“Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
“I've been down to London to visit the Queen
“Pussycat, pussycat, oh what good luck!
“I arrived just in time just to hear you say -”
We duck. And just in time - a moment later the guard passes by, ignoring Eris and I as we sit hidden in the bushes.
Buckingham Palace. London. December, 2018.
Eris: Is he gone?
Omega: I think so.
Eris: You're going to get us shot one of these days, you know that?
Omega: Perhaps. But at least we'd make the evening news. Fame at last!
Eris: ...you're literally about to appear on a global pay-per-view…
I save my hand distractedly. They sigh.
Eris: Run this by me again?
Omega: The country has been plunged into chaos - well, more chaos. Chaoser and chaoser.
Two and a half years ago the British people had a referendum on whether or not to be part of Europe. Never ones to let basic geography get in the way, the good people of this country voted to take power back from a group of unaccountable bureaucrats and self serving bastards in Brussels and hand it to another group of equally unaccountable bureaucrats and self serving bastards in Westminster. Because democracy and England and Churchill and tea and stuff.
Since then the government's made such a festering bollock of the entire affair that even people who voted to leave are sick of it, people who wanted to remain are even sicker, and in general people just want the whole sorry mess to be sorted out. This is where I come in.
Eris: Why you?
Omega: It's pretty clear Mrs May has all the charisma and capability of a cabbage that just had an unfortunate accident with a threshing machine. The rest of the Tories are just as bad. J-Corbs is too busy fighting his own party, the Greens have more chance of convincing Jeremy Clarkson to embrace tofu than ever taking power, UKIP have gone full far-right -
Eris: More like far-SHITE, amirite?
Omega: - very much so. The national parties are too divided, the Lib Dems have so few supporters they could hold a national conference in a phone booth while that phone booth was being put in a garbage compactor. Time for Little Miss O!
Eris: Hang on a minute. Didn't you try to launch a coup before? Didn't go so well as I recall.
Omega: How do you know about that?
Eris: Dude. You were an internationally recognised pro wrestler and drove a neon pink tank into Parliament Square.
Omega: Oh yeah. That. But this time it'll be totes different!
Eris: How so?
Omega: Last time I tried to rally the support of the unwashed masses. This time I'm going straight to the top. Liz 2 herself.
Eris: Right….and what makes you think she'll listen to you as opposed to, you know. Having us locked up or shot?
Omega: Look, I never said there wasn't a downside. Anyway, the guards have gone now. Leg it!
We charge across the lawns outside the Palace, leaping into a bush next to the building and lying in wait a moment. Slowly, once it sounds like the coast is clear, Eris and I clamber up and into an open window, landing in some nondescript room. We stay silent, inch our way to the door, listen out for passersby. Nothing. I nod, and the two of us exit, silently edging our way down the corridor. Just out of sight, we can hear a tour group making their way round the palace. Eris turns to me, mouths something.
They roll their eyes. We continue on down the corridor, ducking down one way, then another. We turn left, right, then left again.
Omega: This is it!
I open the door triumphantly, to reveal…
A storage closet.
Omega: Oh bollocks.
Eris: Are you sure you're reading the map properly?
I hand then the map. Eris squints at it.
Eris: On first examination this would not appear to be a map at all. On second examination it would appear to just be a photo of the Palace with “Queen lives here!” scrawled on it in crayon.
Omega: That's one way of looking at it.
Eris: Is there another way of looking at it?
Omega: None that immediately spring to mind.
They sigh. Eris takes out their phone, starts to Google for maps of the palace, chatting as they go.
Eris: So let's say you were to become Prime Minister -
Omega: I don't want to be Prime Minister.
Eris: Isn't that literally the entire reason we're here?
Omega: To take power? Yes. But Prime Minister is such a mundane term. I prefer Supreme Excellency, Yeoman, Bishop, Empress, Ambassador, Sovereign, Tyrant. SExYBEAST for short.
Eris: ...how long did it take you thinking that one up.
Omega: I had a lot of down time while you were with Cali, okay?
Omega: Anyway. I do have some policy proposals in place. Weed will be not only legal, but compulsory. The foxhunting ban will be lifted - groups of foxes will be allowed to chase and kill aristocrats freely. Arm the poor. Eat the rich - a banker on every Christmas dining table. And then there's the Fuxit plan.
Omega: That's for later. Patience, my dear Eris. Any luck on the map?
Eris: I….it seems like the royal dining room is a few corridors down. It's nearly lunch time, maybe we could try there?
Omega: Let's do it like a doing thing.
Eris opens the door a tiny crack, checks the coast is clear. We edge out of the closet and make our way down the corridor, keeping an eye out for guards, tour groups and the po-po. As we walk my mind starts to wander.
So much has changed over the past years.
CWF returned to our lives in the summer of 2017. Rish put out the call, and my lover and I answered. Rish might be a self serving, corporate little shit, but he's OUR self serving, corporate little shit. Suddenly the Academy, the little family we had built up while the fed was in hibernation, was thrust into the public eye.
Yusuf. Eris. And James, innocent James, so young and unprepared for what the world would throw at him. Sometimes I still see him in my dreams. Sometimes I wake up crying.
We experienced highs, ever so many and ever so beautiful. Caledonia, Highlander, even Jace Valentine became part of the family as it grew. Eris and Cali took the gold, the Academy itself became home to shows watched by millions.
Yet moving within all this was the Institute. Elisha, Sahn, Sunset, Ouroboros. Our home was left in ruins, friendships devastated.
And now things come full circle. Back to CWF. And back with Eris once more. This time fighting not for ourselves or for gold, but for the company itself.
As we approach the royal dining rooms I can just about make out the murmur of chatter from within. I glance at Eris, who mouths at me.
I press my ear to the door. Voices can be heard within, refined, elegant, the clink of plates and cups and cutlery.
“I wouldn't be so sure of that.”
We turn. Standing behind us is a large, uniformed man in a suit, a badge identifying him as chief of security. Half a dozen police stand behind him, guns drawn. He nods and they surge forward, tackling me and Eris to the ground. I wince as they snap the cuffs on. They drag us to our feet and march us down the hall, past one tour group after another, down a small flight of stairs. The man opens a door and we enter, thrusting the two of us inside. The police remove the cuffs from Eris and I then back off.
CoS: Do you two have any idea the trouble you're in!? Trespass, treason, conspiracy to commit -
Omega: Look! We're just here to talk to Mrs Windsor, we've got a plan to resolve all this Brexit nonsense, if you could just -
I reach into my pocket to retrieve the paper. Nothing.
Omega: Oh shitbollocking fucknuggets. It must have fallen out when you arrested us. But listen, it's called the Fuxit plan. All we need to do is -
CoS: Save it. We'll be back with you shortly.
He exits, the police following after, locking the door behind them.
Omega: Look on the bright side.
Eris: Bright side?
Omega: At least we have each other.
Eris: We already had each other. But we also had other stuff. Daylight, for example.
Omega: A bourgeois indulgence.
Eris: Why is it all your plans end up this way?
Omega: That is not true! Name one other time I got you in trouble!
Eris: Well there was the time you dragged us to East Garforth just so you could make some stupid pun about bees...
Omega: Apart from that.
Eris: ...and the time you got us both locked up in Scotland on suspicion of malicious mischief...
Omega: And that.
Eris: ...and then there was the flugelhorn incident...
Omega: I told you, that was not my fault! That lady swore she was a rabbi!
Eris: Fine. How about the time you tricked me and all your closest friends into fighting a secret war against a vicious, totalitarian cult that ended with James being killed, Highlander missing, his marriage with Caledonia in tatters, our home in ruins and the only true family I've ever known falling apart around me?
Omega: I....wait, what?
Eris: Never mind.
I stare at them. They turn away.
Omega: Eris. Talk to me.
Eris: Look. You did what you had to do. And it worked out in the end - Elisha is detained, Cali and Dan are back together, our home is being rebuilt. Just....promise me. Please. No more secrets, no more lies. I can't go through that again.
I feel my eyes fill up.
Omega: You know I can't promise that. We all have secrets. Some are best left hidden. But I can promise you that I will never put you and the others in danger again. From now on if we fight, we fight as a team. A family.
Eris: Good enough.
Eris: So. Assuming we actually get out of here and they don't just lock us up. Hostility?
Omega: Hostility used to be a wrestling company back in the day. After CWF shut down in the early 2010s, some of the old crew launched an invasion. Hostility shut down, CWF came back. And now some of their old stars are looking to return the favour.
Eris: I saw what they did to you and Elijah before Northern Crown. Looking to make a name for themselves by taking out two members of the Hall of Fame.
Omega: Yes. Then we fought them at Northern Crown. They walked out with the titles. But this is way beyond gold. My lover and I might not be full time in CWF any more, but it's our home and always will be. We're fighting for survival. The company is under siege.
There is a thud as the bolt of the door slides open. The chief of security stands in the doorway, clearly frustrated. Eris and I jump to our feet.
CoS: You are free to go.
Omega: How dare you!? We are citizens, we have rights!
Eris: Omega -
Omega: You'll never get away with this, you can imprison the body but you will never chain the spirit!
Eris: Omega -
Omega: FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL! WE SHALL NOT -
Eris: OMEGA! He said we can go.
Omega: Oh. Cool. Why?
CoS: Direct orders from on high.
He gestures and we make our way out of the cell, back up the stairs and onward through the palace. As we proceed, we pass by the dining rooms again. I can just about make out the voices coming from within.
"So this...Fuxit Plan. It involves Britain actually leaving the planet?"
"Yes, Your Majesty. Eventually the entire solar system. Apparently this would allow us to 'take back control'.”
“And this - what's this word?”
"I see. Well....it's hardly the worst idea one has heard so far this year. Hardly even in the top ten. Place it in the 'B' pile."
"Of course, your majesty."
Omega: SExYBEAST prevails.