Part one: The Hunt for Darkness.
Two sets of huge oak doors stand before her, as always making her feel small, something which she was certainly not used to. With a deep, steadying breath, she pushed on the left hand one, listening to it creak as it crept open. As soon as the door was fully open, sconces along the walls of this immense hall lept into life, basking the chamber in their flickering glow. Hundreds of individual flames gave life to this empty vestibule. The first time she had seen this it had scared the hell out of her, now though, she was used to it. That knowledge however, did nothing to ease that knot in her chest. Mustering all she could, she spoke aloud into the empty room, hearing her own voice echo in the colossal space before her.
“Father, father are you in here?”
At first there was no response, nothing but the dissipating sound of her own voice, echoing down the chamber, and the flickering roar of the flames disturbed by it. Other than that, the eerie silence continued to make her feel uneasy.
“Father, it’s Claudia, are you in here?”
Again, nothing at first. She stood, cold to the bone despite the numerous flames around her, cursing inwardly.
“Approach, my child.”
His voice did not echo, nor was it a whisper. Spoken as if he was stood right beside her, despite being nowhere in sight, it was the thing she needed to hear more than anything in the world. She began to cross the room, the giant oaken door behind her closing seemingly on it’s own. Claudia had been in this room many times, but it still took her breath away. Currently it stood empty, nothing to see except the hundreds of sconces on the walls, but at capacity, this room could easily hold a thousand people. The first time she was here, the longest table she had ever seen had run all the way down the middle, each seat filled with people that seemingly couldn’t have come from more different backgrounds. Dignitaries, royalties and street rats rubbed shoulders as they tucked into the most luxurious feast she had ever laid her eyes on, but today the stark opposite was the truth, nothingness. It certainly was creepy in this state.
As she was halfway across the expanse of stone, her eyes fixed firmly on the stage at the far end of the room, upon which stood, this time at least, a single huge ornate Bocote throne, large enough to easily sit two of her, her father walked onto the stage from the right hand side of the room.
He may now looked thinner and more haggard than she had seen in the past, but he was still a striking figure. 7 feet tall, with silver hair that flowed in thick locks down past his shoulder blades, a full silver beard to match. As he turned to face his daughter, his eyes creased into a smile, his skin showing his age by wrinkling, but those steel grey eyes, they still carried the fire of a young and ferocious man.
“My daughter! What a pleasure it is for these tired bones to come alive again at the chance to hold you in my arms!”
He may be thinner now, but he still was in impeccable shape for a man his age. As she approached, it was easy to still see that even his advanced age, he still cut an easy two hundred and eighty pounds of pure iron.
Claudia stepped up onto the raised platform with ease, her long legs making the transition easy. She was tall naturally, even taller still in her current three inch heels, but her father still had a way of making her feel like a dwarf. As she stepped forwards he threw out his massive arms, embracing her in a deep and loving hug.
To those unaware, they seemed a close knit unit, bonded by a lifetime of love. The truth of course, could not be more opposite. Claudia, now only 24 years of age, had only come to know her real father for the first time at the tender age of 21. Brought together by fate it seemed, as their bonding connection was the man she was here to talk about.
At first their relationship was strained, after all, they didn’t know one another, and his near death at the cruel hand of cancer had almost ended their relationship before it had been allowed to blossom. But through all of the obstacles, they stood here now, embraced, genuinely happy to see one another.
After what seemed like a lifetime, he finally released his grip on his daughter, seemingly floating backwards into the throne like seat behind him.
“My child, I must ask you the purpose of your visit here today. My heart wishes to believe that you have come to lift the spirits of your dear father, but I suspect a darker purpose is at hand.”
The graveness within his voice shook Claudia a little. It was not uncommon to hear the master of death speak with a solemn tone, but to her such a tone was reserved for grave matters, but this was certainly different.
“Well, a bit of both if I have to be honest, I was planning on coming up here soon anyway, but I do need your help with something.”
To her surprise, his face cracked once again into a warm smile.
“I understand my child, you wish to know his whereabouts, alas, this is one thing I cannot be entirely sure of.”
Of course, he saw the question coming from a mile away, giving her once again, the very same feeling that the man she was searching for used to get all the time, that this giant of a man before her could read minds. Despite knowing this question, he didn’t know the answer. The one thing in the world he probably didn’t know.
“I must apologise for such a glaring gap in my grasp of the world. However, even though I struggle to provide a solid word in your time of need, I do possess a number of theories, some founded in logic, someone in lunacy. My working theory at this time is that the loss he suffered at the hand of one Mr Mace has had somewhat of a psychological effect on him. Especially when you take into consideration as I have, that he was not beaten in contest, simply beaten in execution.”
Claudia remained silent, studying each movement of the face.
“Yes, I believe I have used sound reasoning to deduce that much, however, how this demon has manifested now that it has escaped from his soul, this much I cannot answer. I do find that as I continue to cave into the inevitable effects of my tenured mortal existence, my ability to uncover the unfathomable has begun to… dwindle.”
As she was watching him in a trance like state, she was completely unaware of the chair placed behind her. A throne like chair made in the same ilk as the one her father was sat in, she had sat in it multiple times at his right hand side. She may not have been aware it was there, but she became thankful it was as she slumped into it.
“I used to think he was a pain in the ass, but I have to say, I am starting to miss the cocksure arrogant asshole I used to live with in New York.”
“It would not be unfair to say that Young Ripper has dealt with hid inner darkness for some time, however, I too, like you, believed that those days had been left in his past. I know one thing though my daughter, and this one thing I know for sure, you provided him with a purpose, your existence gave him new life. I shall of course commit resources into locating his current location, however, in my not so humble opinion, I do believe that if you were to trust your own instincts, you may find that your path has no need to be plotted, simply walked down.”
Claudia ran her long, slender fingers through her auburn hair.
“How can you say so much when speaking so little?”
Part 2: The Broken soul.
“Hello darkness my own friend, here we are just fucked again…”
As you would expect, the graveyard was bathed in darkness, cloaked by the night sky. It wouldn’t be creepy otherwise would it? As the camera pans over the rows and rows of tombstones, each partially illuminated by the moonlight emanating from the cloudless sky, a slight breeze rolls across the consecrated ground, ruffling the shrubs and bushes. As the view pans around a large marble cross erected probably to make up for a lack of personality in life, one grave in particular stands out like a sore thumb.
One or two things made this grave look a little different than the others. First of which was the damaged tombstone, a small portion of it still standing in place, shoved into the dirt below. The rest of it seemed to be lying in pieces on the ground surrounding the site. The second stand out feature, were the piles of dirt lying each side of the hole. And yes, I said hole. The grave was, at least officially, unused. The third, and most peculiar difference to it’s neighbours, was the man laying in the grave, dressed in an immaculate black suit, singing to himself, fingers interlocked over his chest, eyes closed.
“In restless dreams I walked alone, because those fuckers always want a bone…”
The serene setting didn’t seem to be disturbed by the slightly off key serenade, in fact, it seemed to be enhanced somewhat. The beauty of the setting could not be understated, the camera wouldn’t focus on the man in the grave for too long, continuing it’s pan of the arena. Passing by a huge oak tree, off one of the branches hung what looked to be a knee brace. The view continued, a shadow of a large, battered tower loomed in the background. In one smooth movement the shot panned backwards, showing the graveyard in its entirety. Just the to the left hand side, barely in shot, an office table stood pristine, three things upon it. As if the sentient recording device knew exactly what it was supposed to see, it closed in. As it panned past, a championship belt shone in the moonlight, three small cages stood beside it, stacked on top of one another, and finally, a placard, upon which the faded word ‘commissioner’ was etched. One final view of the scene before the view cut off entirely.
Moments later, the feed returned, this time inside of the pit designed to entomb a carcass for the rest of eternity. The very much living occupant was no longer laying, instead leaning against the head of the dirt wall, knees in the air, arm outstretched, holding the camera in his own hand.
He opened his mouth to speak multiple times, each time seemingly unable to find the words. Each time starting to look more and more despondent. This man, usually well kept and crisp, looked dishevelled… dirty. The usually neat ponytail fraying in all directions, the perfect skin blotchy, the confident look in his eyes replaced by nothing but emptiness.
“I... I have admit to all of you, I have to tell you all something, but I don’t know the words… I can’t…”
With a scream of despair, he throws the camera against the opposite dirt wall, letting it fall to the ground. He remains in view, the shot panning up from the ground, his pale green eyes still just about visible in the shadow.
“The unspoken history, that’s what people overlook, that’s what people don’t seem to understand.”
Now that he was speaking to himself, and only to himself, he seemed to find the words a little easier.
“The federation has created more stories in it’s time than any one man can accurately recall. So many legends and fables, myths and truths have all been smashed together to create a legacy that simply cannot be understated. Yet through it all, some things get left unsaid, some things come together to reshape an entire history. History that I am surrounded by now.”
Ripper half snarled, half smiled, all seemingly in spite of himself.
“Eight years ago it all began, eight long fucking years ago it all began. The shock was felt around the world as Ataxia pinned Alex Cain in the middle of the ring, winning the CWF World Heavyweight Championship in the process. The world was left in a stunned silence, the world took a collective breath in, because literally no one could believe it, no one in the world. That was chapter one of the tale of Ataxia as champion. A story that had only two chapters, two short, tiresome chapters.”
That pain that was residing behind those pale eyes seemed to ebb away as the memory came flooding back for him, as did said paleness, that brightness that came to define him seemed to be returning.
“See, as chapter two rolled around, two new characters were introduced to the story, now one of those was bland as fuck, someone that had to wait until all the good characters had left the tale before they could be useful, but the less said about Jace Valentine the better, no, we shall focus on the other character, the greatest up and comer in CWF history, the man with more untapped potential than anyone that had ever crossed the threshold into those fabled lands. That man took one look at the glass ceiling that was holding him back and stuck his golden fist right through it.”
Danny’s hand curled into a fist as he spoke.
“And thus, the story of the miracle run would come to an end, but the first chapter of the greatest story in history was written, the story of the greatest world champion in the history of this illustrious business. For those of you without the necessary intelligence to follow the chain of events unfurling in this tale, Ataxia failed to retain that title he coveted so much, and for the first time, was put down by his superior.”
The face that was wrought with sorrow only minutes before seemed to be filling with colour once again as his lips began to curl into a smile.
“So much of my history has been spoke of in great detail with awe and respect, but the tale of The Ripper vs the Messiah Pariah has gone untold. There is a fair chance that most of the reason it is not a well known tale is the second part of the equation. See all of the great tales spoken about when my career is mentioned, is the common denominator… me.
The wierdo with a burlap sack, the world knows his name, the world sees him when he walks into a room, and then the world turns away, because no one is interested any longer.”
As if the lifeforce had been returning to him all while driving down memory lane, The Ripper suddenly seemed rejuvenated. Alive. His eyes were back to the full piercing green, his hair seemingly glowing in the moonlight.
“The tale had just begun however, there was far more to it than this, but the story always ended the same, and it will once again…”
Part Three: Gods on Earth.
“So, I don’t recognise you, and believe me I would remember a face like yours, you new around here?”
“Just load the fucking car up asshole, we ain’t got all day.”
“Aww, come on, why you gotta be like that?”
“Dude, you try and hit on me one more time and I will shove that nozzle so far up your ass that your breath will be flammable.”
The gas station attendant seemed to get the point, turning his attention away from Claudia and placing the petrol pump nozzle into her convertible Mustang. Thon tapped her heeled boot on the dusty floor impatiently, her arms crossed across her chest.
“There you go ma’am, is there anything else I can do for ya?”
His southern drawl just seemed to irritate her more. She wasn’t exactly having the best day anyway, having been driving since the crack of dawn. After having left her father’s a couple of days before, she had flown down south, attempting to track down Danny at his home in Florida. Well, one of his homes anyway. The place hadn’t been touched since she was last there with him a year before, and with that revelation, she had almost given up hope, until she threw herself into an armchair in frustration. That was when the phone call came. The number was unrecognised, as was the voice that came through the speaker, but the information that came through gave her new life. Just like that, she had hauled her ass to the rental place, paid for the sweet ‘Stang on the company credit card and had begun to bolt across the southern coast towards Texas.
Now, ten hours later as she stopped to fill up this thirsty bastard for what seemed to be the millionth time, paid for all by the corporation of course, her patience was razor thin. With the bill paid, she was on the road again, hunting for somewhere that didn’t strike her as a likely murder scene to rest her head for the night. She was hoping to make it all the way to Biloxi in one day, but as the sun began to dip over the horizon, even the steel souled daughter of the demon had to admit she should probably take it easy for a little while.
Google maps had provided her a with a nice little in just off the I-10, and figuring that it was better than a crap-shoot motel in the middle of nowhere, she pulled into the parking lot of the Hampton Inn and made her way towards check in. With one more flash of that Gold Card, she had booked herself into the most expensive room in the place, and ten minutes later was laying face down in the rather comfy king size bed, trying to turn the cloud of shit in her mind into a straight and linear path of thought. Something she wasn’t all that apt in doing.
Something about his disappearance had rattled her this time. It wasn’t unlike Ripper to fuck off into oblivion, going totally off the grid as he did so. Though every time this had happened in the four years since she had become his protege, he had always let her known one way or another that he was OK, either by keeping in contact, or at the very least by leaving her some kind of sign. But this time, he had simply fucked off without any indication where he was, or even that he was alive.
“If I find that fucker alive. I’ll kill him myself.”
A small smirk finally crossed her face, giving her just the needed peace to fall into an uneasy sleep.
Whatever she was hoping she would wake up to the next day, it certainly wasn’t what actually happened. Her eyes snapped open, and she found herself staring at the ceiling, obviously having rolled over at some point in the night, the sun had only just began to creep up over the horizon, bathing the room in a pinkish glow. It wasn’t the rising sun that brought her out of her slumber however, it was the clicking of the lock on her door. Someone was trying to break in, and that someone was about to make the biggest mistake of their pathetic little life. Thankful she had at least thought to take off her boots as she got into bed, Claudia slipped off the bed, and stealthily crept across the room, placing herself behind the door, waiting patiently. A moment later, the tell-tale beep of someone having cracked the key card lock on the door, and the door began to creep open. Thorn waited for the perfect moment, holding her breath until the door was 95% open.
The door was shoved back the way it came with such ferocity that the sap on the other side may not have seen it coming, but he sure fucking felt it. Thorn didn’t waste a second, ripping the door open and grabbing the would be assailant by the drawstrings of his hoodie, before delivering a rib-cracking knee to the midsection. With instinct taking over completely, her elbow was driven down into the base of the neck. To their credit, the masked thug stayed on their feet, stumbling forwards into the room. Claudia slipped behind and drove her heel into the back of the knee, dropping them down onto it. Her days in the blistering Morocco sun came back in the best possible way, as she grabbed the assailant’s right arm, positioned herself, and rolled them over, locking in the armbar. Without a second’s thought she wrenched as hard as she could, and the sickening snap of a breaking tibula echoed around the room, followed by the unmistakable scream of a man who had just experienced real pain for the first time.
Snapping out of her trance, she finally let go, allowing whoever the fucking asshole was before her writhe in pain for moment, before climbing on top of the guy, pinning the broken arm down with her kneecap. The screams were blood curdling, to the point where she ripped off the bandana being used as a mask, and shoving it the mouth of her attacker. It was then she saw it, the Ankh tattooed on the forehead.
“Fuck’s sake Dad, you need better staff.”
Thorn relented, climbing off the hapless fuck and placing herself down on the end of the bed.
“Let me guess, my father asked you to track down Ripper, and you followed me here by tracing the credit card? Are you an intern or something.”
The sound of disappointment in her voice was unbelievably telling. Not only had she not managed to track him down, neither apparently had her father. She looked down at the poor fool who thought he’d cracked the case of a lifetime, whimpering on the floor. Guilt overtook her somewhat. That time spent with the elite warriors, getting her bare ass burned to a crisp as she took slam after slam on that hot sand, learning to apply holds and resist the most painful of maneuvers, training herself for any situation, all of that punishment for this useless twat.
“Fuck. Me. Sideways.”
Part 4: The awoken soul
As creepy looking as the graveyard was at night, the morning mist gave it an even eerier glow. The tower that sat at the back of the scene before was now front and center, but it did not stand alone any longer, instead now, the golden warrior sat at the top, legs dangling over the edge.
“Part of me always wanted to know just what would happens to you when you’re thrown from this thing. People will always argue about just what the most dangerous match in history is. As someone that has been in a number of fucked up stipulations, some of which were my own creation, I know just what the word dangerous really means, and even though I have never suffered the awful fucking fate of being thrown from this thing, I respect it.
Do you know why I respect it? Because I once did the throwing. Once upon a time, I took a man that needed to be taught a fucking lesson, and I threw his pathetic ass off the top of this thing all the way down to the floor below. Ataxia has suffered this fate, he suffered it at my very hands.”
Danny leaned forward a little, looking over the edge at the tombstone riddled floor below.
“He never forgave me for taking his title from him, it must have eaten him up inside. That’s why when the company returned and I was well on my way to becoming a world champion for a second time, that fucking lunatic struck, attacking my knee with that cinderblock, rupturing my ACL in the process. That son of a bitch put me out of action for nearly a year.”
You may have been forgiven for thinking you saw Ripper’s piercing green eyes flash a fiery red for just a second.
“That’s why when I returned and took the commissioner's role, I took the chance to abuse my power and I booked one of the most awful things I could think of, something that would give me the chance to exact every last little bit of revenge I had been storing up every single second of my time away from the ring, a chance to legally have the right to end his life. Now, I may have failed in my mission to end him once and for all, but there is one thing I thought I had killed. His spirit.
How very wrong I was.”
The sun was really rising now, basking the Golden Warrior’s face in it’s morning glow, illuminating the many scars that littered his face.
“I have been accused of underestimating my opponents on occasion, but none so more than Ataxia. I believed in that moment, that our story was over, that the last chapter had been written. Alas, I could not have been more wrong. That visage could come to haunt me once again.”
It seems that The Ripper was so wrapped up in his own thoughts, that he failed to notice the giant of a man sweeping across the holy ground, effervescent in his glow. The giant of a man crossed the ground as if floating, effortless in his movements, his silvery hair and ebony cape billowing out behind him.
Part 5: La hija de la muerte
It had been twelve hours since she had crossed the border. As she downed the third tequila shot, she thought about what was next. She thought about what her life had become, and she spent all of her time thinking of an answer to the question that plagued her mind. Why did she care so much?
She knew him better than possibly anyone, she knew that he was prone to fucking off,and she knew that every time he would come back. This fact only held more truth when there was a fight on the horizon, after all, there is no chance he wouldn’t be live in Madison Square Garden when the time came, so, why oh fucking why did she feel like she had to find him now?
He had taught her many things in their time together, but one thing stuck more than any other, one thing that saved her ass more times than she would like to count, was that she had to trust her instinct, something told her that she had to go looking for him, and that thing had brought her here, to this dive bar in Juarez. For the first thirty minutes after walking her barely covered ass into this shithole she had find found herself having to fend off the locals, but once she’d finally had enough, and driven her elbow directly into the ribs of the latest wannabe romancer, she had been left firmly alone, hunched over this bar, slamming back shot after shot.
“Señorita, ¿estás bien?”
Her bloodshot eyes snapped back into focus, coming to rest on the surprisingly hot local who it seemed had been supplying her with her vice since she arrived. Now, her Spanish was a little on the shite side, and frankly, right now, she didn’t feel like making too much of an effort anyway.
“Fucking wonderful if you must know.”
“¿Oh, hablo Ingles?”
The sarcastic venom that she spat would have been enough to turn most men away from her, but this bartender was intrigued by this auburn-haired American lady swinging liquor as if it were cola. Unfortunately his English was about as good as her Spanish, and he figured the best option would be to top up her glass and see how things played out, vowing to make sure she didn’t get herself into any more trouble. He had already had to calm down one group of his regulars after she embarrassed their ring leader with the point of her elbow. What he didn’t expect was another white girl walking through the door to his bar a moment later. This one quite a bit shorter, and a hell of a lot blonder. This one was different though, this one he had seen before. Spoken to her before. Her demeanor caught his eye though, she seemed almost lost, as if she didn’t know why she was in this building at this very moment. He looked down at the now worse for wear rock chick before him, before looking back at the petite pretty thing standing by the door. Some of you may believe in fate, some of you might think it’s bollocks, but our man here, he certainly believed, and right now he believed that two different American girls walking into his bar on the same day, both wearing similar looks of confusion, he couldn’t not believe that wasn’t fate.
She walked towards the bar, sat down two stools away from Claudia and ordered herself a beer, in perfect Spanish if you were wondering. As she sipped away, she turned to look at Claudia, who to her credit, seemingly hadn’t noticed a damn thing. This mystery girl eyed up Thorn, seemingly to try and figure out what was her deal. She wanted to open her mouth to speak, after all you don’t just happen upon another chick from the home country in a random bar in this suburb of this not so touristy town. It was no good, she had to ask.
“Hey, you OK over there?”
Either Thorn didn’t hear her, or she didn’t want to. Either way, she didn’t so much as prick her ears. Undeterred, this newcomer slid over one chair so she was right next to Thorn, and spoke again.
“Hey girl, you look like you could use someone to talk to.”
This got a reaction, Claudia turned her head to the newcomer, and surveyed her for a second. This was natural to her, to assess whether this new being in her presence was a threat or a nuisance. It didn’t take her long to classify this little blonde thing as nothing more than a fly buzzing around her.
“I could use someone to break in half.”
Some people may have been taken aback by this unprovoked act of aggression, but not this chick, she took it in her stride. She was undeterred as Claudia turned her attention back to her empty glass.
“I’m Lexi. Lexi Thorn.”
This got her interest.
“What the fuck did you say?”
“I introduced myself, Lexi Thorn. Pleased to meet you.”
Lexi Thorn offered her hand out. For the first in a while Claudia sat up straight and turned in her seat, focusing her tired eyes on this intriguing new individual.
Claudia took her hand and shook it, not taking her eyes off the young woman before her. The eyes, she couldn’t not look into those baby blue eyes. The two of them broke apart, Lexi took another sip of her beer, just as intrigued by this angry being before her.
“So, Claudia, what brings you to a place like this?”
Claudia, still intrigued, and a little wary, took a moment to choose her words.
“Honestly, fuck if I know! I came looking for something. Thing is, I have no idea where it is, or even how to start looking for it.”
To her surprise, a sly grin crept over the face of Lexi, a somewhat evil visage for such a cute face.
“I know that feeling, I came here earlier this year looking for something as well. Although, unlike you I had at least an inkling. I came looking for an answer. I was adopted, and I wanted to find out something about my birth parents. I only knew one thing, my last name came from my mom.”
“Well, isn’t that very fucking intriguing. Tell me Lexi, why here? You’re obviously not from a Mexican family, and that name isn’t particularly well known around these parts, so why Juarez?”
“See, that’s the thing. I don’t know. Something told me to come here, something told me that I would find something in this God forsaken town, just as something told me to come to this bar today. You wouldn’t happen to be my birth mother would you?”
For the first time since falling asleep in the hotel room a few nights before, Claudia was actually able to curl those blood red lips into something resembling a smirk.
“Considering we seem to be about the same age, I’d say unlikely.”
“Yeah, wishful thinking really. So, where did you come from Claudia, you sound like a West Coast girl to me.”
“Yeah, San Mateo.”
“You’re kidding? I’m from Redwood City! When were you born?”
A little personal, but all the same, Claudia wanted to know where this was going. She saw something coming, but she didn’t want to believe it.
“Ah, I was hoping that we would have been at school at the same time or something!”
“What about you?”
“August 17th, 1990.”
“Fuck me in the ass.”
Ripper’s birthday. This random bitch in the middle of this random place, that shared the last name as her, shared an exact birthday with the man she came here to find. She knew, somewhere, whatever he was doing, she knew her father had just smiled.
“I have to ask you a question Lexi, your name, your surname, how do you know it was your mother’s name?”
“It was what she left when I was given up for adoption, a note. Please take care of my little Lexi. It was signed A. Thorn.”
“Your mother’s name, Angelica Thorn.”
“I… what makes you say that?”
Claudia reached picked her phone up from the bar and spent a second scrolling through before showing her screen to Lexi.
“This is Angelica Thorn. I am her daughter.”
Lexi stared, transfixed. This woman, the same shade of blonde, her hair a dirty blonde, her eyes, those blue eyes…
“Lexi, I think I know why we ended up here today. I was looking for the person I am closest to, a part of my soul. I think instead, I found family.”
“What are you saying, are you my..?”
“...Sister? Yeah, I think so.”
Part 6: The reborn soul
“Did you know all along?”
“The information was brought to my attention only a short ago. I felt however, that this was information she needed to acquire of her own, it is not my place to interfere, only guide.”
“A sister? Fuck me sideways, and she never knew?”
“I do believe that if this information was common knowledge, that either you or I would have become privy to it earlier than this date. I must confess, I do feel a modicum of guilt for allowing her to continue on the path she chose, rather than attempting to guide her towards her original goal, but I do feel that this endeavour shall bear greater fruit for her than the quest to locate yourself.”
“You might be fucking right there. How did you find me anyway?”
“Young Ripper, the times may have changed, and I may have continued my path towards Osiris’ arms, but my skills have not yet begun to diminish. I am afraid such an elaborate construction being erected in the graveyard in which we prepared for war once upon a time was unlikely to escape my attention.”
“You liked it then?”
“The nostalgic aura of a war due to end shortly was… entertaining, that much is true.”
Ripper paced back and forth across the spacious living area of his Manhattan Penthouse. His former master had perched his monstrous frame on the edge of a chaise longue which rest against the Northern wall. Danny sipped from the tumbler in his right hand, still seemingly process the information he had just had divulged to him.
“So, what happens now? What will she do?”
“As you well know Young Ripper, some men are predictable, no woman is, least of which my daughter. She will likely begin a slow walk down the path of discovery, and when the time is right, she will allow her new world to merge with the one you share with her. For now, I must implore that you focus on the task at hand. I came to you not because I had news, but because I found myself needing to know if what you are is still who you are. I found myself wondering if the demon I brought out within you still resided in your soul.”
“Your concern flatters me.”
Ripper’s tone changed with those last words, the memory of his recent losses clawing at his ego.
Anubis watched as Ripper paced the room, waiting for him to let go of that thing that was bothering him, after all of these years he could tell when it was coming ,and it as certainly coming soon. Alas, he needed of wasted his time pondering.
“You know, the thing that gets me more than anything, is the way people have reacted since I came back. I know it’s been a while, but this new generation has basically shat all over the history that people like me built for this place. When I was rising to the top, there was real competition, real grit, real determination, but these days it’s all about the fucking pageantry, all about the drama. CWF has become a High School!
I have heard pops that took the roof off the place, with every motherfucker and their mothers standing up to welcome their king back to the Kingdom he brought back from the brink of destruction more than once. I have felt the venom spat down from on high as the man they feared more than any walked back into their lives, bringing a darkness down on them like nothing they had ever seen before. But this time, apathy.
Lesser mortals would be broken inside by such a pitiful reaction, but not me, because I know that the reaction wasn’t caused by the fact that I had become a has-been, not because I couldn’t keep up with the current crop of wannabes, but because the company has moved so far on from the realm of pure wrestling, so far on from the world of real competition, real fighters. Now the world I walk in is a parody of the warrior’s world I built.
Take a look at the names that survived the real days, where are the Chaolin Sahn’s, the Angelica’s, Chris Andrews’, the Amber Ryan’s? The real fighters. Yeah, a couple of hard hitters survived, but the rest, bolstered by the jokes that hold the top spots now, are the caricatures that existed in my time, Colton Mace, Jace Valentine, and worst of all, that fucking potato sack full of crap.
So, when I made Colton Mace my bitch, that motherfucker realised he couldn’t be me, so he tried to end me. He took away my chance of retaking my crown on the iron throne. I have no doubt that he worked together with that shit stain that is the boss’ kid. This isn’t the first time that the two of them have come together to take me down, I have never forgotten that cinder block, and I thought I had paid you back in the tower. Seems that you weren’t done though hey Taxy baby? You just had to insert yourself in yet another situation in which you didn’t belong didn’t you? That day, that day when I was at my lowest point having failed once again to recapture MY championship, when I had been buried six feet under in a moment that I wish I could just put to the back of my mind forever, you reared your ugly mask and literally blew up my resting place.
The question was never answered Taxy, and I would like to know why, but frankly, I don’t think you know why. Whatever the case, it’s obvious you had planned to end me once and for all. You have always wanted to take me out, you have always wanted rid of me Ataxia, and I always used to think it was just this deranged little nugget in your mind. I was your target, and there was no rhyme nor reason, but I know better now Taxy, I see the light now. I see it all so fucking clearly.
You’re afraid of me.”
Danny finally stopped pacing, downing the last of his drink as he did so.
“I never knew how badly beating you in that Triple Cage had effected you, I never understood that I took away the one thing that made you… normal. That one thing that you have always wanted to be ever since you were a little sackboy. I took it all away from you, and ever since you have had that ripped away you, you have never been able to get that part of yourself back again.
I’m sorry Ataxia. I am so sorry. You’ve been plagued all of your life, plagued with this disease, and that world championship made you feel like one of us for that brief period of time.
Thing is, you have tried, and every time you have failed, so when you orchestrated this plan to keep me out of the main event and and put yourself right in my path, so set yourself up for a fall. Thing is you fucking idiot, you have helped me rid myself of a curse that has followed me since day one. This will be the fourth time my mug will be shown live on camera at WrestleFest, and through your own actions, you will provide me with my very first win.
Whatever you have planned, because I know you well enough to know that we are not going to be having a wrestling match. I used my power as commissioner to put you through hell seven years ago, and I know full well you will do the same thing to me now.
For damn near a decade we have circled the drain with each other, you have watched me win both world titles in this company, you have watched me stunt the careers of so many men and women, you have watched the wars with Amber, Highlander and Hodge, you sat back and saw me rise from a new blood to the BEAST OF BOARDWALK. Your legacy will always pale in comparison to my own, you have watched for so long, striking in the darkness, because when I see you coming, I put you down. This time will be no different. Give me everything you have, I fucking dare you, because I will give you everything I am, everything I was, and everything I could yet be.
I am the best in the world Ataxia, but you already know that. Besides that red headed bitch you know me better than anyone. We have been around the world together, we have turned the dial up to eleven together, but this time it all ends. This legacy, this war, this career defining battle, this is it, this is everything on the line. I have nothing left to prove to you, nor to anyone else, so this time, we stare each other down for the very last time. This is it. This is the end.
Die, Die, Die my Darling.”
As if planned, Ripper’s phone rang in his pocket, he answered it, his eyes flashing back from that fiery red to his iconic piercing green.
“Hello… Bitch! I know, I heard… your Dad told me… because he’s you Dad!”
Danny turned directly to the camera and winked before reaching into his jacket and pulling out an all too familiar silver blade. With a flick of his wrist, the silver flashed and the scene snapped to black, accompanied by the smashing of glass.
“Quote the Ripper. Never again.”