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X-treme Wrestling Federation »   » Archives » Fire and Ice II - Double Cross 2023 RP Board
PlaceMarker A Death in the Hall
Author Message
Ned Kaye Offline
per cogitabat, per facis
TITLE - Universal Champion



XWF FanBase:
The IWC

(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)


#1
11-25-2023, 11:59 PM

(OOC: Formatting in the morn)

A Death in the Hall



(The story thus far:
Following an intense discovery of a body, Ned and his partner, Darcy Ellis split, largely due to Ned’s increasing insistence on focusing on others above her. Since March, he has attempted to focus on sponsoring an AA member, Amelia, and two peers in Mark Flynn and Isaiah King. Now experiencing some time alone, he has begun to face the ghosts he wishes weren’t lingering over him and some he doesn't yet know…)

Gunshots rang out as Amelia dropped to the concrete, covering her head. She hadn’t been in the warehouse for long, let alone asked many questions, but it was her big mouth that caused the shooting. The ground chilled her through her coat, covering her head to attempt to not be deafened by the shots and in a futile attempt to protect her from bullets. Like wearing lingerie as armor. She closed her eyes as she saw the man she had been speaking to fall over, gripping onto his shoulder, his pistol tumbling to the ground just a few feet away. She gulped, feeling the shakes overcome her as she crawled towards the pistol. Footsteps. Someone was coming. Maybe to finish her off for good. She scurried faster, finally getting a hand on the gun, still silently cursing under her breath about how all this had gone wrong. About how she had ended up in the mess to begin with.

--------

Earlier

The air in New York City was frigid, the slabs of concrete and steel longing to stick to flesh, bunches of steam escaping the lungs of pedestrians as Amelia peered out her window. Frost had slowly begun to collect, fogging the glass and blocking her sight, ensuring the images blurred the more she stared. She grasped the wrist of her jacket, wiping some of the foggy moisture from the interior, doing little to solve how the cold obscured her perched viewpoint from her apartment. She shivered somewhat, taking comfort in the fact that she couldn’t pin it directly on her withdrawals.

It was the weather. Just a chill in the air. The frigid New York skyline trapped beneath her skin.

Her nails dragged up her arm, providing a distracting sensation. She glanced over to her bedside table, mostly covered in trash and clothing, spare a single spot saved for a poker chip, lined with maroon. Her hands pressed her soft skin adorning her cheeks, noticing the marks and cuts and bruises that covered her hands as they drifted into view. A mark on her left knuckle caught her attention, barely scabbed over, like a dotted i she had earned from a swift strike to her bathroom tile. Amelia had a list of sins and regrets a mile long, yet they had never felt like baggage or weight. As light as makeup, caked on her face even when others failed to notice. The shame about it was that misdeeds hadn’t ever truly bothered her, not for long at least. But this? Attempting to improve? Sobering up and making strides? It was the kind of torture she dreaded her entire life.

What people affectionately referred to as “getting better.”

For the next 20 minutes or so, she operated on autopilot. Ground coffee, place it in the machine, empty the sink, rinse out a mug. Pressing out all traces of thought in the pursuit of a silent sort of harmony. One shattered by a knock at the door. It thudded hard against the wood, echoing through her house, bouncing off the walls of her psyche. It was enough to cause her hand to recoil, letting the mug loose, tumbling for a short while until it shattered against the tile, splinters and shards sliding on the smooth tile with a defeated ring.

She quickly stepped over to the door. The last time she had answered a knock at the door, it had been one of her dealers, working for a local kingpin named Jeremiah. Deals with Jeremiah were zero sum: you were left with zero and he made a sum off you. Amy’s hands grew clammy as she resisted the urge to leave the door locked for the remainder of the night. Lifting up a large, metal flashlight she kept next to her door, she wielded it with a death grip before swinging the door open.

No one was there.

Just an empty hallway, carrying a mocking tone as a few letters lay placed upon the floor, accentuating the quiet space. She wanted to believe this was some sign of madness, but the fact is that it wasn’t some grand declaration of intent from the universe placing her in danger. Just a few bills and the paranoia that accompanied trauma. The things they blab to you in NA and AA and you never really want to believe them. The stimuli you refuse to believe in, but desperately wish were dulled.

She picked up the bills and returned to her room.

It all felt so stupid. She wasn’t some scared damsel waiting for someone to rescue her, nor was she someone who particularly enjoyed waiting for her problems to be solved by others. She was either going to conquer these memories or they would swallow her.

Amelia had no plans to become an hors d'oeuvre.

She stared out her window once more, seeing past the steam and huddled formations of the people hurrying to their next destination, believing as though she could see a space in between. A cavern of ice waiting to be excavated. She knew where one of Jeremiah’s warehouses was. If she was going to find an enforcer, she could ask around. She had to. The only other option was shivering every time there was a bang on her door. It was a weakness she was going to cull today, even if it thrust her into her old lifestyle.

She couldn’t keep living like this.



-----

BANG!

A warning shot. It must’ve been. Amelia’s hands shook, fingernails dulled from dragging herself across the floor. The footsteps got louder as various moans and gurgles of men about five minutes to one bullet away from a swift end. All of it caused her right hand to tense around the gun, protecting it with every ounce of might in her body. It meant little when the footsteps ceased, the final footfall pinning her hand to the concrete. The power to kill disabled with a firm stance.

“Now who in the hell are you?” The man looming above her asked, his tone not indicative of someone about to murder in cold blood. Amelia looked up, defiant as ever.

“None of your fucking business,” she replied, attempting to free her hand, only to have a sharp pain flood her wrist as the man, his peering eyes slicing through to her soul, confused the more he inspected her. Each tiny detail evidence to a bizarre hypothesis.

“I know you,” he said, swiftly kneeling and disarming her, deconstructing the pistol, tossing the ammo to the side as the man who had been shot chuckled, his clothes soaked in scarlet. He spat out some blood, rolling to his side to look the man down.

“You ain’t gonna know shit when all this is done, Isaiah,” The warehouse worker attempted to laugh further, realizing how herculean the task truly was before descending into an angered tone, “Jeremiah’s gonna have your ass for this! And then that girlie of yours will only be good for painting a room red!”

The man with the inspecting eyes wordlessly stepped over to the downed man, digging his heel into the wound sustained by his prone heckler, taking a quiet satisfaction in his anguished cries.

“I didn’t do a damn thing here today. ‘Sides, if he finds out you just lost half his goods here on your watch, you’ll be decorating every fucking apartment this side of Queens.”

He gave one final step, letting something crunch underneath him before turning his back.

“If I were you, I’d keep my mouth shut. And you-” He pointed towards Amelia who jumped to her feet, still in disbelief of the scenario she had just managed to survive, “you’re coming with me.”

“Fat chance,” Amelia protested, dusting herself off somewhat, finally assessing some of the damages done by the impromptu raid.

“I wasn’t asking,” the man reiterated, the sunlight from the parting clouds and opening bay door adorning his head like a crown, “you just happen to have a guardian angel.”

----

“You did WHAT?!” Ned threw his hands upward completely in disbelief of Amelia’s actions. It was something she was happy to have stepped away from and her face showed it entirely, but for Ned it was just another instance of someone doing something profoundly stupid and then recruiting him to sweep up the embers of the bridge they burnt. (In fact, he was fairly certain there were a few cases where that was literal for Mark.)

The Notorious Gym hadn’t even reopened yet and he was already cleaning a new mess. Still, he was happy Isaiah at least had the good sense to send her his way.

“Look, I know it doesn’t make sense to you because whenever someone’s inconvenient, you just toss them out of your life, but some of us have shit haunting us! Some of us barely sleep at night!” Amelia circled around Ned, unable to show her appreciation for the reunion, largely because it was just another excuse for somebody to lecture her about all the ways in which she failed.

“Oh, so the cure to insomnia is hunting down a drug dealer? I wish I knew sooner,” Ned countered, rolling his eyes a bit before turning his attention elsewhere, “You shouldn’t even be here. When you stole that stuff from Darcy, I let you know this whole sponsorship was over!”

“It was one mistake, Ned, Jesus!”

“No- no, it wasn’t!” He turned to face her, sternly looking down at her as some feelings he had buried bubbled to the surface, “It was a series of mistakes! Patterns of behavior I asked you to fix and you didn’t bother to at all. You never thought about the compromise it was to keep supporting you even when you were straining the one relationship I held above all others!”

Amy’s face dropped, absorbing his words more carefully than he predicted.

“Held? Why past tense?”

Ned’s gaze turned elsewhere, falling into an old seat he had pulled out, keeping his eyes facing downward.

“Oh my God…” Realization hit her like a brick, moving to console Ned who didn’t respond at all. Little more than a statue staring back at her, “I ruined your relationship?”

“No, no… nothing like that. Patterns of behavior, y’know? It’s not… it isn’t your fault<’ His tone softened as he tried to begin formulating a new plan of action. But whereas his was one of how quickest to return Amelia home, her focus returned to the window. To the ghosts that still roamed the streets, one that had haunted more than merely herself.

“You have to let me find that guy. I find him and I get past this… We get past this,” she said with renewed vigor.

Ned half-chuckled, in disbelief that she'd even dare us the word “we” after it all. He wanted to look up and see a mess, a hopeless human being who merely would harm everyone around her. But that’s not what greeted him. She wasn’t hopeless, she just needed the right motivation. Hell, that was partially why he left to begin with. And here, she had a chance to do something to set things right with herself. The frustrating part of trying to pave the road of other’s redemptions is accepting that it's a road worth building.

He stood, holding his hand out, offering a handshake while he spoke, “We do this operation once. We find that guy and then we’re done. Just like that.”

She shook his hand, nodding in agreement. “Just like that.”

“So, you two are gonna take on a Jeremiah operation all alone, huh?” Isaiah stepped from the shadows of the gym, having lingered for a while after dropping Amelia off.

“Shouldn’t you be preparing to take on TK?”

“What? Can “The Ace” not grasp multitasking?” Isaiah smirked at Ned, crossing his arms as he contemplated how to describe what he had in mind.

“I know a target you can hit today that’ll have your info, but it’s gonna be a pain to get in unless you have business. Thankfully, we have a candidate right here who has a good reason to hop in there.”

“What do you mean?” Ned had figured out what King had just hinted at only once the inquiry had left him, “Absolutely not!”

“What? What is he suggesting?”

“She’d be the only familiar face, Ned.”

“We’re not putting her into that situation! Not after she’s finally made progress! You’re the one always talking about strength and you just want to sacrifice all that she’s built up?”

“What is the plan?”

Ned looked back with empathy, a twinge of disgust on his face as he continued thinking of the proposal.

“They expect someone to go up there and buy product. We put you out there asking for speed or meth and you’ll get enough time inside to help us storm the place.”

Amelia thought about the situation quietly. The tremors in her fingers when the loud noises arrived.

“She’s not going through with this! Full stop.”

“I’ll do it,” she proclaimed quietly.

Ned swiveled in shock, uncertain what exactly she was trying to prove, “You don’t have to do this-”

“You walk out on a stage and bleed to make people smile. I have my reasons to do this. Shut up and let me.”

Ned exhaled, sighing, his head shaking left to right.

“You know, I like this one,” King stated with a wide grin.

-------

Later…

Amelia took a deep breath as the room full of gangsters and lowlifes rifled through some bins and backpacks. She held a purse to her side, looking to just be nervous prior to a relapse, but quietly shrieking at the contraption she had placed to her side. A small earpiece was obscured by her hair as the dingy environment set in, more suffocating than ever. She had picked up from her countless times in the past, but today would be her first delivery. Assuming she got that far.

“You’re doing fine,” Ned reassured her through the earpiece, watching everyone’s movements from the small camera she had  on her person, “you just need to get closer to the table.”

Ned’s foot tapped against the van outside the rundown building, feeling the adrenaline begin to take hold. He glanced towards Isaiah, his eyes doing most of the talking for him as the equipment around them buzzed.

“You think she’ll be okay?”

“I’m betting on it,” He answered, shrugging so she couldn’t hear his uncertainty.

Amy’s eyes looked over the bag of heroin they portioned out, feeling her heart race simply from the sight. An old friend begging to be reunited. For a long overdo kiss. Her nails scratched up her arm. Focus. She just needed to focus. She walked towards the table, getting some odd looks and a few crooked glares as she did.

“Hold your horses, lady,” one of the pushers said, tapping a crudely hidden gun in his jeans, “you get your cut after we’re done.”

“I’m just… putting my money on the table now.”

They watched her like hawks, each reach into her purse prompting more suspicion, wondering if they could outdraw some druggie. She sucked in air sharply, hoping she could just get the money out and then slip the device underneath.

A fat stack of benjamins fell onto the table, dropping from her hand, giving her just barely enough time to plant the mechanism underneath and slowly walk back to her seat, barely getting past them all. She sighed, finally relieved for a moment.

“Great work,” Ned reaffirmed, “Now,you just have to get out and then press the button on the transmitter.”

Everything had gone swimmingly… until one of them looked up.

“Hey, Mac,” he tilted his head while speaking, “her purse looks lighter.”

“Shit!” Isaiah exclaimed.

Ned muttered under his breath, “shit.”

Amelia’s thoughts concurred.

“Just stay calm,” Ned tried to keep control of the situation remotely, gesturing towards Isaiah to infiltrate, but Amy had other plans.

She pressed the button.

The explosion rocked the inside of the building knocking three of them unconscious except for Mac, blood dripping down his forehead as he pulled himself from the rubble. Amelia herself was propelled backwards into the wall, feeling her head bust open, a crimson trail coating her back. Her head buzzed as she looked upwards seeing Mac hobble towards her, shot gun in hand. She closed her eyes and waited for the bang.

But it never came. Ned and Isaiah stormed through, tackling Mac to the grown and ripping the gun from his hands. They tried to discuss how exactly they would turn the men in, but Amelia had different plans. She pounced on Mac, hands scratching his cheeks as she reigned punch after punch down on him.

She saw the face of the enforcer. That’s all she saw. It took half a minute for Ned to pull her off him, his face swollen as he struggled to gasp, let alone speak.

“MITCHELL!” She yelled, struggling to try and free Ned’s hold so she could attack Mac further, “TELL ME WHERE MITCHELL IS!”

Mac coughed up some blood, shaking his head.

“That’s why you’re here? That’s why you did that?”

“TELL ME!” She screamed. She needed the noises to stop. To put the ghost to rest. Tears brimmed in her eyes.

“Mitchell’s dead, honey,” Mac barely forced out.

Amelia’s body sank slightly, shoving Ned away as she gripped at her hair. Angry that she had come this far to get back at someone. Angrier that it was a dead man. And for the first time in a long time, she wept. Tears streamed down her face, ultimately understanding that in her desperation to free herself from a specter, she reaffirmed its power.

Ned just pat her on the back, a knowing look in his eyes and gave her a hug until the crying stopped. It was supposed to be over. And maybe in some way…

It was.

-------



“Vengeance is a hell of a thing. It leads people down paths they’re not prepared for. Roads that appear cathartic, but are truly devastating. Vengeance is just obsession’s pissed off brother. They say when you pursue revenge to dig two graves, however Chris Page is lucky. He doesn’t have to lift a shovel once.”

“You’re not doing any burying, as much as you desperately want to believe you are.”

“See, he kicks a bit and raises his voice, but his approach is utterly transparent. He’s mad that I beat him at Relentless and he can’t stop thinking about how to get his win back. Now,you might be asking, why not pursue Thunder Knuckles? Not only is TK the Universal Champion, but Chris has never beaten him! You can write that down and seal it. As much as Chris wants to talk about how he outshines me, he can’t even beat TK, something me and my friends are becoming very adept at. The motivation is twofold: he’s scared he can’t beat TK, so he doesn’t try. Because for all the glitz and glamor, The Chronic One is obsessed with his image and he would never jump into a den he doesn’t think will make him look good. But for me, I failed to beat him time and time again, with a more just cause each subsequent time and I couldn’t quite make it… until I did. And that’s reason number two. He can’t stand that he lost. It eats at his persona, his brand lying in ruins because an honest man can outdo him. Let TK complain about Isaiah’s actions, actions I condemn and refuse to condone repeatedly, you didn’t have a wrench or outside interference or anything. We fought like Hell and you lost, Chris. Simple as that.”

“There is no Winter colder for Page than eating his own words and I served him a feast.”

“However, that’s not just what this is about, is it? It’s one thing to surpass Page when he has spent four years blabbing about how not on his level you are and doing any and everything he can to act as though you are an irrelevant blip on his radar, but I challenged a deeper notion. See, Chris is coming after me for revenge against some perceived slight because he thinks that’s what I did to him. He is so utterly pathetic that when he isn’t copying the No Good Bastard playbook verbatim, he has to believe that everyone else on the planet is just as lonely and obsessive as he is. He thinks I came to beat him solely for myself, for the satisfaction that it would stroke my ego. Not once does he consider the myriad of people he hurt. People I love. Allies to the end. I kept hunting you, Page, because there is no mountain I won’t climb for the people I love. You want to beat me because you just can’t stand seeing the -1 at the end of your record against me.”

“And the truly disheartening thing is that Robert would have given you friendship in Cataclysm. They adopted you as family. Treated you like a brother. In your little cardboard kingdom, you had a true, flesh and blood, friend. And you sold him out just so you could get your ass kicked by BoB. See, you think that the money and the name recognition is some big triumph on your part, but there’s no amount of billboards your mug can appear on that will change the fact that you will never have a true friend. You will never know what it means to fight for someone else. To live and think of the best for someone else! Your whole life is one sad, vengeful march to oblivion, seeing what people and groups you can either bite off of or exploit until there’s nothing but a strained, empty void joining both of you together. You could have a billion dollars and you still wouldn’t earn the respect I have by doing my best to be decent and sticking up for my friends.”

“You are the last gasp of an era of the XWF, just not the one you think you are from. The last vain egotist looking to sculpt this company in his image, at least until Corey comes back for that torch. Even your final crusade is something you’re not good enough to handle alone. And you stand there and call me naive. Call me a kid. So what, Page? I’m not some jaded 50-year old siphoning my relevance from the people I employ? I actually enjoy this sport we dedicate ourselves to instead of seeing it as some big excuse to try and get my name remembered? You’re somehow the opposite of wise beyond your years, you’re ignorant despite them.”

“The lonely emperor, desperate to prove that the throne means something, but more than that- fearful because it doesn’t. A kingdom of dirt with a ruler made of sand. A million declarations for nothing. You have spent your entire life getting to this moment. To be “the legendary Chris Page.” And you’re so unhappy that you’re doing Willy Wonka bits and pursuing a single match loss as though it is the end of your entire existence. I don’t need to insult you, Chris, you are revealed by the silence in-between your words. The gaps in your steadily revolving circle of acquaintances. The empty space in-between what you think your life is meant to look like and the reality that it is. Scared of BoB. Scared of retiring despite promising to do so, scared of being a decent husband, but horrified of me. Horrified that every word I spoke- with conviction, I might add- will be the prelude to your story. The summary of your sad little reign on professional wrestling. Well, I have one consolation for you. It won’t be the prologue.”

“It’ll be the final word.”

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


Indie Darling Eternal

#33 on The XWF Top 50(2021)
1x Tag Team Champion[with Isaiah King](Current)
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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