Once again, Christopher St. James finds himself riding in the back of a limo with the less than pleasant company in James Milenko, who was once again helping himself to one of several expensive liquors C$J has insisted on stocking in all of his rides.
C$J: You realize that you have thousands of dollars in liquor back here right? I didn’t realize being a CO-commissioner paid well.
The verbal jab landed right where C$J intended it to and Milenko put down the drink in the small cup holder. C$J could see his beady green eyes dart to it occasionally though. Hurray for easily manipulated addictions. He would have to remind himself to give whatever the person is called that is responsible for this portion of his day; their actual paycheck for once. Maybe it was his driver. Maybe…
James Milenko: You DO realize that you’re in MY limo for once right?
C$J comes back to as his eyes narrow in on his surroundings. He sighs as he remembers the fact that Milenko had asked him to come.
C$J: What do you need then Milenko? I’m a busy man…
Milenko scoffs at C$J who stops and snarls at Milenko’s blatant lack of respect.
James Milenko: Chris! I don’t know why you’re so hostile, I haven’t dropped the news yet. As it turns out, this gig is paying me dividends and it turns out… I don’t need you anymore. I’m cutting you lose.
C$J barely controls his emotions as a look of surprise flitters across his features. Milenko notices and his lips turn upward in a grin as the limo stops.
James Milenko: It’s been great Chris, truly. But all you do is distract Tobias and get in the way. You got me here and I respect that but you have just served your usefulness.
C$J: Yo… You can’t! You’ll regret this James!
Nothing more is said between the two as the door is opened behind C$J. He looks between the open space, the cold air outside blowing inside the car, and Milenko. Milenko only smiles and motions for Christopher St. James to get out. With a huff C$J obliges and stomps out, slamming the door behind him as the limo squeals off. At this point anyone would stomp away in a rage. Not C$J though. As part of a tag team named Dirty Money Inc. with one Tobias Deveraux, or however you bloody spell his last name, C$J has learned a thing or two about people.
Rule number one. Don’t trust anyone.
With a sly smile he takes out his phone and punches a couple keys before holding it up to his ear. He waits a couple seconds, burying his other hand in his pocket and seeking shelter in the nearby bus depot. Finally, the other end picks up and C$J answers.
C$J: The idiot turned on me. It’s totally on. Bastard thinks he doesn’t NEED Christopher St. James. I think it’s time he learns just how big of a mistake turning on me is.
Silence falls as C$J listens to the other end. He nods, his blonde faux hawk bobbing in the wind.
C$J: Excellent. So it’s agreed then? Perfect. I’ll begin everything immediately. We’ll also make sure the jester is kept away from us…
"Yes I’m sure. It HAS to be done…"
"Fine. I’ll do it. What’s the information?"
"Text it then. I’m getting in my car now."
C$J hangs up his phone as a limo hummer pulls up next to him. He smiles at the thought of Milenko’s smaller limo.
C$J: Try to show me up will you?
He climbs into the back and makes himself comfortable as an intercom comes on overhead.
“Greetings sir. Where are we off to?”
C$J once again smiles and thanks his endless bank account.
C$J: We’re off to visit a jester. Address has been messaged, please take me there.
The intercom buzzes off as the limo sets off into the snow covered streets.
C$J knocks on the door of the hotel room that was included in his information pack provided to him by Tobias. He wasn’t sure what kind of strings had to be pulled to get this meeting or who with, but it had to be done. Especially if Milenko was going to get what was coming to him.
The door clicks unlocked and cracks open a small fraction. C$J coughs uncomfortably but reminds himself why he’s there. He enters into the darkened room and is roughly told to sit in the one chair provided by the hotel.
Loki Synn: I’d offer you something to drink but, well, I don’t know you, want to know you, and am being forced to ask why the FUCK are you here?
C$J: Ah, you’re direct. I like that. Listen, my name is…
Loki Synn: NOpe! Tell me why you’re here before I make you regret drawing the short straw to come see me.
C$J coughs nervously before continuing.
C$J: Right, ehrm. Uhm. It’s about uh… Milenko.
Loki Synn: What about him?
C$J: Uhm, right. He uh. He’s looking to betray you. Has some sort of memory wipe thing set up to turn you back into… Whatever you were before.
C$J doesn’t need to say anything else. The jester only points at him to leave and C$J is only too happy to oblige quietly. He wasn’t sure if Loki could make out his shit eating grin on his way out the door or not, but he knew that his words had the exact impact he wanted them to.
Throughout the years there have been many battles fought over senseless ideals. Butter side up or down on toast? Ba-gal or BA-gel? Does pineapple REALLY belong on pizza or are we just living in a tropical fantasy world where the tropical fruit reign supreme? Despite all of these ups and downs, lefts and rights, twists and turns; there remains to be one constant that remains true, ringing through the ears of all humans and bringing with it a feeling of mutual harmony.
That one universal truth that can inspire so much peace you ask? Search deep. Somewhere, the truth lies hidden. You might have to go a SMIDGE mad to find it, but the trip is worth it. Give up?
Think about being a kid and the greatest parts about it. Kid has temper tantrum and to calm it down, the thing’s parental unit reads it a story. Every great story that anyone has heard as a child starts with one great introduction that forces the reader into a place the author wants them to be. Are you ready oh dear reader? We’re about to go down THAT rabbit hole…
Once upon a time, there lived a cutesy little tomboyish girl. We say “tomboyish” not because she dressed like a boy, but because she was raised to believe that her body defines who she is, who she was to become. Her interests were geared toward manly pursuits, her ideals were fashioned to one day grow up and become the man her parents always believed her to be. Not every story has a happy ending and not every fairy tale involves one nice and happy resolution, tied up neatly with a bow. Not everyone can be born into a legacy business with a silver spoon in mouth with a rockstar mother and wrestler legend father.
This little girl doesn’t get to lean on her pedigree to get her through her career. This little girl clawed and scratched. Bled. She learned by eighteen, that the religion she was brainwashed to believe in was nothing but an overhyped popularity contest. In her twenties she learned that it isn’t worth anyone’s time to trust people and now… In her thirties she is thirsty for one thing MJ. The innocence that you exude, that pure pride and arrogance as you strut around with your title strapped around your waist. It is enough to make the most polite person in the room excuse themselves to lose the contents of their stomach.
That is putting it politely.
Are you paying attention yet MJ?
You begged me for answers. You begged me to open my eyes and come out from Milenko’s paw long enough to breath in your toxic lies. Shadow sees this and gets the idea that I’m some sort of puppet meant to dance around.
You BOTH fail to realize that I am so much more than just a mere puppet on a string. Bring your sharpest blade Shadow. Bring your pedigree MJ. Nothing you have and nothing you do will stop the chaos I will unleash upon you all. I said it before MJ, no matter what you do, I win. Have you seen me lose my smile at all without your silly strap? I can sleep perfectly fine every night I go to bed, but how many of your evenings are spent sleepless?
Thinking about what exactly it will take to keep me down once again for not only one fall, but two. WITHOUT the use of a foreign object, much to your dissatisfaction I’m sure. I’ve looked as close as you have asked me to MJ. I’m still here and I’m not going anywhere. I have taken your best and here I am ready for round two and positive that I will not only win the World Title, but I will do it after breaking your body and soul. Your bravery is admirable but it’s time to put the courageous lioness that is EM-JAY-MOTHATRUCKIN’ EFF…
To sleep, once and for all.
As soon as that faux hawked punk left Loki closes and locks the door behind him, casting herself into darkness. She heads back into the small nest she has made for herself and takes out a small hand mirror she has kept over the years. It has a single crack going down one side, parting someone’s reflection into a jagged half.
This doesn’t deter her though as she picks up the picture that she grabbed from Ataxia’s coffin, his blood stained mask lying next to her, of Mia Rayne and Ataxia, sitting down together on a bench under cherry blossoms in Japan. She knew it because she…
I… I was there… Wha?
Loki shakes her head as she looks again into Mia’s eyes, a small voice waking up in her mind that hasn’t been heard for a long time. Loki again shakes her head but takes her hood off, revealing her jet black hair with blue tips. She lets it fall over her face as she looks at her reflection for the first time in what feels like ages.
The reflection of Mia Rayne stares back at Loki Synn as tears well up in her eyes. Slowly though her sobs turn into cackles, and then into giggles, and finally into full fledged laughs. Loki tosses the mirror aside and wraps her arms around her knees as she rocks back and forth.
Loki Rayne: Well this could get interesting...
James Milenko: Thank you all for being here on such short notice. Rome however, wasn’t built in a day and I felt it best that we give the two competitors in our main event at Northern Crown a chance to say one final piece to each other. Maybe have a stare down? Both competitors have already been warned that any physicality will result in severe punishment up to and including this match not happening, titles being stripped. Oh yes, I went there. Without further ado, Stewart and I have agreed to give Loki the microphone first. MJ, being the champion will have the advantage of the retort.
The fans lucky enough to have gotten a ticket to this special press conference set up exclusively by James Milenko, as proclaimed proudly on special banners to advertise for the event; start to buzz loudly in the small auditorium they are packed inside as none other than Loki Synn appears. She isn’t dressed to compete, wearing a hoodie that she is practically swimming in, the hood covering her face, but the careful observer could catch glimpses of the painted smile on the mask as she walks by. Her pace is seemingly random as she speeds up and her movements become jerky and erratic, followed by Loki slowing down and putting her hands in her hoodie pockets. Finally making it to the podium, Milenko beams a wide smile of his own at the jester before clasping her on the shoulder and handing the podium over to her. Her gaze follows him as he makes his way back to his seat, suddenly uneasy.
Loki Synn: Thank you James, I think. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why this is necessary. We all know what I’m capable of, just ask Jaiden. He found out first hand exactly how I handle people who can't seem to grasp the concept that one does not simply mess with a jester because they think it will be fun. Or because they're told to. Or they think it's right. Whatever the reasoning people use to justify their distaste for me, one thing remains that forces these people to feel incredibly uncomfortable. I am unstoppable. I say something and I do it. Did I ever say, out loud, that I was going to take the CWF Championship and rebrand it? Did I ever say that my primary motivation behind what I do is solely for that poor excuse for a gaudy accessory? No. No I haven't.
I have come in and made it my mission to destroy the very cornerstones that have held CWF from flourishing. As good as MJ has been as champion, as young as she is... She isn't me and she isn't made to withstand the long haul. All of you people put her up on a pedestal, admiring her for all of her accomplishments, cheering every week when she comes out and puts that belt on the line. You sheeple would all probably go ga-ga for MJ baby photos too if you had the option. You're all blind to how incredibly overrated she is, that she hides behind her pedigree and uses that to get what she wants. She does nothing but use you, the CWF Universe's cheers to make everyone believe that she deserves to be where she is. That she deserves to be handed shot after shot at that title she wears so proudly. Tell me all you MJ Flair Heads... What exactly has she done to warrant her being your champion? She's shown you all why she should keep that belt around her waist sure, but my concern is the journey that she took to get there. Was she handed her chance because she has famous parents? How about when she fell short over the last year in her pursuit of that belt she lost at Paradise to Caledonia? How many shots, how many main events was she just put in because her name happened to be Mariella Flair, the face of CWF, and the only one that the powers that be feel deserves to wear that belt.
I'm here to prove to you all that she isn't the only deserving member of the CWF roster. I'm here to show you all that MJ is nothing more than just another human who was handed opportunity after opportunity and made the most out of every single one. There isn't anything more special about MJ than there is about any other "regular" person that exists on this roster. Make no mistake, MJ's hubris will no longer be tolerated by ANY....
The voice is small but familiar. It causes Loki to stop in her tracks though and the masked face jerks its gaze toward the crowd. About midway down the aisle between two sides of chairs filled with reporters stands a small girl, well known from within the CWF locker room. Her hair is tied into a pigtail on either side of her head, the hair dyed an inky jet black with the tips of each pigtail dipped in the richest of blues. She wears the latest Mia Rayne t-shirt, brand new in the CWF Shopzone as of Summer of 2018 on top of a pair of ripped up jeans and some combat boots.
Loki Synn: Well if it isn't Chloe Hawkhurst...
Loki's voice is filled with malice and surprise. She hops down off the stage and before anyone can stop her, is in front of Chloe and staring down at her through the mask. For her part, Chloe stands her ground, looking defiantly up where the eyes of the mask are supposed to be, only to see two blank, white spots. Silence befalls the auditorium that James Milenko had reserved for this press conference, but even he was beginning to look uneasy at the confrontation between the malevolent jester and the youngest member of The Forsaken, the one that Loki threatened a week prior at Evolution.
Loki Synn: It's like Christmas came early! You realize that just last week, less than that even, I threatened your very existence? Your physical well being, your...
Chloe Hawkhurst stands her ground and continues to stare into the eyes behind the mask, almost as if the mask didn't even exist. She let's Loki continue to rant and rave about how the jester could leave her broken, maimed, bloody, and bruised but...
Chloe Hawkhurst: You won't do any of that Mia. We know it's you. Don't know what happened, but you're in there somewhere aren't you?
With sudden speed, enough to elicit squeals of surprise from those closest witnessing this exchange, Loki raises her fist and swings it right at Chloe's head! The people closest start screaming for the safety of the child, but there is no need. At first glance it looks like Loki has made contact with Chloe, but at closer glance, Loki's fist is mere millimeters away from Chloe's nose! Loki's arm starts to shake, almost as if she is fighting with herself to finish the punch, to make contact, but she is unable to do it.
James Milenko: Finish her Loki! I don't care what she's telling you, just get rid of her!
Loki tries to throw another punch but once again stops herself from making contact, eliciting yet another howl of rage.
Chloe Hawkhurst: See Mia? I told you. If there is anyone that you wouldn't be able to try and hurt, it would be me. I knew it was you and no matter what, I'll always be here for you, even if you don't realize it!
In a move that shocks everyone in attendance, Chloe ducks under Loki's still outstretched arm and...
Hugs her around the midsection! Letting out a howl of rage and confusion, Loki pushes Chloe off of her. Chloe stumbles back a couple steps before Loki surges forward and pushes her again, this time forcing Chloe to trip backward and land on her butt. Her face remains calm though as she never breaks "eye" contact with Loki. The Jester screams once again and storms away as James Milenko once again takes over the podium.
James Milenko: Uhm, right. Chloe, expect your father to be hearing from me. There will be repercussions for interrupting my press conference. Extreme measures, I'm tired of you getting involved in matters that have nothing to do with you, your drunken father, or that band of miscreants you call a family. Now if someone from security, I THINK that's what we're paying for right now, could get this intruder off the premises because I'm sure she doesn't...
Milenko stops himself as now Chloe has turned her attentions to him, waving a ticket that bought her attendance into the press conference.
James Milenko: FINE! Just go! And now, let me introduce to you next... You love her, you respect her as champion for some reason... Mariella Flair!!!!
As she takes her first steps out into the bitterly cold air, Chloe Hawkhurst's words echo throughout Loki's head, like a reverberating bell whose echo hasn't gotten the hint to shut the hell up. Brushing the hood off of her head, she takes her mask off and stuffs it into an inner pocket, before putting the hood back up, covering her face, and proceeding to head down the street. Before she can put a lot of space between herself and the convention center Milenko insisted on having a press conference at, yet another voice catches her by surprise and causes her to stop in her tracks, cursing under her breath.
Loki turns on her heel, glancing at the figure who has seemed to trail her from the convention center to this point. She curses again, this time a bit louder, loud enough for the mystery man to hear, and doesn't do much more, waiting for him to make the first move while keeping her face partially obscured.
"I'm sure that you don't care about my name and more interested in why I'm here. First, let me just tell you that you are one of the most vicious people I have seen in this game. I doubt that you care who I am and are more interested in what I'm doing here. It's simple really."
The figure holds out a thick wad of cash. Loki looks at the cash briefly but doesn't make a move. The figure continues to hold the bundle out, trying to make eye contact with Loki who only continues to look down.
Loki Synn: If I take your money, does that mean you'll get out of my face Mr. Enigma?
The figure chuckles and almost pushes it into Loki's hand who takes it and pockets it.
"I'm afraid it's a little bit more than that. You see Loki, this is payment for services that you will be rendering. I need you to do me the favor of making sure that the CWF Impact Champion, Zach van... Whatever's life is made more difficult. It doesn't have to be constant, consistent, or deliberate. However, with as much money that you just accepted from me as well as your past history with the young champion, I have complete faith that Zach won't make it much further than he already is."
Loki Synn: So let me get this straight random man that just decides to give me what I can only assume is a lot of money. You want me to go after some kid that I've already beaten in the ring once and make sure that he regrets his chosen career path?
The figure smiles, a creepy and toothy grin, then nods. Loki lifts her head up so the mystery man can see her lips curl up into a sinister smile.
Loki Synn: Sounds fun. I'll see what I can whip up.
Without another word Loki takes a vape pen from her pocket and takes a long drag, holding her breath for several seconds, and then exhaling the smoke into the man's face. She turns on her heel once again and continues to make her way down the sidewalk and into the distance as the mystery man with the cane walks in the opposite direction.
Do you feel the end coming yet MJ? After Hellbound, you said it yourself. You KNEW that you barely escaped that barbed wire hell with your title and life still in tact. You KNOW that what you went through in that ring changed you. Sure you kept your belt but at what personal cost? Were you still able to chalk that up as another “successful” defense of your title?
Sure, you still have that strap and the record states that at Hellbound, you walked out the victor. But the following week on Evolution, where were you and where was I? I was once again taking your spotlight in the main event while you were trying to rally your fans to your cause at the start of the show. Congrats on that win, “champ.” I went through just as much, if not more than you did in that match and went on to DOMINATE anyone and anything in my way the following weeks. You had a questionable win over a man that can EASILY out wrestle you and the following week a bullshit time limit draw when the ref decided to impose some made up time rule against another person THAT HAD YOUR NUMBER THE ENTIRE TIME YOU WERE IN THE RING WITH HIM!
How does it feel that both of your victories are tainted over men that had your number both times? You, “accidentally” elbowed Jimmy Allen where the sun dost not dare to shine, and Tobias? You sure showed him who was boss around CWF when you wrestled him to a time limit that no one knew about until the ref decided to call for it when he saw you on your way to a loss.
A win is a win isn’t it MJ? At the end of the day who has that World Heavyweight Title that they wear oh, so proudly down the ramp every week, much to the delight of every fan the world over? You do. You currently have that belt and I’m forced to ask you MJ, how did you manage to keep it for so long? Since our last meeting you have fought twice out of the three weeks and I have been in the ring all three times in sanctioned matches. The two times you fought inside that ring you swear to honor, you “won” with, dare I say, very questionable circumstances.
I have to wonder if you’ll once again have any tricks up your sleeve when we meet once again? And they call ME the trickster…
When we meet once again MJ, it isn’t going to be just for the World Championship. I could give two shits if you keep that belt around your skinny little waist. You have guessed since I first arrived, what my motivations have been getting into the World title picture. You have assumed that it was because of James Milenko and whatever sinister plan he has for the CWF, a place you call your home. You couldn’t be further from the truth.
Why do I care so much about the World Championship of the CWF? It has nothing to do with that strap but the person that holds it, MJ. It has EVERYTHING to do with you. Since day one you have been the trophy in the center of the locked case. You have been the popular kid in class with both the teachers and all of your classmates. You have been the bee’s knees, the creme a la creme, cream of the crop, make the mic drop, and booty drop.
Sorry, I got carried away.
You were and are everything that the CWF stands for. I am here for one thing and one thing only. To take everything that CWF stands for and squish it into the ground. Turn it into a bloody and unrecognizable pulp. The fact that you are a mere child is even better because now I get to take away something on top of the CWF’s “face.” I get to take away her innocence and everything that she holds near and dear. MJ…
Win or lose, I win. What will you have to do to keep me down… Twice… LEGALLY? You don’t have anything in your arsenal that can do the job, but yet you’re going to come at me like the ferocious pitbull that you are. Such tenacity. Such vim and vigor!
You are the hero in this story MJ yes and you DO indeed have victories under your belt, whether they are questionable or not, they are your victories and I can’t take that from you. What I can do dear MJ is remind you that every hero in every story falls at least once. They might come back bigger and better than before, but they still fall. I am here to remind you, oh small tenacious one, that it has come to be the point in the story where the hero falls. I have come to deliver this message to you MJ and act upon it.
Only this time? There is no happy ending, just…