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X-treme Wrestling Federation » Warfare Boards » Warfare RP Board
The Stories We Tell Ourselves
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Corey Smith Offline
Active in XWF

XWF FanBase:
Some of everyone

(cheered; very rarely plays dirty but isn't lame either; many likable qualities)

09-08-2023, 02:56 PM

A violent tingle raced up and down Corey’s spine, and it had nothing to do with the magic ring he still wore on his hand. The man before him, the eponymous Captain Hook that the tales were based on, stood with a regal square shouldered bearing despite the circumstances. His clothes were dirty and tattered, his face gaunt with darkened circles about his eyes telling the tale of months…years, even….stuck in this opaque hellhole. Even Hook’s weaopnized prosthetic looked tarnished, like metal submerged under the waters for a century.

Corey tried to take a step back without making it too obvious. He was acutely aware that he was weaponless, and that Hook’s blade, tarnished though it was, would be more than enough to spill Corey’s guts.

Hook seemed to sense Corey’s apprehension. He dropped the blade to his side so as to appear less menacing and spoke with a practiced sort of ease. You have nothing to fear from me. We’re both trapped here.

Should I play dumb? Pretend I have no idea who he is? Pretend to not know Pan? The questions drove through his mind’s eye on a chariot of anxiety and energy.

So he threw you away, didn’t he? Hook surmised. Pan locked you up here too when you became inconvenient.

It seemed as though the man had his own suppositions about why Corey was here. Perhaps it was best to lean into them until Corey could figure out a means of escape.

You could say that. Corey muttered all the while knowing damn well why Hook was here. Pan regaled him with tales of fighting this monster and his men as he tried to pilfer and industrialize Neverland. He sought to take it’s magicks for his own and replicate them. But more than anything, he had lusted over Pan’s immortality. Pan said that he had finally been able to seal Hook away in an alternate dimension. Corey had just unwittingly stumbled into that very dimension.

Were you one of his Lost Boys? Hook pried.

Corey forced himself to meet those haunted eyes. Yeah, I was. Until Pan and I had a fight. A bad one. The best lies always had a smattering of truth, after all. How long have you been here? Pan had never exactly given Corey a timeline of events. Chronology didn’t seem to matter as much to one who was effectively immortal.

I don’t know. Years probably.

Then how are you still alive?

I don’t know that either. But if this is a hell, which I think it is, it no doubt sustains you so that it can continue to torture you. His voice trailed off as he spoke. Then, quieter, I’ve tried to kill myself many times. He mimed slashing his hook across his abdomen. But every time I did I woke up again, healed, and still imprisoned in this torment. It’s funny…I always wanted Pan’s immortality. Now I have it, in a manner of speaking. He chuckled, but it wasn’t the laugh of one who was of sound mind. Corey winced, and then plunged ahead to cover for his trepidation.

It’s a cruel fate. Is that what I have to look forward to then?

I’m afraid so.

It occurred to Corey then that it was indeed a cruel fate, an act of sadism that up until know Corey had not known Pan was capable of. Granted, this man was monstrous and had killed a score or more of Pan’s youngsters in their ongoing conflicts, but this existence was torture. Plain and simple. Corey had been there no longer than an hour himself and he already felt himself losing touch with reality.

There’s got to be a way out. Right?

In my years of entrapment here, I have yet to find one. But then, Hook’s eyes narrowed. What’s that on your finger?

Corey startled, having completely forgotten it was in plain sight. It could be his means of escape, but did he want to escape with Hook in tow? Was it ethical to keep him here, living out this unlife for an eternity? Or was it precisely what he deserved? Corey fingered the ring, concocting a lie. It was a gift from my girl. Guess I’ll never see her again. He tried to inject the right amount of pathos into his voice as his mind spun, trying desperately to figure a way out of this gordian knot of a situation.

You’re lying.

Corey started again, canting his head up to look Hook directly in the eye once more. I’m not! It was…

I know what that is. Pan used them as a means of transport between the worlds. Surely you must know that! Hook’s voice roared. And then, he lunged at Corey.

Corey sidestepped the assault, but Hook swung his namesake weapon through the hair, nearly behedding Corey in the process if he hadn’t dipped his head back just in time.

I have to put some space between us.

Corey dropped into a fighting stance and Hook went for another assault, but Corey countered with a deep kick to Hook’s knee. Hook roared as he backed off, nursing the wounded appendage. But he went on the attack again, swinging the hook violently. Corey cried out in pain as he ducked a little too slowly to avoid it poking into his shoulder. A thin gout of blood blossomed onto his shirt. Corey decided to do the unexpected, getting into Hook’s space to make it harder for him to use his weapon. Corey lashed out with an uppercut, catching Hook’s jaw and rocking him back. Corey followed it up with a series of kicks, but Hook was able to catch the final kick and use Corey’s own momentum to throw him to the ground. Hook pounced, but Corey was able to get a foot up and sink it into Hook’s abdomen to toss him up and over.

But Hook recovered quickly, rolling to his feet deftly despite his size. And, in the heat of the moment, Corey stumbled, twisting his left ankle as he went to rise. Just as the captain bore down on him with that vicious hook aimed right at his throat. Corey was surely dead. Surely.

That is, if he hadn’t felt something tug the back of his shirt violently and lift him up and away. Corey had squeezed his eyes shut in response to Hook’s killing blow, so when he opened them he found himself on the ground, staring up at an upside down Pan.

[Image: baf435f8-2d9d-42b4-914c-922a7577f0c7.jpg]

Corey shot up to a sitting position, leaving Pan at his back. His heart still thudded in his chest, the last vestiges of the adrenaline from the fight.

You’re fine. Pan deadpanned.

Corey, still in a sitting position, wheeled around to face Pan.

What the hell were you doing in the In-Between?

What’s the In-Between?

Pan rolled his eyes. The place you just were! How did you get there?

Corey held up the ring. I used this! Like you told me to.

Pan pursed his lips before replying. Did you do the circle clockwise or counterclockwise?

Corey thought on it for a moment before meekly offering up, Clockwise?

Wrong answer. And that’s how you ended up in the In-Between.

You put Hook in there.

No shit. Pan deadpanned again.

Well, you never told me that. Corey replied defensively.

It wasn’t exactly “need to know”.

Something else occurred to Corey then. Hey, how did you know I was there?

Pan paused before responding, looking askance before facing Corey again. I’ve been keeping tabs on you.


Scrying. Not spying. Don’t make it sound so…tawdry.

Corey resisted the urge to smile. He does still care about me. But he kept the sentiment hidden.

With all the trouble you’ve been having lately I figured it would be best if I kept an eye on you while we were…apart.

Okay. Corey replied lamely. For the first time, he had the chance to take stock of their surroundings. They were in a field of wildflowers, each bud contributing to a cacophony of colors in this place where summer never quite ended. It was so beautiful in Neverland Corey could halfway see why Isaiah King would accuse him of using it as an escape. But ironically, Corey was here to do anything but. No, he was here metaphorically putting his head straight in the lion’s mouth.

I came because I wanted to talk to you.

Pan, never breaking his gaze with Corey, sat down cross legged in front of him. He absent mindedly fingered the petals of a purple flower next to him as he did so. So talk.

Well, first of all a thank you is in order for saving my life back there. Corey starts to massage his twisted ankle, which was alit with a brief flare up of pain. Thank you for watching over me, Pan.

Pan’s expression finally softened a bit. Just because I’m angry with you doesn’t mean I don’t care about you as a person. Although, I daresay, I have every right to not care.

You do. You really do. What I did was…fucked up. My head hasn’t even remotely been on straight, what with the fire and the Engineer, but that’s no excuse. You’re my rock Pan, and I took you for granted. I’m so sorry.

You’re bleeding. Pan noted, subtly dodging Corey’s heartfelt apology.

Corey’s hand went to the trail of blood ruminating away from his shoulder. Yeah, Hook got me.

You need mending?

I think I’ll be alright. Maybe a few stitches. But hey…did you hear what I said? Corey brought Pan back to the present.

Yeah, I heard you. Pan breathed, playing his tongue at the corner of his mouth like he always did when he was deep in thought. I’ve been alive a lot of years, Corey. And in those lot of years, my ability to shrug off slights from people who’ve hurt me has only gotten worse. I’ve seen more than enough of the human condition. Enough to know that mistakes are oft repeated.

Corey nodded solemnly. I understand.

Do you? Corey you threw away paradise so you could get high and cheat on me with your friend.

I didn’t get high…

But you would have. Pan countered authoritatively. I get you’ve been through a lot. I guess I just expected more from you though. Maybe it was too much.

Ouch. That one hurt. So, where do we stand? Corey trotted out the question with trepidation.

As friends.

Corey’s gut sank. He could feel his throat tightening, the onset of tears threatened.

I still care about you, Corey. But I need to be able to trust you too. Do you understand?

Corey wiped away an errant tear and just nodded. Can we ever be…?

I don’t know. Pan finished.

Okay. Corey whispered as his cheeks continued to moisten.

The boys and I are going hunting. They’re waiting for me. Do you know how to get back now. Counterclockwise?

Yeah. I can get back.

Pan nodded and got to his feet. Good luck Corey. And incidentally, you’re still welcome to visit. But, give it some time first. Okay?

Okay.  Corey replied, defeated. But knowing there was no other way.

Back on Earth


Don't worry, I'm almost done. Joachim snips the stitching line and holds the scissors up. Corey looks at his shoulder, admiring Jo's stitch job.

You're pretty good at that.

My dad was Dexter Bright.

Corey smiled. Point taken. Well bub, you think I should put the final nail in this coffin?

Please do. Because I love it when complete strangers tell me I'm a victim being manipulated by my best friend without a shred of evidence. Joachim looks pointedly at the camera.

Corey smirks and shoots some finger guns at you. Bang Bang. He chuckles and continues. You know how I know that somebody has no material on me whatsoever?

They tell me I'm a bad person for running the commune.

Let that sink in a moment. And while we're doing that, Kingslayer you might want to hop on paying Doc DVille his royalties because he tried that same bullshit tactic in the run up to War Games. And you know what? I'm going to tell you the exact same thing I told him.

The reason it's beyond your ken that I set up the commune for benevolent reasons is because true decency is beyond you. You don't understand why someone would want to feed and clothe the homeless because it doesn't make sense to YOU. "Surely Corey is just doing this as a monument to his own ego." Right?

Of course you think that. Because you're PROJECTING. You're telling on yourself. Because the harder you try to spin spin SPIN the more you tie yourself in knots trying to handwave away basic human decency and the more you show yourself to be the true villain in this story.

You think I haven't been down this road before? "Corey's the secret evil because REASONS." It's a fucking cliche at this point. Congratulations, you're the one hundredth customer to shovel this shitshow of an argument and look like a fucking clown while doing it.

I ask nothing of the people at the commune save that they help me maintain the property and chip in for the betterment of the community. What do I need their veneration for? You're not fooling anybody King. The veneration is what YOU need. Anything to fill the crushing sense of mediocrity you feel everytime you fire up the dirt sheets and somebody reminds you what a worthless mid card HACK you are, every time somebody reminds you the hype is hollow and the fancy moniker is toothless.

And hey buddy boy, while you're tying yourself up in rhetorical knots I'm going to give Alias a call and give him the bad news that he's past his prime. Corey holds his phone up. "Hey bruv, it's Corey. Look man, I know this is going to be hard to hear but you just can't cut it anymore. Yeah, I know it's only been a year since you were a dominant Universal Champion for the second time. And I know you literally just won a match on a big time cross promotional show, but Isaiah King said…wait why are you laughing?" Corey holds the phone away from his ear.

Is he still laughing?

Yeah. Corey goes back to the phone. "Look, this is serious. Isaiah King said you are past your prime. So I just wanted to check in and make sure you're stocked up on Depends and Werthers Originals. And don't forget to call Social Security booboo. Love ya, ciao! " Aaaaaand STUPID! Corey pretends to slam his finger down on the end call button. Don't look now but King is projecting again.

Just a little quid pro quo though right? I said your biggest match of your career was against a man who was a shadow of a shadow of his former self. And so you had to do the same, right? So let me ask you straight up: Do you think you could beat Alias today?

Do you?

Follow the leader, biatch boy.

You couldn't. Don't even begin to lie to yourself. Alias was the most dominant man in modern XWF history. It's one of those things that's so accepted as fact that it doesn't even need to be said. Whereas while Kido may have beaten him, he has nowhere near the legacy that Alias had.

My best match trumps your best match in spades boyo. Hell my best anything trumps your best everything all fucking day long. Which at the end of the day is really what this is all about.

You've spent this entire time trying to show you're a bonafide threat to me. When, by your own goddamn admission, reality shows you're anything but. You may have a fresh record Isaiah but that's not much to write home about when it's a fresh TURD. You said my record means nothing without your name on it? Well I beg to differ because my record already includes dubyas over plenty of mid card wannabes who are desperate to huff their own product in an effort to distract from the fact that the King has no clothes.

That there is what we in the biz call a call back.

And let's bet it all on lightning striking man and say you DO win the Universal Championship at Warfare. What then? How long do you hold it for? Because you see that's when the REAL stress begins. It's easy to catch somebody on an off day, but the legacy is in the build, not the initial win. And if history is any indication you'd hold that title in your hot little hands for about t minus two weeks before a Blue Tango or a Jenny Myst scoops it up.

So I think you need to ask yourself just how bad do you really wanna show your ass to the world?

But don't worry King. I am a good guy after all, despite your kavetching to the contrary. So I'm here to save you from yourself. I'm here to save you from what would no doubt be the most pissant blink and you'll miss it title reign in XWF history.

I'm here for you Isaiah. I'm here for you!

But in the meantime go on hoping I'm too doped up on fantasy land to see what's coming. Because I'm about to show you just how well acquainted with reality I am.

Now if you'll excuse me I just realized I forgot to remind Alias to take his fiber pills. Hopefully he's done laughing about what a trumped up nard you are so I can get a word in edgewise.

Catch you in the real in 24, bucko.

[Image: CoreySig6A.png?width=270&height=406]
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