It was over.
Jack Michaels celebrated his heavily questionable victory in the ring, whist Silas stayed near motionless in the ring, gripping one of his eyes that had been subject to Michael’s jab. It stung like crazy, like a cat clawing skin, to the point that most of his remaining energy was spent keeping his grip on his lens.
Some medics nearby managed to drag Silas off the ring and onto his feet, but they were intelligent enough to know that they should neither help nor impede him. The sight of his gritted teeth confirmed the obvious.
He was seething, both in bitterness and in pain. He kept his hand on his eye as he went through the curtain, and the gorilla position stood silent as the pent up rage of Silas finally blew.
SILAS ARTORIA: WHERE THE HELL IS MICHAELS!?
He clutched both his eye and his ribs; the latter responding to both the exhaustion and the bellowing. Silas’ voice was both commanding and loud, so loud that not only did everyone behind the curtains hear it, you could’ve sworn that the entire concourse heard every word of it. The medics and state hands were in a state of standby, unsure what to make of the furious Artoria’s demand, or if they would get into trouble for continuing their jobs.
Still, one brave souls, a medic, stepped forward and slowly approach Silas. The man was nervous, but calm.
MEDIC: Your eye, Silas?
SILAS ARTORIA: IT’S BLIND THANKS TO THAT CRETI--
MEDIC: No! Silas…
Silas immediately went quiet, and shot a white hot look at the medic’s eye, enough to burn a hole in him. Still, the medic kept calm, and raised both his hands, flat.
MEDIC: ...I mean, can I see your eye? Please?
The sharp, furious breathing was deafening, with Silas still giving his near signature stare at the poor man. He tensed his hands hard, incredibly hard that his fingernails started to dig into his skin.
PASSENGER: Do it.
The blood was running hot through him. His face turned red, and the unwavering and imposing posture had started to make the young medic sweat. His breathing was quickening, the pain in his ribs started to subside, and his teeth gritted harder and harder.
PASSENGER: DO IT!
Silas lowered his hand, and slowly opened his eye.
Deep breath, exhale.
The medic started to examine his stinging eye.
PASSENGER: Why must you always fail? Look at you! A complete mess. You entered a broken man with your most powerful weapon at your fingertips, and you neglected to use it. Why? What do you get out of this, Silas? Is it the joy of being in the illusion of control? Or is it because you feel undeserving of your gift?
The medic lets go of Silas’ eye.
PASSENGER: Pathetic. Utterly pathetic.
MEDIC: Not a good sight. He jabbed his nail in there.
Silas turns calm.
SILAS ARTORIA: Permanent damage?
MEDIC: No, but you’re going to be half blind for a few weeks. Nasty cut.
The medic reaches into his pouch and pulls out some materials. He rest some on the eye while he proceeds to wrap the white bandage around his head.
MEDIC: Good news it that you’ll likely be cleared to wrestle, but the bad news is that this won’t be coming off anytime soon. You’re going to have to come to us every week for a touch up, and we’ll be in constant contact to ensure you are taking care of your eye. Worst case will be that it could go septic.
SILAS ARTORIA: And why isn’t Dr Harmon telling me this?
The question made sense. The man was just a travelling medic, assisting the good doctor on more important matters, while Leggett did the check ups and clearance forms.
MEDIC: Dr Harmon is currently away on vacation.
Silas looked at the medic again, this time feeling a little lost. The good doctor was a good man to talk to, to vent any frustrations he may have to, and which were made easier since the order for regular head checkups was enforced. With him gone, that only left Silas with:
PASSENGER: Just you and me. Wonderful, isn’t it?
Silas froze at the prospect.
He couldn’t be directionless. It would leave him vulnerable, and he was doubtful that the higher-ups would strike down the defeat. He needed something, anything!
His name was called on the television, and slowly but surely, his attention was fixated to an illusive figure. He had never seen him before, but it was clear they were talking directly to Silas.
This ‘C$J’ figure didn’t strike to Silas as a charismatic individual. In fact some of the words coming out of his mouth reminds them of the Passenger in his head; talking about the failures as if it was a checklist and trying to elicit his more ruthless, dangerous side to the surface. The Passenger was a constant presence, while C$J comes across as one of the independent promoters who contacted Silas after his performance in the JWF.
And yet, there was something captivating about him. His presentation, his subjects of choice, how he approached a potential employee. He couldn’t pinpoint it, but he getting drawn into the proposition.
PASSENGER: A desirable direction.
Maybe, but the decision would have to come another time. First, he had to prepare for next week, and considering the perplexing events that happened during the match, he had a good idea what direction the higher-ups had in mind.
The Artoria Compound, the warm study. The door slams open, with a patched up Silas staggering into the high-toned room. His teeth was gritted, and his face was red; almost ready to explode in a fit of relentless anger.
SILAS ARTORIA: Exactly what I needed.
Relatively ground, but it did nothing but maintain the near hostile tone that a fuming Silas maintained from his appearance at the last Evolution. Slowly but surely, he makes his way towards the desk that acted as the centrepiece of the room; walking with great difficulty.
SILAS ARTORIA: It wasn’t enough that I had to suffer the humiliation of exiting the Modern Warfare tournament via an underhanded tactic whose damage is long lasting, but Mr Stewart is content on not only letting it slide, but solidifying the result by booking my match to not leave any room to return to the tournament.
The anger within lingers as he half-sits on the desk itself, spreading his arms across the table to support himself. He looks at the floor for several seconds, before deep breaths finally place him back on earth.
SILAS ARTORIA: Still, we cannot wallow on the past; I’ve done it too many times in my short amount of time in the company, and I’ve paid varying degrees of prices. I have to move on, I’ve got too many questions on my mind.
He brandishes a list. Matches. Next week's matches to be exact.
SILAS ARTORIA: Like this!
He points to his match. A tag team match against the champions, with KC3 listed as his teammate.
SILAS ARTORIA: I understand that Mr Davidson the Third, or KC3, has taken some interest in the matches that I partook in, but is it necessary to pair the two of us together to see if something comes from it!? It’s bound to cause conflict and I know it will. Just look at the two of us!
He drops the list and counts each point with his fingers.
SILAS ARTORIA: He applies a jack-of-all-trades style to his matches while mine emphasises power, his personality is held up by ego while I dropped mine a while ago, even out music tastes are different! It would be like listening to Chopin before suddenly turning on A Flock Of Seagulls! It’s that jarring!
He drops the counting.
SILAS ARTORIA: We’re both in luxurious positions thanks to our families, but he doesn’t invest in outside ventures unrelated to our sport! At least, I haven’t seen such. I might be wrong, but the point still stands.
He slowly walks over to a nearby seat, and slowly sits down, clenching his teeth in pain doing so.
SILAS ARTORIA: Still, I cannot ignore that my current condition would prefer the current stipulation. Fractured ribs and now a cut eye--thanks for that Mr Michaels. Kisses!
A deep high escapes him.
SILAS ARTORIA: I guess I could teach this undisciplined individual a thing or two. He’s talented, but the young man could learn a thing or two from someone whom has been around in this company for nearly a year and a half.
He looks at the lens.
SILAS ARTORIA: And it’ll be lessons that need to be learned quickly, considering the accolade Sanctioned Violence have. They didn’t get the tag titles for being chumps, they got it for simply dominating the division to become the kings of the mountain, and regardless of what they do in the match, our performance must be near peak.
He scrunches his eyes, stinging pain shooting within him.
SILAS ARTORIA: It might be difficult considering my condition, I’ve effectively lost an eye for gods sake, but the performances of Tobias of Nathan are ones to be admired. They’re tough, ruthless, and possess stunning chemistry that has exploded them onto the scene. We’re going to get hurt, we’re possibly going to have bones broken, but this whole thing will be a learning experience for each and every one of us.
He leans closer.
SILAS ARTORIA: Because if any of you think that fractured ribs and a lost eye would keep me down, then you don’t know the resolve I possess. I fought through an Ironman Match, and trudging through sixty minutes non-stop teaches you a lot about your abilities and your strengths.
He sits back.
SILAS ARTORIA: I half look forward to the match. I just hope KC3 doesn’t do anything rash or idiot.
The scene cuts out.