December 11th, 2017
Lynx gazed ahead at the building in front of him. Was this the right place? Lynx had made a post on social media 10 days ago asking if any of his fans knew of a way to help him locate the person who would be determining the random shuffling of the matches for Meltdown Madness and Ascension Anarchy. It took over a week, but he did get a response. A fan named Beatrix Medina had responded to Lynx's post. The address she provided him to meet at had led him here where he stood.
Lynx: This can't be right. Or is it? I guess it wouldn't hurt to at least go take a look inside.
He looked up at the sign on the building. It read "Medina's Exotic Pets". Somebody inside may have the answers he was looking for. So, with a deep breath he decides to go inside anyhow. Inside he looked around but to Lynx's surprise, there were no pets to be found anywhere. All the cages and rooms were empty. After looking around some more he found a short blonde woman wearing pink.
Lynx: Excuse me, this is "Medina's Exotic Pets", right? Are you Beatrix Medina?
Medina: Yes I am! You can call me Miss Medina. Thank you for coming, Lynx! I am so glad you are here. Your post on The Grand Dream's website made me realize what may have happened to my exotic pets!
Lynx: I did notice a signficant lack of pets in this pet store. All of your cages are empty.
Medina: My pets all vanished shortly after your wrestling Roulette show was announced. At first it made no sense, but then I realized it all had to add up somehow.
Lynx: What do you mean?
The pet store owner walks over to a closet.
Medina: Well, take this for example. I found this the same day the pets vanished.
She opens the door to the closet. A huge blue and purple hyperdimensional time-space vortex is inside.
Click for Spoiler:
Medina: I've been wondering what the heck this thing was!
Lynx: Maybe it has some connection to your missing pets and to the random shuffling of the matches at my show! Do you mind if I check that out?
Medina: Go right ahead. I will have to close the door behind you though. I cannot have that vortex scaring away any customers that come.
Lynx jumps into the vortex and Medina closes the door.
Day and Year Withheld
A dark courtyard is seen, with a yellow fence surrounding it. Nine doors along the wall are seen in the back. There is a magenta haired humanoid wearing green clothes, standing by a street lamp in the center of the room.
Lynx falls into the courtyard, landing face first a couple of feet away from where the magenta haired humanoid is standing. Despite having fallen through the vortex for what seemed like an eternity, Lynx was not in a large amount of pain. No more than one would feel from falling off a couch onto the floor. He got up and dusted himself off before approaching the magenta haired humanoid.
Lynx: Hey.... Who are you?
Snort: Most travelers call me Snort.
Lynx: Your name is Snort!?
Snort: Well, Snort is short for my full name, which is Snortohcreehydrinnykuheehaw Smith. No one can pronounce my first name properly and I do not answer to my last name, so people just started calling me "Snort".
Lynx looks around the dark courtyard and then looks at Snort again.
Lynx: Snort, where are we?
Serene music begins playing heard.
Snort: This is a distortion of time and space. You're in a place called The Trend Of Time.
Lynx: The WHAT!!??
Snort: The Trend Of Time. Most of those who end up here either are trying to protect the time space continuum such as yourself or they scrolled all the way to the very bottom of the newsfeed on their facebook. It takes quite a while to get there, I assure you.
Lynx: Why is it called The Trend Of Time?
Snort: Just as its name implies, the spirits who live here and I we spend every minute of every day watching over time and space. We also make sure all the right topics are trending on social media. It helps fuel the time space continuum, which is located in the room behind me. There are 8 spirits here. These spirits know of the possible outcomes for your match at the Roulette shows. Would you like to meet them?
Lynx is extremely confused. He is getting a headache trying to process what has been said.
Lynx: How do you.... WHAT!?
Snort: Ok. I'll put it in terms even you can understand. There's 9 doors on the wall to the right. Ignore the one directly behind me, and go visit the 8 spirits who are behind each of the other doors.
Lynx looks at the door Snort told him to avoid. A sign on it reads "Timekeepers Only".
Lynx: Why can't I go inside that one?
Snort: Because the time space continuum is in there. Unless you want to be the catalyst for the very apocalyptic future you're trying to prevent, then I suggest you ignore that door and visit with the spirits inhabiting each of the other rooms.
Lynx decides to follow the instructions. He walks past the door he was told to ignore and goes over to the next door to the right of that one. This one has a picture of what looks like the Sun on it. He goes inside. In the room he sees another smaller dark courtyard similar to where Snort was. There is a ghostly creature inside resembling a will-o-the-wisp.
Lomono: Hello. Thou hast come into my chamber. Mine name is Lomono, but some also calleth me Wosp. Dost thou wisheth to knoweth more about thy match?
Lynx: Sure. Who am I facing?
Lomono: If thine opponent were the Mayhem Champion Vox, how wouldst thou win?
Lynx: I'm facing Vox? Wow, ok.... Well, I have faced him before at Apocalypse a few months back. We also tag teamed in another match later on at Ascension 121. Vox is one of the few I'd consider an ally, but if his title were up for grabs I would need to make sure the right person is holding it to prevent the true mayhem of the real Apocalypse from coming. I can defeat him. What kind of match is it?
Lynx: Hey! Where'd you go? You didn't tell me what kind of match Vox and I are having!
Silence. No response. Lynx decides to go try looking in another room. He exits Lomono's room and goes to the next room to the right. This door has a Mountain on it. He goes inside and sees a man with a brown beard and a green hat in the room.
Gnomo: I'm Gnomo. So you're the guy Snort ordered us to talk to? Well, look, sorry, but I don't want divulge any of that information. Ok?
Lynx: How rude. Can't you please help me? Lomono told me I'm facing Vox. If I don't find out what match type I'm facing Vox in, I can't ensure the right outcome at the Roulette shows.
Gnomo: Vox!? Who said you're facing Vox? Bleh!
Lynx scratches his head.
Lynx: That was what Lomono told me.
Gnomo: Really? Ah, well. Whatever. How about this. What if your opponent was the Elite Openweight Champion. Matt Tastic. How would you defeat him?
Lynx: Matt Tastic? He's one of the best wrestlers in the history of WZCW. I do sense a fated encounter there. It would take everything I have to defeat him. I know I can do it though. Him having the Elite Openweight Championship has set WZCW back onto the path of destruction because Callie was supposed to retain against him. I've got to fix that by making sure he no longer has the title! Gnomo, do you know what the stipulation is for the match?
At that moment Gnomo vanishes.
Lynx: Oh come on!
He sighs and decides to go try the next room. This door has a picture of a Tornado on it. Lynx goes inside and sees a dark blue genie clad in yellow floating in the room.
Solphod: Like hi there! I'm like Solphod! Although sometimes people have like also called me either Djon or Jonn but I totally prefer the name Solphod.
Lynx: Sure.... Hey, so I got advised by Lomono that I'm facing Vox but then Gnomo told me I'll be facing Matt Tastic. Do you know who my next opponent is going to be?
Solphod: What if I like told you that you are like going to be in like a Triple Threat match?
Now the other two spirits' responses made more sense to Lynx.
Lynx: Of course. Both of them. Solphod, do you know if it will be for the Mayhem Championship? Or would it be the Elite Openweight Championship that's on the line?
Solphod: That's like, not what I had like said. Do you like think you can win if you're in like a triple threat match?
Lynx: Sure....? I don't see any problems winning a triple threat match. All I have to do is make sure I'm the one who gets the pinfall or submission. You didn't answer me though. Is it Vox or Tastic who puts their title on the line in this triple threat match?
Before Lynx can get an answer, Solphod vanishes.
Lynx: Do you guys not want to answer my questions or something!?
He shakes his head and then exits. He finds the next door to the right of Solphod's. This one has a picture of the Moon on it. He goes inside. In this room is a dark shadowy flying figure with a large eyeball.
Lynx: Are you one of the spirits? What's your name?
Lynx: Do you know what kind of match I am having?
It takes the spirit a moment before he answers.
Shodo: Fatal Fourway....
Lynx: Wait, now it's a Fatal Fourway? Who got added to it? It was just myself, Vox, and Matt Tastic a moment ago.
The spirit does not answer.
Lynx: I mean.... I can handle a fatal fourway if it happens. It's similar to a triple threat only with a fourth competitor. If I make sure I get the pin, then I should be good to go. Shodo, will this be for for Vox's or Tastic's title?
Lynx: You don't talk much, do you?
At that very second, Shodo vanishes.
Lynx: On to the next one then, I guess.
He exits the room and locates the next door after Shodo's. This door has a Waterfall on it. He enters and finds a blue mermaid inside the room.
The mermaid spirit, full of excitement, is swimming in mid-air.
Ondono: Oh my gosh!!!! Hey there! It's so awesome to meet you! My name's Ondono! Ask me about your match! It would be the coolest thing EVER if you did!
Lynx: Ok, let me just try to get some clarity. Are there four people in my match?
Ondono: There just might be. Wouldn't a match with four people be super incredible?
Lynx, for a moment, feels he got the clarity he was looking for.
Lynx: So it's a fatal fourway for either Vox or Matt Tastic's title right?
Ondono: How about a tag team match? Wouldn't that be great?
And again Lynx was confused.
Lynx: A tag team match? Is it similar to the Eurasian Championship match at Unscripted where Titus defended his title against Keaton and Xander in tag team form?
Ondono: Hey! Listen to me! Can you win if you have a tag team match?
Lynx: I'm confident in tag team action. I've done well in those matches before when teaming up with Eve Taylor or Vox. Do you know who my partner would be in the match?
The mermaid spirit vanishes after Lynx has asked his question.
Lynx: So much for that.
He returns to the courtyard and looks for the next door. To the right is a door with a Volcano on it. Lynx goes inside. In this room he sees a red lizard.
Solomondo: Salutations! Solomondo is this one's name! Did you want to ask Solomondo a question?
Lynx: What can you tell me about my match? Do you know if it will be for the Mayhem Championship or the Elite Openweight Championship?
Solomondo: Solomondo wants you to consider the possibility that it could be for the Eurasian Championship! Could you tell Solomondo how you would win such a match?
Lynx: Hold on. Does that mean Titus is my opponent? The guy who NOBODY has been able to dethrone, no matter how hard they try and no matter what strategy they use?
The lizard does not answer Lynx.
Lynx: No! Don't disappear on me yet, Solomondo! All your friends did as soon as I tried to ask additional questions. Is my match, or is it not, for the Eurasian Championship?
Solomondo: Solomondo says it might be. Solomondo wants to know if you can win.
Lynx takes the thought of facing Titus Avison into consideration. He thinks it over in his mind and suddenly, feels a large amount of confidence.
Lynx: Yes I do. The problem that others like Wren, Kagura, Mancini, Theron, Flex, Vee, and Tyrone Blades all had was that Titus had the chance to prepare for the match. If his title were to be up for grabs, there is no way he could prepare for facing me if he does not know ahead of time who his opponent is. He would not have time to formulate a strategy. I could catch him off guard and end the longest title reign in WZCW history.
And then Solomondo vanishes. Lynx leaves and goes to the next door. This one has a picture of a Circle with a Question Mark symbol inside of the Circle. He goes inside. In this room is a glowing yellow fairy with triangular wings who looks extremely happy.
Lono: Lynx, I am the penultimate rudimentary force of those you seek to locate. My moniker is Lono. Do you desire to quiz me with a query about your contest?
He mentally repeats her question to himself as it did not make sense to Lynx at first, then he responds.
Lynx: Ah ok. Yeah. I've been gathering information about my match at the Roulette shows from your friends the other spirits. Some of the information is conflicting. Do you know if it will be Vox, Tastic, or Titus who puts their title on the line against me? It sounds as if I could be facing all three of them!
The fairy laughs.
Lono: You are being foolish. Your battle may be against any of those participatants, but what if I notified you that your foe was Constantine?
Lynx's jaw drops.
Lynx: Constantine!? The World Heavyweight Champion? HE is my opponent? Lono, are you sure? Is it for the World Championship?
The fairy laughs again and flaps her wings.
Lono: This is not intended as shenanigans. Can you conquer Constantine if he were your adversary in the competition?
Lynx: He is the best in the world right now. It would be a challenge, quite possibly my greatest challenge ever. Sure, I'm up to the challenge if it were to happen. I have stated numerous times that I want to make sure WZCW stays off the path toward destruction. Every week the federation inches closer in the wrong direction. What better way to guard the time space continuum than by holding the biggest prize in all of wrestling? Constantine's not looking toward tomorrow. After Kingdom Come 9 he's leaving. You know who IS working toward a better tomorrow? ME! If I get a World Championship opportunity then Constantine's time is up!
The fairy is still flapping her wings.
Lynx: So it's Constantine, for sure, Lono?
Lono vanishes at this time. Lynx groans. There is still one more spirit left. He exits the room and finds the final door on the wall. This one has a Tree on it. He goes inside and finds a tree humanoid with leaves for hair and roots for feet.
Drood: My name-o is Drood-o. I have important information-o for you, Lynx-o.
Lynx: It's actually "Lynx". Not "Lynxo". Anyway, can you tell me about my match? Nothing the other spirits have said has added up. Do you know if I am facing any of the current champions in WZCW, or if it's some kind of tag team match?
Drood: What if your match-o was a standard singles match-o?
He fights the urge to correct Drood on how to say the word "match".
Lynx: Let's try this another way. Who is my opponent?
Drood: Did you not figure that out from the conversations-o that you-o had with the other spirits-o, Lynx-o? What if your opponent-o was Batti-o in a singles match-o?
Lynx raises an eyebrow.
Lynx: Battio? You mean Batti? So after all that it was Batti all along, and not any of the current champions? Sure, I could defeat her no problem.... But were the other spirits just playing mind games with me or something?
Drood: Spirits-o like myself-o can only come up with possibilities-o. You-o could face Mark-o Keaton-o, Wren-o, or even Constantine-o. Your opponent-o could be anyone-o on the roster-o, Lynx-o! That depends on what The Randomizer-o says! Only he-o knows your true opponent-o. Look for him-o in room-o behind Snort-o!
Lynx: The Randomizer? Hmmmm....
The tree spirit vanishes. Lynx exits the room and makes his way back to Snort.
Lynx: Droodo told me that someone named The Randomizer is the one I should have been talking to.
Snort: Her name is not "Droodo", it's "Drood". She can't say her own name correctly, or any noun for that matter. You can't go talk to The Randomizer. He's a very busy man. He's back there randomly generating the matches for your show right now, in fact!
Lynx gets right up in front of Snort.
Lynx: So he's in that room you wouldn't let me go in earlier, right? I have to make sure every single match has the right competitors and that the right people win these matches! Let me into that room behind you! I promise I won't disrupt the time space continuum.
Snort: I'm afraid I can't allow that. You of all people should know why that would be a bad idea, Lynx.
Lynx: Why can't I go in there? What makes The Randomizer so special to where he can go into a room that has the time space continuum but I can't? Is he some enigmatic keeper of time who already knows the future?
Snort: No, he's actually just a football coach named Josh Browning who has also has a special gift in randomly determining sequences of events.
Snort leans up against the street lamp that is next to him.
Snort: Enough about The Randomizer. Did the 8 spirits give you the answers you were looking for about your match?
Lynx: The first 7 didn't. Drood finally cleared it up that I could be facing anybody. I could be facing Vox for the Mayhem Championship, Matt Tastic for the Elite Openweight Championship, Titus for the Eurasian Championship, or even Constantine for the World Championship. It could be any WZCW wrestler in a non-title match. Whether it is a standard singles match, a tag team match, a triple threat, a fatal fourway, or any other stipulation I feel confident in any of the above scenarios, but WHICH ONE IS IT!?
Snort shakes his head.
Snort: You'll find out right before your match starts, just like everyone else.
Lynx: I want to know RIGHT NOW!!!!
Snort: Are you sure you want to take that risk, Lynx?
Lynx: Yes! I have to know that the right outcomes will take place!
Lynx goes over to the door behind Snort. He tries to open it, but it opens on its own. Inside he sees nothing but darkness. He steps inside and the music stops playing.
December 11th, 2017
The interior of "Medina's Exotic Pets" is seen again. The animal cages are still empty. The door to the closet opens and Lynx emerges from the closet. The dimensional distortion implodes behind him, leaving an ordinary closet. Medina approaches him.
Medina: Back so soon? You were only gone for about 30 seconds before some other guy named Josh Browning showed up from inside the closet. 4 minutes after that, here we are.
Lynx: 4 minutes? I've been gone for several HOURS!
Medina: Nope. It's been no more than 5 minutes. Josh left a message for you. He said he finished making all the random matches for the Roulette. I bet he was the guy you were looking for!
Lynx: Where did he go?
Medina: Not sure. Probably to those arenas where Meltdown Madness and Ascension Anarchy will be held at, since he came up with the matches.
Lynx: What did he look like?
Medina: He told me I can't tell you. Maybe you'll find him at your show!
Lynx: Unbelievable. Well, I better head off. I've got to go ensure there is no further damage to the time space continuum from the results of these upcoming shows.
Medina: I will be watching! I hope you win!
And so Lynx set off in search of Josh Browning, the mysterious "Randomizer". Who is he? Who is Lynx facing? Which of the two shows is Lynx going to be on? Whether it is for a championship or not, Lynx was mentally prepared for any and all possible outcomes. It is up to him to ensure that the present leads us all to the correct future, unhindered by the results at either of the two Roulette shows. Only time will tell if the future will change for the better.
Come join the best section on the forum WrestleZone Championship Wrestling! You know you want to!
Randy Studd is wearing a towel, looking at a giant portrait of himself above his fireplace with the mayhem title and singing into a hair brush. Badly.
I-I-I don't want a lot for Roulette
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about Eurasian
Wrapped around the waist of me
I just want back what's my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Roulette is you
I don't want a lot for Roulette
There is just one thing I need (and I)
Don't care about Eurasian
Wrapped around the waist of me
I don't need to beat Milenko
Or rearrange his face
Eve Taylor won't make me happy
With a win on Meltdown Day
I just want back what's my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Roulette is you
Oh, I won't ask for much this Roulette
I will just beat Milenko
Or I'll take on old Mark Keaton
Wrestling on the B-show
I won't make a list and send it
To Becky Serra, Meltdown's Queen
I won't even ask if I can
Have a go at Constantine
I just want back what's my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Roulette is you
Oh, all the lights are shining
So brightly on Meltdown
And the sound of Tyrone's
Fans is going down
And everyone is swinging
I hear those ring bells ringing
Serra, won't you bring me the one I really need?
Won't you please bring my title to me?
Oh, I don't want a lot for Roulette
This is all I'm asking for
I just want to see Vox baby
Lying on the canvas floor
Oh, I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby, all I want for Roulette is...
We pan slightly further out and see the postman standing in the doorway, dumbstruck by what he's seen. Studd shows absolutely no embarrassment.
WrestleZone Tournament, 2015
The wrestling paparazzi are hidden in the bushes as they await [color]The Beard[/color]. Beard was seen going into WZCW headquarters for a meeting with Mr. Banks. Hours have passed and as the sun begins to set Beard exits the office. His tie loosened, his frizzy hair still up in a ponytail, sunglasses on, blazer in hand. The paparazzi jump out looking for an ambush, but Beard is prepared.
Before you guys get too crazy, the meeting was nothing serious. Just sorting out some contractual issues.
Does this mean you are leaving the company once again?
And there’s the crazy. It does not mean I am leaving. It is actually quite the opposite really. I plan on staying here until the end. Until I lace up those puts on last time and kick someone’s ass one last time.
Does this mean retirement is on your mind? Has the WZCW universe seen the last of The Beard?
Again with the crazy. I’m not going to lie and tell you retirement hasn’t crossed my mind. It definitely has but I’m not quite ready yet. But who knows, that could change tomorrow. But one thing is for certain, I will be at Madness on Meltdown or Anarachy on Ascension. Those great people need to see this rugged face again.
So will one of those shows be a farewell show?
You never know man. But right now, they will not. Probably. Like I said the meeting was for an extension and for me to flourish not just in WZCW but outside of it as well. I have a great mind and I’d like to use it in anyway I can to help out this company.
What does that mean? Beard! Beard!
Beard walks off, leaving the paparazzi with more questions now than they had when they had arrived.
Things were changing. I’m not the superstar I use to be. I know that, management knows that, and the people are beginning to see that. I can only keep this act going for a short time man. I thought I had found the fountain of youth. My return was triumphant. Defeated an up and comer right off the bat. But then it all changed. Maybe he underestimated me. Since then the losses have piled in. The brawls with Matt Tastic have left me broken, have left me shaken, have left me vulnerable.
But the show must go on. I promised these people they were getting the real me. Not the crazy half beard guy. Not the guy who destroyed Ty Burna, destroyed Saboteur. I’m just me right now. And maybe me isn’t good enough. But I will fight. I will fight until I can’t stand. I will show up at Meltdown or Ascension this week. I mean lets be real, Madness and Anarchy are two things I built my career on. Maybe I’ll channel that. Channel that energy that I held back during my recent battles with Tastic. Channel the energy that is the real Beard. Not the real me. The Beard is who these people want to see.
Beard pauses as he pulls a glass from his desk drawer and uncorks a bottle of wine. He pours a glass and takes a puff of his cigar. The room is dark, but the smoke drifts through the air. The fire from the cigar dims the room as Beard twirls his glass before taking a sip.
Maybe it is time to throw on the costume once more. Bring back that sophisticated bastard that these people love. Roulette is a game I like to play, but this time around you don’t want to bet on black or red. This time around, it’s best you bet on Beard. See ya soon boys.
Following the events of Unscripted, Eve Taylor's body was in agony. All she could muster on the wake of her boiler room brawl with Logan McAllister - as voted by the fans - was slow, heavy, drawn-out breaths whilst she laid sprawled out on her hotel bed. Her stomach felt broken and her head had a pounding ache. Her back was also sore but that was nothing to do with the aftermath of her match; her back was in pain because she had been laying in this position for a couple of hours and her body cried out for movement. However, movement would cause further searing pain from her injuries. In this predicament, the only thing on Eve's mind was contemplating whether she should move to a different position. Was it better to focus on the pain on her injuries and help her back? Or was it beneficial to spread the pain across the body? Eve knew she eventually had to move to ingest some food, drink some water or go to the bathroom, so moving was going to end up eliminating her option of staying still... but did she want to wait until she was forced to act or do it of her own volition? These thoughts kept going through Eve's head, no matter how much she tried to think of something else. It all came back to her current situation and asking the same damn questions. Eventually, it got to the point where Eve asked herself if this quarrel even mattered at all. Why should I even care? Why should Eve care? That was a thought Eve managed to scramble elsewhere on another subject matter: the defeat of Vis Imperium and the triumph of the WZCW legends taking back the company from corrupted hands. Did it really matter? And why should anyone care?
Eve attempted to follow that train of thought but a sharp, searing pain shot through her body again, causing her mind to derail. It was almost like her body was telling her to not think about those thoughts. She had much more important matters, like finding a way to deal with this bloody pain! Eve managed to turn her head slowly and see the bottle of whiskey sitting on the end table that she managed to procure on her previous visit to the bathroom. Eve thought it was best to do as much as she could whilst she was moving about and having a bottle of whiskey in arms-reach might be a good option. She was right because Eve desperately needed a drink. Normally, Eve would be looking forward to the night as she would see her friends Stacey Madison and Selena Anderson at the bar and drink to their hearts content, yet Eve was in no condition to go out anywhere. This was something she texted to both women to make sure they would not worry about her. Even if Eve got out of body, got ready and went out, she would be a pain for the other two. No need to spread the pain out...
"... huh," Eve said to herself, "I guess that answers my own query."
As Eve attempts to begin moving into a new position, there is a loud knock on her hotel room. A very excited knocking pattern that would not indicate someone from the hotel staff. Before Eve could even think about who it was, her phone began to ring. She was receiving a call from Stacey Madison. Another knocking sequence hit the door, this time a little more rougher. Eve definitely knew it was Stacey at the door.
"Just a minute!" Eve winced, as she slowly got up.
Slowly and carefully, Eve sat herself up on the bed frame before cautiously turning her body to be sitting upright over the edge. Eve's heavy breaths got louder and louder as she braced herself to stand up. On a self count of three, Eve used all her strength to get to her feet, doing her best to stand. It was not a vertical standing position but enough to consider her somewhat steady on her feet. With one hand holding her stomach, Eve did her best to walk over to the door, which featured yet another knocking sequence. Before they could prepare a fourth knock, Eve opened the door. Indeed, it was Stacey and Selena standing at the door holding bottles of alcohol and glasses to drink them with in their hands.
"You're not getting away from our drink sessions that easy!" Selena exclaimed.
Eve could do nothing but let out a laugh... but doing so her made her cough a little and clutch her stomach a bit more.
"You look like you need a stiff drink anyway."
"I'm fine, really." Eve attempted to say convincingly.
"Eve, have you seen the mirror recently? You look like shit and you've misplaced most of your clothes."
Eve looks down at herself to realise she is only in her undergarments. She shrugged and stepped aside to allow the other two to pass.
"My body is not currently fashion-friendly at the moment."
"Don't worry, Selena is never fashion-friendly." Stacey quips as she enters.
Selena looks slightly offended as she follows in behind her. Eve closes the door before anyone else sees her.
"Hey, that's not funny, Stacey! I know how to dress well! I just thought that since we were coming up her to visit Eve we did not need to get dressed up. Some days you've got to relax, y'know? Besides, you have no idea how long it takes me to go shopping for a nice outfit to look presentable on camera as I announce!"
"Just like when you announced the matches for Unscripted?" Stacey said with a sly smile. "That was a great dress."
Selena pushed Stacey onto Eve's hotel bed. Stacey was laughing even more at the gesture, knowing Selena was half joking about it. Eve could not keep her smile hidden. She was enjoying this... anything but the bore from before.
"Don't even joke about that. No, I am serious, Stacey."
Selena snatches a glass and a drink off Stacey, pours herself a straight drink and lays down on the other side of the bed. With Stacey and Selena both occupying each side of the bed, Eve was forced to stand. Selena takes a big swig as Stacey begins pouring two drinks, one for Eve and one for herself. As she hands one to Eve, Selena turns to Eve as well.
"First, they tell me Harrys has the Unscripted job and now, for the first time on the Roulette Rounds, they tell me that job positions are being randomised for the foreseeable future. A 'big shake-up' they described it to me. I was so excited on the prospect of having everyone's jobs shaken up between the shows. I thought, 'this could be your chance to announce Meltdown!' and it was an amazing couple of days in bliss... but then, the official WZCW.com article came out - not a memo or meeting, mind you - and it says that the only announcing jobs being randomised are the commentators! Not the ring announcers! WHY NOT THE RING ANNOUNCERS?!"
Selena skulls the entire drink and pours herself another one. Eve knows of Selena's ability to drink but she was impressed to see her down a half glass of straight whiskey. Stacey quietly takes away Selena's bottle upon seeing this.
"Do you believe that? It is bullshit!"
Eve raises a glass to that statement. as she looks to half sit/half lean on the desk in the room, remaining in a somewhat standing position. She takes a sip of her drink.
"I hear you."
"You know what? Screw the world's rules for today."
With her drink still in her hand, Selena throws her jacket to the ground. Stacey, who attempted to ignore most of what was happening, now looks over at Selena and stops her before she rips off any more clothing off.
"What are you doing?"
"Eve's half naked and you're telling me off?"
"Eve just went through a Boiler Room Brawl match only a few days ago. She's physically injured. It is difficult to put on actual clothes. And this is her hotel room that she has yet to leave. Leave the hermit be."
"If I am making you feel uncomfortable, I'll find my robe."
Selena looks flustered by the comments but she composes herself to explain her thoughts.
"No, it's not that... I am just frustrated with everything, is all. After the company finally has a chance to turn everything around and hit the big reset button, they overlook some of the issues and the reset button is merely a shifting of resources. I mean, I have been vocal for quite some time and asked them several times for the opportunity but it hasn't happened. When the perfect situation arises, they ignore the chance to seize it. I've talked to Cat and she was happy to remain on Ascension; the thought has never crossed her mind to switch shows and she would've never asked for the chance. Why does she get that chance?"
"It is the luck of the draw, sister. Sometimes you just have to ride the wave. It'll get better eventually."
Stacey looks to successful diffuse the situation by clinging glasses with Selena, making her feel a little better. However, Eve does not quite like the open-shut case Stacey is looking to provide.
"I used to tell myself that it would get better eventually. Sometimes it worked but only if I did something about it. It never worked if I sat back and did nothing or allow myself to get run over constantly. I had to take everything into my own hands."
"What are you talking about?" Stacey says, looking at Eve with a 'please shut up' face.
"I am no longer a model because I thought the media would blow over my controversial comments and actions, and my career would get better. I am no longer a member of my family because I thought time would pass by and they would forgive me running away. I am no longer considered one of the best wrestlers in the world because I thought it would get better with the next opportunity after squandering the previous one. Truth be told, it never got better. It has only gotten worse."
Eve winced in pain again as she adjusted herself and took a sip of her drink. She looked down at the drink in her hands, playing with the glass.
"I mean, look at me. I've been lying on a hotel bed basically naked doing absolutely nothing because I am in pain. Why am I in pain? Because I had a sadistic and physically-tolling match inside of a damned boiler room against a man who does anything he can to get ahead without putting any effort into his career. I managed to beat a guy who does nothing. Someone else talks for him. He skips wrestling matches but attacking people from behind. And when the match actually happens, Logan uses every option outside of him exerting any energy himself. Seriously, he hit me with metal signs, pipes and chairs. He had the intent to use hot steam and fire from a blow torch to force me to submit... hell, he was so lazy he even threw me into the wall to do damage. How unoriginal is that? A freaking wall!"
Eve clutches at her stomach just thinking about the match.
"Sure, I won the match in a match the fans wanted to see. That's cool, I guess, but where does that put me? Where am I now? I am in the same position I was in the previous year. The last Roulette Rounds I had no championship and the Lethal Lottery was on the horizon. This year, same thing. The only difference is that I was riding a wave of momentum after a successful title defenses. Now, I am riding the struggle bus attempting to gain some momentum back after losing all the major matches... even though my consistency for winning matches week in, week out is still very impressive. I have literally gone full circle in an entire year. Excellent! That's the kind of Christmas present I was going to ask Santa for this year.
"And speaking about presents I really enjoy, the legends of old have finally overcome the young and upcoming stars of the business to take control of the company once more! Tyrone Blades, Titus Avison, Constantine - and to a lesser extent, Matt Tastic - are all sitting high on their thrones rejoicing in the adulation of the fans for taking down the evil Vis Imperium. Now, Vis Imperium are complete dicks and there is an argument to say them disbanding is great, sure... but at the expense of young talent like Mark Keaton, Xander LeBelle and Justin Cooper? Xander is gone now. Keaton's stock has dropped. Even Callie Clark, a girl who was going to do great things with the Elite Openweight title, has lost everything going for her. All because the oldies want everything the way it was? The Mount Rushmore of WZCW standing proudly representing this company, holding almost all of the cards. The titles, the money, the fame, and the glory. All to themselves... whilst the rest of us down here have nothing to fight for."
"Are you seriously defending Vis Imperium?"
"No, I am calling out the bullshit of having one powerfully corrupted group take over another. There is no celebration of a successful rebellion. It's a dictatorship being replaced by a self-serving renegade regime. You can easily see it when you look at all the members responsible. Tyrone Blades has always wanted power over the company. Titus Avison craves the response of the audience and the spotlight all to himself. Constantine weasels his way in and out of every situation with his hollow words. All of them will do anything to achieve those means... and they are cheered for their actions? I call absolute bullshit on it all!
"Look, I'll concede I haven't done my best performances this year and I am to blame for that but why do they always get the opportunities? What about all the younger and newer talent who deserve a chance? The Mayhem title, whilst a very prestigious title, should not be the only title to fight over. Conversely, and quite hypocritical of me, I admit, there are wrestlers in the company who need to hone their skills before being given the chance to take on someone like Titus for the Eurasian title. I mean, two years with the title and how many real challengers has he had that were truly ready? Kagura is the only one that comes to mind. A true singles match where the opponent had a chance...
"... this is why I am excited for the Roulette Rounds. A chance for change. Maybe not the change we all were wanted but a chance for it to happen. A chance to start fresh again. However, I cannot expect this randomised matches to be the reboot I want. I must take advantage of this situation and showcase to the world I am still the best and I deserve to be front and centre of this fresh start. When everyone thinks of a new era in WZCW, my name will be the first name uttered. I have to give my best performances now and I must throw everything I have into that ring when Madness settles or Anarchy reigns. It does not matter who my opponent is and it does not matter what match I get: I have to prevail."
Eve becomes a little too excited by her own words and looks to stand proud but the pain is still too much for her. She trips a little forward but manages to catch herself. Selena and Stacey react to help her stay standing, eventually pulling her down to the bed to sit down.
"Easy there, Eve. One step at a time. You can't change the world in one match."
"Yeah, exactly. It's going to take many matches before you'll be on top. Those are the exact words you told us before Unscripted when describing Logan McAllister. Those words apply to you."
Eve gets her balance in the seated position and nods in agreement.
"You guys are definitely right. This journey is not going to be easy. I have learned my lesson from last time. I can't just expect the World title or a Lethal Lottery victory because I believe I am the best. I just have to work hard and continue to strive. Determination. All that..."
"Yeah, you've got the idea!"
"Sorry about the rant today. I did not expect to do one of them today."
"That's okay, we'll just chalk it up to you being delirious from pain. Here, lay back on the bed and we'll just relax and talk today. When the pain goes, we'll discuss it further. For now, just be happy you won and recover."
Eve slowly goes back to the bed head and leans on it, laying in the middle between Selena and Stacey who are both sitting in a similar position. The three of them raise their glasses and cling them together, taking a drink of their whiskey. For a moment, the three of them sat there in silence and relaxing, taking a breath from everything. It felt good to finally be laying back down. Even though there was searing pain in the stomach, a massive migraine and her back was beginning to complain, Eve was happy to be there. She had friends who cared for her, some momentum behind her, a second chance for the World title upcoming shortly and a massive reboot to the company approaching in the form of the Roulette Rounds. For this brief moment, living life felt amazing.
"You know," Eve said, breaking the silence, "normally when I'm between two women in a bed, they aren't as clothed as we are."
Eve smiles at the joke as she looks at the other two. Selena and Stacey turn to Eve in disgust immediately and begin getting out of bed quickly.
"Oh, Jesus Christ. Really?"
"What is wrong with you, Eve? That's really inappropriate."
"I was just joking! I was making a joke. I thought we could end this special moment in some laughs."
"Eww... special moment? Phrasing!"
"You've ruined it. Moment's gone. And to think I defended you prancing about in underwear."
"I was not prancing!"
"C'mon, Anderson. Let's find a bar somewhere. Away from this freak."
Selena is on her phone. "I've already found three good ones. You want pirate, Irish or the local hotspot?"
"I want more whiskey. Let's go pirate. I've never been."
"It's pretty good. I love pirate bars!"
"Really? I did not know that about you."
"Yeah, I think they arrrrrrr pretty cool."
With that, Stacey and Selena are up and are leaving, laughing at their joke. Eve, confused by how that jokes was funny but hers wasn't, does her best to struggle with the pain and get up quickly off the bed. The pain hurts and her breathing is heavy but she is frantically looking through her clothes as best she could, doing her best to put them on.
"Hey, I'm sorry! It was a joke! Wait for me..."
Eve is last to leave the room, hopping out of the door trying to put some pants on. She heads down after Stacey and Selena with only her underwear, pants halfway down her legs and the rest of her clothes in hand. She does her best to juggle walking, putting clothes on, moving quickly and feeling pain as she passes by other strangers in the corridor.
"I wouldn't even know what being in-between two women would be like. None of my many threesomes have ever been with two other women!"
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the wrestler that believes herself to be the future World champion and complains about the current state of WZCW. Lord have mercy.
versus ??? (Roulette Rounds)
Three Years Ago
‘Hang on, hang on!! Frank, can you get the door?’
‘Yep. One second!’
The bell kept on going as the door opened, and Frank, wearing a frilly apron and a pair of oven gloves, was greeted by a girl in her late twenties with long, crimson-red hair. Her eyes were red, sore, and she had a desperate look on her face.
‘Has Xander called here?’
‘Sorry, but who-‘
‘Has Xander called here?? Please??’
Heather, the mother of Triple X, suddenly came to the door. She took a moment to recognise the girl, but recognise her she did.
‘Mrs Knight, has Xander contacted you recently?’
‘I…no, I haven’t seen him in two months. He made his feelings perfectly clear then though-‘
Before she could finish, Talia’s desperate demeanour broke away to tears. She sunk down to the front step, sobbing uncontrollably. Heather crouched down, embracing her.
‘What? Hey, hey, come on. What's wrong, dear?’
‘X-Xander. He left in t-the middle of the night. I t-thought he might have come here, but-‘
‘I…I don’t know where he is!’
She continued sobbing in Heathers arms. Frank came over, helping her up by the arm.
‘Come inside, dear. Come on.’
They ushered into the house, into the kitchen, where they sat her down. Heather sat down next to her, holding her hand, while Frank was dialling into the phone.
‘H-he won’t answer.’
Frank slammed the phone down. ‘His damn cellphone’s disconnected...’
He grabbed his coat.
‘What are you doing?’
‘I’m going out there. I’m gonna find him.’
Talia steadied herself as best as she could. ‘We’d gone to Europe. To get away from everything. Just us. I knew he wasn’t right but, I thought he just needed more time but, one morning he was just…’
‘You’re saying he disappeared Europe. He could still be there?’
She nodded, welling up again. She pulled a crinkled-up note out of her pocket and showed it to Frank.
‘Come here, sweetheart.’ Heather pulled her in close, embracing her. She looked up at Frank, who looked shell-shocked.
Her boy was gone, and she didn’t know where. Or why.
The Day After Unscripted 2017
Triple X sat back in his seat, as the plane began to settle into its flight. Everything stabilized, the seatbelt sign switched off, and he took in a deep breath. It was the day after his loss to Lynx at Unscripted, and yet, such an event hadn’t affected him the way he thought it would.
In truth, he was rather relaxed about it.
‘Want to talk, Xander?’
X turned his head. Andrey had his head buried in an in-flight magazine, but the words definitely came from him.
‘What makes you think I do?’
‘You’re quiet. Too quiet.’
‘Maybe I just want some peace.’
‘No, usually you blast rock music out in that case. Now it seems more to me you have something on your mind.’
‘Same as always, Andrey. Nothing but the goal.’
Andrey closed the magazine and tossed it onto the tray in front of him. ‘Really? You lose against Lynx and you feel nothing?’
‘I wouldn’t say that.’ X stretched his arms up. In truth, his arm felt much better than the day before but the pain was still there. A receipt from his match. ‘And I guarantee Lynx’s neck will be feeling a hell of a lot worse.’
‘Well I imagine the victory will make him feel better.’ Andrey turns to X, almost frustrated. ‘It’s as if you don’t care about loss.’
‘Of course I do!’ X didn’t mean for his statement to be a yell, but he could tell from the people around him staring that it had clearly morphed into one. He turned to Andrey. ‘Nothing pisses me off more than knowing that asshole got the jump on me. In my first Pay Per View match back, no less. That and the referee didn’t call for a damn rope break when he should have.’
‘Well, no, it was a falls count anywhere match-‘
X shot Andrey a sharp stare.
‘The match rules were pretty clear-‘
‘I’ve seen loads of falls count anywhere matches where rope breaks have counted.’
‘Any of those in WZCW?’
‘Okay, look. Forget about the rope break. You’re right, and it doesn’t matter anyway.’
‘Why though? I do not understand. Why does everything else matter a lot and this not matter to you?’
‘Because, my friend, this was a distraction.’
The stewardess started to go by with the refreshments trolley before Xander stopped her. ‘Two Cokes please.’
‘One with Vodka.’
‘Sir, it’s 10:30 in the morning-‘
‘He’s kidding. Thank you.’
X took the cans and passed one over.
‘In Russia, this is not a true drink.’
‘I’m not even convinced you use Vodka just as a drink. I swear I’ve seen you use it as a mouthwash.’
‘Only once. Wouldn’t want to waste it like that too often.’
X smiles, before taking a sip. ‘Lynx got in my way. He was a distraction, nothing more. This loss doesn’t derail me any more than him getting involved in my business does. If anything, it helps me.’
‘I am no longer under the illusion of being untouchable. If I let my guard down, even just a little bit, there’ll be a horde of others just waiting to jump ahead. When I went in there with Lynx, I still had one eye on the World Championship.’
‘Ah yes, the belt your dear friend John won.’
The mention of Costantine irked Xander to no end. He clenched the can so hard it actually crumpled a little, sending some of the drink onto the tray.
‘John Constantine, both the man and his reign, are on borrowed time. You’ve beaten him already in your short time back. Comprehensively too. Nothing has changed now, except for the fact he has more to lose.’
‘That changes everything, Andrey.’ X turned back to face him. ‘When all you hold is on the line, you’ll do anything to hold on to it, and that feeling gives you a few extra gears.’
‘Yes, but next time you two face off, you will have more to gain. And more gears as result.’
X smiled. ‘Well, I figure I’m owed another match against him seeing as I was the last man to beat the bastard.’
‘And who knows, you may even find the opportunity come sooner than you think.’
‘You think during the Roulette shows?’
‘Why not? Lady luck has funny way of showing her hand. Sometimes she plays you right into the hand you want. Sometimes she makes you wait. Who knows? But It could happen.’
X sneered at the notion. ‘Yeah. Why not.'
'Xander, you must learn how to focus fully on two targets. What lies in front of you, and what lies ahead. Lynx was in front of you, but you looked ahead to the World Heavyweight Championship. One thing at a time, both inside and out of the ring, and all will fall into place. So, my question to you is this; what's in front of you now, Xander?’
X looked out of the window, down below to the earth where Canada was crawling along by, soon giving way again to the United States.
‘A chance to realign things.’
A Few Days Later…
‘So, what do we think?’
Frank poured himself a coffee before taking a seat back at the table. He lifted up the envelope, before throwing it into the middle of the table with the two others.
‘What do you mean?
David ‘Red’ Redfield leaned back into his chair, fingers interlocked.
‘I mean, do we think he’s…different...from before?’
‘You mean is he no longer an arse, right?’
He looked over to the right of him where Xander’s mother Heather sat. She had her elbows on the table, resting her head on her hands.
‘No offence meant.’
‘Well…yes, for a lack of a better term.’
‘I’ve said it before; Xander changes once he has a goal. He becomes determined, and he becomes aggressive, and he doesn’t always stop to think about how it affects those around him. It’s part of what makes him so damn good at it.’
Frank took a swig of coffee, pondering. ‘And he definitely hasn’t contacted you since before he left?’
‘No. The letter was the first thing I’d heard, just like you.’
‘Why now??' Heather asked. ‘Why has he waited until now to say something?’
‘I dunno. Shame maybe?’
She turned to Frank. ‘You think he’s ashamed?’
‘Wouldn’t you be?’
‘The question is, would he be?’
‘The answer’s yes.’
X's voice came from down the hallway, before he finally appeared before them. He looked around the kitchen, soaking it in for the first time in over three years. Behind him, Talia stood back, allowing X to have this moment. He looked upon the three people in the room who had always constituted his family. Alongside Talia, they were everything to him.
‘Xander…’ his mothers voice quivered as she spoke. She went to stand, but X held a hand up, as if to ask her to remain where she was.
‘Please, don’t get up. I want you guys to hear what I have to say. After that, you can do what you like.’
X took a deep breath, before continuing. ‘I guess you all read the letters.’
‘You’re damn right we did. Russia?? Why the hell didn’t you reach out?’
‘No, sorry Dave, but he could have. Why didn’t you? You let me and your mother worry something had happened to you. The only reason we even knew something was wrong was because Talia came and showed us your note and let us know what had happened.’
X looked to Talia. ‘You did what?’
‘I…I didn’t know what else to do. I hoped you’d have come to your senses and come back here.’
‘It’s okay. It doesn’t matter now.’
X gritted his teeth, so much so that they hurt. He ran his tongue along them; the replacements of the ones lost, both to wrestling and in Russia, before continuing. ‘I should have contacted you.’
‘Mate, what happened? Why go there? Why…put yourself through that?’
X took another deep breath, and looked down to the ground. ‘Because I deserved it.’
Silence from the three at the table. They all looked on, confused.
‘I treated you all in the worst way. I blamed you all for my failings. And that was wrong. I…I only cared about two things. Revenge, and being the best. And when I lost at All or Nothing, I…’
‘Christ, you honestly think we gave a damn about that??’
‘You may not have, but I did!’ X stopped for a moment, composing himself. ‘…I still do. And I thought I needed to get away from everything. Everything that connected me with who I am. And I did. And it took a long time, but, I finally realised that was a mistake.’
X walked over to the table, and took a seat.
‘I owe you all one hell of an apology.’
‘No, mom. No. You didn’t deserve to be treated the way I treated you. Even before I left, I was a ghost. You had to come see me, only for me to scream in your face. And you guys.’ He looked up at Frank and Red. ‘You’ve been my rocks. The people I turn to when I’ve needed advice. I pushed you all away.’
‘Yeah, mate. You did.’
‘And for that I’m sorry. But…’ X looked again at Talia, who smiled and nodded at him. ‘I’m not sorry for who I am. Whether it’s who I’ve always been deep down or who I’ve become. This is me. I’m going to mess up. I’ve always been great at that. But I can’t change who I am. And who I am is someone who is obsessed with being the best. For that I make no apology. But I do for thinking I could do it without any of you.’
Silence. Nothing but silence amongst the group, for what felt like an age.
‘I’ll go. None of you need this-‘
‘Now wait just one minute.’ Frank stood up. X looked his father figure in the eye for the first time in what seemed like forever. ‘You think we care just how badly you screw up? We all have, good lord. And you know about my mistakes more than most. We make them, but what’s important is how we deal with them afterward. Sometimes we know what to do right away. Sometimes…it can take some time.’
X laughed, not derisively, but simply because he wasn’t sure of what he was hearing. ‘You still want to be there for me, even after everything?’
‘Mate, that’s never been in doubt.’ Red’s voice was soft, softer than X had ever heard. 'Yes, okay, you’ve pushed us away, and dropped off of the face of the Earth. And there’s some trust that needs to be built back up, for sure. But we’ve always been here, Xander. Always. And I for one aren’t going anywhere. Well, maybe Japan, I’ve got a run of six months booked over there but, you get what I mean.’
‘Alex.’ His mother reached out and grabbed his hand. ‘You’re here. Nothing else in the world matters to me. Whatever else has happened is in the past. You are my son and nothing will change that. Not one thing.’
She smiled at him, and reached in to hug him. Frank walked around the table, as did Red, and the four all embraced in the middle of the Knight family kitchen. Talia watched on, tears silently rolling down her cheek, smiling.
Red turned to her. ‘Don’t think you’re not involved, love. Get in here.’
Her smile widened, and she joined the group. A family reunited.
. . . . . .
‘She’s a lovely girl.’
Frank drank his coffee as X sat back. The two of them, along with Red, were in the garden, as the sun was beginning to set. Through the window, they could see Talia and X’s mother, talking, laughing, getting to know one another whilst cooking.
‘She really is.’ X had often worried about how Frank, his mom, hell, even Red, would take to Talia, but every single one of them saw in her what he did. And he couldn’t be prouder.
‘Yep, you’re batting way above your average there.’
X laughed at Red’s comment. ‘You don’t need to remind me.'
‘…no, I’m pretty sure that’s my job, if I’m honest.’
He laughed again, and smiled. ‘I’ve missed you guys.’
‘We’ve missed you. We all have.’
Frank and Red looked at each other, puzzled, before coming to the same conclusion.
‘You sent one to Faith didn’t you?’
X looked back down, nodding.
‘Dude, in all honesty, I haven’t seen her in…a long time.’
‘I haven’t seen her since before you left.’
‘It’s fine. I didn’t figure even you all would be here.’
‘She probably just needs more time.’
‘Yeah.’ X looked down to the ground.
A silence fell between the three men for a few moments. X knew Faith. Even with everything that had changed, he still knew how she thought. He knew she would be ashamed of him. But not for how he’d not talked to anyone, or let anyone know he was okay. No, she’d be mad for before.
Xander snapped out of his daydream. ‘Sorry, yeah?’
‘I asked how it’s been. WZCW. Put in a good word yet for you ol’ buddy Red?’
X laughed. ‘Dude, I’m not sure you want in at the moment-‘
‘I’m just joking. But in all seriousness, how’s it been?’
‘Yeah…it’s…’ X struggled to find the right words for a moment. ‘It fits a purpose. Besides, I have unfinished business there. I don’t owe them a damn thing, but they owe me a Championship. One I’ll take gladly when the opportunity arises.’
X turned to Frank, with an almost reluctant smile on his face. ‘You disapprove already, right?’
Frank smiled. ‘Xander, whether I do or not, you aren’t going to listen to me. Wrestling’s your passion. Your life. Just…don’t neglect the rest of your life to serve it.’
‘Don’t worry. I won’t be the one serving. WZCW will be serving my will before too long.’
‘Yeah. Big man here’s gonna be the Champion.’
‘That’s the plan.’
‘Well, speaking of plans, you ready for the roulette rounds?’
X took a deep breath, and smiled. ‘Yeah. Yeah, I think so. It’s tough, not knowing who your opponent will be, but you forget that your opponent is in the same situation. Hell, I could come up against Constantine, and, well. We all saw what happened after I last faced him.’
X looked over to Frank, who had a somewhat vacant expression. ‘I beat him.’
‘Yeah, Clean as a whistle-‘
‘Hey, come on….’
‘Close enough, alright?’
‘Wow. And he’s Champion now, right?’
‘I see.’ Frank stood up. ‘Well, I for one, think you’d make a great Champion.’
X smiled. ‘I’m not going after this to be a role model. I’m going after it because it’s rightfully mine.'
‘I know, but even so. Let an old man dream, Xander.’ He walked over and placed his hand on his shoulder. ‘I don’t think you’re as bitter about things as you’ve convinced yourself. And I’d like to think the time will come where you’ll look back on all this and see the good you can provide, beyond serving your personal goals.’ He carried on walking. ‘But for now, earn your glory and bask in it. Lord knows you’ve earned it.’
The door opened, with Talia leaning out. ‘Boys, foods up!’
Red and Frank both went inside, leaving X and Talia there for a moment of privacy.
He smiled. ‘Yeah. Yeah, I think I am.’
She wrapped her arms around him. ‘Good.’
She let go, and as she walked back in, X’s mother came out to greet her boy.
‘She’s a really lovely girl.’
‘You have no idea.’ X sat on the steps leading down to the garden. ‘She’s been the best thing that’s happened to me for a long time.’
‘I can tell.’ She leaned down, kissing him on top of his head. ‘You seem more at peace when she’s around.’
The two stood there for a moment, as day began to fully form into night.
‘I am proud of everything you’ve done, Alex. Mistakes or no mistakes, you learn from each one and never make them again. You learn, you grow, and you get better at what you do.’
‘You’re damn wise, you know that?’
‘Of course I am, I’m your mother. Now get in and eat!’
She patted him on the shoulder, before turning and heading in. X watched her walk in, before staring back up to the sky.
You learn, you grow, and get better, huh?
Then John Constantine, or anyone else who gets put in front of me, better watch their fucking back.
Hey, I'm just sayin'.
Red in Silence
The Day Before Unscripted:
There would be no visit to the gym today.
War Zone had other things in mind besides that.
He had to visit a very special friend. Someone he had known for a long time. Someone who despite all the accusations and controversy he had committed, was someone that he could trust on to lend a helping hand in trials of trauma.
That man was Joseph McCarthy.
Now Joseph McCarthy as most of us know was the paranoid senator of Wisconsin, constantly warning americans everywhere that anyone, yes; anyone at anytime could be secretly found to be working for the Soviet Union: Basically being a traitor of the American way and a endorser of the ultimate sin. Communism.
Not many a senator liked him, and perhaps this was to be expected. He never did like them back and his message was seen to them as little more than a nusiance. But even so, he did have his admirers.
War Zone was one of those admirers.
So on the eve before Unscripted, looking for something; anything to help break him out of his funk, he took a bus ride whilst no one was looking and headed his way to Appleton, Wisconsin; the place where it was presumed Joseph McCarthy was buried in.
He searched high, he searched low, he searched every which way and what until at long last; he came across a cemetery owned by a beautiful saint named Mary. It twas there he looked for his resting place, refusing to stop until he had done so.
Once he had found his destination, he took a brief look around his surroundings; hoping that neither Troy Excellence or Kimberly Katherine Rollins had taken an airplane to Wisconsin to find him. When it was confirmed that he was a lone man. He took a deep breath, looked long and hard into the grave of McCarthy and spoke to him.
Mr. McCarthy...for many years, you have been an inspiration to not just me, but many willing soldiers, ready and able to fight against the communist cause even if it means having to do whatever it takes to do so. The many people that have taken your strong, powerful words to heart and made it their life’s creed, even their life’s work have proven that you have forever left your mark in our dangerous and confusing world. True, there were detractors, those that may have laughed and scoffed at your words of truth...but to hell with them. The commie bastards they are.
War Zone hesitates for a moment, but continues onward.
They never truly did appreciate the words you preached to many a person. I did...so did many of my former army men, who fought to defend our country throughout many threat over the years: Most recently, as part of the victorious Allied Powers of the second world war. Well, we’ve beaten them and it’s guaranteed that we will beat communism and it’s forefather: The Soviet Union. (Sigh) But that is not why I come here, Mr. McCarthy…
The reason I come here is simple: You have always been willing to give me advice on how to proceed into a better tomorrow. Even when I was still being worked on and tested back in the Pentagon, you were one of the biggest supporters I ever had. And every time I needed it, you were always here to give me the answers to my questions. And now, it is that time again.
Mr. McCarthy: As you know, I am currently under military assignment working on the last best chance for a revival of the Ultimate Soldier; or as the ‘futuristic cyborgs of the 21st century’ call it, WCZW. Unfortunately, things have not gone as planned...far from planned i’m afraid. Despite my best efforts, I have only been able to achieve one measly victory. And as glorious as it was to end the career...no, end the LIFE of Obi Okafor...that is not enough for me. For you know what I aim for in life; I aim to be the Ultimate Soldier: The one true military hawk who always comes through in battle, the one who always prevails in combat, the one option that will always stay strong as newer and brighter technology threatens to take its place. Any less than that, and I will have failed Mr. President; The great Dwight Eisenhower.
And despite the acquisitions of a rather...odd, but well-intentioned man by the name of Troy Excellence and the promiscuous but uniquely captivating stylings of a female named Kimberly Katherine Rollins, I have still not had the success I imagined myself having. It has come to the point where I have begun to question whether I am truly worthy of the title of ‘Ultimate Soldier’...and it has gotten to a point where, I, War Zone; conqueror of war...have considered retreat.
War Zone shudders just at the thought of saying that.
So this is my question to you, Mr. McCarthy...How does one keep going despite failure after failure. How can you continue to show your face when you cannot even reach past the littlest of pit stops and through the atmosphere. Mr. McCarthy, I ask you this not just as War Zone: But also as the ‘human name’ they gave me when I was first created, Robert Gwynn Jr.
How can you continue the war, if you can’t win the easiest of battles?
And he waited...for a sign...for a whisper...for a sound…
He stayed in that very spot for minutes without end, complete silence filling the air. No one was quite sure why it was that he was there, all they knew was that big, muscular looking guy was staring at the graveyard of one of the most controversial senators in a lifetime. Some even made a few rather unpleasant looking faces at him, unwilling to believe that anyone could respect someone like McCarthy. But he didn’t care, War Zone was to hear what he had to say; and not a soul was going to dare try and stop him from doing so.
No soul expect perhaps, he himself.
Finally, after quite a while had passed. He did something he rarely ever did...he smiled. It wasn’t the biggest of smiles, just a tiny grin; but for a short while, War Zone felt a sense of what it was like back when he was in the army all those years ago; training with the others, being worked on and checked for bugs, even when he was placed on ‘time out’ for roughhousing with some of the boys in the back. This was exactly like those times.
And then, he looked at the gravestone of Joseph’s; softly kissing the forehead of it to show his respect. The last words he said to him, in his quietest of voices?
And off he went, back to WZCW and if he was lucky, hopefully back in time for Unscripted. Sure, he’d probably have to deal with a rather upset Troy and a more than likely bothered Kimberly complaining about how her high heels she just ‘had to wear’ were messing up how she usually walked. But at least he was going home to potentially begin the Empire of War. This time, with a clear mind and a gameplan set for the future.
Of course, War Zone would go on to lose that match, as he had almost every other match. But it didn't matter, he had listened to what Joseph McCarthy had said to him, and he had promised himself to stick through the new code by thick and thin. And it wasn’t all bad news for him either, what with a new Mayhem champion waiting at the wings; the recent demise of Vis Imperium and the upcoming Roulette Round: The next few weeks looked to be the most interesting weeks of the short career of War Zone yet.
The words that Joseph McCarthy said to him did something to him that day he went to Appleton. They brought back a fire inside of him, a fire thought to have long been put out. A fire that would spread across WZCW, and all throughout the world and anyone who dared threaten America or her allies. God help anyone who tried in vain to challenge him, for he would run them over and render them obsolete.
But what exactly was it that Joseph said to him that brought his spirit back from the brick that cold evening in Appleton?
Well friends: All we can say for certain is that no matter how we look at things, no one can truly say we know a person’s true motives. The question that should really be asked is: How much do we really know of War Zone?
Cat of Controversy, Writer of Wrestling
Happiness can take many forms. Success. Winning. Overcoming new obstacles. Happiness is associated with positive words and positive vibes. Following Unscripted, Kagura felt happy even though she had lost. Normally she’d be furious. She’d be disappointed. She’d resolve to work even harder next time. Critiquing herself, until being pulled in by a deep depression. That was routine. After all, a loser shouldn’t be happy. And yet, she was. Since winning the KFAD briefcase, there was something that had been holding her back. Something keeping her from making that next step with confidence. And at Unscripted, she finally found that missing piece of the puzzle. And that was a rival.
‘I won’t lie, when I became Queen for a Day, I felt privileged. Accomplished. Distinguished. All I wanted to do was cash in and go for broke immediately, to see if I could win it all as fast as possible. It would have been a rookie mistake. I remember sitting in my hotel room that evening, pacing, thinking about my next step. The world champion was Justin Cooper. Vis Imperium was still at the height of its power, with no end in sight. If I had cashed in, and was successful, then what would that have meant for the company? I realized that the company had a natural order to it that I couldn’t break. Vis Imperium was destined to crumble. I foresaw it. And yet I did nothing, because it wasn’t my place. There were too many players on the board. Too many emotions to deal with. If I had upset that balance, then where would those emotions had gone? I watched Justin Cooper standing alone at the top. Mark Keaton, Xander LeBelle, Andrew Adonis; they were just pawns. An insurance policy to protect him just in case someone got too close to the world champion.’
Kagura eyed the KFAD briefcase in front of her as she pondered her thoughts. The silver handle glistened, reflecting the luminance from the overhead light. She gripped her fist, imagining an alternative future. What might have happened if she had interrupted the feud between Vis Imperium and WZCW?
‘And then I saw Banks behind the scenes, pulling strings like a puppet master. That’s not the type of champion I wanted to be. Cooper used people. And his ego got so big that he didn’t realize that he was being used in return. Cooper was peerless. There was no one on his level, and he knew it. That’s when the power shifted. Tyrone Blades and Titus Avison joined forces. It took two of the strongest wrestlers in the league to combine their strength to fight the machine that had become Vis Imperium. And the knight in shining armor? The hero of the story? The man that I foresaw that was destined to slay the beast? John Constantine. The former leader of Vis Imperium who had been ousted by his former allies. There was too much history in that rivalry for me to want to get involved. I couldn’t, because I was awestruck. Justin Cooper and John Constantine were essentially to sides of the same exact coin. John was everything Cooper had wanted to be, and when he finally got his wish, it was Constantine sitting on the bottom, looking up. In the shadows, I watched. I wanted to see what this proud man was going to do. When Cooper reached the top, he abandoned his hunger, his drive to win, his will to be the best, because he had already reached the top. And in the process, Constantine absorbed everything that Justin had dropped. He transformed himself into an avenger. And that’s when I realized that even if I had won the title and beaten Cooper, I too would have plateaued. I would be the one sitting at the top, looking down at all the little ants scurrying beneath me. Maybe then Cooper would have inherited the desire that I left behind, and would have hunted me down for revenge. The same way that John had done to him. After watching Justin Cooper and John Constantine, and Tyrone Blades and Kenneth Banks, I realized that I needed a rival of my own. Someone that could keep me on my toes. Someone that would force me to constantly watch my back. Someone whose skill and power would prevent me from plateauing once I reached the top. I just hadn’t realized that in the natural order of things, one had already been chosen for me.’
Kagura could foresee the future; it was one of her many gifts as a shrine maiden priestess. And despite the language barrier, plenty of people had in the past sought her out to tell them their futures. But, as she had explained to them in the past, even though she could see glimpses of the future, there’s nothing that she or anyone else could do to change it. Heading into Unscripted, she had already foreseen that she was going to lose. No matter what she did. And her eventual loss was not a self-fulling prophecy; at least not in her eyes. This was destiny…
The light flickered slightly overhead and buzzed. Kagura remained in tune with her thoughts, as the sound of running water could faintly be heard coming from the shower. She gently ran her hand over the briefcase, the side of it having been damaged after being chucked off a roof after a wild night of partying. Being able to cut loose. Being able to smile. That was a sign of happiness too. Changing. Evolving. Adapting. Those were exciting prospects. She could now move forward with zero regrets. And with more confidence than ever before. Batti had given her something extraordinary in defeat; a reason to keep fighting once she had finally reached the top of mountain. However; there was one event coming up that could potentially change all of that…
‘Do I want to know my future going forward? No. I haven’t checked. Gambling for the most part is banned in my country. I tried it for the first time when I visited Las Vegas. Sin City. Put in a coin; pull the slot. Maybe even win a prize. Fail? Spend another coin. And then another. It truly was sinful. Shameful behavior for a proper lady like me. To hell with being proper! Gambling is fun. Especially when you have an insurance policy.’
She took her hand off the briefcase and leaned back on the couch, looking up at the ceiling. She turned her attention towards the bathroom, hearing the water shut off.
‘The Roulette Rounds. Anything could happen. And I won’t have a clue who my opponent will be. I won’t know what kind of match I will be in. I could end up fighting Batti Otaku again, and add another chapter to our rivalry. I could be fighting Titus for a rematch for the Eurasian title, or I could be fighting Vox in an exhibition. I could be in a tag match with one partner, or two, or three. I could be in a cage match, or a ladder match, or a tables match. Or all three at once. I could face a current hall of famer, a future legend, or a preliminary fighter. I won’t have a clue. But as Queen for a Day, even if I end up fighting for a title and I do lose, I’ll at least have another shot. The Roulette can be bittersweet. Those of us that were banged up at Unscripted, aren’t at 100%. Even the world champion might fall prey, and lose. What would that mean for me, as the Queen for a Day, if I am chosen to fight Constantine? What happens if I win? Do I have to surrender the case? That would suck. If I defeat Matt Tastic for the Elite Openweight title, am I still eligible for a world title shot? I potentially could be holding two titles at the same time. That is a fun prospect to ponder, but a worrying one as well. Everything that I have worked for so far could disappear. My aspirations. My dreams. My rivalry with Batti. Gone. Why would she continue to put in the effort to chase me, if I forfeited my potential world title shot after winning another, lesser title? Truly; the Roulette was going to be bothersome.’
Kagura sighed as the bathroom door opened. Derrick emerged, freshly showered and wearing nice clothes. He was in the process of tying his tie. Lost in thought, she ignored him until he sat down beside her. She turned and looked at him.
“Hey babe, are you happy?” she suddenly asked.
He raised an eyebrow, “Yeah, I’d have to say I’m generally pretty happy. Why?”
Kagura chuckled, “No reason. Just thinking that as of lately, that I have been pretty happy too.”
He laughed, “Good. I hear this restaurant that we are going to is a local favorite. Should be amazing.”
She smiled and nodded, “Yeah.”
Bonds. Those can create happiness as well. She bonds she shared with Derrick, as they traveled together. The bonds she shared with Sasuke, as he slowly recovered at home. The bonds she shared with Batti Otaku, forged in the rivalry they had established. The bonds she had with her opponents, through the mutual respect or distrust or animosity they shared with one another. And for once, heading into the Roulette rounds, she was happy. Content with her current spot, would be a better description. Everyone was starting off with a new slate. Anything could happen. For better or worse. One thing was for certain, the landscape in WZCW was going to be changing soon. And Kagura knew that she did not want to get lost in the shuffle. She did not want to start drowning again in the cold, dark abyss. She had finally made it onto dry land; basking in the rays of the sun.
A Week After Unscripted: Callie's Bedroom In Her New York Home
I felt empty, it had been a week since Unscripted, since I lost my championship and I still felt empty, and I was still sore too, stupid blood thirsty fans forcing me into a Mayhem Rules Match. After the show I went home, and went straight into my room without saying a word to anybody, I was in no mood to talk and I was tired. But now it was a week later and I was still hiding out in my room, no talking to anybody, not one post on social media, nothing. But what was I supposed to do? Act like everything was fine? Like my championship wasn't stolen from me? The last time I did anything like this was back in my junior year of high school, before I became the person I am today, when I was just a weak and pathetic little girl.
Gabi: CALLIE! OPEN THE DOOR, YOU'VE BEEN HIDING IN THERE FOR A WEEK, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
I thought about it, I had been hiding out in here for a week hadn't I? Sulking because of the stupid fans causing me to lose my championship, everybody knows if it had been a Pure Rules or Iron Man Match the result would have been different. In the last week I had only barely left my room, and when I did I didn't say a word to Gabi or Bates. I guess I have to talk to them eventually, and something told me Gabi wasn't going to take no or silence for an answer this time. I got off the bed, walked over to the door and opened it, as soon as I did Gabi barged in and sat down on my bed, how rude.
Gabi: Thank god you finally opened the door, I thought I was going to have to break down the door.
I let out a little laugh at that, and sat down next to Gabi on the bed.
Gabi: You laugh but I'm serious, I was trying to figure out how I was going to do it. But anyway now I finally got in here, why are you being like this? Sure you lost the belt, but we both know you'll beat Tastic when you get a rematch and take the title back! Besides it's the holiday season, you can't be sad during the holidays!
I slowly nodded my head, she was right, I would get a rematch and that's my chance to take my championship back.
Callie: Bah Humbug!
I smiled as I said it, and Gabi rolls her eyes and smiles back at me.
Gabi: Yeah yeah scrooge, now let's talk seriously. How are you doing? Still sore from the mayhem rules match?
Callie: A little bit, as much as I don't like Tastic, and trust me I hate him more than Christmas music, he might be the toughest competitor I've ever faced. When I face him again, I'm going to have to try something new to beat him.
Gabi nodded, and chuckled at the bit about Christmas music. But it really is the worst music ever.
Gabi: Yeah maybe, but right now you can't worry about Tastic.
Callie: I know, the next shows are the roulette rounds, opponents are decided through a random draw and same goes for match types, for all I know I could be facing Constantine in a grocery store, or someone like War Zone in a normal match, anything can happen.
Gabi: Imagine losing the Elite Championship at Unscripted and winning the World Title in your next match! The ratings would go through the roof!
I smiled and nodded, that would be the best Christmas gift a girl could ever get, but I didn't have my hopes high for it to happen. Though I would settle for any championship, all 4 would look good on my waist.
Callie: Well duh, but I've been having terrible luck lately, I mean I'm on a losing streak, it's disgusting! You know what that's lead to? The fans thinking they're right about me, me losing my championship, me losing followers, and more! These have been a terrible few weeks for me, and right now not even Christmas can make things better.
Gabi: Don't get down sis, all it takes to turn things around is one win, and this is your chance to get a huge win. The element of surprise can work against you, but it can also work in your favor. You could catch a big name off their game, not ready to face someone of your caliber, and you can get a big win. That's what you need to hope for, you need to think on the bright side.
I raised an eyebrow at Gabi.
Callie: Since when do you tell me that?
Gabi: First time for everything right?
We both laughed, this is why Gabi is the best sister ever, she knows how to cheer me up and she knows exactly what I need sometimes.
Callie: You know what I was thinking about before you decided to start pounding on my door?
Gabi raised an eyebrow back at me, a look of curiosity on her face.
Callie: Those bitches we went to high school with, about how they were awful to me and how if it wasn't for you helping me, both with my self esteem and getting that blackmail, how I probably wouldn't have ever become a wrestler.
Gabi thought about it for a minute, thinking back to how she helped me by picking out some new nicer clothes, and convincing me that I was just as good as her, and much better than those girls.
Gabi: Hmm I never thought about it like that but you might be right. That summer really helped you become who you are now huh? But then again that was always deep down inside of you, you just needed help realizing it. But if you wanna give me credit, then you're welcome for your career and your championship.
Gabi winked and laughed at me, I jokingly punched her in the arm while laughing.
Callie: Yeah yeah.
Gabi: Hey I almost forgot to ask, what do you want for Christmas? I still need to buy your present.
I knew how Gabi was, she probably already bought me a bunch of presents and just wanted more ideas, but there was one thing I wanted that money can't buy.
Callie: Well there's the things on my list, but you know what I really want for Christmas?
Gabi: Oh, what's that?
Callie: My Elite Openweight Championship back.
Gabi put her arm around me and nodded.
Gabi: I'm sure you do, but I can't really help you there, and I don't think you can fix the draw to make sure you face Tastic either. So you might have to settle for beating someone else.
I shrugged, it took me a week but I realized sulking would do me no good, I needed to go out there this week ready to face anybody that gets drawn against me no matter who it is. Even if I don't get to beat a big name, anybody can be used to send a message.
Callie: You're right, and I realize that. Tastic might have hurt me at Unscripted, but this week I'm going to hurt someone else as payback. This week I end my losing streak, I get back on the right track, and if lady luck is on my side, win a championship or get the biggest win of my career.
Gabi smiled as I finished talking, I think she was just happy I was done sulking and hiding in my room, but she was smiling none the less.
Callie: But before that, I have one thing to do.
Gabi: Please tell me it's shower, because no offense girl but you haven't in a week and you stink.
I wanted to gasp and protest, but she was right. A side effect of laying in bed for the majority of a week sadly. Thank god my followers will never see me like this.
Callie: Okay two things.
That Night: The Clark's Backyard
The sky was dark and the air was cold, like my heart. I sat in the backyard with Gabi, a small fire going in front of us while Sid sat in front of me. I was nearly out of my funk and ready to get back on the winning track, but first some things needed to burn. I picked up a picture off the ground, a picture of me laying in a broken table at Unscripted while Tastic held up the Elite Openweight Championship, my Elite Openweight Championship. I shook my head in disgust at the picture before tossing it into the fire.
Callie: Now that image can burn out of my memory, and my life.
Gabi: It was a terrible picture of you.
Callie: And so many haters kept sending it to me thinking they were funny, putting stupid captions like "too bad you came up just a little short, but I guess you're used to that". Like really? Short jokes AND teasing me about losing my title? Uh no, bye. Get out of my life.
I shook my head again, I could hear Gabi trying to hold back a laugh as she heard me mention the caption. I turned and glared at her.
Callie: IT'S NOT FUNNY!
Gabi: It's a little funny.
Callie: I will punch you!
Gabi regained her composure and stopped laughing.
Gabi: Sorry sorry, back to business.
I picked up a box off the ground, opened it and pulled out my costume from Unscripted. I loved this when I got it, I loved how powerful I felt wearing it, but it had failed me and I it. I looked at the costume, then at the fire, then back at the costume.
Gabi: Wait, you're gonna throw that in the fire?!
Gabi looked surprised, I shrugged.
Callie: I was planning on it, this was my biggest failure and I didn't do the character justice. But I still think it's one of the coolest looking costumes I own so I'm having second thoughts.
Gabi nodded as she took the costume from me, and held it up to inspect it. After looking it over for a minute she handed it back to me.
Gabi: It's nice, you should keep it. So what if you lost your title in it? The way I see it, you put up a hell of a fight, proved how much of a warrior you really are, and only lost because of the element of surprise and Tastic being slightly better that night.
I listened and considered what she said. I hadn't thought about it but she was right, I went through a lot in that match and fought harder than I ever fought before.
Callie: Hmm you might be right, I guess even great warriors lose some wars right?
Gabi: Exactly! Besides, this would be a great costume for going to a comic con in disguise sometime.
I thought for a few more minutes, before putting the costume back in it's box. I decided I liked the costume too much to burn it, and I put too much time and money into it. But I also decided this costume would never again be seen in WZCW.
Gabi: Good decision sis. Hey while we're on the topic of costumes, have you picked out your costume for your next match yet?
I nodded, I had been on a horror movie binge recently while hiding out in my room and it inspired an idea to me. Thankfully I had plenty of supplies to work with and was able to whip something together for a costume, even if it wasn't perfect.
Callie: Let me give you a hint, stay here.
I got up an went inside, heading for my room and digging through some of my things, before pulling out a glove with metal spikes on it. I slipped it on and went back outside, hiding my hand behind my back as I walked over to Gabi.
Gabi: What are you hiding?
I revealed the glove to Gabi, she was always afraid of Freddy Kruger but personally I found him awesome. What's better than a villain who can kill you in your dreams?
Gabi: Freddy Kruger?
I nodded in excitement.
Callie: Yup! Someone's going to have their dream turned into a nightmare this week. I still have to put together a few things for the costume but this much is done.
Gabi: You always did like him way too much.
I shrugged and took the glove off, setting it down on the ground as I sat back down in my chair. I had been through a lot this week but I was ready for whatever chaos the roulette rounds had in store for me. One, two, Callie's coming for you...
(Vox is sitting in his hotel room alone. He is holding his title in his lap, reflecting on it happily)
Vox: I did it. I actually did it. All the hard work, the dedication, the self-improvement...I did it.
(Vox looks down at his title again, he now sees his reflection in the great trophy)
Vox: I met Bono...
*Knock on the door*
Vox: Who is it?
Man on other side of door: We gotta go in 10 minutes. Finish patting yourself on the back, and then come on. It's show time!
Vox: You've got it.
(Vox looks back at his title again)
Vox: It's in these fleeting moments that you realize the fruits of labor. I could lose this title tonight. I could be placed in some wacky match where I have to take on 10 men and women while blindfolded. Or I could have my aim pointed upwards... All I want is a chance at Constantine. Just one more. He's a nut I've never been able to crack. I don't even want his title, I have my own and it's lovely. I just want an opportunity to start a match with a handshake, give it my absolute all, and end with one.
(Vox looks up at the ceiling, then back down at his title again. He is fixated on it)
Vox: But knowing how things tend to go? It'll be one of those monsters that want to take you from me. The big one that thinks McCarthy is still alive for some reason, the man who engages in underground fights for some reason, despite the fact that we get paid to do them above ground against the best competition, or the ugly punk who we freed this title from.
(Vox stares at the title even deeper)
Vox: I'll never let you go.
*Vox pauses for a moment, almost as though he's looking around to make sure no one can see or hear him*
Vox: ...I'll never let you go. I'll never let you go...I'll never let you turn around, our back on each other...
Man on Other Side of Door: C'mon, you can't show off your title in a room by yourself. Let's go.
*Vox kisses his title, puts it around his waist, and leaves through the door. He is unsure of his future, but he is DAMN sure that I'll Never Let You Go is stuck in his head.*
"Intensity: Give 100%. 110% is impossible. Only idiots recommend that." - Ron Swanson.
We had finally reached their destination.
The town looked empty. It was empty. Long abandoned. Dilapidated houses. Decrepit. Decay had set in. We finally spotted the place we had to go to. A place I never wanted to come back to, and yet, here I was.
I saw the burned down house. My burned down house. Charred to the bone. “My demons!” A reminder of that dreadful night I never wanted to relive. And yet, here I was.
I stepped in through the place where once a door existed. The blackened walls reminded me of my horrors. Screams of the past filled my head. I clutched my skull, wanting them to all go away. “But I have to face my demons.” I stepped forward as the floor creaked beneath me.
“This is where it all begun.” Thoughts raced through my head. A broken frame with an absent family picture laid before me. I tried looking for the picture, but it was difficult sifting through all the rubble in front of me.
“So what are we looking for?” I had no clue. All I knew was to exorcise the demons within my head. To let the nightmares go.
“What happened here?” Just vague and fuzzy memories. I didn’t want to think about it. Almost 18 years ago and yet I can’t get the screams out of my head. The screams. The damned screams. I could still hear them. I wanted them out of my sight, out of my head. I wanted to get out of this place as soon as possible.
“So the nightmares that you see all the time, you want all of them to go away? Just like that?” Strange question it was.
“We all want our nightmares to go away. But do they really ever go away? Is it really as simple as that?” Never heard such things from Allison before. I look at her inquisitively. She just turns away.
“You look amused, but that’s the truth. They never go away. They fester, they grow, they keep hold of you, the grip you, but they never go away. There’s only one way.”
I get closer to her. She turned right into me…
I sat in the corner hunched. A drop of blood trickled down my cheek. Pain emanated from multiple sores on my body.
“Allison! Allison! Where the fuck are you?”
I didn’t answer. I tried hiding. But my luck wasn’t very good.
“You piece of shit. What do you think of yourself?”
Trapped here for the better part of last 4 years. Just a young a girl, trapped in what they called an orphanage by the day, but a brothel by the night. Young girls like me, trapped in here, never to get out. Too frail to run away. Too weak to fight back. But I had had enough of her.
“You listen to me. You go back into that room, and attend to your client, you understand? Little scum of earth.”
She could dragging me away, but I resisted. She slapped me tight and tried dragging me again, this time by my hair. In desperation, I stretched behind, and grabbed a sharp rock from the broken floor tiles. Without thinking any further, I swung the rock across her head. She winced in pain before falling to the ground. I wasn’t done though. I repeatedly bashed the rock against her head till she moved no more. Her screams attracted couple other people, pimps if you may. The horrified look on their faces made me realize the gravity of my actions.
“Don’t let her get away!” One shouted. “You’re going to pay for this!” Shouted other. I had no time to think. I had to run. I didn’t know where, but I just had to.
So I ran. And ran. And ran!
“You know, Ellie! These nightmares never go away. They chase you, like a pack of dogs. They haunt you. But they never go away.”
Ellie was silent, but well, she had been the silent one for a long time. I held her in a tight embrace.
“You can either run away from them, or…” I looked into Ellie’s eyes. The shock in her wide open eyes, the horror on her face. I whispered in her ears. “Do you feel them slipping away?”
I tried twisting it in a little deeper. She gasped for breath, trying to resist, but failing to do so. Blood streamed down and flowed on to the floor. She tried opening her mouth.
“Shhh… There’s nothing left to say. I know you have a million questions. The only answer you need is warmth of this embrace.”
Slowly, I loosen the grip of my left hand, pulled the knife out of her stomach and lay her gently on the floor.
“Isn’t it all fitting? The place you had to come to exorcise your demon? You finally get to do that. You’ll get to meet your parents soon.”
I turned around to leave as she laid there, left with her final few breaths. However, I couldn’t just leave yet. I needed to let her know what happened. I turned back to her, while she was still trying stop the blood from pouring out of her body. She was failing miserably.
“See, Ellie, you’re a good person, just extremely naïve. I’m a survivor. I survive by any means necessary. I hoped it wouldn’t come to this. But well, as you said, anyone could be Wren. But don’t worry. I’ll be a good Wren.”
Ellie was fading.
“Well, I wish I had more time. But hey, at least you won’t have those stupid nightmares anymore. What do they say in Japan? Sayonara? Sayonara.”
A new dawn is upon WZCW. I rolled the dice, and now it is time for WZCW to pay. Everyone’s ready for the Meltdown and Ascension, but is anybody ready for the madness and anarchy that I’ll bring? No one’s safe.
Let chaos ensue.
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