Calgary, Alberta Canada
After the show has gone off the air
I had watched the end of the show, I stood in front of the monitor and watched everything the jester had done. The fallout from what she had done would be monumental. I watched as Tobias stormed by me on his way to the locker room. I started to say something but thought better of it. He was livid and rightly so. Instead I sling my bag over my shoulder and begin making my way thru the Saddledome on my way to the exit. My train of thought is derailed by the smooth mellow tones of Blake Church.
Blake Church: Jimmy Allen, I was asked by Jon Stewart to get some commentary from you about your loss to Silas Artoria.
I smile at Blake and shake my head.
Jimmy Allen: Silas Artoria? Never heard of her.
The look of incredulity was so worth it as Blake struggles to regain his composure.
Jimmy Allen: In other words Jonny sent you out here to get a dig at me. That’s cool, tell the bag man that his time is coming.
Blake Church: What exactly is the status of the hostile takeover?
I feel my anger start to build and I lean in real close to Blake.
Jimmy Allen: Do you really want to ask me that question after tonight's events? Do you really Blake?!
He eases back, getting as far from me as he can and still able to conduct this interview. I snatch the microphone away him and look into the camera.
Jimmy Allen: I’ll start with you Silas, good job getting your girlfriend to get me disqualified. It was the only way you would represent this shithole of a company at the ppv. Autumn, let me tell you something little girl, you kicked the wrong hornets nest. As far as hostility, I’ll tell you exactly what I think about that…
???: We are just fine.
I see Milenko coming in as I was about to blast him and Loki both, I drop the microphone and glare at him. As I turn to leave I stop near enough that he can smell what I had for a snack earlier.
Jimmy Allen: (whispering) Be very careful what you say right now, wouldn’t want people to know where all the bodies are buried now would you?
I pat his cheek and turn my back on him and make my way out of the building.
Two days later
I slid the “sold” sign into the slot of the Century 21 sign. I had finally closed on my long time house, as much as I loved the place it was time to move on. Thanks to a really good general contractor I still managed to make a profit at the end of it all. As much as this pleased me, I just couldn’t get past the thought of what had happened at the last Evolution. To complicate things further, Tobias and I had been booked for this tag team tournament that we never had a qualifying match for.
???: You appear to be a million miles away, son.
I look up and see the bemused expression on my father's face. We had a falling out not long ago but thanks to my sister Jules we were able to patch things up between us. I smile at the old man.
Jimmy Allen: Not quite a million, my thoughts are north of the border I guess. The way things went down the other night…
I let the thought trail off as a black lincoln navigator pulls into my driveway. I get a quizzical look from Dad and I return it. I have no idea who this is, so I approach the vehicle with caution. The driver steps out of the vehicle and then stands there simply waiting.
Jimmy Allen: Are you lost?
The driver doesn’t respond, but simply taps on the window twice and it slowly comes down. The man in the back seat I recognize. They called him CSJ I believe or Mr. #1derful as I recall. Evidently Dad remembers him as well from the deep sigh and the scowl he now wears. The man in the car says nothing, he simply hands me an envelope and the window goes back up. The driver excuses himself and gets back in the car and just like that they are gone. I flip the nondescript envelope over and discover a message on the back. It says:
I open the envelope and inside I find a lengthy letter that explains…..The Jester…..and how she became the jester….
Jimmy Allen: Holy Amazeballs
Dad shoots me a look
Alex Walker: Are you okay?
I sit down on the raised flower box and hand him the envelope. Still in shock, I dig out my phone.
Jimmy Allen: I’ve gotta call Tobias
Dad’s eyes go wide as he scans the document inside, a cassette tape falls out of the envelope. I hit 3 on the speed dial and it starts ringing Devereaux’s phone, no answer so I leave a message.
Jimmy Allen: Tobias, this is Jimmy….we need to talk. I just had a visitor and he left me with a letter and a cassette tape. A discussion is necessary at this point man, I need to hear it from you about exactly what happened. I also know who the jester is. This puts a whole new level of fucked up in play. Meet me in Lake Charles in three days time, I’ll text you the address. Come alone Tobias….
I hang up the phone and stuff it back into my pocket. I shake my head in dismay at what I’ve just learned. A low and long whistle escapes from my father.
Alex Walker: A whole new level of fucked up indeed…..
Since the knock down drag out that Dad and I had, we had both apologized to each other. Him for pushing my buttons and me for not knowing that’s what he was doing. I guess I got more of his temper than I thought. It also dawned on me that the old man let me win that fight. It’s almost like he knew what I was trying to do and pushed me down that path. He hands me back the envelope as “War Machine” by Kiss begins to play on his phone. He digs the phone out….
Alex Walker: Interesting…..
He answers the phone, can’t hear the voice on the other line but finally the call comes to a close.
Alex Walker: I’ll be there
Jimmy Allen: What gives?
He shoots me that Mac Bane smile that I hate so much that I use it myself sometimes to annoy people.
Alex Walker: just some business I need to take care of.
Vancouver, British Columbia
The deeper we go into Canada, the more James Milenko bitches about it. That means the deeper we go into Canada, the more I love this country. I’m not kidding, I’ll take 10 degrees over 120 any day. I can put on enough clothes to get warm. Not James though, he’s shivering so hard that you can almost hear his bones clank together. Honestly, I don’t know why he’s complaining, it’s not that cold. Forty two is not cold. He continues to grill me about my going to meet Tobias in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
James Milenko: So, you expect me to believe that your trip was a social call?
I smile at James, I do love playing this game with him. He really sucks at it.
Jimmy Allen: Look bossman, it was that simple, strategy sessions are not uncommon for tag teams you know?!
He doesn’t look convinced as my mind wanders to that visit, what was said and the agreement made.
Two days earlier
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Tobias loves his greasy spoon type places, we met at a Waffle House just off the highway. We had to talk and it had to be today. I sit in the booth tapping the envelope with my index finger, probably annoying other patrons but who cares!?
Tobias Devereaux: Jim-may, Mon Amie, I’s not normally de type yews just summon like dis. Howevers given de tone of de voice, I’s figure yews get a pass. Not to mention we’s got some very bad tings afoot mon amie. Milenko has bit off more den he can chew, just like I knew he would. De Jester aint someting to be messin about wit lightly, yet here we are.
I nod my head in agreement, we had huge problems indeed. Loki was out of control, this thing was coming to a screeching halt quickly.
Jimmy Allen: Indeed. I didn’t sign up for this Tobias. She almost killed him in the ring...and outside of it. I checked on him, he’s conscious but mostly in and out...morphine ya know?!
Tobias Devereaux: Oh yews meaning Jaiden, I was talkin bout my match, dat cooyon ruined my title shot! True dough, she messed dat boy up someting fierce, not in a normal fashion neither. Dat was animalistic, dat was de true nature of de Jester. However dere aint but a couple ways to stop her at dis point. Neither one gonna be all dat pleasant, so yews gotta ask yourself, are you ready? Are you ready to go through de tings dis endeveaour may cost yew?
I smirk at Tobias, not really feeling amused, more hysterical than anything I allow a chuckle to escape me.
Jimmy Allen: My friend, I’m always ready. Everything was good while we were just talking about taking over that half assed company, but this? This is on a whole other level.
I shake my head in disgust, I’ve relived the moments of her “match with Jaiden”, one of the most vile and evil things I’ve ever seen in this business. I shove the envelope across the table. He dumps the contents out, his eyebrows shoot up when he sees the tape. It was a cassette tape with one word written across it. “Reversion” was the way it was labeled.
Tobias Devereaux: Oh, visit from Chris I see, he must not of been amused himself. Must figure yews de most moralistic of de bunch. Not dat he’s wrong per say, well dis gonna suck.
That was all he said about it, and began stuffing the contents back into the envelope. He sat back and exhaled deeply, not quite a sigh but very nearly.
Jimmy Allen: Do you? The way this reads…
Tobias Devereaux: I know what de damn ting says mon amie!
His retort being very terse, his fist nearly coming down on the table, stopping just a few centimeters above. He collects himself for a moment.
Tobias Devereaux: My apologies, I know what de ting says because who yew tink wrote most of dis crap?
I know he’s stressed out but I push ahead.
Jimmy Allen: You enabled him to do this to her. You may not have done it yourself but with Milenko, you might as well have. If this goes sideways, shit is gonna get heavy quick Tobias.
Tobias begins to laugh, it’s almost a manic laugh. I don’t know if it’s because he knows something that I don’t or if the pressure is starting to make him crack.
Tobias Devereaux: Dat mon ami may be de understatement of ya lifetime. Yew tink, yews understand de severity of what could go wrong, but yew just scratching de surface. Dat I guarantee.
We shift back to the present….
I’ve continued my conversation with Milenko as we arrive at the hotel. Since the beginning of this scheme of his, it’s been no surprise to me that he thinks little of me. To him, I’m just another soldier in this war he’s waging against CWF. I’m no fool, and I’m a better strategist than James ever thought about being. He keeps losing sight of the end game for the sake of petty revenge. Revenge for something he couldn’t have saved, it didn’t want to be saved, and he can’t just let it die. The analogy I’ll use is that it’s like a parent with a dying child, they would do anything to save it. That thought, brings Chloe and Dorian to the forefront of my brain. The feeling of guilt is almost overwhelming. I know what Loki intends to do, I know how to put a stop to it but is it worth it?
James Milenko: You seem a little pale Jimmy, something you ate?
I shake my head no and regain my composure as a hooded figure comes into the hotel. The person spots me and faces away as if staring out the lobby windows. I see her reflection and I know that face. I bite my tongue to keep from saying her name out loud.
James Milenko: Ah, excuse me Jimmy I need to head up to freshen up.
I nod as he walks towards the elevators, once the hooded figure is sure I’m not watching she follows him. After she gets on the elevator with him I realize I hadn’t breathed. So, I start doing that again….because that would be embarrassing as hell. The one thing that sticks in my mind, in order to save them….I have to act like nothing's wrong, that the plan that Milenko laid out is all that matters to me. I make my way around the corner from the lobby to my room, I quietly shut the door behind me. For the first time since my grandmother’s funeral some five years ago, I allow the tears to fall. Not for any other reason than, because of me, my GodDaughter is in danger. Not Dorian’s fault, not Ataxia’s fault, not Shadow’s fault….Milenko…..damn you….
Jimmy Allen: Time to get to work…..lots to do and even more to fix.
I take out my phone and send Dorian a message…..
“For the love of god, don’t let Chloe anywhere near that arena for a while. Shit is about to get way too real for any of our comfort.”
The Press Conference
I was just out of view as the press conference started, I wanted to be on hand just in case something went terribly wrong. As if on cue I see my God Daughter; Chloe Hawkhurst is weaving in and out of the crowded presser. She spots me and I wave to her to come over. She rolls her eyes and comes to me.
Jimmy Allen: I know what you’re trying to do kiddo, it’s a very dangerous plan.
She’s polite and allows me to finish, she then does an about face and shouts over her shoulder to me.
Chloe Hawkhurst: I’m going to do what you would do, I’m going to be the catalyst!
With that I watch as she moves back to the front, the press conference is going and Loki is still talking. I begin quietly weaving in and out of the crowd following Chloe. Where the hell is Dorian? Why would he let her do this? I make my way to where I am within arms reach of Chloe, just in case I need to intervene. Then I watch on in shock as the kid calls to Mia, I knew this is what she would do. Anything to reach her mentor, her Aunt Mia meant the world to her. I knew that if any little piece of Mia remained under that Jester's mask she wouldn’t hurt Chloe. Thank God I was right. Loki or Mia as it were tried to hit her twice but couldn’t bring herself to do it. After Chloe is pushed back and Loki storms out I grab Chloe by the hand and head back into the lobby.
Jimmy Allen: Chloe, I couldn’t be more proud of you. What you did is one of the most selfless things I’ve ever seen another human being do. She could have hurt you, but she didn’t. I know you believed that all along. I’m glad you were right and that I was wrong….again.
Her eyes start to well a little, I don’t give her the opportunity to respond and I quickly walk away towards the elevator. I yell over my shoulder as I quickly walk away.
Jimmy Allen: Tell your dad….nevermind kiddo I’ll tell him myself.
I get into the elevator quickly as I feel my own eyes beginning to well. Finally back in the hotel room, I sit down on the edge of the bed, I think about the events of the day and the little girl who just became a hero in my estimation. The cat was now out of the bag and people were going to have to pay the piper sooner rather than later. Myself being chief among them. First though, some things I needed to get off my chest.
“So, it would seem that some people in this company have issues with my abuse of the english language. They find it offensive, I’m not sensitive enough and should do more to make sure that the way I speak is suitable to all audiences. How in the actual fuck did you survive in the real world princess?! I mean if your psyche is that damaged or fragile, you really need to get back into your bubble. You know, your safe place. Because all the goddamned snowflakes are going to melt if they try to live outside that bubble. It’s not safe outside that bubble, is it kids? No, there are mean and evil people out there that want to hurt you. Especially after you cause them to be disqualified by hitting your old lover with a chair. Then, obviously without a single synapse firing you decided to hit me with a chair.
Were you even considering the fallout from that single action Raven? You hit Silas, sure I get that, he’s a prick who can’t wrestle. Doesn’t know how to treat women, he’s a clueless buffoon. So I understand why you attacked him. When you did the same to me though, you had already cost me my shot at the WCCA U.S. title match, but then you had to go and pour salt on the wound. See kiddo that’s where things get a bit messy with me. I don’t play well with others Autumn, you’re about to find out what that means. Poor Autumn, she thinks she knows what it’s like to be broken. She’s about to find out what it’s like to broken by a master of his craft. Whether it’s before your match, during your match or if we should face one another in the second round. No more free passes for anyone.
Despite the fact that the company has given Silas and Autumn a free pass in this tournament. Despite the fact that Jon fucking Stewart is stacking the deck against me once again. I’m going to succeed. We are going to succeed. While Silas and Autumn get ready for the “mystery team” that they will face. That amounts to a couple of jobbers I’m sure, so in effect they get a first round bye. Tobias and I don’t get that luxury, we get “The Entourage” in the first round. Now I could sit here and talk about each and every team in this tournament but no that would be a little too much. To be honest, the biggest majority of the teams in this thing are not worth talking about.
What is worth talking about is The Hostile Takeover. Tobias and I, that’s what everyone is talking about. One of the most unlikely tag teams to ever grace a CWF ring. I say grace for a reason, anyone who has seen one of our matches should feel blessed to have seen poetry in motion. Perfection personified. We are all that and a bag of fucking chips! You don’t have to believe me, all you have to do is sit back on your fat asses and bare witness to the greatness that is….us. He is the best technician in this industry today, bar none, he did something that no one else in this god forsaken company could do. He fought to a draw with the champ. What happened next was unfortunate, he got screwed over by one of our own. That will be resolved in time. Now they have to deal with one of the most technically sound competitors in our business today, teamed with one of the most explosive high flyers to ever lace ‘em up.
More importantly, much more important than who we are or what we’re capable of. The more important aspect is what we represent. What The Hostile Takeover represents as a whole. We represent the future, it’s not just about watching the company burn to the ground. If that’s all it was, we would have been done a long time ago. To set it on fire and watch it burn would take minutes, not weeks or months. No, we have always had an agenda and there has always been a plan in place. For some people though, the plan is not that important, it’s all about maiming and sacrificing everything for the sake of themselves. Some people can’t think past their next move. Thinking in a holistic manner is beyond the scope of their intelligence, and to them I’m sure it’s beyond the scope of their mission. We are coming up on the end game, I wonder if anyone knows the difference between right and wrong anymore. Evil is a matter of perspective, not a matter of fact or personal opinion.
From the Rishel family perspective, Loki is evil, I doubt anyone would argue that after the last evolution. From Dorian and Chloe’s perspective, I’m evil for what I did to Dorian and continue to do to him. Tobias is evil by association much like the current version of Ataxia is considered evil by association. That mask, it doesn’t make it fair or right to hate someone because of a “symbol” for lack of a better term. Even though we do this every day in this country and others. Symbols have a way of evoking anger and fear. Symbols themselves are not necessarily evil but those are the ones we focus on. Jon Stewart, they don’t know you like I know you, like Trent Steel knows you. I know what you do when you’re off your meds, I know that Trent is dreading it if it happens. Not me bagman, I hope for it every day, I want to be the one that ends you when you go off. Put that mask on and I’ll be there to torment you like Trent’s son does to Rolash. I can and will match your brand of evil. So, come on out and play….Frand.