The Madman in the Asylum: Defining Insanity Mar 18, 2019 15:33:00 GMT -5
Post by Teo Blaze on Mar 18, 2019 15:33:00 GMT -5
“Be careful what you wish for.”
The viewer is greeted by a sight that is at once familiar and yet still peculiar, as the screen is filled with the audible hiss of static, the black and white flashing pixels clashing with one another in an ocean of veritable chaos. The noise, familiar though it may be, is exceedingly harsh, a sound that is inherently broken, the speakers straining to properly communicate the roar of interference.
But, finally, the static slowly begins to fade, an image coming into view over the chaotic hiss, faint at first, but ever clearer with each passing second. After a few moments, a true clarity takes hold and the image begins to be seen, what little there is to see.
The viewer is greeted not by a talk-show set or a lavish afternoon soap opera, but a very tall, very wide, and above all very dark padded room. The room itself is eerily quiet, despite the iron bars on the windows letting in what appears to be the barest shreds of moonlight from the night sky outside.
And in that silvery pale, despite the crushing darkness of the padded cell, there is a clear image laying upon the floor, a spectre in the night barely visible in the crushing blackness of the cell.
A spectre with shining red eyes.
There is a moment of silence, all sound seeming to vanish from the room in the cool darkness of the night. And then at once, a voice.
Teo Blaze: Vincent...They say the definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting a different result…
The voice that emanates from the prone form of the Television champion is almost hauntingly soft, coming deep from within his body and seeming to almost hang in the air in the otherwise peaceful silence.
Teo Blaze: But challenging me three times..?
In an instant, Teo’s face snaps up, looking instantly into the camera, the moonlight dancing in the red lenses as his face cracks into a wicked, even demonic smile, cracked teeth forming a jagged white crescent in the darkness of the cell.
Teo Blaze: That’s fucking madness.
As Teo speaks, a low chuckle begins building somewhere around his midsection, a wheezing, choking laugh slowly working its way into his speech with every passing word, infusing it with a quality that sounds almost inhuman.
Teo Blaze: Oh Vincent, Vincent, Vincent...you’ve been rather busy, haven’t you? Since we last met you’ve been drifting from match to match, desperately grasping, reaching out to any possible avenue, all in search of a purpose.
Tragedy, ain’t it?
In the months since we last stood across the ring from each other, and for the second time I exposed you as the weak, cowardly piece of garbage that I’ve known you are from the day I met you.
Teo’s head slowly cranes upward, as though he has become lost in thought, reminiscing about a happy memory or perhaps envisioning a future triumph.
Teo Blaze: But frankly, that’s not what this is about, Vincent. If I know you, you’ll try to spin it some other way, hell, maybe you’ll show some damned respect for once.
But actions speak louder than words, don’t they Vince? And quite frankly your actions might as well have been screaming for as much as you’ve given away.
The champion’s face now changes to a cocky grin, looking up with an expression that comes from facing a man multiple times, from knowing exactly what he is capable of.
Teo Blaze: You see Vince, when I look at you, I don’t see the same troubled enigma that you see when you look into the mirror. Do you know what I see, Vince?
I see a man who is all too aware that his reputation is circling the drain, that with each and every week that passes the name Vincent Augustine slides inexorably towards irrelevance, that fewer and fewer people bother to remember your name on the program.
But let’s not mince words, Vince. I’ve owed you retribution for many weeks now, ever since you stuck your nose into my business. Do you remember? Several weeks ago, I successfully defended this championship against Jayson Price, and mere seconds later you were attacking the man in the center of the ring.
Now, I would never hold it against anyone wanting to lay into Jay Price, but there’s something about the manner in which you went about it that just rubbed me the wrong way. If you had a problem with Price, I can think of hundreds of ways you could have gone about it. You could have picked up a microphone and issued a challenge, you could have knocked on the door to his locker room and said to his face what a piece of shit you thought he was, any number of things.
But no, that’s not what you did. You waited until I had put Price down for the count, until I had neutralized the threat Vincent, not you, and then you pounced on the opportunity to kick him while he was down.
An audible “Tsk” comes from Teo’s mouth as he continues, as though he is indicating a particular displeasure at the idea.
Teo Blaze: I know you won’t want to think of it this way, but as far as I’m concerned Vincent Augustine?
You needed me that night.
You needed me to be the one to soften up Jay Price for you, to leave you the scraps of an actual fight. Without me, you’d have gotten your ass kicked in the center of that ring, and you know it!
The proof is right there, a few weeks later, when in front of the world you were put down at Till Death do Us Part. There, in front of the world, you were laid out like a trophy, a victim of your own damned, wretched arrogance.
Teo chuckles, shaking his head condescendingly, the grin on his face betraying the contempt he feels for his opponent.
Teo Blaze: That’s always the story though, isn’t it Vincent? Time after time you keep finding ways to slither into these opportunities you do not deserve. You had me do the dirty work of actually beating Price, and only then did you attack him. Then, when you had the chance to prove that you deserved to stand across the ring..?
You got your ass kicked.
As the champion says the words, the smirk on his face begins to shift slightly, to twist into a different, more focused expression. Any semblance of humor melts away as his expression twists into a grimacing stare, his eyes flashing behind the lenses as he leans forward.
Teo Blaze: But Vincent, this is not about you and Jay Price. This is about you and me. And I don’t appreciate being used.
His nostrils flare as he lets out an audible rush of air. His voice has changed, becoming as cold as the night sky as he continues to slowly lean towards the camera, his dark blue eyes flashing like beacons behind the dark red lenses.
Teo Blaze: You see Vincent, I have been champion for quite a while, and I’ve begun to think about the future. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered what comes next, and as they say nobody can be champion forever.
Teo slowly begins rising to his feet, revealing as he comes into the light that his arms have been bound tightly behind his back, trapped within a white straitjacket, not all that inappropriate considering his surroundings.
Teo Blaze: But Vincent, there’s something that you should know, and that is I would rather be beaten to fucking death than let someone like you carry on the legacy that I have built.
You are a snake, Vincent Augustine, crawling pathetically in the grass, doing everything in your power to blend into the background, lying in wait until the bigger, stronger beasts are distracted, and swooping in with your poison!
And you are poison, Vincent, make no mistake about it. Everything you touch, every accomplishment, every victory comes with some kind of asterisk, with a trick or deception attached!
That is not what this title is about, you son of a bitch!
The champion shudders violently as he yanks on his constraints, the straitjacket straining to hold as he wrests violently back and forth. After a moment, he regains his composure, and refocuses on the camera.
Teo Blaze: You see Vincent, what you might not understand is that as much as I talk about breaking my opponents, in destroying them so that they might be rebuilt, the simple truth is that there are times when I have held back, when I have kept myself from truly finishing off my opponents even as they lay prone before me.
Because as much as it pains me to say it, I rarely encounter someone who truly deserves that pain, that suffering, someone who I just want to put out of my misery.
But Vincent...something about you, something about the way that you handle your business, the way in which you time and again manage to sneak into opportunities, into positions that you simply do not deserve…
It lights a fire in me Vincent.
When I see you grandstand and forcefully submit Roy Speede a man so broken down that he didn’t even bother recording a promo? When I see you relish in humiliating someone who barely resists..?
I want to put my knee through your fucking skull.
Teo begins violently wrenching once more at the constraints of the straitjacket, the sound of the fabric straining can be audibly heard.
Teo Blaze: The thought of it Vincent, the image of you lying, prone, your orbital bone shattered, your hands pressed to your face! The cry of anguish, the moment of realization that all of your sins, all of your trickery, all of your bullshit has finally caught up with you! It’s all that I can see when I close my eyes, Vincent!
They didn’t realize, Vincent, they didn’t realize when they put your name down on that contract that they were signing an execution order, but now Vincent? Now it’s too damned late to do anything about it!
The moment, the instant that bell rings, Vincent? You are mine.
You will have nowhere to slither to, no hole to crawl into, nowhere to lie in wait.
It will just be you, standing across the ring from me.
And then, as you look across that mat, when you see me standing before you..? That’s when it hits. That’s when you realize that there is nowhere to run. You have been handed an opportunity that you never deserved for the third time, and you will realize just how lucky you were to escape the first two times.
Because after this week Vincent? What will you be able to say? When I leave you lying in the ring, broken, another name on my resume?
Will you retreat into your own madness? Will you put that mask back on and run into the woods, to try and get away from the fact, the realization, that Vincent Augustine will never defeat Teo Blaze for the Television Championship?
Will you try and convince yourself that it was a fluke? That I managed to defeat you through sheer luck? After three separate losses will you even be able to convince yourself that your failure falls on anyone’s shoulders but your own?
Teo shudders with a sigh, relaxing as he does so slightly, though his expression remains tense.
Teo Blaze: Or will you finally accept the fact that so long as you keep hiding behind sneak attacks and beating up on weaker opponents, that you will never have what it takes to beat me?
Teo’s face begins to change once more, he begins to shudder violently, every muscle in his body tensing as he lets out an audible roar of effort. Back and forth he rocks, his body tilting in every conceivable direction as he continues to move violently, wrenching himself back and forth until finally, and with a thunderous tear, a ripping sound echoes throughout the padded room, and in an instant, Teo’s arms stand free of his constraints, the torn fabric of the straitjacket hanging limply over his hands as he breathes heavily, collecting himself as he resumes.
Teo Blaze: You see Vincent...unlike you? I am not held back by any delusions about myself. I know exactly what I am and what I am not capable of, and that knowledge has spurred me to push myself, to reject any limitation and achieve things long thought impossible.
Every time we have faced, the one constant has been your arrogance, your belief that you would defeat me just because you were stronger, faster, just better than me.
And that is why you always lose.
When you walk into that ring to do battle already knowing, already certain that you can win the match?
It’s like you’re fighting with your hands tied behind your back.
Teo begins walking forward as he speaks, towards the windowed wall of the padded cell, speaking as he does so. His voice carries with it a confidence, the kind of certainty that comes from having faced an opponent before.
Teo Blaze: But Vincent, you should know by now that when I’m in the ring with you? I won’t hold back. I have long since given up any hope that you will learn from another defeat at my hands, that you will finally begin to challenge yourself, to give up the snake venom and the cowardice and just rely on what we all know you’re capable of.
So if you refuse to learn? Then there’s no reason for me to rebuild you.
You have to be destroyed. Put down like a rabid beast.
I don’t take any joy in that assertion, Vince, but I see no other option.
For the third time we will face off for the Television Championship, and for the Third time I will walk out victorious, and for the third time you will be left lying on the mat, unconscious, barely aware of what happened.
For your own sake, I hope that this time you don’t get up.
As Teo speaks, he finally reaches the padded wall, he pauses only momentarily, placing his hand on the structure. With a bare minimum of effort, he pushes his hand forward, and with a shuddering creak, the entire wall begins to shift, and sure enough, within a few seconds and with a mighty CRASH!, the wall falls backwards, leaving Teo to look out over the blue night sky.
Teo Blaze: The definition of insanity, Vincent Augustine, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
But the truth is that we make our own asylums when we refuse to change.
And I refuse to be trapped by a piece of shit like you.
See you on Monday.
With that, Teo slowly removes the tattered straitjacket and turns, walking into the distance underneath of the bright crescent moon.