FROM THE GORILLA POSITION
The curtains open up and through them staggers Silas Artoria, wide eyed and beaming his teeth in a moment of pure euphoria. He pushes his way past the people hired to ensure his safety, with some of them losing their footing and one of them briefly landing on their backside. Silas didn’t care, nor did he pay any attention to them, for everything except the dead centre of his eyesight was a blurry haze. Not because of the attacks he endured from Mariella Jade Flair, but because of the outcome.
He pinned MJ Flair.
He pinned the current CWF Champion. One...two...three.
He finally got his ticket.
He staggers into the concourse, maintaining the high while any noise generated by staff or other athletes turn into deep-toned muffling. Colour was mostly absent as he continues and sees the door to his locker room, the only thing in the world that makes sense to him right now. Still he continued staggering, completely sore and aching.
The sound of speech wasn’t clear, neither in actuality or where it was coming from. He paid no attention. The locker room was all that matters within his current vacuum.
Silas finally reaches the door and quickly supports himself on it, shoulder to black paint. A sigh of exhaustion escapes him, finally able to escape everything and everyone as he can finally absorb what occurred. Hand on the handle, and a quick twist.
TARA ROBINSON: Silas!
Silas finally blinks, and the sounds of ambience return with deafening suddenness. It takes him by surprise as his vision finally returns, making him aware of the environment around him. Everyone was looking at him, either in concern over his drunken-like posture, or furious about what has taken place in the ring. Some were likely actively rooting for Flair, only to have their dreams for his annihilation completely dampened within a few seconds. He looks around in a light state of confusion, sees a television camera, and an unsure Tara Robinson awaiting comment.
He looks at the lens, then Tara, then the lens, then Tara again. Post match interview, likely for social media outlets. The world was focused on the live feed, but the staff kept to their duties regardless.
He shoots a smile.
SILAS ARTORIA: Hello!
He spoke with a light hearted and almost carefree tone. Tara is nervous, not sure what to expect after his interview an hour or so earlier, and from his attitude he presented currently.
TARA ROBINSON: You seem...euphoric to the point of concern. Your match with MJ Flair ended in a controversial victory. How do you feel?
Silas’ smile instantly faded, as the rush of heat and blood starts flow within him. He started to sweat profoundly, and he looked down as his breathing quickened and sharpened. Delayed reaction, damn euphoria. Why couldn't this sensation fade out when he isn't in front of the camera? The tone of his presentation most certainly changed, to something undesirable, more tense and uncertain.
Must keep the lighter side going. Change the mood quick.
Some pain flowed back into his system, time to go home. Silas shoots a look back to the camera with a smile and slyly opens the door behind him.
SILAS ARTORIA: Never better!
He quickly disappears into the locker room and slams the door in Tara’s face, certainly causing light shock before she can even present a follow-up.
His back rests against the wood of the door, and slowly he slides down it, leaving behind a small trail of sweat on the black paint as he did so. The room was relatively well lit and had a small set of chairs alongside a dresser and a mirror, but the possessions were completely irrelevant in comparison to a symbolic possession he had gained.
A ticket to the CWF Championship, and the fact that he defied the words of those who faced him previously, the same people who completely dismissed him as a paper athlete, only causes him to slightly chuckle.
The chuckle became a light laugh which got louder as the time went on, before it became a deafening cackle with a hint of insanity. He could only imagine the noise would attract some people passing by, back on the concourse. Silas’ uncontrollable laughter finally causes him to tilt to the side and lay on the floor, the unceasing laughter consistent in volume.
He looked like a complete fool, but he didn’t care. He had the ticket he could cash in at any moment.
He finally calms down and completely gasses out, but the smile never left him. He mutters:
SILAS ARTORIA: So...this is what it feels like.
PASSENGER: Strong, isn’t it?
SILAS ARTORIA: Addictive, even. Like...dopamine?
PASSENGER: It’s just your nature showing satisfaction. Isn’t this what you want, Silas?
Silas chuckles darkly, and finally stands up despite the defiance of his leg muscles. He eyes the sink and starts the short walk towards it, ignoring the complementary treats scattered around.
Candy, soda, lemonade?
No, just a place to wash himself.
He looks at himself in the mirror, battered and bruised but nothing anywhere near as damaging as the WrestleFest match. Makes sense. The four-way was for a guaranteed cheque for the title and demanded pure viciousness to survive. The match with Flair, on the other hand, was a match of clarification. His near 70% loss record gave her no reason to take him seriously, but that was before his post Summer Games break. He won his return match, he survived the second - albeit with undesirable results - and his third match saw yet another victory.
And all Silas can think of was something almost completely insignificant to the current picture being painted.
SILAS ARTORIA: This proves my point, to Shadow at least.
PASSENGER: Excuse me?
SILAS ARTORIA: Did you hear what he said? Before we went on the air?
PASSENGER: I’ve learned not to pay attention to his drivel, it’s becoming white noise to me. A non-factor on the grand scale.
SILAS ARTORIA: He accused me of being dependent on you, that I only got by because of you. Like a patient on a crutch.
PASSENGER: He’s not wrong.
SILAS ARTORIA: He’s not right either.
He inspects his eye. Bits of black dust and broken lashes dotted around the outer rim, and was nearing his eye proper. Wouldn’t have hurt, but it would be preferable to dispose of them before they became irritating. Nothing worse than compounding irritations onto each other. He turns the sink on, and washes his eyelids with careful detail, all while running his mind through the words The Shadow spoke earlier.
SILAS ARTORIA: Tonight has proven that he’s completely oblivious, and completely lacking in self awareness. Continuously recycling insult after insult whilst I grow more vicious and victorious. A complete fool.
PASSENGER: But he’s still an issue.
SILAS ARTORIA: Of course! But it doesn’t mean I am wrong, does it?
He finally turns off the tap and takes another look. The small hairs are gone, just as desired, and another irritation is gone. His face had returned to it's previously chiseled and striking appearance, perfect for attracting the cameras.
SILAS ARTORIA: He’ll continue to call us out, and I’ll simply point out his contradictions. Dismantle his pathetic arguments week by week. Very simple, but that’s for next week.
He grabs his coat and hat, putting the two on with the grace and valiance expected of a man of his personality. Another check in the mirror. Quick smile, and out the door he goes, heading towards the exit just as the main event was starting. The concourse was busier, but everyone was paying attention to the nearest monitor that had a live feed to Freddie Styles and Dorian Hawkhurst.
He didn't care for the match as neither of them were notable enough to appear within his sphere of attention, as he believes. With such lack of connection, Silas was able to pass through with relative ease, able to hold a light conversation with his Passenger without drawing any unwanted attention.
SILAS ARTORIA: For now, we’ll focus on a few things. Breathing for a start, felt like I was about to gas out toward--
???: Mr Artoria?
So much for not drawing unwanted attention. Silas stops and turn around. Who would it be, but the same CWF official that has been on his case since his sad incident with Tara several months ago.
He should probably bring flowers for her next week.
He smiles politely.
SILAS ARTORIA: Can I help you?
CWF OFFICIAL: Are you heading out?
SILAS ARTORIA: Of course! I’ve got things to do, training mainly. Really need to bulk up a little; feels like I’ve lost some muscle since WrestleFest. Oh! Did you see my match today with MJ Flair? Fabulous outcome isn’t it?
The official only shrugs his shoulders, unsure if any reply would tick Silas off.
CWF OFFICIAL: I guess.
SILAS ARTORIA: Your enthusiasm is ecstatic my friend! Now you can look forward to watching me in a future CWF Championship match! Don’t suppose Frozen Over has decided on it’s main event ye--
CWF OFFICIAL: You’re taking on Flair next week at Evolution, for the title.
Silas froze for a moment before his smile dropped to a look of disbelief. Was he being robbed of his freedom of choice? After all the work he had done?
He needed answers, and quick.
SILAS ARTORIA: Next week?
CWF OFFICIAL: Yes.
SILAS ARTORIA: Using today’s championship claim?
CWF OFFICIAL: Yes.
SILAS ARTORIA: Do I get a say in this matter?
CWF OFFICIAL: No.
SILAS ARTORIA: Anything I should know?
CWF OFFICIAL: It’s an Ironman match. Sixty minutes.
Silas gawks at the official. Sixty minutes? For the match without his approval? He had a plan, Silas did. Wait and cause paranoia, make his presence and his claim constantly known to Flair, with the intention of cashing in his claim for a later PPV. He craved one PPV main event, and the fact he was no where near the spot had bothered him constantly. It was something he promised himself would happen when he arrive at CWF, and the closest he got to it was the Golden Intentions Rumble, which felt more like a participation award then something to actively boast about.
He had the option, he earned it tonight.
And yet, Commissioner Ataxia is pushing what Silas considers a momentous match on free TV, and Silas couldn’t help but grip his hands in toxic anger. his teeth starts to grind uncomfortably. He wanted to grab the official and pin him against the wall, just to find a way to change the plans, but it would just make him look like an idiot.
He was past that, he had to keep calm.
He simply straightened up, looks at the CWF official, and gives out a weak smile. He turns around to head for his original destination, the exit and, eventually, back to Toronto. Back to the compound, rest up, prepare for the next match.
Plans change, despite the lack of rationality.
PASSENGER: Looks like we’re going to have to work on that breathing of yours.
SILAS ARTORIA: And our overall performance.
TV show or not, a sixty minute ironman match is no laughing matter.
He now has to prepare for an endurance test.
The music starts, and the camera fades into a brightly lit gym, surrounded by older, more high class decorations. It was unmistakably Silas' compound and his personal gym, made even clearer as the camera pans to see him running on a treadmill. Jogging, but angled steeply. His eyes were fixed forward, but a quick glance towards the camera made him aware that he was now being recorded.
SILAS ARTORIA: Ahh...hello there!
He quickly hits the emergency stop button, grinding the machine to a halt and slowly levelling out. Silas gets off promptly and wraps a towel around his neck. His outfit was unusual. Tight gym shirt with shorts, baby blue and black respectively.
Silas holds his arms out and sways his shoulders to the beat, clearly enjoying himself, regardless of what the audience think of his dreadful dancing.
SILAS ARTORIA: Welcome to my domain! It's where I train and build up my strength to compete! Pretty classy, isn't it?
SILAS ARTORIA: I've spent a lot of time here, on my own, just building myself up to be the best competitor on the roster.
A bottle of water is thrown into frame, with Silas catching it effortlessly and taking a big gulp out of the top.
SILAS ARTORIA: So, I train here constantly, focusing on stamina, strength, endurance, with no outside interference from drama, commoners, or family! To be fair, it's because they're don't know where I live, can't climb the walls, and are dead respectively, but it means nothing is getting in the way of training to be the best!
It's why I won this week! I used my intelligence and cunning, as well as my unparalleled physical prowess that was on display to the whole world, and I beat MJ Flair in the ring. One, two, three!
He throws the water bottle in the air, leaving a trail of water behind him, and throws his arms in the air.
SILAS ARTORIA: Am I not the greatest sports entertainer alive!?
Silas is taken by surprise and looks behind him. The bottle had hit a nearby lamp, which then crashed to the floor.
SILAS ARTORIA: Ahh, crap!
He returns his attention to the camera, smiling as if nothing happened.
SILAS ARTORIA: I am the greatest sports entertainer alive! Did I lose the four-way? No! Of course I didn't! And to demonstrate, I only went out and pinned the champion herself! How amazing is that?
To be fair, she did put up a good fight. That clothesline nearly gave me a black eye but thank god it didn't! Would've ruined my wondrous image and how would I have looked in front of the cameras? I would've looked hideous, which of course would've been your goal, but then the result wouldn't be what transpired last week. She only wanted to send a message, she wanted to add to the loss record that I have, that she neglected the raw power that I have!
And no Shadow! The Passenger did not present themselves to her!
He leans forward towards the camera, giving a look of mania as the earlier words from Shadow were clearly taking a toll.
SILAS ARTORIA: It was all me!
He struts towards a lower back weight machine, and quickly sits down on it. Weight set to 65KG, heaviest it can go.
SILAS ARTORIA: So, I win the match, and by god it was a shot of euphoria to the system.
He starts leaning back, pushing himself against the weigh as his lower back took the strain.
SILAS ARTORIA: I looked like an idiot going into the back.......I was staggering around in a state that was almost drunklike.......Tara Robinson actually came to me and wondered if I was ok. I simply said 'never better' and got dressed.
He strains his neck pushing himself back for a third time.
SILAS ARTORIA: Gah, christ.
He pushes down again, then returns his attention to the camera.
SILAS ARTORIA: That win, Flair, that count of three, means more to me than anything that has happened in the CWF before. It matters more than losing the Ryan, it matters more than my failure to capture the impact title, and it matters more than my match in Japan........because the one thing that bothered me the most was that you couldn't keep your word. Never mind that you lost the title, you completely discarded me to the side like an unwanted dog. What monster would do such a thing?
Another rep, sixth. He maintains his look, and the same snarky smile as the tone took on a sarcastic layer.
SILAS ARTORIA: Really sad, isn't it? The champion ignoring the fact that they're a liar in front of their fans? There's a long history of great wrestling heroes being, in actuality, really horrible people, and I don't want you to join that list, because I actually respect you, Flair.
I respect that you've ascended from your father's shadow to become a beast of your own. I can get past that potty mouth of yours, it's crass, but I don't want to doubt your character.
You may not like me, Flair, but you need to live up to your word, so consider that loss a favour, one that would keep your character integrity intact.
Two more reps. His back is starting to hurt, but it was having a desired effect long term.
SILAS ARTORIA: I was hoping to use that victory against you as some sort of leverage. I pin the champion, I get a token to a title match against you by default. I had this grand vision, that you and I would go to war in the main event of a PPV. Fighting until there was only one remaining, with a grand crowd showering two competitive athletes as they do their damnedest to keep the other one down. It would've been an amazing sight!
One more rep, and Silas finally releases himself, lowering the pressure on his lower back and leaning onto his legs. He looks at the camera, this time taking on a look of disappointment.
SILAS ARTORIA: But instead, the commissioner insisted that we take each other on this week. Main event, granted, but to me the words "sixty minute ironman main event for the championship" more or less strikes me as a PPV main event. The ultimate endurance test, given away for free. Very disappointing.
I was hoping to use the time to build up several aspects of athleticism. Could improve my technique, maybe add some more sudden and devastating moves, improve strength and stamina, all that jazz!
But instead we're facing each other again the next week for the championship.
Silas looks down onto the floor and sighs in disappointment, denied a chance all wrestlers hoped to gain.
SILAS ARTORIA: However...
He gets up onto his feet, and looks back at the camera, regaining his smile.
SILAS ARTORIA: A championship match is a championship match, and free TV or not, I will enter the ring with the intention to win. If we're having an ironman match, I want you to give me your entire arsenal, everything including the kitchen sink. You bring it all, I'll bring it all.
He gets close to the camera, almost intimiately.
SILAS ARTORIA: Don't make a liar out of me, Flair, because as I've demonstrated, I'd hate to make a liar out of you.
He lets out a wink.
SILAS ARTORIA: Now if you excuse me, I've got an ironman match to train for. They're different beasts, so I hope you guys at home go to the bathroom right before the main event, because it's going to be an hour long spectacular! Can't wait!
He runs out of the frame in glee, still dancing to the tones of Christopher Cross.
SILAS ARTORIA: Now...GET OUT OF MY COMPOUND!
Cut to black.
Thousands of Miles Away....
The television was on, with a preview of CWF Evolution that was about start broadcasting blasting it’s garish presentation throughout the living area. The room was decorated with an assortment of wrestling posters and a few pieces of memorabilia, but its presence was insignificant given the sheer size of the room.
A man in jeans and a tshirt emerges into the room and takes a seat, pouring himself a drink as he gets comfortable.
CWF starts, and the man eagerly awaits the main event.