Silas’ eyes opened to see the ceiling lights above him pass him by. Medics were all around him, carrying or pushing something supporting him to an unknown destination. It was hard to tell how they were moving him. The arena’s floors were rough, so it was a fairly shaky ride regardless. He couldn’t move; any response he gave was nonexistent, thanks to a wonderful trip to the floor, courtesy of Mariella Jade Flair. He was also strapped down with a neck brace covering the connecting biology, ensuring his unwanted safety.
“Open up! Open up!” yelled the medic in a deep commanding voice, banging on a metal door that sealed the back of an ambulance. The two doors quickly did, and Silas was carted inside without another second going by. The medic himself finally saw Silas’ eyes. “He’s waking up!”
“Check him!” called a female medic, out of sight of the patient.
The medic got a torch from his shirt pocket and shone it in his eyes, bending down for closer examination. “Silas? Can you respond to me? Can you understand me?”
Silas flinched at the bright light, but was unable to avoid it. He emitted only a creaking groan in response.
‘She must pay with blood.’
“He’s responsive.” The medic pulled out a pen and wrote down something on a small notebook, drawn from the same shirt pocket. “We’ll ask you more questions at the medical facility--”
“Don’t move this ambulance!” weakly barked Silas, freezing the medic in shock. He continued to spit out sentences. “You’re not taking me to the hospital!”
“But Silas, we need to--”
“--you’re not going to do a thing! Let me out of these restraints!”
The medic looked at Silas confusingly, before turning to his female partner, whom quickly jumped in the ambulance upon Silas’ finished sentence. They expected him to gladly be taken to the hospital, even some of the rudest and unpleasant of patients accepted this path, but not this one. She, looked at Silas for a few moments, meeting his unwelcoming glare with one on unease, then faced her partner.
“Should we?” her colleague asked.
She deeply sighed with regret. “It’s the law,” she replied, and looked back at Silas.“Whatever you say.” The two started to unbuckle his restrains without another second going by, gradually returning comfort to each of Silas’ limbs.
Silas groaned impatiently. “What the hell happened?”
“Well,” replied the female medic, with much more confort due to the luxury of not looking at his eyes. “You received a nasty blow to the head and now you’re here. You were unresponsive so your colleagues called us.”
He groaned again, this time closing his eyes. “How long was I out?”
The medic checked her watch. “They called about thirty minutes ago and we arrived within five.” She released his chest restraint.
Silas immediately sat up. He reached round to the back of his neck and ripped off the neckbrace, falling so heavily that it split upon impact. He shakes his scrambled head and quickly stands up in the small trunk of the ambulance. He pushed open the barely open doors and stepped onto the concrete, only to stagger to the side and fall on his backside, rattling his head further.
The two medics jumped off the vehicle and quickly reached out, with the offering being met with Silas holding out hand signal. They stepped back. “Your head still needs some rest.”
“Where’s Flair?” Silas ignored, tending to his skull piercing headache.
The medics gave a look of confusion, obviously unaware of what he was part of. “Who?”
Silas sighs and slowly stands up, struggling to balance his weight on his feet. “Not useful for much, are you?” He looks at the two. “Where’s my cane?”
One of the medics rushes back inside the ambulance, promptly bringing Silas’ cane back with them.
“Get lost. You’re not needed here!” snapped Silas, taking the cane from the bemused medic. “I’ll find her myself!”
‘Move, or you’ll lose her!’
Silas staggered towards the double doors that seperated the cold, cramped car park used for the production and attendees, to the marginally better outer rim of the arena. The loud noise of the double doors colliding with the concrete bricks echoed down the perimeter. “FLAIR!” shouted Silas, attracting the attention of the staff whom were dressing the environment down. “YOU CALL THAT AN ATTACK? GET YOUR ASS HERE AND TRY AND FINISH THE JOB!”
He makes his way down the corridor, staggering from side to side, causing a small mess of minor production props. Posters, water bottles, and some plastic stuffing lightly trailed him, with the nearby workers unsure what to do in the situation. They thought he was gone, but didn’t relish in the light comfort that piece of news followed. Silas continuously used the wall as support, finding it to be the only stable piece of material that won’t buckle under his weight.
‘Flair, Shadow, Rayne, Ataxia, Caledonia, all must fall.’
“COME OUT AND LET ME ADD SOME MORE STITCHES TO THAT GOD AWFUL HEAD OF YOURS!” He continued to march on, spending most of the time against the structure and shooing away anyone who showed even the vaguest suggestion of help. “WHERE THE HELL IS GODDAMN FLAIR!? GET OVER HERE AND FINISH THIS FIGHT!”
“Flair is not here, Mr Artoria!” called out a medium-toned voice behind him. Silas turns and sees a man in official but unremarkable CWF clothing running towards him, unfazed by his presence. Two security guards trailed him, clearly towering over the small statured staff member. “Miss Flair left five minutes ago, most of the roster left five minutes ago! Show’s over!”
Silas keeps his eyes on the official, leaning on the wall as his legs still struggled to keep him standing. She’s gone, disappointing. “Fled,” he muttered. “She fled, as expected.”
The official rolled his eyes. “I have something for you.” He holds his hand out, with a plain white envelope gripped between his thumb and the rest of his hand. “We were going to post it to Toronto, but…” he looked behind him, indicating the open doors and the small amount of mess between them and the two men. “...we didn’t expect you to be back so...soon.” He turned back to Silas.
The canadian look at the man suspiciously, and softly said, “severance papers?”
“Maybe, if a few of us had our way in response to your recent behaviour towards us.”
Silas still kept his eyes on the official.
“It’s next week’s card if you want a spoiler.”
Silas curled his lips and gently took the letter, surprising the official with his more calmer demeanor. He was prompt, opening the letter without hesitation or distraction. “I presume I’ll be punished for my transgressions?”
“We’re the CWF, Silas. Elsewhere, conflict leads to people getting the cut. We relish in chaos, it’s what causes the world to tune into our product.”
Silas took out the white paper and unfolded it’s contents. “Guess I’ll be opening the show against the new signing or whoever, given my recent record of abject failure.”
‘In due time, Silas.’
The official chuckled when he heard Silas mention his premused position. “On the contrary, Mr Artoria.”
Silas scanned the list quickly, stopping on the final line before a visible block of text underneath. “Main event against Flair.” He rolled his eyes back in response. “Three out of three main events with Flair,” he muttered with pure disgust. “4v4, 2v2, and now 1v1.”
“Please read further, Mr Artoria.”
Silas slowly looked at the official with confusion. “You’re ordering me?”
“Lack of acknowledgement will lead to consequences.” He pointed at the paper, still unfazed at Silas. “You’d do well to heed it.”
‘If only the two house pets weren’t beside him.’
Silas’ eyes returned to the paper, reading beyond the plan the CWF has in mind for the roster. Still, he read:
We here at the CWF understand your current frustration with recent events, as well as the demands of our market demographic. However, we draw the line with assaulting our untrained and competitively unfit staff. Tara Robinson suffered two broken ribs in consequence to your unprovoked and unreasonable attack.
We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to conduct with our backstage staff that was outlined clearly in section 2.3 of your talent contract. This letter, submitted on the 10th July 2018, serves as your official warning.
If this conduct is to continue beyond what we consider acceptable, you will be released from your contract with the CWF with the release clause fully enforced.
The letter is signed with a scribble unfamiliar to Silas. “First strike, eh?” he muttered quietly.
“And your only strike,” replied the official. “Onstage talent is at your discretion, and Gunt and Rolash are acceptable collateral.”
Silas looked at the official with amusement.
“It’s a wrestling show. If we fired everyone who laid even a finger on those two, we wouldn’t have anyone left. Have a safe trip home, and we’ll see you next week.” Not another word, he turned and walked away.
Silas watched the official and the two tall and bulky security guards leave, with the temptation of ambushing the threeseething in his mind since the second he laid eyes on them. Maybe his release would give him carte blanche to unleash everything on those three with a few extras, but there’s simply too many people around. A jail cell wouldn’t come within a streetlamps length to his required standards.
‘Main event, the biggest stage, the biggest humiliation,’ the Passenger whispered.
“She hasn’t beaten me,” he muttered, crumpling up the letter and tossing it aside as he did so. “just survived with Dean costing me and Ryan getting reckless.”
‘If only it was on a more exclusive stage. All the sweeter.’
“It’ll have to do my friend,” he silently whispered, starting to support himself on his feet as images raced through his mind. Him, Flair, the ring, all her limbs must burn with pure agony he thought.
‘You’re very...imaginative Silas.’
Silas started the seemingly long and aching walk back towards the double doors, with more comfortable transport awaiting him.
‘I look forward to executing your ideas.’
“I’m certain you are.”
A study, nicely decorated and filled with a variety of ornaments. A desk is present centre stage of the frame, with two bright green and well cared for cast iron plants standing on each end of a curtained window. The light soon goes out, with only the desk lamp illuminating anything in the room, though primarily the barely seen pens and paper that reside on the desk.
Footsteps are heard, and soon a familiar figure crosses over to the chair present in the centre. Silas Artoria carefully sits down and gets comfortable, before leaning on the desk to look at the camera showcasing his elegant study.
“So, my first one-on-one main event against a big company star. Exciting isn’t it? That was the aura surrounding it at least, seeing all of you around the world posting how much you are looking forward to seeing MJ Flair pulverise and brutalise me, and how I deserve it after my unprovoked attack on the Legacy.
It’s mildly entertaining to hear these types of fan fiction masquerading as expectant announcements getting uploaded. It just proves that, unlike the majority of you all, I have the decency to possess a realistic mindset. You all wallow away in the dark corners expecting the washed up disappointing failure you perceive me to be, left in a bloody pool after once again taking the fall.”
He leans in closer, his pupils narrowing at the sight of the lens.
“You listen to me very, very carefully. When was the last time the two of us faced each other? Two months ago? She failed to keep control of the match and as a result she has that loss on her record forever, against me! Or more insultingly, against Autumn Raven! She has one win and one loss against the two of us, don’t you think that’s a fact that is hanging there at the back of her head? It’s probably what caused her skull to split into two. There’s a reason why she wants to face me so, so badly.
And yet, you’re expecting her to skin me alive.”
He slowly leans back into his chair, neither blinking nor taking his eyes off the camera.
“Don’t underestimate me. Those who step into the ring with me leave as very different people. Flair has a big debt to pay for issuing that receipt to my nose and blacking me out against the concrete floor.
Such a cowardly attack, don’t you think? We were both even, she failed to meet her demands and I enacted a clause within what I consider acceptable. But she had to extend her debt while I was in a barely vulnerable position, using a backstage announcer as bait! Is Flair seriously that incompetent at facing people that she has to rely on distractions to get her own way!?”
He nodded negatively and tutted, with a clear look of disappointment.
“There’s a reason why she is called the ‘Legacy’, it’s because she’ll never move on from her father’s legendary shadow.”
He placed his hand over a piece of paper.
“So I was on the way home, looking forward to either:
A. Demonstrating how wrong she and you perceived me to be.
B. Exposing MJ Flair as a washed up demanding brat.
Or C. All of the above.
That feeling of satisfaction would’ve brought great joy into the cold, unforgiving walls of my home. I would love to see MJ Flair proceed to reach for the stars and climb back into stardom, only for me to swoop in and kick the chair away from under her, because I, and only I, have the drive and motivation to push on while she rolls on the floor screaming for her rotting daddy. I know how to keep her down. You think those stitches on her skull have healed? Time isn’t on her side.
That was, until I got some unfavourable news upon landing in the more comfortable and more welcoming city of Toronto.”
He lifts up the paper. It contains a picture of an old colleague. Autumn Raven.
“Autumn Raven has been added to my match, my soon-to-be solidifying performance has turned into a two person dance with a little baby cub.”
He throws the picture to the side.
“CWF management, I know I haven’t exactly been acting appropriately towards your staff, but I have to ask one simple question, one I am sure many other people are asking.
Why? Why is Autumn Raven in this match?
Why is this person, who can barely keep up with me and is frequently the one taking the falls in tag matches, in this PPV Main Event calibur match? Is it because I haven’t washed the stink off yet? Two weeks wasn’t enough to be satisfied that the dominating juggernaut I built from sand has been firmly destroyed!?
Just can’t give me some sort of leeway, can’t you? I dragged her out from the barrel of irrelevance and obscurity, and pulled her into the spotlight. She didn’t win championship opportunities for herself. I carried the pair of us into the history books. It was me that got her that main event spot--how messed up is it that she, Autumn fucking Raven, got a main event CWF Heavyweight Championship match before the person that carried her!?
I’m not the swearing kind, but you can’t look at me, then look at her, and see that she is main event or upper midcard talent.
But now she is back with me like a disgustingly vile stain.”
He leans in closer to to the camera.
“You listen to me, Autumn. This match is between Flair and I. You are not remotely in the same talent circle as the pair of us. If you do anything stupid to jeopardize the outcome, I will make sure you’ll be sent back to the independent scene, grappling for pennies.
There will be hell to pay, and you and I know that what’s lurking underneath will give you lasting damage.”
He leans back, but this time places one hand on the lamp switch.
“MJ Flair, Autumn Raven, both...must fall.”
Click. The frame goes black.