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X-treme Wrestling Federation BOARDS »   » Archives » Leap Of Faith 2023 RP Board
PlaceMarker My One True Face
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Ned Kaye Offline
per cogitabat, per facis

XWF FanBase:

(gets varying reactions in the arenas, but will be worshiped like a god and defended until the end by internet fans; literally has thousands of online dorks logging on to complain anytime they lose a match or don't get pushed right)

07-30-2023, 12:52 AM

Road to Recovery
Part XII

My One True Face

Step 12. To acknowledge your commitment to others and apply the lessons you've learned going forward.

Several Weeks Ago

The clacking keys adapted a rhythm under Darcy’s touch, a percussion of productivity, but also a sort of boredom. The only beneficial part of working out of office in a hospital was that the beeping and whirring of the various machines added to the various sounds that surrounded her, making for an easier cacophony of sound to drown out. Still, seeing Amelia’s body, clinging to life, but barely qualifying as living held its own power over Darcy Ellis. One that compelled her to be here, just in case she awoke. Just in case she didn’t.

But on this particular day, the unthinkable occurred. Amelia’s eyes opened. Darcy rushed to tell a nurse who then sprinted across the stained tiles to find a doctor. For a passing moment, Darcy was merely relieved, soaking in the good news. But Amelia said something in her half-conscious, waking state of mind that took her off guard.

“Tell Ned… thanks for the $3000. I… I really needed that.”

Darcy tried to convince herself she had heard something else, but she knew otherwise. Silently, she weakly smiled towards Amy, deciding to shut her mouth until a better moment. When she wasn’t surrounded by the stench of illness and decay. When she wasn’t there.

Present Day

A breeze lifted Ned's bangs slightly, his eyes pointed towards the roof of The Notorious Gym. The mahogany brickwork adorning the exterior was normally quite reassuring, but as it loomed over him, a monolith of what lay ahead, it was far more intimidating than ever. He double checked the harness secured around him, trusting the judgment of the man who had placed it on him, but seemingly distrustful of gravity itself. Although he hadn't taken a step upward, he could feel the air seem lighter. His gaze scanned over the cord that reached upward and over the roof, connected to a large crank that wasn't in view from where Ned was standing. He attempted to steady his breathing, feeling the tug of vertigo the second his brother's voice was heard, echoing from above as Nate peeked over the edge.

“Ready?” Nate asked, waiting for some kind of confirmation. Ned gave a silent thumbs up in response, prompting the elder brother begin the process of rotating the crank, the slack of the cord fading as Ned was slowly lifted.

Ned wasn't ready, but he sure as hell wasn't getting readier.

The soles of his shoes softly scraped against the brick, beginning to be stained by the ashy residue, a burnt crimson accruing with every step upwards. He grabbed onto the line, Nate doing his part to keep cranking at a steady pace. The dizzying heights did their best to tug on Ned but he knew how to fend them off. He knew he could prevent anything as long as he put he mind to it. As long as he belie-

Mark killed a man out of vengeance and he wasn't there to prevent it.

Through will and persistence, Ned could conquer any challenge.

Isaiah compromised his fiftieth win. He didn't do it alone.

All he needed was the faith in himself. That he was someone who brought out the good in people.

Daniel sold out their friendship. Lilabeth died pointlessly. He pictured Nancy in that room, inhaling the numbing smoke.

He began to climb slower before ceasing, the ground feeling farther than he knew it to be. But the cranking didn't cease, causing Ned's torso to be lifted awkwardly, nearly smacking his head against the side of the building.

“The hell's going on down there?!” Nate asked, checking only looking to find a near despondent Ned, now adjusted, allowing the harness to carry him as he stared off blankly.

“You're just... quitting?” Nate asked, Ned still unable to answer. Frustratedly, Nathaniel continued cranking the line until Ned was comfortably atop the roof, only assisting to get back onto solid ground. Ned maneuvered out of the harness, the harsh sun overhead beaming down as he took a seat in one of the lawn chairs they had set out for a sort of celebration later. Leaning forward, Ned's arms crossed, attempting to make sense of the chaos taking place within. Nathaniel may have never been an amazing role model or elder sibling, but he could recognize when something was deeply troubling Ned and this one was a doozy. Nate took a seat next to Ned, patiently awaiting a moment to break through.

“Penny for your thoughts?” Nate asked, adding, “Though it wouldn't be worth much by the time we finalized the deal.”

Ned almost snorted as he inhaled through his nostrils, his mind dwelling on Mark's near relapse into viewing himself as a demagogue, Isaiah's wholesale rejection of improvement, and Big D's betrayal for little more than a marketing slogan and a t-shirt.

What did he do wrong that made them choose these patterns of behavior?

Where did he fail?

“Ned,” Nate interjected, sensing he wasn't going to get far unless he pressed further, “are you serious about winning Leap of Faith? Because if you're not, then I don't know why I'm wasting my time out here.”

With a sigh, Ned finally spoke, articulating the nagging gnawing at the back of his mind.

“I've done everything I can to lead by example. I show up more focused and determined on a moment's notice than most people do with weeks of preparation. You need a War Games captain? Sign me up. Bobby Bourbon needs to fight someone in his insane stipulation? I'm there. I do everything I can to try and make up for my mistakes and show that doing things the right way isn't always fun, but it's infinitely more honest and rewarding. And I see so many people capable of being decent, amazing human beings and athletes... and they just don't. I've had two losses the entire year and I have pinned both people who gave them to me within 2023 as well. I've shown that my way doesn't just work but thrives!”


Ned chuckled slightly, fighting back the tears with a shallow laugh, “why doesn't it matter? I care so much about the XWF and the people in it... and just people in general. I don't think about blowing someone up or-”

“Blowing someone off, you mean?”



“Oh God.”

“See what I'm dealing with?! I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but how do I do that when it feels like everyone is just trying to see how far my support will go? I can't just... give up on people.”

Nate shrugged, uncertain exactly what to tell his brother at first until the thought reared its head.

“Giving up on you was the support you needed,” Nate said, causing Ned to tense slightly in shock.

“That was different,” Ned insisted, “I went off the rails and I did longstanding damage to us as a family. That's a reason for a wake-up call. Not just... disappointment.”

“Sometimes you have to make that decision. No one envies it, but need and want are two very different things. Maybe you need to stop leading by example and just start fucking leading. And if that means giving up on the idea that you can save everyone here and now... then maybe that's the sacrifice that needs to be made.”

Ned shook his head, agreeing with much of what his brother proposed, but hung up on one central aspect.

“But is it right?” He asked.

Nate could only find one answer, beginning to prepare their jury rigged climbing for another run.

“You have to believe it is.”

Later That Day

Amy ran a fingertip across one of her nails, feeling the dull edge prod against the callous that however many years of lighter flame assisted in building. Darcy's presence was reassuring, but she was a much colder person compared to Ned. If he was a loyal hound, Darcy was a cat, lacking defined eyebrows, as likely to gut you as she was loyal. Still, while Ned had been busy with something they hadn't disclosed with her yet, Darcy was there, typing away and doing what IT stuff she could remotely. Amelia stared at the computer, a tightness in her chest growing. Today was her last at the hospital. There was no kicking the can down the street any further.

A knock on the door broke the uneasy silence they kept, Darcy's own mind transfixed on what Amy first said when she awoke. As Ned opened the door, the stench of his sweat preceded him. It was his frist time coming to see Amelia after she had regained consciousness.

“Hey,” he said with a hint of brightness, relishing the end to the heavier parts of his day. Despite all of it, Amy was happy to see him. Sure, he was a boyscout, but he was reliable. Through all this, Ned stayed. She silently cursed the thoughts growing in her head.

“Took you long enough,” Amy said dismissively, a reflex not so easily shrugged off, “you'll be a nice change of pace from the “Darcy does nothing all day show” that I've had on.”

Darcy rolled her eyes, “She's just mad I won't let her watch Maury while I work.”

“And how!”

Looking towards Ned with a subtle frown, Darcy motioned with her eyes for them to speak privately. Recognizing the glare immediately, Ned excused himself and Darcy as they walked to the hallway, leaving Amelia alone, save for Darcy's laptop.

Showtime, she thought.

“When she woke up,” Darcy explained quietly over the cacophony of hospital noises surrounding them, “she said something weird.”

“Like what, Darce?” He asked, not entirely certain where she was headed.

Swallowing the discomfort, Darcy forced the words she had been saving for a while now and admitted them, “She told me to thank you for the $3000 you sent during WarGames weekend. But... you didn't send $3000, Ned. You sent her $5000.”

Ned's face fell into his palm as he took the information in. It wasn't the end of the world or anything, but it was another act of distrust from someone close. Another knife wound in his back.

“She duped you. I'm sorry,” Darcy said as she embraced him. He enjoyed her hug, taking some solace in her embrace. Until he looked up.

Right through the window to Amy's room, he saw her moving fast, dragging something from Darcy's laptop and swiftly taking out a flash drive. He couldn't find the words as he silently spun Darcy, who barged into the room without waiting for him. Amy, almost perpetually a cornered animal, tossed the flash drive out the window, seemingly satisfied with where it landed as she backed up towards her bed.

“WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO?!” Darcy screamed, frantically checking over what files might have been taken. Amy stayed quiet as Ned entered, an expression of pure disbelief on his face. Darcy, too angry to speak, lifted her laptop up and stormed out, leaving the sponsor and the recovering addict he vowed to assist alone.

“Why?” He asked.

Amy responded on cue, as if she had danced this way a million times before, “It was just to make things easier! Jeremiah's people were putting pressure on me and the only way I could get out was that!”

“Was what, Amy?”

She held herself by her sides, unwilling to say anything further.

“I trusted you. I gave you a chance and... you take money from me for booze, you steal from Darcy. What would Jeremiah need from-”

He realized it almost instantly.

“The Chameleon data. It was off the street and you just put it back there. Do you know how much of a slap in the face that is to me and her?!” His voice raised, nearly breaking into tears.

“We suffered for that data and you don't care.”

“I'll do better,” she responded, almost beginning to process how bad things were in a panicked state “I-I just need the guidance right?! I just need some time.”

“No,” Ned replied, some tears finally breaking through, “I can't do this.”

“...You're giving up on me?”

He placed the note containing her father's number on the bed, struggling to speak.

“Being around me isn't making you a better person. I can't... make you someone you want to be. I want the best for you, but that doesn't mean getting taken advantage of. If you want better, you'll have to do it yourself.”

Wiping the space under his eyes, Ned walked out of the hospital room.

He didn't look back.

“What we believe in speaks volumes about who we are as people. I believe people can be greater than they are today, even if nothing I do can place them on that path. Belief is as much faith as it is choice. So, what do my opponents believe? What do they plan for the 24/7 briefcase?”

“Dolly Waters has no plan and she never does. She wants greatness, but at no cost. Reward without sacrifice. Sorcery, but a safe kind where the pieces are sold by million dollar companies at Walmart. She is the essential oils of  the XWF: little in the way of utility, but what an affront to the senses. Her use of the 24/7 briefcase would be to try and compensate for the fact that her one true rivalry has always one-sided: Dolly loses to herself every single time and Corey just offers the pin at the end. She believes in what is advantageous to believe and little more.”

“But Jenny doesn't even have that. Her motivation is to get out of the shadow of the man whose loomed over the majority of her career, but she doesn't do anything to pursue that. Jenny has no faith and I don't mean that spiritually, I mean that literally. Who or what has she ever believed in? She spends more time in clown makeup than she ever does even thinking about what motivates her. The 24/7 Briefcase is wasted on her because she's not a real person and she doesn't want to be. Jenny Myst is the result of when your entire life is in the hands of others: you start to forget you have a hand in it. She used to have a talk show. Now she waxes philosophical about using the restroom. That's some sad shit right there.”

“But if Jenny has no faith, Dionysus's is cracked down the middle. And I feel for that. I've stood where he stands, but instead of doing anything about it, he just keeps finding himself in match after unremarkable match, hitting a brick wall and trying everything except having a little trust in himself. A briefcase in the hands of Dionysus is little more than an adornment to a coffee table. A dusty relic he wouldn't muster the courage to use if he even found the strength to lift it off his table.”

“Bobby thinks himself the epitome of strength while attaching himself to a group consistently defined by being a shield for the “leader.” He hides himself behind others and claims bravery. He enables the worst impulses of people and thinks himself the devil. He's big and naturally muscly, so he assumes that makes him powerful. But the thing about Bobby Bourbon is that he flat out doesn't fucking care. Bobby is under the illusion that accepting no clear beliefs makes you not defined by them, but he is defined by the weaknesses he repeatedly tries to safeguard against. He postures as a cruel person because he thinks it makes him look less like a coward. He tries to overlook his loss to me because it hurts his self-image. All Bobby will do with the briefcase is all he ever does: gild the lily. And you've got to be a fool if you think there's any gold about to adorn Bobby in the future.”

“But if Bobby is afraid of his weaknesses, then Isaiah King outright resents his. He obsesses over every fault and flaw he has because he doesn't think he should have them. Because Isaiah sees human beings as little more than a competition where there are correct ways and failed paths. He can't comprehend that one person's road to recovery is another's road to ruin. The only path you have, Isaiah, is one where you sacrifice everything and maybe you get to be a champion. You'd rather be an above-average pro-wrestler instead of a halfway decent man. And you've convinced yourself that pursuing the former made me what I am when the opposite is true. The second I stopped obsessing over being the greatest is the second I shoved your face in the uncomfortable truth of it all: your ideas are why you are failing. It's not me or your body or your spirit. It's the fact that you can't admit to yourself that the street you're headed down, the one you've bought into, is a dead end and you've got buyer's remorse. The briefcase to you is just a way to put that realization off a little farther.”

“My opponents all know this about themselves, but what they don't comprehend is that their approach is one of fear. Name me one other person who would announce their cash-in before hand. Name me one other competitor willing to fail doing the right thing than succeed doing something shady. They're afraid they're not enough, that they can't cut it. They're afraid of the weight of the crown they are desperate to hold. They are afraid of Corey Smith. Leap of Faith is when all of it is revealed. When all we have is our ideals and our belief to take us that extra step. I'm not afraid.”

“I'm not afraid of Corey Smith because I'm not afraid of Ned Kaye.”

“But all five of you should be. Believe me.”

"You can't run from yourself."
[Image: riNkNZw.png]
Wins | Losses | Draws
52 | 37 | 4

Indie Darling Eternal

#33 on The XWF Top 50(2021)
2x [Image: CbviDqC.png] (Former)
1x X-Treme Champion(Former)
The Final Supercontinental Champion
1x Television Champion(Former)
Star of the Month - April 2019 | March 2021 | December 2022
RP of the Month - March 2021 (Void of the Mind)
Winner - Leap Of Faith Rafter Match 2019
1x 24/7 Briefcase Holder
Winner - War Games 2023(With Mark Flynn, Isaiah King, & Crash Rodriguez as G00D-B01)

All Time Career(Interfed)
Wins | Losses | Draws
52 | 38 | 4
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