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Thread: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

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    Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    Post your promos for the Desert Storm PPV here. Promo deadline is Saturday, February 27, at midnight Pacific time. This is Sunday, February 28, at 3 a.m. Eastern time and 8 a.m. British time.

    You can request extensions in the promo discussion thread, or via PM to mods, no later than 24 hours before promo deadline.

    Curious or unsure about how much time is left before the exact deadline? Click HERE to see a second by second countdown to the deadline.

    Please refer to the new extension policy in place for 2021 in regards to requesting an extension. Click here to view it.



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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    MICHELLE von HORROWITZ
    in
    [VOLUME 46]
    THE BANDIT QUEEN.

    ***
    1872. The American Midwest. Winter.
    Part One.
    ***


    "as the sun is sinking low, and the evening's tucked in tow.
    on the horizon, my true love I see.
    she ain't fancy, she ain't fine, while her fingers number only nine.
    she's the belle of the ball of the insurgency.
    "


    Southern Missouri.
    20 miles north of Sandgate.

    The young man felt at home within the shadow of the trees. He listened to the wind softly rustling the bare branches around him as his cigarette smoked itself to nothing, finally extinguished by the pressing cold. He let it fall out of his mouth and onto the ground, placing his heavy boot atop of it to ensure the acres of dry wood around him didn’t consort with its final embers. As he did so, his spurs softly jangled, echoed and amplified amidst an otherwise silent night. Partly to mask himself and partly to fend off the cold, he pulled his dark green neckerchief back over his face and placed his hat atop his crown. He continued to stare out into the South with piercing, distant eyes.

    Somewhere nearby stood a dozen men that he had enlisted to help him in tonight’s task. Some of them he'd known for years, and had been a regular fixture in the gang since the early days in Illinois and Michigan. That number was smaller than he’d like, though, and seemed to get smaller still each time he rounded them up, This in itself was quite the feat: dispersed, as they often were, in separate corners of the Midwest. He'd never seen most of the men that had been enlisted for this misadventure before, though, and the majority were generally local ruffians drafted in because of a shortfall in numbers. Sometimes, he worried that the next time he’d be in their company would be in the sheriff’s office, on opposite sides of the argument. His closest 'friends' (in the fashion that he had any, which was far from the conventional definition) told him he was becoming paranoid, and perhaps they were right. Most likely, he’d never see those enlisted again. But still, the worry was as real to him as the cold.

    He took a few steps forward until he felt the railroad track beneath his boot. He struck a match and held it in front of him, the miniscule radius of the light barely enough to reveal the large barricade that had been mounted on top of the tracks. It was mostly wooden sleepers that they’d taken from the service stop a few miles up the track, and finding himself happy with its height and its girth he shook the match until it went out and lowered himself onto his knees. Carefully and deliberately, he placed an ear against the iron of the track. He could hear the track beginning to vibrate. Somewhere in the near-distance, a train was traversing the rails at all the pace that the technology of the time would allow. The man stood up, smiling to himself at the untimely timeliness of the train, and then began to mount the barricade.

    Finally, in the distance, a beam of light appeared, foreshadowing the arrival of the train to which it was attached. When the light centred itself on the barricade that blocked its path, a thin, high whistle sounded out. The man shook his head. He was unsure if the driver had sounded it to ask them to kindly move out of its path or to alert any nearby souls (of which there weren’t any) of its oncoming doom. Both actions were futile and quite frankly ridiculous. Smoke began to billow, the result of the friction of the train’s brakes as it accepted its fate and began to slow towards a halt.

    The man upon the barricade reached to his side and removed his shooter from its holster. The grip felt comfortable, despite the fact that he was missing two fingers on his right hand from the second knuckle. He slowly raised the pistol into the air and cocked it, the delicate click of the mechanism being matched by a dozen similar weapons all around him.

    ***

    Lonehill, Western Missouri.
    Sixty miles north of Sandgate.


    It was a new night, but the saloon was exactly the same. Its most notable feature, now and always, was that it was almost empty but for the handful of poor, lost souls who were employed there. The first thing that one noticed upon entry was the large stage at its northern wall, upon which one man played the piano whilst another solemnly tap-danced to an audience of none. In front of the stage was the dancefloor, large enough to house half a hundred revellers but currently as barren and empty as the badlands that surrounded the small town. Away in a dark corner, the old, lecherous man who lived in the small hut at the foot of the hill was being entertained by a shapely but buck-toothed whore he’d brought back with him from Kansas City. And behind the bar, Ms. Montgomery ran an old rag around the rim of a tankard, staring down at it with a glum countenance and a lack of discernible hope.

    The sheriff walked across the dancefloor and towards the counter. She stared disapprovingly at the old letch as he buried his head in the prostitute’s bosom, eliciting a high and ugly laugh from his girl. The sheriff was done chasing whores and Johns and the general illicit nature of their exploits. She’d learned in St. Louis that such errands were useless. . That was about all she’d learned in St. Louis. The old man seemed to enjoy her disdain, and placed his hands just above the girl’s hips and gently squeezed, causing her to throw her head back and thrust her barely-covered breasts into his face. He smiled at the sheriff with his yellowing teeth, and she couldn’t help but look away.

    She took a seat on the opposite side of the counter from Ms. Montgomery, and looked upon the not-uncomely but quickly-aging woman. The saloon owner stared across the saloon at the old man. She shook her head and placed the now-clean tankard down on a shelf, turning towards the sheriff with a look of despair.

    “They’ve been here hours,” Montgomery said, reaching below the counter for the bottle of bourbon that she already felt assured the sheriff would ask for. “It’s this sort of behaviour that'll keep the regular customers away, once they’ve built the new line.”

    Michelle cocked an eyebrow as Montgomery pushed a large measure of bourbon across the surface of the bar. The sheriff placed out her hand to stop it, grasped it with her pale fingers, and then took a long pull of the amber liquid. Montgomery was always talking about the new line, and had been doing so since she’d first moved to the town nearly a decade ago. The sheriff had been here just over a year, but she’d observed the older woman enough to decipher at least a partial history. Ms. Montgomery had moved to the town of Lonehill after her husband died, and used the money he’d left her to buy the saloon. At the time, the locals were buzzing about a planned railroad between Kansas City and somewhere in Illinois that would pass right through the town. They had even built a station in preparation for the track. The plans had stalled, though, and even if they had never been cancelled completely it now seemed little more than a pipe dream that the railroad would be built here and bring some customers to Ms. Montgomery and her saloon. Two years ago, a different track had been built to the south, passing by somewhere near Sandgate before snaking round to Kansas City, which seemed the final nail in the coffin of the Lonehill line. But still, Montgomery talked of the prospect often, even if hope had long-since disappeared from her voice.

    “Still,” she started, an ulterior motive plain. “I don’t suppose they’ll want to build a new line here anytime soon, so long as we’re harbouring known gunslingers in town.”

    Michelle stared down at her drink, one hand around it and the other playing with one of the five points on the gold star that was pinned to her waistcoat. She understood the woman’s meaning. The saloon owner had made the same thinly-veiled suggestion many times before. The sheriff finished her drink and signalled for another.

    “You don’t know he’s a gunslinger,” Michelle began, catching the sliding drink once again and helping herself to another greedy mouthful. “You don’t know anything.”

    Ms. Montgomery smirked derisively and shook her head.

    “Were you always like this?” she asked.

    “Like what?” the sheriff replied. She had a habit of answering a question with another.

    Scared.”

    Michelle didn’t turn towards her, and found herself shamed by the truth of the accusation. It had been this way since St. Louis. Instead, she stared over at the piano player and the tap dancer as they came to the underwhelming climax of their routine.

    “I’ll have to let Randy and Chris go if this keeps up much longer,” Montgomery said. “Did you hear about the robbery near Sandgate last night?”

    Slowly, Michelle nodded her head.

    “I heard.”

    “Well, are you doing anything about it?” the saloon owner pried, picking up another tankard and beginning to wipe that one down with her rag. Michelle didn’t feel the need to point out that it was already clean.

    “The Kansas City department is looking into it,” she answered, reaching into her pocket for her pipe and tobacco. “I think the Sandgate sheriff is there as well. There’s no need for me to get involved.”

    “I’m sure they’d disagree if they knew who was here,” Montgomery asserted, quite confident in her words. “Did you hear the eye-witness accounts? A man with three fingers on his right hand? You think Mr. Parr has a brother, and that it’s a genetic condition?”

    Michelle finished her second drink and placed her glass on the counter, internally remarking upon the fact that the saloon owner seemed better informed of local criminality than the sheriff was. It was well-known that Montgomery had her ear to the ground for anything pertaining to the railroad. Still, a witch hunt was the last thing the sheriff needed, and Montgomery had had it in for the young man with three fingers on his right hand ever since he'd first come to Lonehill. She let out a sigh, both at the trajectory of the conversation and the work shift that was about to begin.

    “I’ll send a telegram,” she conceded, sliding her empty back up the bar towards the saloon owner. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

    “Mhm.”

    The air outside was cold and the dark had already taken hold. Michelle lit her pipe and looked out over the one-horse town that was now home. It wasn’t St. Louis. She wasn’t sure if that was a good thing. Change is neither good nor bad, but sometimes it's necessary. That's what she'd been told, anyway. She began to ascend the dirt track that led up to the jailhouse, sucking lethargically at her pipe and intermittently staring at the pale, crescent moon that smiled down upon them. It seemed somewhat ironic, considering that the people here were invariably miserable. She passed the stables, a half-dozen small houses, the convenience store, and the undertaker’s on her way, and chuckled to herself: she had accomplished an exhaustive tour of the town of Lonehill in less than a pair of minutes.

    She pushed open the doors of the jailhouse in a more abrupt manner than intended, startling the young man in uniform who occupied one of its two desks. He sat up straight, appeared flustered, and pushed a few strands of untamed hair out of his eyes.

    “Oh, it’s you,” he began, relaxing once more before getting up from his chair. He picked up his jacket and his hat from the stand, placing the former atop his head and slinging the latter over his shoulder. Deputy Grayson was not a particularly courageous man, or a particularly strong man, or a particularly smart man. He was dutiful and loyal, though, and these were perhaps more important attributes in a deputy than courage, strength, or intelligence. He was never late for a shift and never clocked off early, and she was led to believe that this had been the case long before she had come. “I was worried you were going to be late again.”

    “Got somewhere to be?” the sheriff asked, more out of mischief than anything else. In this town, nobody ever had somewhere to be. “Did I miss anything today?”

    “Just the usual,” Deputy Grayson said, pulling his arms through the sleeves of his jacket and making his way towards the exit. “Those two have been harassing the saloon owner again. The standard kind of stuff.”

    He nodded at the jailhouse’s one cell, within which the Valanders soundly slept, a long, thin piece of hay perched haphazardly between the younger brother’s teeth.

    “I think the randy buggers just need to sleep it off,” Grayson added. He gave her a nod, and took his leave.

    Michelle sat at her desk and took a piece of paper from one of the drawers. She began to scribble onto it in her rather childish hand, stopping after almost every word to check for legibility as well as coherency.

    Report received regarding train robbery near Sandgate. Rumour reached town of a three-fingered bandit spotted at the scene. Such a man lives here and possesses an ill-reputation. Only innuendo at present. Signed, Sheriff Michelle von Horrowitz. Lonehill.
    She sat back in her chair and reread the telegram: wincing at the heavy-handedness of it, flinching at her lack of conviction, recoiling from the absence of evidence. She shook her head at its unsatisfying climax, and finally decided it was better suited to the bin. She crumpled it up into a tight ball and threw it across the room, watching on as it bounced off the rim of the basket and landed on the floor.

    She placed her boots on top of the desk and pulled open her bottom drawer, retrieving a bottle of bourbon and a dirty glass.

    That night, whilst asleep at her desk, she dreamed (as she often did (as she always did) of St. Louis. She was standing in the cemetery, the full moon high above her, listening to the cackles of the woman - The Bandit Queen - as she had done during a thousand similar dreams. Not similar, the same. The sound was imprinted in her consciousness, along with the words that she spat out that night under the pale moonlight.

    ”You know, you’ve brought this on yourself.”

    She awoke in a cold sweat, and Deputy Grayson reliably informed her that she’d been muttering about The Bandit Queen and how she'd worked it out and that it had to be her and that it was the only explanation and she was sure sure so sure not a single doubt left in her addled mind. He asked her what she was dreaming about, but she lied and told him that she couldn’t remember. His lack of belief was obvious, but he didn’t press the point.

    ***

    Even the most unobservant observer would notice that, over the coming days, the strange young man who had recently moved to the town - the one who was the constant subject of the saloon owner's ire and who simply went by Mr. Parr to all but his closest friend - began to show more wealth than was suggested by his apparent lack of employment. As he was seemingly rather generous with it - providing clothes and food and the like for local youths when their parents couldn’t quite make ends meet - not many of the townsfolk seemed to mind. When he handed out these gifts to the youngsters he wore a padded glove upon his right hand so as to hide his missing fingers and not scare them, or invite unwanted questions from their parents. This new fortune was a mutually agreeable situation, and so the people of Lonehill barely questioned the recently-attained or suddenly-discovered wealth of Mr. Parr.

    That is, of course, with the notable exception of the saloon owner, who questioned his upturn in fortune at almost every opportunity, and invariably within earshot of the sheriff.

    “You know he was here last night?” Montgomery was saying, the sheriff only half-listening as she eyed up the tap dancer and the piano player from across the room. “Buying drinks like he was Robin Hood… tipping the artists… telling the punters - the real punters - that he planned to open up a school nearby. A school?! What are we to do with a school?! If he really wanted to help, he’d be lobbying for the railroad. I imagine it’ll end up a whorehouse…”

    “You’re still talking about Mr. Parr?” she asked, dragging her eyes away from the performers and observing Montgomery carefully.

    “Of course I am!” she continued, barely managing to keep a lid on her overflowing anger. “Did you ever send that telegram to Kansas City?”

    Michelle didn’t answer.

    “You know, at the very least, you could talk to him,” Montgomery said, returning to her rag and a freshly dirtied tankard.

    That evening, she found her courage and went to see Mr. Parr. As she walked up the dirt track towards his house, she saw him reclining in a rocking chair on his front porch. He had a pipe in his mouth and was looking unblinkingly into the sunset, but she had the unshakeable feeling that he was watching her approach out of the corner of his eye. When she was a few metres away, two young men emerged from the house and shared a few hushed words with its owner. He nodded affirmatively, and they took their leave. They passed by the sheriff as she approached, and each of them took their turn in eyeing her up carefully, searching for the meaning of her visit.

    “Evening, sheriff,” Mr. Parr said, taking off his hat as an unnecessary sign of respect. She had come to a halt at the gate, one hand on top of it, the other nervously fondling one of the points of her badge. She reached for her own pipe, for no other reason than to keep her hands busy. “You’re not coming in? Sean and… well, I forget the other one’s name, but… they’re both for the saloon this evening, so it appears I’m at a loose end.”

    He was smiling as he smoked, but she found it uncomely and deceitful. When he took his pipe out of his mouth to flick out the ash she regarded the missing fingers on his right hand.

    After a few moments, she realised that she had said and done nothing in response, and felt all-the-more stupid for her inactivity.

    “I’ll fetch another bottle,” he said, picking up the conversational slack as he stood from his seat. He lethargically made his way into the house. Outside of his presence, she felt liberated from the paralysis that she had inconveniently found herself under. She pushed open the gate and walked up to the house, spotting a second rocking chair across the table from Parr’s and dutifully sitting in it. His porch offered about as fine a view of the town as one could hope to find, and she allowed her eyes to drift over the stables, the saloon, and the unused railway station. Her heart sank at the pathetic and sorry nature of it. She pictured it as a town-sized jail, where all of the region's failures would come to wile away their hours until polio got them, or a horse kicked them in the chest, or they succumbed to whatever grim end fate had in store. Fate as malleable as clay, she thought, before cursing herself for the anachronistic reference.

    Parr reappeared and - delicately, she thought, for a man with only eighty percent of his digits intact - placed a bottle and two glasses down on the table. Michelle was packing tobacco into her pipe, and the man struck a match for her before taking his seat.They sat in silence for a very long time, the young man staring out over the landscape with his vaguely-unsettling smile upon his face. They both smoked their pipes and drank their bourbon, the sun making its retreat from the day in cowardice and casting a band of bold, orange light across the horizon. It would be a while yet before the moon and the stars made their appearance, and for the moment it felt as if the world had been abandoned by the other celestial bodies, forgotten about and alone and left to its own devices.

    Eventually, after pouring himself a fresh glass and placing his pipe down on the table, Mr. Parr broke the silence.

    “You know, when I first moved here, I thought I’d grow tired of this view. Maybe I still will. But I don’t feel so sure now.”

    Michelle looked out upon the same landscape and found it lacking. She had no interest in discussing it any further, and abruptly – bravely, she felt - changed the subject.

    “Why did you come here?” she asked, setting her own pipe down and holding her glass at Parr for him to fill up.

    “It’s quiet,” Parr said, without thinking. It appeared that he had thought about his answer to this question without ever being asked it. “You have probably noticed in your line of work that not a lot happens here. Unchallenging. Easy. Sometimes a man needs that. A woman too, I imagine.”

    “How do you mean?” she asked. He smiled at her and she felt it in mockery of her lack of comprehension.

    “When you’ve had a life like mine, and seen the things I’ve seen, a quiet life becomes more desirable,” he answered. She didn’t feel like this cleared anything up. “You know, I grew up in a place like this. I may have moved away, but you always come back home – or some reasonable approximation of it – eventually. You can change your surroundings, but you remain the same.”

    She thought carefully about his words and found herself agreeing with them. She wondered if he knew about St. Louis, and if this utterance was meant as a catalyst for self-reflection. Either way, that was its effect.

    ”You know, you’ve brought this on yourself.”

    She could hear The Bandit Queen’s words once more. She could see the tombstones in the cemetery. She could taste the damp St. Louis air on her tongue. Hear the rain thudding against the earth, turning it to mud. She closed her eyes tightly and suddenly to block the memory out, not a thought for how this would look to Mr. Parr. Eventually, she opened them, and found that he was staring off in the opposite direction.

    “You know, I have the same question in my mind,” he began. “Why did you come here? I don’t mean Lonehill. I mean to my house. Not that I don’t enjoy visitors.”

    Michelle sipped at her drink and rocked in her chair, wondering what degree of honesty would get this over with fastest and allow her to leave the man’s company. She found it overbearing and heavy, as if he exuded an intensity that she found altogether alien and unenjoyable. Eventually, she decided to just come out with it.

    “Some people here in town… they heard about the train robbery down near Sandgate. They heard rumors of eye-witness reports. Of a man with three fingers on his right hand.”

    She let the statement linger in the cold evening’s air for a moment, falling just short of an accusation but well on its way to being one. Mr. Parr simply smiled, and held up his right hand in front of him, observing the missing fingers in turn. The sheriff couldn’t help but follow his gaze, perusing the soft and pale skin at the end of each shortened digit.

    ’Some people here in town’,” Mr. Parr began, still smiling to himself at nothing in particular. “And what about you? You’re the one with the star pinned to your chest, afterall.”

    “Rumor and innuendo is all I have,” she answered, prying her eyes away from the man’s deformed hand and looking out to the horizon again. A thin smattering of trees led from the man’s hut to the river at the base of the hill, and she found herself hypnotized by the manner in which the trees softly danced this way and that in the wind. “All anyone has.”

    “Sometimes that’s enough,” Parr suggested.

    “Not for me,” she answered. “Not anymore.”

    This time, it was Parr’s turn to cock an eyebrow. He had heard enough about the sheriff to find the declaration intriguing.

    “Excuse me if I’m overstepping,” he said, in-between sips of his amber. “But what happened in St. Louis?”

    Michelle looked up at him immediately. The mention of the city’s name hit her like a sledgehammer to the chest, and she suddenly found it difficult to breathe.

    “You know I was in St. Louis?” she asked, not even noticing the poorly-lettered manner in which she phrased the question. He nodded his head, and she inferred from this that everyone knew she had been in St. Louis. Fortunately, though, more specific details of her acrimonious exit seemed to have been lost on the road from there to here, given that the strange, young man was asking her for them now.

    And suddenly, under the power of some strange and inexplicable force that she couldn’t understand, she felt the words fall out of her mouth.

    “It was eighteen months ago,” she began, slowly and painfully.

    She remained pensive and silent for a moment. She wanted to turn back, to stop the tale’s progression in its infancy and return to the jailhouse and open the bottom desk drawer for her bottle. His whiskey was objectively better, but she found his company uneasy. The point of no return, however, had already been passed.

    “I guess it started a few months before I left. I’d been there for half a decade. Carved out a pretty good reputation for myself, I guess, too. We’d just strung up a pair of rapists that had been plaguing the townships to the north of the city, and everyone was generally pretty high on me. Most respected in the sheriff’s department, no doubt. Not that this was much of an achievement. But still, I digress. It was about that time that the whorehouse attacks started. There were two in the south of the city to begin with, and I was sent up to talk to the working girls who’d survived it. I felt sure on the way up that it was some misogynist scum who’d faced rejection one too many times, but that was my first mistake. The first of many. It had been a gang of three women and a man, though the latter invariably stood as lookout whilst the girls entered the brothel. They hadn’t touched any of the clients. The leader - older than her followers, though still comely and with a wild look in her eyes, according to the reports - would fire once into the air and instruct them to leave. Then they would kill the madam, shoot two of the whores in the knees, set fire to the beds, and then leave. It was the same in both of the attacks, and everyone was pretty confident that it meant something. I wasn’t so sure, at least at first.

    “It was around then that the priest first came to see me. They just called him The Crow, even to his face, because the young man followed death around as if fascinated by it. Thick Irish accent and a big grizzly beard, and twice the size of any man of the cloth I’d seen before. He would’ve been interesting if he wasn’t so Godly. He spoke at length about debauchery within the city. Of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all that sort of stuff. The whorehouses were his principal bugbear, and he spoke of the recent attacks as a modicum of revenge taken out by the divine. All sins must be purged, he would say. He said that a lot. I think he liked how the words felt on his tongue. The quickest way to stop whorehouses being attacked, he said, was to close all the whorehouses. I felt it was a drastic suggestion, and one that would prove immediately unpopular. And besides, I wasn’t a hypocrite, and had a whore all of my own.

    “Her name was Belle, and she worked in a large, well-run place in a quiet part of the city somewhere to the West of the jailhouse. Belle was enough for any woman, and at times felt like two entirely separate entities. She would change with the weather, and for better or for worse a different girl would be waiting for my arrival after each long shift, after each new brothel attack. Sometimes, she would impetuously run to the door upon my arrival, throwing her arms and legs around me as soon as they swung open. At others, she would sit in her room and wait, staring patiently and pensievely at the moon. Often she would ask for news of the attacks, and would stare blankly past me as I engaged in this macabre pillow talk. I was not going to close the whorehouses, regardless of whether it was in my power to do so, because then how would I see Belle?

    “The robberies continued, and Father Crow had started speaking at the doors of the brothels that had been attacked and ones that he thought might be next. His favourite topic was Sodom and Gomorrah, and sometimes he’d get as far as Lot and his daughters before one of the deputies ushered him away and told him he was disturbing the peace. It was, of course, well known that Father Vincent himself frequented some of the more ill-reputed establishments in the city, and if he were to practise what he preached then Sodom was a letter short. He spent a few nights in the jailhouse, but he saw himself as a messenger of God, and no length of internment would prevent him from spreading his truth. It was then that the church robberies started up, right alongside the brothel attacks. Almost all of the whorehouses in the city had been hit at least once, and the ones that reopened afterwards were promptly sabotaged again. Madam quickly became the most dangerous occupation in St. Louis. There were similar signs left at the churches. Windows were smashed. Money was taken. Most telling was the arson, though, which tied this rampage to the one that was driving through the heart of prostitution in the city.

    “It had been happening four months by the time the rumours began to circulate. The madam of the brothel at which Belle, my Belle, was employed had begun to show wealth unbecoming of her profession. She’d bought a tavern along with a few properties in one of the slums in the north of the city, and fingers were being pointed. I asked Belle about it, and she told me that each night the madam would arrive with a new piece of gold on her hand or around her neck or hanging from her ears. It was the only thing the girls talked about, Belle said, and it appears that this wasn’t only with each other. They called her The Bandit Queen, and the moniker was deemed satisfying enough to coin generally around the city. Word spread that this upturn in fortunes had coincided with the beginning of the church robberies. This would make sense: nothing was ever taken from the brothels. Of course, the whorehouses had their share of damage, but this seemed out of spite more than for another’s material gain. It added up, and by this stage every whorehouse in the city except Belle’s had been hit at least once, and most twice or three times. It had been a long four months. People were ready for it to end, and wanted decisive action to be taken. It was all they would talk to me about. And back then I listened.

    “On the night I walked into the whorehouse, three of the girls were dancing in the lounge as a man played and sang on an old and out of tune piano. Mimicking their own trademark, I shot once into the air, and told all of the men that they had ten seconds to leave, or the deputies outside would be taking them off to the jailhouse. The man on the piano was the first out of the door. They believed my bluff, but the girls were less convinced. They knew there was no appetite in the city for a raid on the whorehouse, the last whorehouse, despite all of the evidence pointing in its direction. A quiet solution was preferable, and everyone stood within the room knew that. Still, I was the one with the shooter in my hand.

    “I asked the madam, The Bandit Queen, if she was going to give herself up. She smiled, and told me to go fuck myself. So I shot her in the knees, just like she had done to a dozen girls across St. Louis. I told the rest that they should deliver her to me at the jailhouse before midnight, or I’d be back for all of them.

    “She was delivered to the jailhouse, but with her hands and feet bound and her throat cut from ear to ear. There was a note on her body, instructing me to deliver myself to the cemetery before midnight, or she’d be back for all of them.”


    Michelle paused, and when she finally found the strength to continue, she found herself stood within the cemetery in St. Louis all over again...

    Eighteen months earlier.
    St. Louis, Illinois.

    "she's my bandit queen, lain beneath the moon
    in a bandit cave, a blanket laid for two
    if I could find a way to your hideaway by the sea
    o bandit queen, steal away to me.

    "
    The sheriff had come alone, as the note that was left on the madam’s body seemed to imply she should. Really, there was nobody in the department that she trusted. She worked it out on the way to the cemetery, and cursed herself for not doing so earlier. Of course, Belle waited for her there, a smile on her face and a gun at her hip.

    All that Michelle could think to ask her was why, which was an inherently stupid question.

    That was when Belle had laughed, the thin and high cackle that haunted the sheriff in her dreams, even now in Lonehill.

    “Shit, because I can.”

    Michelle steadily moved her hand towards her holster, but left her pistol within its sheath for now. This action did not go unnoticed. Belle smiled, and pushed her hair out of her eyes. The rain hammed down onto the earth around them, lightning illuminating the tombstones around them and heralding the thunder that would intermittently puncture the silence.

    Finally, Belle went on.

    “You know, you’ve brought this on yourself. Sticking your nose into business that self-evidently does not concern you. That has always been your problem. Your pride leads you into situations that you simply cannot come out of unscathed. You oscillate wildly: at first an all-encompassing superiority complex, the bubble finally breaking, giving way to wallowing and self-pity. But you are worthy of none of the pity you so readily deal yourself. It is your own hubris that puts you here, facing me and my pistol, your survival dependent and determined only by my whim. And if you’d just kept yourself to yourself, and investigated rapists away in the townships, you’d have been a hero. But now?”

    The Bandit Queen slowly reached to her side, and the sheriff followed suit. They were perhaps twenty yards apart, and the land in-between them was flanked by tall and old tombstones, crumbling in the face of the immeasurable time yet before them. Thunder struck overhead. Belle smiled. Michelle had seen this smile before, but it was not the version that she enjoyed. Her eyes narrowed. Both of their eyes narrowed. Michelle’s fingers felt the hard, iron grip of her shooter.

    High above, the clouds peeled back, and the moon poked its head over the scene, shining a spotlight onto the two protagonists as they prepared for their final battle.

    Instinctively, her mind distracted by its otherworldly light, a sudden and contrasting appearance in the previously grim setting, Michelle’s eyes were lifted to behold the moon. The man upon its face smiled at her benevolently. Rain still lashed down upon them and around them.

    And then Belle took out her pistol and shot the sheriff in the shoulder.

    All of the air was driven out of Michelle, and instantly she found herself on one knee. She dropped her own pistol, and heard Belle cock hers again. The sheriff used one hand to cradle the wound and the other to feel around in front of her for some purchase, but the ground was soft and muddy from the rain, and she was soon flat on her stomach. Footsteps heralded her opponent’s approach.

    The last thing she felt before she passed out was The Bandit Queen’s gun pressed tight against her temple, and then the weapon being withdrawn.

    She had left St. Louis three days later, after waking up in the hospital.

    ***

    "somewhere in a mountain, by a starry water fountain
    in an alcove hid by some trees
    amidst a pile of treasure, reclining at her leisure,
    my lady-love sniffs at the breeze.

    "

    She had finished her glass twice over whilst telling the story, and Mr. Parr looked at her in an inquisitive (and not unkind) fashion. She looked only at the stars, transfixed upon them even through the snow that had begun gently falling during the tale. She felt a flake land on her nose. Suddenly anxious again, she absently scratched one of the points on her sheriff’s badge. She felt his eyes boring into her, and her emotional nakedness had her squirming under his relentless gaze.

    “You don’t think I’m guilty,” Parr began, swirling the amber around in his glass before taking a long, thoughtful pull. “You know it. But you are doing all that you can to avoid the confrontation.”

    “I’m here, aren’t I?” Michelle said, and in retrospect she felt both the words she chose and the delivery of them to be hollow.

    “Yes, you are here,” he conceded, returning part of his attention to the preparation of a fresh bowl for his pipe. “But you are not here to confront me. I don’t imagine you’ve done any of that since you left St. Louis. You wear the badge, yes. The clothes. The shooter. The spurs. You certainly look the part, Michelle von Horrowitz. But this past few months, since my eye has - rather naturally, given the circumstances - been turned upon you, you have done everything but play the part. You drink, and you run, and you hide. And that’s about it. You know I’m guilty, and so does everybody else. But they don’t really care. All but for that idiot behind the bar in the saloon, who will soon realize that I will bring her the customers she desires, even without the new line. This is how they want to see me. And, more worryingly, perhaps, this is how they want to see you.”

    Finally finding her courage, she turned to look him in the eye. He simply went on smiling. Dusk was now thick around them.

    “What is your point?” she asked, regarding her empty glass and the fact that he had stopped refilling it.

    “My point, sheriff, is that the time has come where you must make your choice. You can hide behind past failures, and put the state of Missouri between you and your memories. Hell, you could get on a boat and sail across the Pacific, if you wanted. Or you can finally face the truth, and do what needs to be done. What the office you hold insists you must do. I can’t decide for you. Fight, or flight. But what you’ve been doing? This lethargic middle ground? This just won’t do.”

    With this, he poured them both a healthy measure of bourbon. He picked his glass up, tipped his hat at her and at the night, and then walked inside his house.

    ***

    The horse slowly padded up the dirt track, and the young woman atop it swayed gently from side to side in the saddle, as if with the wind. The animal’s hooves left heavy imprints in the mud. The rider’s hat was pulled down low over her face, but if you could see beneath it you’d see a glum and acceptant countenance. She held the reins lethargically, somewhat slumped forward in the saddle with a posture that clearly depicted an apathetic dejection. She sighed heavily, and turned the horse around so that she could see the town once more. She ran her eyes over the smattering of houses that sat around the unused train station and the excessively large saloon. The only structure she had any semblance of feeling about was the undertaker’s, but that was for reasons entirely unrelated to her stay in Lonehill.

    She reached for her chest, to stroke one of the points upon the star-shaped badge that had been attached to her waistcoat for years. She found herself grasping at the material of her clothing, and allowed her hand to return to the reins.

    She turned the horse around once again and gently prodded the beast’s sides with her spurs. She rode at a trot around the brow of the hill, towards an uncertain horizon.

    "and sitting up, she adjusts her turban, and takes another swig from a bottle of bourbon
    and listening to the whistling of the train in station:
    odds are it will never reach its destination.

    'cause the bandit queen, astride her steed will ride.
    o, let me be the one to lay within your thievin' arms tonight.

    "





  3. #3
    All About That Ace
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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    TITLE: Ahh, barren like a desert.

    Cosmic Horror sat idly in the halls of the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He’d grabbed himself a beanie bag for comfort, he couldn’t be sure how long he would be relegated to this menial task. The bell rung for the third time that day, and students exited classrooms in droves, arguing about this spell and that. They did not notice him, even as his tentacle protruding mask demanded they did. They did not notice him, until one student did.

    “Hey, isn’t that a Cosmic Horror mask - from the FWA?”

    J.J. JAY! grinned beneath his mask. He was starting to feel humbled, it comforted him to be finally noticed.

    “Quite so, quite so.”

    The student looked around and realized no one else was taking notice of the strange masked man sitting on the beanie bag chair.

    “You’re not a student, are you?”

    Uncle grimly shook his head. By the time the student thought to run - a strange man in a horrifying mask that only you could notice is not a good sign in a school of witchcraft and wizardry - Quiet emerged from behind, lifted him up easily, and the three disappeared through a door.

    They re-appeared in the middle of J.J. JAY!’s starship. The student brandished his wand as soon as he could gain a solid footing. Quiet looked at it skeptically, but JAY! crossed his arms, unimpressed beneath his mask.

    “You’re- you’re actually J.J. JAY! aren’t you? Not just a fan?”

    “The one and only.”

    “I didn’t think you could actually do all the shit you do.”

    “You’re a fucking wizard, why so shortsighted? Actually, I should admit I’m not the J.J. JAY! you’re familiar with in your universe, though we’re near identical. You see, I’m J.J. JAY! from a universe where your school is just backstory fodder for a mediocre fantasy series. I needed to find a universe where a parallel J.J. JAY! was in the exact same situation I was in, but there was also a solid wizardry society.”

    The student was dumbfounded.

    “Don’t let that get to you. We’re all just backstory fodder for someone’s mediocre fantasy series in some way or another. The only thing that matters is that you try to have some fun.”

    He tried to see if Quiet might offer to make some sense of J.J. JAY!’s rambling, but he simply shrugged.

    “But why’d you kidnap me?”

    “You were the first person to notice the mask! Only someone who could recognize my mask would notice me. You were the first to do it. It appears the students at Ilvermorny have shite taste. It is what it is. What’s your name, by the way, it’ll make it easier for everyone reading this.”

    “Ja-”

    “We’ll call you Harry Potter!”

    “Harry Potter? That famous wizard from the UK?”

    “Yes, revolutionary leader turned copper. What a disgrace! In my world, your entire wizardry world is centered around him. He even got a blockbuster eight film franchise. Do you know Daniel Radcliffe? Man, I wonder how successful Daniel Radcliffe is in this world? Ah, let’s not linger on that too much, we’ve got bigger fish to fry. So, Harry!”

    “Can’t I just give you my first real name?”

    “You could, but I don’t have to respect or acknowledge it. You see how my name is capitalized? It’s J.J. JAY!. All caps. I’ve been writing it like that since I signed here. I’ve done it like that in all my segments. I’ve done it like that in my promos. And yet, they still disrespect me. They find it too hard to just write it properly themselves. It’s aggravating, I swear it. If they don’t have to respect my name, then I don’t really have to respect someone who at most is part of a school we never even get to read about in my dimension.”

    “Just because you’ve been treated like shit, doesn’t give you the right to treat me like shit.”

    “You’re right, you’re right. But I don’t want to come up with an actual name for you, so we’ll keep it at Harry.”

    “I have an actual name, you don’t have to come up with it, I can just say it.”

    “Whatever you say, Harry! Don’t you have bigger ambitions than making me acknowledge your name? For example, you’re stuck on a spaceship in the middle of who knows where. Sure, you could do some hocus pocus wingardium leviosa bullshit and it would alert the wizardry authorities but we’re in space, the wizardry authorities don’t know space traveling. They’re not coming to rescue you. What I’m trying to say is, you’ll have to find an alternative method of being rescued. I actually have a suggestion. Comply with your kidnappers and they may release you!”

    Harry’s eyes shifted between the two kidnappers. He was a skilled wizard, but Cosmic Horror was right, even if he found someway or another to incapacitate the two, he had no way of getting back to Ilvermorny. And furthermore, what are the odds the wizardry authorities would believe him when he said he’d been kidnapped by a Cosmic Horror nut from an alternative dimension.

    “What do you want?”

    “Compliance! Perfect. You know very well that in our upcoming pay-per-view, Desert Storm, I’ll be facing off with the man known as The Mad Wizard, Konchu Hao.”

    “Yeah, but he’s not a real-”

    “A real wizard? Come on. You don’t think there’s some wizards whose ambitions are to become professional wrestlers? A living wrestling Cosmic Horror is standing before you and you don’t think there’s any wizard out there who vowed to become a professional wrestler themselves! Man, for a wizard you really have little imagination. What do you think Epsilon is? He’s a House Elf! Do you think anyone would willingly serve an idiot like Konchu Hao if they hadn’t been enslaved to the cause.”

    “Actually, now that you mention it-”

    “Right. Epsilon is absolutely a House Elf.”

    “Here’s the thing J.J. JAY! - see what I did there, I said your name respectfully because I don’t have to lower myself to your level just because you’re disrespecting me - I don’t see why you need my help.”

    “What could you possibly mean? It’s only logical I would contact another American wizard to figure out how to deal with a different American wizard, no?”

    “Yeah, but you did that whole shpeel on twitter about how it only takes you like 3% to beat Konchu Hao, so why do you need my help? Plus, you beat him in a tag match. Why go through all this trouble of kidnapping me? What sort of insight are you expecting from me?”

    “Ah. Good question, good question. Do we have an answer, Quiet?”

    “... ... .....?”

    “There you go!”

    “What? What did he say? It was just silence.”

    “Looks like he didn’t hear you, mind repeating yourself, Quiet?”

    “.., ... ....’. .... . ....: ... ... .....?”

    “Did you get that?”

    “No. Could you just say what he said, the sooner we get through this charade the sooner I can go back to what you’ve explained to me, is a rather unexceptional existence.”

    “Oh, don’t take it to heart. I know you thought you were special because you were a student at the only American wizardry school, but you should see this as a kind of freedom. You are unshackled now. You can do anything you want. Be a wizard space traveler!”

    “Yeah, sure, sure. Just tell me what Quiet said.”

    “Right! He said: for the promo!”

    “The promo?”

    “Yes, to solidify my victory over Konchu Hao & GiGi, I have to come up with a superior story that will make the powers that be reward me with victory.”

    “So all that math was just horseshit.”

    “That it was! At the end of the day, I have to come up with a tale so wondrous and superior to the tale my opponents will spew that it will award me the win. I may be a Cosmic Horror but my power has limitations. For example, you watched Valentine’s Day Massacre, right?”

    “You mean, did I watch you get your ass kicked in so hard you started bleeding?”

    “How’d you know I got hemorrhoids? Even the referee didn’t notice. The match would’ve ended much sooner if he had! How lucky was I?!”

    “No, I didn’t mean it that way. I just meant Michelle proved you weren’t in her league and fulfilled the conditions to victory easily.”

    “Oh, right. Well, yes, did you watch that?”

    “Sure. I never miss an FWA show!”

    “Terrific! Well, you saw how I had that boring entrance, and basically was devoid of personality, and completely uncharacteristic?”

    “Yeah, I guess your entrance was kinda lifeless, especially compared to the last Fight Night.”

    “Precisely! Sometimes I’m not in control of my own faculties, sometimes others are in control and they care little for what I bring to the table so I end up being this wooden dude with nothing going for him. Even Quiet didn't make it onto the show! Did anyone question why? No! He pops up in every one of my promos. He's basically my manager. My life partner! And yet, he can't even make it onto the show? Alas, I can only control so much of what happens on Fight Night, really, these promos are basically the minimum I can do to influence the show. I could do more on my own but there’s only so much time in the day-”

    “You’re a dimension traveling Cosmic Horror, surely time isn’t something you’re very concerned with.”

    “You got me, you got me. And I do have an explanation but we would go too far down the rabbit hole on that one, so just trust me when I say, if I could, I would ensure every time I stepped out, I was my utmost charismatic self, ALAS, I cannot guarantee it.”

    “Okay, let me see if I got this right: you kidnapping me isn’t actually a means of you gaining an advantage over Konchu Hao, the actual purpose of kidnapping me is because I’ll serve a part in a-. Okay dude, I tried to wrap my head around it, I still don’t get it.”

    “You’ll serve a part in the story I will use to justify to the powers that be why I deserve to win over Konchu.”

    “Mhm. Well, then. What’s the story?”

    “What do you mean what’s the story? This is the story!”

    “This isn’t a story! We’ve been having a back and forth conversation about nothing. Isn’t your story supposed to have some big gotcha moment where you like, insult Konchu or something.”

    “Oh, like: Konchu Hao, you fucking hack! You’re just a poor imitation of me! Something like that?”

    “Yeah, but elaborate and clever. That was half-assed. I thought you said you were saving some material for when you actually faced Konchu with the title on the line.”

    “I lied, admittedly. I’m devoid of material for Konchu. That's why we're doing this. He’s a hack wizard, what do you want me to come up with. Actually... I did have this other idea! I was going to pretend to be Uncle Dursley-”

    “Who is Uncle Dursley?”

    “Oh, he’s Harry Potter’s uncle. Not you, obviously, the actual Harry Potter-”

    “Yeah, I get it.”

    “Right, so Harry Potter used to get locked up in this closet-under-the-stairs, right. This was like before he knew he was a wizard. So, I was going to play the role of Uncle Dursley and Harry Potter was going to basically be Konchu Hao, right. So I’d be making Konchu’s life a living hell and then he would’ve basically imagined up this alternative fantasy where he’s a wizard. Then we’d reveal he calls himself the Mad Wizard because he went mad all those years spending time locked in that closer-under-the-stairs place. Thoughts, critiques?”

    “Eh. I’d have to see the execution. It’s honestly better than this though, feel like there’s more effort in that idea.”

    “Ah, too little too late.”

    “It’s not. You could send me back. Forget we had this conversation, and just do that instead.”

    “No, we’re committed. I don’t go back on my ideas once I’ve started them.”

    “This is barely an idea. You’ve got a title on the line. The Triple J Championship! Aren’t you supposed to beat all the former X Champions!”

    “Pfft! I’ve already lost against Michelle so it’s basically like a failed questline at this point. We gotta come up with another storyline.”

    “Yeah, but what about Gerald Grayson, you said you had to do everything in your power to stop him from reclaiming the title! What if he wins it and stalls out with the X title? You’ve barely even mentioned him. There’s an argument to be made that you at least put in effort in making Konchu relevant in this promo, but you can’t forget about Grayson, aren’t you in love?”

    “Hey, now Harry, don’t you go questioning what I love or don’t love. I’ve done the math. GiGi has already faced me so he probably doesn’t have much else to say about me that hasn’t already been said. Plus, he has no incentive to win this match, he might even WANT to lose. Konchu, on the flipside, surely wants to win this match. He even came up with a whole new match stipulation to give him the advantage. He’s undoubtedly going to put in more effort in this one than either GiGi or me!”

    “I don’t know. He lost against Shawn Summers-”

    “Yeah, I saw that. At least I lost against the best wrestler in the FWA - at 10% effort - but Konchu Hao lost against a sellout scrub who says controversial shit for the pennies. You might be right, Konchu might not have it in him.”

    “In which case, Grayson will probably win, he’s proven he could be an X champion before, if you’re not on game, and you really aren’t, he’s totally going to win it again.”

    “You know, Harry, you might just be right. This might all just be a grand set up for GiGi vs. J.J. JAY! the rematch at Back in Business. All three of us were supposed to fight at Valentine’s Day Massacre, I bet you GiGi would’ve won for that mighty mighty momentum meanwhile me and Konchu would have our spirits broken by defeat. Not that my spirit is broken. Like I said, I was at 10% effort so I don’t need to feel any guilt over that defeat outside of my presentation.”

    “Wouldn’t it be best, if we are to argue that the so-called powers that be wanted this rematch at Back in Business, that you actually perform to your utmost capabilities to alter their plans? I won’t pretend I’m your biggest fan, but you seem like the sort of guy who wouldn’t really be into being forced into neatly laid out plans.”

    “Yes, yes, but sometimes you realize there’s only so much you could do. Did I want to be a bit player in Michelle’s momentum redemption ahead of her showdown with Parr, no. Did I want to be a bit player in Cyrus Truth’s rivalry with Eli Black, no. I can’t control these things. If I have to go fight GiGi at Back in Business because that’s what people want, then that’s what’ll happen.”

    “I gotta say, that’s real pathetic of you J.J. JAY!. This is your, what, eighth promo and you’re out of ideas? You’ve got a whole week to come up with another brilliant one, you don’t have to force this one out! You can still defy fate and make sure you retain the Triple J Championship, at this point it sounds like you’re just coming up with excuses.”

    “Quiet, do you hear this?”

    “. .... .....”

    “WHAT? YOU AGREE?! Quiet, what betrayal! Me - Excuses? I would never! I’ll have you know, Harry, I’m quite enjoying our conversation. You may think little of it, but it’s not every day I get to talk with an American wizard from a parallel dimension. If other people don’t find it as tremendous a tale as I do, then that’s their issue. I’m sticking to my guns. I believe our conversation is good enough to beat both GiGi and the Hack Wizard!”

    “You’re rambling! By this point they probably just want you to cut this short. You know what they say, quantity doesn’t equal quality.”

    “Unless you’re Michelle von Horowitz.”

    “....”

    “Agree. And you’re not! At the very least you could’ve described your spaceship.”

    “It’s kinda like the one from Cowboy Bebop but less broken down.”

    “I meant at the start of the, oh, forget it.”

    “I could probably describe you too! You look like a teenage William Jackson Harper. That’s that guy from the Good Place!”

    “I’m wh-!”

    “My promo, my description. The world needs more black wizards.”

    “It’s basically blackf-”

    “What else should I add? More dialogue tags? Some color? Naw, fuck it. We're going AU NATUREL for this one. Only bad promoers need to embellish their shit. We know we getting that 10 out of 10 creativity. And besides, I do think you’re right. This has gone long enough. Let’s wrap it up. I actually have the perfect ending, a couple pals, came through for me when Uncle told them he needed some ideas. Let me know how this sounds: GiGi, Konchu. I’ve got one last message for you NEPHEWS! In the mighty words of an original name: my mind is as dry as the desert... BUT SOON, A STORM IS COMING!”

    Quiet claps.

    “Liked that delivery, didn’t you, I did it verbatim.”

    “What if you yelled it out?”

    “Yelled it out?"

    "Yeah, yeah. Old school WOLF style, you know?"

    "Well, I guess we could give it a try. Alright... ready? Okay: GiGi, Konchu. I’ve got one last message for you NEPHEWS! In the mighty words of an original name: MY MIND IS AS DRY AS THE DESERT... BUT SOON, A STORM IS COMING! Like that?”

    Quiet shakes his head.

    “No? Quiet says no, what say thee Potter!”

    “That’s my bad. I think you had it right the first time.”

    “Hmm. Okay, well, can I try a different take. One last take?”

    “Sure, sure. I’m at your mercy. I’m the hostage, don’t you forget that.”

    “You’re too agreeable, Harry. Thanks. Okay, one last take: GiGi, Konchu. I’ve got one last message for you NEPHEWS! In the mighty words of an original name: My mind... Is as dry... As the desert... BUT! ... SOON! ... A STORM IS COMING!”

    Quiet lifts a hand to indicate a mid reaction.

    “I see what you were going for there but it felt a bit amateurish? Like someone doing their first promo, you know?”

    “No, I get you. Maybe we had it the first time?”

    Quiet nods.

    “First time was pretty solid.”

    “Alright, let’s try that first take again. You gotta experiment sometimes to really know what works, even if you get it right the first time, so I don’t even regret trying it. Okay, okay, wrapping things up. Actually, any final words Harry? This is like a one-off for you so I doubt we’ll ever see you again.”

    “Hmm. Not sure. You know, I had my reservations about this. I feared for my life at some point. But you’re right, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Whatever comes of it, I just want you to know that I was glad I got to participate, thanks Uncle.”

    “It was nice having you, nephew. I hope you graduate and don’t become a copper like the actual Harry Potter. Do something useful and fight for house elf emancipation or something. Read some Marx while you’re at it. Some Paulo Freire, you know. Alrighty, let’s do this. Aherm. GiGi, Konchu. I’ve got one last message for you NEPHEWS! In the mighty words of an original name: my mind is as dry as the desert... BUT SOON, A STORM IS COMING!”


  4. #4
    Bo Dallas Mark
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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    1. February 12, 2021


    “You sure you good? I mean, I believe you are tough already. But seriously? Staying in some random woods for what? A week?”“One day and a half. Don’t worry. I’ve spoken with local officials and gamekeepers. As long I don’t disturb any wildlife I’m fine. Besides, I have a good bit of food and a cooler.”“Well, what if you miss an important text or something?”“Hotspot is a brilliant thing you know. I’m restricting myself though. Think of it as a self-journey AJ.”“Why are you going on this journey in the first place?”“To clear my mind. To disconnect from the world. To train in peace!”“Whatever man. Stay safe X, text me when you are safe.”“Will do”X hung up the phone as he drove into a parking lot. He picked out a spot that was already given to him, in a small garage. He stopped the car as he exited the van as he went to the back of it and opened it up. He had already Packed his bag and a cooler. It was all the necessities, like toothpaste, water, food, deodorant, and a notebook. Of course, he had other stuff. He locked the door to his van, shut the back, locked that, and headed off.

    As he entered the forest, he found himself a small path. This would lead him for the next 30 minutes of his trip. Throughout those thirty minutes, he admired the wildlife. He took pictures of trees, streams, birds, deer. Whatever he could find. He never felt connected to nature, living in urban areas. He thought he would have the chance once he was out in the world. But problems came up. Having to make shows, paying car bills, and other stresses of life. But once he joined FWA, he began to feel that he had more independence. The schedule was more spread out, he felt more creative. That’s not to say he didn’t feel bad.

    Life issues and whatnot always plagued him. He never felt like the best, even when he was on top of the world. He can pull off a facade, but he can’t transition it well. Lucky thing he didn’t have to speak often. He made his way to the end of the trail and decided to set up camp there. Moving weeds, clearing poison ivy. He eventually got a nice even area set up, so he could get his tent up. For the next ….. Three hours, he attempted to get the tent up. Despite arriving at 3:00 PM, it was now 7:40 PM. It was dark outside as he finally got the tent up. He then set up his other stuff, like his sleeping bag, his cooler, a portable oven, and a lamp.

    Once he got some light around his area, he pulled out his notebook and began to jot some stuff down.

    ‘Day 1

    As I got to the forest, there was already a man-made trail. From what I’ve heard, it’s been there for decades. Lots of plants grow along with it. I got to see a good number of animals, including a few deer. I must have been on the path for 30 or so minutes. My back was aching. It was about 70 pounds on my back alone, plus a cooler for some food. Checked my emails, the big guys at FWA don’t have anything for me next Fight Night. If I was dumb, I’d stay here for another week. But I only packed enough materials for 2 days. I could always leave for 2 hours and go to the store, but where is the fun in that?
    He closed the notebook up and left his tent. He pulled out a mat from his bag and set it by the Portable Oven. He then began to do some miniature workouts, pushups, sit-ups. It felt safer out here. Normally he would do this in parking lots. Sometimes strangers gave him money. It felt awkward. He was technically homeless but didn’t need the money. He didn’t need charity. He needed to work for it. As he got to a 75 push up, he heard a bing. He forgot to turn his phone off. But it was an EMail from the FWA Staff

    `Dear Mr. Saus X,

    We do not have a slot for you on our next Fight Night, but we have found you a spot for Desert Storm. It will be an X Rules match for a number one contender’s shot at the X Championship. You will be facing Chris Peacock, Humanity, and Donvan Moore.

    With your best regards, FWA Staff Member.
    Ok then. X made sure he read the EMail correctly before he shut the phone off. He thought about the opportunity. But what if he screws up again? Not these thoughts again!‘Why am I panicking. It’s only an opportunity. Against three better wrestlers. Ok, let’s think things through. I have an entire forest to myself for the next day. Perfect time to train.’
    X took a few deep breaths before standing up. ‘No need to worry. Worrying creates hesitation. It’s getting late though. Probably should sleep’
    X went into his tent, pulling some food out of a cooler. And he slept, moving towards the second day.
    February 13, 2021

    The sunlight peaked through an open hole in the tent, jolting X to his feet. He pulled himself up onto his rear, stretching a bit. He looked through his journal to find his goals for Day 2


    • Climb a Tree
    • Meditate


    Oh right. He never finished it. Oh well. X stept out of his tent, setting up his Portable Oven. From the looks of the sun, it was around 9 AM. He had his entire day ahead of him. After making a few pieces of bacon, some eggs, and some hashbrowns, he was ready for the day. He put his stuff back and set off through the forest. He walked for about 40 minutes, ping-ponging thoughts through his head.‘I can beat them. I know I can do it. But … I’ve been on a losing streak.’

    X found a tree that seemed suitable to climb. So he did what he thought was best to climb it, using his hands, which were covered with gloves. He began to scale the tree, using thick branches to pull himself up. He encountered his first hurdle though. He was a good …. 10 feet in the air when he encountered a cluster of branches. They looked to be mixed with messy, spiny, and weirdly shaped branches and smooth branches.

    ‘Humanity. A twisted mind. Split into two sperate, yet equal personalities. Combined to be a machine. I can’t back down here. I just got to …. Get through. Find my opening’
    X began to look at the branches, slowly moving his way up by grabbing the smooth branches and avoiding the messy ones. This tested his strength. He struggled to pull himself up, but he managed to do it.

    ‘A broken man for sure. There seems to be a way around him. I should think less about what he can do, and more of how I can stop him.’

    As X made his way up the tree, using his same tactic, he came to a point where the mixture was gone. He overcame the first obstacle, 2 more left from what he could see. As he climbed, he encountered a random bulge in the tree.‘Donovan Moore. Man of the hour. Of course. I gotta think about this technically. It’s a roadblock for a reason. He can trap you and hit you hard. If I can someone manuever myself over … ‘

    X began to reach for the top of the random bulge. He got himself a grip, and began to move away from the underside of it.

    ‘I’ll be able to escape and move up’

    He began to climb up on top of the random bulge, before getting some footing on it. Another overcome. He was on the final leg to the peak of the tree. The leaves above him began to dance in the wind, one leafy branch even hitting him in the face.‘And last …. Chris Peacock. Probably the most loved guy by the fans. I respect him. Not enough to hand him a win though’

    He began to climb through the dancing branches, getting closer and closer to the top.

    ‘You beat me once before. I won’t let that happen again. I won’t fail again. I won’t be a failure anymore’

    He climbed through the dancing branches, breaking free from their hold. He got to the top of the tree, sitting himself on a sturdy branch. As he stared over the trees, he felt on top of the world. A feeling he rarely felt. He felt the need to let the world know …. He wouldn’t fall again. He would continue to go to the top, even if it meant taking a few losses.

    “You see me world!? You can’t beat me down that easily! Desert Storm is gonna be my night!”

    X looked around a bit more before coming to a realization. How is he gonna get down? So he began to start the tedious task of exiting the tree. It took him maybe 20 minutes to get down safely but he did it. And he took a 30-minute walk back to camp. In total, he had been gone for at least 3 hours. It was around 1 PM, 3 hours before he was gonna leave. He got his lunch in for the day and set off to find a river. He was gonna meditate to clear his mind. Release his stress.

    In about 20 minutes, he found a small riverbank, with a perfectly good rock. As he made his way over to the rock, he stared at the river. Life. Rivers represent the life of the world. He began to think back on his life. Discovering wrestling, getting bullied, training with his dad. He wanted to get stronger so he wouldn’t be seen as weak. But now, he’s back down to that level. Compared to everyone else on the roster, he’s like a geek. The water boy of a football team. Last Place in a marathon. Why does he continue to do it?Glory, recognition? Those play into it, yes, but X does it for himself. Wrestling is a way to get better, to better yourself. Sure, it’s nice to have people ask you to take a pciture on the street, but that doesn’t matter to him unless he’s the best. It’s a common goal for anyone, but it’s different for him. He’s always been bottom of the barrel, despite how hard he tries. Despite being able to run fast, he failed in comparison to everyone on the track team. Despite being a professional wrestler, he fails in comparison to any other independent talent. He can be the lovechild of the greatest Technical Wrestler and the greatest Brawler and still be one of the worse.

    That’s just who he is. Bottom of the barrel. But does he have to be there? If he can win at Desert Storm, he could move up from the bottom. He can stop being worried and nervous over the past and the future. Is this why he came here? To find the root of his problem? He found it.


    • A few hours later *



    X got all his stuff back in his van. Lucky thing he wasn’t robbed. He took one last look at the forest, the place where he left his worries. He pulled out a finger gun and shot it into the forest, before heading off in the van.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD





    A jeep's tires roll through the mud in the Ecuador jungle as the black screen's fade eases into reality. In the red jeep is a man dressed in khaki shorts and a khaki shirt, the camera pans to a different angle to show the jeep being driven by none other than the FWA World Champion himself Saint Sulley. The jeep comes to a screeching halt in the mud, as the FWA World Champion gets out.

    The champion takes a look around in the jungle, and inhales a big breath of air into his nose with a smile.

    Saint Sulley: 'Ello there! Welcome to the jungle. I'm Saint Sulley, here for a one time special. We're here today to take a gander here at some special animals here in the jungle, and boy are there some doozies.

    But good news is, I'm not here doing it alone.

    I've got a very special friend who's come to help out.


    Some rustling can be heard in the leaves behind Saint Sulley...

    and out pops none other than Bindi Irwin!

    Bindi Irwin: Hello! I'm Bindi the Jungle Girl! That's right, today we're joining up with Saint Sulley to take a very special look at some special things this jungle has to offer.

    Saint Sulley: Hi Bindi! Thank you so much for joining me.

    Bindi Irwin: Oh it's my pleasure. I just absolutely adore Ecuador, there are so many beautiful creatures here in the Amazon. South American Tapirs, three toed sloths...

    Some howler monkeys can be heard in the background, provoking quite the smile from Bindi.

    Bindi Irwin: Oh that's right, and the howler monkeys! So Sulley, what is it we're checking out today?

    Saint Sulley: Frogs!

    Bindi Irwin: Crikey! I was hoping you'd say that. The Amazon has so many frogs. But we have to be super careful!

    Saint Sulley: Oh? Careful? What do we need to be careful for about frogs?

    Bindi Irwin: I'll tell you in just a moment! Let's first head out and see what we can find!

    With that, Saint Sulley and Bindi Irwin start to traverse the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador. Sulley and Bindi are looking for frogs, but in the rain forest those tiny little things can be difficult to spot. The two end up traversing down a ravine, and make their way all the way to a creek bed. The perfect place to find the amphibians they're looking for!

    Suddenly, as if Sulley and Bindi needed any more challenges traversing through this dangerous rain forest...staying true to it's name, it begins to rain!

    Saint Sulley: Oh no! The cameras!

    Bindi Irwin: The cameras will be fine, we paid for the waterproof. And this rain you may think is a problem, but let me tell you...it's actually a good thing! It'll draw those little creatures we're looking for out.

    Saint Sulley: Oh if you say so...


    Bindi chuckles.

    Bindi Irwin: Trust me...and keep up!

    Bindi and Sulley continue, making their way up the creek bed.

    Suddenly, some croaking can be heard.

    Sulley and Bindi both stop in their tracks. Their ears perk up as they keep their eyes out...

    Saint Sulley: Right there!

    Sulley points over into the leaves, and the camera quickly follows.

    The camera zooms in now to get a look at the beautiful looking frog.




    Bindi face gets a huge smile, as she slowly picks up the frog in her hands.

    Sulley gasps at the sight.

    Saint Sulley: Bindi! That's a poison dart frog! You can't touch it!

    Bindi giggles and she holds the bright little frog on her finger tip.

    Bindi Irwin: Actually it's called Ameerega bilinguis, otherwise known as the Ecuador poison frog. And it's okay if it touch it! I just can't lick it or eat it. Just as long as I keep him moist and my fingers just as wet, I'll be fine! You might be asking...why so colorful? Wouldn't the frog want to camouflage itself in the jungle and not stand out? Every predator can see this thing from a mile away.

    Saint Sulley: I know why, Bindi. It's why I wanted to come out here today...you see...these frogs...they remind me of some people I know.

    Bindi Irwin: Crikey that's right! You're defending your world championship against Gabrielle at Desert Storm. Everyone in Australia knows that is a match that's been building for over two years now. But what's that have to do with the frogs?

    Saint Sulley: Well let me answer your first question before anything else. No, the frogs don't camouflage themselves from predators. They do exactly the opposite! The color we see on these frogs is called aposematic coloration. You see this color is a warning to all the other predators who might see it. The bright colors are an advertisement to stay away...I'm not worth eating! And it works. Predators see the colors, and they know that eating these tiny frogs would mean they'd be eating their last meal. Some have a poison that can kill in minutes!

    Bindi Irwin: That's exactly right Sulley! This particular frog I'm holding isn't generally as toxic, but be careful before touching them. Remember, the bright colors mean stay away!

    So Sulley, now can you tell me what this little fella has to do with your fight?

    Saint Sulley: He reminds me of someone I know.

    Bindi Irwin: OH! He reminds you of Gabby! You know what I can totally see it...

    Saint Sulley: Whoa slow down there.

    Not quite, Jungle Girl. You're right, we'll find Gabrielle somewhere in this jungle soon. But that toxic little fella isn't her. No...do you want to know who the real poison dart frogs are? I see a few on the roster. But the biggest one that comes to my mind is Michelle von Horrowitz.

    Think about it Bindi. Who is the most outwardly aggressive person on the roster?

    Michelle.

    Her erratic behavior...her colors...they're a message.

    Stay away.

    I am dangerous.

    And you know what? I respect that. I'm rooting for her in her fight against that worm Mike Parr. He tried to go after the dart frog, and he is going to pay. Michelle has shown the entire world just why she shouldn't be messed with. If she wins at Carnal Contendership, and fights me at Back in Business...just know it's going to be a good fight. But for now, I've got to deal with my other little frog before I can even think about that match. Gabrielle intentionally tried to thwart her investigation by falsely accusing Johnson and I of being the attackers. It was the wrong play...Kujo didn't get his revenge like he wanted, but I'm not Kujo. I have not forgotten what Gabrielle's actions, in an attempt to hurt both me and Michelle, have done. Michelle may not have time to get revenge for that specific incident, she may not even remember, but I do.

    Bindi Irwin: How fascinating! Michelle von Horrowitz as the Poison Dart Frog! So if this little guy isn't Gabby, then who is?

    Bindi let's the frog hop off her fingers and back into the jungle.

    Sulley doesn't answer her.

    Instead he walks a little further into the jungle, until he finds what he's looking for!

    With that Saint Sulley hops down and picks up yet another tiny little frog.

    It looks almost similar to the first frog he and Bindi found!




    Bindi looks on with fascination at what Sulley found.

    Saint Sulley: Now get a load of this...

    Bindi Irwin: Crikey! That's no Ecuador poison frog is it? Tell us what you've got there...

    Saint Sulley: This my friends is an Allobates Zaparo. Check out those bright colors. It looks just like our toxic little friend from earlier, doesn't it?

    Bindi Irwin: It sure does. But the Zaparo is a very different type of breed. Remember everything I said earlier about the warnings that those bright colors give off? Well, with the zaparo, it's a little different. That fella is actually completely harmless!

    Saint Sulley: That's right. Despite it's flashy colors, he isn't poisonous at all! What he's doing is something called Batesian mimicry. It's an effect that takes place when non dangerous animals end up mimicking the species that don't get eaten! It's a defense mechanism, that keeps them alive. And although they aren't actually toxic, predators see those flashy colors and know to stay away!

    Bindi Irwin: It sure is quite the trick! Smart little fellas.

    Saint Sulley: And I bet you can take a guess at who our Zaparo is in the FWA, can't you?

    Bindi Irwin: Well if it's all about smoke and mirrors...let me take a guess...

    Saint Sulley: You don't have to. I'll tell you right now, it's Gabrielle Montgomery. Unlike the real poison dart frog, who's flashy colors serve as a real danger sign for people to stay away...Gabrielle's is all just for show. Like the Zaparo, Gabrielle puts on this little act that she's dangerous. That she shouldn't be messed with. She'll run around backstage and spread rumors, she'll sleep around the roster, and she'll play keyboard warrior on twitter...but it's Batesian mimicry at it's absolute finest. I do have to applaud her however, it's a very clever defense.

    I've seen many do it before. I mean, you kind of have to right?

    Think about when Gabrielle first started in the FWA all those years back. Weak little Gabrielle...coming into the FWA years ago at Trial By Fire, being paraded down to the ring by her boyfriend at the time Jack Severino. That's all she was known as...Diamond Jack's girlfriend. She stood by ringside and watched Jack beat up on scrubs like JD Andrews or Brandon Reid on SMASH. She wouldn't even fight Anyanka or Alexx in a tag team match with Jack...she wasn't a wrestler.

    But then all of sudden, she was.

    All of sudden, the Gabrielle we all know now was born. But she was surrounded in a locker room full of men, and all she had to her name was being the girlfriend of Diamond Jack. What else can you do? You have no choice. You don't have that same danger that Jack brings to the locker room. You don't have that danger that Michelle von Horrowitz has today. No, you're just the pretty girlfriend.

    She did the only thing she could do...Batesian Mimicry. She mimicked the behaviors she saw from all the other testosterone meatheads in the ring. And although they were all just for show, they served their purpose. They gave us all the illusion that Gabrielle Montgomery was more dangerous than she really was. I'll admit she had me fooled when I debuted in 2012, and she took me under her ring in the locker room. Did I know all she wanted was to write my name in her little black book at the time? No I did not. She was this big star, and all I saw were the colors. I didn't know what I know now...I thought Gabrielle was the poison dart frog that she appeared to be...

    I didn't realize she was nothing but a Zaparo.

    I didn't realize that when Gabrielle defeated my at Quest for the Best two years ago.

    And I didn't realize it when I beat both Gabrielle and Cyrus in a triple threat match the last time we had Desert Storm.

    But I did realize it...I realized it on Devil's Night...October 30th, the night that I put Gabrielle out of action.


    Bindi listens on in fascination...

    Animals have always fascinated her.

    Animals in the wild especially, but what many people fail to see are the animals we see every day. The animals that walk among us. There is no closer thing to an animal than those in the FWA locker room.

    That there is nature at it's finest.


    Bindi Irwin: So just to recap here... Michelle von Horrowitz is the Poison Dart Frog, her colors...or in this case he aggressive behaviors, are a warning sign to stay away because she's dangerous. But Gabrielle more closely represents the Zaparo, a frog who mimics the dangerous frogs with it's colors but it's really just a disguise for protection?

    That's all quite fascinating...but if those two are those frogs...what are you?

    With that Sulley smiles, and gives a motion to Bindi with his hand as if he's saying "follow me".

    The two trek once more through the amazon, following the river.

    They pass through some trees and some leaves, and it's with great joy what they see next...






    Bindi Irwin: Oh crikey! That's an Ecuadorian Jaguar! These beautiful cats are the third biggest in the world, but their population is shrinking. There's only around 15,000 Jaguars left, and this right here is one of them! Jaguars also have the strongest bite of any cat...so don't get too close.

    Saint Sulley looks on with a smile...

    Saint Sulley: You wanted to know what I am, Bindi? I'm that right there. I mean sure, I might more closely compared myself with a Lion. But a Jaguar is pretty close...

    Bindi Irwin: But I don't understand...if a Jaguar would eat a dart frog, it'd still get poisoned.

    Saint Sulley: But Jaguars don't bother with dart frogs. Do you want to know why? Because they're way higher on the food chain. They're at the top. They don't need to show flashy colors to stay away...or pretend to like Gabby the Zaparo. They are the top cat. The cat that nobody else can touch...they are the ones that all the other species in the Amazon are hiding from.

    He...is me.

    I am the world champion.

    Now a two time world champion.

    Tell me what Gabrielle has that I don't? She's a two time world champion...so am I. The only difference is, it's been seven years since Gabrielle last held this title. Me? In the last year and a half, I've held this title all but 27 days. Gabrielle once held the distinction of having the second longest reign with my belt too, after Matt Boudreau's historic reign. She held it for 363 days...which was impressive and all, up until I had my go at it. In just my first title run, I held the FWA World Championship for a historic 407 days. The only man who held it longer is dead.

    Not only that, but between July 15th 2018 and November 28th 2020...I went 867 days straight holding at least one title. That is almost two and a half years. It's 28 and a half months. Dudes went to prison when I won my record breaking X Championship, and got out before I lost my FWA World Championship. Of course they didn't even get their first piss test from their parole officer before I won it back, on Christmas Day no less. Sorry for ruining your Christmas by the way, Mike...I guess I am the Ghost of Christmas Future? Because you're seeing the future right here...

    Gabrielle...you little fake frog...do you think I can't tell how up deflated you've been watching me the past two years? Seeing me accomplish everything that you can't anymore because you're...just too old. I can see it...I can see it in your eyes every time they lock with mine. You don't have that same "Oh I'm just here for fun" attitude like Devin Golden. No, you're hunting for my championship. You need my championship, and you want it more than anything else. I can see it so hard...and if you don't win? There will be no greater demoralization. You can see the changing of the tide. The fans are sick of seeing the Gabrielle's, and the Cyrus Truth's, and the Mike Garcia's...no...they want the real poison dart frog...because she's actual dangerous. Unlike you...

    If you don't win this title right now, at Desert Storm, then you won't get another chance again. And you know it...Desert Storm, if you lose, may very well be your last match. 1

    And if I'm being honest...I can't wait to make that happen.

    But do you want to know the true difference between you and me? The difference is, if I don't win...it's not all over for me. I have a different perspective on my life...my daughter taught me that it's not so important putting so much stress and energy into a match. When I went into Crossfire Christmas, I did it with a different attitude, and I never felt so alive. The fact of the matter is...if I lose, I'm not totally lost. I don't have to search for a purpose. I'm one tag team title win away from being just the fourth ever Grand Slam Champion. How far away are you from that? What you need a North American title win, and an X Championship win? Well, I can give you some pointers there.

    Do you know the last time I lost a true singles match? A planned one on one bout? It was in February 2019...that's right, two years ago. And it was to you...you know that's on my mind, and I know it's on yours too. I hope you keep focusing on that match, and I hope you keep thinking it's the same. I am so different than the man you saw in the ring two years ago, Gabs. And even if I'm not...even if I lose...it doesn't change anything...I can keep bragging about how you're the only person to beat me in a one on one match in over two years. In fact, 2017 was the last time anyone other than you beat me.

    But you? If you lose...it doesn't all stay the same.

    I want you to know that Gabs.

    I want you to remember that.

    You aren't the poison dart frog. There's nothing about you that's dangerous. It is all for show. Just flashy colors to make yourself look stronger than you really are. But me? I'm the fucking Jaguar...and you aren't even on my radar.

    Sulley looks over to see if the camera got all of that, but to his absolute dismay...Bindi took the camera man to get a closer look at the actual jaguar. Leaving Saint Sulley by himself and in absolute anger.

    "Wait, did you get all of my monologue! That's important dammit!" Sulley shouts...but neither Bindi or the cameraman appear interested.

    Poison frogs, Jaguars...the animal kingdom sure is strange.

    And the FWA is no different.

    The only question is...who is at the top of the food chain?


    "In the animal kingdom, one of the keys to survival is to outwit your enemies.
    And when you're surrounded by carnivores, one of the best strategies is to fade into the background and disappear."
    ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

  6. #6
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    Cyrus Truth's Avatar

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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    Exile Chronicles (Volume 3)
    Chapter 13: The Trial of Cyrus Truth

    "Why did you choose that name?"

    "Haven't we already been through that, Seeker? I chose the name 'Truth' because..."

    "No, no...not your real name. The other one. 'Cyrus.'"

    Speeding along a unidentifiable country road in a nondescript black sedan, we find the duo of Cyrus Truth and Seeker...the Exile and Observer who have been on the front lines in the fight against the spreading influence of the Church of 9, with FWA being the battleground.

    And Desert Storm is shaping up to be yet another battle in this ongoing shadow war, as Cyrus Truth will defend his North American Title against the Church of 9's most prominent member, Eli Black.

    However, that seems to be the furthest thing from Cyrus's mind as Seeker is driving him...somewhere. The looming threat of judgment from the Observers has been a dark cloud from which Cyrus has had to live with ever since he made the choice to show one of the Observers' vaults to Eli Black as a gesture of trust and faith during their run as a tag team.

    And it seems that, today? Judgment has come calling.

    Cyrus sighs at Seeker's question, looking out absently as barns and farmhouses whir past, as fields that would be teeming with corn and wheat lay barren and covered in snow and mud. Eventually, he answers:

    "You'll laugh."

    "Why would I laugh?"


    "Because it's really stupid."

    "I sincerely doubt that."

    Cyrus leans back into the passenger seat and exhales. The Exile's clearly already exhausted, as the pressure of his upcoming title match and this meeting with the Observers to decide his punishment for his transgressions is already a heavy-enough burden.

    "You remember studying the Greek myths?"

    "Of course."

    "There was one myth that always stuck with me. The story of Cassandra, the seer."

    "Cassandra...wasn't she the one who received the gift of sight from Apollo?"

    "Right. But it came with a cost after she spurned his advances. She could see the world for what it was and where it was going, but nobody would ever believe her words. She was cursed to know what was to come and be completely unable to change it, because her words would always be dismissed as madness."

    "And what does this have to do with you?"

    Cyrus chuckles, a sad smile crossing his lips.

    "When you've been an Observer, you learn so much that the world has forgotten. You gain a perspective that few in the world can share, and fewer still can understand. I knew that when I went into Exile and became a professional wrestler that my peers wouldn't be able to see things the same way that I could. In an ego-driven business like wrestling? The Truth could be clear as day and wrestlers would deny it, because to accept it would mean deflating that ego. So, in a sense...I was basically Cassandra. But since I'm not a woman..."

    "You'd be known as 'Cyrus.'"

    "Yep. Told you it was stupid."

    Seeker, eyes focused on the road ahead, nevertheless smiles a bit.

    "Maybe a little. But...it's a good name, regardless."

    "Thanks."

    The pair are silent for a bit as they reach an intersection with a single blinking light. There's nothing out here aside from snowy fields and the occasional rustic reminder of this area's agrarian roots. It's the middle of the day, but there's not been a single other vehicle on the road with this pair.

    Nevertheless, despite it being free and clear, Seeker stops at this intersection. He then sighs sadly as he says:


    "Listen, Truth. I..."

    "Do you know who's going to be judging me?"

    Seeker's taken aback by Cyrus's interjection...but softens, realizing that The Exile isn't seeking an apology or comfort in this. More importantly? Seeker realizes that Truth isn't blaming him for what's to come.

    "...Yes. Reason is the one conducting the trial. And as is tradition, he is joined by two other judges."

    "Reason, eh? I suppose I could've asked for worse. And the other two?"

    "Peace...and Justice."

    Cyrus scowls a bit hearing the last two names.

    "The wet noodle and the harridan. Great. Well, one out of three is better than I could've hoped for."

    "I'm sorry."

    "For what? You didn't pick the judges. And you're not the one who got me into this mess."

    "I am the one delivering you to that mess, though."

    "Someone had to. And better you than Justice and her shrouds. At least you turn the heat on in the car."

    The joke garners no laughs from either man as they sit there at the intersection for what seems like an eternity. Eventually, the silence is broken.

    "Seeker? I think it's safe to move on."

    Seeker, coming out of his own headspace, takes a look at his passenger whose eyes are looking outward. Never at him, never behind him...only forward.

    "Yes...I suppose you're right."

    Seeker flips his turn signal on and makes a left turn, down the lonely road and towards the site of the his friend's judgment...

    *****

    Eventually, the black sedan arrives at its destination.

    It's a ghost town, populated only by long-abandoned wooden buildings dusted with a recent snowfall. As the sedan drives slowly down the thoroughfare, we can almost hear the many years these buildings have seen in the creaking and warbling of their walls in the breeze. It's hard to say exactly why this village was built in the first place, or why it was abandoned, but it's absolutely haunting how eerie everything feels, looks...even smells.

    The sedan finally pulls up to what looks to be this village's chapel. It looks as bad, if not worse, than the buildings surrounding it. Half the roof has been blown off by some past wind storm, and there's charred parts along the front of the chapel.

    Cyrus and Seeker exit the car; Cyrus dressed in a simple black overcoat, and Seeker having donned the traditional white and gold robes of an Observer. The pair share a nod as they walk side-by-side into the chapel.

    Inside, we see our first signs of life in this village, as two figures in white wearing porcelain masks stand guard near the altar. The inside of this chapel's rougher than the outside, as moisture and rot have claimed much of the church's furniture, leaving behind ruined and wrecked pews and other idolatry.

    Except, for some reason, the altar. Which appears to be remarkably well-preserved. It LOOKS as weathered as everything else does at first glance, but closer inspection shows that looks are deceiving. As Cyrus and Seeker approach the altar, the two Observers stop them before reaching it.


    "Seeker. You've brought The Exile."

    "I have. As instructed."

    "...you bring him unbound."

    "I was unaware that was a requirement."

    The two Observer guards look at Cyrus warily, but eventually ease up as they turn back to the altar and recite some incantations in an unknown tongue. Upon completion, the altar starts to shift and slide backwards, revealing a staircase leading down below the chapel.

    The guards say nothing more as Seeker nods and motions for Cyrus to descend, walking behind him. The Exile does so, walking down with Seeker following.

    After several minutes with only low-light to guide them, the duo find themselves at a door etched in strange, archaic runes. Cyrus moves as if to do or say something to open it, but is stopped as Seeker puts his hand on The Exile's shoulder, as if to say "Maybe not." Cyrus nods knowingly as Seeker recites more strange invocations, as the sigils light up and unlock the door, allowing the two to enter.

    The chamber itself is incredibly stark and barren. Little in the ways of comfort or decoration and lit only by a dozen or so lanterns burning with red fire, this particular sanctum seems to be just an empty hole in the ground for the Observers to conduct business in outside of their hideaways. Or perhaps, it was a vault at one time...but had been emptied and abandoned for one reason or another.

    Inside, we see more Observers. A dozen or so standing on either side of the chamber, ostensibly serving as a jury or witnesses of sorts to the trial that's about to commence. All of them have their faces hidden by various porcelain masks depicting animals, mythic figures, various human expressions, and the like...all save for one.

    In the crowd, but with no mask to hide their face, is Mentor. They watch as Cyrus passes by, a look of sorrow on their face at the fate of their former pupil, the one they entrusted their mask to. Cyrus, for his part, spares only a glance at Mentor before walking by, focused instead on the judges awaiting him.

    Sitting behind a very simple wooden table are three more Observers. The one on the left is a thin, gaunt figure wearing a dove mask. To the right is a familiar-looking, daunting figure of a woman wearing an owl mask. And in the middle sits an altogether average looking figure, his porcelain mask being that of a humanoid face with a third eye in its forehead.

    As Cyrus approaches the table and stands there with Seeker behind him, the three judges remove their masks to reveal their faces. The one in the middle speaks up first:


    "Welcome home, Seeker. You have completed the task of bringing the accused to us."

    "I have, Reason."

    Reason, an older man with a very angular chin and somber, calculating grey eyes, nods as Justice speaks up. Unlike the svelte and unassuming Reason, Justice is a brick shithouse of a woman, with a hooked nose and piercing green eyes.

    "And you managed to convince him to come of his own volition, it seems. I thought for certain my Shrouds would've had to drag him here to answer for his transgressions."

    "It seems that our wayward son has realized that the quickest path to resolution is through acceptance and peace. This is good. This trial shouldn't take long."

    Speaking up is another man, Peace. Peace has the look of a weasel, with beady gray eyes and a tiny pencil mustache. He looks, out of the three judges, like the one who least wants to be here. However, he smiles as both he and Justice nod to Reason, who looks directly at Cyrus.


    "Truth, I trust you understand why we called you here."

    "Nice to see you too, Reason."

    "Answer the question, please..."

    Cyrus sighs, rolling his eyes in irritation.

    "Yes. I know exactly why I'm here."

    "Good. And are you prepared to answer for these transgressions?"

    "That depends."

    "Depends on what?"

    "Depends on what exactly you mean by 'answering.' You do realize that I have other obligations besides this that require my attention, don't you?"

    Justice chimes in at that and retorts.

    "Nothing that's more important than addressing your crimes and deciding your punishment."

    "Oh, really? Not even the Church of 9?"

    Justice sneers at that, but that counter is enough to get her to stop her from replying. Cyrus, with just the faintest treble of anxiety in his voice, continues.

    "I know why I've been called here. It's because I broke a rule and showed a vault to an outsider. A decision made doubly damaging because that outsider was Eli Black, the Church of 9's new golden boy. Because of that, the position of the Observers in the world of shadow is being threatened as the Church has grown more bold and aggressive in its efforts to consolidate power, knowledge, and influence. That about cover it?"

    Reason looks a bit annoyed by Cyrus's rather blunt summation, but nods in agreement. Cyrus, however, isn't finished.

    "Tell me, if I had shown that vault to anybody other than Eli...anybody other than someone affiliated with a group like the Church of 9, would I even be here? I know you'd say 'yes,' Justice..."

    Cyrus looks Justice dead in her eye as he says that, the Observer staring daggers back at The Exile. Truth eventually turns his gaze back to Reason.

    "But what about the rest of you? You all know that vault contained nothing special. Not compared to many other vaults. Nothing in there was particularly critical to protect and shield away from potentially unworthy seekers, and you all know that. So please...explain to me why this trial was so gods-damned important that I had to take time out of my match preparations before Desert Storm and my North American Title bout against Eli Black. Tell me why you decided now was a good time to distract me while I'm in the middle of fighting this war against the Church of 9 for you."

    Cyrus's defiance causes a stir among the rest of the Observers watching the proceedings, many seemingly shocked at an Exile's impertinence during his own trial while others seem to agree with the point Cyrus is trying to make. Reason raps his knuckles on the table to quiet the chamber as he replies.

    "We recognize that you have taken it upon yourself to fight the influence of the Church of 9 in that wrestling company you perform in. We also admit that your efforts, while not wholly effective at rooting out the Church's corruption and driving them back into the shadows, have been key in keeping the current conflict at at stalemate, allowing us a chance to discuss our options for how to deal with this. However..."

    "However! We wouldn't be in this mess had you not shown that boy the vault, Truth. Are you expecting us to thank you for cleaning up a mess YOU created in the first place? Your arrogance is unrivaled, boy. Have you no shame, no remorse over what you did?!"

    Justice is clearly livid, feeling insulted by Cyrus's tone and aggressive combativeness. Her outburst is enough to stun the chamber into silence, as Seeker looks at his friend standing there, taking all of Justice's vitriol without even flinching.

    Eventually, however, the stony expression of The Exile cracks a bit, as he chokes out in a pained, sorrowful tone.

    "You don't think I have any remorse? Is that it, Justice? You think I don't care at all about what I let happen? You always were able to read people better than most Observers, so tell me...when you look at me, do you see some callous young brat refusing to own up to his responsibilities? Look at me. LOOK!"


    Cyrus stares directly at Justice yet again. However, that look of defiance is gone...replaced by something else entirely. Sorrow, guilt, and ruefulness are etched into the face of The Exile...and for the first time, Justice's hard-ass veneer cracks. Just a bit, but it's there.

    "You think for one moment I want to be here? That I don't wish I could be anywhere else, anyone else in the world right now? That I could be like other Exiles in the past and just disappear, leaving all of this behind? I wish I could be as heartless and arrogant as you seem to think I am, Justice. It'd be so much easier. But if I was...why would I be here? Why would I come here, willingly, and accept you passing judgment on me?

    "I know what I did was wrong. I know that it was forbidden for an Exile to show an outsider a vault...but I thought I was doing it for the right reasons. I wanted to help Eli. I wanted him to be better than he was when I first met him, and I thought that vault could help him become stronger for the Road ahead. And I know, I know! I know that might've been the spark that led him down this dark path and caused so much pain and fear for you all. But that's why I chose to fight this battle. Not for revenge for Eli's betrayal or for the chance to be a champion again. I'm fighting this war because all of this? The Observers still matter to me. My friends and confidants in the world of shadow STILL matter. The people that have been hurt and terrorized by the Church of 9 and Eli deserve justice. And I have to believe that I can right the wrongs I made...and not just the one that had you call this trial. All of the wrongs that led to Eli choosing to abandon his humanity for power and glory...they have to be answered by somebody, don't they?"


    Justice, hearing Cyrus's impassioned response, sits stoically and cross-armed. She still glares at Cyrus angrily...but the intensity of that stare isn't as strong as it was when this trial first started. There's more murmuring from the other Observers in attendance, although it's hard to make out as they're being very careful about keeping it quiet and private.

    Cyrus rubs his eyes as Peace speaks up for the first time.


    "Please, please! Let us calm down. There's no need to let emotions cloud our rational thought. The Exile does bring up a valid point. While this trial was called to judge Truth based on his transgressions, it is vital that we come to some decision as to how we resolve this conflict with the Church of 9."

    That statement gets the attention of Cyrus, Seeker, Reason, and Justice as the four of them turn their attention towards Peace as the Observer looks fairly pleased about something.

    "What is the meaning of this, Peace? What are you getting at?"

    "Truth hasn't been the only one attempting to bring about an end to this aggression. Agents of the Church have been reaching out with feeler and go-betweens within the world of shadow. Haven't they, Truth?"

    The judges turn their attention back to Cyrus, who seems both surprised and irritated with Peace's knowledge and insinuation.

    "You're well-informed. I thought I'd kept that under wraps."

    Peace simply smiles in response as Cyrus sighs and explains.

    "Apparently, Eli is interested in something called the Book of Osiris. I haven't the faintest clue why outside of the fact that this Osiris character was one of the original founders of the Church and shares a bloodline with Eli and his father, Frederick."

    "How do you know this?"

    "Because Eli kidnapped and threatened the Book Keeper and was stupid enough to tell her all of this."


    "The Book Keeper? Is she...?"

    "She's fine. She's currently gone underground for the moment. But Eli made it clear that he wanted her to contact the Observers for something related to this Book of Osiris."

    "But why? Unless..."

    Cyrus shrugs.

    "Whatever this is, Eli or the Church need an Observer to figure it out. They at least were smart enough to realize that the Book Keeper wasn't one, but could open up communication with you. However...she was pretty damn adamant about not giving those bastards anything. Which begs the question..."

    Justice cuts off Cyrus as she glares at Peace.

    "How is it that YOU came to know this?"

    "A good Observer listens, Justice. A great Observer learns. And this Eli Black isn't the only Church member who's been trying to reach out to us. Based on what my sources have been telling me, it seems the Church is open to negotiations. They seek knowledge on certain things, and in exchange? They seem amenable to ceasing their current hostilities towards us."

    Seeker, who had been listening quietly throughout all of this, finally speaks up surprisingly combative.

    "You can't be serious! How on earth could you possibly consider this? We absolutely cannot acquiesce to these psychopaths."

    Peace looks shocked by Seeker's outburst...and in turn, his expression sours as he addresses the younger Observer.

    "Mind your tongue, young man. And you know full well that we must consider this. Peace is the only way for our order to ensure its survival. We are not warriors. We don't fight battles or implement violence. But the Church of 9? They are willing to go to those depths to get what they want anyway. We are safe only because of our longevity in the world of shadows, but even that has its limits. If the Church continues to grow in strength and influence, our own position is left unsecure. And besides...is it not the nature of our order to share knowledge with those who come to seek it? The Observers have been the keepers of knowledge and the Truth for millennia. If the Church of 9 seeks knowledge as payment to ensure our continued existence...well then, I say it may well be worth the price."

    The room is dead silent. Not even the murmuring of Observers. For what seems like eternity, this underground sanctum is as quiet as a tomb, until...

    "You fucking idiot."

    All three judges turn their attention back to Cyrus, who stands there tense and incredibly angry. The Exile focuses his glare on Peace, who definitely looks intimidated by the furor of Cyrus.

    "I always knew you had no guts, Peace...but I never thought for a second that they removed your brain when they took your spine. This is the absolute most moronic thing you've ever said!"

    "H-h-how dare you speak to me like that?"

    "Because clearly you need somebody to shout at you in the vain hopes that some sense gets through that thick skull of yours. Give up to the Church of 9? Give them what they want and HOPE that's enough to keep the Observers safe? Why stop there? Why not polish their shoes with your tongue and fondle their balls with your hands while you're at it?"

    "Truth, please..."

    "No! I refuse to let this slide, Reason! I don't care how dire the situation is. Appeasement is NOT a solution. It's not even an option. Giving in to the Church of 9 would kill the heart of the Observers, and destroy everything that this order has stood for! The strength of our order is due to us owing no allegiance to any power."

    "We wouldn't be bowing to anyone, Truth..."

    "Yes, you would! As stupid as you are, even YOU can recognize that the Church of 9 isn't going to be satisfied with just a nibble. Everything in the Church's history suggests total and absolute consumption. And if you open the door to the pantry, the Church WILL devour everything and leave you starving and destitute.

    "Even if that wasn't the case, and it clearly is...the Observers share knowledge with the worthy. Knowledge is powerful, but dangerous in the hands of those who'd abuse it. If the order abandons its principles just to survive, then the order of Observers DESERVE to die...because it wouldn't be the same order that I remember. To even suggest doing that is a betrayal of everything we stand for, and even you aren't so blind as to not see that, Peace."


    Cyrus is clearly incensed as he glares down Peace, who tries his best to meet his gaze...but clearly can't. Another uncomfortable silence settles in the sanctum, broken only by Justice speaking up.

    "As loathe as I'm to agree with the Exile, I'm of the same mind as he on this. Peace is not an option on this."

    "Peace is ALWAYS an option, Justice. What other choice do we have? We are not warriors. And there's only so much that words and shadow tactics can do to keep us safe from those well-versed in such tactics. How do we fight a war without fighters, Justice? Who will fight this war for us?"

    "You really have to ask?"


    The three judges turn their attention back to Cyrus, stony-eyed and resolute.

    "What the hell do you think I've been doing ever since Eli showed his true colors? What exactly do you think this match I have at Desert Storm is if not just another battle in this war?"

    Reason, who had spent much of this trial silently listening to every voice that has spoken up, now takes the opportunity to speak his own mind.

    "This trial has veered off from its original purpose. Truth, we did not summon you here because we wished to hear your opinions on this conflict with the Church of 9. You are here to answer for your sins against the order that led us to this point."

    "So...what? Do you expect me to deny my part in this? Or did you want me on my hands and knees begging for forgiveness?"

    "Truth..."

    "No, Reason. Tell me. What is it you want from me? Contrition? Or do you want me to fix what I helped break? You...all three of you, and everybody here in this hole know what I did. And I haven't denied it. Despite everything that led to my Exile in the first place, despite my belief that this order has forgotten its purpose over the last century or so, I still believe in the Observers' mission. To learn, to understand, and to guide. If I didn't believe, why would I be here willing to accept whatever punishment you see fit to enact?

    "But the Truth is...punishing me here and now is a waste. This war goes on regardless of what you decide to do with me. But out there? In an FWA ring? I can continue to fight. I can strike back against the Church of 9 and beat Eli Black, denying them the North American Championship. That's where my value to you lies, and you know it."


    "You talk as if your victory is assured."

    Cyrus immediately turns his gaze towards Justice, who looks at The Exile with a mix of astonishment and disdain.

    "Have you forgotten? You've faced this Eli Black once before. Surely, you recall how that fight went."


    Cyrus scowls a bit, but there's definitely a slight look of shame on his face.

    "I remember."

    "Then you know full well that you claiming to be able to beat this boy leads to...questioning. You may be this North American Champion, but you did not pin either the champion or Eli Black to win it. The one and only time you have faced him one-on-one? He was the one who emerged victorious...not you."

    "That's not fair, Justice. Eli only won that match due to his father interfering."

    "Quiet, Seeker! Don't you see? That's all the more reason to be concerned! Truth is putting his prize on the line against a boy willing to lie, cheat, and steal his way to victory. The Church of 9 doesn't care about how victory is attained, so long as it's attained."

    "For once, Justice? I agree. Despite Truth being the champion and all the advantages that confers, it's clear that the odds are quite stacked against him. And yet, the Exile is asking us to put our faith in him? Hehehe...no, no no. It's too much of a risk. And any continued hostilities threatens any hope for a peaceful resolution."

    Justice glares at Peace and begins to argue with him again about his desire to seek a non-combative solution to this issue with the Church of 9. As the two Observers bicker for a bit, Cyrus stands with hands to his side, clenched in knuckle-white tight fists. Eventually, Cyrus speaks up, silencing Justice and Peace.

    "So...you think I can't get the job done? Is that it?"

    The three judges turn back towards Cyrus. In fact, the entirety of the Observers present turn their gaze towards The Exile, who asks again in a venom-drenched tone.

    "If you think that I can't win, then say it. But only if you believe it to be the Truth."

    Peace, Reason, and Justice pause. None of them say anything for what seems like an eternity. Cyrus is just as silent, almost as if he's daring them to say "yes."

    But none of them do.

    Eventually, it's Reason who speaks up on behalf of the judges.


    "We cannot say that you're incapable of victory, Truth. But it is...unlikely. Even you can't deny that."

    "Your history over the last year suggests that you're not as invincible as you were when you first stepped foot into this wrestling company."

    "And it's hard to ignore your loss to Eli Black. Putting our faith in you is risky. Surely, you understand that."

    "Oh...I understand."

    Cyrus moves towards the table where the three judges are sitting. There's a certain tension as The Exile approaches, but Cyrus stops just shy as he looks at the men and woman who sit in judgment of him, a look of ferocity and defiance in his eyes.

    "I don't deny anything you've just said. When I chose my name, I dedicated myself to it. That includes personal Truth. I know full well that you have no reason to fully believe in me given everything that's led us to this point. And I recognize that, regardless of whether I'm the better wrestler or not? Eli can, has, and will stoop to any level if it means advancing his own agenda and that of the Church. I'm walking into Desert Storm an underdog because I refuse to conduct myself in any manner beneath a proper champion and my challenger has no such reservations.

    "But the fact that he has no reservations makes his position weak. A man without principles and honor pursuing glory is a man building a house on quicksand. No matter how strong the house is, it's doomed to collapse because it lacks a solid enough foundation for it to stand on. You're the one who taught me that, Justice. Do you remember?"

    Justice looks surprised. Clearly, she does remember...but she's shocked that Cyrus seems to remember it just as well.

    "And even you, Peace...you claim that peace is the only solution. But weren't you the one who taught me that a peace that results in you losing everything that made you who you are and everything you hold dear is no true peace?"

    Peace, sheepishly, bows his head and averts his gaze, clearly humbled and embarrassed by his own words turned against him. Cyrus then turns to face Reason.

    "I'm not saying that victory is assured. Even an Observer can't see the future, unless you all developed that talent in the time since I left. But I CAN beat Eli Black. As talented and duplicitous as he is, he's still just a boy who thinks himself a conqueror. I won't be as blind in this match as I was in our first match. And I know the stakes continue to get steeper and steeper with each passing day. One crushing victory puts a stop to the Church's ambitions. Putting Eli down forces them into retreat, allowing the Observers to solidify their position once again. It's a tremendous weight...but my shoulders are still strong and my feet are still planted. I can carry this burden. And I won't let it crush me; no, instead? I'll let this weight make me stronger.

    "I want this win. I NEED this win more than any of you can possibly understand. I need this to protect the brothers and sisters of the order that raised me, taught me, guided me and helped me become the man I am today...and to make up for the mistake I made that led to them being put in harm's way. I need this to beat back a bunch of slimy, power-hungry monsters back into the darkness where they belong. But more than any of that? I have to prove something to myself. I need to know if I'm still the same wrestler that took FWA by storm, who ruled atop the mountain as the untouchable World Champion. I need to show the world that I am still as good a champion as I've ever been...and prove to Eli that for all his talent, all his confidence, and all of his underhandedness? He's still NOTHING compared to an Exile focused, driven, and centered on ensuring the path he's chosen gets him nothing but the righteous beating he so very much deserves. I'm going into Desert Storm knowing what victory and retaining the North American Title means...not just for me, but for all of you and everybody who's been hurt and targeted by the Church of 9's machinations. I refuse to let the Church and Eli Black swallow up everything that matters or ever has mattered to me without a fight. If this is a war? This is a war I intend to fight until the bitter end...until I win.

    "I'm not going to ask you to have faith in me. That's something you're going to have to decide for yourselves if I deserve it. But I will promise you this? At Desert Storm? I'm going to give you a reason to believe in me."


    Cyrus lets that last statement hang in silence for a second, as the three judges and the rest of the gallery are quietly contemplating what was said. However, Cyrus doesn't wait for a response.

    Turning around, he gives one last look at Seeker as the two share a nod...and Cyrus walks past him and towards the door leading to the outside. Reason, seeing this, shouts at Cyrus:


    "Truth! We haven't dismissed you! You're still on trial!"

    Without breaking stride, without looking back, Cyrus retorts.

    "Of course I am. I've been on trial ever since I went into Exile. So make whatever decision you're going to make. I have nothing more to say on the subject. And whatever choice you make about my punishment? I'll not be hard to find..."

    Reason looks like he's about to shout something back, but he stops himself as Cyrus exits the chamber. Nothing more is said as the judges sit in stunned silence for a few seconds.

    "Such a willful young man..."

    "That's one way to see it. The arrogance of walking out of your own trial. I doubt he fully appreciates the magnitude of his crime."

    "I disagree."

    The judges turn to Seeker, who's calmly standing in front of them with his arms crossed, a look of disappointment and pensive contemplation on his face.

    "I've spent a lot of time with Truth over the last few weeks. He's not as blindly arrogant as you think he is. Yes, his actions were wrong...but his heart was in the right place. And besides...he did bring up a valid point when I first confronted him back before Christmas. He might have been wrong to show Eli Black the vault, but we share part of the blame for not telling him who and what he was."

    "He's an Exile, Seeker! It's forbidden!"

    "Is it? I'm not so sure. And I wonder...if we had not been so bound by dogma...what would've happened?"

    Reason sighs, a mixture of exhaustion and disappointment evident on his weathered face. The Observer turns to Seeker and says very bluntly:

    "Perhaps you've been spending too much time with Truth."

    "Perhaps. Or perhaps the Observers have allowed themselves to be blind to certain aspects of the Truth for longer than any of us would care to admit..."

    We cut to Cyrus ascending the stairs, alone and in silence save for the voice of Seeker speaking over the scene.

    "He left us, but has never forgotten us. We call him 'Exile,' think of him as nothing more than a disappointment and disgrace to our order. And yet..."

    Cyrus reaches the top of the stairs, re-entering the ruined chapel. The two Observers standing guard look surprised and move as if they mean to stop him...but one glare from The Exile is enough to give them pause as Cyrus walks past them.

    "He knows he made a mistake, and he still cares enough to be willing to make up for that mistake. He's fighting for our sake. Fighting to ensure that we don't lose everything that makes us who we are. And I feel as if he's willing to fight even thought he knows it may end up destroying him."

    Cyrus finally reaches the entrance of the chapel and steps outside, noticing that a light late winter snow has started to fall. He exhales, as his breath looks like smoke from a dragon's maw.

    "Truth is willing to put himself into the fire to defeat this Eli Black and the Church of 9 for us...the ones who abandoned and ignored him when he began to question us. Don't we at least owe him the chance to see this path through to the end? To see where this journey down the Long and Winding Road eventually leads?"

    Cyrus, after a short pause, starts to walk off past the parked sedan to wherever his feet will take him. However...

    "Truth!"

    Cyrus stops about a hundred feet away from chapel. Emerging from the ruined building is Mentor, a bit of a frantic look on their face that seems to relax realizing that they were able to catch up to Truth before he vanished. Cyrus doesn't move, but he also doesn't turn to face Mentor as he says.

    "I'm not going back, Mentor. There's nothing more that needs to be said, and I've already wasted too much time on this that could've been used preparing for this battle."

    "I know. That's not why I'm here."

    "Then what are you here for? You have something else to say to me?"

    Mentor pauses, collecting themselves as they rub something from their eyes. Mentor then looks at their former pupil and says with a smile and sad eyes:

    "I simply wanted to wish you good fortune in the battles to come. May the blessings and lessons of the Long and Winding Road give you strength and lead you to victory."

    Cyrus, still with his back to Mentor, lowers his head as drops of water fall from his cheeks. Mentor sees this, their eyes sharp and perceptive. The smile vanishes as they ask in a cold, direct tone.

    "Truth...can you win? Can you stop this boy's machinations and lust for power? Can you keep that title belt you were so proud of winning from the grasp of those who would use it to push their own wicked agenda? Look into your heart and answer me...can you win?"

    The tears stop as Cyrus looks up towards the horizon. The sun has started to set as the sky becomes a hue of reds, yellows, and oranges. Without any trembling, without any hint of doubt, Cyrus replies back.

    "Not only can I win...I WILL win."

    "How do you know?"

    For the first time, Cyrus turns his head to look behind him, his eyes meeting Mentor's. With a smile, The Exile answers.

    "I don't. But I have faith."

    Mentor closes their eyes and smiles, satisfied with the answer their pupil gave them.

    "Then I, too, will have faith in you. And not just me, either..."

    As Mentor opens their eyes and stands up straight, out from the chapel emerges Seeker...and behind him stands other Observers, the members of the gallery laying witness to The Exile's trial. The masked, robed figures stand behind Seeker and Mentor...and in unison, they bow their heads, acknowledging Cyrus and seemingly giving him their thanks for the battle he intends to fight to protect them...and perhaps, a sign of their faith in his ability to see this through.

    Seeker speaks up, one final time.


    "Go forth, Exile. Stand tall and fight well. Walk the path that must be taken. And take strength in the Road that brought you this far...and strike down the wicked that would take it all away."

    Cyrus lowers his gaze, seemingly overwhelmed by this show of solidarity...but he smiles, meeting the eyes of the Observers and nodding in understanding. He turns back towards the sunset, giving one last thumbs up to the family that was once his...the family he still fights for.

    We hear music play in the background as a montage plays...



    We see Cyrus's early FWA days, his first Back in Business and eventual defeat of Ryan Rondo...

    We see the conflict with Shannon O'Neal, the battles that tested him and reignited the fire fueling his drive to win...

    The feud with Bell Connelly and Chris Kennedy that drove him to reach a level above where he started...

    The struggles that led to his losing streak, which led to the partnership with Eli Black...

    ...and the fallout that led to Eli's betrayal.

    Cyrus internalizes all of these memories, everything that's led to this moment in time, every step of the journey that's led to this confrontation with Eli Black for the North American Championship. The joys, the pains, the sorrows, and the triumphs. Everything that's defined his FWA career, defined who he was and who he's become as a wrestler and a man.

    The lessons of the past guide him.

    But they don't hold him back.

    And at Desert Storm, Cyrus Truth will remind Eli Black, the Church of 9, and everybody in FWA just who he is...


    "I woke up one day with the world outside
    telling me I should walk away
    But I can't, I won't break,
    I gotta make the world know my name"

    As Cyrus exits the town, we zoom out to see a sign as the song's refrain plays:

    "I've got my head in the clouds, my feet on the ground
    Yeah, I'm standing now and I am not afraid
    With my head in the clouds, never looking down
    Yeah, I'll never stop until the world knows my name."

    The sign is attached to a post, hanging loosely by a single nail. As it flutters, weathered and battered due to time, we finally get a chance to read it.

    "Welcome to Redemption."
    Something Witty!

    Cyrus Truth
    4x FWA World Heavyweight Champion
    1x FWA North American Champion
    2x CWA World Heavyweight Champion
    1x PnH International Champion

    Konchu Hao
    1x FWA X Division Champion
    Ground Zero Winner (Season 2)

  7. #7
    Squash Fodder

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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    KORAKUEN HALL
    TOKYO, JAPAN
    FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2020

    There have been many times in the long and storied career of a professional wrestler where someone has moved in a manner that could be defined as gingerly. A strenuous workout at the gym, a muscle tear…any number of factors too many to name. Tonight, as he swipes through the infamous sweat stained curtain that has hung for many years at Korakuen Hall, Mike Parr is moving gingerly. He hasn’t just pushed himself a bit too hard on the treadmill, hasn’t tried to lift a few kilos more with the weights or indeed he hasn’t torn any muscles that he knows of. Mike Parr is moving gingerly because he’s got somewhere in between barbed wire puncture wounds open anywhere you can see to piranha bites close to his ass hole. There haven’t been any times in the long and storied career of a professional wrestler where someone has moved gingerly for those reasons.


    Unwelcoming and unpleasant are certainly words that could describe The Prodigy on his best day, and this…this was far from that. He drags his left leg, almost dead weight, as he slouches past the medical team and straight into his rented locker room, where he collapses on the nearest physio bench and tries to catch his breath. The only sound in the room aside from his breathing is that of the feed from the Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Whilst doing their best to bridge the gap in time difference, the Death Match was filmed to be fitted into later in the live broadcast. Disturbing him shortly thereafter, medical personnel come flooding in after him and begin to crowd around and tend to any number of the aforementioned wounds that he is currently nursing…although judging by the looks of them, secretly hoping that they leave the piranha issue. He flails his arm weakly in a token gesture to tell them to leave him alone to his own misery, just as the exhaustion, blood loss and trauma start to take effect. Trauma, not only in the physical sense but mentally he is at such a low. He pushed himself far beyond his regular limits and out of his comfort zone to come to a match like this, in this country, all to end up on a medical bed with no silverware to keep him company. His head gets light and he has to lean back on the bench and stare into the lights in the locker room as they become ever more blurry. His head starts to spin as just as he’s about to lose conscious in spite of himself, he has the dulcet tones of Rod Sterling and company on the delayed feed as his last words before he fades away….


    Rod Sterling: “And now, we are going to take a break from in-ring action to bring you an… ’exclusive interview’ hosted by Michelle von Horrowitz.”




    Christian Quinn: “We’ve been told very little about this part of the show, and I for one don’t like the tone of her description of this interview: an unflinching look into the unbalanced mind of FWA’s exploding star.”




    Daniella Kennedy: “Whenever this woman is on the screen, viewer discretion is advised…”
    //*\\*//*\\

    THE RICHMOND COLISEUM
    RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
    FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2020


    The dulled sound of the crowd reacting to the Valanders and the Undisputed Alliance in the first round of the Elite Tag Team Classic continues in the background of the Richmond Coliseum. The locker room door is shut at the moment, with the only known occupant inside being one Michelle von Horrowitz, X Division Champion.


    ???
    “Son of a bi-“


    The unrecognizable, curt tone of Mike Parr mutters to himself, as he has to move from his current seated position with a good vantage point of the locker room door to more of a crouch. This action, of course, made much more jarring given the context that he has not long landed back from Tokyo where he and Krash nearly killed each other in the name of the North American Championship. With the door over his left hand shoulder, Parr turns to his right and lurking in the distance are his two running mates, Prototype and Protégé.


    Mike Parr
    “So…you both understand your roles here?”


    Parr’s tone is hushed, not least because they are less than hour from releasing footage to the wider FWA audience that indicates that Parr and the New Breed are no more. Far be it from that, they have never been more entwined.


    Sean Hughes
    “We got this motherfu-“


    Prototype
    “SEAN. No need. No need at all. I think he means that we’ve got this, Mike.”


    Mike Parr
    “Talk me through it then, one last time.”


    Sean Hughes
    “You take out Michelle and make sure that nobody has any idea who it is. We play those idiots out there some footage about us not being together and then at the end of your match, we come out and attack you.”


    Mike Parr
    “You know you have to just make it look good, you don’t have to hit hard?”


    Prototype
    “Long time coming…”


    Mike looks quizzically up at Prototype, who in a rare moment for the big man has the hint of a smirk on his face. 2020 really will be the year that nobody expected should Prototype start cracking out one liners. Nonetheless, an awkward pause later and hopefully for Mike’s sake an understanding that they aren’t going to knock his beat up body into next week later, he nods his approval to Sean.


    Mike Parr
    “We get the world to talk boys. We get the world to talk and wonder exactly who attacked Michelle von Horrowitz. Who took out the Queen of the X Division? Who took out the company’s next big thing? The world will be whispering and wondering and there will be a massive gap for someone to step into, to put their hand up and say that I did it. And that….that boys is the moment where you step up and all those eyes are on you both. FWA management want to leave you two out of this tag team tournament, we will get everyone talking about you some other way? FWA want to sing Michelle’s praises while I’m out in Japan killing myself in the name of this company then they can watch as their golden girl gets carted out to irrelevancy on a stretcher. Win win.”


    Protégé and Prototype both nod in agreement whilst Protégé’s eyes tell you exactly how eager he is to get started.


    Mike Parr
    “And then…after the whole world has stopped and is speaking about you two..when the New Breed are the first names on everyone’s lips and the FWA has egg on its face for not only overlooking you but overplaying HER….that’s when I strike. Don’t know when…don’t know why…don’t know how. But I strike. I stand atop everyone’s little pet project after putting the brakes on this ridiculous hype train. I piss on the carcass of everyone’s future main event. When people look at me that night, they aren’t going to see me as the guy that got his flesh torn apart my barbed wire. They aren’t going to see me as the guy who lost one of the biggest matches of his career. They are going to look at me and see the guy who decided to take matters into his own hands and smear Michelle von Horrowitz all over this arena as a reminder to not doubt me or question me. As a reminder to not overlook me. All those whispers about how Michelle is the next big thing in this company, about how I’ve gone from fighting Krash to about to become his teammate like a submissive bit- …. Let’s just say they’ll know what we are all about.”


    The door to the locker room creaks open, as places his fingers over his lips in a shush motion to the New Breed. He adjusts his position once more and peeks around his left hand shoulder as he grasps a lead pipe with his right. Nobody exits.


    Mike Parr
    “It’s go time.”


    Mike waves dismissively at the two to disperse, as he pushes himself to his feet and creeps along the wall until he is at the edge of the locker room door. Slowly…ever so cautiously….he shifts millimeter by millimeter until he catches sight of her. She is facing away from the open door with her back to The Prodigy. Perfect. With speed that is remarkable given his compromised physical condition, he swoops into the locker room with the lead pipe…..


    We cut away from the arena and into a corridor somewhere in the backstage area. There’s a huge amount of commotion and numerous bodies swarming the scene. There’s three officials around a doorway, and behind them we see the general manager of Fight Night, Lord Vincent. There’s a somewhat concerned look on the faces of the referees, but Vincent looks as if he is calm and collected, mulling over possibilities and permutations in his mind. The camera moves closer to the nucleus of the scene, and we see beyond the officials a team of paramedics placing somebody onto a stretcher...


    Christian Quinn: It’s difficult to see exactly what’s going on amongst all of those, people, Rod…



    The camera moves past the officials and into the locker room, first finding a discarded lead pipe that appears to be smeared with blood on the floor. The shot continues to track across the concrete, picking up blood spatters that seem to grow larger as we get closer to their source. Finally, a moment of realization dawns when the camera tracks across the face of the FWA X Division Championship


    Rod Sterling: Oh my… Is that?!


    The camera moves again to the face of Michelle von Horrowitz, passive and unconscious, as she'd rolled over onto the stretcher.


    Christian Quinn: It is, Rod! It's MvH! She has a championship defense later on tonight against Gerald Grayson and Eli Black!


    She is unresponsive on the stretcher, and the camera notes matted blood in her hair. As she's lifted up on the stretcher by the paramedics we begin to hear the sirens of an ambulance in the background.


    //*\\*//*\\

    SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
    FEBRUARY 2021


    You would say the heat is a killer here, although that is probably significantly insensitive given them circumstances in which we all are gathered today. St Anthony Claret Church on the outskirts of the city wasn’t exactly full of the decorum and grandeur one might expect, but if you ask the Pastor he will tell you it was pretty fitting given the celebration of what could have been that we are gathered he today for. One by one, literally as there aren’t a ton of people that are attending, the congregation gather and are brought to silence as a bell tolls. In a manner not dissimilar to ring announcer at an event, the ceremony is about to begin.


    Announcer
    “Ladies and Gentlemen, please be uprising for your host of today’s ceremony. Pastor Michael Parr!”


    The tens of people, none of whom we can really distinguish at the moment although that is probably the point, rise to their feet as out of his chambers emerges Michael Parr, the resident Pastor of this church. The organ starts to play its opening bars, no Adelitas Way I’ll give you that, before the ten person choir rise to their feet and prepare to serenade the gathering.


    Choir
    “Your love, lifting me higher..”


    Pastor Parr has made his way to the pulpit at the front and has raised his arms out and gestured to the gathered crowd to take their seats once more.


    Choir
    “Than I’ve ever been lifted before..”


    Pastor Parr closes his eyes so that the natives, a common trick that he undertakes to outwardly convey emotional. It is an occupational hazard to outwardly convey his true thoughts of not giving one single iota about the majority of which he speaks. They say that the eyes are the window to the soul…nobody wants to be looking down into that dark black hole.


    Choir
    “So keep it it up
    Quench my desire
    And I'll be at your side, forever more
    You know your love (your love keeps lifting me)”


    Pastor Parr’s head turns on a swivel, and locks in on the lead of the choir, not before giving a cheesy buffoonish laugh to the masses whilst he asks them to show a little patience. He shuffles towards the lead hand of the choir with significant urgency.


    Pastor Parr
    “Really? This song?? Shut it down.”


    He speaks in a whisper that is as firm as you could imagine. By the time the Pastor is back at the pulpit, the organ has stopped and the choir have taken their seats. Parr’s forced but relatively convincing grin returns as he finally is able to verbally address the congregation.


    Pastor Parr
    “Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining me here today as we bid farewell to someone whom we met, but we barely knew. Someone who we can all agree has left her mark despite overstaying her welcome. I’m so pleased that you can join me today to say auf wiedersehen to our adorable little schnitzel, Michelle.”


    A round of applause from the congregation that Pastor Parr encourages soon follows. The fact that they’ve not objected to the blatant German references to someone from Rotterdam should tell you all you need to know about this gathering.


    Pastor Parr
    “Before we get deep into the festivities, and believe me, despite seeing all the downtrodden and somber faces around me, this is a celebration…I would like to take a few moments to speak about the Michelle that I knew…the Michelle that I know when I speak about, you will recognize and laugh or maybe cry as you remember the good times that we shared with her and laughed..at her.”


    Reflecting on the time he lost his North American Championship in Japan, and the weeks to follow where he hatched his plan to attack Michelle, the ‘pastor’ continues.


    Pastor Parr
    “I first met Michelle von Horrowitz at a time in my life where I wasn’t proud of who I was or what I had become. I just wasn’t me, I just wasn’t happy. I was doing things that I’m ashamed to say I started to enjoy in spite of knowing that I was being untrue to myself. Michelle pulled me out of that hole. Michelle reached in and whether she truly knew what she was doing at the time or not, she took the inward looking self-loathing version of me and she got me to learn to love myself again. I’m not afraid to say I was lost, but when I met Michelle….I was found. I remembered who I was, what I was capable of and it’s funny how life works because she…she had forgotten all of that too. Despite pulling me out, she underestimated me. Rest assured, even now, when I sit and about the time that Michelle and I spent together and the interactions that we have had, it brings a smile to my face. Your time with us, Michelle, may be over, but I promise to carry on through my own actions and words and never let there be a moment ahead where people do not remember you. When they look at me…they will think of you…and for that, I thank you.”


    Pastor Parr again bows his head in remembrance, pleased that there was a refrain from explaining that when they look at him they would be thinking of Michelle’s head caved in with a lead pipe. Might’ve been a bit of a downer to the ‘festivities’


    Pastor Parr
    “And so, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to someone who was very close to Michelle. Please welcome Gerald to the front everyone.”


    Faux-applause once again follows as a member of the congregation, presumably Gerald, rises to his feet. The guy in question is definitely around 6 feet tall and 220 pounds, but aside from that and the fact that he is male he bears very little resemblance to one Gerald Grayson. Although, in saying that, it’s probably not all that important right now. Gerald pauses at the floral arrangement below the pulpit, with the arrangement spelling out the word ‘MICHELLE’ in individual letters, and wipes away some tears from his eye.


    Pastor Parr
    “Come on now Gerald, we don’t have all day to sit around and think of the good times.”


    The delivery is again so over the top and positive but it seems that poor old Gerald isn’t in the mood for any form of celebration. He dabs away at his eyes once more, as he climbs the stairs and makes his way to the microphone. Hs eyes are stained red as he stares out at the congregation and he clears his throat with an exaggeration intended to distract your glare from slipping chopped onion back into his pocket.


    Gerald
    “I – err – I – I was a better man with her!”


    His head drops.


    Gerald
    “I loved her. I did everything for her. We had our fights, sure, like any two people that love each other two but in the end…what we accomplished together was the happiest time of my life. We nearly were the best duo in the entire federation. I was the king of the X Division…and she…she was my queen….”


    Pastor Parr navigates his way to within earshot of Gerald but keeps his voice low enough so as not to alert the remaining congregation.


    Pastor Parr
    “Alright, we aren’t paying you by the hour, get on with it.”


    Gerald
    “SHE RUINED MY LIFE“


    The change in velocity and explosion in emotion brought a small genuine shriek for a member of the choir who was not expecting that.


    Gerald
    “Tulip this. Tulip that. I cannot even look at a tulip anymore. She just abandoned me and you know why? Because she’s selfish. We had a good thing going where we were. We were comfortable. Some weeks I would win the argument, some weeks she would win but that’s where we were happy. But she had to go and try and be the hero. She had to go and try to get above her station, she got a taste of what life could be life in the main event with our tag team tournament and she just left me to fend for my own. And now? All I’ve got is this stupid tulip flower arrangement and no tag division or X Division. That stupid selfish bitch has used me and tossed me aside because she only cared about herself and you know what? I’m glad she’s gone. I’m glad she’s no more. I hope SHE ROTS.”


    You could definitely hear a pin drop because you hear his in memoriam pamphlet glide to the floor as he leaves the pulpit. Pastor Parr sheepishly approaches the lectern once more.


    Pastor Parr
    “Brothers. Sisters. Don’t judge Gerald it’s a tough time for those that just don’t get to say to Michelle what they really wanted to say. Each of us….each of us grieves in their own individual way. I suppose it would be remiss of us to sit here and look back at Michelle’s existence through rose tinted glasses…after all…she wasn’t perfect. She may have been portrayed as some sort of anti-hero or person that you root for but she broke young Gerald’s heart without even leaving him a fart in a cup to sniff on when he gets lonely. She is not a good person, sorry, was not a good person. No matter what she may say or what the narrative tells you. Yet, brothers and sisters, a wider point to consider is that no matter how well intentioned that you may be, it doesn’t necessarily make us all good people….alas, time for our eulogy and I believe we have a treat in store. Please, join me at the front brother Sean.”


    Indeed, from the front row of mourners indeed emerges a mellow Sean Hughes.


    Sean Hughes
    “What can I tell you about Michelle that hasn’t already been said? There is no exclamation mark that I can add that will be more impactful that the blood stained across the mat left behind at Desert Storm when Mike beats the tar out of her.”


    Pastor Parr
    “Easy brother Sean, easy now. Don’t you have this eulogy to deliver?”


    The ‘pastor’ has quite the stern look on his face, one which tells Sean all he needs to know in relation to his conduct. If that didn’t do it, the firm grip around the shoulder certainly didn’t.


    Sean Hughes
    “Indeed. This is my tribute to you Michelle.


    M is for the Mouth that I wanted to punch so hard.
    I is for the Ignorance you showed in thinking you were better than lower card.
    C is for the Championship belt that we stole from you
    H is for the Hollow sound when the lead pipe gave you the receipt you were due.
    E is for your Ego which got you into this trouble.
    L is for the second Loss to Mike Parr,that makes it a double.
    L is for the Last time that we’ll ever have to endure your segments and other bits
    E is for the End of Michelle von Horrowitz."




    A quick nod to Pastor Parr, and Sean removes himself from the pulpit, leaving the pastor to deliver his closing sermon.


    Pastor Parr
    “And now, the end is near, and so I’ll face, the final curtain. Classic. But yes, friends, now is the time to gather your partners by the hand and leave this all behind. So go and take whatever lessons you’ve learned from today and be on your way. Take the memory of Michelle and all that she did and use it to guide you as you navigate life’s challenges. Be kind to those that you are kind to you. Be true to who you are. Know…”


    The door to the church slams shut behind the last of the mourners, leaving Pastor Parr alone with his thoughts and Michelle’s floral tributes and picture. As the congregation outside leaves, the bell tolls one more time.


    Pastor Parr
    “Fitting isn’t it Michelle? Even now Bell won’t leave you to me, still clinging on to relevancy.”


    Pastor Parr mock ruefully shakes his head, as he removes his top button and ‘collar’ from his shirt, still staring straight into the in memoriam picture as if he was talking to Michelle herself.


    Pastor Parr
    “I looked up tulips, you know. They say it’s a perennial flower. Might come to you as a surprise that I don’t have any particular penchant for flowers but..someone says something long enough and eventually you just kind of…need to know. So by perennial it would bloom year after year provided they have the right environment to blossom. Well..my tulip, I’m sorry to say that this just isn’t the right environment for you to blossom…it’s mine. The landscape here just isn’t compatible with you so…..as much as it pains me…better to just get it over with, yeah?”


    The Pastor pauses for a second as if expecting a response.


    Pastor Parr
    “Rest well Michelle…rest well knowing that it wasn’t all for nothing. Rest well knowing that your name will forever be etched in history, never to be forgotten. And…try to rest well my tulip, despite the fact that it’s not the ending you wanted but it’s the ending that you’ve got.”


    With that, the Pastor grabs one of the candles on the pulpit and holds it to the bottom of the letter M of the floral design. Parr walks down the aisle as in the background behind him, engulfed in flames, the tulip floral design spelling the word 'MICHELLE' burns.

  8. #8
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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    "Loss"
    As Told By Gerald Grayson


    It was a regular Friday morning. The sun is out. The birds are chirping. Various noises of cars fill the air. For me, it was time to get up from my sleep. I made my way to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. What I saw was a Gerald Grayson I was not familiar with – one that I’ve only seen once or twice before. Dark circles were apparent on my once young face. The creases on various parts of my face were also prevalent more than ever. My hair – unkept. My beard, or well, stubble, doing it’s best to form on my face.

    To say that things haven’t been going my way recently would be an understatement.

    I feel… loss. Like I’m going through the motions of everyday life. While that isn’t the worst thing in life, it still poses a problem.

    Loss. The noun and verb meaning of it is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. However, both ways have affected me but in different ways.

    Nina. Things were going swimmingly well but as time went on, distance played a factor in causing separation between us. The door isn’t closed there yet but for now, I’ll hold that L.

    Family. This one is tough to talk about. But all you need to know is that this hit me like a freight train out of nowhere. It really put things into perspective for me about various things. Hug your loved ones, folks.

    FWA. Whether it be Michelle von Horrowitz, my place on the card, or my X-Division Championship, it’s been an overall loss for me. I have done nothing to regain any of the aforementioned subjects. Sometimes, there are days where I question if I even want to.

    Uncle J.J. JAY! and Konchu Hao. My beloved opponents. You guys have been great. Great in all things that you look to accomplish and more. There aren’t enough good things I can say about the two of you. However... at Desert Storm, you face the most different Gerald Grayson that FWA has ever seen. You face a man that has garnered loss after loss in his personal life and his work life. You face a man with nothing to lose and all to gain at the pay-per-view. Everyone thought Madman’s Mayhem Rules would benefit Konchu and Jay the most. But little does everyone know, I am able to cause my own type of chaos.

    Desert Storm. What a fitting name for a pay-per-view. A storm has come over all aspects of my life. It feels like I am in a desert with no solutions in sight. Nevertheless, I’ll be there at the pay-per-view. Will I be there mentally? Probably not. But I’ll be there physically. But maybe that’s what I need to do. Keep the mental out of it and let my physical take over.

    Folks, it has been a pleasure. Hopefully the next time you see me, I’ll be your new X-Division Champion. If not, just know that I’ll go down swinging – as I always do.

    Tough times don't last, tough people do.

  9. #9
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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    Chris Peacock in...
    THE KÜBLER-ROSS MODEL


    The Kübler-Ross model theorises that those who are grieving or suffering loss can experience up to five different stages of grief. These are, in order (per the model):

    Denial;
    Anger;
    Bargaining;
    Depression; and
    Acceptance.

    Responses to criticism of the model as a way of explaining the grieving process have stated that not all stages can be experienced by each subject, and not necessarily in the order as shown above. In addition to this, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross has expanded her theory to include a sixth stage of grief.

    It has been noted that the model is not exclusive to those who are experiencing the loss of a loved one or who are coming to terms with the diagnosis of a terminal illness, but the stages of grief can also be applied to non-life or death situations, such as the loss of a job, financial worries or a divorce or end of relationship. The model can also be applied to a situation where an individual has lost a treasured possession...



    STAGE ONE:
    DENIAL





    Yuna Funanori wins the FWA Gauntlet Championship for a SECOND time. Chris Peacock, the third holder of the title and now the third former champion, is at a loss of words. Allen Price shakes his head as he looks into the ring. His arms are still folded in front of his chest.

    Rod Sterling: Chris Peacock denied help from Knox and Vincent earlier in the match. Now the general manager's words ring ever so true!

    Yuna holds up the belt and then sees Peacock sulking in the corner. She quickly pipes down her celebration and exits the ring with her title, the belt she won months ago. Chris Peacock is trying to put the pieces together from the past few minutes to figure out what went wrong. He stays seated with his head and upper back propped against the middle and bottom turnbuckles. Allen Price doesn't even try to console him.

    Christian Quinn: I truly felt this Chris Peacock character could go all the way, win five title defenses, and challenge for the North American title. Danny thought so, too. I can imagine our disappointment isn't even close to Chris' disappointment in the ending.

    Rod Sterling: What's next for Chris Peacock? He can fly to the top of the FWA, in my opinion. This is a setback. I want to see how he responds.
    Whilst the show moved on from the ring area to the furtherance of the FWA Awards ceremony, Chris Peacock remained in the seated position he found himself after his loss of the FWA Gauntlet Championship. A million things were happening at once, but Chris couldn't find a way to react to any of them. The words of the commentators were ringing in his ears in the background and he looked around the arena wide-eyed to see Yuna celebrating with the Gauntlet Championship as she went up the ramp.

    Chris eventually pulled himself up to his feet, still in a clear state of disbelief. The referee indicated to him that he needed to get out of there, as it was almost time for the next match, so Chris found himself exiting the ring without really being in control of the actions that his body was performing. Similar things had been said of his dancing abilities - "It is almost like he isn't even trying! He can just do it!" was one of the most famous calls of Chris's dancing routine at the 2018 New York State Disco Dancing Championship - but this scenario was completely different.

    When he got out of the ring and to the bottom of the ramp, he found himself standing face to face with his agent, Allen Price. Price, arms still folded, had nothing to say to Peacock. Chris's reluctance to take advantage of Vincent Blackbird and Kayden Knox being at ringside leading him to losing the Gauntlet Championship is just another example of Peacock doing what he thought was the 'right thing' against Price's advice, with the end result once again being Peacock on the losing side of things. Price turns his back on Peacock and walks up the ramp, with Peacock just meekly following him.

    Once the two of them were in the back, Chris stopped walking. He ran his fingers through his hair in a frustrated manner. He felt lighter. He was already so used to having a championship to carry around with him that he felt incomplete without it. One word is all he could muster.


    "How?"

    This makes Price stop in his tracks, and for the first time since Peacock's loss, it seems that Allen Price was prepared to speak to him, but it might not be a conversation that Peacock was going to like.

    "You want to know how this happened, Chris? Let me tell you exactly how AND why you lost the FWA Gauntlet Championship. It is because ONCE AGAIN, you didn't listen to me. I know exactly what you think of me, what your friends think of me, but you're wrong, got it? As surprising as it seems, I DO know what I'm doing and I AM on your side. You had the match won right there, Chris. All you had to do was roll her up when she was distracted. That was it. I couldn't believe how lucky we were when Blackbird and Knox showed up! But no... you had to do the right thing. This is the warehouse all over again, Chris."

    Whilst he disagreed with the philosophy that Price was trying to instil in him, Peacock couldn't offer much of an argument to what Price was saying, because it was all facts.

    "When will you understand that natural ability and popularity with the fans isn't enough? This isn't dancing, Chris. This is sport. If you want to call yourself a warrior, you need to be prepared to do whatever it takes; you need to equip yourself for victory. You think that Yuna would have done the same for you? She's a pirate, Chris. I've seen the Jonathan Depp movies - they don't live by any rules!"

    It was subtle, but Peacock could tell that Price was willing to meet him halfway. Price himself might not even realise it, but it wasn't too long ago these two were on a small rowboat and Peacock scalded Price for not acknowledging what Yuna identified herself as. He just admitted that Yuna WAS a pirate.

    Whilst stuck on this thought, Chris forgot that Price was still talking to him and the subject appears to have changed but Chris missed a chunk of what was being said to him.


    "... Just make sure you are here tomorrow. It'll help you prepare for your next match."

    Price hands Chris a business card for "Florian Barteaux Studios" nearby to Chris's hotel, before walking away. Chris pays no attention to the card for now and goes back to rewatching the match over and over again in his head, as he does with every loss.



    STAGE TWO:
    ANGER





    Business card in hand, Chris arrives at the studio. It is a modern building and the sign above the door shows a man posing in a doggy-style position with only a pink feather boa covering his modesty - it is safe to assume that this is Florian Barteaux. Upon seeing the sign, Chris lets out a loud huff before entering the building. As he ascends the stairs up to the studio, he asks himself why he is there. Why is he going through with these bookings that Allen has organised for him? What match could being at what appears to be a photo studio help him with? It isn't forgotten by Chris that Price's last "preparation" involved him sitting on a freezing lake in Oklahoma... and what a load of good that did.

    Once at the top of the stairs, he pauses before entering the studio. He knows that Price is there and the two hadn't spoken since their confrontation after Chris's loss to Yuna the day before. They'd disagreed on a moral level, but there was hope still alive in Chris that he would be able to bring Allen around to his ideology of doing things the right way. He noticed that Price had turned a corner somewhat, but he wasn't fully there yet.

    Chris bites the bullet and enters the room. His eyes are immediately drawn to several large muscled men wearing nothing but thongs. The studio set is a plain white background, so there isn't much to look at other than the oiled men and the camera and lighting equipment. Chris clocks Allen Price at the back of the room, talking to the man who Chris saw on the sign outside. Allen's acquaintance notices Chris and enthusiastically waves and then effeminately approaches Chris with his arms in the air.


    "THERE. HE. IS! Mon petit Disco Warrior! Je suis Florian Barteaux, and I am going to make you a STAR, darling. Come here."

    Florian pulls Chris in and kisses him on both cheeks, and Chris politely nods at him and shakes his hand, causing the flamboyant Frenchmen to blush. Peacock looks at Price, who stands against the wall in a dark brown leather jacket and shades, and offers him a nod, which Price ignores. He realises meanwhile that he didn't let go of Florian's hand the entire time, and now Florian is staring at him seductively.

    "Oh look at you! You can't get enough of Florian... I like you."

    "Right, sorry. I'll give you your hand back. Hi. I'm Chris... what am I doing here? Who are these guys?

    Chris motions to the oiled gentlemen, a couple of whom offer a wave or a nod in return. Florian takes Chris by the arm and walks him over to the area where the camera is.

    "Monsieur Price has told me about your important match you have coming up, and he has asked Florian to get you ready, my disco prince. You see, my specialité is getting people out of their comfort zones. So, you won't be needing these."

    With literally zero hesitation, Florian bends down and pulls Chris's trousers down! Chris stares at him in disbelief, trying to hide his red underwear, and he can hear Price snickering in the background.

    "Whoa, what the hell are you doing, man?"

    "Relax, relax. This is all part of the Florian experience. I have worked with all of the stars and all of them reacted in the same way you did just now. Brad Pitt almost punched moi! Now, remove the rest of your garments and we will begin."

    Florian walks over to the camera and claps to the other 'models' to get into position, but Chris is reluctant. He tries to make sense of what is going on, but doesn't realise how silly he looks with his trousers around his ankles. He looks at Price and motions around the room.

    "How exactly is this going to help me prepare for a match? What even is the match I am preparing for?"

    Peacock doesn't get anything out of Price, but before Chris can press some more Florian takes him by the shoulders.

    "So many questions, this one! Just trust Florian, eh? There are so many secrets that I can reveal, but I just need you to work with me, okay? Now come, remove your clothes."

    Florian's persistence is a battle that Chris knows he won't win, so he finally relents and strips down to just his underwear. Under Florian's direction, Chris poses in various states along with the other models, but he gets increasingly annoyed with each passing pose. After a while, Florian cuts things short and claps his hands.

    "You are a natural, mon petit Peacock. Now, I think you are ready for the final test. You can be the first to do the spreading lotus pose. You have to trust me now..."

    The photographer leans in and goes to grab Peacock's underwear, but Chris has enough and slaps Florian's hand away! He marches through the other models and over to Price with a look of thunder on his face.

    "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, ALLEN? WHAT AM I DOING HERE? I JUST LOST A FUCKING CHAMPIONSHIP AND YOU'VE GOT ME STANDING HERE NAKED?! I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF YOUR GAMES AND YOUR DUMB FUCKING IDEAS. I DON'T KNOW WHAT MATCH YOU'VE LINED UP FOR ME BUT I DON'T FUCKING WANT IT!

    IF YOU DON'T GET ME ANOTHER SHOT AT YUNA THEN I'LL DO IT MYSELF!"


    Peacock's breathing is heavy, and Price completely no-sells the rant. Still, he stands cross-armed with his shades over his eyes.

    "ANSWER ME, YOU ASSHOLE!"

    Still nothing from Price so Peacock snatches the shades from Price's face and smashes them against the wall! That finally gets Price's attention and he addresses Peacock sarcastically.

    "Are you done?"

    The nonchalant response is the final straw from Peacock, so he grabs his clothes and heads to the door. Before he leaves, he turns back to Price.

    "Fuck you."

    Chris leaves the room and Florian approaches Price and addresses him in a 'normal' way without the accent or any of the mannerisms.

    "You gonna go after him?"

    "No. He's working through something."



    STAGE THREE:
    BARGAINING





    To: Blackbird, Vincent
    From: Peacock, Chris
    Subject: FWA Gauntlet Championship Rematch


    Dear Mr. Blackbird

    I am contacting you regarding my recent loss to Yuna Funanori at Fight Night, where I lost the FWA Gauntlet Championship.

    I am contacting you directly, as my agent Allen Price does not wish for me to contend for the Gauntlet Championship again. I am ultimately in charge of my own career, therefore I am requesting to be added to the match between Yuna Funanori and Kayden Knox at the Desert Storm Pay-Per-View.

    I believe that given the opportunity, myself, Kayden and Yuna can put on a match that could steal what is an already shaping up to be an excellent show.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,
    Chris Peacock.

    It had been years since Peacock had needed to formally request anything. He was close with many in the New York State Disco Association and most of the time he was happy with how things went whilst he was competing. It wasn't like Chris to have to go out asking for favours; he felt almost embarrassed for himself. Whilst typing out those words he felt like a suck-up and not himself at all. But he needed to try. Blackbird was his last chance, and going to him directly since Price was more interested in messing around with him is what he needed to do. There has to be something that can be done about this, surely.

    Whilst it wasn't a long wait for a response from Blackbird, it was an agonising one. Chris had returned home to New York after his argument with Price in the photo studio and hadn't spoken to his agent since. Who knew if he still even had an agent?

    The time spent waiting for a reply was spent mainly walking up and down the living room in his apartment. The carpet was worn from previous pacing sessions. One that immediately sprung to Chris's mind was when he was waiting for news on his brother from the hospital on the night of his injury. The feeling was similar now. Waiting. Willing. Hoping. In the pit of his stomach he knew, just like he knew back then, he wasn't going to like the news he would be receiving.

    After what seemed like an eternity of thirty minutes, his laptop chimed and he darted across the room to see that he had received a response.


    From: Blackbird, Vincent
    To: Peacock, Chris
    Subject: RE: FWA Gauntlet Championship Rematch


    Dear Mr. Peacock

    Thank you very much for your email - I had been having a stressful day and the absurdity of your request brought me a piece of sheer joy.

    I have no choice but to decline your request for inclusion in the match between Kayden Knox and Yuna Funanori at Desert Storm on the basis that not only do I feel like you do not deserve another opportunity at the Gauntlet Championship, but you also have another match - did your agent not communicate this to you?

    I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that had you not chosen to reject mine and Kayden's offer of help in your match on Fight Night, you would not be in the position that you currently find yourself. I was disappointed to see that you lack the killer instinct that I thought you had. Any true champion worth their salt would have snapped up the help I was offering in a heartbeat. In fact, it comes as no surprise to me that you are yet to win a singles match in FWA. It is quite clear that you need to rely on others in order to win.

    As I told Mr. Price, you are facing Donovan Moore, Humanity and Saus X with the winner becoming the number one contender for the X Championship. If you wish to not participate in this match, please let me know, and I will gladly remove you from this and likely future FWA cards. Your attitude is quite frankly an ungrateful one, and you would be best placed accepting help that others offer you in the future because quite frankly, I am not convinced that you have what it takes to be one of the biggest stars in this company. Consider yourself lucky.

    Do not contact me unprompted again.

    Regards
    Vincent T. Blackbird

    Who else could help? No one.

    Price? Not going there.
    Ramon? Busy with Toner.
    Toner? See Ramon.


    well, fuck.



    STAGE FOUR:
    DEPRESSION





    "I don't know what to do with myself. I've worked so hard to get to where I am but what have I got to show for it, really?

    It's great that I won the Gauntlet Championship so early into my FWA career, but given I couldn't hold onto the damn thing for longer than two minutes, it barely means anything! Months I've been here now and I still haven't won a one-on-one match. I got my first defence under my belt because of Danny and Donny being there to help me out.

    I'm really just questioning my place now. I can't go to any of my friends in the FWA as they're all too busy and they'll probably just tell me I'm being an idiot. I can't go to my agent because he's an asshole and I don't want to talk to him. Plus, the best idea he had for me was to strip down to my underwear! I can't go to my family, either, because I can't just show up whenever I choose. My brother hates me, my parents are dead and my nephew... I feel like I just haven't been there for him lately, you know? What do I say?"


    "I don't really know, man. Hey... can I get that autograph or not, man?"

    Chris realises that he has been holding a pen and notebook for several minutes now and the fan who came across him on the street is becoming increasingly impatient. Unfortunately, Chris's lack of options to turn to to discuss his troubles with has led him to letting it all out to the first person who would listen to him. He squiggles on the notebook and smiles as he passes the fan's belongings back.

    "Sorry, man. I'm just working through some stuff. Got a match at Desert Storm that I don't feel ready for and I'm just... blegh. You know how it is."

    "You have a Desert Storm match set?"

    "Yeah, yeah. Me against Humanity, Moore and Saus X. Winner gets an X Title shot. X Rules."

    "That's awesome, man! You should win that easy. Going to post that online. I'm a part this forum - you heard of WrestlingClique? My username on there... it's great. Cuddlywhiskers. Everyone on there loves it. You should check it out."

    Offering a nod to the fan before taking his leave, Peacock thinks about what he said. Not about the username, that was stupid, but how that match should be "easy". Should it? Chris had never been in an X Rules Match before. The warehouse is probably the only time he'd ever had that kind of experience and he didn't win then.

    The pressure on his shoulders was mounting, knowing now what was expected from him. Yet, he felt that he couldn't live up to it. He didn't feel good enough. He's heard things. Heard things about how he's going to be big. How he's ready made for this company and he has the potential. Fuck, he'd even dreamt about becoming the World Champion! None of the things predicted of him are outside the realms of possibility if you ask anyone... except Chris Peacock.

    Chris has never been one to look down on an opponent or not take a challenge seriously, and his opponents at Desert Storm are no different. Saus X, Donovan Moore and Humanity have all gone through similar experiences to him lately. Those three guys have all put up one hell of an effort in their matches but fallen short. All beaten by those who have gone onto bigger and better things. Now, it was time for one of the four of them to do the same to the others.

    Chris knows that the fans think HE is going to be the one to do it, and it is pressure that he can't take. Normally at a time like this he'd put on some of his favourite classics, but that wouldn't cut it at the moment. No amount of Boney M or Earth, Wind and Fire would be enough to move him out of this funk.

    He would walk past countless faceless and nameless New Yorkers, just trying to clear his mind, but he couldn't erase the pain of his loss to Yuna from his mind. He'd planned everything out about winning five matches in a row, being the first person to do it, and cashing in for a shot at the North American Championship. The X Championship was great, but it wasn't what he thought he was going to be getting. It's not even that it isn't enough for him, as he is grateful for any and all opportunities he is given (although Vincent Blackbird clearly doesn't feel that way) but it isn't what he wanted. He wanted to be fighting tooth and nail to get the Gauntlet Championship back and then he would take on all comers like he was prepared to. McClain, Yuna, Danny Toner, it didn't matter. But it was all gone.

    Then what happens if he doesn't win at Desert Storm? Back in Business isn't far away and Chris Peacock is one of the guys in the locker room who you can't say "I know what they'll be doing". It is the biggest show in all of FWA and will be Chris's first. Will he even make it onto the card if he isn't challenging for the X Championship? Is he supposed to go and win the Carnal Contendership? What would his place be?

    Chris always felt like he had a 'place'. He was cherished by the disco fans and his father, but that isn't his world anymore. In the FWA, he's relied on Randy Ramon and Danny Toner. They're his friends, who happen to hate each other, but forcing himself in the middle of all of that has never been Chris's intention. He wants to have his own place in the FWA.

    Speaking of places, his absent-minded walking has found him in a place that he knows all too well. He stands in front of a purple door, but before he can knock, it swings open. To Chris, it was like looking in the mirror.


    "I was waiting for you to show up."



    STAGE FIVE:
    ACCEPTANCE





    "You going to come in then? Or you just wanna make the whole place cold?"

    Chris's twin brother, Drew, was exactly like Chris in terms of appearance. If you want to talk about demeanour, though? No chance. Years of resentment and alcohol abuse had turned Drew into a shell of his former self, and despite looking just like him, Chris immediately knew that he barely recognised his brother.

    He followed Drew into a small ground-level apartment into the living room, which was scattered with various cans and bottles from likely many different sessions. Drew placed himself down on the couch and motioned for Chris to sit on an armchair by the window, and he casually watched television before addressing Chris in a sarcastic tone.


    "Anything you want to say, Mr. Big Shot?"

    Drew's resentment towards his brother began when his injury ended his own wrestling and dancing careers, which led to his falling out of favour with their father. Chris cleared his throat and relaxed himself in the chair as best he could.

    "How... erm... how have you been?"

    "Fuckin' marvelous, Chris. Fan-fucking-tastic, brother. I got canned from my job a few months back so I'm back on welfare and the bitch has stopped me seeing the kid again. I couldn't be fucking better.

    Let me guess, though, you wanted to come here to feel better about yourself? To make your gigantic fuckin' problem, whatever the fuck it is, not seem so bad. Is that right, Chris? Well, you've seen the shithole I've lived in since Dad left it to me and you've seen me. So unless you're here to admit how much of an asshole you've become you can get the fuck out."


    "I am an asshole, Drew. I haven't been here for you. Or Max. If anything all of this is telling me that you've needed me here. So, I'm really sorry."

    It was pure and genuine sentiment from Chris. Seeing his brother after such a long time and finally being confronted with the past that he'd tried to push into the back of his mind... it was healing. The look on Drew's face makes it clear that he isn't buying what Chris is selling, though.

    "I haven't been feeling good either. I didn't come here to pity you or thank my lucky stars that I'm not in your position. I didn't even realise I'd walked up to your front door! I've let you down, Drew. I've let myself down too. I was on track to do something pretty kickass and I fucked it up.

    I felt shitty about it but I see now that's not important. Drew, I want to be there for you. I want you to let me. You might not believe it but you're part of the reason I carried on after you got hurt and after Dad got sick. Being a part of this family means something to me, as much as I forget it sometimes.

    Let me make things right."


    Turning from the television at last, Drew looked Chris in the eyes for a few seconds when deciding whether to let his brother in. He reached down and grabbed a bottle from the floor by the sofa and downed the dregs from the bottom of it (Chris had no idea whether it was a ‘fresh’ bottle or not). After a few seconds, Drew slowly shakes his head. This action hit Chris in the pit of the stomach, as all he had wanted for months now was a proper relationship with his brother.

    "No. You don't just get to come back like that and act like you're this fucking.... HERO! There have been times these last few years when I've needed you, Chris. Forget Dad, forget dancing and forget wrestling. I'm your brother. You've let me fall deeper and deeper and further away from myself. You could have done so many things about it, Chris.

    And what? Let me guess, you're moping right now because you lost a championship? I LOST MY FUCKING CAREER, CHRIS! GET A FUCKING GRIP! Do you have any idea, just how lucky you are? You're living OUR dream, Chris and you're just trying to make yourself feel better by 'upholding Dad's legacy' or whatever you're calling it. Meanwhile, I have no choice but to sit here on this fucking couch and watch you screw it all up.

    "Wah wah wah, I lost my championship!" You're a joke, Chris. Not because you like disco music, it has nothing to do with that. You're a joke because its laughable how dense you are. Every single tiny setback you have in your life you treat it like its the end of the fucking world. How about you get your head out of your ass and live in the real world, like people like me.

    So, if you really want to help me, you can get out because you make me feel sick. And I swear to God if you put Frank Sinatra on I am going to stick this bottle into your neck."


    Drew turned back to the television and his attention returned to minesweeping the area surrounding his sofa. Chris sat in the armchair and focused his eyes on the television, although he wasn't digesting what was being screened at all.

    He thought about what Drew said to him... and how he was right. Overreacting again. He was the same after failing to win Ground Zero and after his first loss to Danny Toner. He got up from the chair.


    "I'm not going to disagree with anything you said, bro. You're right and I've clearly got some things to work out, but whether you'd care to hear it or not. You've helped me. I promise you, that I'm going to help you too. I will be here for you and for Max."

    Chris gets out of the chair and sees himself out of the living room and heads towards the door. An alert pops up on his phone..

    ALLEN PRICE: PRESS CONFERENCE IN NYC GOING LIVE IN 30 MINUTES

    Chris studies the notification for a moment and thinks to himself. He bends down and picks up a near-empty beer bottle from the hallway floor, downs whatever is left in it and leaves his brother's apartment with the bottle in hand.



    STAGE SIX:
    MEANING





    The conference room was decorated with Allen Price's branding up each of the walls, and a large portrait of him holding a cat behind the main desk at the top of the room. The room was packed full of reporters from various different outlets, and there was a palpable buzz between all of them. The last time one of these conferences was held, Chris Peacock announced that he would be facing Danny Toner in a warehouse, which led to one of the most memorable matches in both men's careers. For that reason, the anticipation was high for what Allen Price had to say.

    Price entered the room through the door in front of the reporters and a number of questions were being thrown his way before he had even taken his seat, mostly about Chris Peacock.


    "Thank you all for coming today. As you are aware, my name is Allen Price, and I am probably best known for being the manager and agent of the former FWA Gauntlet Champion, 'Disco's Last Warrior' Chris Peacock.

    Now, I want to preface this announcement by saying that it does not concern Mr. Peacock. Chris and I are currently in the middle of working through some... creative differences... so it would be appreciated if all questions at the end of this session concerned the very important and exciting matters which I am here today to discuss this afternoon in beautiful New York City."


    With that comment, a lot of the buzz in the room is immediately killed. It is clear that the majority of the attendees were led to believe that Chris Peacock was being announced. A female reporter stands up.

    "Wait, so Chris Peacock is not here? I was under the impression that he would be revealing what his plans are now that he is no longer the FWA Gauntlet Champion? What are these creative differences?"

    "Aha... what did I just say, lady? No... Chris is not here. Once again, if we could keep questions until the end and also relating to the matter in hand, shall we?

    Today is a proud day for the Allen Price family, because we are welcoming not one, not two, but three new members to my agency portfolio. My latest clients will not only increase our presence in the wrestling community, but also the music industry! Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce... THE BAD BOYS BOY BAND!"


    There isn't much in terms of applause as some very cheesy pop music begins to play as The Backstreet Boy, In-Sync and Mike Stand walk through the same door that Price emerged from. All three are wearing matching white tracksuits and they take three of the seats alongside Price on the main table. Price continues clapping way after everyone else has stopped.

    "Give it up for these guys! I can't tell you all how happy I am to be bringing these three fine, young, promising and talented gentlemen into the fold. Not only that, but I am please to announce that these three men will be entering this year's-"

    "Allen, shut up."

    A collective gasp fills the room and everyone turns to the door where CHRIS PEACOCK is standing! No longer in his casual clothes, the striking white suit is back and so is the signature strut. As he approaches the main table, In-Sync gets to his feet, Chris puts a hand on his shoulder and pushes him back down into his chair. Chris removes his sunglasses and puts them down on the table along with the beer bottle that he picked up from his brother's apartment.

    "Allen, I was thinking about why you and I had a falling out. You didn't seem to care too much about how I felt about losing the Gauntlet Championship, and perhaps you were right not to. After all, I see now that you wanted to help push me forward. I'm not going to start accepting handouts from the likes of Vincent Blackbird, but I think now I understand a bit more about what you were trying to do for me.

    At some point in the near future, I'm sure you will all be seeing some photographs of me not wearing very much surrounded by various men wearing even less. Allen Price organised that photo shoot for me. At the time, I didn't understand why. But I get it now. Allen, you were trying to make me look at myself in a less serious light. You were trying to push me out of my comfort zone ahead of my X Rules Match at Desert Storm.

    I've been made to realise that perhaps I take my losses a bit too hard and there are more important things to worry about in the world. Allen, I was wrong to mistrust your judgment and for that I am sorry."


    Chris points to Price and nods his head, and the agent smiles back at him. They're good.

    "Now, it would have been nice to know that I wasn't going to be your only client in the FWA ahead of time, but I've got to say that if anyone can turn these three douchebags into competent professionals, it is you. If you're willing to go to even half the lengths that I've seen you're willing to go for me, then as much as it pains me to say it, these guys will be just fine.

    After all, you said that they are three promising and talented wrestlers. I didn't get that from what happened the last time that these guys crossed my path, but I will take your word for it. Anyway... three promising and talented wrestlers. You know, they remind me of my opponents at Desert Storm.

    Saus X is made for the X Championship. You look at him and you see the kind of competitor that is willing to do whatever it takes to win, including putting his own body on the line. Like me, he's been a bit down on his luck lately, but I have a feeling that things will be looking up. When I say that, I mean him... at the lights. He's young so he's got a lot to learn, just like these gentlemen behind me. So, the advice I will give to Saus X is the same that I'll give these three shmucks here... don't get in my way.

    The timing of the three of you joining up with Allen is really something. You guys don't like me, me and the Diamond Dogs kicked your asses... the timing couldn't be better for you guys! Being in the right place at the right time is a skill that you've gotta get right if you want to be a success. I had the timing lined up perfectly to face the North American Champion at Back in Business... but it seems that the grooves of time are pushing me towards the X Championship instead, which is cool with me. But what is the right time for me... is the wrong time for 'The Man of the Hour', right? See what I did there? Talking is just like dancing, you've got to interpret it in the right way. You all understand.

    And perhaps, you guys have turned a new leaf since I last encountered you, who knows? Someone who knows a thing or two about changing their personalities up is Humanity... well, let's just say that Brian isn't the only person who can flip..."


    Chris's fingers rest on the beer bottle that he places on the table. He suddenly grabs it, and smashes it on his own forehead! Everyone is taken aback, and Price rises to his feet. The levity of Peacock is dropped now, but he soon starts laughing and smiling. This isn't even the first time that he's done that...

    "I'm fine. Trust me. I've had a lot of things that I've needed to work through but I realise now that I am ready to move on from Yuna and the Gauntlet Championship. It was a fun ride but fun time is over and it is time for you all to see what I'm really capable of."

    Blood is now trickling from Chris's forehead, and he smirks for a moment before walking through the reporters and out of the door at the back of the room.




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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    Late Night

    Announcer voice: Welcome to Undisputed late night with Jackson Fenix and Nate Savage! Today’s guests include Reagan Cole, Dan Maskell, Kai Urigawa, and a special appearance from “The Carnegie Carnivore” Michael Garcia! Now introducing your hosts, “Nasty” Nate Savage and “The One & Only” Jackson Fenix!

    Pre-recorded audio of an audience clapping can be heard as Fenix and Savage make their way out on a stage set with clearly no audience as their theme music plays them out. Fenix takes a bow on stage before making his way over to the desk and takes a seat as Savage sits beside it; Savage looks less than thrilled to be doing this while Fenix seems pleased as punch.

    Jackson Fenix: Good evening, fans, and welcome to the first-ever edition of Undisputed late night! I am your host with the most, “The One & Only” Jackson Fenix, and sitting to my left is my co-host and best friend, “Nasty” Nate Savage!

    More canned applause from the non-existent audience.

    Jackson Fenix: How are you today, Nate?

    Nate Savage: Are we seriously doing this?

    Jackson Fenix: What do you mean? Of course, we’re doing this!

    Nate Savage: Well, for one, this seems ridiculous, and another thing, I think Golden Rock did something similar not too long ago where they mocked other teams for being unoriginal or whatever

    Jackson Fenix: This is original! No one has ever done anything like this, ever! Besides, Golden Crock’s thing was lame! They ripped off David Letterman’s top ten schtick; I mean, when was the last time that guy was relevant?

    Cue canned laughter and applause.

    Jackson Fenix: See? The audience loves it!

    Nate Savage: What are you talking about? There’s no one here!

    Jackson Fenix: Uh, yeah, there is Nate, didn’t you hear them?

    All Savage can do is facepalm and shake his head.

    Jackson Fenix: Those two didn’t have guests on their show as we do, though!

    Nate Savage: There are guests for this thing?

    Jackson Fenix: Uh, yeah, didn’t you hear the big important announcer voice?

    Nate Savage: Clearly not

    Jackson Fenix: That’s unfortunate but not as regrettable as it’ll be for Reagan Cole, Kai Urigawa, and Dan Maskell at Desert Storm when you and I, along with our best pal Big Mike Garcia, wipe the floor with those three and send them packing back to wherever they came from! Speaking of which, introducing our first guest via satellite, Reagan Cole!

    A monitor comes down between Fenix and Savage, and a still image of Reagan Cole is on the screen, but something seems off with his mouth as it appears different from the rest of him.

    Jackson Fenix: Reagan Cole, so glad you could join us from jolly old England!

    Reagan Cole: Happy to be here!

    If you haven’t figured it out by now, it is not Reagan Cole, and the mouth is someone backstage doing a bad British accent.

    Jackson Fenix: Hey, has anyone ever told you that you look like that guy from The Office?

    Reagan Cole: Well, as a matter of fact, yes, they have, and you know what? I’m quite sick of it! I mean, there is more to me than the fact that I look like that man!

    Jackson Fenix: Such as?

    Reagan Cole: Well, I...uh...there was that...remember when I was on Ground Zero?

    Jackson Fenix: No, I didn’t watch that loser show! No offense

    Reagan Cole: None taken, I guess.

    Jackson Fenix: Speaking of losers, haven’t you never won a match yet?

    Reagan Cole: Yeah, that’s true, but I’m sure that this time will be different

    Jackson Fenix: Keep on dreaming, pal! Another thing, leave the jokes to me. Our next guest will also be joining us via satellite, Kai Urigawa!

    A still image of Kai Urigawa appears on the screen, and it sounds like he’s punching a wall or something.

    Jackson Fenix: Uh, is everything okay there, Kai?

    No response from Kai except for the sounds of something being punched.

    Nate Savage: This is going swimmingly, Jax

    Jackson Fenix: Lighten up a little! This is what I would suggest to our next guest, Dan Maskell!

    A still image of Dan Maskell now appears on the screen.

    Jackson Fenix: Dan the man! Nice of you to join us from jolly old England!

    Dan Maskell: I hate you

    Jackson Fenix: That’s not very nice, now is it, Dan?

    Dan Maskell: I’m going to kill you and your friend, and then I’m going to kill my teammates and feast on their bodies!

    Nate and Jax look speechless as the image of Dan goes away.

    Jackson Fenix: Sorry about that one folk, Reagan Cole; how do you feel about what your partner said?

    Reagan Cole: I uh…

    The sound of Cole wetting his pants can be heard.

    Jackson Fenix: It sounds like you might need to change your pants there! I don’t blame you; not only will you most likely be eaten alive, but you’ll also lose YET another match, this time at the hands of yours truly as well as Nate and Big Mike! Speaking of Big Mike, our cameras tried to catch up with him in regards to this match!

    Footage plays of Mike Garcia walking to his car, clearly not in the mood to be bothered, but a camera follows him.

    Cameraman: Big Mike? Can we get a word from you about your match at Desert Storm?

    Mike turns to the camera and glares at it.

    Big Mike: Look, I told Jax that I didn’t want to do his stupid talk show thing!

    Cameraman: Any words for your opponents?

    Big Mike: I already beat Maskell, and I’m going to beat down Jim from The Office and that Kai Urigawa guy, good enough? Now get lost before I shove that camera up your ass!

    Big Mike shoves the cameraman down, and the screen turns to static before going back to Jackson Fenix.

    Jackson Fenix: That Big Mike, always a kidder! Well, I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for today! Be sure to tune in to Desert Storm live on the FWA Network so you can watch yours truly; Nate and Big Mike destroy these three dorks with ease! Good night everyone!

    More fake applause and cheers as the show goes off the air for the final time because it’ll never happen again.
    Last edited by Jimmy King; 02-27-2021 at 02:23 PM.


    Rest in power, Flock U
    Rest in power, TCON

    Team Cyrus T is Best for Business

    Letterboxd

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed
    Stop the hating of the E-Feds. If you don't like something, that's fine, just ignore it and let the people who do enjoy what they're here on WC to do. Mocking them to make you feel less of a geek for being on a geek on a wrestling forum is lame. If you want to not read their posts, I can fix that for you.

  11. #11
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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    Devious Productions Presents:

    Konchu Hao in...

    "Madness of the Multiverse! Fate's Slaves and Masters!"



    We hear something long before we see anything.

    Slow, plodding, methodical footsteps in the dark.

    The first thing we finally see is the image of boots hitting the ground, the source of the sounds we've been hearing since the start of this scene. Leather hitting concrete echoes in the shadows.

    From what little we can see, the figure wearing those boots is wearing something long and flowing, but dark enough to where we can't make anything out. We don't even have any idea how large this room is...or even, if it's a room at all.

    Eventually, the echoing stops as the figure stands still, barely a silhouette against the eternal, ever-reaching darkness. But we hear something else...a voice both deranged and composed shouting out:


    "Illumino!"

    In an instant, the darkness is dispelled, replaced with...



    The void is illuminated by a sparkling, awe-inspiring array of lights and colors. Stars and galaxies emerge as a rainbow-spectrum of nebulas and stardust dot the space. The vastness of the void seems to grow even more impossibly vast with all these heavenly bodies swirling, orbiting, and expanding. It is breathtaking...

    ...and at the center of it all is Konchu Hao.

    The Mad Wizard, days before his X Division Title match against J.J. JAY! and Gerald Grayson under Madman's Mayhem Rules, stands in the middle of all this splendor, wearing more ornate robes than usual. Black in color as per usual, but stitched into the fabric are various astrological sigils and cosmic runes. His hands folded in front of him tucked into the sleeves of his robe, Konchu looks positively rapturous in the middle of all this incredible magnificence.


    "Ah...isn't this positively splendid? Does it not fill you with an overwhelming sense of awe? This, my dear mindless minions...is EVERYTHING! Everything that was, is, and may yet be. The universe in all its majesty, all its possibility!

    "Does it not make you feel so small? So tiny and insignificant? I wouldn't blame you. This power...this raw, cosmic possibility is beyond anything the so-called 'power players' on our pitiful little mudball could ever possibly hope to comprehend, let alone harness or control. However...I am not like most humans. I am Konchu Hao, the undisputed Master of the Dark Arts and Magic here on Earth, and to me? When I look out at this sea of stars, planets, and gases...I see EVERYTHING. And there's nothing in this world or beyond that out of my reach...or my control."


    Konchu cackles as he waves his left hand...and like a maestro conducting an orchestra, as he moves his hand? The stars and galaxies he points to move in unison, moving where Konchu wills them to go. A sneer of righteous superiority crosses the Mad Wizard's lips as he releases his hold on that small fragment of cosmos.

    "That little pissant troll that's holding on to the X Division Championship may like to call himself a 'Cosmic Horror,' but as far as I'm concerned? There's nothing in the cosmos that I fear. Why should I? I know full well the teeming masses of life beyond the scope of our feeble detection devices. I've studied the mad ramblings of those who delved too deep into eldritch lore. And those Elder Evils that J.J. has emulated in his feeble attempts to draw on their power?"

    From behind Konchu, we see just the faintest hint of movement. It's COLOSSAL, dwarfing stars and entire galaxies. The faintest sound of a growl causes the universe to shake as, for just the briefest of moments, we see what looks to be a single, glowing, red eye...and just as soon as we see it, it's gone, and we're left wondering if we saw it at all to begin with.

    Throughout all of this, however? Konchu is unfettered, standing there with that manic look on his masked face.


    "I know about them, too. Kehahaha!"

    Konchu exhales, looking extremely pleased with himself as he takes his right hand and holds it out. He moves it as if he's beckoning something as a small, blue orb flies out from a familiar-looking star system. As Konchu holds the tiny pebble that is Earth in his hand, the Mad Wizard continues his rant.

    "But perhaps the magnitude of the cosmos and all the power within is beyond your feeble, crude mind to comprehend, James. I can say with certainty that it's beyond that Grayson boy you've charmed to whatever pathetic cause you wish to champion. No, clearly your thoughts are on Earth...and not even the whole of the planet. Your focus is clearly on Madman's Mayhem, and the defense of that championship you so proudly boast about while you debase yourself and the title in the same breath. Or maybe your thoughts are on that banana smoothie you had last week. Or that loss you had against Horrowitz. Or any of the random nonsense you spew from that sewer grate you call a mouth. Regardless, you are BLIND compared to me. You see the world for what it is. But I? I see it for what it could be..."

    The small blue marble becomes two, becomes twenty, becomes hundreds if not thousands of tiny blue orbs that all circle and surround Konchu, orbiting him like he's the center of the god damn universe.

    "Beyond just this universe we reside in...beyond the crude, physical forms we inhabit lie infinite possibilities, infinite universes. Different timelines and realities where different decisions led to different outcomes. Worlds changed by the single choice of one influential individual, realities shifted because humans chose to veer left instead of stay on the right. A multiverse of infinite possibilities and endgames, beyond the understanding of boring, insignificant whelps like James and Gerald.

    "But do you know what's the craziest thing about all of this? Despite the infinite possibilities, the actions and decisions taken by those individuals are never one in the same. No two universes are the same. There's something else...something guiding these decisions and these individuals without them realizing it. In a sea of chaos and randomness, there is an underlying order that unifies them. Out of an infinite many, there is one.

    "And THAT...THAT right there? That's the power of X. The same energy that resides in the championship belt that J.J. JAY! has tarnished with his foolish antics and unrepentant disrespect. J.J. has no idea what he has or what he's allowed to happen to it. But then again...I suppose I can't be angry. Fate has compelled him to take this action, after all."


    As Konchu continues to speak, the tiny little Earths orbiting him change, ever so slightly. Some turn into flooded ruins, others completely barren wastes. Some show signs of advanced technological advancement, others show a regression to more primitive times. Humanity rises, falls, rises again, but no two Earths are the same.

    It makes one's head spin, seeing all the possibilities and outcomes.

    "That's right, James. You think for one second you have any control of your life? Of the decisions you make? You think you CHOOSE to be this annoying little retch obsessed with chaos for chaos's sake? My poor dumb adversary...you can't see that you've already made these decisions. You've made both the choices you chose and the ones you didn't! Every potential outcome, every random tangent born of chaos and possibility has been made by you...or at least, the multitude of yous out there in the multiverse? There's nothing special about you. You are not a unique little snowflake, regardless of what your deranged, diseased mind wants to think. The fact that you consider me a poor facsimile of you is utterly laughable! You...you are the worst aspects of myself, an unmastered joke parading around spouting off nonsense that only a fool would find remotely engaging.

    "Not to mention your assistant is a poor replacement for mine. Epsilon is one of a kind. What's the personality of Quiet? Tall and brooding? Yawn.

    "But you can't help yourself. You can't help being what you are. Not because you lost your mind to one of the Great Old Ones. And certainly not because you are one. You're a slave to fate, to the whims of the greater force the binds the universes together. I imagine it must be horribly disappointing for you, realizing that you're a loser in every conceivable reality. Kehahaha! I would feel bad for you, but if you were TRULY in tune with the chaotic power of the X? You'd see things as clearly as I can. But instead, you're blinded...only able to see what's in front of you. And that...that is the reason you're destined to lose the X Division Championship.

    "Because while you are a slave to the whims of destiny? I CONTROL my own."


    Konchu starts to pace around the swirling orbs, the various Earths as he continues.

    "My eyes see everything. Every choice, consequence, outcome, and path. My power is far beyond your feeble little Cthulhu-cosplaying brain. Metaphysics are CHILD'S PLAY for a mind like mine! You think for one second that I lost our tag match because you were superior? You and Grayson, better than I? Are you so blind that you think Shawn Summers defeated me on Valentine of Rome's holiday because he was the better wrestler? NOTHING happens without me controlling it! Those losses, while unfortunate, were necessary in order to ensure the proper and just outcome of relieving you of the X Division Championship! Choices made that led to the avenue towards victory and the unlimited power of the X! I have played you like a puppet on a string, and you've been too obsessed with your pathetic insults and annoying showcases of your supposed greatness to see that you've done everything I wanted to you do...

    "...Well, aside from one. Your decision to involve Gerald was one I wasn't expecting. I knew it was a possibility, of course...but not in this timeline. But regardless, as always? I twisted it to return back to my advantage...utilizing the power of Madman's Mayhem to tilts the odds overwhelming back in MY favor. I will admit...a small part of me was hoping not to have to use my greatest weapon so soon...but the stakes are far too high and the prize too sweet to let slip through my grasp."


    A large, unhinged Joker-esque grin forms beneath the mandibles of Konchu's locust mask, as the Mad Wizard is reveling in all of this pontification.

    "How DOES that feel, Gerald? Knowing your inclusion in this match was so insignificant that it took a stipulation change to render you completely and utterly impotent? I meant what I said before; losing the title to James proved you were unworthy and unfit to call yourself a champion. I wonder...do you lose sleep over the fact that when it came time for you to prove your mettle, you ended up showing just how little you have to contribute to the sport? Losing the way you did to that wretched little cretin is a sin most unforgiveable. Especially when it led to the desecration of MY destiny.

    "As much as James is a slave to the whims of fate...you, Gerald? You're far worse. At least James is aware, even if barely, of the powerful forces of chaos that the multiverse operates under. But you...do you have ANY idea what you agreed to when you followed the troll's lead and allowed me to make this a Madman's Mayhem match? You chose to leave the world you knew behind...the world of dawn, where everything made sense and you didn't have to think too hard about the possibilities beyond what's considered sane. And you foolishly chose to abandon that and step into MY WORLD, MY RULES!!! And as much as James has been a puppet, you've played right into my hands just as he has, dancing the dance that fate has chosen for you...and that I have led you towards.

    "You've chosen to follow a fool into a meat grinder. Always a follower, never a leader...what was true with Horrowitz is now true with James. And what a downgrade you made..."


    Konchu stops his pacing as he returns to the center of all these stars and planets, to the center of the countless Earths. The Mad Wizard stands tall, imposing as he raises his arms, palms outstretched.

    "Do you fools understand now? Your fate is sealed! Your destiny has already been written, published, and defined by ME! You two are feces-flinging apes trying to beat a chess grandmaster at his own game! You cannot create chaos that I cannot twist to my own whims, J.J. JAY!!! You cannot grasp the maelstrom of madness that you've chosen to engage in, Gerald! Abandon what you thought was possible, what hopes and dreams you might have had, and despair!

    "I CONTROL THIS CHAOS! I am the one with the knowledge, foresight, and strength of will to command the universe...all of the universes to bend to MY DESIGN! That is the power of Madman's Mayhem! That is the power of the X! And soon, I will be the Champion of the X...and with that powerful item in my grasp, I will be one step closer to my dreams...MY DESTINY! To be the man who stands atop the world and the universe as master and ruler! KEHAHAHA!!!"


    As Konchu says this...all the various colors turn white. Every star, galaxy, and heavenly body vanish into pure light. The same happens to all the Earths orbiting Konchu. All that energy begins to coalesce into the palms of Konchu Hao, returning the entire area into the black, empty void that it was before Konchu brought the universe to light with a single word.

    All that's left of the universe are two small motes of light...one in Konchu's left hand, and the other in the right. The Mad Wizard, cackling and laughing mad, holds them menacingly in front of his face, so that the only thing we see is his face.

    "What goals you had...what dreams you've dreamt...what hopes and aspirations you possess? They exist as the light that fights off the void of despair and disappointment. They exist...because I've allowed them to exist. And at Desert Storm, under Madman's Mayhem Rules? I will be the one...who snuffs them out!"

    And with that, Konchu closes his hands...and the lights are extinguished, leaving behind nothing...

    ...nothing, save for the mad laughter of a megalomaniac...


    *****

    Outside of a lovely little villa in Sicily, we see the Mad Wizard himself, basking in the warm sun on a lounge chair near the sea. The smell of the salt water, the feel of sand in-between his toes...even the squawking of the seagulls and crashing of waves paints a very different picture of the bombast and drama of Konchu's galactic verbal beatdown. Here...the Mad Wizard is at peace.

    But it's a peace that will soon be shattered by chaos and madness.

    We see approaching from behind Konchu is Epsilon, holding his trust tablet and jabbering in that incoherent tongue of his. Konchu nods and replies:


    "Ah, Epsilon! I trust preparations have been completed?"

    "Eyezok vokska!"

    "I see. See to it that everything is ready. I don't want to be rushing to complete my magnus opus. Everything MUST be absolutely perfect in order to ensure those two fools are incapable of stopping what must come to pass. Have you at least found a suitable location?

    Epsilon nods as he hands the tablet to Konchu, as the Mad Wizard looks at the image Epsilon pulled up. It's of a ruined, abandoned sanitarium in Hayt Corners, New York. As Konchu looks at the image, his lips curl into a devious smile.

    "Ah yes...that will do quite nicely. Well done, my friend. Kehahaha..."
    Something Witty!

    Cyrus Truth
    4x FWA World Heavyweight Champion
    1x FWA North American Champion
    2x CWA World Heavyweight Champion
    1x PnH International Champion

    Konchu Hao
    1x FWA X Division Champion
    Ground Zero Winner (Season 2)

  12. #12
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      Country                    New Zealand

    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    The door slams shut loudly as the two people who have just entered the room are locked madly in the throes of passion. Pure lust and desire overtaking them as they kiss passionately and cling tightly to each other’s bodies. They step in unison with each other, avoiding stumbling over any furniture as they endlessly press their lips and their tongues together.

    He wastes little time in then freeing her from her little black dress, and leaving her in just her heels, and a matching red bra and boyleg panties. His eyes dart across all her now bare skin, making him lick his lips before her lips meet his once again.

    She then pulls his shirt up and over his head, before starting on his pants. Rapidly the two strangers have stripped each other down to just their underwear. This near endless kiss ongoing as their hands caress each other’s body. He grips her ass in both hands and lifts her up, as she wraps her legs around his waist.

    With so much passion between them he carries her into the bedroom where he falls back onto the bed as she straddles him.
    You have protection Baby? He asks, almost ruining the mood. I won’t need it big guy, we’re good. He cant stop himself from kissing her lovingly once again as his hands then unclasps her bra and throws it aside.

    She sits back up and tosses her head back in joyous pleasure as his hands explore her smooth skin. He’s grinning from ear to ear, this stunning woman with her blonde hair, collection of small tattoos, caramel skin, and ridiculous curves is taking him to heaven…literally.

    That grin freezes upon his face, and he sinks back into the bed completely still. There’s a wicked smirk on her face as she stares down at him, almost sorrowfully.
    Oh my poor Kujo, always destined for this, to begin the cycle… She leans down and presses a kiss to his cheek which brings this scene to an end.



    Guest Starring:
    Gabrielle Montgomery
    Lizzie Rose
    Conor McGregor
    Dave Bautista
    Claudia Gadelha



    The iconic rumble of that black Chevrolet Impala opens the next scene as Dean puts it in park and the Winchester Brothers in their black suits step outside. Their ‘FBI’ badges make it easy for them to gain access to the Apartment complex that’s currently been taped off by local Police.

    A gurney is wheeled their way, Dean stopping it briefly so he can lift up the sheet revealing the still grinning face of the man from last night. A hulking, imposing, tattoo covered and muscle bound man that somehow died blissfully at the hands of a much smaller blonde woman.
    Looks like he had some fun on the way out. Dean exclaims, while Sam just gives that familiar awkward smile of his.

    The Brothers then proceed into the Apartment complex and into the scene of last nights crime. We quickly see a raven haired young woman with a mole on her cheek, she’s in tears as a Police Officer consoles her. Though not very well. He quickly steps aside as the two ‘FBI Agents’ make their presence known.


    Crying chick, you’re up Sammy. Dean says as he nudges his younger Brother. There’s that awkward smile of his again as he approaches her, and kneels down in front of her as she acknowledges his presence. I’m Special Agent Hogan, this is my partner Special Agent Austin. Ma’am did you know the victim?

    She wipes a few tears from her eyes as she looks up at him. He was my closest friend in the World, he was like a Brother to me. I just don’t understand what happened. I cant believe he’s gone.

    Dean wanders around the Apartment, heading for the bedroom as Sam continues to question the young woman. The doorman has said that Ty entered the building late last night with a woman, they were making out the whole time. He never saw the woman leave though…

    It wasn’t me. She exclaims. It doesn’t sound like Ty, he was never any good with women. He didn’t always live a very good life, he was very unfortunate in some of the situations he found himself in. He was framed and sent to prison before I met him. I don’t think he ever quite got over that. All he’s had in his life is me and Sulley.

    Sulley? Sam questions inquisitively.

    He’s like a spiritual and life advisor for us both, or he was. I guess he still is for me. I don’t think he even knows about Ty yet. Her gaze just wanders off as she stares at nothing while her mind races with the loss of Ty and what Sulley will say and do.

    Well…miss…

    Grayce. The young women replies to Sams inquisitive tone.

    Well Grayce, would this Sulley know anything about what happened to Ty?

    I cant possibly see why he would. There’s no way he could be involved in any of this. He wouldn’t hurt Ty…not again…

    As Sam continues to question young Grayce, the scene cuts away to find Dean who is rummaging through the room of the now deceased Ty Johnson. So far he hasn’t found any signs of Spirits. Demons or anything else really. Just a really, really oversized image of a bearded man who almost seems to be looking down upon Dean. There’s almost something ‘Saintly’ about this unknown man, though it does give Dean the creeps nonetheless.

    So he continues his search quickly, finding no Hex bags or anything else that could explain Ty’s sudden death and the disappearance of his ‘Lady Friend’. There seems to be no sign of anything unusual at all.

    But something feels different, it feels like someone was here, someone different, someone special. In fact the room seems unnaturally bright despite there being no lights on, and the curtains being closed. Dean takes one more look at that giant smiling ‘Saint’ which creeps him out again.

    Dean then rejoins his Brother so the Winchesters can share what they’ve learned, or not learned.


    There’s no signs of anything in there. No sulfur, this building has no dark history. All I found was this giant creepy poster of some smiling dude.Dean’s face fills with disgust as he informs Sammy of how little he found.

    I’m guessing that’s Sulley.

    Who’s Sulley?


    As far as I can tell from everything Grayce said about him he’s some spiritual advisor to them. I was getting a really strong cult vibe about him.

    “You think that’s all this could be? Some nutjob offing one of his followers?”


    Sam awkwardly grimaces before replying.
    I don’t think so Dean. That wouldn’t really explain that grin on his face out there. No signs of struggle, no real signs that he’s dead…

    Other than the fact that he’s dead.
    Dean chimes in. That is. There’s something about this place though. Something feels off.

    I know, it feels like someone was here. Someone more than just a person. Between that and Sulley, something is going on here.

    The Brothers make their exit as the scene comes to a close.




    “This town seems to have a long history of important people. Kings and Queens, they celebrate their own Royalty here. The seem to even celebrate their own Gods here. Look there’s a Caramel Coated Goddess that’s celebrated around here.”

    Dean approaches his brother in their cheap Motel room. Their suits have been tossed aside and they’ve spent most of the day looking for any leads, any answers as to what could have happened to Ty Johnson. Sam is thumbing through a book he found in his nightstand; ‘The History of FWA. Which is currently upon a page depicting a beautiful young woman; the Caramel Coated Goddess.


    “She’s hot.” Dean playfully exclaims.

    “Dean, it’s a drawing.”

    “I know man. Its just…”

    “An attractive woman was seen with Ty heading into his apartment. But all the text seems to proclaim her as being a brunette.”

    “And we’re not taking this stuff seriously are we? Some very local lore about Gods and Kings that only they have?”


    “It says here the Goddess would often take young men under her wing, showing them the World, bestowing upon them divine carnal pleasures…before tossing them aside.”


    Dean cant help but grin. “Divine carnal pleasures…”

    “Dean, really?”
    Sam asks in disgust. “It sort of fits though right. Ty was seen heading up into his apartment with a young woman, and I’d say it looks like he experienced some…

    “Divine carnal pleasures.”
    Dean chimes in.

    “But as you said Dean, can we take this stuff seriously. A Goddess who seems to exist just in this one place, these stories of Kings. How can any of this happen?”
    Sam asks while all in a huff.

    “Maybe someone is just acting out some of this lore, some woman is inspired by this Caramel Goddess stuff and tries to act it out. The body isn’t even cold yet, there could be a simple explanation for how he died…”



    “I cant find any signs of a struggle, no wounds of any kind, this mans heart simply just stopped beating. And it seemed to be instantaneous. One moment he was alive, the next moment he was simply dead.”
    The Mortician has a somewhat disturbing smile on his face as he fills in Agent Hogan and Agent Austin on his findings on the corpse of Ty Johnson. “Of course that isn’t too strange around these parts.”

    “You’ve seen this before?”
    Agent Austin asks.

    “Personally, no I haven’t seen this before. But it seems every Generation there’s been a death or two like this. People unexplainably just dropping dead in an instant. Always in a moment of absolute bliss as well.”

    “Sort of sounds like the doing of the uh…Caramel Coated Goddess…”
    Agent Hogan chimes in.

    The Mortician just chuckles.
    “The Caramel Coated Goddess.” Another laugh. “You don’t actually believe in that stuff do you? That’s just local Legend. Tales of Goddesses and Kings. There’s nothing there at all.”

    “What about Saint Sulley?”
    Agent Hogan demands.

    “Him. Oh he’s real. Somewhat of a local idiot really. Some people think his word is the gospel truth, most of us though we see right through his preaching’s.”

    “He’s an actual Preacher? A Saint?”


    The Mortician pauses and shakes his head before replying. “Well…the boy thinks he is. As I said some people believe what he has to say. The young and lost seem to flock to him and what he promises. He’s got that old Church up on the hill. He seems harmless enough though ultimately.”

    “This man Ty, he was a member of his congregation, right?”

    “Yeah, he was. Both he and that Grayce Riley woman were Sulley’s two most…devoted followers. I don’t think either of them had much going for them other than Sulley.”


    The mortician makes his exit as Dean takes one last glance at the grin still plastered upon Ty Johnsons cold body. “Something feels really off about all of this. It doesn’t make sense…Goddesses and Kings. Maybe Ty stepped out of line and Sulley did him in. I doubt this old guys done any kind of toxicology report yet.”

    “That feels too easy though right? There is something weird going on here Dean.”


    Dean pats his Brother on the back. “Yeah I need a drink Sammy, going to go hit up a Bar.”

    “Dean the case!”

    “Its weird I know but you should just go look into this Sulley character first. Religious wacko knocks off one of his followers. Wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened now would it.”


    Sam awkwardly smiles again as Dean makes his exit.



    Dean Winchester downs another beer as he sits in a local Bar. A grin firmly upon his face, this is like home for him he’s spent so much time in so many Bars all over America. This one seems no different at first. Full of a collection of a few regular drunks, others just having a casual beer, a few perhaps having one beer too many, and some looking to hopefully score tonight.

    Dean fits somewhere amongst all of that. As he orders another beer he cant help but notice how something feels so very different in here.

    And then it happens, in unison every head in the room turns and gazes upon her. Every pair of eyes, Deans included are staring upon her. A gorgeous woman with a caramel skin tone and long luxurious blonde hair. She has absolutely captivated everyone in the room and she seems to be making a beeline straight for Dean. All everyone else can do is enviously stare as she sits down besides him, a teasing little smirk upon her face as she does.

    “Hello Agent Austin...or should I say Dean?” Her voice is soft and mesmerizing, it just seems to further the spell she holds over everyone. Though maybe not quite everyone. There is one petite red haired woman that cant stop staring directly into the camera nervously. A look of pure terror etched firmly upon her face.

    (Directors Note: We reshot this scene about 30 different times and this was the best take we could get of Lizzie Rose. Yes this awkward stare of hers was the best performance she delivered. Gabrielle was adamant that her protegee get a role in the show. Originally we had a much more prominent role in mind for her but quickly we realized she was not going to be up to the task.)

    “How…how do you know my name?” Dean stammers.

    “I know everyone who comes into these parts my dear. No one is a stranger to me.” That grin upon her face only grows as she takes a sip from Deans beer.

    “You’re gorgeous lady.”

    “Not quite as charming as I expected. But tell me Dean what has brought you here?”

    “Oh you know, just travelling with my Brother. Hunting Demons, Ghouls and the like. Sometimes even the occasional Goddess.”
    Dean seems confused at the words he’s said, he wants to be smooth and charming but everything comes out so awkwardly…and weirdly honest.

    “Goddesses…do they really exist?”

    “Well I have killed one or two of them before…”


    Her smile twists into a look of disgust for but a mere moment, and in that moment the spell breaks, before recapturing everyone in the Bar.

    “Oh Dean, that’s so disappointing to hear…but alas no one can ever truly kill a Goddess.”

    “Lady…whats going on here?”

    “Gabrielle…call me Gabrielle. And do you really want to know Dean…or would you rather we go somewhere more private…”




    “Grayce…is Sulley here?” Sam asks of the young woman who he’s found alone in Saint Sulleys church.

    “I haven’t seen him all day, I’d imagine he’s heartbroken over losing Ty.”

    “I need to talk to him about that, make sure he wasn’t involved in what happened to your friend.”


    Grayce shoots up to her feet, a look of absolute indignation upon her face.
    “He would never!”

    “Hush my child, you don’t need to defend me.” Grayce is in shock as Saint Sulley himself appears within the Church and makes his way over towards his most devoted follower and the inquisitive Sam Winchester.

    “Sulley, did you hear about Ty?”

    “I know, I’ve heard about Ty. Such a tragic loss. The boys life was cursed sadly. Grayce give me a moment with Mr…”

    “Hogan, Special Agent Hogan.”
    Sam replies while flashing his badge. Grayce makes her exit, retreating to another room as Sulley and Sam take a seat in the pews.

    “Ty, he was a Kujo. He was cursed by the Gods themselves. He had to endure horrible misfortune his entire life. Betrayals, failures, he could never amount to anything, and even if he ever did he was marked for death.”

    “Who killed him?”


    Sulley just smirks, its such an over the top shit eating grin that could get on the nerves of anyone. “The Goddess of course. She’s coming for me.”

    “A Goddess, really? You’re telling me this Caramel Coated Goddess is real?”

    “All the local stories are. The history of this place is different to anywhere else. You see a very, very long time ago she ruled over everything. Everyone worshipped her, everyone lusted for her, she was irresistible to all. This was a Goddess with an insatiable libido that took any suiter she wanted. She was Gabrielle, people referred to her by name and loved her even more for it.”

    “But one such man he seemed to take on a part of her Divinity when he was with her, and when she was done with him he kept it for himself. This man in time became a King, his exploits, his leadership made him into Royalty. People began to follow him. This man was my Ancestor, King Sully. He started to rule over this land and the Goddess she grew jealous of him.”

    “They fought for the adulation of the people and my Ancestor he won, he beat the Goddess and changed everything. She no longer ruled over everyone, but as her influence waned people seemed to move on from The King as well. Now all this history has become mere Legend. Now most people think its all just stories made up to entertain tourists.”

    “But every Generation a Kujo is taken by her, seduced and killed to start a cycle where she tries to hunt down the descendants of King Sully. I can always feel her presence, and I know she can feel mine. But because King Sully took a part of her Divinity I can hide from her, even in plain sight, but not forever. I know she’s hunting me, and I know she’ll take Grayce next as she looks for me.”

    “But maybe this time I can be the one who finally stops her, so the Sullivan’s can be free of all of this.”


    Sulley sits back into the pew having unloaded the history of his family, of local Goddesses and Kings upon Agent Hogan.


    “Grayce is in danger as well?” Sam asks.

    “Gabrielle will seek to strike down those who are closest to me before coming for me, its happened countless times before.”

    “You should get her somewhere safe.”

    “Nowhere is safe from Gabrielle…”


    Sam gets to his feet, pulling out his phone as he rings his brother.

    On the other end the phone rings but no one answers, Dean is far too busy sliding Gabrielle out of her dress as they caress each other’s bodies lustfully.

    Dean just can’t get enough of her as they embrace so madly, so passionately as they fall onto the bed and kiss even deeper. Dean crouching over her as he removes his shirt, tossing it aside as quickly as he can so he can continue mashing his lips with hers. As once again his phone starts ringing in the background, to no answer.


    “Dammnit Dean, pick up.” Sam finally gives up in trying to contact his Brother. “We need to keep Grayce safe from her alright. You said Gabrielle cant find you, so Grayce will be safe right?”

    “No, she can find me and eventually she will. If not me then it’ll be the next Sullivan she finally gets her hands on. We cant just hide Grayce away forever. Even if it works for her now, there will be a next one and a next one until Gabrielle gets what she is after.”

    “I’ve dealt with Gods before, and put them all in the ground. What if we can get to her first?”

    “And then what? You’ll be powerless to do anything to her. I can resist her charms, but you cant. You wont be able to raise a hand up against her. You don’t understand what you’re up against here at all. You might think you know how to deal with what she is, but she’s different from everyone else.”


    Before Sam can reply his phone rings, Deans name pops up on the screen so he quickly answers it. “Dean where are you? This thing, its…it is her. This Goddess she’s real.”

    Sam just hears a seductive feminine giggle on the other end of the line. “Hello Sammy, of course I’m real. But I hear you’ve found someone for me, someone I’ve been looking for, for such a long time now.

    “Saint Sulley, he’s here.”


    Sulleys eyes grow wide as he realizes exactly what is happening. “No. NO!”

    “Where are you Sammy?”

    “The old Church, on the hill.”

    “Oh god really? Are you telling me he has been there the entire time? That’s where the Sullivans have been hiding out? That is just ridiculous. But thankyou Sammy, tell Sulley it’ll all be over soon."

    She hangs up as a look of dread then crosses Sams face at the realization of what just happened. “Why did I say that? Why did I say any of that?”

    “I told you, you cant resist her charms. You just cant.”
    Saint Sulley is in a panic as all the colour has drained from his face. The moment the Sullivan’s have dreaded for so long is finally upon them, finally upon the one who has taken up the role of a Preacher.

    “Get out of here, you and Grayce need to get out of here while you still can.” Sam orders.

    “Its too late for that, she knows where I am, she can follow me now, she’ll find me wherever I go…”

    And then in she walks with a grinning Dean Winchester in tow. The Caramel Coated Goddess; Gabrielle herself. A wicked smile firmly upon her face as she locks eyes with Saint Sulley. With just a simple glance sent their way Sam and Dean then both drop to their knees behind her as Saint Sully does his all to try and stay brave and strong in her presence.

    “Sully…so finally I have you before me right where I want you. You and your kind have hid from me for too long, avoiding the justice of the Gods. Cowering here, just waiting for the moment when you’re World would unravel. How many Generations have suffered because of what your Ancestor, the King did?”

    Sullivan gets up in her face, indignant and stoic now.
    “He beat you Gabrielle, deal with it.”

    The Goddess just laughs in his face, then without even needing to touch him she sends him flying across the room and crashing into a wall. “Beat me…the King stole from me. Your Ancestor has never gotten the best of me, he never would have been able too no matter how hard he tried. Not when I took him under my wing as a young man, nor after he had claimed Regality.”

    “He stole from me, he swooped in and stole from me while I was making the man known as Cyrus kneel before me. Its why you’ve hid away for so long now. You know the Kings actions doomed your life. You know the Kings actions were wrong. If you thought a Sullivan could actually get the better of a Goddess then you would have come for me. You would have tried to take me on head on, not hiding away here watching Ty fulfill his destiny as a Kujo and watching Grayce cower in fear.”

    “You keep your hands off of her!”


    Gabrielle just laughs. “You think I need to touch her to get rid of her,…oh Sulley. She wont be bothering us at all. Its just you and me finally after all of this time just waiting for this very moment.”

    Sulley glances over at The Winchester Brothers, causing Gabrielle to chuckle. “Those two, they cant help you now. Look at them, they’re obsessed with me. They’re even rooting for me now, they want me too punish you Sulley. They want to see their Goddess take back what is rightfully hers…everyone does.”

    “You’ve created this World around yourself and think that you’re the Hero, you think this story should have a happy ending for you. But it wont…you’re all alone now Sulley, and you have no one to pray too, no one left you can rely on to save you. Its just you and me now. Exactly how it has needed to be for so very long.”

    “No more hiding, no more fear, no more worrying about what might happen to you…because its going to happen. This is your Reckoning, this is your Judgement Day. I’m taking the Crown back that he stole from me. It’ll rob you of this Saintliness you seem to have. The only reason you can make people like Ty, like Grayce or Kleiopatra as you fondly called her follow you is because of what was taken from me by King Sully. You will have nothing left, the Sullivans will have nothing left.”

    “This will break you so completely, so fully and you deserve it. This is what has been coming to the Sullivans for so very long now. You were never going to be able to avoid me forever, its why you have existed in a state of fear. Just dreading this moment when everything comes crashing down.”

    “Kneel before me, and I will make it easy for you Sulley. It will be swift, almost painless. Maybe you’ll come too and everything will just be gone from before you…everything.”

    “But don’t mistake that offer, I will enjoy making you suffer for your sins. I will enjoy breaking you and reclaiming my throne, my crown, my glory in all its power. Saint Sulley…Gabrielle its finally happening…”

    The two of them stand face to face, Saint Sulley unflinching which just makes the Goddess grin.

    “As you wish Saint Sulley…this will be a moment in history.”

    She snaps her fingers and in a flash of light the two of them are gone from the Winchesters presence, gone from the Church and now stand somewhere more fitting for their Titanic struggle. The Winchesters just kneel there bewildered. “What the hell just happened?” Sam asks his Brother.

    “No idea…she was cute though right? Totally nailed her as well.”

    “Dean!”
    Sam storms off in a huff as Dean just grins.
    Credit to Comeback Kid for the GFX

  13. #13
    The Artist of Chaos
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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    The scene opens in a San Antonio Park. Eli Black is walking around handing out fliers promoting the Church of 9. He is smiling and greeting the people in the park as if he is running for a position in office. He is dressed in a white three-piece suit, with dress shoes to match. He is waving at civilians who recognize him. Some excited to see an FWA superstar up close, some looking at Eli in disdain, most likely for his most recent actions towards fan-favorite Cyrus Truth. His dad, his mom, and Laurie are beside him. Frederick looks as if he wishes he was anywhere else, Rosie seems nervous, and Laurie is just soaking in the attention. The trio begins to ascend a stage that has been placed in the middle of the park. Its draped with red, white, and blue decorations, and American Flags hang off the centerpiece. As Eli walks up to the podium, people start to crowd the stage, held back by camera operators and a few security.


    EB: Hello, my fellow Americans. I have long wanted to speak to you directly, personally, and have a heart to heart. Without the theatrics of the square circle or the rushed environment of an FWA meet and greet. See, there's been an unavoidable spotlight put on me since I have joined FWA. Since being in that spotlight, there have been several misconceptions made about me. So I figured for us to move forward together truly, we must look back.


    Eli pauses and adjusts his tie. He looks back, and Laurie gives a nod of reassurance. His parents are too busy fussing to provide him with any encouragement. Eli rustles through some flashcards with talking points.


    EB: See, my name is Eli Black. Not my birth-given name but the name I have given myself. I was born in the tough streets of Brooklyn, but I travel a lot trying to find my place as a young adult, searching for the meaning of this thing called life. I was dealing with the traumas that come with living but enjoying the beauty in it as well. In my short time on this earth, I have seen all sorts of people, from the grittiest New Yorker to the most welcoming Texan. All those experiences are why I am half the man I am today. The other half, you wonder? Well, it is my family. My bloodline. My Father, my Mother, my loved ones, and my coven.


    Eli speaks and keeps eye contact with crowd members while trying to glimpse at his speech.


    EB: For a long time, I was lost in this world because I only had half of myself. The traumas and the travel but not the bloodline. Besides that set back I was able to overcome. Achieve dreams that a lot of people don't attempt. However, there was a dark side that always held me back from genuinely rising above. I was still a piece of the puzzle instead of the centerpiece. Never the star of the show or the frontman of the music. One of the supporting characters. I felt like I didn't know my place, so could I possibly lead? Until I reunited with my Father and found out that I was born to lead. I was born to be apart of something special. That the Church of 9 was apart of me that I didn't know was missing. All the outbursts, lousy behavior, moments where I seemed like I was totally out of control were all calls for help. My family answered. Now I see my path forward, but before I can soar, I must clear the air.


    Eli clears his throat.


    EB: See, with that spotlight of being an FWA superstar on me, there has been a lot of talks, a lot of chatter about who is this Eli Black. What is an artist of chaos? Is he some psychopath who attacks his therapist? Someone who betrays his friend, or is he apart of some cult? These things make me laugh because, yes, as an FWA superstar, sometimes we seem bigger than life. Like Superman or Iron man in the flesh, but we are just human beings. I am just a human being. Just like any human, I have made some, let's say, public mistakes. Let us not hear it from me. I can always toot my own horn. Let's hear from the people who are hardest on me. Mom, would you step up?


    Rosie steps up to the podium. She has her hair straightened and is wearing a beautiful flowery dress. She looks back proudly at Eli before speaking.


    RB: My sweet little boy. He has been misunderstood for as long as I could remember. He continues to be misunderstood. People watch him on TV and see the gravitas and bravado, but I see a man who gives out a helping hand even when he does not have form himself. A man who has a love for art and entertainment. A man who brought Cyrus Truth, a man who he barely knew anything about, into his family's home so he could find comfort in a bad time. That is who my son is. Not the maniac Cyrus now tries to portray him as. Even though Eli does not, I regret inviting you into my home and letting you devour our food. Eli wanted what was best for you, and you just turned your back on him, you son of a...


    Eli interrupts his mom before she can finish the sentence. As Rosie steps back, she gives Fredrick a dirty look as he steps up to the mic. He is dressed in a black dress shirt that he looks uncomfortable in and some slacks.


    FB: My son is a tough son of a gun. He became that way despite me. See, I wasn't there for Eli or his Mother while he was growing up. I was a lost drunkard who lacks the toughness to stick through tough times, and I eventually found my way. As I tried to reconnect with Eli, I thought that he would never accept me in his life. I was wrong once again in my life. Eli welcomed me with open arms. It gave me a second chance to do the right thing. It gave me a second chance to reunite with my family and, no matter how long it takes, redeem myself. That kind of kindness shown by Eli was extended out to this Exile. He threw it all away. After he had gone into the darkest place in his career, Eli pulled him out. Eli saw him as a friend and tried to help him out of a dark personal situation, and he turned his back on my son. Something he regretted. See, I wasn't there for my son growing up, but I was there for him in a significant moment in his life when I whacked that idiot upside his head...


    Eli taps his dad, and Frederick heads back to his position as Laurie walks up to the podium. She dressed in a tan pants suit with her curls out.


    LS: It's no secret that Eli and I have had a rocky relationship. When I met Eli, he seemed to be a slick-talking artist who thought he could talk his way through life. Eli has made me learn not to judge a book by its cover. He is more than what he does. He is as flawed as all of us standing here, but he continues to reflect and frame his mistakes as opportunities to grow. Many of you here admire him, and as I see signs out there now, many of you dislike him. One thing I can say is that he is a great role model for the average American. The American ideal, you could say. He came from a hard-working background with a lack of resources. He was never considered the most talented, but he is the hardest worker in the room. He pulled himself up by his bootstraps, took every failure on the chin, and move forward. I was still his manager when Truth and Eli were teaming together. It seemed Cyrus was getting his affairs in order as if his career was over but guess what? That attitude is I just spoke about Eli infected Truth with that mentality, and that's why The Exile persevered to become FWA North American Champion.


    Laurie backs from the podium and embraces Eli as he walks back up.


    EB: Thank you, everyone, for those kind words. Thank you, Laurie, for the best Segway I could ask for as I continue this campaign. See, my primary objective today is to talk about that North American Championship. At Desert Storm, the rematch that everyone has been waiting for is going down. The Exile Cyrus Truth vs. The Role Model Eli Black. Truth and Consequences 2. The battle of ex-friends. All the marquee labels a promotion like FWA uses to excite it for the fans. For Cyrus, this is a personal battle disguised as a revenge tale. For me, it is a dream close to being fulfilled. I want to talk about the false narrative that has been placed upon me and my coven. A few weeks ago, Cyrus Truth showed his ugly mug on video and did the exact opposite of his last name. He told anyone that could hear that I was apart of a secret cult that was planning world domination. How were we going to achieve that? By putting something in your water? By us using magic to hypnotize you? By putting out ads to affect your subconscious? No, that wasn't his angle. He believed the Church of 9 placed me in FWA to win matches, and that would make everyone in the world brainwashed.


    Eli, his dad, mom, Laurie, and people in the crowd begin to laugh at the notion.


    EB: I guess if I had a mustache like Krash, I would twirl it to like a Scooby-Doo villain as well. Cyrus went on camera and told a bald-faced lie to you all. See, this sudden hatred and anger towards me are not because I attacked him during his match against Gerald Grayson. By the way, I helped him win the match doing so. It is not because one on one I beat him. It's because everything he says about the Church of 9, everything he says about me is how Cyrus feels about himself and his cult that he was Exiled from.


    Eli pauses to look at the crowd as many of the members of it look confused.


    EB: See, Cyrus is not labeled as an Exile because he some cool loner. He is an Exile because he was pushed away from a secret society of information and resource hoarders called the Observers. Yes, what a comic book ass villain name that is. They have been around for decades and decades, watching world events happen that they probably could have prevented. Hoarding knowledge could help every citizen not just in this state but in this country become better. Influencing world events in their favor, so they are kept in the shadows. Cyrus Truth is not an honorable man who wants to be by himself to sulk in his greatness. He is a fraud. A man who longs to be accepted again among these shadow creeps. A man longing for companionship. A man who kept being betrayed by person after person until he met muah. I was the first person in a long time that Eli saw he could trust. He saw a young up and comer that needed a bit of guidance through the shark-infested waters of FWA. He didn't expect that same up and comer to put a fire under his ass and redirect him back to the top.


    Eli throws the flashcard behind him and leans forward as he is becoming more passionate.


    EB: I know you all wonder how could Eli know this information? What proof does he have? Well, both Laurie and I have been to what this cult calls a vault. A place where they store information and resources which they only share with people they deem worthy. Why do they get to decide who is worthy? While we Americans toil and continue to pull themselves up, they sit on riches. Dress in homeless-looking garb, looking down at us everyday people. See the Cyrus Truth that you all cheer for sees you as less than. He deemed me as someone that deserved the knowledge, but these creeps thought it wrong. I always knew Cyrus was going through a lot, but he would never talk about his personal life. He would keep it professional. It wasn't until I joined the Church that I learned that Cyrus was being judged. Like a good friend, I extended my hand to him. I knew the 9 had the power and resources to keep him protected from whatever these observers wanted to do. I felt guilty. Because he trusted in me, he was in danger. Unfortunately, Cyrus turned me down. Left my outreaching hand to feel the cold wind of betrayal. It's not because I couldn't help him. No, no, no Its because he does not want any help. Does anyone know what Stockholm syndrome is? Yes, you with the Eli Black merch on. What's your name?


    SB: Stephanie Beatriz sir. Stockholm Syndrome is when a person falls in love with someone who is abusing them or keeping them captive...


    EB: Thank you very much, Ms.Beatriz. Yes, and Cyrus, who was Exiled from this cult, wants to be accepted by them even if they abuse him. He is not trying to end me and defile the name of the 9 because of a lost match. It's much bigger than that. I am almost 100 percent sure he thinks if he takes the organization that is just as powerful but the opposite philosophies down, he will gain their goodwill and not be exiled anymore. He will be able to rejoin the people he thinks are family. See America was built on the ideals of freedom of information, opportunity, and community. Being the North American Champion, I feel like you must embody those things like the Church and I do. We support progress, change, and being outstanding examples of what America should be. Truth is a liar, a victim, and the opposite of a role model. Not because of his tattooed body or the piercings on his skin, not because he's a loner. It's because he is the opposite of what America stands for.


    EB: So when going into this match, cheer for me. Give me your energy to take down this man who represents everything we dislike—a man who should not represent America by holding the North American Championship. Eli Black is the man you want, repping not only the FWA as a champion but as the face of North America. When other countries look at the biggest wrestling promotion globally and see Cyrus The Liar as the man representing North America, they will see weakness. I will go into this fight alone. No dad, no manager. Just my grit and will. I will dethrone this fraud and restore honor to the North American Championship. Since I was a little boy, I have dreamed of becoming a wrestling champion. I see no better opportunity. So whose with me?!?!?


    A large section of the crowd begins to chant Eli's name. He walks off the stage to take photos with members of the public. The scene ends with people who are booing him being escorted away from the cameras.
    "Are you doin' this work to facilitate growth or to become famous?
    Which is more important?
    Getting or letting go?"
    __________________________________________________________

    "The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don't."
    __________________________________________________________

    "I rather you hate me for everything I am then for something i am not"

  14. #14
    I'm a Stone Cold Lee Guy.
    An Original Name's Avatar

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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    The video begins to play from the streets of San Antonio, a popular tourist strip in the heart of The streets are somewhat populated on a night such as this. The economical businesses are depleted. It is shown that a good eighty per cent of the businesses are closed. It is quite the victim of a major crisis, But people around seems a bit peaceful having their drinks...


    ....Until coming around the corner waving her sword around I the FWA Gauntlet Champion, Yuna Funanori; with Patches on her shoulder, she has her belt wrapped around a very sweaty poncho. She is wearing the traditional sombrero, having a fake bandito moustache draped upside down on her face. Her sword in one hand, a bottle of whisky in the other


    "People of San Antonio...Yah free...no...jobs...no work. No longer held down by...the man....all free... you're welcome…"


    Yep, she's drunk.


    "Please miss' get off of the donkey I-"


    "FREEDOM FOR ALLL!"


    "Miss. Put down the sword. You're scaring the locals."


    "Fine"

    Yuna lets the sword clatter from her hand before looking over her shoulder and shouting out.


    "BAD HENRY FIRE THE CANNONS"


    "Wait-"
    ----

    The scene suddenly cuts back to what appears to be her captain's quarters, head looped to the side, a bottle of grog in her hand clearly riding high; she opens her bleary eyes and looked around her as Patches watched on from his perch.


    "...Wow…..Yuna time travel, Patches, magic American voodoo secret is mine!"


    PROMO. SQUAWK. PROMO"


    Yuna stumbles a bit as she walks clearly, still inhibited; she trips over nothing, and she falls on her chair in a manner that makes it look like she purposely fell asleep. Finally realizing the camera was on her, blinking at the camera, she offered a shaky salute, her eyes unfocused, noticeably clearly slurring her words.


    "Bonjour! A-hoy-hoy, Yuna's great voyage moves through stormy seas of the heart of texas. YEE-HAW!. The cowmen, the football that you don't play with feet, desert as bare and dry as pro wrestling if the affliction wins...no water. No fluid….bland, boring like a cracker. No cheese and-"


    "SQUAWK-! Good promo! SQUAWK! Good Promo!!!!"


    "Yuna have much respect for disco pants, Chris. Yuna has her map back. Yuna back on course for treasure of America; of course, there are walls in Yuna's way. Always are. Big boring man in suits no wants Yuna to find gold. So he sends big fluffy guard dog after Yuna. Angry big dog with great pointy teeth and...fluffy cuddle fur and..."


    Yuna begins to mumble a bit. Patches look at Yuna as her eyes begin to close, which results in further attempts to wake Yuna up.


    "Angry Knox! Mr Grumpy with his scars and his...his...stuff...and fluff… Big Fuffy Guard Dog...."


    Patches tries to peck Yuna's face a bit more to keep her from passing out. It's not enough to keep Yuna from falling asleep in a drunken stupor... After one more yawn, Yuna finally falls asleep on her desk. Patches looks a bit annoyed. He looks around, confused and nervous; he finally makes direct contact with the camera. He makes one last motion to wake Yuna up and finally-


    "What a wicked web we choose to weave."


    Woah, well, this is a surprise Patches takes a moment to look over his sleeping mistress before continuing to speak in a surprisingly eloquent fashion for a bird.


    "While she doesn't appear to be in any fit state to seem like this at the moment, but the captain is about to take another shot in a war that has been slowly building, one that the affliction took the first shot in all those months ago at Mile High when they ruined the captain's chance at winning the world heavyweight championship and while she wasn't exactly the target, Master Garica, Mr Blackbird and Kayden Knox made a grave miscalculation to think the captain was just a bystander of their plan. "When you start a war, you better know who you're starting a war with. If you ask Kayden Knox, he'd no doubt tell you, she's just a silly girl playing dress-up, but to Yuna? She's fighting for the very soul of professional wrestling ...and a soul, quite frankly, is something Kayden Kross is severely lacking. What profits a man who gains the world but sells his soul on the way? Once upon a time, he believed in what the captain does; under a different name, he embraced the art form of professional wrestling...as Sterling Jagger, he embraced...fun, but no more. Like so many before him and no doubt after him, he bowed before authority let the higher powers slip a collar over their heads to trade success, and yes, Kayden Knox is a success. Is a treat….but he's not special; we're all born with a bright spark of creativity, and this business has a nasty little habit of making you trade in that spark and conform to what they believe a pro wrestler should be Conformity….darkness….cruality. It's an illness, a plague spreading over the wrestling world….an affliction…..So…...Meet the vaccine. Knox fights to inflict his black heart on pro wrestling, but the captain? She fights for the soul of pro wrestling, and she will die, defending it with my sword in my hand and adventure in my heart. If Kayden Knox wants to win the gauntlet belt, he's welcome to it, but Yuna will always win and defend the belt against those that only care about shiny things. Not all treasure is silver and gold. Really, it comes down to this; Yuna is a five-foot-nothing pirate...facing off against a true monster...and she's not afraid...so who's the real sadistic one?"


    Yuna starts to stir in her sleep, and Patches clearly gets spooked and snaps back into his "persona."


    "SQUAWK-! SLEEPIES SLEEPIES YUNA! SLEEPIES SQUAWK!"


    Muttering in her sleep, she has enough awareness to read out and cradle the belt to her chest like a teddy bear before going back to sleep.


    "We duel at sunrise, Watashi no yūjin.."
    The most amazing thing about this recent conversation is that I've learned AON is even more of a waste of space than I thought he was previously

  15. #15
    The Flow
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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    Donovan Moore in: Tales of Time

    September 5, 2012

    We arrive at an estate in Everett, Washington. Just outside of Seattle. We see multiple buildings. One ginormous mansion takes up a big size of the estate. There is an Olympic-sized swimming pool outside which has it's own house, believed to be used as a guest house. There is another guest house around the front and finally there is a smaller, but still sizable, house for the estate staff. There is a sign by the gates which reads "Moore Estate". The front lawn is being occupied by a man playing with his dog, a miniature Schnauzer. The camera shows this to be a young Donovan Moore, just 22 years old here.

    Donovan Moore: Come on Buddy! That's a good boy!

    All of a sudden a gunshot is heard from the pool house. Donovan runs as fast as he can to get there but unfortunately another gunshot is fired before he could get there.

    Donovan Moore: What the fuck is going on?

    Donovan finally gets to the pool house to see his brother Randall standing over their parents. Randall's mother, Donovam's stepmother, is dead. Their father is fighting for his life but Randall points the gun at him again.

    Donovan Moore: Randall no!

    Donovan runs over and fights for the gun with Randall. The gun goes off and it's revealed that Donovan managed to point the gun at Randall, who drops dead. Donovan falls to his knees crying, completely shocked at what has just taken place.

    February 26, 2015

    Donovan Moore is shown meditating at an unknown temple. A clap is heard and he opens his eyes to see a man standing above him. This man is the founder of The Hour movement, Shinya Taijimoto.

    Donovan Moore: Has it been time already?

    Shinya nods and motions for Donovan to stand up.

    Donovan Moore: This is insane. It felt like no time at all. This was The Hour?

    The man nods again and pats Donovan on the shoulder.

    Shinya Taijimoto: This was The Hour. You've done well in your short time under my watch. You've experienced The Hour faster than anybody else, except for myself of course.

    Donovan looks on in amazement at the revelation of what he has done.

    Donovan Moore: I honestly cannot believe this! Do you realize what I can do with this?

    Shinya gives Donovan a glare as he does not look at all pleased.

    Shinya Taijimoto: I am well aware at what you can do with this power. You can do incredible things with it. I've had pupils who have used it for good as well as evil. Don't be like the ones using it for evil. Those are my greatest failures.

    Donovan Moore: I understand, master. I will control it. I will only use it for good.

    July 10th, 2015

    We arrive back at the Moore Estate. Donovan is shown with Shinya in the main house where Donovan's father, Donovan Moore Sr., is in a wheelchair.

    Donovan Moore: Shinya I don't fucking understand why you can't teach The Hour to my father! He can heal I just fucking know it!

    Donovan Moore Sr.: Donovan! Just give it up. I'm paralyzed, get over it. What your brother did was heinous but you should've just let me kill him. But of course like a fucking idiot you had to be the hero. AND NOW I'M IN THIS FUCKING CHAIR! You've always been a useless fuck. I should either be walking or with your mother and stepmother but of course you can't even save a life without fucking it up.

    Donovan Sr. wheels himself out of the room but not before he yells out "PATHETIC".

    Shinya Taijimoto: This is why you brought me here? To watch you be berated by this man you call a father?


    Donovan Moore: You don't understand. My father had always preferred my brother. To him I was always a huge failure. He blames me for my mother dying at childbirth. My father hated me, sometimes he would pretend I didn't even exist. He felt because my stepmother didn't die my brother was superior to me. I don't even know what he'd do if my stepmother died too. Randall was always different but my father always ignored it. Hell I still don't even know why Randall did what he did. To be honest today was the most my father has spoken to me in years.


    Shinya Taijimoto: I think you need to come back with me to the temple.

    Donovan Moore: NO! If you can't help my father then I no longer need you. I've mastered The Hour in ways you can never fucking imagine. You once told me to use it for good. I'm using it for me. You've done a lot for me and I thank you for that. But now it's obvious I'm so much better at it than you. For here on now you can call me The Man of the Hour. Time is in my fucking hands.

    Shinya Taijimoto: You need to think this through, Donovan.

    Donovan Moore: I already have. Get the fuck off my family's property.

    February 21, 2021

    We once again arrive at The Moore Estate. There is a group of people gathered at back lawn all dressed in black. It appears to be a funeral. Donovan Moore is shown standing at the front by himself. Standing beside him is FWA alumnus Mark Merriweather, who is a good friend of Donovan Moore. After the funeral the two of them are shown drinking some scotch on the deck of the pool house.

    Donovan Moore: I can't believe he's finally dead.

    Mark Merriweather: Man that guy did a real number on you. Are you going to be able to do Desert Storm?

    Donovan Moore: Wrestling is the only thing helping me right now. That bitch Samantha left me for that dancing dork Risky Douglas.

    Mark Merriweather: Man I can't believe I fell for that guy's bullshit. He's such a fucking loser. You don't need her anyways, you're way too good for her.

    Donovan Moore: Thanks man. Anyways I cannot believe this place is finally all mine. It feels like a gigantic weight has been lifted off my sh...


    All of a sudden Donovan Moore has a look on his face like he has just seen a ghost.

    Donovan Moore: Shinya?

    Shinya Taijimoto is shown, dressed in black, and nods.

    Donovan Moore: You son of a bitch I told you to stay the fuck away from here.

    Shinya Taijimoto: Donovan I came to show my respects. I know you admired your father greatly.

    Mark Merriweather: Listen buddy. I don't know you but I know of you. I think you should leave.

    Shinya Taijimoto: I hope you finally have achieved closure.

    Donovan Moore: I have. Now leave.


    Shinya Taijimoto: I will leave, but know I will always be around if you would like to learn more from me. I was wrong about you. You still need more education on The Hour. On time.


    Donovan Moore jumps up and tries to get into Shinya's face, but Mark stops him.

    Donovan Moore: You realize who I am right? I'm Donovan fucking Moore. I'm the Man of the fucking Hour, baby! If Mark wasn't here I'd kick your ass. You would finally understand the one true Hour, my Hour! Now leave and never fucking come back!
    Shinya walks away, now being escorted by what seems to be a security guard for the estate.

    February 26th, 2021

    Hey there folks did you miss me? It's your favourite narration guy back at it again! Donovan Moore decided he wanted some backstory this time so I took a little break. As you can see Donovan Moore has had a death in the family. He wanted everybody to know his pain. Not just his current pain but his lifelong pain. But there's some celebration, Donovan Moore finally got a win since returning. Unfortunately he was dominated but in the end he got the win. He's highly motivated. Tonight Donovan Moore is at his estate. Finally enjoying himself there for the first time in years. It's all his. He's in his father's, now his, cigar room drinking scotch and smoking a cigar which is nearly done. Also three clocks sit on the table, is this symbolism?

    Donovan Moore: Here we go. My first PPV since returning last month. No time to rest. There's that word again. Time. I thought I was a master at it. But I was wrong. I misjudged my matchup against Humanity and time punished me for it. I may have gotten the win but I did not feel victorious. At Desert Storm the odds are truly against me. I need to get back in sync with The Hour. I've done more meditation, more physical training, more reading, more everything. I need this win.
    My goal a year ago was to be X Champion. At Back in Business I was so close. So motherfucking close to the X Title that I could fucking taste it. But it wasn't meant to be. Michelle von Horrowitz took it away from me. I was heartbroken. Heartbreak has been a constant in my life. My mother died when I was born. My father never forgave me. He remarried when I was 3 years old and my brother was born when I was 5. Before he died my father finally confessed what happened. My brother found out our parents were getting divorced. He went unglued. He felt they had lied to him his whole life. He said that if they can't be together then they might as well be dead. It was more heartbreak for me. My stepmother was a great woman. She raised me like I was her own son. I wish I had known she was unhappy. I would've encouraged her to leave. She deserved so much better. My father was always an angry, bitter man. Him being put in that chair was not a punishment for him, it was a punishment for me. And here we are. The most recent heartbreak. Not my father dying, I'm glad that son of a bitch is dead. He stole so much of my life away from me. I'm talking about Samantha leaving. She felt that she made a mistake in saying yes to my proposal. Feels I'm too self-centered and arrogant. Can you fucking believe that? I can have any woman in the world and I had the graciousness to choose her! And she fucking leaves me! She will find out soon enough the mistake she made.

    Donovan Moore pours some more scotch as one of his workers brings him another cigar, which he lights up. They also give him a hammer, which he puts on the table. Samantha Sweet will regret leaving this man, he's the greatest man alive. Donovan Moore takes one of the clocks and puts it in front of him.

    Donovan Moore: Humanity. We meet once again. This time I know you. Time knows you. The Hour knows you. You might as well just not show up because I will show you the full-fledged Hour. No more Mr. Nice Man of the Hour. I've already explained the Time against Humanity shit. I simply do not like you, no matter if you're Humanity or Brian Zebowski. We are so different in every way imaginable. Looking at you just gives me utter disgust. You're lucky I'm sharing a ring with you because you do not deserve it. I don't care that you're a veteran in this business. You are beneath me. I already have a win against you but I absolutely love to pin you again. This time I'll rub it in more.

    Donovan Moore takes the hammer and smashes it on the clock in front of him. He takes the broken clock and throws it on the ground and the worker promptly cleans up the mess. He then takes one of the other clocks and puts that one in front of him.

    Donovan Moore: Saux X. I don't believe we've met yet. How do you pronounce your name? Shaw? Slaw? Sour? Ah who gives a fuck. I apologize in advance for the beating I'm going to lay on you. I mean I'm not really sorry but I hope you understand it's not who you are it's just what you represent, someone just in my way. Have you met The Hour yet? You haven't?! Well let me introduce you two! The Hour will devour you. It's a period of time where I have complete control of everything around me. It allows me to consume you. And if you must fall victim then so it shall be.

    Donovan Moore takes the hammer and hits the clock. Unfortunately for Donovan Moore, it does not break. He takes the clock and smashes it into the table and it finally breaks. He signals for the worker to take it and then puts the final clock in front of him.

    Donovan Moore: The big one. Chris Peacock. A man I've been dying to meet. A dancing moron just like Risky Douglas. Now I can't see Risky Douglas in person so you will have to do. I hate you dancing folks. Just complete fucking idiots who act like everything is a fucking musical. To me you are Risky Douglas. This is just perfect. Risky Douglas stole my woman back. The pain you will suffer you have him to blame, not me. I know you're the hottest new thing in the FWA, just like I once was, but that's about to end. Just like Saus X you will be introduced to The Hour. But unlike Saus X, and Humanity as well, you will be the number one target. The Hour will not stop until I'm standing over you with my arm raised. You are the one that stands in the way of the title I desire.

    Donovan Moore takes the hammer and looks at it. However he drops the hammer and picks up the clock. He takes it, stands up, and smashes it into a portrait of his father. He drops the now broken clock and starts to cry.

    Donovan Moore: I hope you enjoy hell you fucking piece of shit. I wish you had noticed me just once. You would have seen what I became. Just like you. Vain, arrogant, mean. But I can't fucking help it. I'm your son. I wanted to be you so bad that I actually became you. I'm sorry I was such a failure in your eyes, but look at me. I finally have this estate. I can finally breathe here without knowing that he's watching me, despising me. At Desert Storm I will be victorious and I will dedicate my win to...myself. Because I'm now finally the only Donovan Moore living for once, not including the time before I was born. This name will die with me.



    The only time WWE came close to a good story line post Attitude Era was Undertaker/Mordecai - Dakstang
    [06:01 PM]Dakstang
    :
    Yeah I guess you are right. And I only want to be Daddy to my own kids. Sorry.

  16. #16
    Friendship King

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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    \~ CONNECTIONS ~/

    It's a blistering hot day, somewhere in the desert outback of Australia. The burnt orange sun gazed down at the sands of desert, as if determined to enact a case of revenge against some offense by the unfortunate denizens of the world. It's here, in the middle of nowhere, Australia, that we join our intrepid hero, about halfway through a bottle of whisky and determined to finish it within the next five minutes. A sweaty mess of uncombed hair flopped against his forehead, occasionally brushed back with a lethargic palm. The normally pristine moustache was a frazzled mess, unsurprisingly, considering the past few week's events. Dressed in little more than tan trousers and a white tank top, Krash made a noise akin to a particularly vulgar phrase as he pushed a cardboard box full of junk into a corner of the garage.

    He groaned, stretching, running a hand over his increasingly messy hair, and shot a glare at the only other occupant in his garage. "Don't tire yourself out, Violet." He dryly remarked. "You've only helped move one box, after all. Truly straining yourself."

    Sitting on the hood of his '58 Plymouth Fury, Violet Dreyer lazed about, idly drinking a coke as she watched Krash move various unwanted artifacts into darker corners of the garage. "It was a heavy box, Krash. I've earned a break." The sheer heat made Violet's usually atrocious mohawk look like a dying houseplant. Some would say it's an improvement.

    Krash grunted. "It was a single box that you moved half an hour ago, and you didn't even move it all the way."

    "Eh." Violet shrugged. "You didn't invite me here to help your move stuff."

    Krash stopped, running a hand over his sweaty face. "... Yes, I did. That's exactly why I invited you here. I explicitly said so in the text message."

    "Nah, I read between the lines."

    "You don't even read, period."

    "Nerds read, I act!"

    A sigh, an unsurprised exhale. "Alright, Violet. Pray tell, if I didn't invite you here to help me reorganize my garage, despite what my text message said in no uncertain terms, then why did I invite you here? Surely your assistance in this endeavour can't be replaced by a particularly motivated dog."

    The thinly-veiled insult completely missed Violet, as she beamed brightly instead. "You invited me because you're sad and lonely and need a drinking buddy."

    Krash's left eye twitched. "... Godamnit, Violet."

    "I'm right, aren't I? You've been a sad sack since whatshisface punched you in the junk. And everyone knows the grieving process needs at least one day of drinking yourself into an early grave before the healing process begins."

    "That doesn't sound accurate." Krash replied, but already his shoulders were sagging in defeat.

    "You going to argue semantics or are you going to sit down and crack open a cold one?"

    "Alyster used to sit down and crack open cold ones back in the day." Krash mumbled, grabbing another bottle of whisky.

    Violet rolled her eyes so hard they made a dull grinding sound. "Jesus Christ. Alright, we need to get your mind off of Alyster."

    Krash raised an eyebrow. "I'm about to rip our friendship to shreds in an I Quit match. I'll be a bit hard to get my mind off that."

    Violet sighed, and glanced around at the garage, or more specifically the area they were renovating. A grand bronze display case, outfitted with more titles and championships than anyone can count. Glorious trophies from several different companies, his name engraved in all. A grandiose display of gold, hidden away in the back of a garage in the middle of nowhere.

    "... You've won a lot of things." Violet remarked, with perhaps a hint of jealousy in her voice.

    Krash took a second to reply, busy downing a mouthful or two. "... Yeah?"

    "Like, far more than Alyster has-"

    Krash cringed. "Please don't phrase it like that."

    "-Ridiculously more accomplishments than Alyster." Violet continued, unheeding.

    "You're not helping the situation."

    "I'm not trying to. Out of all of these accomplishments, which do you favour the most? All the things you've done in your career, and what's the one thing you're most proud of?"

    There was a beat of silence, as Krash observed all of his accolades. From the very first OWW Tag Team Championships, to the most recent FWA North American Championship. But his eyes never settled on the obvious. Instead, they drifted down, to a small cabinet beneath the trophy case.

    "The greatest accomplishment..." He began. "All the world titles, the tag titles, the various midcard titles, the big-match victories... And not one of them can measure up to my greatest accomplishment. It isn't in that display case. It isn't a title, an award, a certificate, or anything like that."

    Violet arched an eyebrow. "Then what is it?"

    Krash knelt down, awkwardly jamming a rusted key into a locked cabinet. With a tired exhale, he pushed the cabinet open. "It's the connections." He breathed.

    Violet knelt down, squinting. Inside the cabinet were a handful of books - some aged and dusty, others fresh and new. Some were the size of a full-length novel, others were the size of a mere comic book, if that. All of them, however, were marked with a name, carefully etched into the spine.

    Violet frowned. "... What?"

    "I've met a lot of people." Krash continued, trailing a finger over the spine of one book. "Fought more than I've befriended, unfortunately. But every now and then, you meet someone in the ring, you stand beside them as a partner, as an equal, and you build a connection. Sometimes it's abrief, fleeting connection, that doesn't last as long as either of you want it to. Sometimes it's a connection that grows over months, years, something you grow to cherish. But it's a connection, a spark, something that links two human beings together in an industry determined to rip them both apart." He paused, hesitating. "And I like to savour these connections. Hold on to them. When the sky turns to grey and the air turns to dust, the titles won't mean much. The trophies won't mean much. But it's the connections that'll make the end of times more... manageable."

    Violet reached out, plucking one book from the center. A small red book, well-cared after, recent too judging by the lack of dust. "CYRUS TRUTH." She read the spine, before flapping it open. "What is this?"

    "Sometimes it's reports of the things we've done together." Krash explained. "Matches we've won, segments we've done. Office work, usually. Other times, it's something as simple as a thought here, a letter there. Something that helps keep that connection alive."

    "You made this? By yourself?"

    "All of these. I'm not an arts & crafts connoisseur, but I know enough to get the job done."

    Violet reached a hand to the thinnest book, one coated in such a thick layer of dust that it's namesake was impossible to read. "So who's the unlucky n-"

    "No." Krash halted her, gently pushing her hand away. "Not that one."

    Violet arched an eyebrow, but obeyed. She'd seen enough - the barest hint of her finger scraping the spine of the book was enough to reveal the name 'AJ TORNADO.' Instead, she pivoted to the biggest book, the one without a single speck of dust. "ALYSTER BLACK." She read aloud. "Not much of a surprise, I guess."

    "No, it isn't." Krash admitted. "But there's nothing I cherish more in the world than that book, and the connections it represents."

    Violet flicked open to a random page, and began reading. "Even in my darkest days, he's accepted me, welcomed me, with open arms. From the very start, he recognized something we have in common. Exactly what, I don't know. On the surface we have very little in common, but beneath it, he's recognized a link that we share. Something we both have that society looks down on. Something missing in our hearts, or something terrible in place of something that shouldn't be. Maybe he too understands the difficulty in fitting in, the sharp contrast between 'fitting in' and 'being yourself' that forces you to choose one and neglect the other. Whatever it is, I don't know for certain. And truthfully, that particular detail may not matter. All that matters is the kinship we share, the acceptance of all our flaws we have and embrace within each other's company. I wouldn't trade it for the world."

    Violet cast a glance at Krash, who gazed off into the distance with a sense of serenity. She flicked to another page, and finding a news article, began reading. "Just last night at Back In Business, CWA stalwart and indy legend Alyster Black made his debut on FWA's biggest stage. Having fought all over the world, this latest step is perhaps one of the biggest ones in the 36-year-old's career, and while he's been vocal about his goal of stepping foot into the X-Division, many are speculating that a former world champion like himself can be a breath of fresh air in FWA's World title scene with the likes of David Sullivan and Gabrielle. And let's not forget his past with the new FWA North American Champion, long-time partner, Krash. Although after a six year hiatus from wrestling, vanishing from the face of the world without a comment, it's difficult to assume what he'll do if, or rather when, he comes face to face with his former partner. Are they still even friends? Do they still have the same connection that enabled them to rule CWA, OWW, APW, and all the places in between? While a confrontation may be far away for now, in this reporter's opinion, it's going to happen sooner rather than later. And when it happens, there's no telling what will happen. - James King, ProWres Inquirer."

    Krash was still silent. Violet flicked to one of the last pages. "Tomorrow, I'm teaming up with three people I admire so dearly. Randy Ramon, Devin Golden, and most importantly, Alyster Black. Words cannot express the sheer joy, above all else, there is to be in the same ring as Alyster again. It's been too long. It hasn't been the same without him. I'm so happy to see him again. I can only hope he's happy to see me too."

    The next few pages were blank. There was the barest hint of a pen, as if it was placed on the paper but couldn't find any words for what happened next. But aside from that... Nothing.

    "After that night, the connection... It was frayed." Krash spoke, a hint of sadness in his voice. "It might still be there, but it's been twisted too much that I can't say for sure. There's too many... unresolved issues, for the spark to still be there."

    "And this I Quit match," Violet pondered. "It'll either allow the two of you to work though these 'issues', or-"

    "Or it'll ruin it beyond repair." Krash quietly agreed. "I don't want this match. Neither does Alyster, at least, not any more. But on some level, surface or otherwise, we both understand that we need it. We need to answer the questions we've both had, burning inside us for too long. And no fluke rollup can satisfy it. It has to be concrete. It has to be definite. It has to be sure."

    Gently grasping the book from Violet's grasp, Krash gazed lovingly at the cover, before settling it back in the cabinet. "The situation has occurred where I must break my best friend down to his very core being, so that we can rebuild it all from scratch. Not out of hatred, but out of love. No issues. No hanging resentment. Just two men ripping each other apart, so they they may rebuild each other in a better condition. Drain the poison out of the bloodstream. Fix the errors from the database. Bear our wounds, so they may be stitched back together properly. I'll never give up on Alyster. I'll never quit on Alyster. Not when I know that somewhere beneath that bubbling resentment lies the greatest man I've ever known."

    He closed the cabinet door, obscuring the books of connections from view. "I've said it before, that I'd follow Alyster to hell and back if he so much as asked. This time, we're dragging each other down to the darkest depths of hell to drown the other in the river Styx. Not because we want to. But because we need to. And after we've reached that breaking point, the limit beyond limits, when that last bubble goes boop, when the final insecurity vanishes from our minds, and when one of us says those two wonderful, awful words... Then the healing process begins." Krash coughed. "At least, that's my hope."

    "What if you're wrong?" Violet asked, frowning. "What if this match does nothing but make things worse between you two?"

    Krash sighed, toying with the rusted key in his palm, before jamming it into the lock. "Then I'll have cherished the connection while it lasted." The cabinet clicked, locked once more.








    Spoiler:



  17. #17
    Striving for a B+ in life
    The Golden One's Avatar

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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    "Welcome to Your Last Memory"


    “Do you know the story of ‘Welcome to the Black Parade?’”

    The asker is pretty sure of the answer before it’s given. Like 99% sure it’s a “no.” Not many people do. They scream the lyrics with bravado and extravagance, without a care about who is listening or judging. It’s mostly done off-key but whatever.

    Again, back to the question and the possibility of this being all a rhetorical setup. I mean, consider the knowledge of the question-asker. This person benefited the most from the main act of Randy Ramon’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree Spectacular.” And spectacular it certainly was.

    “The Golden One” was losing his voice in the front row, an eyeliner fit that made 2007 smile. I mean, eyeliner is tradition for My Chemical Romance. The infamous — YES, infamous — opening G chord of “Welcome to the Black Parade” causes a mixture of tears and eyeliner that looks like a widow at a funeral.

    And well, the meaning of the song is related to death, so I guess eyeliner fits the scene. But yes, Devin Golden is a Killjoy. He’s a proud Killjoy. Don’t ever forget it.

    “Rockstar” Randy Ramon … is not? His musical tastes are far earlier in date than the mid-to-late 2000s. Which is fine for Golden. He’s a fan of those years of music, too. It’s just … well … emo music has a “reputation” among some classic rock fans. I mean, “it’s emo” or “that’s emo” is a pretty effective, stinging, low-hanging-fruit criticism during the 2000s.

    But you can be a snob about emo and still get goosebumps hearing the opening of “Welcome to the Black Parade.” It’s the 21st century version of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a rock opera of limitless quality and gravitas.

    “No. I’ve heard it 5,000 times. You’ve made me listen to it probably 4,900 of those times. But no, I don’t know what it’s about. I imagine this is gonna be one of your stories?”

    Everything is going according to plan. Imagine a light shining on “The Golden One” Devin Golden, sitting on a barstool in some podunk-ass bar in some corner of some town outside of some city. It all runs together after 13 years doing this shit. If he’s in New York City, then yeah, he knows it. If he’s in New Orleans, his hometown, same. San Francisco. Toronto. London. Chicago. Orlando, where he lives now.

    But if he’s in … say … Albuquerque? Sacramento? Portland? Kansas City? Sheeeeet. He “knows” where he is. He’s not THAT aloof. But when he’s sitting in a bar three beers in, he forgets. And if someone asks him, he has to think on it for a few moments. Eventually it com…

    San Antonio, Texas! Yes, he’s on the outskirts of San Antonio, in a bar called “Zombies Bar and Music Venue.” Yes, a horror-themed bar. No, Ramon didn’t choose it. He doesn’t have the matching theme song, remember? He just implored the duo to “go out and shed some tension.” He felt it was hitting the peak of the mountain, at least for the five, three, two, one Hall of Famer.

    A kid on the way in May? A massive match at Desert Storm? The stress of trying to stay atop the mountain after reaching it? I mean, hell, let’s be real. Golden Rock nearly lost to The New Breed at the New Year’s Day show. They got outwrestled. They were lucky to get out of that.

    It be how it be. Champions win. Golden Rock are the Tag Team Champions. But those belts feel a little heavier now than they did in the minutes, hours, days, and even few weeks after their Mile High win ended and they first held the belts officially.

    So, yeah, Ramon demanded a night out in San Antonio. Golden got the chat in with the wife and agreed to plod along, so long as he chose the spot.

    “The song — well, actually, the entire “Black Parade” album — follows a cancer patient. The fable of the song is that when you die, you relive a very vivid memory from your life. So the patient in this song is reliving a parade his dad took him to, except now the parade represents his death. And the parade marchers are here to usher him ‘into the next realm.’

    So now he is part of the parade. In the memory, his dad tasked him with helping the wayward souls that didn’t make it across ‘the bridge,’ so to speak. The patient is helping them cross as well. And the singer, a child version of the patient, is watching the parade as a living person and telling his ‘dying’ self that he and everyone else in the world will move on and remember him one way or another.”

    It sounds deep — shit, real deep — but “Rockstar” Randy Ramon isn’t impressed. In fact, he’s mimicking being asleep, creating an obnoxious “snoring” sound through his throat. He’s leaning back on the barstool with his head tilted up to a ceiling filled with a zombie skeleton resting in some plastic wrapping that is hanging like a hammock from the ceiling.

    “The Golden One” downs a beer, his fourth, like a college kid finishing a shotgun exercise. It was done more out of annoyance than actually proving a point. He thinks he can drink “Rockstar” under the table, even though he usually loses out.

    The snoring stops and Ramon opens his eyes. He chuckles a bit and then motions for the bartender to pour another cheap beer for the cheapskate soon-to-be dad that is his FWA Tag Team Champion partner.

    Ramon shakes his head and kind of gives off a shrugged-shoulders, unspoken, “Alright, if I’m being serious, what about it? What does this have to do with Danny?” Why the hell does Golden want to talk about this stupid song TWO DAYS BEFORE their most important match as a tag team? Sure, winning the damn things was a moment, beating Michelle von Horowitz and Gerald Grayson was the peak thus far.

    But this is the Toner Brothers. This is Danny “F’n” Toner and his masked brother. This is another level. This is the pinnacle of their team. This has been brewing for months now. Since the late summer.

    And we’re talking about some dude in an emo song who’s about to die? Great. Glad to know this is where Golden’s head is at.

    “So it’s funny. I remember when I ‘retired’ from the FWA in 2015. I had this really weird scrapbook dream where I relived a lot of those major moments in my career. Everyone references the scrapbook.

    But when it all ended, there was this moment. One … just one … vivid memory from my career played back in my head. I’m staring up at the lights. Rondo just beat me. He just did it the way it was always meant to be. But in this semi-conscious moment with my face directed to the ceiling, my back on the canvas, my shoulders completely relaxed, forfeiting any struggle my heart wanted to make, I was reliving ANOTHER moment.

    That one moment … was actually me living out my very last World Championship win. This is like … a three-second moment in my win against Ryan Rondo, right? It’s just three seconds. Boom. Boom. Boom. And everything ended.

    But consciousness is really weird. Sleep and dreams and stuff. Time goes all wonky. So I re-lived two minutes — two glorious minutes — of climbing a ladder and grabbing the World Championship. Inside the Mile High cell. I don’t need to get into the details of why that moment flashed and replayed for me.

    But yeah … it just reminds me a lot of this song. Like … that one really big moment replays in your head as your career ends. Or, in my case, as my career ended the first time.”


    Golden takes a big drunk — yes, we’re at the misspelling of “drink” to “drunk” because, hey, we’re four in and counting — and then looks at “Rockstar” Ramon. He is, uh, just staring blankly back?

    Eyes big. Mouth closed and straight. Head turned to the right. Shoulders kind of turned to the direction his face is pointed. Like … he’s all the sudden captivated by this link.

    “I think... it’s time for a race. All this deep talk is making me feel shit I didn’t want to feel today.”

    A race. That means it’s a race to finish the beer. Golden never wins the race.

    “But first … why don’t you … put the song on. I’ll give it a legitimate listen, since it’s so damn heavy and meaningful to you.”

    Golden side-eyes Ramon’s sass and throws himself off his barstool with a little extra speed. But he nearly stumbles and falls from a misjudgment of the distance between his feet hanging from the barstool and the dirty black floor.

    “Good idea! I’ll make sure anyone who asks knows that YOU asked for it.”

    Golden hurries to the big box-shaped TouchTunes machine. Ramon quickly grabs something from his pocket — a little small ziplock bag that is unsuspicious to anyone watching. “Rockstar” quickly empties the contents — two small, white pebble-shaped items — and drops one into his beer and one into Golden’s beer. This all occurs behind Golden’s back.

    No better way to, uh, let go some tension than with a little illegal “enhancement” for alcohol. Drugs are fun! And this is a very unusual experience nowadays for Ramon. He doesn’t indulge except on special occasions, and Golden’s general mindset sure seems like a special occasion.

    Plus, this would certainly help the … uh … loosening up before the Toner Brothers. Plus, maybe it’ll inspire some creativity before they have to film their promo. Or promos. Sometimes they do one. Sometimes they do two.

    And as of now, on the Eve Eve of Desert Storm, they have nada. So … drop that little pebble in and let’s see where the ocean waves go.

    The opening drum beats of “Umbrella” start up just as Golden plops back on the barstool. “The Golden One”, none the wiser about what’s nearly dissolved in his drink, begins humming along with the opening lyrics of the Rihanna classic as Ramon tilts his head to the side and smirks.

    “You surprise me a lot Golden. Whenever I think I know everything about you, I catch you rockin’ to Rihanna...”

    Ramon holds up the pint of beer and Golden does the same, just a little slower.

    “A race?”

    “A race to the bottom.”

    No more than four seconds later, Ramon slams the empty glass on the bar. Golden does the same a half second later. The winner is obvious. The race is over.

    But the night has just begun.


    “Sometimes I get the feeling
    She’s watching over me.”



    Golden doesn’t wake up. He doesn’t recall waking up. Or “how” he got here. At all. He just remembered a soft whisper of that lyrical line. He doesn't understand its place. He doesn't know its relevance. But there is too much else happening right now to go backwards and figure it out.

    The first thing he recognizes is a sharp, needle-like headache. It’s like a sword is puncturing his skull and brain. It’s this agonizing, mind-splitting pain that causes him to bend over, close his eyes, and open his mouth. But no words, just a silent scream. He clenches his fists and tightens every muscle in his face and shoulders, hoping he can squeeze the pain from his body.

    It doesn’t work. The faint hope of ridding himself of a hangover? It’s gone with one feeble, quick attempt.

    Once he finally becomes just a smidge numb to the pain, Golden uprights himself and looks forward. It’s a dazed, foggy scene. Almost like a swirl. There’s just grey and white … “matter” to each peripheral. He’s only completely conscious of what’s directly in front of him. Not limited to short distance, but limited to his direct line of sight.

    And right in front of him is a red FWA ring rope. It’s unmistakable. He can tell a FWA ring rope from anything. The loose strands sticking out into the air, but not many of them. For the most part, it’s a tight structure that holds up over many years. And it’s perfectly horizontal.

    "Just as intended."

    "You don't know yet," says a voice from the crowd. Golden ignores it. He can't deal with that right now. He has to figure out what this all means first. Then he'll figure out the voice mocking his ignorance.

    The second thing Golden focuses on, after the ropes become too boring, is faceless circles behind the ropes (he now sees two ropes, one atop the other, separated by about two feet of air). These circles bob and bounce to some unknown cadence. They create a chorus of noise, kind of like a growing stampede rumbling towards Golden. But he doesn’t feel in danger, at least not from them. He instantly compartmentalizes.

    "They’re cheering."

    For something, someone, not sure in that split second.

    "You'll find out," the voices, yes plural tense, say back.

    And then the third thing he notices … hits Golden right in the jaw. Boot to bone. Or … maybe “hits” is an incorrect term. It doesn’t hurt. Golden doesn’t feel any pain. Golden just … feels “it”, whatever “it” is. Like a massive gust of wind knocking him on his back. Or like someone grabbed both his legs and lifted them feet-first into the sky — all while at the same time pushing his chest and jaw backwards — and then laid him down perfectly on his back. It’s the least painful “Remix” he’s ever experienced, but it’s also the most meaningful.

    Easily the most meaningful, although Golden doesn't realize it yet.

    "You will," the voices tell him, annoyingly now.

    Golden doesn’t know where he is, but he can recognize the face that’s on top of him. And the arm that is now hooked under both of his knees, and the other arm that is cupped under his neck. The cradle position causes Golden and this other person to come quite close to one another, easily close enough to hear a whisper.

    “Thank you. For the last match, for the run, for everything. And I’m sorry.”

    Golden wants to reply with a comforting, “Don’t be sorry.” He wants to settle the tension with this person. He wants them to know that this result doesn’t change a thing, that everything will be okay.

    But he never gets the chance. A noise — best described as a “boom” — disrupts his intentions. His best description is a cannon firing. But Golden knows it’s no cannon, no gun, or any other war object. It’s just a hand slapping the ring mat as hard as possible. It just sounds like this grandiose drum beat because of how important it is to Golden right now. It’s the third-to-last reverberation he’ll ever witness this close, the third-to-last he’ll ever be directly linked to.

    "It's time," Golden thinks to himself. "It's time, and it's fine that it's time. I can let go."

    The thunderous sound causes Golden’s consciousness to slip quickly into a semi-present state, with half of himself still under the technically perfect pin of “Rockstar” Randy Ramon … and the other half … going somewhere else.


    “A world that sends you reelin’
    From decimated dreams.”



    As his vision gets hazier, his hearing gets better. The clear objects in his vision are fewer, the haziness covers more of his peripheral. But the whisper singing voice feels clearer.

    Instead of laying face up and looking at the lights — some would argue the way all men should “go out” and “meet their maker” when their career ends — Golden is standing outside of the ring, completely upright, watching the action inside.

    His eyes are locked on two individuals. One has long, wavy hair down past his shoulders and a biker-like vest with 80s rock-star pants. The other is a brawler of a man, with cuts and bruises over his face, a rabid dog-style look about him.

    The two are completely entrenched in a battle of who can land the most wayward, wild, flying fists. Their speed slows, signaling this has been the story for a good 15 or 20 minutes.

    All of the sudden, “The Golden One” feels … exhausted. He doubles over and looks down to the ground, his hands on his kneecaps. He can see the droplets of sweat landing on the padded floor in front of his eyes. He focuses on those sweat drops, building into a small little miniature puddle.

    "Disgustingly beautiful. Always."

    Then he focuses on his breathing, its heavy repetition that is only interrupted when something is caught in his throat.

    His third and final focus is the noise around him. He senses the volume of the crowd increase even though nothing is happening of note inside the ring. It’s as if the fans sense the importance of this moment, this match, hanging in the balance like a pendulum perfectly middled. A seesaw with both sides evenly horizontal. A pen perfectly still on a person’s finger.

    "Do you feel it?" the voices cry out.

    "Yes."It was a quick internal response to the question.

    "This is everything."

    Golden feels the gravitas of the moment even if he looks around and sees nothing but undefined circular white and black faces. Even if he can’t even find the referee or the announcers or the FWA Tag Team Championships in his peripheral vision. He can’t see the belts, but he certainly knows they’re here and they’re sitting in the middle of that pendulum.

    This … this match, this moment … is the biggest of his FWA return. The biggest of this tag team run. The defining moment, no matter what occurs in the future.

    "Ahead of time and going backwards. I understand. I've been here too long and seen too many ideas to not understand."

    It's all internal thoughts Golden speaks to himself. No one has access to these thoughts, or so he thinks. He doesn't realize that the fans also have access to these thoughts.

    "A lot are your ideas," they reply in a perfectly unified, almost choir-like chorus. In that moment, Golden finally gets it.

    "You're here now. Please don't go."

    For the second time, Golden hears a thunderous sound, like a tribal drum beat. Almost from the heavens above, yet no one notices or cares. Maybe no one even heard, but Golden certainly does.

    “The Golden One” picks his hands off his knees and looks into the ring at the immediate moment when a stampeding “raaaaaaaaaaaaaaah” emanates from the crowd. Golden saw, just in time, boot to chin. “Rockstar” Randy Ramon’s boot to Danny “F’n” Toner’s chin. In his head, he says just one word.

    “Remix.”

    Then he looks across the ring and sees the big eyes of Donny Toner through his mask. Right then, Golden knows exactly who those eyes belong to. And the levity of this match and moment … only elevates.

    “So why am I wishing … it wasn’t so? Why do I feel it should be ending?”

    "Because you're already preparing to go. Please stay a little longer."

    Golden sees the relief on Ramon’s face, the exact opposite of what he saw in Donny’s pupils. He sees his partner shed the weight of the world from his shoulders. He feels the electricity of proof going from his head to his heart and throughout his blood. Proof that, yes, again, a Ramon is greater than a Toner. Danny Toner. Donny Toner.

    And a Golden is greater than a ...

    "Who is it?" Of course the fans want to know.

    "Not yet."

    "Why?"

    “Because it's not important. I am the central figure of this story, and I am ... so tired.

    For 13 years, on and off, I am tethered to the FWA. Five tag team championships reigns, three World championship reigns, two X Championship reigns. And I can't go into the Hall of Fame again.

    Devin Golden and the FWA are tethered as much as Gabrielle or Stu or Kennedy or Ashley or WOLF.

    Devin Golden, though ... is tired. And he sees that ending coming. It's coming quick. With every audible heartbeat, every ultrasound, every OBGYN appointment.

    It's almost time to be a new me. Losing this match would've allowed me to go on. I'd have nothing left tying me here. No strings. No threads."


    Golden isn’t smiling. Even if he can’t see his smile-less face, he can tell it’s barren of emotion. All of his emotion is held within. He can’t let anyone see what he’s thinking.

    “How can I not feel full about a win? How can I feel unfulfilled about not losing? It’s easy. My life is changing. My life is changing for the better. A new wind is coming in May. A wind I’ve never felt before. Never experienced before. Another human being, completely helpless and dependent on me to survive. A new journey with my wife.

    Eventually, this … the FWA ... has to end. This all has to end. It's not my future anymore. Life changes. Priorities change. There's just no way. I'm a short-timer. That's truly it.

    I've wrestled with the idea of continuing ... after she comes, after she's born. I've tried to convince myself it could work. I've tried to find the time amid everything else, but ...

    I want to be dependable to the people who matter. My wife and child matter. There's nothing, no way I could do it. I envy Gabrielle for finding a way. I'm jealous of her strength and endurance.

    Eventually ... all of this will end. And sitting here, watching a Remix, it all sunk in properly. The run has to stop. And it would’ve been fine to stop … here. Now.”


    "We understand, but we want you here."

    The voices of the fans asking Golden for this massive favor causes internal grief. He wants to fulfill their request. He loves to be loved, more than he loves to be respected. He wants to be wanted. In the FWA, he is wanted. In the real world, who knows? Maybe this kid despises him. Maybe he and his wife take a turn and never recover.

    Maybe Golden is about to leave behind the only thing that has consistently, constantly wanted him around. Forever and ever.

    Golden sees Ramon fall to his knees in an exhausted manner. His hands and arms almost look limp. He’s fought for this. He’s scratched and clawed all night for this, to use another of many cliches. “Rockstar” deserves this.

    And "Rockstar" wants him here, too.

    “Here. Now.

    No.

    Dependable.

    For the next few months, dependability is for the guy with the kick that'll knock me out. For the guy who has built a career, the past six or seven years, around his rivalry with Danny Toner. Losing this match would break his heart. Losing these titles ... would crush him.

    I pride myself on unselfishness. Danny Toner even tried to paint me as selfishly unselfish. He’s not entirely wrong, but at this moment … I am both selfish and unselfish. I want this for Randy more than I want any other result for myself.

    And looking across the ring at Donny Toner … I have something to prove for myself. There is a small flame. A wanting to win. A wanting to beat … Donny Toner. I want Golden Rock to stand with the greats, just like Sunrise-Sunset does. I deserve it. Most importantly, Randy deserves it.

    So … today is not the ending.

    So …

    Remix.”


    Golden feels compelled to slide under the ropes and into the ring. So he does. He then feels compelled to tackle “Donny Toner.” So he does, just before he can block Randy Ramon from hooking the unconscious leg of Danny Toner.

    "Thank you for staying."

    "You should be thanking me for wanting to stay."

    "Do you want to stay?"

    Golden then feels compelled to lift his hands to the sky. So he does, because he just watched a hand, belonging to some out-of-picture body, slap the canvas three consecutive times.

    "I'll get there."

    "Why do you want to stay?"


    He watched Ramon pin Danny Toner, just the way it should be. Golden watched with his two eyes as Golden Rock emerged on the right side of the defining moment of this past year.

    "Because on Fight Night or whatever show is after Desert Storm, I want to be in the ring holding the Tag Team Championships next to Randy. I want to look and see Danny and Donny. I want them to know why it happened, and who I am. Fuck them."

    "Is that all?"

    "Because I want to be known as the greatest tag team wrestler in FWA history. Five titles. Five different partners. The first and last two decades apart. But winning them isn't defending them. The greatest defend them. This match means something. It has been building to this. Golden Rock loses something more than titles if we lose this match.

    THIS match."

    "Is there another?"

    "I didn't get to see, so I don't know."

    "Do you want there to be?"

    "With no mask."

    "Ah ... now we know."

    For a third time, a LOUD thunderous boom sound from the ceiling above in San Antonio, Texas. Only this time, Golden doesn’t get the chance to look around at the fans or Ramon or Donny to see if they heard it as well. Instead, the entire scene dissolves.


    “Do or die, you'll never make me,
    Because the world will never take my heart.”



    Golden is brought right back to face-up, legs hooked, looking up at the sky with just a corner of Ramon’s face in his vision. That third thunderous boom was the sound of the referee’s hand hitting the canvas. For a split second, the crowd cheers. For a split second, Golden feels relief. It’s …

    It’s done.

    With a Remix.

    Like it should.

    "You can leave now. We don't want you to, but we understand."

    Golden feels weightless, out of control. He firmly believes his hand is not on the steering wheel of whatever is happening. He strongly believes that the only other principle character(s) around is the one in control of this. This is all those little circular hazy dots in the crowd speaking out to him, replying to his inner monologue.

    They created this.

    "No, you created it. You like to make yourself believe that you're along for the ride. You always have."

    And this scene, like the last one, dissolves.


    “We’ll carry on.”


    Black. Black is the absence of color, right? Or so they say. Black is best described as nothingness. Black is what you see staring into the abyss and searching for any speck of anything. It's what you get back. You get back nothing. It can be either disappointment or relief.

    This time it's relief.

    And searching for a speck in the black, it’s sound over sight. Breathing. Deep, heavy breathing.

    It’s not death. It’s a dream, one with no more memories to show.

    "Don't wish for it to end. Don't prepare for it to end. Wish for it to continue, prepare that it will continue, and react when it ends. Give everything you've got from now until then."

    Golden can't speak back to the voices in the dark abyss, those fans talking him through what will be his last memory when his last moment happens.

    Golden can't even muster up an internal thought for them.

    All he can do is breathe and wait. Eventually, it’ll be time to wake up.



    3x FWA World Heavyweight Champion
    2x FWA X Champion
    5x FWA Tag Team Champion


    2020 North American Sports Poster Of The Year

  18. #18
    SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT

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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD




    Welcome to Your Last Memory



    “Do you know the story of ‘Welcome to the Black Parade?’”

    The question hangs heavy in the air. Randy knows full well Devin's history with My Chemical Romance, and that song in particular. I mean, if Devin knew the sheer number of favors that Randy had to cash in to get MCR to appear at the "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree Spectacular"? He'd never let Randy buy another beer in his life. But this is a new question. He had always assumed that it was just a song that the emo kinds screamed at the top of their lungs when they've had a few too many of the bubblies. So you can understand Randy's confusion here, when Devin wants to ask such a serious question, after finishing off his third beer - a nice double IPA from some back town brewery - the one that has already guaranteed Randy will be responsible for getting them back to the hotel this evening... and possibly to the gym tomorrow.

    He doesn't initially respond, choosing instead to maintain eye contact with his 8.5% ABV mistress. On one hand, he really, really doesn't care. On the other hand, he does, but only because of how much Devin has done for him - and his career over the last eight or so months. But on a third, more optimistic and entertaining hand, he enjoys when Devin goes off on one of his tangents. There's not many things in the world more entertaining, to Randy, than someone ranting on about something they truly care about. But then again on that first hand...


    "OH MY FUCKING GOD!"

    Devin is taken back, but in a sort of half confused/half satisfied kind of way. As if he both expected and didn't expect that response at the same time. Randy clears the bottom of his glass, then signals to the bartender for two more. With the look of a small child who can't wait for their parents to shut up so they can play again, he swings his stool in Golden's direction.

    "No. I've heard it 5,000 times. You've made me listen to it probably 4,900 of those times. But no, I don't know what it's about. I imagine this is gonna be one of your stories?"

    Randy made the decision to humor Golden this time. This night, in fact, is about letting Devin let loose. Between the pregnancy, the upcoming title defense, his outside commitments, and just the general wear and tear of every day life, Devin has been closer to a Raggedy Andy than a Stretch Armstrong in recent days, if you know what I mean. Golden, the negotiator that he is, said he would only come along if he could pick the spot. Randy initially laughed at the request. I mean, San Antonio, Texas? All they do in Texas is herd cattle and drink beer, right? There's no wrong place to drink beer in Texas.

    This, in fact, was the wrong place to drink beer in Texas.

    Some Zombie themed music hall, with creepy fog lining the floor, fake bats hanging from the ceiling, and tombstone shaped tap handles. In February. Even the waitresses were getting in on the act, wearing prosthetics and face makeup to look like zombie barmaids. Normally Randy would be super into that, but there's something about a fake eyeball hanging down to a girl's chin that turns him off. He has some class.


    “The song — well, actually, the entire “Black Parade” album — follows a cancer patient. The fable of the song is that when you die, you relive a very vivid memory from your life. So the patient in this song is reliving a parade his dad took him to, except now the parade represents his death. And the parade marchers are here to usher him ‘into the next realm.’"

    By this point, Randy has rolled his eyes so hard that they went to the back of his skull and rolled back up from underneath. Never the one to miss a chance to be over the top, he's slid down in his stool, to the point he's nose to butt with a creepy skeleton hanging from the ceiling.


    "So now he is part of the parade. In the memory, his dad tasked him with helping the wayward souls that didn’t make it across ‘the bridge,’ so to speak. The patient is helping them cross as well. And the singer, a child version of the patient, is watching the parade as a living person and telling his ‘dying’ self that he and everyone else in the world will move on and remember him one way or another.”

    "*insert fake snoring sound*"

    The sound of a full glass of beer hitting the bar jars him back to reality. By the time he adjusts in his seat, Devin has pounded his and slams the glass down on the bar, probably a little too hard. Randy flags down the bartender and orders up another round, confident he'll finish his own before she gets back. No one ever said he was the good influence of the team. He turns back to Devin and gives him a nonplussed look.

    "Alright, if I'm being serious, what about it? What does this have to do with Danny?"


    Ramon makes fun, but he's borderline annoyed at the moment. As I said, the entire point of this evenings shenanigans is to help Devin focus. To help him center himself. Align his chi. And all he can think about is this stupid death song? I mean, it's no Bohemian Rhapsody! To Randy, this is the most important match of his career to date. I mean sure, there was the initial TNT trilogy. There have been other title defenses and two other title wins, but none as big as this. During that trilogy, the pressure was on Danny Toner and his partner, Marcus Thane. After the first match, Randy and Ayla had all of the momentum. They were playing with house money. No one expected them to beat Kennedy and Carter and win the Titles. Likely no one expected them to defend so handily against Toner and Thane the first time. So if they lost? Oh well. It was fun, and they got some accolades to put on the back of their sports cards, but absolutely no one would think less of them.

    Now? Randy is Under Pressure - speaking of songs that are better than this stupid song. The pressure is squarely on Randy's, and to a lesser extent, Devin's shoulders. As seen this week in the FWA.com exclusive, Randy has a pristine six win, no loss record against Danny for their careers. Not to mention that this is a more motivated Danny Toner than Randy has ever seen before. I mean, he won his first singles title in the FWA this year! So, when I say Randy is a tad annoyed at where Golden's head is right now, you can believe it's justified.

    Golden thanks the bartender for the fresh beer, and elaborates.


    "
    So it’s funny. I remember when I ‘retired’ from the FWA in 2015. I had this really weird scrapbook dream where I relived a lot of those major moments in my career. Everyone references the scrapbook. But when it all ended, there was this moment. One … just one … vivid memory from my career played back in my head. I’m staring up at the lights. Rondo just beat me. He just did it the way it was always meant to be. But in this semi-conscious moment with my face directed to the ceiling, my back on the canvas, my shoulders completely relaxed, forfeiting any struggle my heart wanted to make, I was reliving ANOTHER moment.

    That one moment … was actually me living out my very last World Championship win. This is like … a three-second moment in my win against Ryan Rondo, right? It’s just three seconds. Boom. Boom. Boom. And everything ended.

    But consciousness is really weird. Sleep and dreams and stuff. Time goes all wonky. So I re-lived two minutes — two glorious minutes — of climbing a ladder and grabbing the World Championship. Inside the Mile High cell. I don’t need to get into the details of why that moment flashed and replayed for me. But yeah … it just reminds me a lot of this song. Like … that one really big moment replays in your head as your career ends. Or, in my case, as my career ended the first time."

    Randy is suddenly deeper in thought than we have seen him since his return last summer. Hell, he's probably deeper in thought than any of us thought he was capable of. He slowly shifts his gaze from "staring blankly into space" to his beer, then to Devin, then Devin's beer, which is a little more than three quarters full.

    "I think... it's time for a race. All this deep talk is making me feel shit I didn't want to feel today."

    Randy knows he usually wins these. In fact, he has more wins in races against Golden than he has against Danny Toner in the ring, with the same number of losses.

    "But first... why don't you put the song on. I'll give it a legitimate listen, since it's so damn heavy and meaningful to you."

    Golden gives him a "what'chu talkin' 'bout Willis?" kind of look, but then moves hastily, realizing that Randy's offer will quickly expire if he doesn't. It's happened before.

    "Good idea! I'll make sure anyone who asks knows that YOU asked for it!"

    As soon as Golden reaches the original TouchTunes machine - no really, it looks that old... it has to be the prototype - he reaches in his pocket and pulls out a couple of little white "candies". He rolls them from side to side in his hand, thinking long and hard about his next action.

    "I don't know about all of this Black Parade-Last Memory shit Devin is talking about, but... it DOES seem like the right time for a vision quest. Plus, Devin needs this. The little dude is wound tighter than than a girdle on a Baptist's minister's wife at an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast! That's a southern thing to say, right? Urgh... Ah- fuck it! Vision quest it is!"

    Without drawing any attention, Randy quickly drops the dissolvable pellets into their drinks and watches them foam into nothing. Music starts to blare throughout the hall as Golden reclaims his position at the bar... but it's not the Black Parade? It's... Umbrella? Ey? Ey?? Ey?????

    "You surprise me a lot Golden. Whenever I think I know everything about you, I catch you rockin' to Rihanna..."

    Randy holds his pint of beer high in the air, and Golden follows suit.

    "A race?"

    "A race to the bottom."

    At a rate that would make every Texan proud, Randy downs his beer and slams the glass down on the bar. Golden isn't far behind, but it's still clear who was the victor. Randy is still undefeated. Is this a sign of what's to come? Or just a fal-

    Darkness.

    Then.





    "...and other times,
    I feel like I should go."


    From the vacuum of darkness, we're thrust into a spiraling tunnel of color and light. Vibrant yellows, luscious reds, neon greens and otherworldly purples and blues, all moving downward in a choreographed dance of delirium. As the spiral goes deeper and deeper, and still deeper, we get a fix on Randy Ramon, arms and legs spread like a starfish, doing his own spiral, but not quite on key with that of the tunnel. You'd probably expect more of a reaction - screaming, yelling, general freaking out and the like - but let's remember that this isn't his first rodeo. For years he did this on a nightly basis... so if anyone is equipped to handle this, it's him. But as Randy knows, what comes next is anyone's guess.

    No one would have guessed this. No one. He spirals down, further and further until the spiral spits him out - in the middle of the night sky? As he plummets downward, now rolling end over end, he resists the urge to struggle or panic. Again, he knows how this works. It's like... a vision quest. There's some general purpose for everything he will see, hear, and do. The one thing he won't do? Feel. Nothing in this universe (for lack of a better term) can hurt him. So it should come as no surprise to anyone when he barely flinches as he crashes through the roof of the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, MS. His ride doesn't stop there, as he comes to a screeching halt... in the center of the ring.

    He takes a second to collect himself and absorb his surroundings. Standing in one corner diagonal to him is a face long forgotten about - "Meth Head" Matt. In the corner perpendicular? Danny freakin' Toner. A small man in a striped shirt rambles on about the rules to the affair, and a faint DING! can be heard. A voice inside Randy's head tells the story.

    "Wait...I...I remember this... This was the beginning."

    A quick glance at the big screen confirms his suspicions, showing "Fight Night! 10/3/14"

    "This was the first time that Danny and I even fought. The first of several."

    Matt and Toner have made their way outside of the ring and are beating the holy hell out of each other with everything they can get their hands on. Randy is still in the ring.

    "This is where I pinned Danny, and to hear him tell the story, sent him on a downward spiral. If you asked him, this is where my career took off, and his sputtered. This night right here is why he's never gotten the big break. This is why he's never made it to the top of the mountain."

    Matt and Toner are taking turns slamming each other face first into a wooden table. A table that, in canon, Randy would tackle them both through, in just a few moments. But this isn't canon. Instead, Toner dumps Matt through the table and turns his attention to Randy. Toner slides into the ring and things start to move in slow motion.

    "I mean if I squint real hard I can see his point, but what's the meaning of any of this? Danny charges in, I drop him with the Remix, pin him in front of the world, I'm the X-Division number one contender, and we move on. That's how this goes. Just lik-"

    Except this time, Danny ducks. He bounces off the other ropes, and before Randy can even catch his balance, Toner drops HIM with the Neutralizer. This time, it's Randy laying on his back on the mat and staring at the ceiling as the referee counts to three.

    "Wait, what?"

    This time, Randy is laying on his back on the mat and staring at the ceiling as Danny climbs to the top rope and celebrates his victory.

    "That's not..."

    This time, Randy is laying on his back on the mat and staring at the ceiling as Danny is showered with applause and adulation.

    "But I..."

    This time, Randy is laying on his back on the mat and staring at the ceiling as Danny is announced the number one contender to the X-Division championship.

    "That's... that's mine!"

    It's all... backwards. All of it. It's awkward, and uncomfortable, and nauseating. Seeing this play out the way it did has caused Randy to feel something that he can't actually remember ever feeling before, at least when it comes to Danny. Jealousy?

    But before he can fully process what is happening or what he's actually supposed to get out of this...


    Whoosh.

    Then.




    "Your misery and hate
    will kill us all."

    On his last thought, he's abruptly ripped through the ring, through the floor, through the ground below, and dropped into a hall of clocks. He doesn't hit the ground however, as there doesn't seem to be any gravity in this room. These clocks are not... normal? They're all... warped. Drooping. Sagging. Melting? Some of them show roman numerals, some show standard numbers, one is even spelled out in Morse Code. Some move forward, others move backwards.

    There is one clock in particular that Randy is subconsciously drawn to. It's not moving at all. Randy swims (more like flails frantically) to get a closer look. Once he's closed roughly half of the gap, he can see that the clock is actually broken. In this moment, he kind of feels like he can relate. Nothing he's experienced in the last... well, he can't actually recall how long it's been since he and Golden finished their race. Time sort of stands still when you're on the type of trip he's on. But the point is, none of it makes any sense. It's almost like he hit his head and he's struggling to pick up all the pieces of the puzzle.

    He finally reaches the clock he was struggling to get to. Up close, it's almost triple his size. He latches his hand onto the thick gold frame, swings himself around to the back of the clock, quickly sees that there's just a piece or two out of place, readjusts them, and slams the trap door shut on the back of the clock. Immediately he can hear the gears begin to turn. Then the typical tick-tock-tick of a working clock. He swims himself around to the front and admires his own handiwork.

    At first, the clock ticks like a normal clock. One tick every second. Sixty ticks in a minute. But after a few beats, it begins to tick faster. And faster. And faster. And faster yet, until the hands spin so fast that the human eye cannot perceive them. Again, Randy is subconsciously implored to take a closer look. He allows himself to float a few feet nearer, but that was a big mistake. He's now locked into the vortex created by the spinning of the hands.

    Quickly realizing his predicament, he twists his body around and begins to swim as hard as he can. Swinging his arms quicker than he every thought was possible, in every effort to get away. His actions soon prove to be for naught, as the clock sucks him in. It pulls him in closer, and closer, until the minute hand wedges itself in under his belt and takes him for a ride. It spins him around and around, until it finally flings him out of our sight, above and beyond the depths of perception...

    ...and back into the squared circle.

    This time he's even more delirious than the first time. It's as if with each level deeper he goes, he loses more and more of reality, and who he really is. He looks down at his hands, and barely recognizes them. If not for the prominent scar on the back of his left hand, he might be convinced that they belong to someone else.

    "Randy, what the hell are you doing?"

    He's caught off guard, as the voice came from behind. Again, his inner voice takes over, unable to actually put words out into the ether.

    "Huh? Who was that? Wait, I know that voice..."

    It takes most of his energy, but he manages to turn his head to the left, just enough to see her.

    "Ayla..."

    "What are you doing? This is our last chance! If they beat us in this Iron Man Match, then we don't get another shot. Are you there? Hello!?"

    He swings his head back to the right. As if looking into a mirror on opposite day, there stand Danny Toner and Marcus Thane... the FWA Tag Team Champions??

    "But wait, we beat them. We beat them twice... why do they have our titles?"

    "Look I don't know what's going on with you, but I need you to snap out of it. That bell is going to ring any minute. Whatever funk you're in right now, you need to leave it in the locker room. Come on!"

    "Any minute" it turns out, means "now," as Randy hears the muffled sound of a ding ding ding ring out. The broken clock from the hall of clocks supersedes the ring, spinning even faster than it spun when it threw Randy into this predicament. When we come back to the ring, the arena-vision shows a score of two to one, in favor of TNT, with ten seconds left. Ayla has Toner tied up outside of the ring. Inside the ring, Randy has Thane locked in the Triple Platinum (his old Texas Cloverleaf finishing submission).

    "I don't remember it this way at all... I thought..."

    Then time ticks away...

    3...

    2...

    1...

    0...

    ...and then Thane taps.

    A tenth of a second after the bell. It's over, and TNT remain the Tag Team Champs.

    Ayla and Marcus Thane slowly dissipate into nothing.

    This time, it's Randy who sits on his backside, and watches as Danny climbs to the top rope and celebrates his victory.

    "That's not..."

    This time, it's Randy who sits on his backside, as Danny is showered with applause and adulation.

    "But I..."

    This time, it's Randy who sits on his backside, as Danny is announced as STILL one half of the Tag Team Champions...

    "That's... that's mine!"

    ...and like a cruel trick played by some mischievous, supernatural force, once again...


    Whoosh.

    Then.




    "Go and try, you'll never break me
    We want it all, we wanna play this part"

    Just like that, he's ripped through the screen. This time, however, there is nothing fancy on the other side. No tunnel of color, no hall of clocks, no delirium. Randy is pulled right into the great vacuum of space. Well, metaphorical space, because he obviously couldn't breathe in ACTUAL space. But as he searches around for anything - a planet, an asteroid, a ship, even a UFO - he realizes he's surrounded by absolutely nothing, for as far as the eye can see.

    Well, the average human eye, at least. The giant one that slowly opens directly in front of Randy can probably see a lot further. Randy is staggered but has no where to go and no way to get there. The eye looks straight towards Randy, but stares so intently that he's not sure if the eye is looking at him or though him. The only reason he can tell that the eye is actually there, and not some drug induced hallucination, is a series of slight gyrations of the pupil. It seems to move in some pattern, but not one Randy can pick up on.

    After a beat, the gyrations stop, and the eye locks firmly onto Randy. He can physically feel it as the eye looks him over. But not like a physical feeling. He can feel it in his soul. In his "gut". He can't tell if the eye is looking at or for anything in particular, but the longer the eye searches him, the more he feels... vulnerable?

    As the time passes, he reflects on what he's seen: Toner pinning him in the X-Division match; Toner and Thane one-upping him in the final match of the Tag Title trilogy. He then thinks back to what really happened: Randy gloating after pinning Toner in the X-Division match; Randy rubbing it in after one-upping Toner in the final match of the Tag Title trilogy. These thoughts they make him... uneasy. He feels something he's not used to feeling, at least when it comes to Danny Toner... guilt?

    Just as Randy begins to process these feelings, the eye blinks. A moment later, Randy can feel himself start to slowly sink...

    "Oh no, not again..."

    ...and then the eye looks down...

    "Whoa!"

    ...and down goes Randy.

    Where else?

    Into the ring.

    If he thought he was delirious last time, then this time he's lost all of his senses. He looks down, and this time he can't even recognize his own hands. It's as if this version of him, isn't him? It makes no sense. It makes even less sense when he looks across the ring and sees... Chris Kennedy?!

    "Oh, Ayla must be here again. This is the night we won the titles!"

    He looks behind him - no Ayla. For that matter, he can't find Brian Carter either. Through the confusion he realizes that he is covered in sweat. This match is ongoing! Kennedy is suddenly down! He centers himself and starts to psyche himself up for the Remix! He takes a half-step and moves in for the kill, but then the crowd erupts, something grabs his foot, trips him, and pulls him to the floor.

    He collects himself, and pulls himself to his feet, only to be met, foot to jaw with a REMIX!? From HIMSELF!?

    It's not until his head hits the floor that it all starts to click: why his hands didn't look like his own, why Chris Kennedy stood across from the ring from him in a singles match, why he saw himself pull him from the ring and Remix his face... the giant eye in the sky saw his inner thoughts, and sent him into the metaphysical body of Danny Toner... It wanted Randy to feel exactly how Danny felt, when Randy cost Danny a shot at the absolute biggest moment of his career: the Main Event of Back in Business 2016.

    This time, it's Randy who must watch as Randy celebrates along with the crowd.

    "That's not how I meant that..."

    This time, it's Randy who must watch as Randy is showered with applause and adulation.

    "But I just didn't want him to have what he cost me at the Carnal Contendership..."

    This time, it's Randy who must watch as Danny is once again forced to come up short by his own hand...

    "That's..."

    But before he can finish the thought...

    Darkness.

    Then.




    "We'll carry on."

    "HOLY SHIT!"

    The sounds of an obnoxious bedside alarm clock shoot us back to reality. Broken out in a cold sweat, Randy pops up from his slumber and sits straight up in bed, almost panting, trying to catch his breath. His hair is a total mess and the black t-shirt he wears is two sizes too small.

    "What the... how the... how did I get home?"

    That's a mystery for another day. Right now, he needs to process the things that his little oval friend showed him over night. But first? The bathroom. That's the one big issue with vision quests... no bathroom breaks! After a beat, he emerges from the bathroom looking like a few million bucks. His hair is fixed, the clothes fit... it's almost as if he didn't get drunk and drug himself last night! He grabs a half-full beer from the end table, and plops down in front of his laptop. You know what comes next.

    "Good afternoon Revolutionaries... welcome to another riveting edition of... actually I can't do this. I'm not in the energetic, boisterous mood I usually am when I do these things..."

    He sits with his arms crossed, staring off into the distance, not really sure how to put what he's feeling into words.

    "You know, Danny Toner and I go WAY back, right? Like, all the way back. For better or for worse, our careers always have been and always will be inexorably linked. If Danny accomplishes something, it will be held up against what I've done, and the same thing happens for me. It may not be right, or fair, but it is what it is."

    "Due to some circumstances totally out of my control, I've come to realize some things in the last few hours. You know it's always felt to me like Danny and I had this epic back and forth kind of rivalry, where we would take turns one-upping each other. But it hasn't really been like that. Not at all. No it's actually been extremely one-sided... and I've... not been great about showing my ass throughout it. In fact, I've been QUITE the ass."


    "See I've always slagged on Danny because, well, he's been an easy target. My success was his failure. It wasn't until last night that I really began to understand Danny. It wasn't until I literally wore his metaphorical shoes... or something like that... that it all came together. It's easy to sit back and judge someone for seeming jealous or angry... but once you feel those same feelings yourself, it kind of puts a different spin on things."

    "Last night, I felt Danny's jealousy. I know this won't make sense when I say it out loud, but I saw Danny Toner as a Tag Team Champion last night. Not with Donny, but with Thane. I felt the same helplessness and despair that have plagued him since the day we both walked into FWA. Frankly, it... didn't feel good. Not at all. I was on the receiving end of the Remix when Toner lost to Chris Kennedy because of my interference. I mean I said it wasn't going to make sense, right? But I saw and felt everything that I cost him that night. What a dick move. And why did I do it? Probably my own jealousy. I mean, I beat Danny over and over and over... but it never seemed to matter. It was like... the more I won, the more popular he got, and the more... I stayed exactly the same. So yeah, I was probably a bit jealous of the fact that no matter how far he fell, he was still primed for the big time. Everybody loves Danny Toner! The lovable loser. He never did anything, hasn't done anything, probably won't do anything, but still he gets put in the big spots. Not that I don't, per se, but it just seemed like they never end for him. If you need proof, just consider our match this weekend at Desert Storm... what did he and Donny do to deserve a title shot? I rest my case."


    "That jealous Randy sucked. But this Randy? This Randy is ready for this to be the end. No more jealousy, no more hatred, no more blood, no more dotted line career comparisons.. the end. No more Randy and Danny. No more Ramon and Toner. No more will they, won't they. No more Tag Title matches. No more. Just none of it. We've done this dance and played this game for far too long. We finally completely understand one another, and the things that drive us, that make us who we are. And that? That's the thing that lets this be... the end. Our story is ending, and our circle is closing."

    "You know, if I said what I'm about to say a few years ago, you would have thought I was mocking Danny. You would have thought I was being sarcastic. I probably would have been, but I'm not now. May the best man and team win. I know how that sounds. But I mean it. I have it on very good authority that I am the better man and Golden Rock is the better team, but if I'm wrong? So be it. As long as we're done. As long as this is it. The denouement. The end. Fin."

    His phone chirps from off screen. A cursory glance shows it's a text from his partner, Devin Golden.


    You alive? I'm not. If you are, don't forget to do the thing. - DG

    He chuckles as he reads it, a vague acknowledgement of how good Devin is at keeping Randy on his path, even if Randy seems to try to do everything to knock Devin off of his.

    "Normally I would sit here and come up with something witty. Something about a dried up printer cartridge being able to beat Danny and Donny on it's own. But I'm not going to today. I've already given them everything I've got. I've already given them all of the attention they deserve, and then some. So I'm going to save the witty wisecracks until after the match."

    He lets out a sly chortle.

    "Devin would be proud."

    He reaches towards the computer.

    "Alright revolutionaries. We'll see you next time. Thanks for tuning in!"

    *click*


    Darkness.











  19. #19
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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    The Heretic Manifesto
    Entry 003


    "Bad in victory... Worse in defeat"

    Date: February 12th 2021
    Time: 21:19 pm


    "I've never been a man to rest on my laurels. These titles and awards. These accolades. What do they well and truly mean to us? Because the more I think back about things. The little I have started to care about a legacy. The simple truth is we all die in the end and those pedestals we all stand upon based on our accolades or victories. They won't do anything when it comes time for that day. The results to me they don't mean as much anymore. Instead it's the memories. The screams and the cries which I'll remember. I may not win every fight I'm in. But I will not lay down for anyone. I will go out on my sword when the time comes. The truth is though I don't think there are many willing to say the same. That's why this one loss won't define me. Because I know next time round I'll make him see that he may have won the battle but nowhere near is close to winning the war!"

    Only a few moments have passed since the conclusion of the latest edition of Fight Night. At this event "The Heretic" Dan Maskell would of course be defeated by Michael Garcia in the main event of the show. Following his later confrontation with both Reagan Cole and Kai Urigawa. A livid Dan Maskell is quick to storm backstage and as he does so we see many members of the crew make quick sidesteps in an attempt to avoid catching the eye of a livid Heretic. However it seems there are at least two people in attendance who aren't as afraid to approach Dan as the rest. The first of which is Junior Interview Katie Lynn Goldsmith who at the behest of Todd Salum looks to conduct an interview with Dan after his match. Erratic and irritated Dan is pacing back and forth in the hallway muttering various insults towards himself. His breathing pattern is as chaotic with several loud intakes of breath sounding quite primitive. On occasion Dan's tongue shoots out his mouth as he licks his lips. Albeit with some trepidation Katie approaches Dan with a microphone in her hand.

    Katie: Dan...

    Just at the mere mention of his name a livid Dan Maskell turns and stares at Katie. His stare is piercing as his eyes are locked firmly with hers.

    Dan: Who are you? What do you want?

    Katie: My name is Katie Lynn Goldsmith. I'm one of the the FWA's Junior Reporters.

    Dan: And yet you still haven't told me what you want from me.

    Katie: Well Dan. I'd like to talk to you about what happened in your match tonight with Mike Garcia. Plus what happened afterwards with Kai Urigawa and Reagan Cole.

    Dan: And what?

    Katie clearly looks confused as Dan continues to stare at her menacingly.

    Dan: Am I not speaking clearly enough. You want to talk to me about things but the truth is. I have nothing to say about tonight. Especially not to some trainee on her first day on the job. So take this hint and get out of my fucking way!

    With that Dan pushes past Katie and he begins to make his way down the hallway. However his journey is soon cut off by an irritated Todd Salum. Unlike Katie who is still a junior reporter and perhaps in need of a little more time. Todd has seen it all and heard it all. The veteran journalist very much is not pleased with Dan's behavior or treatment of his apprentice. This is shown when Todd grabs Dan by his arm to stop him walking away. The agitated Dan spins around and pushes Todd's arm away forcefully.

    Dan: You better take your hands off of me old man!

    Todd: Look. I don't know how things were conducted wherever else you wrestled. But here in the FWA you will show us some respect. I've seen many come and go and I'll be the first to say it's those with attitudes like yours who don't last long.

    Dan: Is that so?

    Todd: It is. So are you going to do this interview or what?

    Dan: So let me get this straight. I win my debut the previous week and you people don't want to talk to me. But the second I lose you all suddenly want to talk to me. You say how people like me don't last long. But the truth is you have never encountered anyone who is fucking like me!

    Seething with rage as he glares at Todd, Dan after a pause proceeds to shake his head in disgust.

    Dan: Let this be known. People like you and your stupid bitch of a colleague. I've seen you all come and go. You all genuinely like to believe you are important in the grand scheme of things. But the fact of the matter is. None of you truly matter. Not to me. Not in the slightest. So next time you think that because of your status you can get away with confronting me about things. Remind yourself of just how insignificant I find you. For while you may not stand for disrespect and that I can respect. Come at me again and you won't be standing for anything at all. Instead you'll be too busy picking your teeth up from off the floor.

    With that Dan finally walks away from Todd Salum. While Dan disappears down the hall a seething Salum turns to a concerned Katie. After a brief moment Todd takes a deep breath and on exhaling he reaches out and puts his hand on her shoulder.

    Todd: From now on. Whenever you are asked to interview him. Make it clear that you won't be put in that position. We do not tolerate behavior like that. Not now and not ever. He will eventually learn that.

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    "Ever since I was a boy I hated to fail. I was constantly a victim of expectation. Be it from my family, friends or worst of all myself. If I wasn't the best at what I was doing. I didn't want to carry on doing it anymore. At the same time though being the best was never good enough for me. You could say the simple truth is there was no such thing in my mind as being good enough. I was never going to be happy with anything I achieved. No matter the milestone it would never be good enough for me."

    Date: October 16th 1998
    Time: 15:41 PM


    It is a particularly cold afternoon in October. With fog still present and the ground moist from all the rain. It is safe to say that a lot of people are choosing to stay home on this particularly bleak day. One person however who isn't making that choice is a very frustrated 14 year old Dan Maskell. Having recently experienced a loss in a boxing match. The very irritated and frustrated Dan is currently in the middle of a harsh workout despite the conditions in his garden. Sweat pouring out of his pores as Dan is wrapped up in a black and gold sweat suit. The teenage Heretic is firing off several different combinations at a black punchbag which is connected to a bracket and held up to a wall. After a few more minutes pass we seem emerging from the conservatory of the home is Dan's older sister Sarah. 18 years old and a tall, slim girl with long black hair. Sarah has a black beanie hat over the top of her hear and is wearing a brown parka coat as well as blue jeans. As she approaches him Sarah seems to be concerned with her brother's welfare.

    Sarah: Dan.. Come inside. It's freezing out here.

    Despite Sarah's plea Dan doesn't stop firing off heavy punches at the bag. Undeterred by Dan's ignoring of her Sarah remains stationed by his side.

    Sarah: Is this about the other night? You lost one match... So what?

    Slowly Dan's punches come to a halt as he exhales deeply. Turning to Sarah we see that Dan's eyes are red almost as if he is tearing up.

    Dan: I did more than lose. I failed.

    Sarah: No one thinks that Dan.

    Dan: Don't they? Because I see it in how everyone is looking at me. They see a loser.

    Sarah: No they don't. Dad may have been upset with you. But it wasn't because you lost Dan. It was because he honestly felt like you didn't perform as good as you could have. He felt you was holding back. That's why he was upset.

    Dan: How was I holding back? I got knocked down but carried on fighting.

    Sarah: Dan we all know you should have won that fight. Yet it always seems like you get to a certain point. Just where it seems like you are about to reach your true potential. That for some reason you sabotage yourself and hold back. It's almost like as much as you want to win... You also want to fail

    Dan looks at his sister out of irritation before he shakes his head and turns back to his punch bag.

    Dan: You know nothing about this. Because you don't fight. You don't know what it's like and you don't know a thing about me!

    Sarah: That's the point Dan. No one does. You've built your walls so high up. None of us know what to say to you. Did I do anything wrong? You can talk to me.

    Dan: I can't. You just wouldn't understand.

    Shaking her head in disbelief Sarah albeit with some disappointment walks back into the house. Dan meanwhile continues to punch away at the bag while tears begin to stream down from his eyes.

    "However if there is one thing I do know. If there is one thing that I have learned. It's that humiliation is the greatest motivator we as people can have. I have been humiliated and embarrassed in my time. I never let those moments beat me or overcome me. Instead I'd come back stronger and with more fire. There have been frequent questions about what kind of man I am since I returned. The truth is now everyone will find out the exact answer to that question."


    __________________________________________________________________________________

    "Many people have tried to understand me. My doctor for her part. She tries to help and tries to understand. I can almost believe that to be genuine. She says that I have an inability to allow myself to be happy. That I'll sabotage myself constantly because I don't believe I deserve anything good to come my way. In the meantime it's back to simply going through the motions of life. Trying to find something that matters. As a favor to the doctor I've agreed to play ball and do a fan forum before the latest show. It's going to be a fucking train wreck."

    Date: February 28th 2021
    Time: 18:25 pm


    It is not long before bell time for the Desert Storm event and while the building is not completely filled as fans continue to file in. We see that before the show a special fan forum is about to take place. Standing in the ring hosting the affair is Amy Duke. The ditzy interviewer very much seems a little overwhelmed by the proceedings as not only is she met with some cat calls but is also quick to divulge to some of the fans that the reason she is handling this is both Katie and Todd turned down this session.

    Amy: Well guys... As we know this is my first time handling one of these. So let's try and keep things civil. My guest for this special forum will be none other than "The Heretic" Dan Maskell.



    Everybody Knows by Wildfire plays as several smatterings of boos can be heard from the fans at the forum. Emerging from the back wearing a black leather jacket, plain grey t shirt and black jeans is Dan Maskell and it is clear by his expression that Dan is not at all happy to be apart of this. In the ring Amy Duke claps her hands together in some light, respectful applause for Dan as he climbs up onto the ring apron and puts his hands on the ropes. Leaning over the ropes Dan looks over at Amy before he shakes his head. This in turn causes Amy to rush over to him.

    Dan: I don't want to do this.

    Amy: It's too late to cancel now Dan. These people have all paid extra to be here.

    Sighing to himself Dan puts his face in his hands and exhales loudly before he looks back up at Amy.

    Dan: So what exactly do I have to do? What the fuck is a forum.

    Amy: Well normally you'd do a meet and greet. Perhaps some autographs and merchandize signing. However was was given the heads up as to why that'd be a bad idea with you. I'm not sure exactly why but that's what Todd said. So all you have to do is just answer some fan questions. That shouldn't be too hard.

    Dan: Fine.. Let's get this over with.

    Amy: Alright well if you can join me in the ring... We can begin.

    Dan: Yeah I'm not doing that. I said I don't want to do this but you said it's too late to cancel. Being that I'm not likely to be enjoying this. The least I can do is be comfortable.

    Amy: And your comfortable standing on the apron?

    Dan smirks slightly before he nods his head.

    Dan: Aren't you an observant one. No I'm not. That's why I'm going to take a seat out here. So you can either give me the microphone or come out here and join me.

    With that Dan turns around on the ring apron before he walks across to the ring steps. Before the small crowd in attendance gathered Dan takes a seat on the ring steps. Despite being thrown by this move Amy after shrugging her shoulders leaves the ring before she presents Dan with a microphone. From here Amy begins to walk around the ringside area as she looks to find fans willing to ask Dan questions. The first fan she stops in front of is a man in his mid forties who is wearing a Cyrus Truth t-shirt.

    Fan: Hey Dan.. I've followed your career for years now. Was a fan of yours since your CWA run. There has been a lot of rumors flying around about where exactly you went and what happened to you. Care to tell us what happened to you after World's Strongest?

    Staring at the hand intensely Dan after a few moments responds by shaking his head.

    Dan: No comment.

    On hearing Dan utter this response Amy looks a little concerned as she looks back at Dan.

    Amy: Dan.. You have to try and at least answer the questions.

    Dan: I will when someone asks a question worth my time and not one that is a total invasion of my privacy. So to that question I say no comment.

    Amy undaunted begins to walk around the crowd again before this time she stops off in front of a young woman in her late teens. The woman with dyed green hair is wearing a black beanie and a MVH T-Shirt.

    Fan: Dan, last week after your match with Michael Garcia... Both Kai Urigawa and Reagan Cole came out to save you from a post match attack. Why did you treat them with such disrespect?

    Dan: Seriously? That's your question?

    Staring at the woman as she nods her head. An unimpressed Dan rolls his eyes before he responds.

    Dan: Fine. Well let me begin with why wouldn't I do so? I already proved that I'm better then them and now they are trying to hang around me like little fanboys. Newsflash people I don't play well with others. I never have and I never will. Now to make matters worse I have to actually team with these guys.

    With a look of disgust on his face Dan slowly leans back on the stairs and rests the back of his head against the ring post. Meanwhile Amy settles on a male fan in his twenties who is wearing just a plain white t-shirt and blue jeans.

    Fan: What do you think went wrong for you against Michael Garcia?

    Irritation soon turns to anger as Dan leans forward from the ring post and glares at the fan.

    Dan: What kind of question is that? FUCK off.. No comment.

    Quickly a bemused Amy turns to Dan and raises her mic to speak.

    Amy: Dan... Need I remind you we have children present. You need to watch your language.

    Dan: You told me I had to answer questions.. Not put up with shit like that. Fuck this I'm done. FUCK ALL OF YOU!

    Standing up from the stairs Dan drops the microphone on the ground while Amy rushes over to him.

    Amy: You're still set for another 20 minutes. You can't call it quits now.

    Dan: Fuck this I'm done.

    Amy doesn't look impressed while Dan looks back round at the crowd. Near the guard rail to his right is a young fan around ten years old. Slowly Dan walks over to the young fan who seems a little terrified of the temperamental Heretic.

    Dan: You look nervous... Do I frighten you child?

    Kid: A little.

    Dan begins to smile a sadistic smile.

    Dan: Good. At least someone here knows well enough to be scared.

    From here Dan snatches the microphone from Amy's hand as he starts to address the audience personally.

    Dan: I've been informed I have to do this for another twenty minutes. However to put it bluntly that's not going to happen. You people come here and expect me to bend over backwards for you all because you bought a ticket. No fuck that. I'm not here to be your dancing monkey and I'm certainly not here to be your entertainment. Tonight isn't about you people and what you want. Tonight is all about me and what I want. I'm going to beat Michael Garcia tonight. I'm going to beat his little group that he brings out with him. That's not to win any of you over or appease Reagan Cole and Kai Urigawa. That is because those boys made the mistake of crossing me last week. Now they will learn the cold hard truth in this fucked up reality. Never wound what you can't kill! You started this and tonight I finish it. So I hope you are happy with those beds you made.. Because now you get to die in them.

    With that Dan throws the microphone down to the ground before he storms backstage bringing an end to this forum once and for all.

    Codex
    Dan Maskell ~ Michael Bisping
    Sarah Maskell ~ Anya Taylor Joy





  20. #20
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    Re: Desert Storm PPV PROMO THREAD

    XXX
    -------------------
    Part 3. Alone.
    -------------------

    Urigawa stands in front of a chain link fence. His breath is visible as he draws deep and exhales a large cloud of vapor. Flashes of his experiences with Maskell and Cole fill his mind. The wars they had gone through. He slowly bounces himself out of his relaxed position off the fence, adjust the fit of his leather jacket and removing his earbuds.

    So people still don’t ‘get’ me in FWA. That because I’m not an open book I’m not important to people. There are things you don’t know about me, FWA audience. I don’t… exactly… get along with people.

    He reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a large smart tech device.

    This. This doesn’t get calls. You know why? Because it’s not a phone. This is just a really fancy iPod that is filled with my music that I can drown the world out with. I don’t like people. It’s people that make others sad. It’s people that make others feel worth less. It’s people that make others stressed out. The first thing you have to learn in life: escape people. This isn’t to say I don’t have friends. I do. It’s just 70, 80 percent of the time, I’m alone. By my own choice. Reason? I know better. I know I’m happy, peaceful when I’m by myself. Sometimes, I like to just go out into the wilderness, experience nature, and camp. The only person that gets me up in the morning is me. The only person that gets me in the gym is me. The only thing that the human race has contributed to me is depression, sadness, anxiety. Negativity, drama, poverty, that’s what I was given by life.

    Urigawa holds up his device once more, pointing towards the play button.

    On this, I am the one that presses pause. Nobody can press it for me. I hold the tool for creativity. When you go your own way in life, people will either try to clip you or crawl up to you to be buddy/buddy with you. You don’t even ask for it. What’s even better is when people try to make you feel guilty about it. ‘Why don’t you like this, this, and this? People make me out to be a pessimist or cynical. There’s nothing to feel guilty about. I keep to myself. That’s how I get the most energy out of this body. People love having the same superficial conversations over… and over… and over… and over… again.

    Urigawa pauses and makes a funny face and raises his voice.

    OH HELLO MY NAME IS SO AND SO AND BLAH BLAH BLAH. OH HEY YOU LOOK FUN BLAH BLAH BLAH. YOU SHOULD COME OUT TO DRINKS WITH US BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    Urigawa winces and rubs his temples with his fingertips as his frustration grows. He growls but it's quickly brushed away with a sigh.

    You think any stranger on the bus actually cares when they ‘How are you?’ I get tired after interviews because having questions fired at me like a machine gun drains me.

    Urigawa scoffs as he falls back bouncing on the fence, breathing a sigh of relief.

    I know I’m not gonna change society as one person. But I can isolate myself away from it. I don’t have to deal with the gossip, the drama, the ‘he said/she said bullshit that goes on. I took myself away from that, and I made this body into a weapon. Sooner or later, people started listening to me. I’m not the type to take photos with friends. I’m not sucked up into this vain, vapid world of self-absorption. I don’t care about society. Society doesn’t care about me. Why should I? You think I owe my success to society? You think I live my life to interact with people? No.

    I think it’s gross this weird social norm that you HAVE to go hang out with people, that you’re lame if you’re eating by yourself. So imagine just… how ecstatic I am to be in this 6 man tag!

    Urigawa fakes a smile. He scratches the back of his head. He shuffles on his feet trying to look for somewhere to turn but there’s nowhere to go. He looks up to the night sky with his arms out wide as if to say ‘why god’.

    I know. I know how this thing goes. I try to play peacemaker. I try to be part of a team, but I get shoved into the dirt. I get treated like a freak, like a punk. I get treated like an outsider. I get put on the sidelines. It’s been this way as long as I can remember. It’s been that way since I was a kid. It’s why I don’t play well with others. I try to show everyone respect, but some people... just don’t deserve it.

    Right now, there are two things I can trust in FWA. Those are my fists and my kicks. Because either one of them is going to knock your ass out. I’ve said enough about my opponents before. I don’t like them. I don’t know what possessed FWA management to put me into a tag match with two people I despise. Maskell, he’s a washed up prick. Cole, he’s a fresh faced prick. But regardless, if I have to carry these two up the damn mountain to victory, then so be it. I will do it on my hands and knees. I will chop whoever is front of me down or cut their head off with an axe kick.

    I guess this is when I talk about the opponents right? Or are we just over that now? No? There's still time? Great. More effort than either of them will put into this. *ahem* We are up against Michael Garcia and the Undisputed Alliance. One brain cell shared across three bodies.

    Garcia, what can’t be said about the guy. Former champion. A ‘main event’ player. But Garcia’s crux has always been… well, he’s the bridesmaid, never the bride. And that eats at him inside. I see it in his eyes, the way he talks to people like he’s better than them. The Carnegie Carnivore is nothing more than another whiney giant emo with a god complex. He’s like one of those cats that whines all night… but if I call him a cat I guess that makes him a 7 foot tall pus-... Well... Regardless, you better believe I’m gonna chop that seven footer down to his knees and smack that greasy fucking hair off his head. I mean if his commentary career is any metric on his wrestling skill, then I think I’m pretty safe.

    And as far as the Undisputed Alliance? Nate, Fenix, I’d ask you to listen but I know you’re not really good listeners. You’re really great acrobats, you know with the way both your heads are jammed the other one’s ass? I swear I can easily dispatch both of those dickwads with one hand tied behind my back. I guarantee that one of those three are either tapping, snapping, or napping by the end of the match. The referee will raise my hand and I’ll walk to the back... alone.

    Urigawa sighs and gets closer to the camera. His dark eyes pierce into the lens.

    Maskell, Cole, don’t get in my way and you won't get hurt. Simple as that.

    And with that Urigawa takes out his earbuds and puts them back in, shuffles his music, flips his hood up, and walks down the street into the night.
    𝖍𝖚𝖗𝖙 // 𝖍𝖊𝖆𝖑



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