.
Doreen: She gets it now. That makes sense.
Lynx: Set up a meeting with Theron after my match. I have a lot more I want to ask him. Try to request no odd informants next time though. I want to talk to Theron himself.
Doreen: Consider it done. She thinks we better get on the road though.
Lynx: True. We have a long trip ahead of us. Let's go.
They got up and left the bar to begin the trip to Meltdown 149. Lynx had allocated all the remaining time for preparation for the match. Then it would be time to meet his hero once again.
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