During Evolution - Edmonton, Alberta
Rough day it was. Silas had arrived at the arena hoping to compete at the show, even if under undesirably circumstances, but was told on arrival that he had to wait for Dr Leggett. It wasn't anything new, considering the man had the final say over matches and Silas was currently his highest priority given the circumstances, but the fact that it came down to the last second wasn't going please the proud Canadian.
Edmonton was a place he never understood the appeal of. It seemed like a fairly nice place to settle but for some reason it never clicked for him. He had visited multiple times, thanks to his father, and in the end he never left the town with any substantial memories. Until today, though there was always a possibility that his next of many meetings would become a faint memory in time.
He had hoped to at least compete tonight, and thus he sat patiently, watching Evolution play out and seeing Autumn get defeated and MJ entering the ring being broadcast. Maybe a last minute match with Billy Anderson or anyone who wasn't on the card tonight? No. The bell for MJ vs Allen rang, and that was it.
No more extra, unplanned matches, for it would be disrespectful. He was tempted to march through the curtain to insert himself in, he was even shuffling in his seat as if he was ready to go, but it wouldn't be appropriate.
He respected MJ, MJ respected him. The worst he could do was make an ass out of himself.
There was something about MJ's matches that was compelling to him. Just seeing the New Yorker battling the second-rate Texan was almost euphoric. She danced circles around the man while Mike Rolash continued his quest to discredit the woman, to the point that it becomes a little grating. One Morning Star and it's over. Jimmy Allen is left a crumpled heap, and the champion leaves with the belt over her shoulder.
Silas smiles to himself.
Some day, the two will duel again.
An official lightly taps the man on the shoulder, nervously as Silas turns to face him with a warm smile. The official is not as enthused, and is in fact a little uneasy.
CWF OFFICIAL: Mr Artoria, Dr Leggett would like to see you now.
Very little comes from Silas aside from a simple 'ah'. He's calm and without worry or bother. Is it because of the joy he got from watching the main event? Likely, but it didn't mean he was done with Dr Leggett.
He walks a short distance to the temporary offices of management set up in the arena, and opens the door labeled with the good doctor's job title. He closes the door gently behind him, as said doctor simply stares at him with a stern but professional look from the other side of his desk; a sharp contrast to his approach only moments ago.
SILAS ARTORIA: You...wished to see me, doctor?
DR HARMON LEGGETT: Sit down.
No arguments. Silas grabs the chair on the near side of the desk and sat down; he get's comfortable very quickly as the shuffles on it. He places his hands on his lap, and smiles at the doctor. He, himself, takes a deep breath and relaxes his stern expression, ready to talk to Silas politely.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: I've come to the conclusion regarding your scans.
Silas quickly perks up. He speaks with a light hint of sarcasm underlaying his words.
SILAS ARTORIA: Oh really? Tell me doctor! Tell me how it has deemed me incapable of competing in multiple matches in the past few weeks! Tell me everything!
DR HARMON LEGGETT: It was a mare precaution, Silas.
SILAS ARTORIA: While everyone else got the opportunity to continue their job as always while I sat on the sidelines? Doctor. You've placed me in the anxious limbo for the better part of a few weeks.
His eyebrows narrow, as the tone got more frustrated as time went on.
SILAS ARTORIA: People running their mouths about me and not giving me the opportunity to even respond to the diatribe spat out on television. Do you know how it feels, to love something yet tied back by the powers that be and see ravenous fire spread and cause damage?
DR HARMON LEGGETT: As a matter of fact, yes.
SILAS ARTORIA: You sure about that? Because I am still cross about what you've done!
He calms down a little, and his hands change positions from his lap to behind his head. The calmness is gone, replaced by irritation and tenseness. He's been waiting too long for something concrete.
SILAS ARTORIA: How long does a brain scan take to return anyway? You guys have money and advanced medical connections! It should take a week or two at most! Instead, it's been over a month or so, and the only reason why I have been able to compete was because I was able to convince management otherwise to lower the cage, and because management wanted me on the screen after my performance!
DR HARMON LEGGETT: ENOUGH SILAS!
Silas jumps a little, no expecting the doctor to suddenly rise and lean intimidatingly towards him. He slams a file on his desk and opens it up, pressing a finger against a page of interest; his brain scan.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: Look at this. Does this look like a normal scan to you? Just imagine any picture of a brain scan you might have seen on a television series or something, and compare that to your scans!
Silas kept his eyes on the doctor, but they wouldn't let up. They weren't scared, nor intimidated. They've seen Silas at his weakest and most vulnerable, and he had considerable pull in the company. He was able to keep Silas out of his match without anyone laying a hand on him, and that was power.
Silas slowly leans towards the file, and finally picks up the brain scan; his eyes shot up with astonishment, yet interest.
The scan itself was covered in numerous black, vein like deposits all over his brain; themselves barely touching the surface of the skull. There was no constant shape, and the sharp, tear like appearance of the scans might indicate it pulsating at a consistent rate, much like a heartbeat but only much more intense. It gave his brain an almost checkered like appearance, temporary appearances of black forming and unforming for the duration of his scan weeks ago.
Despite this, to Silas, there appeared to be no abnormalities on this skull and structure of the brain, but he couldn't keep his eyes on the impossible geometry within his head.
SILAS ARTORIA: Well...isn't this an interesting development.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: How the hell can I come to an immediate conclusion with a scan like that!? Normally such a composition would have me extremely worried, because it would indicate multiple hemmorrhages, brain bleeds, cistern ruptures, everything including the kitchen sink! But the composition is wrong, the structure is wrong, it's a impossibility. No one should have this unless they are a vegetable! And even that is pushing it!
PASSENGER: Territory marked.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: But you! You are standing, breathing, talking with coherence! Your hand eye co-ordination is still at the level of a high class athlete. Hell, you can still lift without error. How can I look at this and think 'I can see what is wrong with this, and what I can do to help alleviate any pain'? I can't! I, simply, can't.
Silas continues to fixate. What kind of presence did his Passenger make within him? Are there more signs? What about his heart, would they have strange, vein like objects of seemingly worrying properties. He smiles, even chuckles lightly, a gesture that seems to offend the confounded doctor.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: And you're sat there, just smiling and acting like it's a good thing!
SILAS ARTORIA: You worry too much doctor.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: Have you ever had someone die in front of you and you have the opportunity to prevent it?
Silas looks at the doctor, just over his scan.
SILAS ARTORIA: Yes.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: Then you'll know how horrible it feels!
SILAS ARTORIA: It was actually quite liberating.
The doctor was taken a back; such bluntness over something tragic, and yet Silas blinks and gave a weak smile. He returns his attention to the scan, while Dr Leggett continues looking at the Canadian athlete. It felt like minutes, observing the very much aware Silas take fascination of the architecture of his brain, before finally standing up straight. They walk to the nearby window, and observe the drowsy Edmonton lights gradually fade.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: About a decade ago, I was working for another promotion in the same position. I examined athletes, give early reports on their conditions if they suffer an injury, essentially the same job I have now. Except I didn't have final clearance on the card, and there was an athlete I refused to clear but was insistent. Management stepped in, he went out there and fought his opponent.
They calmly turn around to see Silas looking at them, full attention, with the brain scan resting on his lap.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: Sound familiar?
SILAS ARTORIA: Key difference between myself and that other guy was that he wasn't me. He was--
DR HARMON LEGGETT: He died in the ring, Silas! Flat on the floor, dead at scene! No even declare deceased on arrival! In the arena! Gone! Kaput! No longer existent! They tried to lay the blame on me and I dismantled the entire promotion! There's a reason why I pushed for me to have the final say on the day, written in all contracts concerning talent! Do you understand Silas, or are you going to continuously dismiss it like with every other piece of medical advice I order and offer?
Silas is about to open his mouth, but decides not to. The doctor looks too distressed, reliving something that has likely haunted them just to make a point of their job position. They're not doing this out of malice, just concern.
And Silas had continuously brushed him off as a mare scaremonger.
If only the good doctor told him sooner.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: It's taken time because I've had to apply special attention to your scan and ensure the results are accurate. Your neck a little bruised but fine, and then I get this composition! I've had to analyses every piece of detail five times over, and then some.
SILAS ARTORIA: What does this mean to me, doctor?
Dr Leggett is once again hit with a look of confusion, but Silas quickly jumps in.
SILAS ARTORIA: It's all well and good telling me the details but I didn't read medical sciences in university. This scan means nothing to me practically, because it is in a language that have zero understanding of. Does this mean I am permanently on the shelf or am I going to compete with special conditions?
Dr Leggett folds his arms and inspects Silas from afar. He seems sincere, even if they don't think that's the case. He's proven himself to be dangerous for the staff and to himself, and has a volatile attitude when it comes to those who've slighted him.
However, power is power, and he did inspect the scans and came to a conclusion, mere moments before Silas entered the room. They sigh deeply, and cross over to their desk.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: Despite my recommendations, it's not personal. It never has. You're going to compete again, with special conditions.
Silas perks with excitement, just as the doctor sits down and crosses their fingers.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: I'm pulling you out of all hardcore stipulations or anything that'll cause more injury until the December PPV, and you are to report to me for examination after every match you have until then.
Silas shoots a surprised look.
SILAS ARTORIA: Every match?
DR HARMON LEGGETT: I didn't stutter, did I?
Silas lightly nods, as if to indicate that he gets it.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: Good. You're competing against Jimmy Allen next week.
SILAS ARTORIA: The guy MJ just dismantled?
DR HARMON LEGGETT: Yes. Management wants a few athletes to represent them in the WCWA event and they're putting on qualifiers. It seems they have some faith in you, despite your... behavior.
SILAS ARTORIA: I'm su--
DR HARMON LEGGETT: I don't want to hear another word, Silas. Just get out of my office and come to me next week for your examination.
He nearly said more, but opted not to. It was done, a decision was made; he could continue working with little interference from medical officials, and enjoy the chaos he was clearly addicted to. He nodded, and stood up, crossing over to the door without a hint of antagonism, leaving the scan on the desk as he did so.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: And Silas?
He had just opened the door when Leggett called out, so turned around the meet his look for the final time tonight. Leggett sighed deeply, as Silas smiles warmly.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: You're a pain in my ass, but you're a good competitor, and I don't want you to kill yourself for the sake of it.
SILAS ARTORIA: For you, doctor, I'll try my best.
DR HARMON LEGGETT: And don't call me 'doctor' again. Harmon is fine. Now go! I've got some reports to complete.
And with the closure of the door, another chapter in the rollercoaster ride of Silas' CWF career ends.
Onward to the next chapter.
Great Hall. A large table with candelabras covers the majority of the frame. Within said frame stands Silas Artoria, fiddling with two spotlights attached to some sort of basic circuitry. A basic control box perhaps. He flicks something on the base of the standing equipment, and appears satisfied.
SILAS ARTORIA: It's times like this that you learn to appreciate the CWF road crew.
He looks at the camera lens and smiles.
SILAS ARTORIA: Just think, they have to set this up, test it, monitor it constantly, and quickly dismantle it and transport it. They do this all the time, and I'll tell you all at home that doing it is no easy task.
He points to the two spotlights.
SILAS ARTORIA: It's taken me about an hour to get these hooked up properly.
He starts to walk towards the table as the camera follows, paying close attention towards a rope on the floor in the middle of the start and the destination.
SILAS ARTORIA: Do you like what I've done with the place? I thought that with the time between the last Evolution and this weeks that I thought I would make a more permanent home for my addresses, instead of praying that the lighting and weather conditions make a particular room within my compound to be desirable. That's the thing with cameras. Too little light and you get a horrid, cheap, static like image, but if you light it right, it's come across as nice and crisp!
He grabs the rope, which leads off frame to the right, and he starts pulling something head from the other side.
SILAS ARTORIA: Of course, if that is the desired effect, good on you, but you'll just come across as an amateur to me. Perfect way to desirable Jimmy Allen but I'll get to his address in a moment.
The ivory white piano crawls in, stationed on top of a board with a set of wheels, miraculously not buckling under the sheer weight of it. Silas throws the rope to the side and looks upon his mother's favourite past time; a sad, unused piece of art that's looking to be brought back alive.
SILAS ARTORIA: One thing I learned--you know what. Let's have some mood music.
He pulls a remove out of his coat and flicks a switch, doing nothing but silently playing a song of keys and saxophones, the sound of which clearly hitting a pleasure sense within Silas.
SILAS ARTORIA: Ohhh, hits the right spot this, a perfect intermission.
He lifts the lid of the piano and looks at the keys, each one of them polished to the point that you could clearly see Silas' wavery, uncharacteristically messy hair in a reflection. He turns to the camera, smiling calmly.
SILAS ARTORIA: So, what I learned during my seasons of misery was that you need to take every opportunity to better yourself. Uplift yourself and smile, it's how you are able to do your best; not being blinded by anger or hatred, that's just self destructive. Think positively, hence why my approach to the show for the past few weeks has been a fruitful few, couple with dizzying highs and experiential lows that teach lessons about yourself.
He starts the short walk towards the grand table; the camera follows his back as the footsteps echoed alongside the jazz that continued playing.
SILAS ARTORIA: Hasn't stopped confusion from setting in, more recently the condition regarding my head and neck. You'll be happy to know that this has been resolved and any matters concerning them should be directed towards Dr Harmon Leggett for further comment.
He reaches the table, turns around, and grins at the camera.
SILAS ARTORIA: Come this week, I'll be back in unquestionable form. No anxiety over clearance, I'm straight in with the match while achieving my personal goals along the way. But first...
He jumps and sits on the table, crossing his legs in the process.
SILAS ARTORIA: ...let's talk last week! Unfortunately I wasn't cleared to compete but to be perfectly honest, even if I was cleared to compete I wouldn't have gone to the ring to battle Dorian and Zack. Not because it's Dorian and Zack, in fact the former said that he wants to meet me in the ring, and for that, I look forward to it. You've always been a bit of a curiosity to me, Dorian, and hey! I'm mostly sober, so long as it isn't the fine wine in my cellar. Modern Warfare perhaps? I'll have a word and see what I can pull up, but for now, I have to extend my apologies for the time being.
My point of contention is Autumn. I shouldn't be fighting alongside her; hell, she shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence as me! Her skill doesn't come within the same star system as mine, and that's not me tooting my own horn! Her track record speaks for itself, so in the meantime, I am considering the tale between Autumn and I done. Finished. No more! Moving onto more desirable routes, and that is getting something nice around my waist!
He stands on the table, checking it's sturdiness.
SILAS ARTORIA: Actually, a quick interruption. I respect the hell out of MJ Flair, but I don't like she defended her title this past week. Defenses are fine and all, and it builds credibility, but there is a difference between defending it against a top star on a PPV and defending it against the Repo Man that was quickly inserted into the matchup. Big difference, except the Repo Man is instead Jimmy Allen.
And now, allow me to talk about said Jimmy Allen.
He stood up straight took out the remote again, and pressed a button. The jazz stopped, instead replaced with a droning, anticipating buildup, with Silas smiling excitedly as he threw the remote to the side. It went on, and on, and on.......until...
...synth, vocals, the room lights are off and the purple and light blue spotlight is firmly on Silas. He soaks in the music and the aesthetic, closing his eyes for a few moments, then opened them suddenly.
SILAS ARTORIA: Allen, Jimmy Allen, the foul mouthed catalyst from the south with a habit of swearing unnecessarily as if that would add substance to his already shallow thought process. Tragic, in a way, for someone as young as you to have taking such a route to a destination that is unwelcoming to you. A situation that only makes you an afterthought as your peers surpass you and ignore you. I'd be upset if I was you, but you clearly have this hint of optimism that has unfortunately blinded you. You are skilled, but you are clearly very arrogant and immature to the point of delusion. You are starry eyed to the point that your suave tried to hide your clear lack of athletic talent last week.
I decided to rewatch the past few Evolutions, and I found out that you got a title shot because MJ extended an olive branch to you. You didn't pin the champion, you just walked in like you owned the federation and expected it to be offered to you.
There are doomed and broken souls in a million asylums with a better chance that you, because you simply haven't demonstrated that you are worthy of standing toe-to-toe with the pillars holding this company up!
Long pause, the hi-hats tap. His smile widens and his hips sway slightly.
SILAS ARTORIA: I heard your little statement towards me, and it had to be the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. It was like I watching a trainwreck full of balloons; it was increadable to the point that so many thoughts flowed through me! In fact, here's a few of that passed through my skull!
The list went on, but the one I hung onto was simply:
Tragic that you'd call me a clown.
Tragic that you'd dismiss the audience because they and I are Canadian.
And tragic that you have not watched the show, judging from your statements.
Then again, that's what happens when you live in a little bubble. One that's afraid to criticize themselves of their failures and hides behind a seemingly bulletproof wall they themselves built. Sure, you have more wins than I on record, but defeating the likes of Kemsey Ramsey isn't exactly an accomplishment when I was facing MJ Flair in an Ironman Match on the same show.
His smile widens as his foot tapping got heavier and heavier.
SILAS ARTORIA: Tell me, James Allen. Is THIS NOT NOBILITY!??
He jumps down, rushes to the piano, and played to the music. His hands in a blurry frenzy as it went from one octive to the other, all while Silas gritted his teeth in pure euphoria to the point that he spoke almost too fast to be comprehensible.
SILAS ARTORIA: WOOO! PRIVATE EDUCATION, INHERITED WEALTH, INHERITED PROPERTY, HEREDITARY PEER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, WORLDWIDE GLOBETROTTER, COLLECTOR OF ART AND MUSIC, VAST HALLS AND GARDENS, SERVANTS QUARTERS, PRIVATE FOUNTAINS, A DESCENDENT OF EXPLORERS AND TOWN FOUNDERS, GRANDSON ON AN ARCH--
He went wide eyed for a moment, then slowed the piano down to an easy, relaxing level. He swayed from side to side to the tempo, closing his eyes and controlling his breathing. Energy levels go down, as the song turns into a near melancholic composition. He takes a deep breath.
SILAS ARTORIA: I don't hate you, Jimmy Allen. I think you have what it takes to be a top star of this company, but your head is sadly full of air to the point that you are overpromising yourself. Your vocabulary of choice is unideal, emphasizing how much of a failure I am over how successful I truly am despite the roadblocks.
Think about it, if you call someone a loser and you face them, you're not going to come out of it positively in either outcome. You win, congratulations, you beat a loser. You lose, nice, you lost to a loser. Doesn't look good on your resume, especially when your resume consists of numerous forgotten athletes and very little title contentions. So it's best to watch your tongue.
When we enter...hang on.
He stops playing, and calmly walks over to a nearby control switch. A quick flick, the music is off. He returns to his previous standing by the piano with a slightly pained look on his face.
SILAS ARTORIA: When we enter the ring, I will unleash what knowledge I have collated over my year I've been with this company, and I fully intend to make you humble. You may hold the second best record in the company, but you lack the knowledge that comes with time. That WCWA US title will come to the CWF.
But Jimmy Allen is not the right choice for the task. It shouldn't be in the hands of someone in a more skilled performer's shadow, but in the hands of someone who can operate wholly independent and laser focused.
He starts to smile again.
SILAS ARTORIA: Yeah...me. I'll take Jimmy Allen out this week and bring that title home.
Light cough, his eyes begin to widen again.
SILAS ARTORIA: So, Mr Allen...
He quickly takes his gloves off, showing his hands with familiar eldritch properties that have almost become trademark to Silas.
SILAS ARTORIA: ....LET'S PLAY!
He spins, and slams his hands on the piano, and plays away.
Thousands of Miles Away...
Night time. The district was alight with people clamoring to get inside the nightclubs that wake up when the sun sets. Neon everywhere, eye strain prevalent for those unaccustomed to the conditions, and numerous cars locking down the streets to take or drop off revelers.
A man with two women of model like beauty emerged from one such car, and the three of them made a beeline for the nightclub nearby. A quick entrance, upstairs, in the VIP section they enter within seconds of leaving the car. Another gentleman meets the one whom just arrived.
???: [[Glad to see you have made it.]]
???: [[Wouldn't miss this for the world!]]
The two quickly embrace.
???: [[I thought I'd bring along some friends, if you don't mind that is. Just friends.]]
The other quickly chuckles.
???: [[They are more than welcome to stay.]]
He waves to more gentlemen nearby.
???: [[Gentlemen! Please! Show our guests our welcome, treat them well please. We don't want to make them unwanted!]]
The two girls are ushered away by the two other gentlemen, as the other two continue to converse.
???: [[How's the calm life treating you?]]
???: [[Very well, but I do have my own personal stresses.]]
???: [[Like what?]]
???: [[You heard of Silas Artoria?]]