Post by John Rabid on Jan 31, 2016 17:50:39 GMT -5
1. A FEW WORDS IN THE DARKNESS.
Rabid could see that the figure, bathed for a split second in red, then nothing, had spotted him. The cramped apartment smelt of old glories and distant memories. A nexus of history that had a heavy reverence for it’s faceless, troubled occupier. The figure said nothing as Rabid spoke from that old armchair; turning on the lamp beside him and revelling his gun toting identify to his opponent.
Johnny Rabid: I don’t think you should move right now. Nothing sudden. Let’s keep this civilized, orderly. We’re both men of commerce; of business. I have the gun, you’re trapped in a tight space with nowhere to go. Let’s discuss terms shall we? I think we have a deal that can be struck.
Rabid was greeted with silence as the God before him pondered his request.
“Does he know? Does he have any idea?”
“I don’t know. Who are you talking about, again?”
“Kyle Kemp. I wonder if he realises, that one day...he’ll become me.”
Johnny Rabid kept his hands intently on the wheel of the rusting white Volkswagen van as the ripper turned a corner and concentrated on avoiding a torrent of congested, mid-morning Philadelphia traffic.
Right side of the road: Check.
Signal before tuning: Check.
Try not to make eye contact with the psychopathic, former tag team partner, that’s sitting opposite with a loaded gun pointing at the testicle.
Check, and check.
Tommy Fiend: I’ve been thinking back to that first meeting between us: back in Danny Knox’s Wrestling School; remember? That moulding, fucking hovel buried on the Isle of Dogs? You came in with your best peacock swagger, looking down on us like pieces of ignorant shit and we had no choice but to suck up to you, while you acted out like you were a fucking God. And you revelled in that, didn’t you? You fucking loved it. Because no matter what you said to us that day. No matter what nonsensical shit you uttered; we’d have to smile, and clap at your appearance, and crown your finish with a cheer and a wave, because you owned the biggest wrestling organisation in Britain. You had the prime time Saturday afternoon slot. You were the lead in for fucking X Factor. Out every night dining with Simon Cowell and Jonathan Ross, while preaching on chat shows about what’s required to be the best.
The vehicle shunts forward as Rabid changes gear. The wheezing, diesel engine coughing out plumes of black smoke, like vengeful bile. Balls remain, thankfully, intact as Rabid lets out a slender exhale.
Tommy Fiend: Three sentences in during your speech, and you’d already managed to quote Sun Tzu. That’s when I knew you where sleepwalking through it. The most important day of my life was an hour and a half for a three grand appearance to you. A pay-check. You didn’t care. You never fucking cared.
Johnny Rabid: You want me to care now? I can pretend if it will stop the crying.
Tommy smirked. His face was unrecognisable to the security forces that where hunting him; his head now shaved. A long, flowing beard dyed now with grey patches. His disguise was intricate, but not too outlandish. He seemed comfortable inside this new, false skin. This time it wasn’t designed for him by Rabid. The strings where cut and the puppet was free as Tommy smirked at Rabid’s bravado under pressure.
Tommy Fiend: I can’t tell if you’re playing the tough guy right now to cover up your fear, or you’re simply nuts. Maybe that’s the final tragedy. There’s no answer, because when it comes to being a human being, you’re a waste of fucking space. You’re an avatar for ambition. If you were ever a human being, you’ve stripped so much of it away. There’s just isn’t anything left now, just this autonomous machine beneath. There’s more life in my dead sat nav.
Johnny Rabid: Life lessons from the lunatic with the gun! Why do people like you always think you have the answers when you act so desperate? You’re weak, Tommy. You’re weak even after everything I did to make you strong.
Tommy Fiend: Turn here.
Tommy Fiend: Now, did that hurt so much? Listening to a “psychopath”?
Johnny Rabid: You ever listened to a Logan? Ever sat down and deconstructed your idol before? See, at that appearance at the wrestling school I was listening; I always listen. It’s not my fault you had nothing interesting to say. I remember that pitch you tried to sell me after the meet and greet; some kind of catcher in the rye emotional dystopic killer, whatever the fuck that means. I rolled my eyes and you just carried on like a giddy fan. That’s all you are, Tom. A giddy fan that sank because you never had the backbone to take the pressure. You snapped, because pitching yourself to me as a Logan-lite is as interesting as the real thing. Your idol, your God: is a five toed ghost that spits crap every so often, loses, then disappears because the road is too hard to travel now. Logan can’t cut it week and out, the same way you never could.
Tommy Fiend: You never understood Logan, few ever did.
Johnny Rabid: There’s a real good reason for that, Tom. Logan is a toothless wreck; a roadmap of past glories that have eroded his body and blunted his mind. That mind of his may have been sharp once; he might have been canny enough to get into my match, but physically he has nothing left to give. And as for character? A nut-case - full-stop, is not character. You pitched me boredom. I got you over, Tom. I worked over your gimmick. I was the one that made you the people’s hero. Where now?
Tommy Fiend: Straight on, then take the freeway.
The route seemed familiar now. Rabid changed gear.
Johnny Rabid: But you rejected it; because that was the cool thing to do, the Logan thing to do. Boring me with stories about team of treachery and boudle games; the man was a dinosaur when he had both feet. Now he’s a handicapped fossil that no shows because to turn up and try . And yet still lose. That would just be too much for him to take. Just as you could never take the cheers and the title runs any-more; the same reason why you snapped, because--
Tommy Fiend: Because you reprogrammed me into your assassin. Your soldier. That’s what you do to us “little people”, you strip away our humanity and tell us it’s simply a condition. A weakness that you can fix. You sell us spin about how you can help us, if only we trust you. The same lies you sold to that pretty blonde airline stewardess, the one they found dead in her Californian apartment three days ago. What was her name again?
Rabid said nothing for a few moments. An answer arrived once he found a sense of calm within.
Johnny Rabid: Daisy. That was her name.
Tommy smiled, Rabid seemed taken aback by the revelation. That was a first.
Tommy Fiend: Say it isn't so! Johnny Rabid...caring? When did this flaw finally surface? How it must ache for a man so preoccupied with being inhuman. A man obsessed with being that perfect socio path, to finally have doubt. The mask has slipped! Praise Jesus! The mask has slipped!
Rabid changed gear as the vehicle was met with a slight incline; the ancient chassis rocked under the strain as Tommy waited for an answer.
Johnny Rabid: And what of your mask, Tommy? What of the man that would be Logan? You based your entire career around a legend whose soul died five years ago and has nothing left to give to the world now but regret and self pity. You need to listen Tommy to what I have to say now, because I want you to understand fully the grand scheme of things before we reach our destination. Yeah, I know where you’re directing me to, and I promise you this, we’ll never get there. Not together.
Tommy Fiend: And what makes you say that? Those WCF headquarters will see us real soon, Johnny! Trust me! It’s written in the stars! I’m going to blow your brains out on Seth Lerch’s shag pile and watch the brain matter fly across that framed Hellz Angel poster. I’m going to watch your blood splatter across that black and green spinning globe. And once that globe stops spinning? Then I’ll do a little dance, and high five the man that made it all possible.
Johnny Rabid: And who would that be? Logan? Give me a fucking break! You’re just another sycophant that lives vicariously through a paper-thin fool! You know what I’m going to do to Logan after I’m done with you? I’m going to rip that leg off his stump and hit his scabbed flesh and cracked bone with a home run! The last time I checked, a man with one leg wasn’t so hot when it came to climbing ladders. He’s done, the same way you’re done, Tom. The same way a Spencer Adams is done; his little stable of minor heroes are a bust, his swagger is a lie we can all see through. Oh how much you remind me of him; you keep telling yourself that you’re going to climb the mountain and conquer that great divide between good and great, but he never does. Because to do so takes more than promises and guarantees, it takes talent and results; neither of which he can ever deliver. You Tom deserve to end up at the WCF! There's a place for you there, right alongside the Benjamin Atreyu’s and the Gravedigger’s of this world. Atreyu, a man who comes back making a big noise, but to me? He’ll always be the man who stabbed his friend, Odin Balfour in the back. The same way you stabbed me in the back a year ago when you attacked Rebecca.
Tommy Fiend: That bitch--
Johnny Rabid: Shut your fucking mouth, Tommy! You want some heart from me? You want to hear me scream? Here it is! You’re a failure! A non starter! And you’re the exact prototype this company is looking for. The big noise; a bag of piss and wind full of promises. I hear your shit every day from those with the same toothless cries. “ Watch me save the world from #Beachkrew!...Watch me change the face of the company, watch me make wrestling safe for democracy!” All the noise and yet, nothing to show for it. Just another Spencer Adams, just another Benjamin Atreyu; a man who runs away from his responsibility when the going gets tough. Atreyu is just like you Tom; he could have fought for the guys in the back. But instead he had legs of jelly; he crumbled and ran back to being what he does best, a no show artist that lives under a rock, putting in the odd performance but never amounting to much more than a wasted opportunity, you Tom! You’d fit right the fuck in! They should have signed you to developmental; you’d be holding Brofessor Coach’s robe within a month! Or maybe they’ll give a job working the booth and calling commentary just so your tired old bones don’t crack under the weight of competition. But then, that's harsh, at least Digger won a title, even if he did have to pretend to be a luchador.
Tommy screams and punches the roof of the Volkswagen. He points the antique gun at Rabid’s skull and pulls back on the hammer.
Tommy Fiend: I’ll do it, Rabid! I’ll kill you on the freeway, and drag your dead carcass through the streets of the WCF; I’ll make you my Achilles and win back his graces!
Rabid glanced around; the four lanes of heavy traffic was darting in and out of the van’s swerving path. Rabid could try and hold out for a police cruiser to call it in, but he suspected there was no time left for a cop rescue. If only he could push Tommy that little bit more.
Johnny Rabid: You think Seth wants me dead? You think killing me on his doorstep is going to save you from the Owls? You’re done, Tommy. You fucked yourself the day you killed Rico. Called your crew lately? Course you haven’t. They’ve gone to ground...all the way down. You met me alone because you’re all that's left; the others are history. You exposed the pantagernate to the world and now that insane gesture got you killed. The only time you’d ever have the guts to come after me is when you have nothing to lose!
Tommy Fiend: You first!
Tommy pulled back on the hammer as---
Tommy’s left eye began to bleed, his haemolacria had finally kicked in and turned Fiend’s vision into a confused red haze. Rabid wasted no time, and knocked the antique revolver from Fiend’s confused grasp, slamming on the breaks and careering the van into a nearby embankment. The van toppled end over end as it’s fragile shell fell apart; glass and metal showering the two former friends and they fought with vicious rights and lefts while inside the tumbling vacuum.
Rabid headbutting Fiend as the Van sideswiped an oncoming SUV! The van bounced back onto a grass verge, and skidded to a screaming stop on it’s crumbled roof! A few moments passed before Rabid kicked open the driver’s side door and exited. He exhaled and looked around. The fuel tank was leaking.
Rabid staggered away from the vehicle and contemplated the murmurs echoing from inside the van. Fiend was still alive, but his left leg was trapped firmly behind the crumbled steering block. Across the verge, a box of workers tools had dislodged themselves from the rear of the vehicle, and were now strewn across the scene.
Rabid saw that a hacksaw was available. Rabid picked up that saw, and casually wiped a slither of blood away from his bleeding temple.
His blood. It was cold to the touch.
Tommy Fiend: H-H-H-elp M-m-m-e.
Rabid looked down at the saw in his shaking hands, then back at the bleeding out Fiend trapped inside the van. It was a simple choice to make; either give Tom the saw, allowing Rico’s murderer to cut himself free, or watch him burn.
If Tom burns alive; his screams would echo in eternity. But if the alternative occurs, Rabid would be allowing Tom to become yet another Logan clone; yet another boudle bastard; out to rekindle a cycle of shit all over again.
“F15teen years was enough”, thought Rabid. But their was one more question on his mind.
Johnny Rabid: What did you mean, Tom? What did you mean back there when you said, “Win back his graces!” Whose?
The bystanders that had gathered at the scene never heard the full extent of the conversation, and neither did they understood the context of Tom’s answer. Their eye witness reports however all concurred that Mister Rush was in no fit state to help the assailant, Thomas Andrew Briggs, escape the burning vehicle as it caught fire.
His screams however, they would ever leave them.
The figure walked into the cleansing illumination provided by the lamp as that red hot fire from the neon outside subsided. Rabid held Tommy’s revolver straight and true in his hands. It’s scorch marks were battle scares from their final encounter.
Mosley had discovered phone records that confirmed what Rabid had already suspected. So when the face of the man in front of Rabid was finally revealed; here, in this small, modest apartment where the WCF first began. It all made a certain, horrible sense.
Johnny Rabid: Hello, Seth.
Seth said nothing; as if waiting for more, while all around him: memorabilia flashed in and out of existence: title belts, barbed wire hockey sticks, framed pictures of Champions past and present. It was a full on cornucopia of WCF history; and in the center of it all, stood Seth Lerch. The man that made it all possible. The man that carried this company, atlas like, on his shoulders for oh so very long.
Revealed now, as the head of the Owls.
Johnny Rabid: Moloch. Tommy’s diary was very specific about the name. I guess you didn’t know he kept one, did you? He always did, even back in the day. I remember he used to think I couldn’t hear him recite back passages of text to himself on the road, but my hearing is very, very good. Took awhile to recover the damn thing from his hovel, but we got there. Under the floorboards. Out of sight.
Again, nothing from Seth.
Johnny Rabid: I know you can’t speak right now, Seth. It’s a mechanism in place to protect the trail back. But we’ll work on that together A few shots of forty and Seth will resurface, the real man behind the world’s most powerful wrestling empire. The perfect cover for an organisation that leeches money and power from those it brainwashes to lead it.
Seth sat slowly down in a chair opposite Rabid as the ripper lowered his gun.
Johnny Rabid: Life gives us little in the way of choices sometimes. We live. We bleed. And we die. And somewhere along the way, we make what we can of ourselves. We strive to be remembered. Over fifteen years, that’s exactly what you strived to achieve, Seth. And you have. You have in spades. One mistake; one act of revenge by Jonny Fly and you were left exposed. Vulnerable. The day Fly set you up, was the day the Owl’s got to you. Picking at your bones; rewiring that brain of yours. Shared occupancy for years. Hidden. The whisper never uttered.
Seth’s eyes were two, wide black holes. Observing; documenting for a shadow council of puppeteers that held the strings of the master.
Johnny Rabid: I want you to tell them something, those Owls that circle, tell them this...Moloch. I want you tell them that #Beachkkrew is coming. That we will not stop until Seth Lerch is free. That this is the WCF. That we protect and honor our own, no matter what. That for fifteen years this has been the edifice of excellence. That this is a fact that will never change, no matter if the threat is internal, or external. This is the WCF.
...Never fuck with us. You can’t handle what comes next.
Johnny Rabid: Final destination. The three ages of a company that has defined what this business means. Past, present, and future: all standing as one for the same prize. The same opportunity. No matter what threats arrive on our shores; that is a glory that will not be stopped. I will have my title. My prize. No Owl. Or Boudle. Or commentator. Or Time Traveller. Or Former Talent Relations Suit. Or People’s Choice will deny me. Today, tomorrow. Weeks, months from now. It makes no mind. That title will be mine. I’ll give it hope. Just as I will give Seth hope.
History is made by the victors. Now, keep watching world. As I do just that.
And with that, Rabid turned of the light; and waited for tomorrow.