Post by Bonnie Blue on May 8, 2016 11:35:42 GMT -5
On silent wings, gulls wheeled through the crystal-blue sky; gentle waves lapped at painted iron girders of an aging pier. Flakes of rust drifted down to collect on the backs of a barnacle colony. From above came the sounds of heavy footsteps on half-rotting planks. Six near-identical figures confronted a seventh. No words exchanged; no voices raised in hostility. Hushed anticipation fell, the calm before the raging tempest.
A sharp report, like a thunderclap, split the air. Hot brass dropped to the deck. Seawater churned when the body dropped and began to sink, trailing blood thick and dark as a stormcloud. Almost immediately, dozens of sharply pointed fins broke the distant surface and moved toward the harbor. Wearing identical expressions of smug self-satisfaction, the six turned around and walked away, content to leave the sharks to their task.
Only one got near; and was obliterated in an instant, leaving behind no evidence that it had ever been. Primitive instincts recognizing a superior predator, the rest gave the area a wide berth. Blood ceased to flow; wounds closed as the dark haze of ichor enfolded him like a coccoon, changing him in ways both subtle and profound -- though likely not for the better. The figure seemed suddenly to sense the presence of an observer and turned toward it, when --
Bonnie Blue woke with a start, heart pounding with fright, the face -- familiar and despised -- etched firmly in her mind...
She tries to sit up, but a muscular, brown arm draped across her bare chest prevents her from moving so abruptly. Overhead, the ceiling fan makes lazy revolutions, its shadow trailing across rumpled sheets. A fleeting smile plays at her lips as she recalls the previous night's exuberant celebration -- or parts of it, anyway; there had been a lot of liquor involved. With delicate care, Bonnie extracts herself from DeMarcus' embrace. Nevertheless, he rolls over and murmurs sleepily.
DeMarcus Jordan: Baby Blue...?
Bonnie Blue: Didn't mean to wake ya, Sugar. Go back to sleep.
He reaches out to seize her by the wrist as she gathers discarded clothes from the floor.
DeMarcus Jordan: Where you going? Come back to bed. It's early.
Bonnie Blue: I know. That's why I'm gonna go get some coffee.
With obvious reluctance, he releases her; the lure of caffeine being, at the moment, more powerful than his libido. Bonnie dresses hurriedly, tempted though she is to succumb to his advances, and hastens out the door. She needs air. She needs to think. She needs... not to almost run right into Jay Omega as she steps into the hotel's hallway. He raises an eyebrow, looking her over with a knowing expression. Bonnie's cheeks redden, but her gaze is direct and without shame.
Bonnie Blue: You're up early. Somethin' wrong?
Jay Omega: Nothing to worry about. Old ghosts haunting my dreams, chasing me from sleep. That's all.
A hint of bitterness colors his words. Bonnie suspects that the subject, if not the content, of their respective nightmares had been the same: Johnny Rabid, who had orchestrated the attack that destroyed DeMarcus' knee, who subsequently sought to take her life. She can only imagine what horrors this Omega must've suffered in his own world; what had driven him to try breaching the barriers of Time. It was only luck -- or Providence -- that he'd emerged in this reality, instead of a virtual infinity of others, each stranger than the last.
Bonnie Blue: Yeah, I hear that. Me, too. Came out here to clear my head.
She casts an involuntary glance back at DeMarcus' room. Jay nods in understanding.
Jay Omega: Roof is a good place for that. Well, it was. There's a camera crew up there now. Told them I'd be right back, so they wouldn't follow me.
Bonnie Blue: Hell, it might help if I go up there, get a couple things off my chest. Sort the rest out later.
Jay Omega: Ok. See ya.
The hotel rooftop affords a breathtaking view of Mexico City, an endless panorama of sleek, ultramodern construction that fails utterly to blend in with the classic Spanish-Colonial architecture; yet the chaos itself is what gives the city its thrilling vibrancy. Bonnie Blue stands at the edge of the roof, taking in the sights as the wind teases loose a strand of golden hair. Brushing it out of her way, the Daughter of Time turns to face the camera.
Bonnie Blue: Can't say we didn't expect this. It was kinda inevitable, when each of us went our separate ways for Trios. An' I'll admit, Dre... I was hurt you'd chosen Sarah Twilight over me. Hell, didn't even ask if I was interested. But that's just kinda standard for you, ain't it? Ya don't even actively think that you're better'n I am -- ya jus' take it for granted, like it ain't even a consideration.
I mean, honestly, Dre, why is it, d'ya reckon, that I'm a part of Rebellution? What? I'm cute, so I'm the team mascot? The morale-booster? Is that how ya see it?
Do ya forget how many times I've been outright assaulted just because of association with you an' Gray? An' even before that -- before there was a Rebellution -- d'ya remember how often I stood up to Beach Crew, all on my lonesome? No backup. Like the time I faced Moor an' Oblivion in a handicap match, for example. How'd that come out?
Bonnie points to herself.
Bonnie Blue: I fucking won! Got my ass kicked afterward, but that's a win on my record an' it was against the two biggest, meanest motherfuckers in Beach Crew!
Speakin' of whom... remind me where ya was the night Wade Moor tried to end DeMarcus' career. Where were you when Johnny Rabid had me at his mercy? 'Cause ya sure as shit didn't bother helpin' neither of us. Nah. Y'know where help came from? My salvation came, ironically, at the hands of Dune -- the last person in WCF to have pinned me, but only after he hit me with his finisher twice.
That's right -- I haven't been pinned since January. I have faced every goddamn challenge put before me, an' never once have I backed down -- not even the night of the Hardcore Title match. Yeah, that belt you're so damn proud of. That belt you won... by pinnin' a woman who had been in ICU less than twenty-four hours prior to "defending" the title. It was a sham, an' everybody knows it.
Now, I get it... You wanted revenge. You deserved revenge. But you took it without honor. There's nothin' noble in beatin' someone who's already at death's door. So blinded by your hate that you were more than happy to claim vict'ry under any circumstances.
The young woman shakes her head in disappointment.
Bonnie Blue: Things would be real diff'rent if it was you an' me, Dre. One-on-one, without all them distractions -- without Scathe on me, all... relentless-like for the whole damn match -- you wouldn't find it damn near so easy.
Don't get me wrong. I love ya like a brother, an' there's plenty of other times ya have been there for me. But somethin's missin', Dre: respect. Y'expect everybody else to show you respect -- but y'ain't got none for nobody 'cept y'self. That's fixin' to change, come Sunday night.
The young woman pauses, an intense stare directed at the camera. With the next breath, she gathers her thoughts, carefully choosing what she wants to say.
Bonnie Blue: I ain't got no problem with you, Sarah. You and me's been cool so far, though I hear things that are concernin'. Jeff Purse has been fairly outspoken about your actions -- not that they haven't spoken for themselves in these last few weeks -- an' I'd be a fool not to take heed. Y'ain't a big fan of rules, an' I get that. I'm expectin'a bit of skullduggery.
Fact is, I don't trust ya. An' it ain't based strictly on Jeff Purse's say-so. It's more the fact that I've been with WCF long enough to know better'n to trust pretty much anyone. There's some things that remain constant -- an' one of them is the frequency with which folks betray one another for the most petty of reasons. Usually ain't even got nothin' to do with titles. However, I'm near certain that you're playin' a much longer game.
What mostly concerns me, Sarah, ain't so much how you're gonna comport y'self as regards my team, but how you'll treat your own. Dre an' Crystal are both my friends -- an' when Rebel Scum picks up the win this week, I don't want ya takin' it out on them.
Bonnie gives the camera a confident grin.
Bonnie Blue: Which brings me to Crystal Knight.
The smile fades; her expression becomes troubled.
Bonnie Blue: Well, hon, ya made it through round one of Trios. That wasn't easy, 'specially since you're partnered with folks who don't really understand your mindset. An' to be honest, Sugar, it gets to be a little much sometimes. But unlike your partners, I trust you. I trusted you at Aftermath. Had things gone differently, you an' me woulda won. Consider that an object lesson -- what happens when a team loses cohesion. That's gonna be your downfall this week.
You're gonna have to step up your game, Crystal, if ya wanna keep up with me in the ring. If y'expect to stand a chance against my team. I got Jay Omega -- an' even if he's from an alternate universe, he's still an experienced veteran of the ring. To put it bluntly, I wouldn't wanna square off against him. An' DeMarcus, of course, has a lot to prove after comin' back from an injury that coulda ended his career. He's gonna be out for blood, an' I'm afraid he ain't gonna much care who gets in his way.
As for me -- like I pointed out earlier, I ain't been pinned nor submitted since January. That's five months an' countin'. In that time, I have stepped into that ring with some of the best in the business today, an' none of 'em has had a decisive vict'ry over me. So I don't want ya feelin' like ya gotta take it easy for the sake of our...friendship. Matter of fact, that's the quickest way to lose my respect, short of outright betrayal. I want this win to be clean. Unquestionable. I damn sure don't want it said that Relentless Mischief laid down for Rebel Scum.
But either way, y'all's part in the Trios Tournament ends this week.
Utterly self-assured, Bonnie smiles at the camera with an expression bordering on cocky -- until something offscreen catches her eye. Soon enough, DeMarcus Jordan strides into the shot. Something like guilt crosses the young woman's face as he approaches.
DeMarcus Jordan: Hey, girl. Been looking everywhere for you. Can we talk...alone?
He gives the camera crew a pointed look, but they just continue filming. Bonnie fidgets, suddenly uncomfortable.
Bonnie Blue: Um... not right now. I forgot, I have to go meet with.... someone. But we'll talk later, I promise!
Before he can protest, she hurries past him and back into the hotel, leaving DeMarcus to stare after her in bewilderment.
Safely back in her own room, Bonnie collapses on the still-made bed with a sigh of relief.
Oh, gods... what have I done? What do I do now?
Slowly, she draws in a steadying breath.
It was a one-night stand, that's all. No big deal.
...then why do I feel so guilty...?
What I need is someone to talk to. I'll feel better with some perspective.
Bonnie picks up her phone and scrolls through her contacts, dismissing Omega out of hand. She might respect the hell out of the guy, but she barely knows him; certainly not well enough to talk to him about anything so personal. But who? A name appears beneath her fingers, as if on cue.
Crystal? Yeah... at least she'll probably understand.
And so Bonnie's finger swipes across the surface of the phone, in a message reading:
Bonnie: Hey where you at? Can we get together today?
In a fit of frustration, Bonnie presses her foot down on the accelerator; the Ranchero responds with a low growl and speeds up, surpassing the highway limit easily. The cool night air does little to improve the young woman's mood. How could it? She'd fucked up -- badly.
Way to go, Bonnie. Ruin two friendships in a single day. Good job. First the thing with DeMarcus...
She lets up on the accelerator, unconsciously; thinking of the unrestrained passion of the previous night makes her heart race even as the car slows to a more acceptable speed.
...and then Crystal -- but how could I have known?
Was it really that obvious? Was I so blind?
Or is she just trying to get in my head? Trios is a big deal, especially for a rookie. And it ain't like her partners are particularly forgiving.
Bonnie shakes her head, trying to dispel that line of thinking.
Nah. Crystal ain't like that. Not her. Damn near anyone else in WCF might try some shit like that -- but Crystal's too honest.
Goddamnit. I shouldn't have said that last thing -- it was over the line. Hell, maybe I shouldn'ta said nothin' at all. Not like she'd have found out. But what the fuck's she got to be angry about anyway? It's not like we were even dating, let alone exclusive. Shit, I thought we were just friends.
I mean, yeah, she's cute. And yeah, I've thought about it. Just not seriously...
With a frustrated sigh, Bonnie smacks her palm against the wheel.
Why do chicks have to be so damn confusing...?
That eternal question echoing through her mind, Bonnie takes the next turnaround and heads back into the city. Her thoughts are in a turmoil. Besides the unnecessarily complicated situation in which she has found herself, the Daughter of Time is troubled, still, by the dream that had awakened her. The imagery had been clear, and it had the feeling of a vision more than a subconcious fantasy. Some part of her feels a responsibility -- she should warn someone. Uncertain yet how to handle any of it, the return trip isn't quite as hasty. She doesn't make it back to the hotel before midnight.