Atlantic City was a buzz with the kind of active crowd you'd expect for a resort city known for its Casinos, Boardwalk and Beaches. At least one particular individual was not enjoying the sights, sounds and overall experience of the 'World's Famous Playground'. The mild-mannered unmasked alter ego of Impakt, Zach, sat at an exterior table of the Breadsticks Cafe & Grill on the renowned Boardwalk. He constantly scanned the faces of the plethora of passers-by, looking for someone specific but not sure who that person was. With each passing moment he grew more and more anxious. Laid out in front of him were series of still photos, each one of himself depicting a candid moment of him travelling between CWF events. More importantly they were of him unmasked. With the photos was a simple note with a given time and place to meet up. The message was simple, it read;
'I know who you are.'
And that brought Zach to his current predicament.
Safe to say he was more than a little worried. Not just from this new development and possible unwanted revelation of his true identity and thus his origins, but also the current issues with the CWF and the gradual stagnation of his own budding career.
Sure he claimed to not be in it for the victories of the championship gold, but when your given opportunity after opportunity and always end up falling short, well it takes its toll. Especially when it feels as if the other talent, and the fans, just aren't taking him seriously.
"God I wish I could quick-save"
In that brief moment of distraction, focused more on reflection and introspection then his surroundings, a figure broke away from the masses and approached Zach's table. The young man didn't notice until the figure was looming above him. It wasn't the most pleasant individual that's for sure. The newcomer wore a full body-length trench coat, trying to mitigate the rather sizable paunch, had a grizzled face matted with a set of rather patchy dark facial hair, thinning dark hair and a musty cigarette held precariously between his lips.
"What do you want?" Zach asked, his nervousness dissolving into actual concerns for his own safety.
Uninvited the figure took a seat at the table and ordered a Budweiser from the waitress.
"Gotta hand it to you, Zachy-Boy. You were one of my easier jobs." The man spoke with a distinct southern drawl in between long drags of his cigarette. "Though I'm not a fan of all the travelling."
"Who are you? Why have you been following me?"
"The name's John Kreese. I'm a PI and your Pa hired me to track you down. He is sick with worry, afraid you might do something stupid."
That surprised Zach. Unless his dad was really concerned about the possible damage to his name and legacy...
John Kreese eagerly accepted his ordered drink and chucked back a good swig. The alcohol now on his breath was not enough to battle the putrid cologne he had chosen to douse himself with.
"Yeah. Makes me wonder, considering your wrestling pedigree, and your family man, what was with the whole masked get-up? You looked like a Nerdy-Gimp looking for a fun night out. But regardless, it got me thinking. You so desperate to hide your face, perhaps others might be a bit more interested in these photos."
"Don't! Please..." Zach was starting to see everything he had tried to achieve crumble in an instant.
"I'm many things, but I'm not heartless. Greedy and lecherous. But not heartless. I could be convinced to keep these photos under wraps, from your Pa, Media outlets, and other possible parties. If you can make it worth my while..."
"But I don't have much to offer. It's not like I can jut run around smashing pots and pick up currency!"
"Well..." Kreese scrunched his face up in confusion, trying to process that last comment. "You better think up something quick son. Otherwise your Pa'll be dragging you back home by the ear for a right hiding."
"Can I at least have some time to put something together?"
Kreese took an extra long draw of his cigarette, then yet another hearty drink, purposefully drawing his asnwer out in an attempt to create tension and intimidate the boy.
"Oh alright. But only cause I like you kid. You have until the end of the Paradise event. You look bright. I'm sure you'll figure it out."
John Kreese puts out what little remains of his cigarette on one of the photos of Zach, finishes off his beer and then just up and left, some how picking his way through the crowd seamlessly despite his awkward gait. It took Zach a minute to realise the douche-bag had left him to deal with the bill.
"God damnit! This isn't fun anymore. This is as messed up as Mass Effect 3! No matter what choices make make, it'll all end the same way..."
Things were getting from bad to worse in an express elevator. It would take some seriously drastic course of action to have any sense of hope of rectifying the situation.