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Twisted Experience and TCW - View topic - Friction: Darkness & Freya vs Matt Strikmore & PD
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 Friction: Darkness & Freya vs Matt Strikmore & PD 
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Post Friction: Darkness & Freya vs Matt Strikmore & PD

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Post Re: Friction: Darkness & Freya vs Matt Strikmore & PD
Darkness massaged his arm as he sat silently in his locker room. The fluorescent light above his head flickered uncertainly. It wasn't what he was used to, but he'd recovered in far worse places. He removed the leather driving glove that covered his prosthetic, hiding the join and improving the overall illusion that he remained able-bodied. Everyone knew, but he didn't like to remind them of his weakness.

He gave a tug, winced, and the plastic hand came free. Beneath it was the bare stump, the flesh weirdly smooth and pink, a band of chafing around his wrist where the prosthetic attached. There was a kind of plug protruding through his skin that led to a wire that ran all the way up his arm, twined its way around his deltoid, up so it was threaded alongside his spinal column and then into his brain, where the motor functions he would have used to control his left hand triggered the mechanical movements of the false hand. A thin, silvery scar traced all the way up the back of his arm, onto his shoulder and up the back of his neck. The procedure had taken hours. He could easily have died.

But he needed to be strong, at least on the surface. He needed to remain a viable leader. People wouldn't believe in a one-handed man, but they might believe in a one-handed man who was possessed of enough determination to put his life in danger to keep on fighting for them.

"Hey." Freya poked her head around the door and, instinctively, Darkness folded his arm across his stomach so the stump was hidden.

"Hey," he answered after a second.

"Quite a beating you took out there."

"At least mine was from a human."

"Hey, I'm not human either. Monkey or man, makes no odds to me."

"Orang-utans are apes."

"So I hear."

Freya entered the locker room and sat down on the bench beside Darkness. She had to move his ECF Title to sit down and took it in her hands for a moment, looking down at the white belt critically. "A little ostentatious," she pronounced after a few moments, handing it over to Darkness.

"It's not the belt that matters – it's what it represents."

"Being the Champion of a dead promotion?"

"There are worse things to be champion of than the dead."

"Cryptic."

"You wouldn't have me any other way."

"No, I suppose not," she sighed. "DeSean came close to beating you tonight though."

"Close, but not close enough. He wanted to make a point, but I made mine first."

"Which was?"

"I'm the Champion."

"You planning to stay champ forever, champ?"

Darkness shrugged. "I see no reason why not."

"Yeah, but lots of other people do. Eventually, someone has to topple you, or this whole thing is a farce."

Darkness cocked an eyebrow. "Since when did you care about wrestling being a farce?"

"I dunno. I'm not saying Strikmore's right or anything..."

"It would be hypocritical if you did – after all, you've held the Bleeder Title as long as I've held the World Titles."

"Yeah, but the Bleeder Title's different..."

"Is it?"

"Yeah. You don't build a promotion around a gimmick belt. Look, like it or not, Buffy, TCW is in trouble. We're refugees, for Old Wolf's sake."

"Does that make any difference to us? You've lived on the streets and I've spent most of my life walking the Earth. We have no homes to lose."

"True, but it's not just about us. The longer we stay aloof, the more antsy the undercard gets, and the more dangerous our position gets. It’s all part of the same pattern. Life's rich tapestry and all that."

"Life isn't a tapestry."

"I know you like to think you make your own destiny, Darkness, but you're still just one thread. Maybe yours goes further, or it's more important, or more brightly coloured – I don't know, this metaphor isn't exactly holding up here – but the same rules apply. You can't get far without ensuring the rest of the threads are supporting you. Or something...you know what I mean."

He nodded. "I do understand, but I make no apologies for what I am. Men like Strikmore and DeSean will never be content."

"Matt's a nice guy, you know."

"I see little evidence for that. He's a child, lashing out at what he doesn't understand. He's devoted himself to an absurd ideal of manhood, pursuing a career in a sport that will cast him aside at the first opportunity. I respected him once, but now I'm not so sure."

Freya looked disturbed by Darkness's words. "That's a little...condescending...Buffy. Not everyone wants to save the world."

"Well they should." He stood up and reached for his belts, but forgot he didn't have his prosthetic attached. With a grunt, he shouldered the 411fed Title and grabbed the ECF strap with his good hand. "Or have the decency to get out of the way of those that do. My opponents have a simple choice: lay down, or be an obstacle to be run through. That's a lesson I taught Infinity, a lesson I taught DeSean and, if needs be, a lesson I will teach Matt Strikmore."

"And what happens if you can't run through him?"

"Then let him live with the blood of mankind on his hands. I make no apologies: I simply do what I must."

* * *

Not so far away, Strikmore was also recovering. He was still shaking, clenching and unclenching his fists. He stormed towards the cracked mirror hanging on its wall of painted breezeblocks. He looked at himself, and saw a middle-aged man looking back. He remembered being a youngster when he came in, fresh-faced, smiling, not a grey hair in sight. TCW had taken its toll. His neck wouldn't ever feel right again, and he bore the scars of wars with Drakus. There were bags under his eyes, and the skin he had once kept free of stubble now bore a distinct five o'clock shadow. Funny he'd think of Drakus right now: he was actually starting to look a bit like him.

"What the hell happened?" he asked the stranger in the mirror, not sure exactly what he was asking about.

There was a knock on the door and Strikmore turned around. He ran a hand across the wave of hair that flopped down onto his forehead (where the hell do you go to get a trim in China anyway? Do they have barber shops, or is there some kind of factory where you all line up to get the same haircut?) and cleared his throat. "Come in."

The door opened slowly and a familiar face loomed into view. "Hey, Matt."

Strikmore relaxed slightly. "Cameron. Hey."

PD stepped into the room and looked around. "This is where the Transcontinental Champion has to get ready for his match?"

"Apparently." Strikmore remembered something suddenly, a half-thought that had been pushed to the back of his mind almost as soon as it happened. "Look, Cam, I promise you I didn't even see Twisted at Havoc. I had no idea he got involved."

PD waved a hand. "Don't sweat it. I got even with him. Water under the bridge."

"Yeah, I saw you guys out there. I guess you still got the moves." He wanted to add a playful 'old man', but he didn't know how PD would react to that.

"Thanks. Hey, but this isn't a social call. Deng wants to see you."

"Oh...oh right. Do you know what it's about?"

"Nope."

"Guess there's only one way to find out." Strikmore headed for the door and PD held it open for him. "Heh...age before beauty," he said, holding out a hand to PD instead.

PD gave him a strange look, but went through first anyway. Strikmore grimaced as he took a second to lock the door behind him. He didn't trust the lock at all, but it was all that stood between his worldly possessions and anyone that might want to take them. Security didn't seem to be much of a priority around here.

* * *

"Thank you for coming, Mr. Strikmore."

"Not a problem." He took a seat opposite Deng's desk. TCW's new owner looked completely composed in his suit, and Strikmore suddenly felt three times as filthy in his unwashed Flash shirt and wrestling tights. Stern was nowhere to be seen.

"Will that be all, Mr. Deng?" PD asked from the door.

"No, Cameron. I'd appreciate it if you stayed."

"All right."

PD didn't take a seat, he just stepped into the room and folded his arms. Strikmore was uncomfortably aware of the larger man looming behind him somewhere.

"Mr. Strikmore, your success in TCW is no secret."

"I know."

"And there was a reason we put a camera on you at the end of the show. We are of the belief that a match between you and Darkness for the Unified World's Championship would do...big business."

"Right."

"Are you interested?"

Strikmore scratched at his beard. He really did need a shave. This moment, the instant every wrestler waits his whole career for, when the promoter finally makes it clear he thinks you have what it takes to be the Champ...it wasn't supposed to happen like this.

"Mr. Strikmore?"

"Uh...I mean...I'm flattered..."

"But?"

"No, there isn't a but. I just...shouldn't I...shouldn't there be a match or something?"

"How do you mean?"

"Shouldn't I earn my shot or something?"

"You have earned it. You said yourself in a recent promo that your win/loss record is better even than Darkness's. The fans are clamouring for this match. We've done a lot of market research."

"Right. So that's it? It'll make money, so you give me this match?"

"Yes. Is that a problem?"

"It just seems a little...easy. There should be more to this."

Deng frowned. "Don't you have a reason to fight Darkness? All these issues between yourself and DeSean Blackwell and the New Hellfire Club would appear to lead logically to a match."

"I know..."

"So what's the problem?"

"I just...I don't know. I don't want it like this. I want it to be organic. I want to fight for my chance. I want to show him that I'm ready. Not just be the last in a line of guys thrown into the ring to give him a challenge. I want to be Clubber Lang, not Thunderlips."

"Excuse me?"

"I don’t want this. Not yet. I want him to want to fight me. I want him to know I'm coming for him. I want Darkness to anticipate this as much as I do. No disrespect to DeSean, but you guys threw him to the lions back there. He may have thought he was ready, but the fans didn't buy it, and I know Darkness didn't either. You could see in his eyes that he knew he was walking out World Champion. He may have sweat and bled, but in his mind, the ending was never in doubt. I don't want that when he and I meet. I want him to know that this is the match of his life. I want him to know that this is the match that will determine the fate of TCW."

Deng remained silent for a long moment. "I see," he finally said. "I wanted to offer you this opportunity in place of a rematch with Dante. Just be warned, Matt Strikmore, I may not give you this chance again."

"Thanks," Strikmore said as he stood up, "but I think I can earn a shot on my own merits. And the time is going to be right pretty soon – just not yet."

"Nothing will change your mind?"

"Not that I can think of."

"Very well. Thank you for your time, Mr. Strikmore."

"No worries."

Strikmore headed out of the skybox, feeling confused and empty. PD opened the door for him again, and moved to follow him out, when Deng interrupted him.

"Cameron, can I talk to you for a minute?"

PD shot Strikmore a confused glance. The Transcontinental Champion shrugged. "No problem, Mr. Deng."

He closed the door with a tight smile, leaving Strikmore alone in the corridor, wondering if he'd made the right choice.

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Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:18 am
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Post Re: Friction: Darkness & Freya vs Matt Strikmore & PD
For all of the uncaring & indifferent persona he shows outwardly, Cameron Jones remains forever on edge & guarded. He chooses to remain standing while being addressed by Mr. Deng. Around the room, his eyes cut holes in the dark shadows that Deng allows to live in his office, more out of low wattage lightbulbs, than preference. Nasty things can rise up & hurt you from the shadows. Nasty things love shadows. Nasty things live in the...

"Darkness."

Cameron's head twicthes toward Deng's voice. His mind flashes to Miami and Maria. And to Darkness & the demons. He quickly shakes free of the memory and realizes that for all of his concern about the dark, he failed to pay attention to what his main reason for being in the office was. To listen to Deng's proposal.

Deng-"Well? What do you think?"

Cameron remained standing, facing Deng, but looking at the shadows. Deng took this appearance as deep thought. He looked back down at the tablet on his desk & began writing some notes.

Deng-"I can understand why you might be apprehensive Mr. Jones. The Unified World Champion & the Bleeder Champion against the TCW Champ & the...um...aged veteran. But I assure you, We...I would be most appreciative of your assistance in this matter."

Cameron finally pulled his eyes away from obsidian hued fog in the corner behind Deng's desk. He nodded towards Deng & turned his back, walking toward the door.

Cameron-"I'll do it. But I asked you guys not to put me in this position. I warned you."

Deng looked up from his pad of paper, eyebrows furled.

Deng-"Warned us about what, exactly?"

Cameron stopped at the door & looked back at Deng.

Cameron-"You might want to put brighter bulbs in your lamps...it's going to get very dark around here."

In a moment, Deng will forget. But right this second, he cannot understand why the office has such an overpowering smell of brimstone.
---------------------------------

In the outer hall, Matt Strikmore straightens up, pulling himself from leaning on the wall, waiting for Cameron to come out of Deng's office.

Matt-"So...what'd he say?"

Cameron sticks his hands in his hoody's front pocket & continues walking.

Cameron-"You're an idiot."

Strikmore starts walking with Cameron, looking down at the ground, a little bothered by the comment.

Strikmore-"Why'd he say that?"

Cameron-"He didn't. I did."

Strikmore-"Wait asecond. You said that? About me? Why?"

Cameron stops in the middle of the hall & turns toward Matt.

Cameron-"Look kiddo, you have a title. You have talent. You have validation. You have fans. You have...or at least should havemoney saved up for when you want to retire. You don't need to earn a shot with anyone. THEY have to earn a shot with you. THEY have to prove that they can hang with you. Self-pity, introspection, self-deprecation, my mommy didn't hug me enough & my daddy was never there don't amount to a pile of shit when it comes to this business. Get in fast, make your money & get out with your sanity. This business will eat you alive, shit you out & piss on the sesame seeds & corn kernels that are stuck in the steaming pile of you after they're done with you. So don't tell me you didn't earn your shot. Don't tell me that you haven't completed some grand vision-quest that you needed to in order to validate your chances of fucking the hot older woman too. Well guess what, Matthew Modine got to do it because it was a movie. There is no vision quest. There is no validation. There is only pain. Disdain. Scorn. Self-hatred. Addiction. Fear. Loathing. And emptiness."

Matt stands in the dimly lit hallway as Cameron's venomous words sting his ears.

Cameron-"Get it now & get out before it gets you."

Matt looks down at the ground, then turns towards Dengs office, seemingly miles down the hall.

Strikmore-"You're right...I'll go get my shot."

Cameron laughs in disgust, shaking his head.

Cameron-"Too late."

Matt stops & looks up at Cameron, who has pulled his hood up over his head & is now walking down the hall again.

Cameron-"You and I are tagging against Freya & Darkness...Thanks for nothing kiddo."

Matt-"Freya and Darkness? You and I? That's good...right?"

Cameron glances out the side from his hood...his eyes barely alight in a red haze. A slight chill runs through Matt's body.

Cameron-"Depends on who you ask."

Matt hurridly catches up to Cameron & within moments is keeping up, pace by pace, at his side. After a few more quiet moments, Matt breaks the silence.

Matt-"So, any idea how to beat them?"

After a moment, Cameron finally speaks.

Cameron-"If all else fails...we just kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight."

Matt nods, not really sure what his tag partner means, as they walk off.
--------------------------------------

Freya stands at the door, awaiting Darkness arrival. Outside, their rickshaw awaits them. She stares at it's antiquated yet useful driver/motor/slave. A tap on her shoulder shakes her free from her thought. Looking over, she sees Darkness. Something seems different about him. He is not smiling, but he appears to be pleased. As pleased as one could look dressed in despair, pain, hatred, black & eye-liner.

Freya-"What is it?"

Darkness looks down at her, then moves toward the rickshaw.

Darkness-"for all that I have done, I have truly been blessed this time."

Freya-"What are you fuc..."

Darkness-"It seems that for all of Deng's urgings, young Master Strikmore does not want to face me alone. So you and I have been placed together to tag against him & his new partner."

Freya-"Desean?"

Darkness-"Cameron Jones. I might now finally be able to kill 2 birds with one stone."

Freya grins as Darkness stares up at the stars, arms raised.

_________________
1x ECF E-title Champion, 1x ECF Submission title holder, 1x ECF World title holder, 1x 411 IC title holder.
2x ECF Tag Team Champion (Power Inc), 2x ECF TC title holder.
1x ECF/411 TC title holder
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Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:27 pm
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Post Re: Friction: Darkness & Freya vs Matt Strikmore & PD
"So what was all that shit before about?" Freya sat at a small corner table in a busy bar. The rickshaw hadn't really given them the chance to talk; it was far too noisy amongst the traffic. They - or rather Darkness - had asked for a bar and they'd been dropped outside 'The Angry Dragon'.

"What shit?"

"All that 'I have been blessed' stuff." Freya adopted a low monotone as she mimicked him.

Darkness ordered some drinks from a passing waitress. "I finally have a chance to wipe that smirk from Matt Strikmore's face. Cameron is an old member of Infinity, one I have beaten before, and I can easily beat again. If I concentrate on him, then I show Matt who deserves to be the Champion."

"You the only one in this match then?"

"What?" Darkness looked at her, confused.

"I this and I that. I'm in this match too and I think this is a bad idea. I think we should be giving them a proper match, the kind Matt thinks we can't do. We should prove we're every bit the wrestler he is."

"We're better than that. We don't have to prove anything to him."

"Maybe not, but I think we have enough enemies without making more with the guys we work with."

"He started it."

"Wow, that's mature." She stopped as the waitress returned to their table with a bottle and two tiny cups. She poured a clear, steaming liquid into the cups, bowed and departed. "So what's this then?"

"Never tried mijiu?" Darkness lifted one of the tiny cups in his good hand.

"No." She gave it a sniff.

"It's quite similar to sake."

"Oh...good..."

"Well, enjoy."

**

"Hey, Desean." Strikmore had his phone held between his ear and shoulder as he pulled on some sneakers. He caught his reflection in the mirror and noticed he didn't look nearly as old or worn down now he'd had a shave. "I just wanted to let you now what happened with Deng. He offered me a title shot. Just like that." He paused to listen to his tag partners shock, awe and congratulations. "Well, actually I didn't take it." Another pause to allow DeSean to demand a reason why not. "It's not time. I know you don't get it, but this is important. I almost changed my mind but now I'm in a match against two of our friends." He finished tying his laces and put both feet on the floor. "No, not Dante, Freya. Anyway, what do you know about Cameron Jones?" He listened and grimaced. "Great. Just what I needed." There was a beep from his phone and he glanced at the screen. An unknown number. "I've got to go, bro. Call waiting. I'll catch up with you later."

He pressed and button and put the phone back to his ear. "Hello?" A not quite so familiar voice was on the other end. "The Angry Dragon? Yeah I can meet you there, Cam."

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Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:35 pm
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Post Re: Friction: Darkness & Freya vs Matt Strikmore & PD
*The Angry Dragon? Really? It just struck Matt as odd to name your bar after something people would want to avoid. The Drunken Dragon? Sure. I'd go check out a drunken dragon. Could you get fire breathed on your by a dragon who's had one to many? Sure, but you might also catch a dragon singing along to Piano Man, and that would be worth the cover charge right there.*

Matt: Halfway around the world, literally halfway, and these are the things I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking of seeing the Forbidden City. I'm thinking of Smog belting out some Billie Joel. At the least, I should be thinking about why Cam wants me to head to this place. Didn't seem to be in the mood to knock back a few, Lord knows I am. I turned down a World Title shot. Flat turned it down. I mean, I have my reasons, but I could really use a few drinks to help me justify it.

*Matt suddenly becomes aware that he's talking to himself while walking down the walkway. Initially embarrassed, the heat passes when he remembers that no one here can likely understand him. He catches the eye of passing woman.*

Matt: Hi. I'm Kyle Rayner, and I patrol this section of space on behalf of the Green Lantern Corps.

*The woman nods at Matt while Matt smiles and keeps on his way.*

Matt: Awesome.

*Pulling the door of the Angry Dragon open, Matt watches as a slight plume of smoke exits into the open air. Waiting half a moment to listen for any piano chords, he steps in, slightly disappointed. As his eyes adjust to the dimmer light, he sees a graying Cameron Jones gesture him over to an empty stool at the bar. Other than that moment of recognition, Cam's glance went right back to a small corner table. Matt tries to make out the image, but too much smoke and too many customers break up his view. Sidling up next to his teammate for the week, he tosses down a small pile of local currency and points at a tap. It's the best he can manage.*

Matt: So, ladies night at the Angry Dragon?

PD: Only one you should be interested in, kid. They've been here at least since I've been here. Twenty minutes or so.

*Matt turns his head and sees Darkness and Freya across from each other at a table. The conversation seems civil, but not overly pleasant.*

Matt: They know you're here?

PD: They know. They always know.

Matt: Yeah, this isn't creepy or awkward at all. Listen, you do your glare from across the room thing. Also, maybe grab some Visine. You have some red going on there.

*Matt knocks back about half of his beer, wiping his mouth off with his forearm. Walking towards Darkness and Freya, he's anything but stealthy. Darkness sees him coming, and unconsciously works the fingers on his prosthetic. Freya picks up on his temperament, the small hairs on the back of her neck perking up. Matt stops at the edge of their small table, looking initially at Darkness, but then pulling his eyes over to Freya.*

Matt: Freya.

Freya: Matt.

Matt: Heard some news on Stephen lately. Seems he's doing better.

Freya: I've heard. Thank you all the same.

Matt: No problem, just thought you'd like to know. That's a good thing, right Darkness? Hawthorne getting better?

Darkness: I wish him no ill.

Matt: Yeah, you never did strike me as the guy that did a lot of wishing. Say Freya, this is a bit of an odd request. Can I have you're seat? You're welcome to my old one, but I have to warn you, Cam's stare seems to be chilling it a bit.

*Taking a shot of the mijiu, Darkness speaks about Matt, but doesn't look at him.*

Darkness: A gentlemen doesn't ask a lady for her seat.

Matt: Very true, but I don't really see the following conversation fit for the fairer sex. I could just as well pull up a chair though.

Freya: No, no it's all right. I could use the fresh air, the smoke is starting to burn my nose. Help yourself to some mijiu, though you may need to race Darkness for it.

Matt: Thanks, Freya. Tell Stephen I said hi if you speak with him.

Freya: Likewise.

*Freya slides out of her seat, Matt nodding to her as she passes. Parking himself down across from Darkness, the two look at each other face to face for the first time, more or less. Darkness sits mostly motionless, a look of annoyance on his face. Matt fixes a smirk on his face, his fingers slowly spinning a small cup.*

Darkness: What do you want? I was enjoying conversation with a friend.

Matt: Well, I'd been feeling kind of down, so I thought some spirits might lift my humor.

*Matt pours himself a cup of the mijiu, sipping it quickly, but rolling it around his tongue for a moment.*

Matt: Not bad, not bad. We have a problem here, you and I. You have something you want to say, and I have something I want to hear. Problem is, things seem to keep getting crossed. All I want to do is tear down these walls, and see this... relationship... as it really is. Really down to the brick and mortar. Now, I like to think I'm a nice guy. I bite my tongue a lot. But you're a tough guy, right? You can take it. And I can take a few shots myself. I'm not perfect, and I know you know that. And I know there are some imperfections in particular that you really seem to dislike, cause right now, you're looking at me like the guy who shot your dog.

Darkness: No, I'm looking at the man that's interrupting my evening. I don't have the desire or the time to play games with you. Unlike some people, I have things to do. Important things.

Matt: Ah, but see, we do have time. We have exactly the amount of time it takes to finish this bottle here. So here's what we're going to do. Take a shot, get something off your chest. I go, you go, I go, you go, I go, you go. You get how this works here?

Darkness: Seems like a waste of good spirits.

Matt: We're only renting them anyway. I'll go first.

*Matt pours himself a full cup of the liquid, and quickly rushes it down his throat.*

Matt: I think you're equal parts wrestler and pageant. I get it, that gets some good ratings. It moves merchandise. Thing is, people think you're the best wrestler, and I don't think that's true. Best entertainer? You've got a legit shot at that. Most popular? Sure. And I'm fine with that. I'm not aiming to be poster boy. However, when it seems like a forgone conclusion that someone is better than me at something I do for a living, without any proof whatsoever, that grates on me a bit. Short and sweet, you're not the best wrestler in this company, and I'm going to prove that. See how easy that was? Now take your shot, and give me mine.

*Darkness rolls his eyes, looking for Freya to give him an excuse to leave this nonsense behind him. Finding nothing, he drinks his already poured cup, and speaks to Matt while looking out the dirty window.*

Darkness: You're a child walking into a new store, full of shiny things. You touch and slap at things haphazardly, with no idea or desire to know why this was placed on a pedestal and that on a shelf. You're simply rewarded for not breaking anything in your travels. Apparently, that experience now makes you think you're able to tell others how to best behave around the merchandise, ignorant to the fact that you're merely lucky that there's not a path of broken wares littered behind you as you're thrown out onto the curb. You're nothing special, Matt Strikmore. Nothing at all.

*Matt hurries down another glass, the liquor hitting him rather quickly after his third taste in the past five minutes or so.*

Matt: You've got to have the biggest chip on your shoulder, so big it's spread to the other one. That's the only reason I can think of that you still carry those two belts. And don't go talking about title histories and such, I can rattle that off in my sleep. Thing is? 411 Fed is gone. ECF is gone. Long live TCW, get with the program. You just look pathetic, lugging two dead belts around, solely for the reason that two is greater than one. You like the way it looks, not what it means. I think it's pathetic, and it's rubbing off on my perception of you as a whole.

*Darkness, looking directly at Matt, takes his drink.*

Darkness: You talk about being the best wrestler and what not, but look at where you've set up shop. The TC Title. You know that as long as you hold that belt, you slow yourself down from reaching the top of the company. It's a safety blanket. It's your validation. When you look in the mirror after a match, I bet that title of yours is visible in the reflection. It's your certainty. You question the possession of my title? At the very least, it's the highest acclaim in the company. You question why you're not in main events, getting chances at my title? Because you've never strived for it, and I don't find that worth any effort or action from myself. Dante might think of you as entertainment, but it's beneath me to care about you.

Matt: You know who...

*Matt quickly pours himself yet another drink, finishing it quickly, a small rivulet of liquid escaping the corner of his mouth.*

Matt: You know who you remind me of. Grimlock. Thinks he's the king. Figures he'll just smash everything in his way. Even has a sword. That's you. You're Grimlock. Me Darkness King! You put this scary demeanor on, and can't bring yourself to take off the makeup. You've spent so long as a character that you're not even a person. You honestly think I'm beneath you. Why? Cause I don't dress up like I'm going to RenFair? Get over yourself. If you were really indifferent to me, you would have gotten up and left the table, or ignored everything I said. You certainly wouldn't have played along with my little game. You want to care. You want to see what I'm up to. Face it, you'd very much enjoy proving me wrong in the ring, if only to shove it in my face that you're better.

*Darkness pulls the last draught from the bottle, drinking it slowly while staring at Matt, who was starting to get loopy. Placing the cup down with careful calculation, Darkness lowers his frame to look directly into Matt's eyes. In a low tone, nearly a growl, he speaks.*

Darkness: The day is soon approaching where I will show you that you're wrong. I look forward to that day.

*Darkness is a little perplexed as Matt smiles back at him. Matt seems almost jovial, like a sick man being given a clean bill of health. Matt slaps his hands down on the table loudly, pushing himself up.*

Matt: Darkness, you've made me a very happy man. You have yourself a nice night.

*Matt makes his way toward the exit, winking at Cam in response to his quizzical gaze. Stepping outside, he sees Freya. While the history between the two of them is varied, the following would not be expected at any peak or valley. Matt grabs her around the waist, the other hand meeting hers and sticking out perpendicular. He does a quick dance with her, once in a circle before letting a confused Freya go, followed by his bowing deeply and looking at her.*

Matt: Darkness wants to beat the hell out of me! Have a splendid evening.

*Matt walks back alone, back to the dingy apartment. His question answered, his desires vindicated. He was going to get his shot someday, and Darkness was looking forward to it.*

_________________
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Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:49 am
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Linda McMahon
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Post Re: Friction: Darkness & Freya vs Matt Strikmore & PD
PD's bemused expression followed Matt as he walked out of the bar, swaying slightly with every step. The door closed behind him and there was only the brief sound of conversation from outside before PD's attention turned back to the man at the corner table. He watched Darkness glare after Strikmore then slowly sit back down. PD narrowed his eyes and wrapped a calloused hand around his beer bottle. He jerked it to his lips, draining the last of it, before pushing his way through the crowds towards the only person who remotely interested him at this moment.

"Darkness."

The World Champion looked up and met PD's eyes. For a second, there was no hint whatsoever of recognition, but then the fog cleared. "Cameron Jones."

"Glad you remember me." PD sat down, becoming the third person tonight to take the seat opposite Darkness.

"To what do I owe this pleasure?"

PD gave Darkness a small smirk. "Isn't it obvious? We have some catching up to do."

"Really? I wasn't aware we had a relationship that required such careful maintenance."

"No, I guess we don't – still, it's good to reminisce with old enemies, don't you think?"

"Most of my old enemies aren't the kind you'd want to meet in a bar. Or anywhere else for that matter."

"Then I guess I'm the exception." PD leant forward and pointed to a small silvery mark near his hairline. "Remember that?"

"No."

"Didn't think you would. You did it. 'Bout three years ago now, I guess. That one was in the ring." He held up his forearm, where another scar, about three inches long, wound its way across his tanned skin. "This one you did before the match, when I was more or less unconscious, lying on a sofa."

"I remember that."

"So do I. Hard to forget with reminders like these. A lot of the things that were important to me back then are gone now, but you're the only guy to have left me with such a permanent reminder of what I've lost."

"Nothing that I did to you then was the cause of any of your problems now, Jones," Darkness said, his voice still calm and measured.

"Of course not. Not what I'm suggesting at all. It's just that I promised myself that, this time, I wouldn't get involved. I came back to TCW to start again, and make an honest living, but wouldn't you just know that the first guy I run into is my old friend Leroy. Hard to put the past behind you when it's staring you in the face, right?"

"Cameron…"

"And then next on the list is none other than the guy who put me out of action three years ago. The guy whose beating was the first of many I was about to receive – not all of them physical."

"I told you, I'm not responsible for the direction your life has taken."

"And I told you that I know that. But…you have to admit…it's hard for me to switch off the emotional part of my brain when spectres from my past keep appearing like this. We have unfinished business, Darkness."

Darkness stood up. "No. I finished our business three years ago."

"I can't walk away from this, and neither can you," PD said, standing up too.

"You're wrong about that. You don't want to make this personal."

"Who said anything about personal? This is just two men, settling the score."

"There's no score to be settled."

PD moved out from behind the table, blocking Darkness's route to the door. "I respectfully disagree."

"You're in my way," Darkness growled.

"You think I'm going to step aside for you?"

"I'll run through you if I have to, Cameron Jones. You're another obstacle: nothing more."

"That's what I was the first time, wasn't it? An obstacle. Well guess what, I'm more than that this time: I'm the Ghost of Infinities Past. Whether you want to admit it or not, we nearly had you beat last time. Now we're all back for revenge."

"I don't believe in revenge."

"Well you'd better start believing." Throughout the conversation, PD had kept a careful grip on his empty bottle, now he brought it down against the edge of the table next to him, breaking off the bottom and exposing jagged shards of glass.

Darkness held up his good hand. "You don't want to do this, Cameron."

"No, you don't want to do this. I'm just fine with it." He lifted up the improvised weapon, intending to bring it down in a murderous arc towards Darkness, but something stopped him – a small hand around his wrist. He turned to see who'd intervened.

"Hiya." Freya pulled him around with surprising strength and punched him right across the jaw. PD stumbled back, losing his balance, and crashed through a table full of drinks, drawing yells of annoyance and surprise from the patrons. He was already pulling himself to his feet though.

"Who do you think you are?" Darkness asked his stablemate, "Red Barker?"

"Who?"

"Never mind."

"C'mon," Freya said, tugging at Darkness's arm, "that's enough violence for one evening."

They made for the door as quickly as they could. PD sat up in the wreckage and watched them leave. It was shock, not pain, that had felled him. He had to admit that he wasn't expecting the girl – even after all these years, women still found ways to surprise him.

But it was still Darkness and his words that preyed on his mind. He didn't fully understand why, but there was something about that guy that really bothered him…something buried deep inside him that kept wanting to lash out at him…something that scared him a little…

* * *

Stern held up the black t-shirt and examined it critically. "I am Darkness, I am the light? Shouldn't it be 'I am the Darkness, I am the light'?"

Deng frowned across his desk. "No, his name is Darkness. Besides, this is the slogan he suggested himself."

"What? Darkness gave you some input on his merchandise?"

"Yes, he was actually very amenable. He had several ideas."

Stern put the shirt down. "I hope you understand why I took this stuff off shelves, Lee. I stand by my actions."

"I understand that, Valerie, but TCW can no longer afford to have such scruples. It is time for us to make money off the back of our World Champion again."

"But it's making money off his back that caused…" she sighed, "you know the story. And I accept your counter-argument. I'm happy for Darkness to be filling TCW's coffers again, but I don't have to like him personally."

"I avoid having a personal relationship of any description with any of my employees. I find things easier that way."

"I admire your self-control. It's hard to stay aloof in this business, though. I found that out the hard way." Stern stood up and dusted packing material off her jacket before crossing over to the water cooler and pouring herself a cup. She took a sip and looked out from the windows of the skybox across the empty arena. No ring yet: just an illuminated concrete space in the middle of a black void.

"I wonder what changed Darkness's mind about this stuff," she mused.

"Perhaps he had an epiphany. He appears to be extremely keen to promote himself to TCW's fans now."

"I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I spent the better part of a year trying to get them to hate him – without success – and now his opponents are finally starting to get some traction, I suppose he's realised he needs to actually do something to remain the top babyface in the promotion. Strikmore's gonna have a hell of a fight on his hands."

"Oh, did I forget to mention? Mr. Strikmore turned down his shot."

Stern turned slowly and stared at Deng. "He what?"

"He decided the time was not right yet."

She shook her head. "That boy…he was like this with his Majestic Cup prize. Wants to do everything by the book. Ambitious, but only within certain pre-defined parameters. Well I guess that blows our next title match right out of the water. Please don't make me give his shot to Freya or Dante."

"No, I had a better idea."

"Really?"

"Yes, I decided to offer it to Cameron Jones instead."

"Cam…Cameron Jones? PD? What did he say?"

"He told me he would think about it. I think the match has potential, don't you?" He held up an action figure bearing PD's likeness. "And he is very popular with children, I understand."

_________________
- lots and lots of short fiction, written by me, regularly updated.

- it's a space opera novel I wrote.

I have some shit on Kindle too: ,


Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:22 pm
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Post Re: Friction: Darkness & Freya vs Matt Strikmore & PD
I love you Cam.

*Jennifer "Looney" Lane leans in toward Cameron. She tucks her hands against his chest & rests her face on them, allowing him to hold her close.*

The cancer will kill me.

*Cameron rolls over, opening his eyes. Early morning sun shines through a slit in the curtains, showing the dust dancing in the air of the dank room. He closes his eyes, knowing he is not back in 2000.*

I love you Cameron.

*Kristina Marie Lawless kisses him passionately on the lips as he wraps his arms around her small frame.*

I'm marrying him. I don't love you anymore. I love Leroy.

*He blinks his eyes open. He still doesn't know if she lied to him that day. He accepts that he never will know. 2006 fades away. Sleep takes him again.*

I love you Cameron Jones.

*Kim tenderly kisses him on the cheek & smiles as she boards Shadow's helicopter.*

Daddy!

*Zach's eyes grow wide just as the helicopter crashes into the desert, killing them instantly.*

SHADOW!

*He snaps his eyes open & sits up. Had he checked the first time, he would see that no time elapsed from the first dream to the last. Gone now is 2007. He is back in 2009. Somewhere in Asia he knows, but does not care specifically where.*

Rrrrrringggggggg............Rrrrrringggggggg

*He lifts the receiver of 1970's looking phone from it's cradle & places it to his ear without saying a thing.*

"Hey Cam. I don't exactly know how you did it or how you've continued to manage keeping me out, but you need to realize that you need me. Seriously. Let me back in. C'mon. Please? Shit. I know that sounded fake. I've never been good at pretending like I care. But this guy...Darkness...wow, how fucking unoriginal. Anyway...he'll pack your shit & make you eat it 5 ways from Sunday. And have I mentioned how fucked up Sundays really are? The Lord's day? Seriously? Whatever. How full of yourself do you have to be to lay claim to your own day of the week. I mean..."

*Cameron hangs the phone up & stares at it. Waiting for it to ring again. It always rings again.*

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

*Except this time. Cameron shakes his head.*

"Who the hell was that?."

*He throws his legs over the side of the bed and stands up, reaching for the ceiling, attempting to stretch out a lifetime of pain & sorrow. He glances at the door as he sees shadows pass by the space at the bottom where the door misses connecting with the floor by 3 inches. Nothing unusual for an apartment complex.*

"Ok. What now..."

*He releases a large sigh & walks off to the bathroom.*
--------------------------

*A few moments later, Cameron emerges from his apartment, dressed in his normal attire, cargo shorts, tennis shoes & hoody. He begans walking towards the elevator, then stops with a quizzical look upon his face.*

"Which fucking apartment is his?"

*Just then, like a divine light casting down from the heavens to show the way, he hears a familiar voice and song.*

"Do!"

"Do, Do, Do!"

"Do, Do, Do!"

"Do, Do, Dooooooooo"

*Cameron winces at the held-way-too-long and off key note.*

"It's the...EYE OF THE TIGER it's the cream of the fight."

*Cameron shakes his head & walks towards the door blocking in the source of the sound.*

"Rising up to the something, something, somethiiiiing."

*Cameron raises his hand towards the door.*

"I'm the last known survivor something, something, something else"

*Cameron knocks at the door.*

"And then something & something the EYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEE of the tiger."

*Matt Strikmore opens the door wearing only a pair of Eric Cartman "respect my authoritah!" sleep pants. PD sees headphones sticking out from Matt's ears & notices that Matts sweating.*

"WHAT'S UP CAM?"

*Cam motions for him to takes the earphones out as the music is obviously too loud.*

"HUH? OH YEAH?"

*Matt pulls them out & Cameron can immediately hear the audio assault that took place on Matt's eardrums.*

"What's up Cam?"

"I thought that...may I come in?"

*Matt takes a step back, allowing Cameron entrance into his apartment.*

"I thought that..."

*Cameron lifts his head toward the ceiling like a dog.*

"What the fuck is that smell?"

*Matt looks around the room, not knowing, then takes a quick whiff of himself, thinking Cameron didn't notice.*

"Oh yeah! Can you believe it, but last night after I left the Angry Dragon, I found a little local shop & they sell Hai Karate aftershave! This stuff is sweet."

*Cam looks over his shoulder at Matt & nods. He looks back around the room, rolling his eyes and mumbles to himself.*

"There's a reason they stopped making it."

"What Cam?"

"What? Oh, nothing. I was just suprised that they didn't offer Sex Panther."

"I know! You know, I heard that 60% of the time, that stuff works all the time."

*Cameron was about to laugh until he realized that Strikmore might be serious. Quickly he dialed down the sense of amusement and cleared his throat.*

"Yeah...anyway, what I came for was that I would like to have some in-ring time with you...if you don't mind."

*Matt walked toward the blinds in the room & slowly opened them, letting the morning sun shine through.*

"In-ring...spar you mean?"

*Cameron shoke his head as he stared at a picture of a beautiful red-headed woman in a pewter picture frame that was outlined by dragons.*

"Yeah. I'm still slightly rusty from my long lay-off and I figured that you could help me work through some of that. Plus I've faced Darkness before, so I know that I need to be prepared moreso than usual."

*Matt smiled big, like a kid who just got the toy for Christmas that he always wanted.*

"Yeah. That'd be great. Let me change into some workout clothes. Gimme 10 minutes."

*Matt hurridly went into his bedroom as Cameron walked over to the picture.*

"It's and the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night, and he's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger...by the way."

*Matt yells from the bedroom.*

"What is?"

*PD picks up the photo, staring intently at it.*

"The song you were singing. Eye of the Tiger."

*Matt replies but Cameron doesn't hear. The redhead in the picture frame turns her face toward Cameron & begins to cry as her face morphs into Kim's.*

"Why'd you let us die Cameron? Why?"

*Cameron startles back, dropping the frame. The glass cracks as the pewter frame hits the tile floor. Matt sticks his head out of the room.*

"Everything ok?"

*Cameron stares at the frame, now face down on the ground.*

"Yeah...sorry about your frame."

*He turns toward Matt.*

"My what? My frame? What frame?"

*Matt walks out of the room & Cameron turns, already bending down to pick it up, when he sees that it's not there. He leans back, looking around the room, but doesn't see the frame anywhere.*

"Nuh...nothing. I meant sorry about your fame."

*Matt furls his brow.*

"Fame?"

"Yeah...that your claim to fame is wrestling...not singing."

*Matt laughs slightly at that. They both head for the door.*

"Oh hey, I can show you the store where I got the Hai Karate if you'd like."

"Ummm...not...right now. Maybe later. 'Kay?"

"Sure."

*Both men leave the apartment and Matt closes & locks the door. As they walk down the hall, a misplaced shadow hangs behind them at the end of hallway. Darkness & Freya walk out of the shadow, staring at their two foes as they walk away. Darkness continues to watch them as they disappear into the stairwell.*

"A team of darkness vs a team of light."

*Freya looks up at Darkness.*

"So? It's not like this is the first time it's ever happened."

*He nods slowly.*

"I know that. I just wonder though...does Strikmore know, that in this match, we are not the only darkness he should fear?"

*Freya stares at Darkness wondering what is meant by the statement.*

_________________
1x ECF E-title Champion, 1x ECF Submission title holder, 1x ECF World title holder, 1x 411 IC title holder.
2x ECF Tag Team Champion (Power Inc), 2x ECF TC title holder.
1x ECF/411 TC title holder
1x TCW Tag Team Champion (w/Shadow)

PD's current record 50-29-3 (I'm 56-36-4 overall)
EWI's 5th ranked wrestler for 2005, 2004, 2002 & 2001. Way to be consistent.


Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:50 pm
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Post Re: Friction: Darkness & Freya vs Matt Strikmore & PD
"So how far did you say this place was?" Matt asked after they'd been walking for five minutes.

"I didn't, but it isn't far."

They walked in an awkward silence until they heard shouting behind them. they turned towards the commotion and found a crowd of teenagers running towards them.

"Do we run or wait to see what they want?" Matt asked.

"I think they have notebooks, so unless they're planning to batter us with them, I think they just want our autographs.

PD was right, the teens crowded around the pair, jostling to get close enough to get their books close to the wrestlers.

PD scribbled his signature to get it over as quick as possible, but Matt chatted and joked with the youths.

"When do we get to see you beat Darkness?" A boy with spiked hair asked Matt.

"Well, Cameron here and I are going to be facing Darkness and Freya at Friction."

"No, I mean one on one, for the titles."

Matt shrugged. "When I'm ready. There's this thing and..."

"He turned down the shot," PD interrupted.

"I heard Jones had been given the shot," a small voice said from the back of the group.

"What?" Matt and PD asked at the same time. The crowd parted to reveal the speaker who blushed at the sudden attention.

"It was on a website, Cameron Jones is the next contender for the World championship."

PD shot Matt a dirty look before skulking away.

"What?" Matt called after him. When he got no answer he jogged after the veteran wrestler. "What's the matter?"

"I just wanted to come back and wrestle. I wanted a regular pay check and no real complications but because of you I've been put in a position I didn't want to be in."

"And how is that my fault?"

"Because you turned down the offer. I've dealt with Darkness before and I was lucky to get through it alive."

"Go talk to Deng, I'm sure he'll change it. Hell, I'll go talk to him if you want."

"I think you've done enough," PD said as he walked away.

**

"Can we get out of here, something is getting right up my nose."

"Something... supernatural?"

Freya wrinkled her nose. "No, just whatever aftershave Matt is wearing. I can't even smell Jas from here and he lives right there."

"Come on then." Darkness turned on his heel and walked off.

"Hold up, I've only got little legs. Why are you in such a rush anyway? Did you want to go spy on them sparing, because that's might be slightly difficult."

"If you don't want to come, then don't come."

"Don't be stupid, I don't need you getting into trouble before the match. Why are we following these two anyway?"

"Because Cameron Jones is a variable I don't want wandering around unchecked."

"What is with you? You've been acting really weird. 'Unknown variable'? who says that?"

"I do."

"Apparently so."

The pair carried on walking.

"Hey," Freya said sounding thoughtful, "if Deng is selling your stuff again, do you think I'll be allowed to do promotional stuff too?"

_________________
- Updated 25th July



R.I.P Wild Pegasus and Black Tiger II

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." DOUGLAS ADAMS (1952-2001)


Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:16 pm
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