Kingdom Come 8: Battle Royal [Number One Contendership] (participants inside)
A battle royal will determine who the EurAsian or Elite Openweight Championship number one contender will be. Who is taking part?
A potential surprise opponent (see Pre-Show thread)
Deadline is Monday 23rd January 11:59pm (CT)
Last edited by Da Prophet : 01-13-2017 at 08:01 AM.
Batti is bae
The Girlhood Dream
Batti: "SON OF A BAKKA BITCH!"
Hysterical, Batti Otaku paced around backstage. She pulled at her blonde hair and stared at the match card again. There it was, clear as day. Matt Tastic vs. Flex Mussel for Kingdom Come 8.
The pissed off pint-sized wrestler grabbed a Staff member. With her fists clutching a handful of his shirt. She pouted.
Batti: "Give. Me. Flex. Or. I. Burn. This. Place. To. The. Ground. With matches. And-and-and some gasoline. Comprende?" :|
The employee let out a panicked yelp. She sighed and let him go. He sprinted out of the vicinity.
Batti: "I just wanna break his legs like he did to Rammikun. Is that too much to ask for?"
Her mentor, Action Saxton, strutted into the backstage area where the match card was posted. He took a long look at the disheveled Batti, the card, and then sighed. Saxton reached into his pockets and pulled out some gum. He offered the eccentric teenager a piece.
Saxton: "Ya not getting Flex tonight. You need to make peace with that if you wanna make a good impression at Kingdom Come."
Batti's eyes grew as round as saucers.
Batti: "Wait...I'm still on the card?? You're fuggin' with me."
She gawked at the list again. There she was, along with Kagura, Phoenix, Xander, newcomer Wren, her partner from last week Vee A.D.Z., and a slot open for a surprise opponent.
She let out a squeal of delight. Her coach chuckled and then fell to the ground. Batti Otaku had GLOMP!'ed him.
Batti: "It's been my dream FOREVER to be a part of the biggest pay per view of the year! Holy smokes. I will be competing, and for a title shot no less. I...I don't know how to handle this. I can't even."
Saxton: "Well it's crunch time, hon. You gotta focus on your opponents. You gotta want this win. And above all else, you have to ignore Flex Mussel for the time being."
She bit her lip. He patted her on her head as he stood up.
Saxton: "You can do it. This isn't about you and him right now. But you can use that energy in this match. Show the world that you can handle being in the ring for a championship. Show 'em you have what it takes to beat a Hollow One like Phoenix. Hell, that can prove you can beat all of The Hollow Ones, including Flex. Go out there and stand out."
She pondered on what he said.
Batti: "Hmm stand out...I see...I should try standing out from the other 6 participants. Make WZCW look my way. Wonder how I can do that..."
At that moment, the rookies Gabi and Callie Clark came into the backstage and noticed they weren't on the match card. Callie got upset and Gabi tried consoling her. Batti came to their aid.
Callie: "Are you kidding me? What idiot left us off..."
Gabi: "Our Tweaker followers will NOT be pleased."
Batti: "You guys are wanting to stand out, too? 'Cuz that's what Saxton-chan and I were talking about. I need a way to elevate myself over the other Battle Royal contestants."
The Clark Sisters looked at each other for a long time, and then busted out laughing. Batti awkwardly laughed with them, not knowing they were laughing at her. Action Saxton just stood there confused as hell.
Batti: "Hmmm well maybe if we hung out a little, and got people to notice us. We would be getting our names out there a little..."
Callie: "You want to make a gang?"
Gabi: "Cause some trouble? Hang with some of the badasses?"
Batti: "Why not? And it's always good to make friends."
Saxton: "I don't think these two wanna be your-"
Callie: "Ohhh I'd just love to be the little internet starling's friend. I'm just like the biggest fan T-B-H..."
They move in on Batti, wrapping their arms around her and acting chummy. Saxton grimaced.
Saxton: "Aight. But don't forget I'm her mentor. She gets hurt...I can make y'alls WZCW contracts disappear. Banks and I are buds. Don't be doin' anything illegal neither. Just 'cus I'm on the hunt for Michael Bolton don't mean I can't make time for a pair of nerds that play dress-up."
The Clark Sisters looked at each other again, but this time defeat in their eyes.
Saxton: "Now y'all three play nice. Go do some stuff and get remembered. I need some beer..."
Gabi: "We winkin' in this bitch!"
Gabi, Batti, & Callie are skipping down the hall. Technicians and various employees stare at them dumbfounded.
Batti: "It's like dabbing, but with your eye!"
Callie: "Wink, Inc. represent!"
Batti goes over to a man who is about to throw away a coffee cup. She takes it from him.
Batti: "HA! Now I'm gonna go refill this for you...and it will be Decaf!!!!"
Callie: "We're that new behind the scenes posse y'all ain't hear about. Watch us cause a ruckus. Wink, Inc!"
Gabi carefully removed a paperclip from a large stack of paper.
Gabi: "I'm keeping this. We're not to be fugg'd with. Ain't that right, Batti?"
She looked at Gabi, her eyebrows furrowed.
Batti: "Umm I-D-K on the stealing. We wanna be remembered, not arrested. Think about what Senpai Saxton said."
They all look at the paperclip fearfully. Gabi sighed and slowly nodded, thinking about Saxton.
Gabi: "You're right. Can't be doing anything too extreme... but I'm gonna leave it on the stack and not where I left it. Wink, Inc woot!"
Batti: "Woot! Too Kawaii Me!!!"
Wink, Inc were at work busily spray painting winky faces on the sidewalk with washable spray chalk. "" was slowly dissolving at the front of WZCW Headquarters. The Clark Sisters sighed, wondering how their day wound up like this. Batti crossed her arms and stuck her tongue out. Gabriella made a joke.
Gabi: "Eye dab on 'em."
The trio proceed to wink.
Days later they attended a house show. Batti was dressed in geisha attire. The Clark Sisters cosplayed. Gabi genderbended Xander LeBelle and Callie was Wren. Onlookers started recording them from their phones.
Callie/Wren: "Hi! I'm Wren and I am from J̶a̶p̶a̶n̶ Parts Unknown."
Batti/Kagura: "Konnichiwa Wren who may not understand my customs because you are and are not from Japan. I am a wizard person who can steal Ramparte's voice but can't steal a win from a rookie and Xander's manager."
Gabi/Xander: "You are both ladies and that makes me uncomfortable. Please don't fight me."
Wink, Inc. dorkily start roughhousing with one another, posing here and there for an audience selfie. Callie shrugged, and played along as the sisters tried to make the most of it.
The Clark Sisters and Batti Otaku attended a local Mixed Martial Arts competition not long after. They booed one fighter in particular.
Gabi: "My girl Batti o'er here gonna kick your neck so hard, Vee Ads!"
Batti: "Gabbi girl tell 'em."
Callie: "We ain't even in our real seats!! We swapped places, so now our tickets don't match our chairs! Wink, Inc stuntin' on 'em!"
The man they confuse with Vee A.D.Z. is distracted by their odd yelling. His opponent lands a right hook that sent him sprawling to the mat.
Gabi: "Ha! Imagine if that was Batti's boot. Ya not ready, son."
Batti: "Too Kawaii Me!" >: )
Closer to the evening time, Wink, Inc went to a seance. They patiently sat down and held hands with the medium.
Batti: "I wanna communicate with the spirits. Please tell me who the Mystery Opponent will be."
Callie: "Yeah, she needs to know how to prepare for her match. The girl needs a name, Miss Cleo. Please say it's a Hollow One like Phoenix."
Gabi: "L-O-L at Phoenix tho."
The psychic lobbed her head back and forth as if she were possessed.
???: "I'm getting a ghost...he's telling me..."
Wink, Inc, All Together: "Yes?"
???: "He's telling me...America...Grab Them...Great Again...By The...sluts..."
Batti: "Oh em gee. It's Barrett Stratton's Ghost!"
Wink, Inc hightail it out of there as quickly as humanly possible.
Callie: "I think I'm all winked out for one day..."
Batti: "We should be rebels again some time!" ^_^
Gabi: "Err yeah whatever. We got noticed today, by several people too. So I guess this was pretty cool."
The Clark Sisters leave without telling Batti goodbye. She looks upset, but then thought to herself maybe they were going to go train for an upcoming match. She needed to do the same, so she understood their sudden departure.
Saxton: "Please explain to me how any of that helped you prepare for the Battle Royal."
The mentor and the student sat in the empty arena of Kingdom Come 8. Batti had one foot on the bleacher and clutched it like a teddy bear. She frowned as she told Saxton all the things that her and a couple of new besties did together that day. Now that it was close to the opening of the show, Saxton asked her how Wink, Inc helped her.
Batti: "At the end of the day, isn't that what this whole thing is about? We make friends, and we lose them. Flex was a friend to me before his betrayal. So now I've made new friends like The Clark Sisters. We went out there and did some crazy badass stuff so now we won't easily be forgotten. I'm not here to be forgotten, Senpai. I'm not just another pretty face on the roster. Yeah, I like cute things and I enjoy clowning around...who doesn't? But I do it for a reason."
"All the people I must fight - not just in the Battle Royal, but in WZCW itself...they don't know how to handle me. I'm something completely different than what they've become used to. How does one fight a scrawny girl that acts like she's 12? Nobody knows and I like to keep it that way. So the real question isn't how will I fight a geisha, a martial artist, a ninja, a ring veteran, or a high class brawler. They are all very distinct fighting styles that have been seen many, many times..."
She looks up at Saxton with confidence in her eyes.
Batti: "The question is how will they get passed my Emojitsu? How are they gonna fair against one of the most unorthodox wrestlers they've ever met? Yeah, before you say anything I know I sound cocky, but really think about it. There will be 7 or so people in that ring at the same time. I'm the skinniest, shortest one. What I don't have in power I make up for in maneuverability. They gonna run through each other? I'll fuggin' crawl on the floor out of the way. We gonna get technical? I'll mess with their heads a little bit. Maybe one of them likes Patty Cake as much as you did." :P
Otaku stuck her tongue out at her coach. He nodded encouragingly.
Saxton: "Aight, so you got a game plan. But you need to convince me you're in this to win this. Tell me why you deserve that title shot. Why you should win.
The bit her lip, and closed her eyes.
Batti: "This has been my dream since I was a little girl. I have waited all my life to even be in the same building as Kingdom Come. To be among the greats...it's a way to prove to myself that I am somebody special. That some little nerd can contend with a Hall of Famer. That some squeaky kid can get the respect of a legend. These are the things I want most. And I will fight my way through monsters, gangs, revolutionaries, and living gods if I have to. This WZCWeeaboo is here to stay."
She opened her eyes, and smiled from ear to ear.
Batti: "That and my boyfriend never won at Kingdom Come. Did you know that? He lost with Cerberus against Hard Metal Penetration. Lost against Eve Taylor and Flex Mussel. And now, I have a chance at doing something Rammikun never could. It makes me giddy thinking about it." XD
Saxton "You know there's a possibility Ramparte will be in attendance at this Kingdom Come, right? He will see you, and he will be angry."
The two grew quiet. Batti gazed down at the empty ring. From where she sat, it was no bigger than her thumb.
Batti: "Yeah. I've dreaded that for ages. But you know what? I think I'm okay with that."
She stood up. Saxton watched her intently.
Batti: "I'm not some weakling who needs her boyfriend's permission to do anything. Ram knows I'm stubborn. He half expects me to be a wrestler anyways. I hid that part of me from him for too long. I want him to see me for who I really am. A fighter. I fight for the things I hold dear to me."
"Phoenix is in the match and I will do all I can to make him pay for being a part of Rammikun's disability. I will throw Kagura from the top rope and show that Yeah Ram, I can hold my own against your old nemesis! He will see me do the things he couldn't. And then some. Wren is still new to the game, while I've been racking experience from HoFers like Titus Avison. Vee A.D.Z. is the darkest horse, but I'm a fuggin' unicorn! I'm too colorful for him to handle. And if Xander LeBelle does the math right he'll see there are 3 women in this contest, so he better get rid of the macho BS real quick because the women have claws this year. Of course, he can opt out and send in his manager again, which will have a hard time against the numbers."
Batti thought about the mysterious surprise opponent, if there even was one. She shrugged that off.
Batti: "I want my Rammikun in attendance. If he's upset that I broke the promise I made to him, then I understand. But WZCW is my life. If he can't accept that then maybe we shouldn't be together." :/
She turned away from Action Saxton.
Batti: "I want to make WZCW colorful. Fun. I feel that it's been lacking lately. Everybody is so serious all the time. Why can't I be imposing AND quirky?"
Saxton: "That's why I wanted to coach you. You are a ball of energy in a moody world. Go out there and do crazy stuff. The fans like that kinda thing more than you think. You'll be the one they wanna win. As you eloquently say: Fugg 'em Up!"
Batti Otaku turned around, and faced Saxton. She crossed her arms and stuck out her tongue like she did with The Clark Sisters.
Batti: "Kingdom Come is about to get kicked in the muthafuggin' neck!"
Saxton: "Yass Queen!"
Batti: "Too Kawaii Desu Ne!!!"
New Orleans, Louisiana
Daunting dark clouds had covered up the broad sky, concealed all the stars and the new moon, to make it absolutely dark. The wind was blowing quite heavily and it seemed like thunder storm was around the corner. Though, the humidity was quite high in the air, the weather was still cold. Vee stood by his window, starring at the absolute dark. His mind was completely empty as the night sky. His shirt was tottering by the wind which he didn’t care. As a matter of fact, he didn’t care anything at all.
It was the third time his laptop was singing the Skype ringtone. Finally, the sound went through his ears to wake him up from that stale state. He looked around; walked to his laptop and sat infront of the screen and answered the call.
The bright face of his lovely girlfriend Sara appeared on the screen, soon she blew a kiss to him through it. A slight smile appeared across the corner of his lips, by her gesture.
Sara: Did you get it?!
She asked him in rather an enthralled tone.
Sara: The front row pass? I asked you to get me a front row pass for Kingdom Come! Didn’t you get it yet?
She demanded him with quite a playful glare. But Vee was sitting there not knowing what to reply. He adjusted his throat and looked at her.
Vee: Sorry… I couldn’t get it. I asked the management but they too can’t provide me with one.
Sara: You must be kidding me, right? I mean, can’t you even get one pass for me? You’re a WZCW wrestler and you’re going to feature in one of the biggest event of the year and they didn’t even give you a front row pass.
Vee: Well… No they didn’t.
Sara: I’m disappointed, dear. Sorry.
With that she hung up the call. Vee still didn’t have any expression on his face. Perhaps, he was still in that stale state(?). He rested his chin on his fist and starred at the empty laptop screen for a while before deciding to reach his bed.
He sat on his bed, contemplating his next move, as he was playing a chess game. He raised up; sat down, raised up again and sat down and continued that for a couple more times. Somehow, he decided what to do. He went to the window and locked it and fell back on his bed. Soon, he dozed off to sleep.
It was around midnight, he felt a small tickle on his feet. He felt his feet were hanging off the bed which made him awake.
He sat up on his bed and shifted his look over to the window. He felt something different on that spot. His sight was a little blurred from the sleep. He shrunk his eyes and looked again to see a dark shadowy figure standing aside the wall next to the window. He was in a bit of baffled state to understand, but he realised it was a person when the bright teeth of the figure shined through its devilish grin.
Vee got alarmed by that, he tried to turn on the lights but it didn’t work. The figure drew a gun from its coat and aimed at Vee. Before he could move or react, it triggered the gun! The sound of that gun echoed through the room, and that sound woke him up… from the dream.
Vee: It was just a nightmare…
His heart was pounding in his chest and his face was covered with sweat. His whole body was very disruptive; his limbs were shaking.
Vee: I don’t get nightmares too often. But when I do, they’re terrible. I hate them!
He said to himself and got off the bed to get a glass of water. His fingers were still wobbling in fear. Somehow, he managed to grab hold of the glass to drink the water.
Vee: I’m so scared. I feel so alone. Ever since, the voices left me hanging, I feel very lonely. And Sara, even though she talks to me on phone quite often and Skypes me, it doesn’t feel the same as before. I feel isolated from the world. I might’ve despised those voices, but they guided me through the dark path; but with them gone, I just am not the same. And I had to lie to Sara, earlier.
He picked up a couple of tickets, apparently the front row passes, from the desk and slowly tore it town into shreds. He tossed them into the dustbin.
Vee: How could I tell her that I don’t want to disappoint her, again.
He walked to window, made sure he had locked it firmly from the inside and then he rested on his bed.
Vee: Last year at Kingdom Come, was the first time I got Sara to see my match. She was in the front row, watching me wrestle 5 other contestants inside that Elimination Chamber for the KFAD briefcase. She was shattered to see my loss, though, she didn’t show it, I could see it behind her smiles. Every time she saw me losing, I could see that sadness was concealed by her smile. I pushed her away from me, away from WZCW, away all the way back to Sweden. But that doesn’t help the fact either.
He looked up the roof and closed his eyes very slowly.
Vee: I didn’t want to disappoint anyone again. I disappointed my parents; embarrassed them by bringing them to Unscripted. I disappointed my friend Chris when I was eliminated from the Lethal Lottery. I even disappointed Veejay, when we lost our Tag Title opportunity. I don’t know if I’m fit into this game anymore.
His voice had gone so low by then. He was whispering it to himself. Wet patches formed across his closed eyes. Tears were ready to roll down.
Vee: I’m sorry.
I am disappointed.
He was miserable. He kept whispering it for a few minutes before he fell back to sleep again.
It might’ve been another hour that passed, since he fell asleep. He felt the same feeling, like he felt tickles down his feet. His feet got so cold, he could feel the cold wind grazing over his feet. His body shuddered a little by the coldness, he woke up again.
He had the same feeling as before. But he heard some sound, it was the wind blowing hard outside. He sat up and turned his look to the window. A guy in a trench coat was closing it slowly. Vee shook his head a little and opened his eyes wider as he could. That guy was clearly looking at him.
He walked slowly towards Vee. He was having his hands hidden under the trench coat. When he walked pass the window, a streak of light flashed on his face from the outside. The guy in the dark just looked like Vee, as if Vee was looking at his image in the mirror, but slightly older version of him. Vee was baffled by that. It all seemed like in seconds, that guy was lurching forward at him and before Vee could comprehend the situation, the mysterious man’s knees were across Vee’s chest, pushing him down. One of his hands were holding Vee’s arm and the other had a knife which was almost sliding over Vee’s throat.
???: Na Na Na Na Na. Don’t panic.
Vee: Who are you?! Why do you want to kill me?
Vee was gob smacked when he looked at him closer. Yes, he looked exactly like Vee. Though he had some silver hair across his ears but other than that, his face, physique everything looked the same.
???: I’m not here to kill you.
Vee: How can I believe that?
???: Ask yourself, boy. I’m having a blade on your throat. If I wanted you dead, you’re dead already. But I want you to listen. I just want to talk. You see, anyone would flip out when they see someone exactly like them. And a guy of your intellectual stature would have many ideas running through your mind, when he sees his doppelganger. So I had to calm you down.
Vee swallowed his words down his throat. He could feel the sharpness of the knife gliding over his throat. Regardless, he was still listening to the mad man without uttering anymore words.
???: Tell me what exactly is in your mind?
Vee: You’re from my future?
???: Not precisely, but it relates something with time, of course.
Vee: You’re from the other timeline?
His doppelganger just smirked at Vee. He pulled the knife back, but still was having his knee down on Vee’s chest.
Vee: You’re serious… But that’s impossible. Timeline is impossible.
???: Ask yourself again. I normally don’t answer silly questions. But I do like you; I like talking with you. As a matter of fact, we both like to talk with ourselves, don’t we? After all, you had these voices inside your head.
Vee: How do you know about that?
???: Because I am YOU.
???: You aren’t smart as you say and you don’t have manners. You never let me introduce myself and since we met, you never asked any productive questions.
Vee tried to pull his chest up, but the other guy was very strong to keep him in an idle position.
Vee: Alright… who are you? And what’s the purpose of this visit?
???: I’m Vlad. And you made a deal with me last time, that we would meet on your terms. It has been a week, but you didn’t call.
Vee: You’re the one who rattled my locker room, yeah? Why did you want to meet me?
Vlad: Ah finally. I travelled over billion light years to get to your timeline and you finally are interested in knowing why. The reason is very simple. I want to help you.
With that, he released Vee’s arms and took his knees off. He walked slowly back towards the window and starred outside. Vee was at sixes and sevens. But he sensed that his doppelganger is not a danger. He was confused and surprised by his reply but he was curious too. His face was adorned with all those assorted expressions.
Vee: Help me? With what? And How?
Vlad didn’t turn to look at Vee. He still had his eyes fastened to the outside. A brief moment of silence followed that.
Vlad: Both of our lives never had any real heyday. And you’ve been struggling a lot lately. So I thought, I might help you.
Vee: But why across all the timelines, you came here for me?
Vlad had his hands on the window. He was tracing the mist that clouded the window pane. He was very patient with his answers. He took his own time.
Vlad: I have gone across five timelines to meet my mirrors. But none of them were like you. You are special.
Vee: What do you mean?
Vlad: Do you know the timelines diverge sometimes and converge at the other times? Our timelines converged when WE had this wish to be a wrestler. All of us should’ve been a wrestler. But out of the seven I know, it’s only you and me that are wrestlers. Which means, we decided to follow our heart.
Vee stood off his bed and walked towards Vlad. He was standing right behind him. He still couldn’t believe how identical they both are, even from behind.
Vee: Isn’t that something odd that only just two of us are wrestlers?
Vlad: I asked myself the same question. But when I tried to find answers for that, I was trapped in the time warp.
Vee didn’t know exactly what that means but he was just looking for answers and Vlad was giving them precisely.
Vlad: I wanted to see when our timelines will converge and that was a big big mistake. I wanted to see how our future holds together when they all converge at a point.
Vee: You don't make much sense. You said you were a wrestler but how do you travel times?
Vlad gave him a chuckle. He turned his head to look at Vee in his eyes. Vee could see his own reflection in his face.
Vlad: I finished my university, unlike you. That’s why I said our timelines diverged, a long time ago. I wanted to know where it will converge and how it will. How our lives will be? But I didn’t realise I was playing with the timelines so much that I lost my timeline completely!
Vee: What does that mean exactly?
Vlad: I have no life. I got trapped in the time warp as a matter, a physical matter of course, with no dimensions and all. I lost 15 years in there without knowing how to get out of it. I was lost for 15 years. That wasn’t the biggest lost for me, to be honest. I watched my timeline destroy. It was right in front of me, everyone that I loved, everyone that I cared started to disappear from my life. Soon my memory faded from their mind. I had them all in right in front of me, but I couldn’t grab it.
Vee was curiously listening to him. He was chewing his finger nails and his eyes were tightened at Vlad.
Vlad: We both seemed to the same. We always had opportunities ahead of us…
Vee: But we couldn’t grab it.
Before Vlad could finish the sentence, Vee interfered. Because it sounded like a cliché for him.
Vlad: That’s what I thought. It’s a libel. I got out of the time warp, only after I realised that. I realised, opportunities were never needed. I created my own opportunity. It is mine that no one can steal. That’s why I wanted to help you. I wanted you to realise we can create opportunities.
Vee: Normally, I would disagree but not against a guy who had crossed timelines.
Vlad let out an animated laugh that echoed the room.
Vlad: I can take you to see every moment, every decision you had made, even at every match you had lost, you could’ve created an opportunity. But that will be against the timeline and you probably will only regret for it. All I am trying to say is, I lost 15 years of my life till I realized the truth. You have those years ahead of you to make things right. Even you have 48 hours till Kingdom Come. You have TIME. You can make things right and that will be just a start. I have seen the outcome of Kingdom Come. I wouldn’t tell you yet. You still have TIME. Anything can change. 48 Hours!
Vee: I still can’t believe you completely.
Vlad: I knew you wouldn’t. It’s not bad to be sceptical. But…
A long silence followed. Vee was wondering what is about to happen next. Vlad had been very clear with what he said. But Vee was still uncertain whether to believe this or not. But one thing was running through his mind that he can create opportunities in the next 48 hours. IF Vlad had seen the future, is it still possible Vee can alter it with his action? Vee was contemplating what to believe and what not to.
But before he could finish his thoughts, Vlad grabbed him by his arms, pulled him over and tossed him out of the window, shattering the glass. But he didn’t fall on the floor. Instead he felt himself passing through streaks of lights. It had every colour a human eye could see. They were twinging, swirling around with each other, twirling over one another before they all converge at a point it all became white, quite monotonous.
Vee felt like floating in a white space. Then it all became transparent. He could see image of him throwing his very first punch on his sparring partner. Then the screen flashed and it changed to the first time when Vee wins his Surrey Television Championship. Then it changed to the time when he tore the front row passes. It all televised pass his eyes in a fraction of second. Then it all became white again.
He opened his eyes to see back in his bed. The window was locked firmly, from the inside. There was no sign of an intruder. The window that he crashed through a while ago was all good. He looked at the TIME, it was only 2 hours past midnight.
He was at sea. He couldn’t comprehend the situation. He wasn’t sure whether it was just a dream or not.
He was shaken up by a heavy vibration under his back. It was his phone vibrating. He picked up the phone, it was Sara on the other end.
Sara: Where did you go? Are you mad at me? I’ve been calling you the whole day and you’re only answering now. I’m sorry for the way I hung up our call last night.
Vee: Last night?
Sara: Yeah? After we we ended the call last night, you didn’t even reply any of my messages, dear. I was worried.
He was left in shambles. He checked the digital clock aside his bed. 24 hours had passed when he was in the timeline(?). He was just there for a few minutes. There’s no possible way 24 hours could’ve passed. He stood up from his bed, to find the front row passes on the desk. He looked down at the dustbin, the torn pieces weren’t there. He was utterly confused.
Sara: Are you there?
Vee: Yeah yeah, I’m here. I just was busy… getting you the passes.
Sara: Did you get them??!!
Vee: Yeah I did.
Sara: Thank you very much! I love you! Oh, I’m excited to see you at Kingdom Come! You only have 24 hours left!!
Before I could respond to that, I felt the earth move from beneath me. I felt life trying to escape my body. Before I knew it, I had fallen to the ground. It took me a moment to realize what had happened. A car had hit me. As I lay there with crimson all around me, I could hear people around me rushing to the spot. And only one thought crossed my mind. “So, this is how it ends.” I could feel my soul trying to escape my body, chaos all around me before I faded.
I wanted to open my eyes, but my eyes refused to comply. “Am I dead?” I tried screaming to someone, anyone, but my voice wouldn’t escape my mouth. I lay there, motionless, pain emanating from every fiber of my body. I tried opening my eyes once again, this time succeeding, but all I could see was bright light. “I AM dead, and this must be heaven, or hell, I cannot tell.” I thought to myself. It took some time for my eyes to adjust to the bright light of the room. Hospital? Yes, I was in a hospital. I was alive! But how did I reach here? There were lot of questions on my mind, but pain eclipsed all of them. I tried looking around me and saw a nurse close by. I tried calling her, but my voice failed me again. Thankfully, I didn’t need to exert myself anymore as she noticed my very weak movements. Without any delay, she left the room, leaving me all by myself.
I was still trying to make sense of everything. I remembered the accident, but nothing after that. For how long was I out? It’s strange how irrelevant the time becomes in these sorts of situations. I was still a bit dizzy. At that moment, I saw man walking to me, probably a doctor.
“(In Japanese) Finally! You’ve taken your own sweet time to come back.” I just wore a confused look. He realized I didn’t speak Japanese.
“How are you feeling now?” The doctor asked. Feeling how my vocal cords weren’t helping me, I tried to nod.
“That was a really close call. Let me run a few tests on you.” He checked me up, took a blood sample and went away. It was at least a few hours before he returned. Meanwhile, I tried sleeping, but sleep eluded me. I could hear the doctor speaking to a lady outside.
“(In Japanese) Foreigner. Caucasian. Must be around 14 or 15. That’s all I can tell. There’s no ID on her. Also, seemingly, she can’t speak. It must be because of the trauma she suffered due to accident. Doesn’t match any of our previous patients. I’m sorry, but we won’t be able to keep her here for long.”
“But she must have told you something about herself.” I couldn’t make out a word they said. Japanese was a hard language to understand. I heard them entering the room. The doctor was followed by the lady.
“This is Mrs Horigoshi Mutsumi. She brought you here. In fact, she is the one who saved your life. If she hadn’t brought you in time…” I could only try to move to show my gratitude, but my body didn’t move. I could feel the kindness she bore through her eyes. She stopped me from trying to move and sat beside me.
“You are coming with me, you know.”
“(Japanese) But we haven’t talked about it yet. We don’t even know who she is.”
“(Japanese) You said you can’t keep her here any longer and I won’t let her out on the street in this condition. She’s coming with me. Please complete whatever paperwork you need to complete.”
I didn’t know how to feel about this. I had grown to not trust anyone, especially after everything I had been through till now. On the other hand, I didn’t want to go back either. “What’s the worst that can happen?”This could be my one shot at life, and I didn’t want to let it slip.
Several months had passed. Horigoshi brought me with her, gave me a place to live in her dojo. My recovery had gone way better than I anticipated. I started helping the students of the dojo with their daily chores. In time, I learned that she was one of the biggest women’s wrestling promoters across Japan. Her Wrestling promotion, Joshi Sekai Senshuken, JSS, toured all across Japan, and her dojo was the most sought after wrestling schools in Japan, for males and females alike. While most of the time she was away on tours, she made sure that she came back as often as she can.
It was a treat watching her training the students the way she did. I could sit through hours of her helping students perfect their moves and learn new ones.
“Don’t bend your knees so much. It can cause you injury in the long run.”
“If you’re in a hold, you don’t struggle. It just tightens the grip and game would be over before you’ll know it.”
“Landing is the most important thing when you go up on the turnbuckle. Plan before you make that move.” I could hear these all day long. Most of her lessons were in English, for she had students from all across the globe. I would listen to them and practice them in my time when no one would be watching.
The student in the dojo had warmed up to me. At first, they used to call me ‘Gaijin’, but slowly they all had started calling me Shisuta. I later found out it meant ‘sister.’ Whenever Horigoshi came, she would make sure she spent time with me. She would talk about everything, from wrestling to her personal life. Even without any words, she would understand me. I learned her husband had passed away 10 years ago, and then she decided to apply her training as a wrestler into the business. JSS’s rise was phenomenal considering it was still pretty young. I expressed my desire to tour with her and train, but I wasn’t medically cleared by the promotion’s doctor, so she made sure she shared tips and tricks of wrestling and promised me to train as soon as I was cleared.
It all felt like heaven to me. Like I had a place in this universe. Like I had a home. Sometimes though, it all felt too good to be real. Sometimes, I thought it was all a dream and as soon as I woke up, I’d return to the abyss I had crawled up from. But if it was all real, I wanted to hang on to it.
It was late in the night. All the students had gone to their beds. Horigoshi had just returned a couple hours ago and was very tired, so she had already gone to sleep. I was pretty tired as well, but I decided to do the dishes before I hit the hay. I liked this time of the night. It was always very calm and quiet at this time. The plates told the story of the kind of feast we had today. I had grown fond of Japanese food. Simple and yet delicious.
I started doing the dishes, but soon I went back to the lessons students were learning today. Soon, I started mimicking the movements of some of those moves. I was so lost in them that I didn’t even realize someone standing behind me.
I felt like I was caught doing something very silly. I didn’t know why I felt that way, but I involuntarily held up a dish, pretending to clean it up.
“So, wrestling, huh?” It was Romero, one of the head coaches here. I had heard his stories from Mexico. He was a great wrestler who had to retire early due to injuries. He fought a great deal with alcoholism before Horigoshi found him and brought him with her.
“I knew you liked wrestling.” A wry smile broke on my face.
“You know I can teach you.” As much as I would’ve liked hearing that, there was something off. He sounded a bit different. Before I could respond in any way, I felt his hand on my hand. A shiver shot up my spine. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no! This can’t be happening!”I was overcome by fear. I froze for a second. Suddenly, he pulled me towards him and held me tightly by my waist.
“I know exactly what you need honey. I can teach you everything you’d ever need to know.” It was apparent to me what he wanted. I tried breaking free, but by now his grip was tighter.
“Don’t you try and run away from me. I had my eyes on you ever since you had arrived.” I tried struggling out, but in vain. In that commotion, we fell on the floor along with the plates and bowls all around me. The more I struggled, the stronger his grip became. He was trying to pin me to the floor.
“Don’t struggle. Soon, you’ll enjoy all of it.” I was fear-stricken. He was built like a tank. There was no way I could overpower him. As his grip on me became stronger, my movements became weaker. I was hanging on for my dear life and any shred of dignity I could preserve. I tried reaching for something, anything I could. I felt something just within my reach.
I swung. Hard. The very next moment, I broke free. I didn’t know what overcame me. Fear? Anger? I remembered very little of what I did next until someone pulled me away. The whole dojo had woken up after hearing the crashing sound. I slumped into a corner, trembling in my skin. I saw Romero laying right across me, writhing in pain, bleeding from his nose, trying to cover the gash that I had just made by breaking that plate on his skull. Horigoshi came rushing in, saw the whole mess, and came towards me.
“What happened?” She held my hand which sported bruises from the punches I had no recollection of. She held my face up. She could see the fear-stricken anger in my eyes. Before she could say anything else, I broke into tears. I just had my life flash before my eyes. Like déjà vu. She embraced me. “Everything will be alright.”
“I had given you chance after chance but you wouldn’t change, would you?”
“I had heard of so many of your misdemeanors before, but I kept giving you a pass because I thought you’d come around. But this? You should feel lucky that she doesn’t want to press charges. You should rot in prison, but because of her, I’m letting you go. Don’t show your face here again. EVER!”
Romero gave me a dirty look and left. I was still nervous. For some reason, I felt a shred of guilt. “Did I do the right thing? Should I have landed him in jail?” I was thinking to myself. Horigoshi broke the train of my thoughts.
“Come here dear. Sit beside me.” I followed. “You know you’re a brave girl. Don’t feel any guilt or regret. You did the right thing.” She gently kissed my forehead. “Don’t ever let anyone make you feel weak, because you’re not. You just prove how strong you are. Not by beating him up, but by letting him go. You’re the strongest girl I’ve ever seen in my life.” She caressed my head. “You want to become a wrestler?” I nodded in affirmative with a weak smile. “You’re now coming with me. I’ll train you. No matter, what the doctor says, you’re ready. You are a fighter, and you just proved that.”
WZCW. The best place to be they say. And Kingdom Come. The grandest stage of ‘em all. And here I am today. “Did I do the right thing? Was this the right move for me? Do I even fit in? Did I betray my own people?” I keep thinking to myself. I don’t know if I’ll ever find the answer. But I cannot dwell them for long. I am in the biggest battle royal of my life. 6 opponents. Everyone fierce, everyone hungry. From Phoenix, a veteran who has a point to prove, to the hungry upstart Vee ADZ, who wants to win at any cost. From Batti, the little fangirl who has taken WZCW by storm to Kagura, who wants to destroy everything in her path to reclaim what she thinks is hers. (I wonder if they know me from back home). From Xander LeBelle, the self-proclaimed class act, who believes he can steal whatever he wants to the mysterious opponent who would be as hungry as any one of these. And then there’s me. There’s a storm inside of me. But Horigoshi’s words keep ringing in my ears.
“You go there not with your reputation, but with only you. Don’t you ever forget that whatever happens, you’re a wrestler, a fighter. No matter win or lose, you fight. Not to make a name for yourself, but to be yourself. You fight to survive, you fight to live another day, you fight because that what makes you, you. No matter the stage, no matter the ring, you’ll remain the same little girl who fought to become what she has become today. And till the time you have fight left in you, you will stand tall among the best.” Cliché? May be. But I hold these words dear to my heart no matter what.
I am Wren. And I am ready to fight!
It was a brisk morning on a Wednesday, two days after he had left his lovers side. Girlfriend sounded a little juvenile at this point. She didn’t look well, and he was worried. Dr. Derrick Housman was a simple man by his own admission, though he held a pessimistic view of the world that often led to him being paranoid, especially around the things that he cared about. Kagura was something that he cared greatly about. Correction; someone. As such he hadn’t taken that fight from before seriously; Kagura had been under a lot of stress, but that’s when he had noticed serious changes in her personality. Kagura was normally a sweet girl that was filled with optimism, but lately he had noticed that she had begun taking the same type of paranoid, cautionary approach to life as he did. That shouldn’t have been right.
Of course she was still confident on the outside though, she had almost bragged about using the ritual, like it wasn’t a huge deal. It was a huge deal. It was a very scary deal. Derrick knew things about that book that Kagura did not, and he took careful note of her deteriorating health at the time. A concussion. That’s what she told him she had had been suffering from. While concussions were nothing to laugh about, they had triggered something medically that even had her doctors baffled. The migraines. They weren’t normal. She had never had a history of them.
He was going today to meet with a parapsychologist who specialized in the supernatural; particularly old Japanese myths and legends. He was a historian; a researcher. The supernatural was not his forte. He had only been studying the book as part of a contract that he had with the Tokyo museum. He had heard rumors that the book was cursed, but he didn’t believe in ghost stories. It was only after meeting Kagura did he start believing that maybe there was something odd about the book.
Two flights later and Derrick found himself back in Japan, thousands of miles from his beloved. It still felt like a dream really, that he had fallen hard for the girl. So hard in fact that that at times it didn’t feel real. No doubt that Kagura had mixed feelings about their relationship as well. He could just tell. The scholars name was Suzu Yamika, and she was by reputation one of the best in her field. If anyone could tell him more about the book that Kagura had in her possession it was her.
Derrick approached the scholar’s office and knocked once. A voice replied and beckoned him inside. The office was small, but very clean and well organized. Books lined a large bookcase behind her. Suzu Yamika was middle aged and had been studying the paranormal for years. She was a psychologist by trade and understood the human mind. Her presence seemed to fill the tiny space and made the office seem gigantic. She stood and offered her hand to the researcher.
“Greetings, Dr. Housman.” She replied in English.
He returned the gesture and sat down in a chair facing her. She had some notes compiled on her desk, so she looked to be educated on the topic.
“I wanted to be here in person to receive your expert analysis. I have been studying the book for some time, but I didn’t think that it held any mystical energy.”
Yamika smiled, “Do you believe in the supernatural Dr. Housman?”
He shook his head. “I never have no; but from what I have seen I am not so sure anymore.”
“The supernatural can be both tangible and intangible. Many people believe in the existence of demons, ghosts, and forces at work. It is a prevalent belief in Shinto and in Japanese society, for example. But for others, what can be considered supernatural exists only in one’s thoughts. What might appear to be a ghost may actually just be a refraction of the light. People are free to interpret the supernatural however they like.”
Derrick stared at the notes on her desk. “What about you Yamika-san, do you believe in spirits and ghosts?”
…and then she nodded. “I do.”
“Ghosts, demons, angels, the Shinto kami, malevolent and benevolent forces that control the cosmos; I believe in the supernatural, and that there is more to the world than just black and white.”
“I see,” he responded. “And what about Kagura’s book?”
“You want to know the history behind it, right? I will tell you. The book is at least a century old. In retrospect not as ancient as you might have thought. According to lore the book was used to seal a vengeance ghost years ago.”
Derrick nodded. Vengeance ghosts were popular figures in Shinto superstition. When a person died violently their lasting hatred and desire for revenge would linger and cause harm to those around them. In ancient times many of these spirits were purified. Those that proved to be too powerful for the priests were sealed away. While he had never heard of a spirit being sealed inside of book, I suppose it was possible.
“And that spirit is what caused the book to become cursed?”
The scholar shuffled some notes on her desk.
“The curse arose from something else. A sorceress broke the seal on the book and summoned the vengeful spirit to do her bidding. According to legend she was jealous of the beauty of a younger maiden and summoned the spirit to attack the girl, leaving her disfigured. Her beauty she then took for herself, because it had been her lifelong desire to become beautiful. A wish that none of the kami were able to grant. And that’s how the curse started.”
Derrick frowned, “Based on what I know the curse is tied to these rituals. What can you tell me about those?”
“When the sorceress stole the maiden’s beauty away from her, that was the first ritual. What is believed is that the sorceress, after performing the ritual to fulfill her wish, was eventually consumed by the ghost sealed inside the book.”
She nodded, “The ritual might have been an attempted exorcism, but what is likely is that the sorceress made a pact with the ghost. The ghost would have done the sorceress bidding, and in return the spirit would have been exorcised. According to the myth the sorceress became bound to the book instead; and each time the ritual would be used again in the future it would create a new chapter. And a new soul would become bound to the book.”
She paused again.
“That’s the myth. But what I do know is that the book has a long history of bad luck tied to it. Those that come into possession of the book usually wind up meeting misfortune. Strings of bad luck, injury, and even death have been associated with previous owners. Whether or not you believed in the myth that in order to be “cursed” you had to perform the ritual, didn’t really matter in the face of such ill karma. Many people would not go near the book.”
“I was in possession of the book for quite some time,” Derrick interrupted.
“I’ve read what’s written inside, and you’re right. It details what supposedly was these rituals, performed by people that wanted to achieve some kind of dream or goal that went beyond the power of prayer. Perhaps it was desperation.”
Yamika nodded, “People have done many illogical things to accomplish impossible goals. At one time perhaps the myth surrounding the book bread positive thoughts. I could imagine that many would have sought it, thinking that it could grant them power.”
Derrick’s mind flashed back to the mob and all the trouble they had caused for he and Kagura months ago.
“Where is the book now, Dr. Housman, do you happen to have it with you?”
“It’s still in the possession of a girl that I have become involved with, her name is Kagura. She has had the book for some time now. The reason why I have sought you out is that apparently she’s performed the ritual.”
Yamika raised an eyebrow, “Oh really?”
He nodded, “She used it to steal the voice of a coworkers. She’s a performer. Apparently she had begun to lose hers, and having the ability to talk eloquently is an important aspect of her job. I don’t know how she lost it in the first place. She never revealed those details.”
He watched the woman ponder, as she leaned back in her chair.
“Was this the first ritual that she performed?”
Derrick shook his head, “No, this is the second one that I know of. According to the myth, is that possible?”
She nodded, “Yes, as long as the wielder had a desire or a wish that was not fulfilled. Basically once they reached a state of being that was considered perfect to them, then the soul would start to become corrupted. From there the curse would take hold and they’d die; their soul becoming one with the book.”
Derrick’s eyes narrowed, “Perfection?”
In the back of his mind he began to replay the conversations between he and Kagura. He began to ponder Kagura’s words when he realized that the second ritual was done out of necessity and that she now considered herself to be whole. His eyes widened.
“Kagura is perfect just the way she is. Is there a way to reverse the ritual Yamika-san?”
She shook her head, and he swore out loud.
“The likelihood of her soul literally being bound to the book is slim. That’s a myth. But the likelihood of Kagura being in some very real danger is a possibility. The book itself may not consume souls, but the history of misfortune that has befallen its owners is real. If you are a superstitious man, I would take heed. She’s been having chronic migraines as you mentioned. That might be the result of a serious medical condition. The best thing for you to do is to simply take the book away from her.”
He shook his head. “That won’t be easy. She protects it as if it’s her own child. But the last thing I would ever want is for harm to come to her. I was planning on staying in Japan for a bit, but now I feel as if I must return to her side. For both of our sakes.”
Whatever happened he couldn’t bring himself to fear the worst.
Kagura found herself meditating. It was perhaps the only thing that she could do to keep her mind focused. The pain was getting worse. Medication did very little. It felt as if her body was trying to reject her brain… if that made any sense. That was the closest thing that she could liken it to; a transplant surgery. Basically that was what the ritual was. She had forcefully taken something from someone else and was using it for herself. This “something” had been Ramparte’s voice.
She wouldn’t admit this out loud, but she had hit a bit of a downward spiral ever since she had attacked Ramparte. Despite winning the war, she had lost basically every battle. Ramparte had probably realized that he was not going to be able to get his voice back around the same time that Kagura had realized that it was hers no matter what he tried. The book couldn’t be destroyed. Ramparte had tried to set it on fire and it didn’t even leave a scratch. In truth even she had no idea that the book was so durable. Surely it must have had mystical protection.
And now she was in a slump. Directionless. Batti Otaku still held a grudge against her for what she had done, but her mind had to be focused on Flex Mussel right now. Even Kagura was shocked when she realized that it was Flex that had injured Ramparte. His own tag team partner. But Batti couldn’t change anything that Kagura had already done, so there was little point to them continuing to battle.
Kagura cleared her mind and tried to see through the haze that clouded her clairvoyance. She was still a shrine maiden and a priestess, even though there were times when that part of her felt so foreign. The kami hadn’t stopped talking to her; she could still feel the natural energy of the world flowing through her body. But now she felt dirty, like a faucet that only dispensed contaminated water.
She felt frustrated. Perhaps she should turn her attention to Andrew Adonis, after all he was the one that gave her the concussion. But since he only wrestled on special occasions, that really wasn’t an option. Xander Lebell was a prick, but character aside she really didn’t have a problem with him. The next logical step for her would be to try and move up the ladder again. As a performer she felt whole. This was her prime. If there was any time to try and regain some of her former glory it was now. And she was determined to make the most of the opportunity that was now in front of her…
…A number 1 contenders battle royal for either the Eurasian or Elite X championships.
The match was going to be a cluster fuck, and normally she did pretty well under chaotic conditions. Sigh…
No matter what she HAD to move forward. This rut was killing her. Perhaps not literally, but figuratively so. She still had a dream. One that went beyond trying to mold herself into the perfect wrestler. She was already perfect. Really. Exotic good looks. Tons of charm. Intriguing persona. There was a lot to Kagura. There was one new girl though, named Wren, who was a fellow Japanese. Only she managed to be the only person on the roster that might have been more mysterious than Kagura was, and she hated that. Kagura prided herself on the fact that she could psyche out opponents simply by being something that many did not understand.
Haze, haze, and more haze. Nothing was clear…
That was another thing that Kagura hated. She felt like she was rushing into a battle against numerous opponents where she would be forced to place all her eggs into one basket. She had to be certain of victory or else she’d still continue to be directionless. Were there any other opponents that felt this way? Vee ADZ perhaps. Every time Kagura got close to him she felt the same kinds of emotions radiating from him. She felt sympathy towards him, as he could relate. However; she wasn’t going to pity him. Only one of them could be the number 1 contender, and she would do everything that she could to make sure that it was her.
Her life was cloudy, but one thing was consistent. Her desire to win was still strong. There would be seven people including her in the battle royal. The objective was easy: toss bodies over top rope; win match. Sounded simple.
‘Please dear kami let it be that simple…’
She needed all the strength that she could muster. She had to steel her resolve to win. Nothing else mattered...
… but the glory.
Yes. That was what she wanted. That was her goal. Her dream. To be just like him. A great champion like Sasuke-sensei. She opened her eyes. Her meditation was done.
“It’s time for Kingdom Come. I’m ready. Seven of us will step into the ring. I know six of them; the seventh I don’t. But it doesn’t matter. We all want the same thing. We are all putting everything we have on one chance to achieve glory. That’s all I want. And I’ve come too far, and sacrificed too much to have that snatched away by a bunch of amateurs that don’t deserve it. I deserve it. I’m tired of being in the undercard. I’m tired of being overlooked, pushed around, and underestimated. I’m Kagura! And I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.
Don’t get that statement twisted. I am not a hypocrite. This book is a tool. The curse is a myth; now I’m sure of that. I will not go down without a fight!
I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED!”
That was her declaration against the world that trying to reject her. Kagura would not be silenced. Her mortal soul be damned if she lost.
"Would everyone please rise and remain silent for the entrance of the honorable Judge Molson"
The people of the Highest Court stood up, and did their best statue impression as they waited for the elderly but honorable Judge Molson did the walk to his seat, and then sat down to begin the preceedings. Yet, just as he did, the baliff yelled once more.
"And would everyone here please take a knee for the entrance of the plantiff, French Ambassador Xander LeBelle"
The mood for people in the Highest Court quickly soured, but they remained silent and took a knee as asked. First in came the two assistants to roll a carpet down the court room aisle, next came in Xander's personal viola player, and finally Xander LeBelle himself, dressed as fashionably as ever in one of his trademark suits, made his grand entrance. Truly, he made the occasion look much more like a wedding than a trial. Despite the grandstanding, the crowd remained in their positions as they were told until The Class Act sat down in his personally requested special red chair, seated next to his manager, Andrew Adonis. Adonis sat next to their lawyer, one of the geatest lawyers of the 21st Century, Buck Cashin (not to be confused with one former WZCW Crashin Movement Pioneer, Doug Crashin). As everyone returned to their seats, the court erupted in disgruntled conversation.
"Let the proceedings begin." The Judge's voice boomed through the court room "The Country of France and Xander LeBelle versus WZCW and the team of Vee A.D.Z., Batti Otaku, and Wren will now come to ord--"
Right as the Judge raised up his hand to bang his gavel, he looked over at the other side of the court room, where the accused would...usually sit.
"Hm...excuse me, but where are the defendants right now?"
"I can answer that, your honor." Adonis spoke up. "Y'see, my client, Xander LeBelle, has exercised an often unknown law established in the case of Lasko vs Cheney of 1923, which allows the plaintiff to have his case without the accused putting one foot inside the court room. So, to put it bluntly, they weren't invited."
"That's strange, but if it's all completely legal, so be it. I see there is at least a lawyer representing the defendants. So, let's begin."
The Highest Court went silent as the judge banged the gavel.
"Your opening statement, Mr. Cashin."
With a big smile, and a straightening of his tie, the slick haired lawyer stood up.
"Merci, Your Honor." the American said with a grin. "My client, Xander LeBelle was having a match for the promotion WZCW when he was viciously attacked by one of his opponents for the match, Wren. He was completely defenseless, as h--"
"Excuse me," the Judge spoke up.
Yes, your honor?
"Was this not a wrestling match where this happened?"
Xander's attorney wagged his finger
"Oh, but uno momento por favor!" Buck said, with a smug expression. "My client has taken a moral oath against ever hitting a female, a fact known by every single member of WZCW, not to mention the three defendants. He agreed to this match on the grounds that he would not have a finger laid on him by any female wrestler. The attacker in question, Wren, knew this and used it against my client, and he believes that the situation that lead to Veejay's replacement with Wren was set up in order to attack my client, who demands swift justice to be dealt against those three for their actions."
The scruffy faced attorney, Mr. Cory Galloway slammed his hands on the desk.
"Objection, your honor. Xander used several moves against Wren in that last match."
"Objection. No. No, my good sir, no. She stepped in the way of his guillotine leg drop, and Xander LeBelle was not wearing his contacts. He can't be faulted for mistaking Wren for someone else. However, Wren can be faulted for attacking him!"
"...W-W-What?" Galloway stuttered, sweat beading on his forehead. "That's ridiculous!"
Hey, kid, are you doubting my client's vision? 'Cause you want, he can certainly prove it. He's brought the receipts for his very high-class brand of contact lenses. Adonis spoke up.
The Defense Attorney gulped.
"Hm...I suppose that explains it." The Judge said. "Very well, Mr. Galloway."
The defense's attorney gave an awkward laugh. "Um...actually that was my opening statement. So, I'll just sit down now."
"I see..." The Judge said with a nod. "Then I believe it's time for you to call your first witness."
"Yes, your honor. I call a former partner to the defendant...
The gallery went speechless at first, then let out a less-than-impressed sigh at the reveal. One person from the gallery could barely be heard grumbling about how he thought it was The Beard being called to the stand.
With the sworn oath taken, the baliff stepped away to reveal the former Le Gentleman Masque II not dressed as a superhero, nor in an undercover disguise, but as herself - an ordinary girl in an ordinary, if a bit posh, dress.
"Please state your name, and occupation." The Judge said, looking down towards the witness.
"Alexandria Melissa Moore, heir to Moore Fitness, the mississippi gym chain. How do you do?" she said, her expression glum.
"Miss Moore, Mr. Xander LeBelle was your mentor at one point, is this correct?" Galloway asked.
"Mmhm." Lexxy said with a nod. "I ain't been workin with him for 'bout two years now, I'd say, but we had met eachother due to our family's wealthy backgrounds, when we were kids, and last couple years before he isolated me out of his life, we'd been working together as um...vigilantes."
Lexxy rubbed the back of her neck and hastened to clairfy her statement.
"I've grown out of it."
"Have you ever known Xander to ever show a hypocritical attitude towards his treatment of women?"
"I've never known him to hit a gal, but he's gone back on his word before. He also had no problem having his guards harshly escort me out last time I was at his mansion."
With a scowl, Xander whispered into his lawyer's ear. The lawyer smiled, but kept himself from objecting. Lexxy and Galloway could tell things wouldn't be good for them in about a minute.
"Would you say there's a strong possibility that this 'Wren' had merely been unaware of the plantiff's 'conditions', and was simply defending herself from an attack on her by the client?"
"Absolutely. I recko--I mean uh, I think you mighta nailed it on the head. That'd be my guess."
"No further questions, your honor." Galloway said, with a nod.
"Then Mr. Cashin, you're free to cross examine the witness as you see fit." The Judge spoke up.
"Thank you very much, your honor." Buck said, as he stood up to get a good look at the witness. "Miss Moore, I believe you mentioned the last time you were in Xander's mansion you were escorted out. Tell us why you were escorted out, and remember...you're under oath."
Lexxy crossed her arms, and took a deep breath.
"I went undercover inta his mansion cause I was tryin' to speak to him. I hadn't seen or talked to him in ages. And the person who I saw cheatin' and shaking hands with this...blonde, pompous ratface. That wasn't him. Not how I thought he was at least. It went against nearly everything he was to me."
"Watch your tongue, kiddo," Adonis growled.
"I'd like to ask the witness to refain from making insults towards Mr. Adonis, or Mr. LeBelle. Anyways, in other words, you broke into his mansion. And you were escorted out, to be sent to the police station."
"...Yes, sir." Lexxy begrudgingly admitted.
"Your cute face doesn't excuse your criminal attitude."
Lexxy stared a hole through the lawyer. She knew Xander told him to say that to provoke her. She wasn't ready to let him win, though.
"Objection!" Galloway interrupted. "Your honor, she has broken the law, but that has nothing to do with the case. This is being used for the sake of diverting attention from the real matter at hand, which was the fact Wren may not have known about Xander's terms and conditions."
"My client knew that you would go in that direction, and this is why he chose to accuse all three of his opponents, not just Wren. After all, the rest of them for sure were aware of it, yet they not only hadn't stepped in to tell Wren beforehand, they didn't step in to stop the assault when it had happened. The reason he had accused all three, because Batti, Vee, and Wren were all responsible for what had happened." Bucky said, giving the Judge a look at his pearly whites as he explained.
Of course. The World's Greatest Mind knew everything.
"Might I remind everyone, it's just too big of a coincidence for the biggest threat on their opposing team to have the odds stacked against him thanks to the unexpected replacement of Veejay, who had been advertised for the program. No further questions your honor."
"I see." The Judge said, with a nod. "Then, I will let you call in your witness, Mr. Cashin."
"All right, bud, let's get this shindig going. Some of us don't got all day."
The second witness to grace the stand was LeBelle's usually-garrulous manager, Andrew Adonis. He brushed an imaginary speck of dust off of his gold suit as he sneered at the defense's attorney.
"Of course, of course," Galloway said. "I'd hate to drag this on any longer than it has to."
"Well then, you better chop chop, kid," Adonis replied.
"Order!" the judge ordered. "Witness, your name and occupation, please."
Adonis shot another withering look at Galloway before turning to the judge.
"Andrew Adonis. Talent agent," he replied. He fished in the breast pocket of his suit for a second before producing a business card and handing it to the judge. "My card."
He grinned at the judge, who took it. Galloway tapped on his desk and Adonis's upper lip curled in response.
"I'll get to the point, since this witness seems to be somewhat impatient-"
"I just don't like lawyers, kiddo. It's not personal."
The lawyer in question gritted his teeth as Adonis shrugged, disaffectedly.
"As I was saying, I'll get to the questions. Mr. Adonis, is it or is it not true that just a few weeks ago you arranged to take your client's place in a triple threat match?"
"Yeah," Adonis responded. The lawyer waited for another response, but none came.
"Yeah?" he asked, trying to prod an answer out of the manager who usually had everything to say.
"Yeah," Adonis said again. He shrugged. "Buddy, it was in his contract and I had to honor it. I should know it was in there - I made sure he got it."
Galloway looked at the judge and at the defendant and then back at the witness. He shuffled his papers nervously.
"So, uh," the lawyer continued, put off by Adonis's deameanor. "Uh, what did you think?"
Adonis shrugged again.
"I'd do it again if he asked," he responded. "I train in mixed martial arts, you know, though the clowns in corporate sure don't. A right hook here and a heel hook there and before you know it my undefeated streak is even bigger than ever."
"And why would you say this was a necessary clause to put in your client's contract?"
"Hey, bud, chivalry isn't dead, right?"
"Was that your only reason?"
Adonis presumably rolled his eyes.
"Look, it was what he asked for," the manager replied. "My guy doesn't want to hit women, we make sure he doesn't have to hit women. I don't care, myself. It's 2017. I'm a fightin' kind of guy. But my job is to make sure my clients get what they want."
"No further questions, your honor," Galloway said, and sat down. Grinning, the other lawyer took his place.
"So," Cashin said. "If you were to describe your client in one word, Mr. Adonis, what would that word be?"
"Genius," Adonis replied without missing a beat.
"And is your client going to win at Kingdom Come?"
"Without a doubt! He's lightning in a bottle, folks."
Cashin glanced smugly at the judge. "There you have it, your honor," he said. "It is in his contract that he doesn't have to fight those he may not want to fight, and yet he will still be winning at Kingdom Come."
Adonis grinned again at the self-aggrandizing distraction and moved back to take his place behind the bench once more.
Finally, it was time for the man himself. LeBelle took center stage, hands behind his back, and a slimy grin. He had no hesitation taking the oath. Although Cory couldn't very well tell if that was because he believed every egotistical sentence that would come out of his mouth, or because he knew no matter what, he would be fine because of his position. Maybe it was both.
"Your name and occupation, please," the Judge asked.
Xander cleared his throat.
"My name is Alexandre Gaius Alain LeBelle, and I am a Professional Wrestler currently employed by WZCW, as well as the French Ambassador for the United States of America."
"Your majesty, it's an honor to have you step up to deliver testimony."
"It certainly is. Now then, I believe my lawyer is due for questions, correct, your honor?"
"Oh. yes. Mr. Cashin, you are now free to ask questions."
Buck Cashin stood up and ran his hands through his greased up slicked back hair.
"Thanks, your honor. Let's not waste a high ranking official's time with small questions. Tell me, Mr. LeBelle, what exactly are you looking to accomplish by bringing this court to trial?"
"What I would like is simply compensation for what was undoubtedly a failure on WZCW's part to notice what I believe should be obvious was a planned ambush. The three of those I am accusing conspired in secrecy. I made my intentions very clear that I would take action against them should a women lay her hands on me. All I require is a fee equal to the three's paycheck for the supershow to be paid either by the promotion or the three accused, as well as a legal document to ensure that should the situation again arise, there shall be no question that my word is absolute. I will not take a woman in a fair fight in the same way I would take a man, and if Wren, Batti, or whoever should choose to disobey, I want it printed in legal paper how the world treats people such as them and their rebellious attitude."
The smooth attorney nodded. "And you're going up against the three of these people who've gone behind your back to try and sabotage you next show, correct?"
"Correct. Kingdom Come, it's the premier event for WZCW, and my first time competing at it. I fear that they may try and bring me down, but I know that lawyer over there sees eye-to-eye with me more than he would ever care to admit." Xander pointed his gloved fingertip at the lawyer, Mr. Galloway. "Keep calm, no matter the situation, and keep aware of every possible outcome that may happen, and what you must do when it does."
"I wouldn't say we're anything alike, personally." Galloway interjected.
"Really, now?" Xander took that comment as a personal challenge. "You say that so surely, with a great amount of confidence. And you seem very astute. That certainly seemed familiar to me. You certainly don't have share my brilliance, but truly, I've never me a man who could match that, and until I see one, I'm not sure he exists. But deep down, we have the same personality."
Turning his attention away from the lawyer, he looked back towards his own lawyer.
"Now then, will that be all, Mr. Cashin?"
"That should cover it."
"Then I believe it's time for Mr. Galloway to step out of the shadows and ask the man himself. Go on, cross-examine me."
"I have just one question" Mr. Galloway said.
"Perfect. And I know exactly what that question is."
"I doubt it." Galloway said.
"'You say that you were like me, but what had happened to you over these past years that caused you to become what you are today?'"
Galloway went silent.
"Again, and again, people doubt the answer, but the real truth of it is bitterness. Bitterness and failure. It's two of the most dangerous combinations in the world, because everyone reacts to it differently. I turned a 'Le Gentlemen Masque' into a 'Xander LeBelle, a future WZCW hall of famer'. It took last year to start the life I was suited for to begin with. All this time, my place was on the other side of the tracks, and no one ever told me. Before I met Adonis and burned the mask, I never thought I would be in WZCW again, or would be in contention for a title, but that was the last time I hadn't thought about something before it had happened."
Xander held up a finger at the lawyer.
"Everything I know in life I would now call...Inevitable. Like the moment I win this battle royal and receive that championship shot that will grab me my first ever singles championship. Or the celebration I shall have when that day finally arrives...but the very next thing I know for sure is inevitable is my guilty verdict for the three people who deserve it, and that once the document is printed out and given to every competitor in that battle royale, all of them will know that I mean what I say, and I say what I mean."
"...No further questions your honor." Galloway said, unfortunately beginning to understand.
"I see. Then let's settle this once and for all."
The Judge banged his gavel.
"The court finds the defendants guilty, and Xander LeBelle is owed a sum of money equal to the three accused's Supershow paychecks, as well as a binding legal document that states that no woman is allowed to harm a hair on Xander LeBelle's head. Court is now adjourned."
The Judge used his gavel once more to signal the end of the trial. The ending to the trial was just as Xander said.
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