Sacramento, California/Outside of a local library
Star date: 3.14 because who doesn’t enjoy pi?
I, Cheshire am doing something that I haven’t done since the days of VHS tapes. Today, is the day that I brave the public face and do some leg work. Since leaving the employ of Shadow and The Forsaken, it seems that I have to forego my usual reservations and use the company provided room. Unfortunately for us, myself, Mia, and I suppose we can count Loki in for the ride, whomever is in charge of making these accommodations happen is one cheap mother trucker, no offense meant to one Mister Big Rig, who reminds me of that pig character from Captain Planet. You all know the one.
Anyways, to make a seemingly short story even shorter, we, the eclectic being known as Cheshire are without free WiFi. It is 2019 and there are still places in existence without WiFi. You should have seen the look on their faces when I asked about it. It was almost like I told them I enjoy Donald Trump’s crazy rhetoric and feel like he is just saying what’s on his mind. I assure you all, I hate that bastard, but that is beside the point.
So here we are. A public library on a sunny in January street in California. I don’t like the public. The only thing about the public I enjoy is hiding from it. Says the professional wrestler. In the spotlight at least once a week. So what if we’re a hypocrite, at least we own up to it. Not that anyone would REALLY want to fight me on this fact. Apparently I’m quite the ferocious beasty in the ring. I have thusly removed a handful of other people who were here to see if they could steal what will once again be mine. Another visitor to the realm of CWF and I now find myself as gatekeeper, getting rid of the intruders to this realm, MY realm.
CWF. For better or worse, I call you home. Le sigh. I don’t like it when people just think they can show up for an invitational and think they have a claim to our richest prize. It’s ours, not yours. Maybe if you signed a contract to stay here and only here, but no. You’ll take our championship, wave it in the face of your peers, and say, “Looksie what I have! Those peeps will never see this belt again!”
A legacy tarnished and as the Cheshire cat of this realm, I can not allow this to happen. Gate keeper hashtag activated. Did I hashtag right? Ever have one of those moments where that feeling of “old” just creeps up? We had it just now and boy howdy did it suck. You young whippersnappers wouldn’t understand, maybe Impulse will to a certain extent. He seems to be a veteran of the business. Still not allowed to have the richest prize of my realm. It won’t happen and here I am, once again called upon to make sure that it doesn’t.
No wonder I feel like the Gatekeeper of CWF. This is the third week I’m forced to face off against a member of some other random federation, propelling myself forward in this tournament, closer to a predestined match against The Shadow, while giving the boots to Aiden Dempsey, JC Chavez, and this week… “Impulse.” We swear we’ve heard the name before. That and the chickadee he totes around with him…
The hooded figure that has been standing outside of the Sacramento Public Library looks up at the sign and sighs. Despite the afternoon sun she pulls the hooded sweatshirt closer around her and resentfully pulls the hood down from her face. Ensuring no one can spot her, she flicks the sign indicating that wearing a hood inside the public building wasn’t allowed and quickly heads into the old and drafty building. She gives the desk clerk a small smile and in a soft whisper asks where the public computers are.
“Second floor. You’ll need a number and when it is your turn, you’ll only have two hours of internet time. Should you need more time after that, you’ll need another number from the front desk.”
Well, that’s… That’s quite the system. On one hand it’s good due to other people not abusing the interwebz, but on the other, that’s kind of annoying. We don’t think it’s any bother, this shouldn’t involve anything more than the all important and underrated Google search. Oh crap, I think the clerk lady was done. Why are we still standing here?
She smiles, hesitantly, before thanking the confused lady, making her way up to the second floor and a room aptly named, “Computer Lounge.” Sure enough, much to her expectation, her number was already indicated as available for seating. Quickly finding a secluded computer, she opens the browser and gets to work.
Wow. Old Macs. This takes us back to the days of Oregon Trail and having to sit for a class playing it. Yep, that’s the American education system for you. Hop on this computer and play this game that is impossible to beat because it involves survival skills that a full adult would probably struggle to have in this day and age. We were five at this time peeps. There was a lot of death by dissing some dude named Terry. See what we did there? "We’re funny dammit!"
The last sentence is unintentionally said out loud. It was quiet, but still enough for people to look and double take at the figure hunched over the computer screen, her hair tied back in two long and black pigtails, the ends dipped in the deepest of blues. Anyone who was daring enough to look over her shoulder to see what was causing her to snicker to herself as she continues to mumble while scrolling, almost as if to try to hide the fact that she is talking out loud; would see that she has a simple question plugged into the Google Box. “Who is Impulse?”
Of course autocorrect does its thing and amends the question to “What is impulse?” She huffs and curses the lords and ladies of autocorrect before once again changing the question to answer what she is seeking. Finding a link, she clicks on it and starts to read in silence, much to the silent joy of the other patrons of the library.
Let’s see here: All the basics are here. Height, weight, real name. Hahahahaha! Randall Knox. Knox. Knocks. Knox, Knox, jokes. Moving on. Blah, blah, blah. In a relationship with Calico Rose, owns a bar. That sounds familiar too. Like an echo from once upon a time. There has to be more though, doesn’t there? Let’s see here, many different exploits throughout the years. Doesn’t cheat, go him. It’s hard enough out there to win, but to win without bending the rules? That’s a talent not many possess. So, bully for him! Mat technician, high flyer when needed. Trained…
And there it is.
He trained Mariella Jade Flair. Emm Jay mother trucking Eff. That’s why he sounded familiar, Mia and MJ had conversations in the past about their histories. What a funny way to put that, it feels like forever ago though. Maybe that’s why we don’t remember it so well. But the person that trained our greatest rival, Loki’s bitter enemy, is my opponent this week. This wasn’t taken into account for.
What do you mean?
Mia, remember how I told you that I was only just barely able to contain Loki? This might be enough to trigger enough power, enough sadistic rage inside us for Loki to be able to take control. Maybe for a short time since I still have a couple tricks up my sleeve, but still. This… This isn’t good. That’s what I mean Mia. This isn’t good. Loki is going to get her hands on this information, whether we want her to or not as she is a part of us now. I can stall, but she is going to make her play once she figures this out.
OK, so how do we stop her from regaining control?
Oh Mia, you are so sweet and innocent… And naive. The question isn’t about how to stop Loki from coming back. It’s already been written after finding out that Impulse trained MJ, the same person we launched from the ring and injured indefinitely. CWF’s very own hero. Whoopsie. Sorry MJ, wasn’t anything personal, we weren’t ourselves. Anywhosies Mia, the question we need to be asking ourselves is how we can use this all to our advantage. Remember when I told you that in order to take the reigns once again, you would have to learn some lessons? Lesson number one, the obvious question is always wrong. We are unique and we are different. We embrace these traits and bend the realms of reality for those around who think they see things plainly.
Everyone is scared of Loki, but what if we could harness her power and use it for us? We want to be propelled to greater heights, why not use Loki’s rage power to fuel us past Impulse? We both know MJ was tough and Loki only barely scraped by her. This is the person that has trained and probably continues to train her. He might not be out for a personal vendetta, doesn’t seem like the type, but he’s in this tournament for a reason… If we were to eliminate the belt opportunity, this could have the potential to get personal, rather quickly. We don’t know how MJ is doing or that we have taken Loki tentatively out of the picture.
Put all of that aside Mia, we have to make plans to overwhelm Loki when she shows up. She’ll be looking to tear Impulse limb from limb. We won’t let her injure him… Much, but if it took Loki to beat MJ, I’m sure we can use her to beat Impulse as well. Just have to make sure that she doesn’t go TOO far.
So what exactly does this mean? Loki was able to over power me with ease once upon a time, and while this time, I have you at my side, that doesn’t sooth my worries at all. You said it yourself, you only barely contained Loki. The fact that she’s able to over power you to take control again? We can’t really let that happen can we?
Once again Mia, you show you’re naivety. This time is much more different than you apparently even realize. Do you want to know why Loki overpowered you the last time? It isn’t because she’s more powerful, it’s because you were knocked silly by The Aces. You were asleep and Loki woke up inside of you. Don’t you understand? You’re Loki. Loki is you. YOU have the power to put Loki down for good or you can control your emotions and use all of this to your advantage. I will of course be here to help but Mia, this is going to be your wake up call. Your call to arms. This is your time to shine, to show the world that you want to be the one to dominate this realm. I’m nothing but a voice in your head on your trip to your own personal Wonderland.
Perhaps we should continue this conversation elsewhere?
The woman wearing the hoodie on a day that the sun is shining high in a cloudless sky shakes her head briefly. She looks shaken, not stirred as she blinks. She had been staring blankly at the same spot on the computer screen for a couple minutes at least. No one wanted to bother her. Everyone valued their livelihoods and let’s all be honest here. Who among us would ever check on someone staring blankly into oblivion? No one knows if they’re disturbed, violent, unhinged, crazy, or psychotic. No one would risk helping out their fellow human for fear of being looked down upon.
2019, what a time to be alive.
She gets up and walks out of the library, the way she came in, being sure to smile politely with anyone that tried to make eye contact with her. She wasn’t here to start fights was she? No… Not yet. Those with a penchant for detail notice her visibly twitch. Her arm makes a move, as if it wants to move without permission of its owner. A sick and sadistic smile comes over her face and she gets still, which is a feat considering she is still headed toward the exit.
Making it outside she puts her hood up rapidly, keeping her head down as she makes her way back the way she had come. She ducks down a back alley, knowing her route by heart after researching where the library was in relation to her hotel while at the library. Or was her sense of direction just that good? She shrugs off the question, it wasn’t necessary. Muscle memory moves her hand as she finds a dark corner to hide in. A quick and careful search of an inner, hidden pocket of her hoodie, custom added by yours truly reveals a blade normally used for box cutters. The woman has a look of ill intent on her face and there weren’t any boxes in the near vicinity to cut open. Her smile falters though as she rolls up her sleeve and revealing a storybook of scars, a road map to her hatred for herself and an indicator of things to come.
“Not this time Loki. This time is going to be different and the blood you spill will not be our own. Consider this your leash.”
The voice is quiet but powerful. In recent history the voice had not come from this humanly body, period. Confidence is a fickle thing and when it shows up, be ready. It can turn the most timid of mice into the most powerful of predators. Anyone ever see The Great Mouse Detective? Yeah, mice can do great things. A cling can be heard as she watches the blade fall from her fingers and clatters on the ground.
“This isn’t over…”
This voice is the same as the prior, but the tone has changed. Malice and hatred drip from every word, saturating the air around them with a thick fog of sadistic carnage waiting to be had. She rolls the sleeve back down and makes her way back out to the bright street, wishing she had a pair of sunglasses. The smile is back though. That cold and sadistic smile.
It appears that Loki Synn has come out to play.
Well hush my puppies. It seems that Cheshire has made it onto another week of this warfare business.
The richest prize that the CWF has to offer on the pedestal, currently wielded by The Shadow much to the universe’s delight. I’m cool with it, for the most part, I did after all give him said pedestal, gift wrapped and all. I allowed him to have it for a time because it was time for him to step up and be recognized for the champion he is, I mean, look at what happened in his match against Becker! Can we honestly say that he would have been capable of such a feat as that if I hadn’t fired him up by giving him that belt he defends so proudly?
I guess the world will never know. Just like Tootsie Pop conundrum, this too may never be solved. However, before I get too far off topic, we must turn our attentions back to our current week objective. One Impulse, accompanied by Calico Petal… Or something. Truth be told we had no interest in the people we were facing up until this point. Sure, Cheshire is responsible for knocking out two people from different federations, “the best of the best” as it were. It’s in the record books. So far in this tournament I have yet to face someone from my home federation. This is both refreshing and frustrating. I like the change but what right do you have to come into OUR home and fight for a title that most of this roster would give their limbs for even the slightest chance at winning?
Why are you here Impulse? Is it to steal away our richest prize? Is it to steal our big and shiny belt away and hide it where no one will find it ever again? Do you plan on sticking around to defend that CWF title or are you going to show up once in a blue moon to defend a title you have no business competing for in the first place? Why oh why are you here Impulse?
Riddle me this…
Does this have nothing to do with the title? I have a confession for The Confessor guy. I’m the one that spray painted your locker room your first week here with my trademark. I KNEW I’ve heard of you from someplace Impulse, Mister Randall Knox.
You trained MJ Flair. The CWF World Champion before me, the person I picked up high into the air and threw out of the ring like the little lawn dart she is. You are vying for the very title she stood up to protect and should you win it…
Then what? You’ve come so far in this tournament Impulse that I don’t believe that you have a clear direction on where you’re going to end up. What happens when you win that title that your student held so proudly? Do you stick around or do you run away? I don’t know you as a person, neither does Mia, but there is someone else as well that wants to meat you.
We mean “meet” you of course.
We don’t know if Loki will really make an appearance or not, but she kind of wants to and it is unclear on whether or not I’ll be able to hold her back and it’s still questionable that I’ll want to intervene a whole lot. Truth of the matter is, I don’t believe that you belong here Impulse. You came here looking at an opportunity and getting greedy, trying to steal our title to add to your wall of many accolades. I don’t want that to happen.
If Loki has to come out to play in order to make sure that it doesn’t, well… It’s entirely possible I’ll let it slide, just for a little bit. Maybe it gets to the point that your not so touchable petal flower at ringside becomes accidentally touched? Are you willing to let it get that far? I don’t think so and in all honesty I’m not the type of person to let that happen.
So Impulse let me, Cheshire break this down for you. Should you decide to compete to your utmost ability come time for our match, should you try to actually BEAT me… Cheshire will not be willing to accept responsibility for the actions of Loki. You should hear her right now, so eager to get her hands on you, wrap them around your throat and laugh as everyone watches you fade into nothing. You trained our greatest adversary and are thus responsible for her eventual demise by our hands. Does this make things personal between us?
Are you here to ensure that I pay for Loki’s synns or are you just here to be a greedy, greedy man? I’m looking forward to seeing how things play out for you Impulse, I truly am. Usually I’m all about protecting my realm from would be intruders or anyone that wants to threaten my status quo. You? You I feel the need to take extra precautions for. Picture me, Cheshire as I take the key from out of nowhere that holds the fate of one Loki Synn. Watch as I walk over here to this dark place in the dark recesses of poor Mia’s mind where we keep Loki chained away, locked up, never to see the light of day again.
That is unless I, Cheshire, decide to unlock it all. Ooooo, aren’t we all excited to see how this one plays out? I’m not the type of person to hold anyone hostage Impulse, this decision isn’t yours to make. It all relies on the fire of my charge. The indomitable spirit of one Mia Rayne as she wakes up and learns her true power. This is where we find out just how badly she wants that match against Shadow to happen. Does she have what it takes to reign in her emotions and harness the power of her anger? I assure you, I’ve felt it. I know what it’s capable of.
The challenge of taking on MJ’s trainer though. The person that made MJ into the stunning star she is. Or is it was? Oh Impulse! Doesn’t this seem almost poetic to you? You have a chance to slay the monster that took out your student after all. Has a very anime feel to it, don’t you think? Maybe some form of fantasy cartoon perhaps?
I feel the excitement in the cockles of my heart Impulse, and let me tell you why. It’s because of the uncertainty, the fact that I don’t even know what’s going to happen this week. Loki wants you bleeding at her feet. She wants her hands on you because she blames you for MJ, but I’m holding her back because we all know of the destruction that follows. I’m sure we’re all going to be on pins and needles to see this match. Are you ready Impulse? I know that I am.
Loki is too.
Mia just wants you to say hello to MJ for her. Isn’t she sweet?
See you soon.