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Act XII: A Fresh Face (Part 1)
02-08-2018, 11:26 AM
Post: #1


“Man is his own star; and the soul that can

Render an honest and a perfect man,

Commands all light, all influence, all fate;

Nothing to him falls early or too late.

Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,

Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.”

~ Epilogue to 'Honest Man's Fortune'







31 January 2018
Stade Chedly Zouiten
Tunis, Tunisia


Pain.

That was the one thought that echoed through Finn Kuhn's mind as he limped across the halls of the Stade Chedly Zouiten. With every step he took, a large stabbing pain can be felt reverberating around his entire body. Grabbing onto the wall for support as he tried to make it back to his locker room, the walls soon became coated with his pale sweat.

Although Finn had managed to sneak out a win against Chris Chaos, that doesn't mean the battle was hard fought. Both Finn and the Chaotic One had battled back and forth, with each busting out a heavy amount of moves from their arsenal. Chaos in particular created and exploited a leg injury, even doing a Spear that was dedicated to clipping Finn's legs out from under him.

"That's gonna hurt in the morning," Finn said as he winced, gingerly trying to bend his knee to get more feeling back into it. "Damn Chaos. Ah, but at least I got the win," Finn reminded to himself, chuckling defiantly. He could always take solace in the fact that on this night, he proved he was the better man through his resourcefulness. Now all that was left was to find who he was facing...

Sure enough, the large oak door with a sign labeled FINN KUHN on it stood in front of Finn. Slowly opening it, he wiped his sweat off, limping into the large, spacious room. Jon Williams, Finn Kühn's best friend - who had been watching the action via the flatscreen TV in front of him at the opposing wall - got out of his chair with a large grin on his face, walking up to his childhood friend and offering him a fist bump, which Finn reciprocated with a tired smile. Royal manners be damned, Finn worked his ass off in his match, and he was going to fucking relax if he wanted to.

"Dude, that's what I'm fucking talking about. Gotta admit, for a second I was worried, but you proved me and EVERYONE in that locker room wrong, and you're one step closer to that title match."

"Chaos was a fool to try and oppose me. I just hope this damned leg doesn't slow me down too much in the next match..." Finn grimaces as he slowly starts sitting on the bench. What he needed right now was a nice, warm bath to soothe his aching bones and muscles while he relaxes, a TV installed right above the bath would allow him to keep an eye on the action... Though he wasn't about to complain about his current situation.

Just as his thoughts started to drift, the TV blared with the ongoing action.

Wednesday Night Warfare Results Said:Bourbon manages to reach his hands and knees. He looks up at Caedus, who stares down at Robbie before stepping forward and cracking Bourbon in the side of the head with another WREXUS PLEXUS!!!!! Robbie rolls away and into the corner where his head rests against the bottom turnbuckle……. ANOTHER WREXUS PLEXUS TO THE FACE!!!!! Caedus screams like a Viking and grabs Bourbon’s foot to drag him out to the center of the ring….. He covers him!!!!


ONE!!!!




TWO!!!!!












THREE!!!!!!!!

Caedus has done it! He’s heading to the semi-finals!!

THREE Wrexus Plexus’s, Pip. Bourbon has to be seeing quadruple right now…..


Winner and advancing in the XWF Universal Title Tournament – Jim Caedus

Finn sat silently as the fans roared in appreciation for Caedus, their hero, pulling out a win against Robbie. Finn's mouth grew dry; Chris Chaos was one thing, but if he had to go up against Jim fucking Caedus?

He shook his head as he banished those rogue thoughts from his mind. He was past the point of self-doubt now. He was on the fast track to superstardom, and by hook or by crook he was going to fulfill the promise he set to himself. He was the Kaiser, the ace of the XWF. No longer was he the Young Lion. Finn was only a failure as the Young Lion, but now he could fulfill his aspirations.

"I'm gonna hit the showers," Finn grunted, knees crunching, as he forced himself to stand. "I need to fucking relax."

Finn was heavily limping as he forced himself forward; it almost felt like knives were trying to dig their way through his skin, his muscles, all the way down to his bones. He gritted his teeth as he stepped into the showers, and turned the water on and to the warmest setting possible. Almost as if on cue, steam flooded the shower area as Finn shed his clothes, throwing them aside and stepping underneath the boiling hot water.

A quiet moan escaped Finn's lips as he let the water flood his senses. This was something like paradise, and he can feel the pain from his knee being dulled under the intense heat.

But this pleasant feeling didn't last. Finn could feel a new pair of eyes staring daggers at him. He felt his hairs stand at attention as whoever this guy is didn't say a word.

"Jon? That you?" Finn said hesitantly. Whoever this person was didn't respond. Finn squinted his eyes, trying to see through the thick steam...

Not saying another word, trying to make as little sound as possible, Finn backpedaled back to the faucet, slowly shifting the water to be more cool as the steam slowly cleared...

Not a soul was there. It was only Finn, who signed and hung his head as he turned the water back to warm. He was just in a grueling match, perhaps his senses didn't ease up at all. He could hear Jon rubbing his hands together in hype and anticipation as he saw the Engineer and the Bearded War Pig were going at it.

Gerald held his breath outside of the shower stall, daring not to even speak or breathe a word. He was damned lucky Finn hadn't caught him, otherwise he'd likely face serious repercussions from Maverick. He made no motions to try and move as Finn finished his shower and headed out to sit with his friend. Gerald missed his opportunity to snatch what he came here to get. He'd just have to get some of Finn's DNA...

Another way.





1 February 2018
Majestic Hotel
Tunis, Tunisia


Jon was awoken by the vibrations of his cell phone. He groaned then turned the other side, trying not to let the glaring sunlight force him up. He stayed up late, too late last night hanging out with Finn and celebrating his victory at Warfare. Throwing a nearby pillow onto his face to try and muffle the noise, the phone responded by vibrating more violently, almost beckoning Jon to come check his notifications.

With a begrudging sigh, Jon rolled over to the other side of the bed, opening his phone. Three notifications stared back at him, to which Jon checked the first one (and most recent) - a text message from Finn. Furrowing his eyes, Jon opened the text message.


Finn: Tell me you saw the upcoming Warfare card.


Sure enough, that was the next notification. Jon ignored the text for now, and scrolled through his new notifications and opened the Warfare card that was recently posted online at the official XWF website. Quickly skimming through the card, Jon didn't notice Finn's name pop out. Until...


UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL
Finn Kuhn
- vs -
Jim Caedus



"Oh. Shit."

Immediately upon recognizing what the hell Finn was getting into, Jon went back into his text conversation with Finn and texted back.


Jon: Holy shit dude. CAEDUS?!


A few seconds passed until Finn responded.


Finn: Tell me about it. I managed to get past Chaos though, I have faith I can beat Caedus here.


Jon blinked in shock. He almost couldn't believe Finn right now considering who he was going to be staring across the ring from.


Jon: Chaos was one thing. He's not even half the man he was before. Impressive that you notched a win against him, sure. But CAEDUS?!

Finn: People doubt me constantly. I thought you'd be different here.

Jon: I DO have faith in you, but you need to approach this realistically. Caedus is unlike anyone you've faced before. You couldn't get past Cain, you couldn't get past Neville, or Cadryn, or Travis. Finn. This might be out of your league.


Finn stopped responding after that, which caused Jon to groan and roll his eyes. Finally, checking the last notification, was another text, this time from an unknown number.


???: Is this Jon Wilson?


Jon arched his eyebrows as he texted back.


Jon: No. This is Jon Williams. And you are?

???: Williams, right. Good to know my money was well-spent.

Jon: What money? Who are you?

???: And you're Finn Kuhn's buddy, right?


Jon could feel his temper flaring as this person continued dodging his questions. What the fuck was this?


Jon: WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?

???: Right, right. Sorry, got a little ahead of myself. Tell you what: I'll introduce myself if you do me one teensy, tiny favor.

Jon: What?

???: You are Finn's friend, are you not?

Jon: Yeah...

???: So you can get me a meeting with him.

Jon: Ha ha, nope. I didn't sign up to deal with fucking fanboys.

???: It's nothing like that, I assure you. My name is Isabel Mercier, you might have heard of me.

Jon: See, about that...

Jon: Nope.

Isabel: Ouch.

Jon: So, why the hell are you bugging me now?

Isabel: Your friend's stock continues to rise. Now, I don't mean to insult Finn's intelligence but you'd be surprised how often wrestlers get screwed over when it comes to the business side of the wrestling business.

Jon: And you think you can help him?

Isabel: I'd like to think so.

Jon: For a hefty fee, I presume?

Isabel: Actually, I've been told I undervalue myself.

Jon: Right. Thanks for the offer, but I'm sure Finn's not interested in sharing profits with some bloodsucking anklebiter. All due respect.

Isabel: I'm sorry, I thought you were Jon. I wasn't aware I was speaking to the man himself.

Jon: You aren't.

Isabel: And yet you feel compelled to make important decisions for him?

Jon: I know him pretty well, you know.

Isabel: Well enough to turn me away without his input. Come on, you're acting like I asked you to sign his name on the dotted line already. I just want a sitdown with him, is that really so much to ask?

Jon: Maybe it is.

Isabel: And maybe I should get in contact with your best friend directly. Let him know you're out here making decisions on his behalf like it's your career you're playing with.

Jon: And how do you plan to do that?

Isabel: I found your number, didn't I? Just a meeting is all I ask.

Jon: Fuck, fine. I'll talk to him but don't get your hopes up, psycho.

Isabel: Thank you so very much. Have a blessed day!


Jon rolled his eyes at that last comment. 'Blessed day.' What a fucking riot. He went back to his text conversation with Finn and told him to contact him ASAP as Jon rubbed his temples. Today was going to be a long day.





8 February 2018
El Khan Hotel
Tripoli, Libya


"You're a goddamn fool, Caedus."

"You're going to attack me for adding one measly syllable more to a line? Truly? You're going to attack me for how I speak despite the fact it's already been established English was not my first language?"

"Truly, if you want to know what happened there, I had gone through an exhausting match, and I used the wrong word that admittedly sounded somewhat similar. That's it."
Finn shrugged. "I will say though, I find it funny how with just that extra syllable, I had you tripping over yourself trying to correct me, trying to be like 'YOU FUCKED UP.' But, the truth is, Jim?"

"I think you're desperate. You're grasping at straws. Because you know, at least a tiny part of you knows, that perhaps this kid who claims to be a Kaiser might just pull out a win. You're even acknowledging this too, trying to take me as seriously as you can. You know that there's a sliver of a chance that you'll be looking up at the lights."

"The truth is, of course, that sliver of a chance is actually an absolute certainty, but you seem dead set on actually trying to delude yourself that you actually stand a chance. But the fact is, Jim? You're not on my level. I beat Chaos by proving to be more resourceful. Robbie Bourbon barely beat me after I took him to the absolute limit, and even then, if we were to have a rematch, everyone knows I would rectify that quicker than you can spit."

"Another thing I truly find funny is you trying to say that Finn is not a common German name. News flash, kiddo-- before you try attacking me on a topic, make sure you know what the fuck you're talking about. My parents knew what they were naming me, and you can rest assured the name is a common German name."

"And really, Jim. If we're gonna be honest? You might claim I'm pathetic, and a moron. But allow me to say something about you:"

"You're a shell of your former self."

"While I was toiling about at the undercard, struggling to prove myself and show that I belong at the level my talent deserves, I heard stories. Legends about you and the others in the main event scene while you and the others tore it up. How the mighty Jim Caedus spared no prisoners. How he demolished everyone in his path and earned his way to championship glory. Your match against Graves at King of the Ring became the talk of the town for months, how Jim Caedus managed to fight against his ex-best friend Michael Graves, slaying dragons, destroying the Big Ben, how fucking nothing would stop him. But it was around that time that I realized something."

"You were losing your edge."

"You lost to Brucette Blingsteen. Brucette Blingsteen, the girl who stole the Universal Championship. Brucette Blingsteen, the girl who had an entire federation united to shittalk against her and her merry band of retards. Brucette Blingsteen, the girl who was locked in a mental asylum to rehab off of her love of drugs and was going through severe mistreatment. Brucette Blingsteen... beat you."

"Ah-ha!, I can already hear you yelling. But Graves interfered in that match! That was what led to the King of the Ring match between you two in the first place. And sure, you might be right again..."
Finn shrugged again.

"So perhaps another example is needed to prove my point."

Finn started pacing as he continued to talk.

"June 13th, 2017. Sound familiar? It should. It's the date you won that oh-so-coveted 24/7 briefcase. You had a free ticket to the top, good for any moment, any second. Just cash in on a wounded opponent, beat them and declare yourself a champion."

"But... you didn't. You're lazing about with that briefcase right now, sitting on an opportunity to receive the belt that people have bled for, that people have poured their blood, sweat and tears for. You had the most free win available to you with that fatass Robbie Bourbon. You could have cashed in after I took Bourbon to the absolute limit. You could have cashed in after he was basically BEGGING Imperial to pin him and become champion. But no, you didn't. Instead you became all caught up in stable wars between Apex and the Motherfuckers, instead you lazed about idly, while always proclaiming at every possible moment that yes, you're gunning for your title again, and you're willing to do anything possible to get it back."

"Except..."

"You weren't, Jim. Otherwise this tournament wouldn't be a thing. Otherwise we'd be facing off for the title at Turning Point rather than an opportunity for the title. Let's face facts, Jim..."

"You lost your edge, that drive, that skill. You are only a loser in this story."

"I know what I'm going to do to stop you. I'm going to leave you, broken and battered in that ring, as you know in your mind that it is futile to resist the Kaiser. You'll slump back, defeated as I beat either Imperial or the Engineer in the finals of this tournament, and have my hand raised as the new. Universal Champion."

"Only one question remains, however."

"The fuck you gonna do to stop me?"


~FIN~



January 2018 Star of the Month
x1 Heavymetalweight Champion

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