“Hey, I’m really glad you’re here.”
Alaina Troy-Ryan, blue eyes hidden behind polarized aviators, tilts her head to the right and looks at her big sister - three years her senior - with a smile. The two Troy sisters recline in chaise lounges not far from the ocean’s edge, hiding from the Mexican sun for the time being underneath a thatched roof hut. Cecilia Ryan and Ami Rayne sunbathe on blankets not far from their mothers while Dan Ryan and Kaz Rayne toss a frisbee a little further down the beach. Tyler Rayne is yet to arrive in Cancun; business in San Diego has held him up.
“Me too,” Alaina replies. “It’s been nice to get away for a bit; CWF’s tour coming through the Caribbean’s been a nice incentive. Plus,” her grin widens, “it’s kind of a special occasion.”
“The glorious reformation of the Inner Circle!” Lindsay exclaims, half-joking, holding her arm out in triumph. “Cue the trumpets!”
“Wrong company,” her sister deadpans. “You all don’t have a herald.”
The Inner Circle is also known for their inside jokes.
“Really, Lanni.” Lindsay’s tone shifts from jovial to serious. “You hardly ever come out for shows. This is a big deal to me.” She reaches out her hand and grasps her sister’s, giving it a squeeze. For all the years that she’s been a professional wrestler, the times that Alaina would come to see her perform were few and far between. A big reason had to do with work schedules; in addition to running their father’s company, Alaina was a lawyer and handled Dan’s professional affairs. Another, of course, was being a parent. And, to a lesser - but probably the most personal - extent, Alaina couldn’t stand to see Lindsay run the risk of getting hurt. And get hurt she did, far too many times to count, for a myriad of reasons, over endless crusades, against a spectrum of foes.
Growing up, Lindsay Troy was always bailing Alaina Troy out of trouble. Their family was a broken one; mother passed on early, their father a few years later. The girls were raised by their mother’s sister and brother-in-law; the same uncle who would train the Queen in martial arts and start her on her path in combat sports; she would later find an in via this path to the world of professional wrestling. The same uncle whose gym Lindsay now owns and runs, who passed on himself not that long ago.
Alaina returned her sister’s hand squeeze and does her one better, patting Lindsay’s hand with her own. “I couldn’t miss you and Dan teaming up. It’s all Cecilia’s been talking about.”
A laugh now. “Of course. Why am I not surprised?”
“She’s so excited, Lindz.”
“Are you talking about me?”
Lindsay and Alaina look over to Cecilia, who has turned around from her towel to peer at them.
“Was just about to tell your mom that she might have to buckle you into your seat in a couple days once your dad and I face off against Mia and Duce.”
“Oh man, Auntie Lindz, I can’t wait.” Cecilia pushes up to her knees and falls back to her heels. She pushes her long, blonde hair out of her face and squints at her aunt and mother, the sun in her eyes. “Daddy’s gonna powerbomb Mia right through the ring and she’ll coughing up sand for the next week, and you’re gonna get Duce back for that chairshot after he aggro’d out like a little bitch baby, and then…”
"Cecilia!" Alaina reprimands the 16 year old's language, but Lindsay just nods, thoughtfully.
“Kid’s not half bad….”
“Here’s something I don’t understand, Mia.”
Lindsay Troy sits in the living room area of a beachfront rental home in Cancun, dressed nicely in a colorful sleeveless V-neck maxi dress and sandals. It’s a little before dinner time, and it’s safe to say that her brood and the Ryan clan are gathered elsewhere for the time being. Rest assured, someone will have a drink waiting for her once this is over and done with. For the time being, duty calls, and given the crew’s schedule with the outdoor location and shooting film for promotional packages, the Queen was more than happy to oblige the camera techs with a later-in-the-day promo vid.
Lindsay Troy: Why are the threads of my family tree so complicated for you? I have a sister, she’s married to Dan. That’s how in-laws work. And before they were ever introduced, Dan and I were colleagues and friends. That’s it; that’s the story. There’s no “creepy vibe” between he and I that you seem to want to make appear out of thin air. We broke the When Harry Met Sally trope and proved that, yes, men and women can just be friends without ever sleeping together. I know this must really be a novel concept for you, just like not talking around in squiggles and zig-zags is.
Maybe “creepy” is all you’ve ever known, though, given the company that you currently - and formerly - keep. Maybe you’re just a little jealous of the camaraderie we have, because you’re still wondering what the deal is with Taxy, and he’s your only FRAND still here. I don’t count Duce; what you two have is just an alliance of convenience.
Somewhere, Rainn Wilson is nodding his head and saying, “It’s True.”
Lindsay Troy: But hey, (she shrugs) who am I to judge? You want to skip to your loo with the Christopher Nolan “Scarecrow” reject? No skin off my nose.
Maybe all you really want is a family of your own, but the Shadow took that away from you, didn’t he? So now that you have next to nothing and no one; now that the family that’s staring right back at you is the one that you’re gonna try - in vain - to tear down, all you can think to do is throw around a bunch of nonsense and try your hand at the art of misdirection. ‘Cuz that’s what people like you do when their backs are against the wall: they get desperate.
You wanted to know what happened to my “code of conduct?” I’d ask how you even knew I had one to begin with, or are you just making assumptions? Did you call up my “niece” MJ Flair to get the 411 Inside Skoop? Is this something you gleaned from my many matches here in Ye Olde See Dubya Eff? Or is that just The Crazy talking and you’ll be able to write it off as such later?
We wonder. We really do.
Troy takes a sip from the water bottle, then continues.
Lindsay Troy: Lots of people in this place like to claim that I “whine and complain” and, quite frankly, the math just doesn’t add up. I might’ve lost to Paradine at Vertigo but he was the one who pitched a fit on the mic to the fans after that match; who was the one whining and complaining there, Mia? I beat Silas at Golden Intentions for the Paramount Title and who was the one crying after his match last week, blubbering on about a rematch “at an agreed upon time?” Wasn’t this girl.
People can keep bringing up the circumstances of my Golden Intentions win all they want, as if I care about the possibility of an asterisk when Silas Artoria is the walking, talking, personification of one with the little friend who lives in his head. He wanted a challenger and I answered the call, plain and simple.
See, I don’t care if people like me or not; when are you going to get it through your head? That’s why I can cut a promo that you clearly took exception to prior to the Superwoman Battle Royal, tell the world that I’m so far above and beyond that match, and then go out and put on a clinic with Mary-Lynn Mayweather instead.
It’s why I can bounce back from losses to Nathan Paradine and Zach van Owen, not let that shit bother me, and then beat Silas Artoria.
It’s why I can keep showing up here and grinding, despite what “public perception” there is or however the fans choose to react to me. It’s why I can decide to break off from my pre-match routine and put the fists and the boots to the woman who laid it all on the line at Golden Intentions, and won the damn Rumble, rather than just have ourselves a nice, run-o’-the-mill main event rasslin’ match.
And really, where would be the fun in that?!
Lindsay Troy: Don’t tell me you’re upset about that brawl, Mia. Not you. Not Ms. “Can’t Quit You, Beat You To a Pulp” herself. And the bottom line? End of the day, Dan Ryan and Brandon Youngblood are gonna do whatever they want to do, whether there’s a game afoot or not. All you...all anyone can do...is just hope to make it out of there in one damn piece.
Believe her; she knows from experience.
Lindsay Troy: That’s why your innocuous comments don’t mean squat, Mia. They aren’t riling me up, and they sure as hell aren’t gonna linger after this camera cuts off. There’s no property for rent or purchase in my head.
Duce might’ve White Knighted for you with that save at Evo in Kingston, and you might be tentatively on the same page because Dan and I are occupy spaces on your CWF Enemy Bingo Cards, but you both don’t have the tag chemistry that he and I do.
Now, maybe you’ll get lucky. Broken clocks strike the right time twice a day. Blind squirrels find nuts all the time. But I wouldn’t go to Vegas and put money on it. Not when there are stakes this high.
There won’t be any chairshots this time around, Duce. I hope you felt good about that free shot you got on me at Evo 56, because it’s the only one you’re gonna get. I get it; you got your revenge.
Golf claps all around.
Lindsay Troy: I’m sure you felt good about it. If I were you, I might’ve felt good too. But now I’m gunnin’ for you, kid, doubly hard. Not only do I want that duke back, but now I want that chairshot back too. I want that D-Trigga back. Mia mentioned all those losses I took? She forgot about the one I suffered against you.
I’m not afraid to mention it; I mentioned it once already.
I’m comin’ for you, kid.
And when I’ve got my eyes set on somethin?
Lindsay Troy: No power in the ‘Verse can stop me.
Cut to Black.