June 4, 2019
Mitchell Center: Mobile, Alabama
After the conclusion of Evolution 54
“Hey, ‘tis but a flesh wound. Remember who you’re talkin’ to.”
Lindsay Troy stands over her gear bag and throws a few rolls of athletic wrap and a Tide pen into its depths. Her Yellowhammer Fund shirt from earlier in the evening is draped over a chair; a casualty of Silas Artoria’s cane shot attack when blood from her nose dripped onto its front. The Tide pen is a temporary fix, luckily she had one with her, as well as an extra top, but the shirt will need a better scrubbing in the hotel’s sink or in an actual laundry cycle. It, too, is now tossed into her bag.
The warmth that her voice holds is in stark contrast to the sharpness that’s usually projected when the cameras are on and Evolution is live. For all that the Queen of the Ring is: proud, self-assured, unflappable, and ruthless, she is also caring and protective of those close to her. Some, like Mia Rayne, might mistake her proudness and self-assuredness for cockiness, but to be cocky is to be conceited, and to be conceited is to be vain, and if there is one thing that Lindsay Troy is not, it’s vain.
That’s a trait more up Silas’s alley.
“Ceese, I’m good,” Troy assures her niece, and can’t help but smile a little at Cecilia Ryan’s concern. “You know these things happen, and if this is what you want to get into, then it’s something you have to prepare yourself for. We’ll tal-- Hang on a sec.”
A knock on her locker room door turns her head to the right as Dan Ryan sticks his massive frame partway through the threshold. He tilts his chin up in acknowledgement. “You ready?”
Lindsay lifts her curls away from her ear and taps an Airpod that’s nestled there. She mouths, “Meet you outside.” A nod from the Ego Buster and he departs.
“That was your dad. Anyway, we’ll talk more when I see you next, alright? I don’t want to keep him waiting. … Love you too.”
The call ends and all the phone paraphernalia is placed away in her clutch. Zippers whiz into place, Troy yanks the bag to the floor and heads for the door, making sure to grab Silas’s cane off a bench before she leaves the room. She walks carefully, her ankle secured expertly in her boot by her own two hands. Not because she didn’t trust the CWF doctors, but she didn’t want to give Artoria the satisfaction of knowing he sent her to the med wing, even for something as minor as a wrapped-up ankle.
Through the winding corridors, toward the back entrance of the Mitchell Center the Queen goes, until she’s out the door and into the staff and wrestlers’ parking lot. Dan Ryan waits by the car, their driver also outside to take Lindsay’s bag from her.
“Need some help, gimpy?”
“Funny.” Lindsay shoots Dan a withering look for that smart-ass question. “Neo left his toy behind. Want me to test it out?”
A smirk. “Not particularly.”
“Good.” She waves the driver off; she can handle putting her own bags in the back, thank you very much. “Listen, I'm not in the mood to talk about tonight. Just get me some food and some drinks, please and thank you.”
"More than fine by me."
June 12, 2019
New Orleans, Louisiana
Pay-per-view day and the adrenaline is high.
Lindsay Troy sits up in the nosebleeds, Silas's cane across her lap, watching the ring crew and the lighting techs set up for the evening’s festivities. Her week’s been productive: training with Cecilia, sparring sessions with Dan, cryo therapy appointments to ensure no lingering twinges in her ankle from "The Psychotic Aristocrat's" rage attack on Evolution 54.
The men and women below scurry around like ants. The Queen watches them for a few moments more, then takes a breath before speaking.
Lindsay Troy: There’s a Latin saying that I’ve long taken to heart. ”Nemo me impune lacessit.”
“No one provokes me with impunity.”
For those that don’t know, it loosely means “those that attack me will not go unpunished.” And it would seem that Silas and I have traded back and forth on this these last two shows. What I will tell you...no, what I will remind you...is that all of this could have been avoided.
On Evolution 52, the Passenger of Pink Eye came out and said he needed a challenger for the Paramount Title and I answered the call. He could’ve told me right then and there that he accepted the match, because that’s what fighting champions do. He wanted to “defend his throne,” right? But no, he had to drag this out unnecessarily, because Silas Artoria is a time waster. He’s a game player with a penchant for dramatics and puffery, who drones on and on to get to … some point ... when he could get there in half the time and without all the blowhardy fanfare.
All this pompousness, and yet...he claimed I expect the world to revolve around me?
Troy scoffs and looks directly at the camera.
Lindsay Troy: Take a look in the mirror, Silas, you egotistical little shit. And while you’re there, ask yourself, you pillowcase wiper, do you want to talk pretty or do you want to crack your knuckles and scrap? Because you talk out of both sides of your mouth, and you want it both ways, and it’s about to come to a very messy end for you.
You wanted me to “do some research?” Well I did, just for you, so here it goes: you don’t respect this business. You have a penchant for leaving shows early. The veterans who give a shit, who’ve put the time in, who ultimately wind up with the respect and admiration of their peers are the first ones in and the last ones out. Now, I don’t give a shit if you respect me or not. It was clear given how things have played out the last two weeks that you weren’t gonna come out the gate for this and “give me my flowers” and “sing my praises.” Even if you did, those words would’ve been hollow because you are nothing if not disingenuous.
Your own mentor had to try to pull you out of the doldrums to make you see the opportunity you had in front of you at Twilight of the Gods, because you were acting like a big ol’ sad sack otherwise. He’s supposed to turn you into a better version of yourself. A better fighter. A better man, maybe? From what I’ve seen, he’s failing.
See, I don’t need a mentor. I don’t need a glorified Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder singing about always letting my conscience be my guide. I’m already a mentor to many; my students seek me out, they have already had successes the world over, and it’s really gonna be a damn shame that after successfully running a gauntlet against CWF’s up-and-comers to keep your belt, you’re gonna slam head first against this brick house.
She’s the one, the only one, built like an Amazon.
Lindsay Troy: Whatever protections you think will save you, won’t. Not bubble wrap, or a seatbelt. Not a crash helmet, or Ito, or a backseat driver. There’s a wreckage coming and I’ll be the one walking away from it with your pretty bauble in my hand.
I didn’t come to CWF because I needed to make a mark; that part’s a given, and my stint here so far might not seem like much when you consult the stat heads. I came to CWF because I was asked and because I was courted, which isn’t something I expect you to know anything about since the only person who seems to want to be around you is Ito. All your other allegiances have disintegrated. Didn’t you once say that nobody, not even your family, knows where you live? What a sad, pathetic life you lead.
My name carries heavy weight; it’s why I can show up in Christopher $t. James’s office on Day One and, without saying a word, the crowd kicks up a fuss because, on sight, they know who I am. It’s why Mike Rolash can call me a has-been back when the fans were cheering me before he got on board the bandwagon because he already knew who I was and what I’ve done. It’s why all the old PRIME guys like Jacob McKail and Hoyt Williams and Bruce Shanahan can come to the place where I’m working because I help elevate CWF’s stature that much higher just by being here.
My legacy is intact.
And now it’s time to start another chapter.
Cut to black