Post by Kurt Navarro on Sept 29, 2018 22:19:40 GMT -5
Only the strong survive
No one to save the weaker race
We are ready to kill all comers
Like a loaded gun right at your face
WAR XVII without end
War Without End
When War looms over the horizon, you think about what matters. The people.The cost. For me, this little sideline called the Wrestling Championship Federation has been a war since day one. I might not have been a veteran, but I was definitely on the front line. From Los Angeles to Toronto, Canada I’ve been drenched in blood and anguish for eight long weeks. I’ve felt pain right up to my eyeballs as I’ve incurred one brutal sortie after another. Opponents like Stephen Singh and Kid Dynamo in their naivety have carelessly called these conflicts ‘matches’, but they’re so much more. I guess when the stakes are losing everything, the idea of a match simply being this throwaway scuffle on a random Slam becomes laughable. It isn’t so much that I need to win each week, I have to win. Four weeks ago I had to become the WCF television Champion. Three weeks ago I had to retain against Night Rider.
I have to succeed. I have to keep going.
Part of me used to think that it was my stubbornness that pushed Rachel away, that it was the reason why she stopped answering my texts. The last time I spoke to her was three weeks before my first fight against Karma Bishop, Rachel’s voice sounded raspy on the line, the kind of hissing croak that lodges into your throat after the tears dry up. It was obvious at the time that the woman was under stress, but I didn’t decode the signs correctly then. All I knew was that Rachel Burnett, defense attorney at law, was drifting away from me; she certainly didn’t want to hear from the Navarro Detective Agency and she especially didn’t want to hear my voice. So I channeled my frustration into beating the hell out of ‘The Dark Queen’. Rachel eventually congratulated me via a pithy text, but again, we just couldn’t hook up.
Lawyers though are always transparent when it comes to bullshit, they’re good at conjuring the lie, but the delivery always sounds hollow to me; they overthink it. Rachel was no different; our missed dates at the usual Hollywood hangouts were avoided with a calculated measure of precision that felt robotic, as if she was trying to tell me that the lies she was spinning were procedural. Every time she would blame a missed date on work or some hitherto unheard of family commitment. Looking back now, it’s becoming clear that she was actually sketching the outline of our attackers; the senior partners at her firm, Bryce and McMillan. Faceless middle aged white men who made it clear to Rachel that a ‘combat sports athlete’ like me was poison on the stand now. A jury will never trust a wrestler they assume; even one who has a pedigree in thorough investigation.
The whole messy situation feels like an open wound, one in which Rachel was forced to hold the scalpel in her shaking hand as she administered each incision. For the suits though, it was all so simple, Burnett’s professional partnership with me had to come to an end if Rachel’s tenure at the firm was to survive. My sport was outrageous and controversial, my so called ‘peers’ were psychos and nut jobs like Night Rider, Michael X and Noble Savage. No matter what Rachel felt towards me, no matter how much this was killing her inside, that truth about the sport would never change. So Rachel held onto the scalpel, and closed her eyes to the past. Another text, another incision. The cut had to be deep, no trace elements of me left. Vultures clad in Armani grey plumage perched over her shoulder whispering instructions as she felt compelled by her ambition to fall into line. She was a twenty eight year old woman of mixed heritage, hoping for scar tissue to eventually form. So that maybe, one day, after the severing between us was complete, the pain would just fade away.
Then the Mischa Miller case happened. Seeing someone die before you is a hell of a thing; but it’s not a new emotion. I had just spent the past year observing cancer eat away at my father until nothing was left. If I’m honest with myself, there’s a numbness at my core now; a cold ruthless center that doesn’t want to feel or understand others, and yet as I approach the eve of WAR XVII I can’t help but force myself to reconnect. To reach out. To perhaps see Rachel again before that bell rings and the fight for my life begins.
Justice For All
When I close my eyes at night and begin to dream, my Toronto hotel room departs, evaporating as my mind conjures up new surroundings. Eventually I hear one my dad’s old Tom Frost vinyls playing a malcontent melody, the sounds of free form jazz crying a bittersweet rhapsody now upon a strange new horizon. A moment later I’m back in Hollywood, but here in my dreams, it’s a nineteen fifties noir playland of black and white mystery. As I drive across a monochrome Laurel Canyon mindscape, a cop car pulls up ahead of my vehicle as nonexistent moonlight dances off gleaming chrome. A moment later, officer Hank Brown is escorting my convertible red Ford Thunderbird to a nearby police station. Multiple homicides have been reported across the border into Canada he says, with witnesses pointing an incriminating finger back to me.
The night carries a chill as Officer Brown and I eventually arrive at the station. The building ahead is a neo-gothic structure, it’s construction dedicated to the memory of the NCW as it’s monolithic features stand tall over the skyline. It’s imposing dimensions acting as an edifice dedicated to the house that Steve Carr once built; its bricks and mortar the same skin and bone that forged a federations rebirth as the WCF. This station, passing judgement at the end of time, is the home of WAR, the very reason for the events existence, conceptualized now by my own experience into a venue to confront my enemies.
As Officer Brown and I walk inside, framed photographs of past heroes narrow their judgmental gaze. In this world, Brown is a glorified rent-a-cop, but one that over the last seventeen years has kept his eyes open and seen the lay of the land. He smirks as I straighten my Fedora and tie.
“You ain’t beating the rap on this one, Navarro. They’ve got all the evidence they need. They’re gonna make the rap stick and squeeze you out when the bell rings.”
I checked my style in the reflective glass frame of first war winner Mace. My suit looked as crumpled as ever, even here it seems, I still can’t catch a damn break with my wardrobe.
“What they have, “Officer”, are my eight straight wins and nothing else. What they have is a handful of straws they can’t forge into an argument. They think I’ll choke when faced with the numbers and the chaos of the contest, that I can’t possibly adapt to the WAR match because unless you’ve been in the cauldron before, how can you possibly know how to respond? They all make the same assumption, and yet no one sees the obvious. No one seems to get the big picture."
The glass reflection cracks as I speak, that picture of Mace is distorted now, broken under the weight of my words.
"I’ve been at WAR since day one. I’ve been in a struggle since the day the ink dried on my contract. You can change the number of opponents. You can gimmick the matches. It doesn’t change a damn thing. I’m here to win WAR. Now, show me the bodies."
Fade To Black
Four toe tags were attached to four corresponding corpses, the bodies laid flat on matching cold steel gurneys. The victims faces were hidden from view by a sheet acting as a vale, while their cadavers remained eerily still under the hot lights of the Forensic lab. As Officer brown entered the lab he gestured his hand towards the first corpse as I followed him inside.
"Think you can identify this man?"
"Yeah, I know him."
Name: Stephen Singh
Age: Singh lies, let’s say he was 36 when he died. He certainly looked it.
Height: 6’3” (with Cranium still attached) After a Vanishing point? 3’3”
Weight: 235 lbs.
Disposition at time of death: Morose, sulking former Golden God; whose life drifted away
into a Larry David half hour suffering from a writer’s strike.
“Ah, Stephen Singh. In Catholicism when you take communion, they offer you a thin tasteless biscuit and call it the body of Christ. Occasionally in the WCF you’d be booked against a thin talentless man, and you’d call that Stephen Singh. Singh was a whatever happened to. His Church of Singh became a 4chan parody nobody asked for. Stephen Singh (when alive) existed only as a prank version of Steven Singh; a self loathing sitcom shaking its little fist up from the mat at the man who beat him in under five minutes, an opponent fighting in only his second match who bested poor Stephen easily. Singh was baked under the glare of a shimmering new light that emanated from a true Golden (state) God...me.”
“The only question I had to ask myself as I ascended a thousand feet above Singh was, do I spit down at the broken neanderthal below or just leave him to crawl away? When alive, Stephen Singh would regularly false flag himself as legitimate, but it didn’t take long for me to realize in that ring that ‘Thievin' Stephen’ was a con artist that only passed himself off as WCF royalty. The only reason he got away with it for so long was because people were collectively stupid enough to buy into him. After I arrived though? Stephen slipped off into complete and utter anonymity faster than you can say, “The Captain was more popular”.”
“Last year, Singh lost his world heavyweight title to John Rabid at WAR XVI. While Singh rebounded quickly, it didn’t take long for Singh to fall off the map again at the hands of Odin Balfore. Why? Because he was like a recovering alcoholic. Stephen had his good days and his bad days. Black days when the self loathing would return and consume him. Look at every partnership he’d ever been a part of, and it’s obvious he couldn’t function around others.”
“His magnum opus was the church, by creating a cliched faction that was essentially a dog eared page from a nineteen eighties mid south playbook, Singh had created a new playground for every degrading fantasy he ever had about himself. It was a spotlight on his own peculiar brand of sadomasochism, the masterstroke was Ultimate Showdown when Singh failed to secure a world championship, instead catapulting Michael X into the ascendancy, crowning a midcarder while simultaneously trebucheting poor old Stephen into the dramedy corner. Why did Stephen allow that to happen? Because deep down, just as with Everest, nothing Stephen Singh touches can be allowed to succeed, even himself. All because of his incurable self loathing, the pangs of self hatred that dare him to outdo himself, that force his hand and drag his dying, cancer riddled mother “Donna” into the mix, just to demonstrate to the world how grotesque of a human being he’d become...again. Arguing with a dying woman for extra levels of repulsion as if training a pokemon. Donna is Alex 2.0. Another cord to pull, another life support to euthanize. Not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s perfect for that incel lifestyle of his”
“At WAR XVII: Singh managed to pull the plug on himself. Look at his face..”
Officer Brown pulls back the sheet and leans in, frowning.
“Content? That’s because at War he finally got what he deserved. Stephen Singh wasn’t killed by me. His death was a suicide. A self inflicted display of ineptitude that separated him finally from a reality he could no longer stomach.”
“You’re right, he does look…”
“Peaceful? For Singh that’s the cruelest of jokes. I see you have three more victims. You want answers?”
Name: Noble Savage (or possibly Gemini Battle considering her cliched gimmick)
Age: Her promos sound like the deranged musings of a troubled thirteen year old goth,
high on mushrooms. Let’s just say her mental age, is jailbait.
Weight: 135 lbs...of pure uncut #me too angst.
Disposition at time of death: Playing the schizophrenic with a heart of stone. Was practically
buoyant nonstop about her career since its inception...then came War. Then everything changed.
"Noble Savage lived her odd, deranged little life to the sound of equally deranged violins. She was always that overly tryhard looking goth that really loved to pretend to like the company of bats and rats. A Daria wannabe who desperately wanted a cobweb tattoo inked on her neck. Noble claimed to suffer from a multiple personality disorder, wandering around the streets of Adirondack, New York searching for the next part of the narrative, that elusive story arch when her mental handicap would get interesting. She never discovered it. Just War, and death. Afterwards Lady Abernathy became just another authoritarian manager minus a star, jaywalking from federation to federation in search of a new loon on the rise. But what killed Noble and Savage in the end?"
"Noble was a formidable woman for her size, but all her power and ability resided in her insane desire to win. It was like a cherry bomb exploding in your face; arms windmilling punches. Her lungs screaming. It worked so well at first, those bites and scratches even had the world champion caught off guard. But here’s the thing, WAR is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and Noble could only remain buoyant for so long before the energy ran out of her arms and her voice dried up. Soon, the living dead girl began to sink when the God Caller hung up. Air bubbles rising to the surface as Noble found herself trapped inside an Olympic sized swimming pool hugging the walls, features turning even paler when she realized that all her tricks had dried up after the twenty minute mark. Cause of death? She drowned, she succumbed to the limits of her heroin thin, wirely little body. A stick figure pretending to be real."
"The game is physical, not just mental. You can have a jack in a box juggling chainsaws for a mind. It doesn’t matter if you're thinner than a Doritos with half the calories. Also, it’s been recorded on several occasions that Odin Balfore allows small women to beat him up in nothing Slam matches. Everyone gets their kicks somehow I guess. To the Norse Tank, Noble was just a bout of midget porn and nothing else. At least she’ll be remembered fondly by someone..I guess."
“That Odin Balfore is one sick…”
“God? Yeah, don’t underestimate him. When the time comes we’ll fight for control of the streets of Valhalla. And when that time arrives? Those streets will burn.”
I see a sheet with a set of red folded sunglasses balanced over the smothered face of the next corpse. Teo Del Blaze.
Name: Teddy Del Sol / Teo Del Blaze / The chump who can’t win
Age: Like a Hollywood franchise he keeps rebooting. He’s about a year and change.
Height: 6’10” (Lie)
Weight: 188 lbs. (truth)
Disposition at time of death: Depends, was he wearing the glasses? Then he was miserable.
Was he wearing the mask? Then he was pretend happy, but still secretly miserable.
Fuck it, he was miserable.
"Teo Del Sol hailed from Houston Texas. I imagine he’ll want his body cremated and flown back home after the Autopsy. The irony will be that the corpse won’t burn. The truth is, the fire inside Teo deserted him a long time ago. What’s left will refuse to ignite on general principle. The king of all media. A former World champion who finally made it. An abject failure who lost to John Rabid last year at WAR. Teo has been all those things along his journeyman path to the slab. He’s also gone three WAR’s in a row without eliminating anyone. Too much fake sunshine in his heart to pull the trigger? Nope, what killed Teo in the end wasn’t compassion. It was boredom. His entire nervous system gave in because Teo Del Sol and his insane crooked toothed Mister Rogers routine was played out and done. His own vocal cords strangled his windpipe before Teo could utter another incoherent promo because the world was sick of it."
"There was this cycle with Teo. First it would start with saccharin sweet optimism. Then creeping doubt. Then a full blown meltdown/red sunglasses moment. Then the climb out of the gutter. Reboot, return to the beginning. Rewind, press play. Ad nauseum. Forever. Sometimes Teo would go through this whole process in a single day. Sometimes he’d drag it out over weeks. But in the end, like twenty four hours in timelapse, the sun would set, then rise again. All the while the twin babbling minds of Teo Del Sol would become less and less relevant. Like mumble rappers dropping disses on each other. They’re angry over something, but no one knows exactly why."
"Teo Del Sol died at WAR because there’s no heart left in his chest to beat out a decent tune. The song has been sung and the band has broken up. Heart failure, that’s your cause of death, Officer Brown. Simple heart failure."
“He was a good man”
“He was. I liked him. Until he lit a match. One more to go”
Name: James (Third Best) Wolf
Age: 38, Hopefully his sister isn’t much younger.
Height: 6’4 (on his hind legs)
Weight: 250 lbs of constant misogynistic hot air.
Disposition at time of death: Trying not to think about how cool it would be to be
I pull back the sheet and wince. Recoiling from the gruesome remains that have been piecemeal back together. It’s a haphazard stitch up job, but in all honestly the coroner didn’t have much left to work with.
“You wanted to question me over this? There’s nothing left.”
“Four deaths. Many more as collateral. And yet here you are still standing. Yeah, we want to question you.”
“Fine, take a look at the bite marks, they’re consistent with a predatory animal. Something with fangs and a malcontent disposition. At a guess? I’d say James Wolf was fed to the Wolves. Fed to the shadow of the legendary Dean Wolf, a modern day phenom of the WAR match. Irony has a habit of playing tricks on the most deserving and James Wolf definitely fits into that category. I suppose what made him so repugnant in life wasn’t just his insane twitter rants; but the earnest belief he had behind them. He thought without a moment's hesitation he was right, even as he dug himself deeper and deeper into a pit of lunacy.”
“James Wolf was a man who loved his family like any doting father would. But there was a thread of sanity inside that had snapped. An Alex Jones self destruct button that had been pushed. You can hear it in his voice as he raves. All those loses to the upper mid card have driven him mad. His last crushing defeat to Dune was his final shot at taking a huge scalp. It was an epoch of fucked up misery for James and it sent the old dog over the edge. So who pays for that in the end? James? Morrigan? His daughter, Simara?”
“War is won through the atrocities we are willing to commit to succeed. In the end, you take everything that makes you noble and good and you sacrifice it all to become a machine, a mechanism capable of more barbarism and devastation than the other poor bastard opposite. That’s the choice you have to make, the choice you have to decide, how much of you are you willing to jettison to become a winner? Can you give up your compassion, your sense of leniency? Can you embrace the killer instinct that’s required to casually switch off the lights of your opponent? Then afterwards, when the blood is mopped up and the toe tags assigned, how much of you can you get back? How much of you is there left to forgive? The percentages never remain the same, it’s always less. But you have to be prepared for that, because the show never stops, the insanity never slows. Just the cold reality of the next day and the damage you’ve caused. I think James Wolf threw himself at the wolves because after Dune? He knew he’d come as close to greatness in the WCF as he was ever likely to get “
“So, you’re not responsible for any of these killings, Navarro?”
“Killings? What we have here are self inflicted wounds. In the end, that’s what kills you in War. Your actions, your mistakes. In this struggle, you’re not fighting thirty opponents, you’re only dealing with one. Yourself. How much can you take, how much endurance can you summon. A fighter, a real fighter is not measured by steamroller victories. A true competitor is measured by battling odds greater than himself. There is no match like War because no other match exists where there is such a level playing field of absolute disadvantage. Take a look at this…”
I hold up the Gravedigger stone.
“See this? Owning it is one thing, having it created after you is another. That’s what winning War means. Logan understands. Gravedigger. Jay Omega. Joey Flash. Odin Balfore. This is the front line. You rise above what you think you can achieve and you do so without fear. Isn’t that right...Rachel?”
She stepped out of the shadows. Her raven hair flowing as her heels echoed on the linoleum floor, leaving traces of red stiletto imprints on the pale white surface. Her dress was long and elegant as it wrapped itself around her svelte body. My dream only just managing to do her justice even as she scowled at me.
“You’re going to become a killer, Navarro. That’s why I left you. It’s only a matter of time. Sooner or later, you’ll lose sight of who you are and pull the trigger. They all do.”
“All, except me.”
“Then you’ll lose war. A Scott Slayer or a Samuel McPherson or a Quinton Cross will sneak in and occupy your space and afterwards a hate for them will grow and germinate inside. You’ll taunt them on twitter like a raving mad Wolf and before you know it you’re just another Alex Richards escaping in a suspect white van from a mental asylum. I left you Kurt because I’ve defended fighters like you before. They’re never innocent. They only remember what innocence is like and pretend to still have a stake in it”
“This is my war, Rachel. When I step into that ring it’s my journey and no one else’s. I know what you fear. But my father taught me never to lose sight of who I am. I might be surrounded by Ultimate Destroyers, Dark Carnivals and Angels of Death. But I fear none of them because I have no fear of myself. No fear of what I might be able to achieve. I embrace it. Because unlike them, I have no vanishing point. I only deliver it. That’s the difference.”
“And the money? That’s why you do this. That’s what drives you on.”
I kiss Rachel on the lips. I remember when they were warm and soft and always close by
“Money isn’t everything. This War can be about something else too”
My eyes flicker awake. I’m ready.