Show over, and again Silas was forced to lay down on his back to take the pinfall. Nothing to stop it, only methods of the inevitable speeding up. The Golden Paradigm had decided to bludgeon up Silas at the behest of Flair, and after staying silent for weeks on end, something needed to be done. Favourably he would tear off the boss’ fingers piece by piece until there were nothing but two bloodied stumps left, but unfortunately the one in charge is Ataxia, the latest in a long line of people whom are constantly taking the mantle of company leader. He’d love to cut up Ataxia, but it wasn’t practical, but he needed answers as to why the Golden Paradigm hasn’t been given any notion of punishment, or why Autumn Raven was suddenly placed in the main event without rightfully earning the spot.
The door to Ataxia’s office took some time to find, but the striding and quick turns within the labyrinth finally resulted in the desired destination. Silas was quick to bang on the door.
SILAS ARTORIA: Open up, Ataxia!
A deafening silence clouds the immediate area has no notion of a response came from the otherside. Silas tries again, banging harder to the point that audible cracks in the hinges start creaking in line with the aggressive knocking.
SILAS ARTORIA: ENOUGH WITH YOUR GAMES ATAXIA! OPEN THE GODDAMN DOOR!
???: He won’t be opening the door, Mr Artoria.
Silas’ mouth hardened and eyes started beaming hatred, and slowly turned around to see the man who dared speak against his demand. His face immediately relaxed, as it was the same official who put the kibosh on Silas’ aggressive approach mere weeks ago.
CWF OFFICIAL: Ataxia’s only just left.
Silas sighed heavily with frustration.
CWF OFFICIAL: Whatever your concern may be, you’re going to have to take it up with him through other methods. Try phoning him or something!
Silas’ suddenly looks at the official with a mixture of confusion and bafflement, completely insulted by the notion that he would have to phone someone who likely doesn’t know such devices exist.
SILAS ARTORIA: You think Ataxia is the type who engages such methods of communication?
CWF OFFICIAL: Then what about Shadow? Surely he--
SILAS ARTORIA: And give him the luxury of me grovelling to him for one of his ruling friends?
The official simply shrugs, unable to answer his query in a satisfactory manner. Silas gets closer to the official, obviously not happy with the vague non-answer he was given, but the official didn’t even flinch. After all, Silas’ intimidating posture didn’t discount the fact that Silas was a small flick away from being fired.
SILAS ARTORIA: What kind of answer is that? What kind of goddamn official doesn’t have a line to Ataxia, or whoever becomes the booker next week!? WHAT KIND OF INTERNATIONAL COMPANY DOESN’T HAVE THE DAMN COMMUNICATION SYSTEM IN CHECK!??
CWF OFFICIAL: WE ARE IN A TUMULTUOUS TIME, MR ARTORIA!
THE PASSENGER: If only you didn’t have the noose around our neck.
The official started counting with his fingers as each of his points were spelt out to Silas, whom slightly leaned back into his towering posture overtime.
CWF OFFICIAL: We have faction warfare breaking out in the lead in to our biggest event of the year, we’re scrambling to get last minute checks done for next week--Ataxia is erratic in his planning, this is his goddamn playground. How do you think we feel about our supervisor changing week after week after week!??
THE PASSENGER: Not strongly enough to anything about it.
CWF OFFICIAL: We’re not in the position to contact him! If you want to try, go try Shadow, or Mia, or someone he has a direct line of connection to.
Silas sighed heavily.
SILAS ARTORIA: Is it even worth the effort in asking why Autumn Raven was inserted into my match with MJ Flair at the last moment, or why nothing is being done about those clowns who made a fool out of me before I stepped foot into the ring!? Is there anything going to be done about it?
Silas suddenly grabs the nearby chair and throws it at Ataxia’s office door, splitting it in half. He doesn’t waste time in kicking the rest of the door down in a furious rage, shouting and yelling with each kick. Splinters scatter both ends of the frame, spreading further as Silas immediate barges into the room.
The office was covered in unspeakable filth, covered in stray straws that were either pulled from or brought in for his mask. The room was dark, with the light not working as the lightbulb was pulled out. A bird cage was present too, surprisingly clean, but a rotten stench filled the air, although Silas’ distaste of the environment was more or less subjective at best.
SILAS ARTORIA: Uncivilised cretin.
He sprinted for the desk, itself covered in scattered papers, and quickly started to scan each and every one of them as the official finally entered the abandoned office.
CWF OFFICIAL: Mr Artoria, you need to pay for the doo--
SILAS ARTORIA: I’m trying to find anything in regards to my queries and all you can think about is the price of the door!?
CWF OFFICIAL: The arena isn’t ours!
SILAS ARTORIA: Then take it out of my paycheck if it matters to you so much!
His search continues, throwing papers left right and centre, even delivering the Canadian a papercut in the process. Weird sketches, odd ramblings, incoherent essays, all scattering around the office floor as Silas hunts down for something even vaguely useful.
SILAS ARTORIA: Wastes five million pieces of scrap paper and doesn’t tidy anything. What uncultured swine does that?
CWF OFFICIAL: Ataxia--
Silas shot a look at the official, not letting a second go by. Eyes pierce the official’s skull, furious at the nerve being displayed by such a lowly salarymen.
SILAS ARTORIA: DID I ASK FOR YOUR OPINION?!
Silence. Not even crickets.
SILAS ARTORIA: Thought so.
THE PASSENGER: If only he wasn’t on the other side of the room.
SILAS ARTORIA: If only.
More papers scattered--he stopped. He slowly revealed a seemingly unremarkable piece of scrap paper, buried underneath a poem that had no structure or defining subject. It was a piece of printed paper that contained an except of an internal arena newsletter. Nothing related to the CWF, except for what was scribbled on top. Red highlight marker wrote what was clearly either a draft card, or what was to unfold at Summer Games.
Silas carefully went down the card. Azrael vs Lucas Greene.
THE PASSENGER: Suitable last name.
Wone vs Mikey Unlikely vs The American Patriot vs Jimmy Allen.
THE PASSENGER: A match to determine who we can lay out.
SILAS ARTORIA: Very unsatisfactory if so.
THE PASSENGER: Your current record doesn’t inspire confidence, Silas!
SILAS ARTORIA: And a win over greenhorns would look better?
THE PASSENGER: If only to satisfy the numbers.
Silas growled lightly, and returned to the hastily written card. Andy Murray vs Pete Whealdon.
SILAS ARTORIA: The pest responsible for tonight’s events.
THE PASSENGER: You could satisfy my appetite.
Silas humphs, tempted.
SILAS ARTORIA: Either the man who spat in your face, or the man who returns to have the past cloud more innovative athletes.
CWF OFFICIAL: What did you sa--
Silas shot his eyes back up.
SILAS ARTORIA: Did I ask for you input!?
He quickly refocused back on the card. Zach vs Xander Haze, with a crude drawing of a lightning rod with the words “Live Wire” underneath it.
THE PASSENGER: We could jump in?
SILAS ARTORIA: Got nothing on them two. Too much to keep track of.
Mia and Shadow vs Styles and Duce vs Autumn and Si--
He stopped reading further, just focusing on that match. He reread it over and over and over again. Three teams, Silas and Autumn together, was this pure fantasy booking? Likely, but it was still a matchup and elicited a painful sensation in his skull. He read further, with his name circled and several “Ha!”s in multiple sizes and in various boldness. Silas gripped his hands hard, his fingernails scratching the surface of the desk and emitting a skull piercing screech.
He still looked at the matchup.
SILAS ARTORIA: You still here?
CWF OFFICIAL: Until you leave.
SILAS ARTORIA: Am I teaming with Autumn Raven at Summer Games?
He looked at the official, clearly getting a little uncomfortable and unsure. Silas didn’t let up his gaze, and took a deep breath.
SILAS ARTORIA: Am I, or am I not, scheduled to team with Autumn Raven for the tag belts?
The official took a deep breath and swallowed uncomfortably. He hesitated, curling his lips repeatedly before taking a deep breath.
CWF OFFICIAL: Yes--
The desk immediately flipped and crashed to the floor, with the visibly irate Silas marching towards the official.
SILAS ARTORIA: IS THIS SOME SORT OF SICK, TWISTED JOKE!? DID YOU SEE THIS CARD BEFORE IT GOT FINALISED--DID YOU GUYS NOT THINK THAT MY MESSAGE TO AUTUMN AND TO THE WORLD--SLAMMING HER HEAD AGAINST A BIRDCAGE AND VISIBLY DISSECTING HER--WOULD CONSTITUTE A TEAM UP!??
He punched the wall next to the official, creating a hole in the thin wall that seperated the office to the more brightly lit hallway.
SILAS ARTORIA: I have put up with the sheer trash you have given me, making me look like a complete fool in front of everyone, ensuring I would enter each of our scheduled dates with the purpose to be completely discredited. And now you want me to go out there with someone I had a public falling out with the intention to potentially hold the tag belts with!? ARE YOU INSANE!?
CWF OFFICIAL: Well….you….I….I
The official struggled the think while shrugging lightly.
CWF OFFICIAL: You could….forfeit?
Silas punched the wall in response again, widening the fist-sized hole in the wall to nearly double its size.
SILAS ARTORIA: Am I someone who just skips out because I don’t like the match up!? If I can recall correctly, I only have one no-contest to my name because Ataxia and I brawled to the point that no clear winner could be defined.
His head closes in on the officials.
SILAS ARTORIA: I am going in that ring, Autumn or no Autumn, because I commit to what I am assigned to, request or not.
He started to pace around the room, approaching the bird cage with sinister intent. A quick grab and it’s smashed onto the floor, causing the official to flinch as pieces of debris flew towards him.
SILAS ARTORIA: Can’t seem to catch a goddamn break around here.
He continued his pace, kicking piles of trash around while facing towards the official.
SILAS ARTORIA: Should’ve known this would happen, should’ve known that I would’ve been thrown around like a ragdoll with little regard. Happened since I stepped foot in this company, always toyed and discarded and continuously used like some sort of journeyman for the others. I’ve been here, in this company, since November of last year, and it was delightful, but then the true purpose of this rotten place started to show itself. My first day here had Amber Ryan return, and I ended up facing her in the first round of Modern Warfare.
He looked down, and bit his lip.
SILAS ARTORIA: In truth, I HATED the Modern Warfare tournament. I hated the way it was laid out, with sharp differences in skill. You had newer guys go up against established veterans in scenarios that was explicitly designed to reinforce the status quo. Build new stars? Let’s have two athletes with the collective age of 160 main event instead! You want to know how many of those who lost out on the first round are still standing? Four. Sixteen matches, and I’m still standing because I believed that something could be changed. I chased off Roid Rogers when he glanced at me, Aphmau Enders was never the same when I debuted, and Chris Lee’s performance dropped after his match with me. Gone, forgotten, nothing but dust. The four who survived, one ended becoming a lazy part timer because he thought he was above fulfilling the weekly schedule, and the remaining three were catapulted into the spotlight.
He pointed to himself.
SILAS ARTORIA: Me, Autumn, and Braxton, I pushed us to the forefront of the CWF, we nearly stole the damn show in Tokyo, and all I got in return was a slap in the face! They wouldn’t have even had a sniff at the main event if it wasn’t for me! They got those belts because of me, because I got them slotted into the title match, a match that the CWF decided that it didn’t have enough talent to the point that they thought it was appropriate to bring back people whom have outstayed their welcome long ago. We conquered that, and sent that team back into retirement.
He resumed pacing.
SILAS ARTORIA: Do you know what it’s like, getting the news that someone you mentored and helped become the star they are today decided to discard everything and leave you at a complete disadvantage? Have you ever been blindsided so bad that you could argue completely damaged your composure?
He raises his arms, and his voice got progressively faster and louder.
SILAS ARTORIA: Well look at me! I’ve trudged through the mire that’s deep within the company and in return I am constantly being placed in unfavourable situations. And now I am getting called out from multiple sides of the whole damn roster. My unfinished business with Dean and Sam, Mia demanding a tables match, Shadow continuously calling me out, getting attacked by this Golden Paradigm that’s such a misnomer that they’re probably protecting it so the chocolate inside it doesn’t melt!
He stopped, deep breath. Continue.
SILAS ARTORIA: You want to know why I don’t have time to deal with all that? Because I’ve got my own personal problems to deal with. You want to know what a streak like mine does to people? It makes them irrational, it turns people desperate, it drags them through the ground to the point that their sense of purpose gets wiped out. How many losses have I have recently? When was my last victory? The DQ on the go home show of Paradise?
He points towards the window.
SILAS ARTORIA: That was back in May, and I haven’t scored anything substantial since. Week after week, humiliation after humiliation, forced to look weak while the CWF scramble to find the golden boys they made the federation with over ten years ago!? How the hell do you deal with that? Knowing that you attend work time and time again without fail yet the retired stars are immediately slotted into prominence and the main event of the biggest show of the year. How the hell can anyone find motivation in a company that celebrates that mentality? Is it any wonder that I snapped at Tara Robinson? You try dealing with a situation like mine!
He drops his arm.
SILAS ARTORIA: I’d love to deal with the parasites I crafted into stars, I’d love to finally break and push Shadow’s teeth down his throat after the barbs he spewed at me in between shows, I’d love to give the Golden Paradigms a receipt, and I would really like to slam Mia thorough a table to the point that she’ll become paralyzed. But I can’t!
His eyes become narrow; bitter, contempt, all on display.
SILAS ARTORIA: Because I’ve got to deal with this streak that’s going to continuously eat away at me, and that inevitability is what has kept me going! It’s what kept me coming back week after week after week, the scent of being able to potentially fix this goddamn slump that seemingly has no end in sights.
CWF OFFICIAL: Kept?
Silas looked at the official, before leaning on the tipped desk and looked down.
SILAS ARTORIA: You know how many times I’ve thought about walking away? Just going to the board and tell them that I’m going back to Toronto and not come back? Plenty. The past three months of zero results has got me rethinking. Should I leave and maybe return to a much happier existence, or should I stay and keep the status quo that’s been dragging me down into the depths of hell?
He looks back at the official.
SILAS ARTORIA: I’ve got my own problems to deal with without having to worry about an enterprise that is yielding nothing of substance.
CWF OFFICIAL: We’ve got WrestleFest around the corner.
SILAS ARTORIA: So? I’ve done most of a year here and nothing to show for it. Why should I care if Wrestlefest is around the corner if I’m going to get relegate to the preshow with the likes of Billy Anderson or any of the four greenhorns we’ve just dragged in? What kind of accomplishment is that? If my losing streak ended with one of those guys, I’d call that the biggest failure of my damn career. I was coming in at every single scheduled date to make an example, that’s been brushed aside to make way for another pensioner.
He finally stood up and approached the CWF official.
SILAS ARTORIA: So here is what’s going to happen. I’m going to go into Summer Games with the intent of winning. I’m going to decimate each and every person who steps into the same ring as I, and if there is anyone who doesn’t like that, well that’s tough. I’m tired of being an afterthought, a target of ridicule, and pushed into unwanted situations I didn’t ask for. I’m finally going to inflict punishment and enjoy every last second of it.
He looked at the man in the eye.
SILAS ARTORIA: If I win the belts, I’m going to go back to Toronto for a few weeks to recharge my batteries, because there’s no way in hell I am going to defend the belts on an Evolution show. That’s the fact. And if I lose…
Silas looked down and delved into thought. Then looked back up and finally, after several months, gave out some semblance of a smile.
SILAS ARTORIA: Then I wish you the best with Wrestlefest.
Silas started to walk out of the darkened office and down the hallway, before the official could finally ingest the implications. He ran into the hallway to see the back of Silas Artoria.
CWF OFFICIAL: Mr Artoria! You’re not skipping WrestleFest!
Silas turned around and looked back at the official.
SILAS ARTORIA: If something is yielding a net negative, time to jump off the sinking ship.
He turned back around and lifted one of his arm up in a light wave.
SILAS ARTORIA: Have a good night, and I hope you and your friends sleep on my words!