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The Scene begins in the Shed of the Remy Dieu Compound, a broken Hunter Jackson is lying down on a mattress, unable to move around much. His neck bruised, his head slightly concussed from the vicious beating he took from Jensen on the previous episode of Vortex. The only movement Hunter is capable of doing at the moment is the ability to move his eyes, which has spent the last few hours staring at the ceiling. The sounds of wildlife, and the constant noise of dripping water, had been etched into his brain, unable to do anything... But lay down and wait...

Hunter's mind had been racing with different thoughts about how he ended up living with Remy. Spending so much time as a monk, wandering aimlessly, trying to find his place in the world, wondering if being at the compound, devoting himself to this one man, was truly his destiny.


* A loud slam echoes through the shed.

The door to the shed swung open, and in the corner of Hunter's eyes, he can see the bulky figure of Remy Dieu standing in the door way. Though Hunter could barely look up to see, he noticed Remy Dieu, wearing a unique robe, with a pointy hood. Dressed in all black, a far cry from the normal vibrant colors Remy that Hunter was so accustomed to seeing Remy wear. The way the sun had begun to set, caused Remy Dieu to appear as somewhat of a dark silhouette.

This sent somewhat of a chill down, Jackson's spine, as the clothes Remy was wearing, the way the sun was setting, made Remy Dieu look like the grim reaper himself.




I'm sorry sir, I have failed you... Hunter Jackson softly spoke. Jackson's mind began racing faster than ever, as fear began to set in, on whether he would be punished for his failure to beat Jensen.

Remy then stepped forward, not saying a word. Jackson finally gained the strength to move his head in Remy's direction, and was surprised to see not a face of anger or even disappoint, but one of the biggest smile's he had ever seen on Remy's face since he first met him. Hunter also noticed, the Television title hanging across Remy's shoulders.




Hehe, Remy let out a slight chuckle, and walked out of Hunter's line of sight for a few seconds, only to come back with his rocking chair, and sit down.

Hunter, what happened on Vortex was exactly what needed to happen. It's what the gods intended to happen.

What? Can you explain, how any of this was necessary. Look at me, man... I can barely move my neck, it hurts to even slightly tilt my head, this doesn't make any sense.

Now I understand, it maybe hard to comprehend everything going on. The pain you are feeling right now now is all necessary. But you will be okay. I prayed and knew the gods would protect you.

And here you are, talking, you can see, you can still feel... Hunter, and I want you to understand that you need to feel this pain to become stronger.... Think of it like this...

I want you to imagine, you are a wolf. No I'm not talking metaphorically, like I always do. But imagine you're a hairy wolf, part of a pack. You got some wolves bigger than you, you got some smaller than you. You though are nothing more than an average sized wolf. But let's say one day while hunting with your pack, you end up in the wrong part of the woods. Home of many giant hungry bears that are looking for anything to feast upon to survive. And let's say that your pack is unlucky, and comes across a very hungry bear, who decides to attack the pack, and let's say, you the average wolf, and a few of the bigger wolves are hurt in the attack... Now picture this, the bigger wolves all decide to leave the territory out of fear of getting attacked again. But not you, even though you are wounded, you know that you are not dead, and you can still fight. So later on, you take charge and get a few other fearless wolves, and set out to find that same bear, you remember the color, you sniff that bear out, you find that bear, and attack, and not only do you attack, but you eat the bears heart out... And though you were originally a small, average wolf, you were the one that showed no fear, and because you showed no fear, you had claimed your place as the leader of the pack.



I don't, I don't understand any of that.

Hunter, don't you see, right now is your chance to become the wolf of the story. You got to connect the dots. Jensen, was the bear. He mauled you, he hurt you, but he didn't finish the job you see. And now, Live on PPV, Hunter you can help me show the world the wolf you truly are, the wolf I know you can be, and together we can feast on the heart of Jensen..


But.. Remy, the match between you in Jensen is inside of a cage, there's no way I can help.


Don't worry, Hunter I am well aware, of the vendetta this company has against me. They don't want to me to hold this title anymore, they want it back on Jensen, so he can go back to being the poster boy. But I assure you it will not happen. And you, can help.

You see, unlike the Wolf in this story, who used physical violence to attack the bear. Here in reality, there are various ways to hurt a man.


And I want to hurt Jensen, in every way imaginable. Physically, mentally... Spiritually..

Because Right now, the way this story is supposed to end. Is Jensen getting revenge on me inside that cage. That's what most want to see, the hero overcoming the evil villain and winning. But that's not going to happen, you see I have plans to destroy Jensen. I'm going to hurt him, and when Jensen is laying down in a bloody mess, the world will truly see, what I've told them along. That Jensen is truly a false idol.

And they will soon have to accept me, as the hero, I always knew I was born to be.

But how do you plan to do all that.


Well, right now Jensen is confident, he feels as if everything is going according to plan, especially after beating you. But he was not aware of what I managed to do that night.

Sir?


Remy Dieu gets up, and pulls out his coat, the video camera that Hunter had bought him weeks ago.

The camera? What are you planning on doing with this..

It's not what are we going to do with this, it's what I've already done. You know I'm grateful for what you've done for me Hunter, introducing me to technology, and I decided with the money I've been making, to buy a little microchip that somehow manages to have a GPS tracker built in. I have it connected to an app on the computer you bought me, and we can track the location of that microchip from any location.
Oh wow, where's the microchip?

Let's just say, I left it as a present for Jensen's pretty little girlfriend.

Wait, Remy, What are you planning to do?

Not me, you.. Hunter.

What do you mean?

Hunter, at Desolation, you're going to have to prove your loyalty to me, and if things go correctly, there will be no way Jensen walks out of that PPV champion, or the same ever again..

Rest up... I'll explain later.

Remy Dieu gets up, still with his title over his shoulder. And walks towards the door of the shed, before stopping and turning back towards Hunte
r.

The Gods are never wrong, Hunter.. And if you listen to me, and everything goes as plan, Hunter you could become one just like the rest of us.
 

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I feel like 4 parts is too much but I had a lot to fill in and it's a PPV World Title match dammit.

Between Vortex 9 and 10...

Tony knew there was a job to be done and he was gonna have to step up if he was going to take over as Shadow's trainer before this big match. Matty also knew there was a job to be done and he was gonna have to step up if Shadow was going to win this big match.
The two men shoot eachother a smile. They'd done this before but this time it was so much bigger.

They spent the rest of the day and late into the night hitting the weights and sparring wih one another. Tony's basement gym consisted of a Treadmill, a set of dumbells and a bench press.
After while the two men sit down and take a much deserved breather.​

I don't have all the machinery in the world like that gym of yours but damn we'll make use of what I do have.

We hear the door at the top of the stairs open up. Sarah is stood there with 2 plates of food.​

I heard the noise stop so I thought you boys might need some refuelling.

The two men are delighted at the sight of Tony's wife and don't hesitate to tuck in.

Sarah leaves but just as she reaches the door she turns and speaks.​

Tony if you put as much focus into using this room as you just did that plate of food then maybe you'd still be the fine young man I fell for.

Tony's look just drops as Matty begins to chuckle at the comment.​

Alright boy, you think that's funny?

Matty almost chokes on the food he has in his mouth expecting the worst from Tony.​

Get your shirt on, we're going on a ride.

The two men get back into their usual attire. They make their way up the stairs of the basement and into the hall. As they walk through and out the door Tony shouts "goodbye" to Sarah.

They get outside and stand there for a while.​

So what are we waiting for?

We? I'm waiting for you.

Matty is confused by this as it's Tony's idea but regardless he unlocks his car and both men get in.​

What now?

I'll direct you, just go.

The engine is started and they set off. As they drive both men reminisce about previous times where the two have trained together, readying each other for the next big fight. It's unbelievable that one of them made it to the big time and still they're going on the exact same journey in preparation.

They make their way out into some country roads. The same ones they were on before Vortex 6 and the same ones where Matty's family had a car accident when he was younger. They pull over to the side and stop.​

Why have you brought me here? You know-

Tony holds out his hand motioning him to stop talking.​

I know exactly what this place does to you. I know that this ain't a good stretch of memories for you. The accident, and what I told you last time we were out here-

Which was a lie.

It wasn't a lie, I just got ahead of myself in suspicion. But just think how angry you were in that moment. You thought that man, the father that neither of us ever had and that you gotta admit Kyle took for granted. You thought he had actually taken him from us.

Tony is welling up as he talks about Steve.​

He meant so much to so many people man, and this is the spot where I made you believe he could still be here and it was someone's fault.

Matty is now tearing up himself.​

I saw it in your eyes. I can see it now you might be crying on the outside but I know you boy, inside you there is a fire that burns so bright it gives you strength like nothing I've ever seen. You were ready to kill a man that day, I think I was lucky you didn't.

What the hell is point of all this?

You gotta take that Matty. You gotta bottle it up and store it somewhere deep down inside and you gotta unleash that on Crowley or you ain't got a hope in hell of helping Kyle or even coming close to that title belt. That man has something like this too, but his ain't triggered by emotion or feelings, cos he isn't human. He's triggered by the suffering of others, that's what makes him tick.

You're right, but Desolation is weeks away, so what do I do?

You gotta go to him. You walk right into his yard and you snatch Kyle right from under him. To play a man with a plan so elaborate as his you have to go right along with it and play into his hands.

Matty stares out at the road, taking in all of Tony's advice. These words ring true, but he knows it will be easier said than done.​

Once you have Kyle, we're all gonna meet at that gym of yours and we're gonna make you a champion.

The men nod at eachother again and Tony signals for him to start the engine back up as they travel home.​

___________________________

After Vortex 10...

Matty and Kyle are in Kyle's apartment. It's in one of the top floors of a huge apartment block in the centre of New York, and looks everything that you would expect from the home of a young entrepreneur still yet to reach his peak.

There is a graze above Kyle's right eye which Matty is treating whilst his friend is slumped on his couch with a blanket around him.​

Well, you told me so.

I wasn't going to say it, but yeah. I did.

Kyle winces as Matty pulls away from his wound and the cloth he's using clings to the skin.​

PWC is a dangerous place, and you're not exactly a Nurse Ellie or a Becca who guys would feel guilty about attacking, you're a savvy New York business owner who got in way over his head.

Look, I'm sorry. Thank you for what you did, it means the world.

Another wince crosses his face as the cloth comes back into contact with his cut.​

I wouldn't be where I am without you, and I need you to prepare for this match at Desolation.
Sorry Matty, I can't help you there.

He rips the cloth away, almost scraping it through his skin causing another wince and severe pain to Kyle's head.​

What?! You're just gonna back out?

No. What I help you with is physical conditioning and strategising for matches. This isn't a match, it ain't even a fight. You're going to war with that man and god damn I am gonna prepare you for a war like no other.

That's more like it. There's a still over a week to go though, apparently I've got a mystery opponent at the next Vortex.

Fuck that guy whoever they are for now. Crowley has stepped over a line that he should have never been within reaching distance of. We start tomorrow at 12. Be ready.

With that, Kyle stands up, takes the cloth from Matty, holds it against his head and walks to his bedroom. With just under 2 weeks to prepare, it was time to get real.​

__________________________

7 years ago...

We are inside Steve's Gym. It's one of Shadow's first ever matches, this is before the mask and before the name of Shadow. He is wrestling simply as Matty Elliot.

Even at such a young age you can see he already had all of the speed and ability which he possesses today. He lays his opponent out with an Enziguri and heads to the top turnbuckle to perform what has always been his signature maneuver, the Diving Double Foot Stomp.

As he reaches the top he holds his hands out for balance and looks out into the crowd. As he does so he notices across from him, in the second row is a very familiar face, his dad.

Taken aback by the sight of his father, he hesitates and is suddenly launched off of the turnbuckle to the mat, landing on his shoulder/neck area. His opponent makes a quick cover and earns the pinfall.

Matty remains looking up at the lights more confused than hurt. He rolls to look at the spot where he noticed his father, and he isn't there. He suddenly rushes up to his knees looking around the building. The ringside personnel surround him as they are concerned by his actions. He waves them off and walks into the back.​

Shortly afterwards...


Steve is just behind the curtain and holds out his arms welcoming his young protégé but Matty just walks right by him and into the locker room.

He sits in a chair and just stares at the floor for a while. He is so stiff and tense and then just lets out a huge sigh.

Steve bursts into the room and walks up to him.​

What the hell was that?

I saw him Steve.

What do you mean? Who?

Matty leaps to his feet and smashes a hole straight through the plasterboard wall in front of him with his right fist and just stares at Steve.

You brought him here. I told you I don't wanna see him and once again you've invited him here.

Look, Matty. I care about you I'm just trying to help build that bridge.

Suddenly a very young Kyle enters the room and gets between the men after seeing the hole in the wall.​

What the hell is happening here.

Nothing, your buddy here just took a hard loss.

The confliction in Kyle's face is so plain to see, his father and his best friend. What made it worse was he knew his dad was lying about the altercation.

Without another word said Matty grabs his bag, pulls a vest on and begins to leave.​

You can't just leave mid-way throught the show. Show some respect to the rest of the boys would ya??

Dad, leave it-

Matty stops at the door and turns to look at Steve.​

Before you wanna start mending broken bridges, you might wanna understand a little more about why they're so broken in the first place.

With that said he closes the door and exits the building. We still here the action going on out in the ring as the rest of the wrestlers are finishing the show.​

Oh yeah? Well you wanna talk about mending, let's talk about that money getting deducted from your pay cheque to mend this wall!!

Kyle puts his hand on his father's shoulder.​

He can't hear you Dad...

Yeah I know I just wish the kid wouldn't be such a hothead I'm only trying to help.

Meanwhile outside the gym...


Matty closes the back emergency exit behind him. He made sure to leave through the back door as to not cause a scene in front of the fans. He leans back against the door and slumps to a seated position putting his head in his hands.​

Hey, champ...

He looks up and see's his father stood there, so much going in his head he rises to his feet feeling the anger growing within him.

Matty is uncertain which emotion he is more overcome with. Anger at the pure audacity of the man showing up, or disgust at the scruffy unkempt look he sports. His hair is only short but still manages to be messy, his stubble seems longer in some spots than others. Not to mention the bags under the eyes and the early formation of a "Whiskey Nose" from his alcoholic ways

He marches right over to him and stares him right in the eyes. Both men stand at the same height and have a similar build aside from his father's distinct beer-belly.

He takes a huge deep breath, more fury building upon his face with each second that passes.

Then he begins to speak....​

__________________________

Just after Vortex 11...

Shadow staggers through the locker room area in agony following the assault he just endured. He is holding the back of his head and dragging his suitcase on his way out of the building.

He is then approached by Danny Eriksen and a camera man hoping to get an exclusive for PWC.com.​

Shadow, what are your final thoughts heading into Desolation later this week?
Shadow totally blanks the reporter and carries on through the hallway.

Danny ponders for a second whether he should leave the Number 1 contender in peace. The he paces to catch up with him.​

How do you react to what happened out there in the ring tonight?

Shadow stops. He lets go of his head and turns to the camera.​

You want an exclusive, Daniel? Well here it is. I've spent an intense week of training solely focusing on "King" Crowley and the fight we are scheduled to have at Desolation. I'll admit, I overlooked any potential opponent I could have had tonight, and that is what led to my loss.
Now overlooking the short-term because you're so focused on the long term is a very foolish thing to do, but next on my schedule is that long-term goal. Later this week I get my hands on Crowley.

Uncharacterislically, Shadow rips the microphone from Danny's hand an shoves him out of shot. He then grabs the front of the camera to ensure it is pointing right at his face.​

I know you're listening "King". And I hope you're being your usually cocky over-confident self. Because this week, that's what I was. I was so sure in myself and look where I ended up. What happened tonight is no different from what will happen to you at Desolation. I am ready for you, and I am going to take - no - RIP, EVERYTHING FROM YOU!
All that you own and all that you are is going to be mine Crowley, are you listening?

Shadow back away for a moment and paces in the corridor trying to calm down as he has psyched himself up so much. He strides back to wards the camera and this time brings it right up into his face.​

When this began between me and you it was your own insecurities eating you up inside. A new figure hits the scene, embracing the Darkness just as much as you did, but he's using it for justice and he's using it better than you ever did.

You got scared Crowley, so you attacked me. And you thought you broke me. And for about a week, I think you did. You broke me. But then I was reborn, I was reinvigorated and the Darkness within me was replenished ad I battled through an entire locker room only to be stood toe to toe with you and look what happened then. We were fighting for much more that time and I came out on top!

Shadow backs away again and starts to let out a slightly maniacal laugh to himself.

Pulling the camera back to his face he speaks again, through a sick looking grin as he chuckles.
You thought you broke me. You thought you'd done it then and you think you've done it again.

This time, this stakes are raised again. The stakes are raised far higher than they could ever be.
This was about the Darkness, now it's not.
This was about the Legacy Title, now it's not.
This was about the World Title BUT THEN - You had to go and make this personal.

Chuckling again Shadow reach out behind the Camera and drags Danny Eriksen back into the shot​

Danny, ask me what he did.

I'm sorry, what?

Go on, ask.

Erm... What did he do?

HE MADE THIS PERSONAL AND SO NOW WE GO BEYOND DARKNESS, CHAMPIONSHIPS AND EVEN GOD DAMN PRIDE ITSELF! THIS DANNY IS ALL ABOUT ONE MAN KICKING ANOTHER MANS ASS AND TAKING EVERYTHING FROM HIM WHICH HE SO DESPERATELY WANTS FROM ME!

Shadow marches over to a pile of boxes which are use to carry pieces of the Vortex set and just launches one down the hall and out of sight. When he turns back and walks to the camera his eyes are shut and he is breathing steadily.​


This has all the makings of the legendary traditional big match Crowley. This is what happens when an irrisistable force meets an immovable object. This is the age old tale of good versus evil, the dark meets the light- But wait, It's not. This isn't the dark meets the light. This is the dark meets the dark. So it seems pretty obvious that no matter what at desolation, the dark wins? No.

At Desolation, Darkness... Falls.

Cut to black.

__________________________________
 

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Discussion Starter #43
@ItsaNewDay

Everyone, I took a finger to the eye this past weekend and suffered a scratch on my cornea. Does anyone object to me taking an extra 24 hours for my RP? And yes this was the same eye I had surgery on in December.

:flabbynsting
 

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@ItsaNewDay

Everyone, I took a finger to the eye this past weekend and suffered a scratch on my cornea. Does anyone object to me taking an extra 24 hours for my RP? And yes this was the same eye I had surgery on in December.

:flabbynsting
Granted.
 

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“Your eyes are to discern evil, your mouth is to speak the truth, your heart is to be filled with righteousness, and your life to purge evil.”


****


On the distance the anatomy of a morbid building is seen It’s exterior was bleached white from the sun and under the full moon appeared as a bleached skull. Rows of windows, perched over the bleachers and lining the long wall, did little to relieve the gloom since their panes were coated in a layer of grime. The building has two tremendous, barren trees on the front lawn that must be aged a century or more. Perched on the many branches around is what appears to be an allied army of crows that give off the persona of fearless fighters. The eerie façade of the gym seems to have a purpose; to protect itself. Inside, the room of the gym was lighted by a faint of beam from an over-head light bulb casting grotesque and giant shadows upon the walls and ceilings. It’s wooden floor is made of barn board that it seems to absorb every bit of light. However the sound of feet in rhythmic measure clattering echoes the large room. To the right, racks of free weights lined the wall. On the left in the turgid gloom punch-bags dangled like hanged men. A patched and grubby ring canvas stood out as an outcrop of dull ivory and red ropes against all that darkness. Crowley’s face surfaced briefly in the halo of the overhead light bulb and faded as he jogged through the gym. Riffs of metal music played overhead and resounded through the place.

His face showed his capering thoughts while his eyes reflected no flicker of doubt.



Vortex – 8
“The camera focuses in on Shadow’s eyes.”

I stand for justice. Now I know my duty and my goal is to put an end on Crowley’s reign of terror and fear.

“He goes and comes as he pleases, the man who blazes through creating his own path of justice.”

Our bodies may differ, as may our roots, but our hearts are consumed by the same aim, Shadow.

And that is; justice…



Flashback

Ribbons of light are traced by automobile headlamps like veins of pulsating light on the darkened sky. A swirl rush of wind scooted through the streets. The view was so breathtaking that we stood on the pavement in front of an old European building, our eyes were drawn, as if by a magnet to the poster with the words “ROW” hanging on the wall.


So, this is the place, Frank.

]He let his eyes wander and marveled for a while, after all, he helped build such place.

Yes boy. The wrestling company I told you about.






Months later

After ROW – Bloody Confrontation.

The room was dimly lit; the blinds were drawn closed, keeping the light filtering in. The room itself had a sultry scent of smoke, money and the vapor of alcohol and body heat. A large oak desk sat at the end of the floor, the top sprinkled with a few basic office items. A multiline phone, a 1920 s vintage desk lamp, and a bottle of whiskey with a dirty tumbler. Behind the desk is ROW’s chairman Paul Phoenix.

Paul slammed his fist down on his desk. “Damn it, what the hell he thinks he’s doing?” he shouted as he slammed his fist, once, twice.

“…his detestable owner.”

He stood and threw the whiskey bottle across the office. The bottle broke through a flat screen TV that flickered, stalled and faded with Crowley’s image in the ring. He then violently grabbed the phone of it’s hook as if herald what he was about to say.

I got a work for you and your boys come to see me. I am not asking you, I am ordering you.




Present time

Crowley sprinted until his lungs seemed about to burst, then continued until exhaustion overcame stamina. He bent over trying to catch his breath. He later wheeled himself over to the bench press machine, and lifted the pound barbell of the bench, lowered to his chest, struggled to get it fully up, and then lowered it again.


Last Rites
Battle for the Darkness.

Crowley spitted the flood from his face into the air hovering like a red mist above he and Shadow.

“In order to live, in order to survive. We had no choice but to become stronger.




Flasback

He awoke to the sound of voices, and feet crunching through the roof and round the house. Criminals were out, hunting for them. He froze, not daring to move. He held his breath as time dragged slowly past. Katherine moved in her sleep but slowly awoke besides him. He put a finger to her lips to warm her to silence. Her eyes grew big with fear. The voices seemed to be all around them, searching steadily, methodically. He knew they had to run, but deep inside he knew they couldn’t escape. Soon gun shots erupted from all directions. They sought immediate cover. Fragments of glass and wood flew everywhere as muzzle fire and gun smoke consumed the room. Stephen and Katherine took off running through the kitchen. A voice was yelling, “Stop them!”

Stephen, we’re gonna…

We’ve been blessed, and for that alone we need to survive. So keep fighting.

Katherine traded a glance with Stephen. His jaw was set in grim determination. Nobody was going to take them without a fight as they kept moving.

Then the figure of a man came into the doorway holding a revolver. Stephen blocked sidestepped, and caught his attacker’s arm throwing his gun to the ground landing a vicious blow to his face. But a second attacker moved silently forward grinning. The brass knuckles connected Crowley’s head as he went down. He swiped his forearm across his forehead, where blood was dribbling down over his eyebrows. The goon raised his arm and was about to strike but Stephen moved faster lifted and slung his opponent through the air, landing on the table senseless. He took up his position in the shadows and took down two more men. Stephen and Katherine reached the car after leaving the house whose flames beginning to take the structure.





Present

Crowley then turned and stared at a box jump for a moment before jumping on. He stood as if frozen to the spot with his heels hanging off the edge. The muscles on his legs and abdominal tighten. He jumps off the box and then back onto it as quickly as possible.


Alpha & Omega
Shadow sees the opportunity. Code Black!

1, 2, it’s over. Crowley is eliminated. Shadow rises in victory.

“Clench your fist and get revenge. “There’s a guy you’ve gotta swing your fist at.”




Flashback

He shut his eyes and the fragment of an old vision leaped before his inner sight. He saw himself down by shadowy hands. He closed his eyes again, waiting for the tremors to pass, his emotions feeble worrying him with strangeness. What did he vision? It was lost, only the falling, endless falling he remembered. His mind flashed Katherine’s image before his inner sight along with a white figure with long black hair and someone else casting shadows that darkened an already dim space. He could not keep his eyes open. He just wanted to sleep. He awoke once more. He heard a deep voice talking to someone but Crowley could not make out the words. Then he felt a punch landing on his face and another hit his stomach.

“Don’t ever mess with me or my business again, you punk.”

Leave him. The police will take care now.

I had to stray into the darkness. To run, to hunt and to find her.




Present

Crowley’s inking skin glistened with sweat. With each slowly rise of the weight made the muscles of his back, shoulders and arms flexed in rippling movements as he works. The snap of wings made him look up, sharply. Something. A crow? A bat? “He’s coming but this time I’m ready.



Somewhere in the woods a week before.

The night above is a starry, the atmosphere is heavy as a Ghoul surface from behind the trees to where more are gathered. Three white figure lies senseless on the ground as they watch. One of the Ghouls lift his head up high enough watching the sky.

“No matter what comes, no matter how many times it comes, we’ll keep a steady guard. This is all for our King. And as such we will protect it.”

Back on the gym he ripped the tape from his left hand with his teeth and tossed it into a bucket. Two large ropes hang from its ceiling with a nine inch diameter ring at the bottom of each rope. The ring hangs as he jumps up to catch the metal rings in each hand and use the motion of his body to start them swinging. The rings moved him swiftly back and forth; the only sound was creaking and swishing of the cables that kept him away from crashing to the floor. He used brute strength to flawlessly push the rings completely away from his body until his arms stretched out as if he were hanging on a cross with his eyes showing confidence.


Vortex – 9
Shadow: I’ll find him Crowley and then I’ll find you and make you pay.

“The opponent I must swing my fist down on is burned onto the insight of these eyes.”




Flashback

Stephen seemed paralyzed for an instant, then looked up at his companion and said, “This way. Come on, follow me.” He turned back and retraced his steps until he was halfway down the hall, then opened a side door and started to run down a long, dusty corridor filled with cobwebs. Katherine was weighed down by the slab and was having trouble keeping up, but Stephen kept turning to say

“Hurry! We have to get out.”

He moved easily through that sinister place, a labyrinth of corridors and rooms leading into each other like a strange set of dominoes. Rats and beetles, the denizens of those abandoned halls, would start at the sudden intrusion and the wildly aimed torch beam, racing for shelter under rickety. All at once while running through a larger room, Stephen stopped for a moment clenching his fist to glance a man with long black hair and a white, double-breasted trench coat standing before a metal door, who appeared to be the master of the menacing place.

I had anticipated this situation. From here and out, you shall taste true despair.

"Frozen by fear, they gathered, stand and stare in despair…"




Present

Crowley’s vigor was starting to deplete, energy spent. His arms were quivering on the brink of failure. His face beamed in red and his forehead glistened with drops of sweat that slipped profusely down his biceps, pecs and abdominals to the floor. The dim light faded for a second then it came alive again. He walked toward the ring while using his teeth to tear through the tape on his hand. He uses the freed fingers to grab a towel off the ropes and wipe the sweat from his face. He slid through the ropes to the inside, and as he does a maelstrom of energy turns the air electric.

I can see us, Shadow. The aspirations, the bonds, the wills, and the pain. The only ones that can stop us anymore; are us.

For me it’s you, and for you, it’s me.





Vortex – 4
Darkness falls on PWC as Crowley raises the world title into the air. The King is here to rule the world!


Hell’s Judgment
Shadow hops in one leg and hits Code Black on AA. He wins. Shadow’s Legacy title defense, he made history. Now he goes for a World Title shot!

“Those scared to embrace the darkness, never saw the heroes rise.”

Crowley start sprinting across the ring and his body against the ropes bouncing back and forth. His feet pounding against the mat every sound seems to be blocked out by the focus and determination to keep moving. The muscles on his legs tighten. He then makes a pause as he leans and holds the ropes.




Weeks later

About 22:30 Paul called into his bar to celebrate “…” he drank a large glass of ice cold vodka and then went outside where he shouted for a taxi. Paul told the driver to take him to his fancy apartment in Layne’s avenue. He then walked the short distance to his place. The apartment’s stretch of glass windows that reflect the metropolis outside. He then walked the stairs and opened the door, and then locked it behind him. As he entered his apartment he took a bottle of ice cold vodka from his fridge and he saw that he had a message on his cell-phone. On the distance he heard the wailing noise of police sirens and the ambulance. He thought to himself that there was nothing to be worried about. For a moment he thought he saw a shadow streaming across the glass windows. With a glass of vodka in one hand he instead decided to pick the phone and read the message.

“Paul, that monster, he is hunting down all of them. We believe he goes after you”

He held his breath and lifted his head again. This time he saw the sinister shadow behind him. The glass of vodka slipped out of his hand and fell to the floor. “You” He said.

The glass shattered everywhere and the vodka littered the floor. Crowley’s shape became visible as he moved his face seemed to be grinning an evil smile.

Hello, Paul. Each men may receive what is due for what he has done in body. Now it’s your turn.

After a while Paul’s body fell on the ground unconscious. Crowley stood staring at the city, his hand touching the window, as if to cares the metropolis outside.




Present.

Crowley stepped out of the ring, pulled off a tower, rubbed his head before reaching the door.

Many people fear the darkness but you and I shadow embraced it. And we walked through the dark, the absolute, total darkness together. One cannot exist without the other in the darkness.

He then slowly turned and looked at the gym one last time.

But make no mistake. At Desolation I’ll take my time to teach you the nature of the King whom you’ll face. Then, you shall believe that your fist cannot reach the heavens where I sit ruling this world, your world.

He could feel the rush of cooler air enter the gym, he then moved toward the light switch and turned it off.



****

“So in secret he changed himself. Turned his face to ash… and in essence erased his own existence, and abandoning his name. Eventually he became a whole new person. And before even he had noticed it… the darkness had completely taken him from head to toe."
 

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BRUCE THORN JR.

Port of Philadelphia, 3 days before Desolation

They heard the faintest noise come from the other side of the docks. The hushed silence broken as the water from the Delaware River softly lapped around them. The full moon shone brightly above. Doug Ramsey nervously shuffled from one side to the next.

Quiet, Doug.

Ramsey took a deep breath, his heart pounding through his chest.

Bruce, it isn’t too late.

Bruce Thorn rolls his eyes.

I told you not to come, remember? You’re the one who insisted.

You got the hell beaten out of you in that match with Nero and then you’re crazy enough to challenge Ivory at Desolation, all of that after getting beat up by Bianchi and you expect me to just let you come here on a tip from Anthony Bruno of all people.

Thorn knew that Doug was right. Every inch of his body still ached after that brutal match with Nero at the last Vortex. His shoulder was still tender, his knee weak and his mind weary. If he had any sense he’d be at home, resting up for another huge match, this time against Ivory at Desolation. It was a match he asked for after all. But instead he was here at the Port in the dead of night hiding behind shipping containers for a supposed meeting that Anthony Bruno said would be happening. A meeting that was supposed to help them find Cassie and there was no way he was going to let that chance slip away.

I’ll be fine. I’ve felt much worse than this.

He managed a smile through his lie. He turned his shoulder over one more time, the pain he felt as Nero cranked down on it still lingered.

Remember when Nero said he wouldn’t go after my shoulder.

An icy cold wind whipped up then that sent shivers down both of their spines. Ramsey answered through chattering teeth.

He lied, he is Dr. Nero remember. I can’t believe you believed him in the first place.

Thorn knew there was more to it than Nero just being Nero and lying when he said he wouldn’t go after his shoulder before the match. It gave him a strange sense of pride knowing that his performance pushed Nero to do it anyway despite his promise.

He had gone toe to toe with one of the best and lived to tell the tale and now he faced Ivory in three days. A man who was just as dangerous and would do anything to win. Bruce remembered the fast talking wrestler with the cult following on his last run in PWC. He had defeated some of the best wrestlers the company had to offer and he did it with reckless abandon and a disregard for the rules or what anyone thought of him. He was a true maverick. All he wanted was to win and that’s what he did. All of those things had actually made Thorn a fan. Which is why when his name came up as coming back to PWC, he challenged him straight away at Desolation.

Ivory can go after my shoulder if he wants, my knee too. I’ll be ready.

Do you know who else lies, Anthony Bruno. We’ve been here for hours Bruce, when was this meeting supposed to take place anyway.

Maybe Bruno did lie. The meeting was supposed to have happened hours ago but still nothing.

You’re right, we’ll give it a little while and then….

As Thorn finished his thought three men dressed in black appeared. They strode in a line towards the far end of the yard. Thorn put his finger on his lip to quiet his friend and then pointed to behind another container, pushing Doug towards it before they could be spotted.

Is….is that them? Is this the meeting?

Bruce shrugged. He wasn’t sure what they were even looking for here. This could very well be a trap, a way to get Thorn out of his way by Bruno forever. Whatever happened, they needed to be careful.

We’ll keep close, listen to what they say. Gather information and if Cassie is here, get her out.

Get her out?

Doug's eyes were wide and glistening. Thorn placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder to try and calm his friend down. It didn’t work.

Well if they don't do it first, Tommy is going to kill us.

The two made their way towards the men, making sure to keep in the shadows away from where they could spot them. The strange men slowly made their way around the ship yard, their eyes moving back and forth between all the containers. One of them pointed to a black unmarked one near the end of the row. Bruce and Doug moved in closer. One of them spoke, his voice booming with authority. He seemed to be leading this party.

This one.

The light hit his face with the man letting out an almost devilish smile. They watched as he ordered the others to open it as he stood aside almost salivating.

I can almost taste the power.

What the hell is in that thing.

Bruce looked over the container and noticed it was different to others here. It was smaller than the rest, but well-built, almost like it was reinforced. There were also small holes littered across it. The men wrenched it open with Doug Ramsey’s eyes lighting up.

Bruce, there’s….there’s someone in there.

Wait, I….you’re right.

The men pulled the person from within and threw a black sheet over them.

Cassie, it must be her.

Bruce went to stop them but Ramsey grabs his arm.

No, you can’t. What if they’re armed or something? Let’s just call the police.

They’ll be long gone by then. We need to act now.

Thorn pulled himself free from Doug and kicked into gear, the pain from his knee and shoulder gone as the adrenalin coursed through his veins. He crossed the yard looking to intercept the men when from the shadows she appeared once again.

It was her. The woman with the raven hair, the one who had been following him and the one who had smashed him in the head with that kick the last time they met. She moved with blinding pace as she grabbed Thorn’s arm and pulled him back away from sight. Thorn balled up his fists expecting another attack but the woman threw up both her hands.


Who the hell are you?

A friend.

Friend’s don’t attack each other, friends don’t stalk each other. You are no friend of mine. Now let me go…

She isn’t under that sheet.

She pointed towards the men as the sheet lifted from the person they held for a brief second. It wasn’t Cassie. It was a little boy. He was maybe nine or ten years old. He seemed to be dazed and confused, unaware of the men dragging him away. Bruce stopped in his tracks. What was this?

His attention turned toward the men once more dragging the child with them.


Bruno said that…. Did he lie again?

Thorn wouldn’t put it pass him to do that. And who was this woman. None of this made sense.

We can’t let them take him. It would mean the end for us all.

The end?

Please we need to work together here.

She pointed to towards the men and then went into a sprint. Thorn followed much to Ramsey’s dismay. He didn’t know why, but something told him that the little boy needed them.

Bruce, wait. Don’t go.

As they followed she motioned for Thorn to hang back.

When I hand him to you, get the boy to your car. I’ll meet you there.

Wait, what do you….

Before Bruce could ask she was gone, steaming up behind the three men in a flash. She sped around a corner and was in front of them and the boy. Suddenly she threw something on the floor with smoke engulfing all of them. The men were in disarray, coughing, choking on the fumes. Thorn couldn’t believe his eyes, she swooped in quickly, knocked one out with a kick and grabbed the boy and handed him to Bruce. Thorn slung him over his shoulder and burst into a sprint. He looked behind him for a second with the women nailing the other two with swift strikes, knocking them off their feet. Bruce pulled a shocked Doug Ramsey who stumbled behind him for a moment sprinting as well as they made their way to his car. With the three of them inside they start the engine with the woman suddenly appearing on the hood to Ramsey's shock. She jumps into the back before they sped off.

Keep going. We need to be long gone before they come to.

They kept driving until they came up to a diner a few miles down the road where she asks them to stop. The boy seemed to become more lucid now as well. With that, all three stepped out of the car, with the child wide eyed at his would be saviours. The women holds his hand, smiles and makes to leave. Bruce grabbed her by the arm as she does.

Where do you think you’re going with him?

She pulled away disdainfully.

You think I’m going to let you take him and leave after all that.

Bruce holds his hand and kneels down so they were at the same eye level.

What’s your name?

I….I don’t know.

The boy looks scared, his eyes full of fear. Bruce noticed that he was wearing what looked like a strange ceremonial robe, not the usual garments for a boy his age.

It’s okay.

His eyes seemed to light up as he looked at Thorn.

You’re Bruce Thorn. The wrestler.

He smiled a board smile.

You know who I am. You watch PWC?

I…I don’t know.

Again the boy look confused, like he found a lost memory, then lost it again.

That’s enough now. Please let me take him. He’ll be safe with us.

Us? Who's us? He’s not going anywhere with you until we get some answers.

Thorn stood up once more.

Now tell me who….

Suddenly she went for a kick again, this time he was ready and blocked. The force of the blow sent shivers through his arm, Thorn clutched it in pain.

Not this time.

Thorn went to lunge at her but she was too fast. She skipped away with Doug Ramsey in awe.

We’ll meet again, Mr. Thorn. Take care of him.

The girl sprinted away once more with Bruce going to chase but suddenly feeling his bad knee once more and thinking better of it.

Who was she and what does all of this have to do with Cassie?

Thorn looks at the scared little boy next to him.

I don’t know, but I’ll damn sure find out.

***

On the plane over Toronto

Tommy Thorn slept soundly, reclined in his seat with a mask over his eyes. Bruce Thorn sat in the window seat next to him. He remembered the days of long flights on economy class as they flew over the Toronto skyline. It was another PWC PPV, Desolation. This time in a match with Ivory. His body was still stiff, the injuries were piling up but Thorn knew that all that just made him stronger. He hadn’t gotten a match at Desolation so he made his own opportunity. He challenged Ivory to a match. Fight in front of a raucous crowd and show the world he still had what it took were his plans. The Bruce Thorn that dreamed of changing the wrestling business that used to travel on long haul flights in economy class while injured was still here. He still felt the fire, the burning desire to win it all.

I don’t care how hurt I am.

He looks through the window again, the Toronto sunrise in his eyes. He looked over and saw the Air Canada Centre below them and smiled.

I will beat Ivory.

This was all he ever wanted. Now he was here.
 

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Has the due date passed? I'd like to post a 'coming up Milhouse' gif, but I don't want to do so and then get ruined by Lari's RP.
 

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Discussion Starter #55

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Discussion Starter #56 (Edited)

Jensen: The View

Prologue
Tick. Tock.

The minutes continued to pass and I continued to sit in silence. I shifted in my seat in an attempt to get more comfortable, but it had little effect on me. I still wanted to get the hell out of here.

Voice: Jensen, have you thought about the question?

I nodded my head to indicate yes. I take a big sip of water as I attempt to remove the dryness from my mouth.

Voice: So, then let me hear what you have to say.

I thought again for a brief moment before opening my mouth.

Jensen: Well, my general rule is to never answer questions you don't know the answer to.

Voice: Well, I will go ahead and ask again. Tell me, who is Jensen? If you can't answer, maybe I can help you figure it out...



****​


We arrived in Los Angeles by plane a few days before Desolation. With our carry on bags slung over our shoulders, Morgan and I walked towards her car. With us not even being two feet outside of the airport, all eyes were on us. If you had seen Morgan, it was easy to see why. With such elegance and grace, she walked as if she owned the city of Angels. I on the other hand, appeared to be along for the ride.
Dressed in a poncho and my favorite pair of moccasins, I looked like I was on my way to tour the indie music festival scene; A stark contrast to the Hollywood starlet around my arm.

As we walked, people took out their phones and snapped whatever photos they could of us. While I tried to shield my face, Morgan smiled and waved at the mob of fans.

Luckily for me her car was only a short distance away, so I quickened my stride and practically dove into expensive Italian sports car . Before getting in, Morgan gave the crowd one last smile and wave.

Morgan: Still not a fan of the attention I take it?

Jensen: Nope. I prefer the nice quiet life in the Portland wilderness. These big cities aren't for me. Anyway, lets get to your place fast. I really need a shower after that long flight.

Morgan shook shook her head no.

Morgan: Sorry no time. Selene is waiting for you and I would hate to be late. After all she is doing us a favor.

Jensen: I told you I don't need a therapy session. I am fine.

Morgan: No you aren't. This Remy feud has sucked all the energy and fun from you. The only thing you think about is putting an end to this feud

Jensen: Remy is the one who made this personal by involving my sister and best friend in all of this... well my former best friend

I take a deep sigh and look out the window. It was difficult last week having to fight Hunter, especially as I spent a majority of my teenage years protecting him. This time he needed protection from me. I looked down at my hands still bruised from the impact with his skull. Still sore from it all.

Morgan: Believe me, she can help you. She is the go to person in Hollywood in these situations. She really helped turn my life around, and I know she can do the same for you. She really gets to the bottom of what is wrong with a person.

Jensen: Ok fine. I trust you, so I am willing to give it a shot. But I do have to say I think it is a waste of time because I am all business. Remy thinks he is going to walk all over me in that cage, but I have a newsflash for him.... he won't.

After some time, we pulled into a parking lot in downtown Hollywood. A valet was there to meet us and drove off. As we approached, the red headed woman was standing in the doorway. Her and Morgan embraced in a hug and exchanged kisses to each others cheeks.


The woman then extended her hand towards me and spoke in a slightly southern accent.

Woman: Well hello there, you must be Jensen. Morgan has told me all about you. If you haven't already guessed, I am Selene.

I shook her hand and she motioned for us to enter the building. The first thing you noticed is how quiet it was. Several people were seated with books in their hands. We walked through the middle of the room and not one eye followed us. Their thoughts remained fixed on whatever they had in front of them. We soon stopped in front of a door.

Morgan gave me a quick hug and hurried away leaving me with Selene. She opened the door and motioned for me to enter the room. Before sitting down, she poured me a glass of water.

Jensen: Im sorry, I have to ask. What is this place?

Selene:
This is a place where people come to find themselves. To find out who they are and where they are going. Jensen, this is the Church of the Inner Light

I paused for a moment. A very long moment.

Selene: I see the confusion on your face, so let me explain. We help people bring out their hidden potential to the surface. We are not a crack pot cult or anything and I am not some crazy. I am a trained psychologist, so everything we will discuss today can be backed up by countless pages of research.

I stared at her for some time before indicating to her I wish to continue.

Selene: Morgan tells me that you are not the same person you used to be. You are much moodier and cynical than before. Care to tell me why?

Jensen: Truthfully, I am just tired of people in general. Based off everything I have encountered, people are destructive beings. I mean I am from Oregon. It used to nothing but forests and fertile land. Now all you see are shopping malls. That's just crazy to me. Its never enough either. People see something they want they go grab it and they will fight over it. You hear shouts from both sides, "Well we've got the land but they've got the view!". It never ends.

Selene: You are very passionate aren't you. Tell me about Remy.

I straighten up continue to speak.

Jensen: Remy, he is just another in a long list of people making my life miserable in PWC. First there was Karl Wyndham. Then Whisper, Ivory. All guys making business personal. Well you know what, I am still standing while the others have slowly faded away. Remy is going to find out why you don't cross Jensen. In the end, that Television title is coming back to me.

Selene: Well tell me,what do you feel makes you special. Tell me who is Jensen.

I stared at her. This was going to take a while.

****​

Morgan and I drove in silence towards her home in Beverly Hills. As her eyes remained fixed on the road, I peered out the window. It was night time already, as my session with Selene lasted for hours.

Jensen: Morgan, do you have a second?

Morgan: Sure.

Jensen: Do you think Muhammed Ali tried out a few animals before settling on his catchphrase? You know, like swim like a tuna, sting like a jellyfish?

Morgan smiled.

Morgan: I see Selene did wonders for you. Welcome back sweetie.


****
TO BE CONTINUED​
 
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