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X-treme Wrestling Federation BOARDS » Warfare Boards » "Wednesday Warfare" RP Board
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Debts & Superheroes
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The Collector Offline
Gage Gannon's Daddy



XWF FanBase:
Mixed

(loved by some; hated by some; dips between clean/dirty)


Post: #1
06-30-2020 08:59 AM

Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, New York

It’s barely 9 in the morning and I’m walking Kent Avenue trying to find this luxury apartment building. With the mask securely on my face I started to think about whether or not the random passerby’s thought I was nuts… but then I remembered its New York. We’re all liars here. And maybe a bit off compared to most communities across this nation.

This city, with all its commotion and millions going about their day, it almost gives me peace of mind. No one cares about the weirdo in the blinking mask. I think often, about removing it. I consider what it might be like to do this job with my real face and my real identity. In a city with a population nearing 20 million people, with its surrounding metropolitan area, its easy to get lost in the crowd. It’s easy to go from who I am, to become no one. To become almost entirely anonymous.

Making my way up the fire escape of this apartment building to the roof, my thoughts begin to quiet as I start thinking about the task at hand. Keith Rickle. My next mark. My focus switches entirely to him as I make my way to the corner of the roof.

37 years old.

Divorced.

Single.

Father of one.

A nine year old boy named Frankie.

5’9”

Brown hair, green eyes.

Slim build.

Executive in a local tire chain.

Well liked, but a bit of a gambling problem.

Staring out across the East River at the concrete jungle of downtown Manhattan, the beauty of One World Trade rising high above the rest, my mind once again shifts from Mr. Rickle to myself and the life I left behind. I begin to doubt whether I made the right choice in leaving it all behind. My affairs have been left in capable hands so I don’t worry much about that. Honestly, its a well oiled machine at this point and things almost run autonomously. Even still, I miss my people.

Are they mad at me? Do they hate me for leaving them? Do they even miss me the way I miss them?

I think I fucked up.

Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Maybe I should have just passed the torch and not just abandoned my life. I’ve pretty much rendered the last several years of my life and the things I have done, entirely pointless. I’m no longer doing what I set out to do. Remember, I said that I didn’t ask for any of this but also I sorta did? It really is complicated. I did what I did out of necessity. Out of the instinct to survive. That put me into a position I didn’t want but had to take because there was no one else and I have run from it ever since. It might sound cruel and heartless but maybe I should have never done it. I could have allowed things to unfold however they might and let it… and him… die.

GOD! Free me from the prison of my own creation.

I venture back down the fire escape searching for the window I passed on my way up. The one with the Simba decal. It’s the boys bedroom I would assume, but my information puts Frankie at his mom’s this weekend. It’ll just be me and Mr. Rickle.

After finding the window, I wiggle it open and step inside. Quietly, I slide the window closed behind me and turn around to see a nine year old boy staring back at me from behind an Iron Man mask.


”Are you Deadpool?” he asks.

”What? NO!” I answer him. My information was wrong because of course it is. ”Why would you think I’m Deadpool?”

”It was the only hero I could think of with a red and black mask.”

”I’m not a hero,” I reply. I used to think I was I guess. Not a mask wearing, super power having hero mind you, but I thought I was a good role model to young kids just like Frankie all over the world. Now I’m not so sure.

”Are you a super villain?”


No. I’m not that either.


”Like Thanos or something.”

”Uhhhh. Noooooo,” I don’t think I am.

”What’s your name?”

”The Collector,” I reply with a little bit of shame. ”Where’s your dad?” I ask him as I sit on the edge of his race car themed bed.

”Asleep still. He worked late last night,” he says a bit shyly from his doorway.


The boy is nervous. Of course he is. A man he doesn’t know in a mask he doesn’t recognize just sneaked into his bedroom and is now sitting on his bed. No good story ever started that way. Scanning the room quickly I notice his PS4 and his stack of video games on the bottom shelf that supports his television.


”I see you like video games,” I say to him, trying to ease his apprehension.

”I’m 9.”


True.


”Which one is your favorite?”


Before answering, he closes his bedroom door behind him and almost does a baseball slide to the floor where he starts digging through his stack of games.


”Spider Man is my favorite but the disc doesn’t work anymore,” he says as he tosses the case over his shoulder. ”I like this one because it’s fun and it’s easy, but I don’t really understand the story,” he informs me as he hands me Detroit: Become Human.


Well, he’s in luck. I know the game well.


”Yeah I’m not sure that story would resonate with someone your age,” I agree.

”Like, they’re people but they’re treated like slaves or something.”


He’s not all that off the mark. It’s more complicated than that obviously.


”They’re androids,” I tell him. ”Do you know what androids are?”


He doesn’t answer me. He just stares back at me from behind his Iron Man mask.


”Basically they’re machines designed to look exactly like human beings. They were created to be really smart and to mimic real people. But they were created so smart that even though they’re machines, they started to have real thoughts and feelings. Like anger, or love. Empathy.”

”Empathy. What’s that word?”

”Okay say you have a friend in school and maybe their dad got sick and your friend was really sad about it...”

”That did happen!” he shouts excitedly. ”In school, Joey’s dad had a heart attack and was in the hospital! He was really sad about that!”

”Did you try to comfort him? Did you wish there was something you could do to make him feel better?”

”Yeah.”

”That’s empathy. Don’t ever lose that trait,” I tell him. ”It’s disappearing rapidly in today’s world.”


Frankie takes off his mask and lays it on the floor beside him. Cute kid.


”Now you.”

”Now me what?”

”Take off your mask.”


I sit quietly for a moment, pondering his request.


”We’re friends now, right?”


I can’t help but smile behind the mask. CLICK Off goes the lights. CLICK Off goes the voice thingy. I pull the mask off, baring my face for Frankie to see. Don’t worry, my face is pixelated for the XWF.

I have a hard time denying kids. Especially a reasonable request like ‘hey let me see your face.’


”You’re not scary looking.”


That’s the entire point of the mask kiddo.


”I know your mommy didn’t name you The Collector. What’s your real name?”

”Come here,” I tell him, my voice entirely unaltered. He jumps up from the floor and rushes over to me. I whisper my real name in his ear. ”But just call me Jaime.” I can’t seem to lie to them either.


I grab his PlayStation controller and turn on his system.


”What do you want to play?” he asks. I notice the external hard drive and go into the store and download him a new Spider Man.

”Nothing. Enjoy your new Spider Man.”


He watches the download bar progress a few seconds then turns and looks up at me, and throws his arms around me. It wasn’t the reaction I expected. I hadn’t really thought about how he would react. It catches me off guard but he hugs me tight. His head buried in my chest, I hug him back and lay my cheek on top of his head.

I need a little brother.


”Frankie, what do you want to eat for...” Keith Rickle begins as he stops dead in his tracks, partially out of fear and partially out of shock seeing his sons arms wrapped around me.

”Dad this is Jaime,” he says to his father after releasing his death grip. ”Remember how I told you before Christmas that my Spider Man game was broke? He just bought me a new one!”

”That’s great!” he answers, feigning happiness.

”Mr. Rickle, if we could talk in private?”

”Frankie, play your new game while me and Jaime talk.”


I follow Keith out of the bedroom toward the living room.


”I wanted to apol...” I begin before he turns around and grabs a handful of the neck of my shirt.

”What the hell do you think you’re doing coming here when my son is here!?” he asks angrily in a hushed tone as to not alert Frankie.

”He wasn’t supposed to be here,” I answer him. ”He was supposed to be with his mom this weekend.”

”His mom is on her honeymoon,” he says through grit teeth as he unhands my shirt.

”I’m sorry, truly.”


Keith plops down defeated in his Lay-Z-Boy.


”You owe Mr. Henry… a LOT of money and the debt is way, way passed due.”

”I know!” he shouts before repeating himself much quieter.

”With interest and late fees you’re looking at roughly a quarter million dollars that you don’t have.”


He sits quietly, his elbow on the arm of the chair and his forehead palmed in his hand.


”I’m not going to lie to you Keith. We’re passed the point of threats. Passed the point of visits to your place of employment and intimidation tactics. Passed kneecaps.”


He looks up at me.


”We’ve reached the point of… termination.”

”Daddy I want french toast,” Frankie says from just outside his bedroom door, answering the question his dad was asking him, hopefully he hasn’t heard this conversation.

”Okay, in a little while.”


Frankie retreats to Spider Man.


”Be thankful I met him. I know I am. Whatever else you are, whatever you’ve done. That,” I throw my thumb back pointing toward Frankie’s room. ”You did right. He’s a good kid.”

”He’s the fuckin’ best kid,” he says quietly as tears roll down his face.

”How bad is it, if you don’t mind me asking?” referring to his debts.

”I’m about to get evicted. I’m a quarter million dollars in debt to Alister Henry as you pointed out. I hide my Camry because I’m six months behind on it.

“Maybe I’d be better off with termination.”


”Would he?”


No answer. He just stands up from his recliner and wipes the tears from his eyes.


”How long has it been?”

”A month or two, I don’t know. I don’t count.”


I pull out my checkbook and lean on the counter nearby because what intimidating but not really debt collector doesn’t carry their checkbook? I scribble down quickly and tear it off before handing it to him.


”Consider it a test. I hope you’ll do the right thing.”


He looks at the check with confusion.


”That’s free and clear. You owe me nothing, but you certainly owe Frankie. The only requirement is that you enter treatment for your gambling addiction. Three days a week. No exceptions. If I find out you’re skipping, if I find out your gambling again, if I find out you’re doing anything except thinking of that little boy… and I will find out… I call in the debt and we revisit this whole situation.”


I extend my hand. Tears fall from his eyes harder than before as he grabs my hand and pulls me into a hug. I guess I’m a very huggable guy because people do this a lot.


”How can I thank you?”

”I just told you how,” I answer. He throws himself back down in his chair with a smile. ”Consider just letting this place go man. It’s a nice apartment and everything but maybe move out to the island. Get a house with a yard and a dog for the boy.

“You’ll both be better for it.”



I start for the door but he stops me just as I reach it.


”Wait. His mother and I share custody. A week here a week there. I don’t have anyone. I couldn’t go to treatment when I have him.”

”Take him with you,” I respond. ”Or call me, whichever.”


I exit the Rickle’s apartment sure that I did the right thing. A good man doesn’t take a father from a nine year old boy.





How presumptuous of you, Mr. Gannon, to surmise that I run from who I really am when I’ve quite literally been saying it all along. I’m not here to do your homework for you. I’m not here to give you all the answers you seek when the answers are staring you in the face. I find it offensive that you would start off your promo by pretending to be some wise intelligent man by telling me exactly what I’ve been saying.

“Yes I run from my true identity. I have never actually hidden that fact, so good on you for being so fucking wise that you could deduce that from me saying exactly fucking that. I liked you at first, but its ever so obvious that you have the attention span of a fucking gnat and you have no desire to study your own opponent. That part was an open book test, Gage. And you still failed.

“You’re gonna kick my ass. Of course you are. That’s the fucking business we’re in you fucking numbskull. You kick my ass, I kick your ass… Jesus Christ, don’t be so fucking pathetic using the same old cliched talking points that have been used since the practically the dawn of fucking time.

“Is it your trademark to spit useless drivel? If so, good. If not, trademark that shit and become a whole lot richer in the process. What makes you think that I have doubted my ability? Nothing. Nothing I have said previously, or even now, would suggest that I doubt my ability in the ring, that I doubt my ability to defeat you. It just sounds good out of context, doesn’t it? ‘Oh the Collector knows he’s already beat, I installed doubt in his mind! BOW TO ME!’
“It sounds good by itself. All your tens of fans drink it up like kool-aid at Jonestown. Put it in context though, lined up with things I have done or said, and its clear to the masses that you are not as smart, not as clever, as you think you are.

“You may believe what you say is true. They may believe what you say is true. Believing it doesn’t make it fact, Gannon. Facts don’t care about your feelings. The fact is simple, Gage, you’re a complete fucking idiot and anyone that’s followed along for the past two weeks now knows it too. You spent so much time trying to expose the hidden only to you layers, that you entirely missed the fact that I have hidden nothing, except my true identity and even that is debatable. Subliminal messaging is certainly another one of your many weaknesses. You spent so much time trying to expose me that you exposed yourself and I promise, no one is impressed.

“’You weren’t suckering me, I was suckering you! Ha!’” - Gage Gannon, grown adult seventh grader.

“Gage’s parents showed weakness by dying. His own words. Yet his momma plays tennis on weekends. Maybe I misunderstood and messed up. The thing is, I’m not beyond acknowledging a mistake. Mistakes teach you something. Sitting around thinking you can do or say no wrong, thinking you have all the answers, lures oneself into the trap of overconfidence.

“There’s that word again.

“Look it up in the dictionary and you’ll see no words. Just a picture of Gage Gannon.

“You won’t catch Gage Gannon slipping, yet here we are after two weeks and the man is still grasping at straws slipping and sliding down the rabbit hole of incompetence, proving with every syllable that falls from his mouth that he has no fucking clue what he’s talking about.

“He knows me, he claims. Yet anyone that actually does know me, and there’s several throughout this company, knows he’s full of shit.

“Gage is actually partially right about one thing: this match is about endurance. Being able to withstand an onslaught of offense. That much is certainly true. It’s so much more than that though. It’s last man standing and those matches take a mental and physical toughness as well. You could make an argument that I’m not mentally tough because I see a shrink. I don’t take any pills as Gage mentioned, but I do see a shrink. That’d be categorically wrong. Acknowledging a fault in ones wiring and deciding to fix it rather than ignoring it- that’s a desire to overcome what ails you. That takes strength all on its own. I’m not at all ashamed that I have issues in my head that need sorting.

“When you’ve been through the things I have, seen the things I have, done the things I have… it becomes a lot more understandable and Gage, I’m not faulting you or slamming you for not knowing what I’m talking about. You couldn’t possibly know, but you make your jokes and your slights.

“I expected that when I decided to show that to my audience. They know. Even if they don’t know now, they will soon enough.

“You crack your jokes about me harping on my “debut” in December. I spent like five whole seconds on it and that’s harping? Here’s the facts: I didn’t leave after my debut because I lost. I left because I wasn’t at my best and promised myself that I would never give my legion, my Pride of fans another match until I was at my best again. So here I am. I’m at my best and when I’m at my best, a very select few can actually get over on me.

“That’s not you.

“You’re going to get embarrassed on Warfare, Gage. I look forward to humbling you.”

[Image: 2gBCk2J.jpg]
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