“Me neither, but let’s go.”
The words echoed throughout her head while she walked with Shadow through the maze of elevators, hallways, and long and harshly bright corridors. Hospitals have never been her thing in the past and they continue to give her the heeby jeebies and make her feel all wonky doodle, and not in that good way either. Death and sickness was around every corner. Positivity and general good feelings were nonexistent inside these places for the most part because no one came to a hospital to have a good time. At least that has been Mia’s experience in the past, today wasn’t any different.
But she could see how uncharacteristically jumpy Shadow was becoming the further they went into the hospital, so she does what she has done many times for her friends in need. She took the lead because it was something that between the two of them, it had to be done. Reaching the door number she has been looking for she knocks tentatively and waits.
She knocks again softly and tries the door, cracking it open and peers inside. The beeping of the machines, the sterile hospital smell that permeates every nook and cranny, every pore of everybody that exists inside that building, kind of like melted butter spreading out on an english muffin, but more gross. The worst image though was seeing the young kid, unmasked, his face bandaged after the massacre at Paradise. The machines did their beeps as Mia pauses in the center of the room, her unease suddenly becoming apparent.
Shadow and Mia discussed this part prior. Neither of them wanted to do this, but both knew it had to be done. She waves off Shadow’s support, which she thinks made him feel grateful, deep down somewhere. He glides by the door as she reaches out and touches Impakt’s arm. Bringing a chair closer she sits and bows her head over the fallen hero. Her voice has lost it’s high pitched, shiver inducing pitch, and has been replaced by the whisper of a concerned citizen.
“Hey Impakt. Yes, even without the mask, or the costume, you will always be Impakt to me. Deep down, you represent that classic underdog hero that so many people cheer for whenever you show your masked face. That reminds me…”
She bends down to her purse and pulls out Impakt’s mask, something she begged and pleaded to get her hands on, but it needed to be back in the proper hands and not be tossed to the wayside. She places it gently on Impakt’s bedside table and smooths it out nice and turns her attentions once more to him.
“I just wanted to say that… I’m sorry Impakt. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help you when you needed it. To fend of Elisha and his hound of rabid wolves. Rest assured, he will get his at some point in the near future and rest assured, you had better be there at my side to take him down a peg or two. Truth be told, I’m something of a gamer myself and I find it hard to believe that you aren’t. I like you Impakt, there’s something so…. Innocent about you that I can’t get enough of. I wish I had had your back better, but everything happened so fast! Not only that but I was fresh out of… Well… That’s an excuse and you deserve better. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you. I should have come back to help you.
You better come back Impakt. I promise that nothing like this will ever happen again, not while I’m around.”
Mia tries to go on, but stops herself as she realizes that she’s crying. She takes out a wrapped package and places it next to the mask before wiping away the few tears that continue to forge a trail down her cheeks. She gets up and walks over to Shadow, touching him lightly on the arm causing him to jump slightly. It looked like he was taking a nap, but Mia knew better.
“I am done. Please excuse me, I have to get out of here…”
Before I lose my shit on myself…
She escapes past Shadow without another word, exiting the room without a noise, doing her own special glidey, noiseless walk that leaves spectators curious if they glide around with grease on the bottom of their shoes. Neither of them notices though and neither of them cares. Shadow takes his place beside the bed and Mia makes a beeline into the closest women’s bathroom.
She enters the closest stall and slams the door, locking it in a hurry. Tears start to fall, a hot and steady stream of warm liquid making their ways down her face on either side of her nose.
”My fault...It’s my fault he’s here…”
She grabs the her hidden razor blade from its place and at the same time yanks up the bottom of her shirt. With no hesitation she watches in horror as instinct takes over and she makes numerous cuts in her belly. Her emotions turn numb after the first couple of cuts are done and she doesn’t snap out of it until the blood is flowing freely and the only way she can tell where she cut, is by being able to feel where each one lay on her skin.
The next several moments are spent cleaning up what she can with the toilet paper in the stall. The bleeding under control, she wipes the tears from her eyes, readjusts her undershirt and over shirt so that the carnage is covered, and leaves her stall after flushing the toilet, the blood, and the tp down and away. Carefully avoiding meeting her reflection’s eyes she washes her hands and the razor carefully before she stows the blade away and turns to leave the restroom, her stomach burning with the cuts of the one she deems as “guilty.”
At the very least she was going to be able to work out some of this aggression. She grits her teeth and holds her stomach lightly as she makes her way back to the car, hoping that Shadow had something that involved ice cream planned for their next activity. Who doesn’t feel better after ice cream?
The open water has always held many mysteries for Mia. She spent many an evening picturing the dark depths, the colorful coral, the exotic animals, and just so many things left up to one’s imagination that Mia could easily get lost in thought. The one thing that had always eluded Mia though was the lack of being able to explore the open waters. She had an unnatural fear of sharks, healthy obsession for squids and octopi, and a lack of people in her circle of people she knew that had or have boats. So when Shadow invited her to watch him and take notes in an area she needed help in, while on a boat, during her favorite time of day, it was hard for the Psychotic Princess to say anything but, “why yes sir!”
She wasn’t disappointed either. Throughout her day she stayed on the deck, under the Baltimore sky, and sunbathed. Presently she was enjoying the sunset, listening to the sounds of nature and watched as the sun made it’s daily bow behind the horizon, ushering in the moon in all of its glory. Mia was no where near worshiping the moon, she just recognizes it for the beauty that it contains and brings with it on a nightly basis.
“Elisha, so you won our match. As much as I despise what you and your Institute for, I would like to congratulate you for coming out victorious in a hard fought battle that, despite what many people had thought, actually was fair and square after all.”
Mia breaks out of her stare down with the Abyss, the vortex of whirling Nothing that saturates her attentions at every passing turn, as she picks up on Shadow’s voice suddenly.
He has a certain ability to pull me out right when I need to be pulled out. Le sigh… I can’t wait for the day that Elisha gets what is coming to him. That battle though was just freaking awesome! Epic, it was a definite epic…
“I don’t have a problem acknowledging this, but this was just a battle, the war is not yet over, but I am sure you know that already. But even before it all began, I knew I had won, when I saw your reaction over the ‘Lunae puer libro,’ no matter what would follow. I guess this pirate managed to get his treasure after all…”
Mia turns away from the now purple and deep red sky, the sun finally at rest underneath the horizon and moves as quietly as she can toward Shadow’s voice.
You’re a better person than I Shadow, I’ll give you that much. I’d never be able to admit let alone acknowledge a loss to scum like Elisha. What kind of name is that anyways? Elisha? I want to see him squirm. I want to see him realize when he’s lost. I enjoyed his look of horror when Shadow mentioned that thing I don’t know how to pronounce book thingy.
So secret I don’t even know what it is. I’m told it’s important and in time it will be revealed to me. As of right now though I’m kept in the dark, looking in. It’s big though, that I do know. Shadow has his reasons for keeping details from me and I trust him enough to do that. Which is weird. I don’t do that trust thing so easily. I’ve put my trust into too many people multiple times, thinking I am doing the right thing. Every time I am the one that gets hurt. Then I keep going back for more, crawling back to the people who have hurt me the most to...
Mia stops as Shadow’s voice grows louder, derailing her train of thought. She cocks her head slightly, slowly continuing onward and making it to where Shadow is standing tall defiant of what may have happened at Paradise. It’s at this moment Mia takes immense pride in where her path is currently taking her and she wouldn’t change it for the world. She quietly watches from the shadows as she listens.
“But looking ahead, instead of just a simple match the powers that be threw us into a Fatal Fourway, so we’re facing six people instead of two and to be honest, this has all the prerequisites to become a royal mess… The Harbingers, Danger Boiz, Revenant and Azrael… Guess it gets to show the diversity we have here, heh…”
Mia twitches suddenly and hits the back of her head on an open electrical box. Why there was an open electrical box right there of all places at this very moment, is unknown. It is there, it is open, and it hurts. The loud clang brings Shadow up and she sees that he acknowledges her presence. She quietly makes her way to the shadows behind the leader of The Forsaken and evades the limelight again as Shadow regains his composure and continues.
“Silas Artoria - my special friend of late, calls himself the Psychotic Aristocrat, but in truth he is not much more than a flag in the wind. My Canadian friend, you set out with a grand master plan of how you were going to fight the establishment, fight against the subjugation of the newer talent, break up the old, crusted structures and lead your Coalition to victory. I see that this plan has truly worked out wonderfully for you, hasn’t it?”
Ah… That Silas something or other guy. He reminds me of the leader of The Hellfire Club in the Xmen, or something like that. I’ve seen him work though and he isn’t necessarily one to take lightly. We’re getting a smidge confused as to if they’re friends or not though aren’t we Pey? Mr. Hellfire and his little Raven vex me. I am quite vexed. What are they exactly? Le sigh...Damn he’s still talking!!!!
“...tle, half your precious stable gone or in ruins, and a tag team partner that has squandered both title shot and main event just as much as you have. As much as you are trying to talk yourself up and into a bonafide contender for the upper echelons of this federation, as much is it obvious that you failed to deliver when it comes to your lofty expectations. Every. Single. One.”
The Shadow begins to pace on the deck of Constellation and Mia can feel his restlessness grow. He looks like a caged animal, anxious for they prey to come closer, but smart enough not to move until it is warranted. Mia smiles and turns away from Shadow for a moment reflecting on the whirlwind that is her current life. Leaning against a nearby railing, she tilts her head back and enjoys the breeze as Shadow continues.
“…eight train that is reality and not just once, no, it backed up over you again and then once more for good measure. The establishment you tried to bring down took care of itself and has completely taken itself out of the picture. Suddenly you offer people a “safe haven” from the turmoil that the Institute has plunged this federation into, protecting the established people around here from the new world order, so to say. You’re a walking oxymoron, and that the word contains ‘moron’ is just an amusing coincidence.”
Mia snorts softly to herself amused by Shadow’s trash talk.
Moron. Love it! He’s right though. What exactly has Silas done of note lately? I can’t honestly think of anything and he’s been flying under my radar since I’ve joined. I’ve paid him no mind, never heard of him, and was never given a reason to care… Until now that is. It had to happen eventually, I think that’s some sort of law of probability somewhere. At some point in my career I am going to face each and every roster member in CWF in some way, shape, or form. So of course I’ve watched Silas before. Especially when I started being put in random tag team matches for no reason outside of, “HEY! You’re new! Go be awesome with this person you’ve never met before!”
What I’ve seen of him, he’s… Something? He’s dangerous sure, but in a very regular and subpar way. He’s fancy on the outside and pretty lame other than that. Hell, I’d go so far as to call him “dapper” on occasion. But a threat? Meh. The only thing I hate is the target I have on me, I’m sure that he has already taken a look at public record to see what injuries I sustained after Paradise. A sound strategy best employed against people that aren’t expecting such things to be used against them. This brings up the issue of trust again, I don’t extend that courtesy to many people, so why would I expect an opponent not to take advantage of a chink in the armor so to speak? It’s something that I’d do, I’d think that anyone of a mind to win would do the same.
Still, having access to a wardrobe such as Silas is something that I have dreamed of. Granted I would never be able to pull off half the stuff Emma Frost did during her comic book tenure, but I’d like to think I could at least put my own flair on it, jazz it up a smidge, and make it my own. Maybe I’d look sexy but I’d rather look otherworldly and vaguely threatening.
Shadow’s words snap Mia out of her reverie as she keys in on what he’s saying. Her expression is still fixed in front of her but her eyes are narrowed, once again bringing her focus and attention on the words coming from Shadow’s mouth.
“...et, someone had brought up that question - what type of aristocrat are you actually? I don’t think you never introduced your rank, have you?"
Mia once again snorts to herself. Once upon a time she remembered learning that aristocrats were generally handed their titles on a silver platter, gold if their parents paid enough. She had never been fond of anyone that felt entitled to things, people who felt the world owed them squandered chance after squandered chance.
“Raven, one of the opponents in my very first match ever here in CWF and by now one of the cornerstones of both the Harbingers and the Coalition. Which, if you are looking at it more closely, right now is the exact same thing. You have managed to face MJ Flair in the main event for the big shiny title and staying in full canon of the Coalition, you managed to do what you guys do best - lose. You probably are aware that people have nicknamed you “anchor”, because a lot of them view you as the grindstone around Silas’ neck when it comes to getting anywhere in CWF, following him like a puppy wherever he goes, occasionally whacking him over the head with a chair, but other than that despite all the makeup and the big talk of being a psychopath, you’ve been barely more than a toothless old lionesse that prefers to lay in the shadows than actually hunt with the pride.”
Mia sighs and winces.
Oh Autumn, we could have been friends. I think we’ll still be friends after this match, we shall see. It depends on how well you accept losing. Make no mistake, no punches will be pulled from my side of the field. You claim to be oh so psychotic, but what exactly have you done to prove yourself to be so? I came to this and I said that I was going to bring chaos and madness. I’ve delivered thus far. I destroyed The Anderson Brothers. I came up with one of the most brutal matches that CWF has EVER seen and backed up every single word I laid claim to. I told Az not to mess with me and he didn’t listen, so I beat the resistance out of him. I laid him out flat, unconscious and barely breathing, strapped him into that straight jacket, and pulled him outside.
Truth be told I will say that in truth, I find it annoying that you lay claim to the title of psychotic and have done absolutely NOTHING to prove it. This is your chance lady. Are you up for this challenge?
Mia stands up straight and stretches, reaching up to the stars her tank top reveals a fresh set of scars on her stomach. Noticing, she quickly stops stretching, pulls the shirt back down into the proper place, and hopes that she’s still concealed by the shadows for anyone to have noticed. She cocks her head and continues to politely listen to Shadow.
“...pumped up psycho that will walk her own path and and stop at nothing, but it is difficult to do that if your path leads into nowhere and to stop at nothing you have to start something to begin with.”
My point exactly. You claim to be one thing but your actions paint a different picture. Not a happy picture, like Bob Ross can do, but something that looks closer to what a second grader with no artistic talent is able to achieve. Only the second grader can actually paint something that will be worth, at the very least, a place on the refrigerator for the week. Is that all you’re searching for Autumn? Approval? Your place on a refrigerator of achievement? Prove it. Prove that you are something more than a flash in a pan that thinks they can make a name off the word “crazy” and “psychotic.” What you really prove week in and week out is how fake you really are when it comes to being a fraud, you truly are number one.
I want to like you Autumn, I really do. I’d LOVE to have a gal pal to gossip with, have all those random pillow fights and talk about our celebrity crushes and fall asleep watching “Dirty Dancing.” At least that’s what I think friends do together, I don’t know, I’ve only read about these things. Point remains, you don’t get to be my friend until you prove yourself to be someone that needs to be in my life. You call yourself “psychotic” but the only thing that will give you an idea, the closest you’ll ever get, is going to be when you’re in the ring against me. I wish you could read my thoughts lady, I need you to understand that this isn’t personal. It just annoys me that you are a false prophet for any of the true practitioners of the actual “psychotic image.”
She watches as Shadow lets go of the picture that he was previously holding and it flutters away. She watches the picture flutter, almost as if waving a fond farewell to her, into the now inky blackness of night. By the time she turns her attentions back to Shadow, he already has another picture out and is talking about it.
“...citing as watching a tectonic plate move. Or paint dry. Or grass grow. I’ll leave it up to you. But seriously, you have been in all kinds of matches, Paramount, tag titles, even winning on some occasions, but you have the dynamics of a glacier. Sure, the fans love you and you are generally likeable guys, but if there was an encyclopedia entry for “treading water”, there would be a picture of the two of you right next to it.”
Mia snorts as she realizes that Shadow is talking about Chris and Dan. Plain and boring. Something else with adjectives that don’t really describe the type of people that these two are in Mia’s eyes. Even thinking of them as anything more than significant forces Mia into a glassy eyed state. She shakes her head as Shadow says his piece about the two. Personally, Mia didn’t feel that they deserve the time.
Seriously though. Why are they even in this match? When is the last time either of them did anything of significance? Why do they deserve to be put in this match with The Forsaken? Better yet, why do they even have jobs still? Maybe this is just another quote, unquote legendary team that I get to destroy. The “not so” Unstoppable Force couldn’t face me head on, and that was before I found The Forsaken. Now look at me. I am my own Unstoppable Force that doesn’t need a crutch like a weaker brother to drive me to do bad things. I don’t need some stupid moniker like “Dangerous” or “Chris.” Er… “Crazy.”
Everytime I step into the ring I prove beyond a doubt that I will back up what I say each and every time. The numbers don’t scare me, injuries don’t scare me. Stupid adjectives in front of a first name to be made to sound more intimidating? They don’t scare me either. I’m not intimidated, I’m not impressed, and I don’t care about these two any more than just getting them out of the way. They’re nothing more than a band aid that needs to be ripped off of my flesh, pulling with it all the dirt that has collected there as well as multiple arm hairs. Quick is the best way to take a band aid off and the same can be said for dealing with the Brothers Dim.
Maybe I should pay more attention to what Shadow is saying but I really don’t care. These two are nothing more than an annoyance that needs to be extinguished from my life. The sooner, the better.
“...no sense of danger, there is no excitement of craziness, no matter how hard you try to drive these points home, you are just…there. Maybe I should talk to Ataxia and get him to make two more of his belts, because you are the walking epitome of the ‘participation award’.”
Mia snorts at the mention of Ataxia’s Participation Award. It was one of his more genius moments and she couldn’t blame him for doing it. The look on Starr’s face was indeed as priceless and words couldn’t do his expression justice. Mia smiles at the memory of Starr’s rage and confusion and her focus is cast off into the distance, almost as if by a fisherman looking for the catch of the day.
That was the sound a fishing pole makes in case anyone was wondering.
For her part Mia was lost in thought over the memory of Christian Starr in despair and on a glorious downward spiral after losing his coveted Paramount Championship. A familiar name snaps her back to the present though...
“...Azrael, you actually surprised me. Seriously. You have come a long way since you started out in CWF and while luck has not necessarily been on your side, you have impressed me more than once. That match against Mia was brutal for sure, but you managed to hold your own quite admirably. However the one big flaw that you have displayed in the past is still prevalent, you seem to miss that drive, that passion to excel, to push yourself and get past your opponents.
Another thing I would like to touch on is that while you seem to have a soft spot for Mia’s plight, you do not seem to share similar sentiments for poor old Ataxia and myself. While I appreciate you trying to watch out for her against those who prey, you might be misreading the two of us. I will let Ataxia address this part on his own, but do not project yourself and your personal issues from the past on others, for I am neither trying to hide in the shadows, nor is any of this here built upon a false or crumbling foundation. While it is true that grief has turned me into something I was not, that does not mean that it has taken over me, my essence, my being. Look at the Druids. Am I preying on their weaknesses? No, they are free to leave at their own will, if they feel that they would be treated better elsewhere, but they are here, they have been here for a long time, they are on my side fighting the fight against the evil that we now know is the Institute. But I would assume that despite your empty phrases of wanting to help Mia, you just want to stand aside and wallow in your own self-pity and look for the other pieces of yourself, win or loss, regardless.”
I honestly wish that things had turned out better for you. You just didn’t know when to stop and like any rabid animal that runs on instinct alone, you had to be put down. And oh boy did I put you down!
I warned you not to play with things that you didn’t understand. I told you not to be jealous because The Forsaken found me and accepted me after you turned them down. Are you upset because I’ve become the better member than you could ever hope to become? How does it feel to let yourself down? Let your ideals down, the fact that you wanted to lead me back from the shadows so much, and in the end it was me dragging you wherever I wanted. You couldn’t do much, I put you to sleep and slapped that jacket on you nice and tight. I wanted you to feel the tightest hug that you have ever received because, it looks like you haven’t had anyone hug you in a very long azz time. See what I did there? I will tell you that you took me to a limit that I didn’t know I have. You have beaten me a couple times so far Azzy boy. Unfortunately for you I have your number and I’m ready to move on. I have nothing more to prove to you or even teach you at this point. You should have learned by now to stay away from trying to “help” me, whatever that means in your backward world.Keep reappearing in my life and I will make sure to put you down permanently.
Which brings up a fair question… Where the hell did Revenant come from?
If anyone knows the answer to this, it would be Shadow right? Mia comes out of her thought bubble and listens to him.
“...ed from the dead by a wizard with some sort of amulet or something to make you bow down to his will? Well, then that kind of raises more questions than it actually answers, doesn’t it? How did he manage to get you back up? Do you have an actual soul or are you just a mere zombie puppet for some evil plot someone is trying to unleash upon...who actually? You know, you’ve got to admit that this is quite the convoluted backstory you have there, right?”
I’m fighting against a zombie slash slave to evil wizard slash wrestler?!
Who writes this shit?
I do vaguely remember Dorian mentioning something about this dude in a casino, but I just thought it was The Ghost of Bad Bets. He looks like Frankenstein, The Monster had a thing for dwarf chicks under the five foot mark, got busy with one, slapped her into next Tuesday, and out pops this thing. This “Thing” ends up dying somehow, is raised by an evil, “psycho,” wizard guy who no one knows but has some sort of plot to unleash upon an unknown victim.
I really don’t know where to go with this? I really and truly don’t know what to make of this person. Is it still a person? Do I call it an “it?” What’s the politically correct term for this? I think I need an adult…
Mia starts pacing, agitated at all the paradoxes Revenant presents. It wasn’t even that she was worried about the zombie dwarf or his capabilities. She wasn’t. It was the fact that she has no earthly idea what to make of it. She will say this out loud to anyone who wants to hear it. It was cute in a, “I want to buy you, leave you in your packaging, and tuck you away on a prominent shelf in my mom’s basement to gather dust under the guise of being ‘collectible.’” kind of way. She stops and manages to reign her attentions in and focus once again on Shadow.
“...I cannot shake the feeling of sensing this odd kind of familiarity around you. So if we have met before, it seems as if you have not left a very big impression with me, so the second coming will have to work hard to achieve that this time around.”
Mia shrugs as the last picture blows past her and out into the horizon to chase the sun. Shadow extends his hand to Mia and she gasps in fake surprise, gushing like Cinderella did on the inside when the Prince chose her over her step sisters. She takes his hand and joins his side, unsure exactly what to do otherwise.
The Shadow: Now on the other side we have this lady here that shall attend to each and every one of you as well. How many had put Mia down as just another psycho weirdo that is too busy talking to the voices in her head to really get herself into any kind of formidable shape. Well, I am very happy to see that in the past few weeks she has more than just found her place in this fed and still continues to evolve and get better. This is the third time that I will share the squared circle with her and I believe that we have proven that we are more than just a random pairing of freaks. So many people discounted our group at first, but now with Mia and Dorian on board, prepare to be forsaken by everything and anything you know.
”I’ve said a lot but I’ve proven it all and so much more. The fates give back what is put out. I’ve given a lot to this. I got tired of being forsaken by the general populace that I have become a part of The Forsaken. Do you not see the dangers of having someone who truly embodies the meaning of the word ‘psychotic’ across the ring from you? Sure, there might be others that claim that they are crazier than me. Something more...Than me. I’m here to tell each and every one of them…
You aren’t anything but the scum on a rock, at the bottom of a cesspool of grime and grit. I’d continue, but I wouldn’t want to injure or insult the reputations of anything that I might try to compare you too.”
The Shadow looks slightly taken aback but quickly recovers.
The Shadow and Mia say the last piece in unison, almost chant like. It’s eerie, creepy, and meant to send shivers up and down a spine or two and make one feel as if they just took the ALS Challenge from several years ago.
“Harbingers, Danger Boiz, Revenant, Azrael - we are everything you are not. We are the antidote. You will hate us, but you will have to realize, we are all you have left…”
Suddenly Mia appears directly in front of the camera, a bit toothy grin covers her face.
“See you all real soon….
Semi colon, right parenthesis.”
She winks at the camera before giving the lens a big kiss, leaving behind a lip print as the screen fades to black.