Answers, To Questions

BOOM!

SNAP!

CRACKLE!

POP!

SHIT IS FUCKED UP!

Brandon Moore comes visually before our very eyes, calm as all hell and the hallway leading to the head honcho of Fight! NYC’S office is in chaos.  IT IS A HALLWAY OF MADNESS! Fight! staff are just discarded bodies littering the floor as Brandon has another up on his shoulders while kicking another dummy away with a foot in the chest that floors the idiot. As for the fool on his shoulders..

THE EVERBLACK!

And that poor bastard’s neck is broken. Fucking severed. Good God almighty.. a bone is sticking out of his neck. His freakin’ neck! No, not really, but the dude won’t be walking for a while at least. Back on his feet, his attention is caught by the all seeing eye of a camera that seems to be everywhere. Brandon grabs a nearby chair and folds it up. He flings the chair hard at the panel of cameras, and the sparks start to fly. Brandon walks over and with both hands starts to rip the shit apart, avoiding the electrical parts that would fry his ass.

Brandon looks around at all of the fallen Fight! personnel that he just kicked the shit out of. A devious smirk paints his face, Now he has a clear path toward X’s office door and takes it.

Miss F: I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

Miss F from outta nowhere. 

Miss F: I would hate to have to fine you Blood Money and or a suspension. That is.. if your actions haven’t already done so.

Brandon Moore: Bull fuckin shit bitch. I demand answers.

Brandon is immediately irritated and turns away from Miss F, disregarding her.

Miss F: An answer to what question?

Miss F goes and stands right in front of him. Is she crazy? Can’t she see what’s happened to the rest that did the same? She is inviting violence, and violence is Brandon’s oldest friend.

Brandon Moore: I want to know why I keep getting dicked around by this mother fucker.

He growls.

Brandon Moore: And God damn Shawn fucking Warstein. That piece of..

Shawn Warstein: Fuckin say it!

Shawn states as he pops into the picture from a connecting hallway and gets right into Brandon’s face.

Our view shifts away for a moment to reveal the hallway Shawn had come from. It is the same chaotic scene from which we had just witnessed with Brandon. We come back to the two men, not a word is spoken. The atmosphere that surrounded them was toiled with the same frustration, and the bittersweet taste of defeat. The silence was deafening. The safety of an entire tower dangling by a single thread between two men hell bent on being the best. Miss F has a smile on her face as she comes up next to the both of them.

Miss F: Did we mention that for finishing in second place you guys have been awarded five thousand in Blood Money you can split, or fight each other for the whole prize?

She begins to walk away.

Miss F: My.. either one of you with another five k would surely be next in line for that Empire Championship..

Both men continue to stare at the other while Miss F walks away.

Miss F: Looking good Mrs. Bronx Champ!

Michelle Moore comes from around the corner, and Brandon turns to her. In his eyes the corner of the wall just barely misses plunging her in the belly where his son is.

Brandon Moore: Jesus fucking Christ Michelle!

Brandon walks away from Shawn and towards his wife, throwing his hands up in the air.

Brandon Moore: First you climb that mother fucking ladder, now you’re playing chicken with sharp corners and edges n’ shit.

Michelle rolls her eyes as Brandon shields her while they walk away from the scene leaving Shawn standing there with what Miss F had to say.

Previously...

NIGHT ONE

The competitors were surprised with the first round. Being summoned a day early and desensitized in a 4’ by 4’ box before slowly having compartments reveal themselves until all sixteen competitors were in a warehouse sized room, with nothing but themselves, their enemies and their opponents.

Dickie and Paul managed to put their differences aside, and put paid to Asher and Druscilla’s hopes of upsetting the apple cart.

Moore and Warstein were thoroughly dominant as they destroyed Apathy and Anicka Swan and swept them aside. Moore and Warstein played mindgames with one another as they put the finishing touches on a monstrous display.

Vhodka Black and VooDoo managed to do more damage to each other than to their opponents, but eventually got into the groove before Dane Preston secured a three count over VooDoo for himself and Joe Montuori to advance.

Similarly, Vincent Black and Dollface managed to tear each other to shreds and leave very little behind for Allison Riggs-Preston and Sahara to mop up. But that they did, as ARP pinned a brutally injured Vincent Black to eliminate them.

But the drama was not over on night one, as Dollface cleared her ring, demolishing Allison in the process. As she put more and more pressure onto her, both of her would-be suitors — her tag team partner Joe Montuori and her husband Dane Preston, smashed through the glass partition and into the ring to protect her. As Vincent Black, her tag partner, managed to pull Allison to safety, the Dollface kicked him into the jagged shards of glass.

As Dane Preston, Joe Montuori, Allison Riggs-Preston and Sahara converge on the Dollface she halts them and points toward Vincent Black. She then pulls off her mask and reveals herself to be Sarah Wolf, his sister. The best friend of his wife. She makes her escape as Vhodka Black slips on glass and blood trying to take her out.

 

NIGHT TWO

Night two started with a bang as what some people considered to be the top four in the tournament squared off in the semi finals, with it being an even matchup with the Empire Champion and his #1 Contender looking to be in control, before they stopped to discuss tactics. This time, Moore continued the mindgames with his partner and tagged himself in to get the victory over Paul Montuori, allowing his team to advance to the finals and putting paid to the disrespect shown at Blood Money when Paul eliminated his former tag team partner.

Immediately following that, Dane Preston and Joe Montuori managed to overcome their differences yet again, with Montuori handcuffing his beloved Allison to the corner of the ring, and then both Dane and Joe had their way with Sahara before she decided enough was enough and left. Or, well, tried to. Miss F had other ideas and in the end Joe Montuori managed to finish her off and advance to the finals with Dane Preston.

Immediately following, we saw Mason Alexander Vanderbilt avenge his previous failed attempts at the Brooklyn Championship, as he cleaned house against Ricky Rodriguez and the Enforcer. The man had been on something of a skid since entering FIGHT and finally made good on all the hype that he came in with.

Todrick Tabor Ramsey made good on redemption as he nailed himself to the number one contendership position for the FIGHT Manhattan Championship. He will fight Joe Montuori for that belt at Venom #7 Next week.

In an eventful ladder match, Miss Michelle’s proxy, Poptart made good headway into the match and looked to be doing well, but then Korrupt managed to take out the whole field whereby a pregnant Miss Michelle entered the match anyway, despite having a proxy, and scaled the ladder to grab the championship.

And then in the main event, we had Shawn Warstein and Brandon Moore as finalists taking on Dane Preston and Joe Montuori who were the finalists from the other bracket. This lively match could have gone either way right until the final bell when Moore seemed to take everyone out, only to be sideswiped by a Joe-K-O, and Dane Preston got a pinfall over his adversary with Warstein unable to break it up.

In the moments that followed, more drama unfolded as it was revealed that both Dane Preston and Joe Montuori had privately agreed to remain as a team. Questions were asked as to what happened to Joe Montuori’s tag team championship in that case, and that’s when the FIGHT Announce System stated that Dane would become part of the team of champions alongside Joe and Allison.

As the world started to digest this, Brandon Moore awoke in a rage and destroyed both victors and the third champion. And as the screen faded to black, we watched Shawn Warstein poised behind him, ready to strike..

Bam Miller vs Lisa Marie Ashton

Bam Miller is in the ring, pacing back and forth, and the music for Lisa Marie Ashton is playing but nothing seems to be happening.

Occhi picks up a signal backstage, where we jump to the locker room of Lisa Marie Ashton. She is frustratedly trying to leave the locker room but the light above the door is red.

Lisa Marie Ashton: I don’t understand, I am just trying to go out there and win.

From the top-down view, we see Sarah Wolf striding past the locker room, smirking to herself. With the known issues between Apathy and Lisa Marie Ashton, could it be that she sent her soldier to do a number on a former enemy?

Back at ringside, Bam Miller is kicking the ropes and complaining.

WINNER BY FORFEIT IS BAM MILLER.

Bam Miller: I didn’t want to win this way! C’mon man! What the hell is this?

Drink's On Me

The Fifth Turnbuckle.

Paul Montuori is leaning over a glass, he looks pissed off. On the screen in the bar, they are replaying the celebrations from Toxic Tag of Dane Preston and Joe Montuori, and he turns to look away.

Dickie Watson: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

Paul turns to see Dickie Watson approach from behind, Empire belt over his shoulder.

Paul Montuori: What?

Dickie Watson: You. If there was a prize for falling short when it mattered most, you’d win it. If only you didn’t ruin that and all.

Paul Montuori: What do you want? You ruined it. You stopped me winning the match to tell me how to win a match I’d already won. YOU.

Dickie Watson: You should spend more time worrying about yourself and less time worrying about your mates. Look around… where are they now? Up to their nuts in the city’s finest high class dancers. Or on their way to Tennessee to continue the party. Left you behind. Nobody’s loyal, not even your own brother. If you want a chance at MY belt? Focus on yourself.

Paul smirks, and Dickie nods at the bartender.

Dickie Watson: Put it on my tab, mate.

Paul laughs, and stands up as Dickie walks off. Turning to the bartender, he has but one question.

Paul Montuori: Uhm, isn’t this a free bar for fighters?

Father Thyme vs Dark Tiger

Occhi picks up backstage, where we are looking at Sarah Wolf. Her back is against a door, arms prone to the wall, fingertips pushed into the dimpled dark green material. She’s feeling the vibration, and laughing. Loudly.

On the other side, Dark Tiger is unable to escape the locker room.

The question, though, is why? How? How has Sarah Wolf managed to override the system and keep their locker rooms locked for their call time?

In the ring, Father Thyme looks perplexed. Probably cursing to all that is Holy.

Father Thyme: Surely this can’t be the way? Is there not something that can be done?

WINNER BY FORFEIT IS FATHER THYME

Came the only response from the announce system.

Then, BAM MILLER’S MUSIC HIT.

Bam Miller: Lookit, I’m havin’ a fight today whether they like it or not. Are we throwing hands or what?

Father Thyme wasted no time…

Impromptu!

Father Thyme and Bam Miller stand in the ring opposing each other. Neither had prepared to fight the other, but here they were, in the ring ready to go toe to toe. The bell sounded at the start and both men came out swinging. Father Thyme took the upper hand, almost seemingly strutting for a few moments after leveling Bam with a swinging neck breaker. Father pressed his upper hand with a few stomps and a scoop slam followed by a failed pin attempt. 

Bam swung things back his way when he countered a vertical suplex into a neck breaker of his own. Bam shook off the pain from the opening of the match and took full advantage, landing knife hand chops, a hip toss and DDT on Father Thyme that all led to a failed pin attempt. Bam kept his offense going until Father Thyme ducked a clothesline and landed a Russian leg sweep.

It took both men to the eight count to regain their feet, Bam being the first. His lefts and rights were blocked, and Father Thyme landed a few of his own in response. Pressing his advantage, Father Thyme managed to utilize the corners, a suplex, some chops and a series of strikes to set Bam up for The Lord’s Prayer. He leapt off the top but Bam managed to roll away just in time. 

As Father Thyme pulled Bam to his feet Bam drove an elbow to his stomach, then another and another. Bam landed some rights and lefts, sending Father running to the ropes. On the rebound Father Thyme ducked a boot, hit the ropes and on the rebound caught a European uppercut. Bam kicked him in the gut and hit him with the Miller Time! The ref counted the three and raised Bam’s hand. 

Father Thyme rolled out of the ring confused, seemingly almost mad at the outcome as he made his way to the back, Bam celebrating his victory in the ring. 

Broken Wings and Unsettled Things

Vincent Black steps into his dressing room, and find a black orchid left on the table in the kitchenette. He grabs the card from the plant with his arm that isn’t currently in a sling, and reads the writing. Smiling, he places the card back down and sniffs the flower. As he does, we zoom in to see the message.

“Broken wings will fly again. Yours, Paul.”

Vincent laughs, and turns to find another Orchid being delivered. He snatches the card, and reads it. Chuckling, he places it down. It is the same message, but signed by Joe Montouri. Vincent goes to sit down and we see Sarah Wolf is now in the doorway. She walks in, and admires the flowers.

Sarah Wolf: Lovely Flowers. One for each hand. Well. No time soon, of course.

Vincent Black: You sure you want to be in here? Might not be great for your health.

Sarah Wolf: Please. You could barely take me with two good arms. Just be embarrassing.

Vincent Black: What did I do to you that was so bad? That I loved you so much that I supported our brother in his endeavor?

Sarah Wolf: Since you asked, I’ll tell you. If Kal was attacked, would you jump on your horse and white knight the problem away? No. Of course not. If Xavier was, would you put on the cap and cowl and dive into it head on? No. Of course not. But when Sarah has an issue, and Sarah says ‘leave it alone, i’ll handle it.’ You don’t listen, you don’t respect. Of course not. 

Vincent Black: You ever think it’s because we loved you most?

Sarah Wolf: DON’T. DO NOT. Do not excuse this as being motivated by love. It wasn’t love. It was doubt. Doubt in me, and in my abilities. You have seen me as weak for the very last time, Vincent. From now on, you will know exactly how strong I am. Kisses! Give the wife my love!

Noelle Rivers vs Korrupt

We join this match in progress with Noelle Rivers in the driver’s seat putting the much larger Korrupt through the paces. Noelle snaps back off the ring ropes using her much smaller frame to leapfrog over top of the bent forward body of Korrupt and mule kicking him in the face as she lands on the mat before him. Korrupt goes down to one knee in the center of the ring, hands to his masked face as he attempts to recover from the sudden strike to the face by Noelle’s boot heel. The dainty Rivers uses the time Korrupt is taking to recover to sneak around behind him, taking another running leap and straddling his head with her knees, driving his face directly into the mat with the weight of her body. Faster than a hamster on cocaine she rolls Korrupt to his back and begins to try to cover him for the pin when the interior of the ring is plunged into blackness. 

The lights come up to reveal Apathy standing on the second rope in the corner holding Rivers up by her chin to face O’Rourke and Moore who are on the other side of the ring. Rivers kicks and struggles for freedom but finds her toes only scrape the ring mat rather than gain any actual traction. O’Rourke sets up for the kick and practically beheads Rivers with the shot directly to the face, leaving her crumpled in the corner and the match called on the grounds of disqualification.

Unsafe Working Conditions

Dark Tiger and Lisa Marie Ashton have convened themselves. They’re no longer in their locker rooms and in fact are on one of the upper floors of the tower. One of the floors that didn’t get destroyed by Brandon Moore earlier in the show.

Miss F stands straight, upright, arms folded as we watch both Dark Tiger and Lisa Marie Ashton gesticulating wildly as they explain their issue. Finally, the audio cuts in.

Lisa Marie Ashton: Its just not fair. We get locked in our room.

Dark Tiger: And our friends didn’t get offered contracts.

Lisa Marie Ashton: And the CURE. THE FUCKING CURE. They’re everywhere, fucking everything up.

Dark Tiger: And the Montuori’s.

Lisa Marie Ashton: And the damn wedding.

Dark Tiger: What wedding?

Miss F: Okay okay okay. I understand what’s going on here. How we should resolve this is clear to me. You guys should take some time off to recuperate, to relax, to let this settle down and maybe next season we can find a role for you here. It’s clear that you’re not ready for the intensity of life in the FIGHT! Tower.

Lisa Marie Ashton: Wait, what? No..

Dark Tiger: We want to improve FIGHT, ma’am. Not leave.

Miss F: This isn’t goodbye, it is see you later. Security…

Eoin O'Rourke vs Poptart

FIGHT! NYC Bronx Championship

Eoin stood in the ring, his eyes locked on Poptart, who was being coached by Michelle on the outside of the ring. Michelle Moore, who had earned a spot in Fight! History as the first, and only person to ever win a title while being pregnant. An accolade that not many others were in the line to even get close to. Of course, now that it was a thing someone else was bound to try. Poptart nodded as Michelle instructed him, and he walked off toward Eoin. Eoin swings and catches Poptart in the jaw, backing him up, but mainly pissing him off.

The fight would continue this way for ten minutes, before a very familiar theme song began to play. From the entrance way, Apathy, Brandon Moore and Sarah Wolf appear. Michelle walks over and welcomes the three of them, giving each of them a kiss. The four of them climb into the ring, and step between Eoin and Poptart. Poptart steps to Michelle, and Eoin walks up to Apathy. Brandon steps up to the ropes, and looks down at the crowd looking up at him. The Occhi system kicks its state of the art microphone system on, and his voice and image are sent to every tv in the building.

Brandon Moore: All revelations have their contradictors. No matter how bound to the truth these ideals are, someone somewhere will point and claim it’s a fallacy.  All revolutions have their doubters. Put all the boots on the ground you can, prove that your laser focused on your outcome, and they’ll still believe you to be as disillusioned in your vision, as they fail to be in the visions of others. They all toe the line, and behave as they are expected. Well, so we do. And from now on, you can expect us to not take these sort of slights, where we are set against each other, lightly. You can expect us to be a united front, to cure this business of the illness that cripples it day in and day out. The illness of oversensitive, overpaid, overhyped and overproduced cretins. You can expect us any day, and every day. And you can expect us to do so with strength and efficiency. The blood river that flows threw these halls will paint all it touches in the crimson hue of our intent. You should not fear the pain of change being forced upon you. You should only expect it.

The crowd screams as the lights go black, and then begin to flicker. The Cure, obviosuly not aware of things like photosensitive epilepsy, walk out of the area, and return to the backstage.

Best Friends Forever

Sarah Wolf is whistling as she leaves her brother behind her in his locker room, mostly unharmed – if you don’t count the psychological warfare she’s currently waging against his mind. Her good mood is suddenly replaced by unease as her eyes focus on the frame of Vhodka Black standing dead center in the hallway before her. For those that don’t know, Sarah and Vhodka are best friends. Well, they WERE, anyway. 

Sarah Wolf: Hey babe. Finally ready to return my calls?

Vhodka Black: I don’t accept calls from solicitors. 

Sarah Wolf: Puh-lease, as if I don’t merit a higher clientele than you. 

Vhodka starts forward as Sarah steps back. Another step forward, another back until the two fall into an odd sort of dance testing not only the reflexes of the other but also the patience. Vhodka, who is famously known for her lack of patience is the first to break, lunging down the hall in pursuit of Sarah who turns on a heel and disappears around a blind corner. Vhodka is driven by rage, the rage of the betrayal of her friend, the rage of her husband’s injury and most of all the rage that this woman who knew the darkest, most soul wrenching things about her had used them against her in an attempt to hurt their daughter. As she rounds the corner she braces for Sarah to press her advantage and attack, as a matter of fact she’s counting on it. What she hadn’t counted on was VooDoo taking an opportunity that arose as she watched Vhodka give chase, silently following with a plastic Rubbermaid trash can in hand which is placed unceremoniously over Vhodka’s head as she rounds the corner looking for Sarah. Vhodka flails, trying to remove the can from her head but Voo shoulder checks her into the wall hard. 

VooDoo: Hey, this is actually a good look for you. You know, let’s people know what they’re getting right off the bat. Maybe you should leave it on? 

A muffled scream comes from the can as Vhodka wiggles an arm free and begins to extract herself only a moment too late to return the favor.

Fish

Dane Preston and Murphy Doyle Maher sit across from each other, a deck of cards between them, and them playing some game to pass the time. Dane looks up and squints at his friend, studying his face.

Dane Preston: …got any 3’s?

MDM: Nope. Fish.

Dane Preston: I was thinking, that list. The name…you think we could convince them, you know…

MDM: All things are possible my friend. All we have to do is try.

Dane Preston: So…let’s try.

They each pick up their beers and cheer, getting back to their game. Murphy drops a pair of 3’s and Dane looks at him sideways like a dog that doesn’t understand what he’s looking at. Murphy avoids his eyes and continues to sort through the rest of his cards.

Dane Preston: …dick.

Consequences

With the thumping harmony of T-Pain and Joey Galaxy’s Booty Work filling the air, that mixed reaction rained down as challenger for the Brooklyn Championship, Ricky Rodriguez, stepped out onto the stage. Lacking the high energy he usually displayed upon his entrance, Ricky made a b-line towards that ring. Everything, from his expression to the way he walked, showed nothing but intensity.

Rather than sliding into the ring, Ricky made his way around the ringside before being handed a microphone by a ring attendant. Now sliding into the ring, Ricky popped up to his feet before raising that microphone and speaking up.

Ricky Rodriguez: Now, this usually isn’t my thing, coming out here and talking like this, this is something that needs to be said. See, there’s a problem. It’s a problem you see every single day. It’s not just a problem in Fight, but everywhere you look.

Turning around, Ricky focused his attention at the commentary table, at Damon Riggs to be specific. With his free hand, Ricky pointed his index finger at Riggs, his features displaying the disgust he felt at the whole situation.

Ricky Rodriguez: Rich old white guys who think the size of their bank account gives them the power to control people’s lives. To take away their ability to make choices for themselves. To be so fucking egotistical that they think they know what’s best for EVERYONE!

He kept that finger of blame pointed towards Damon as every word he spoke dripped with malice.

Ricky Rodriguez: And you, Damon Riggs, are one of the biggest examples of just that. Something needs to be done. You have to understand that you just can’t get away with shit like that. There are consequences to this kinda shit and I guess it’s gotta be me to make you realize that. I don’t give a damn what anybody says. I don’t care about any health conditions you have. Nothing..notta DAMN thing gives you a pass on this.

Kneeling down, Ricky sets that microphone down before standing back up. Removing the black leather jacket he wore, he tossed it out to ringside as he picked that microphone back up.

Ricky Rodriguez: Now get your old ass up, drag yourself in this ring, and face these consequences.

With a sigh, Damon slowly rose from his seat, slipped his suit coat off and draped it over the back of his chair at the commentary table.  Making his way towards the ring, Damon loosens his tie and begins to roll his sleeves up.

Every step taken is a step with purpose as Damon stalks around the ring, stomping his way up the ring stairs.  He paused briefly, leaning his weight on the top rope, taking the moment in.  Then with intensity Damon steps between the ropes and rushes Ricky, snatches the microphone from him and shoved the smaller young man halfway across the ring to a mixed reaction from the fans.

Damon Riggs: Is that what all this about?  My fucking bank account?  Listen kid, you are speaking out of turn, interjecting in matters that are no concern of yours.

Slowly, deliberately walking around the ring, Damon’s gaze bores holes through Ricky, as he watches the young fighter’s every move.

Damon Riggs: I get that you were concerned for my daughter and Sahara’s safety and well-being.  That is admirable, but this display of machismo is unnecessary.  Prior to the tropical storm, neither of them were in any danger.   Allison left with my men unharmed and of her own choosing.  Sahara, on the other hand, was inebriated and started fighting my men as they approached her.  She was not supposed to be treated so roughly, that matter was addressed and those men were reprimanded for not following orders…

Unable to listen to the old ring general prattle on and on, Ricky calls for a second microphone.

Ricky Rodriguez: Not my business? Not my concern? These are people who are important to me. Friends. Peers. Sometimes even more. Nothing gives you the right to decide what’s best for them! These are not lives for you to try and rule over. Hell, you can’t even get your own life under control. How bad must it be that your own flesh and blood would rather you die on the side of the road somewhere?

Shaking his head, Ricky clearly struggled to keep his composure and his hands off of Damon. Lowering his head, Ricky took in a shaky breath before sighing out in frustration and taking a step towards Damon.

Ricky Rodriguez: You’re no better than those fucks in Texas, Damon, I hope you know this. Are you even sorry about it? Like YOU said, prior to the storm neither of them were in danger. But what about after? They could have died out there, you piece of shit. Why? Why go through all of this? If that was something they wanted to do, they could have done it themselves. They didn’t need YOU shoving your nose into their business. So tell me, Damon. Why?

His chest rising and falling rapidly, Ricky let the hand that held his microphone fall to his side. Those eyes of his locked onto Damon, Ricky didn’t budge an inch as he waited for an answer.

Damon Riggs: You answered your own question.  I can’t even get my own life in order.  These are people I love, adore and cherish.  I didn’t put Joe Montuori down in OPW, driving the nail into his coffin like I should have.  Look what’s come of it.  That snake slithered his way into my daughter’s marriage.  Into my daughter’s pants, and pushed my son in law into the arms and bed of another woman.

And Sahara is not simply any other woman.  I have been scouting that girl the day I met her, because she is a force to be reckoned with when she gets out of her own way.  It killed me that they were at odds with one another. I see what I did as nothing worse than forcing two children into a room and not letting them out until they came to reason with one another.

In regards to the danger they were in as a result of the storm, when I had this planned out, there were no storm systems on the horizon.  I have no control over Mother Nature.  But the moment we learned that the island was being ravaged, Phoenix Squad and I put our own lives at risk to get to Allison and Sahara!  I don’t know what kind of selfish, heartless bastard you’ve been told I am, but I will do anything for the people I love and care about.’

And that includes the occasional dose of tough love.  Am I sorry for any of it?  Only for the danger the storm I had no control over placed them in.  I am beyond grateful that they were okay, shaken up and angry with me, but perfectly safe.  But I do what I feel I must, so that my life, my family, my home will be in order again some day soon.  Preferably while I’m still alive to enjoy it.  Is that good enough for you!?!

Without awaiting a response, Damon walked forward and shoved the microphone into Ricky’s chest and climbed back out of the ring.  Walking back to the commentary desk, Damon wiped at his eyes.

Not even bothering to stop that microphone as it fell, Ricky wore that scowl as he shot one last look over at Damon as he was getting back to the desk. Shaking his head back and forth, if he would have bitten his tongue any harder, it would’ve been cut clean in two. Kicking that microphone out of the ring, he walked over to that same attendant, passing off his own as he awaited the arrival of Mason Vanderbilt.

Mason Alexander Vanderbilt vs Ricky Rodriguez

FIGHT! NYC Brooklyn Championship

Ricky’s young, keen, and he shows it as he unloads his whole chamber in the opening exchanges. It’s his first one-on-one match for the Brooklyn Championship, and after coming up barely short at Toxic Tag, he was determined to make a big impression and try to get MAV out of there quickly.

A series of lucha exchanges had the incumbent champion reeling, and after a standing shooting star press, Ricky Rodriguez thought he’d done enough. We were barely four minutes into the match and he’d made a cover.

On the flipside, Mason Alexander Vanderbilt had overcome adversity of his own, taking back to back defeats against Amari Kent and generally finding it hard to come by a victory, and so he was digging deep himself. He had worked way too hard for him to give up this soon and this easily to a young upstart who hadn’t travelled the path he’d travelled.

No, Mason looked to the corner where Sienna Sharpe would’ve been, and bit down. He needed to do this for himself. He needed to take this to the next level. He had to make it work. A vicious bicycle kick came from nowhere and floored the much smaller Ricky Rodriguez.

With the tides turned for the moment, Mason chained a few moves together – a clothesline, followed by several kicks as he laid on the floor, then he picked Ricky up and dropped him on his head once more with a high angle back suplex. A quick pinfall attempt lead to a kickout.

Because likewise, Ricky had no place in his mind that would be giving up. On the commentary booth, Damon Riggs is making no bones about his distaste for what Ricky decided he was going to take on himself to do prior to the match, he’s imploring Mason to finish the job.

Ricky and Mason exchange hands, with the larger man at a much greater advantage. He starts to take the momentum again, then comes from the ropes and hits a roaring elbow which takes Ricky out. Another bridging german suplex leads to a two count.

Mason is frustrated, and Ricky takes advantage with an enziguiri to the kneeling champion. He locks him up in a front facelock and tries to pull him into a guillotine. Mason, though, frames himself up and has Ricky Rodriguez hanging from his neck as he walks around the ring trying to shake him off. Mason runs into the turnbuckle, breaking Ricky’s grip, then throws him up on his shoulder, walks two steps toward the center of the ring and THE MAVERICK!

And that was all she wrote.

Mason Alexander Vanderbilt grasps his title, with emotion in his face, as he raised it to the skies and knew that he’d taken one more step closer to redemption.

Ricky, on the other hand, seemed dejected in the center of the ring.

From Bad To Worse

And things were not about to improve for Ricky Rodriguez, because as his victorious opponent made his way to the back to celebrate, the video wall lit up.

Dane Preston: I thought I told you that the old man was off limits.

Ricky looks up at the video wall.

Dane Preston: Good fight kid, you’ve got heart. I’m up in the Islands Suite tonight, watching from afar, enjoying the show. You nearly had him, I’ll give you that. But I told you, the old man is no-go. Since you didn’t want to listen to what I have to say, I’m going to have to tell you another way. Next week. I’ll see you there.

Ricky’s head drops. From one war to another. The video fades out.

Heavy Checks

…and your checks for free.

MDM: ‘scuse me, Miss F. But I dun nae who else teh tell this teh. But me checks a bit heavier ‘en usual.

Miss F closed her laptop and sat back, beckoning him for the check silently. She had a hundred and one things to do, and this was probably going to take a lot longer than she wanted to spend. But as she looked at the check, it was clear to her that a mistake was made. And if it was anyone who made it, it was her.

Miss F: …huh. It seems that you’re right. Someone made a mistake mister Murphy. See most titles come with a bonus in pay. That bonus rises the longer a person is a champion. The Queens title was not meant to be one of those, but…like I said, someone made a mistake. Of course, no one would want to keep that title just for the money. It was meant to motivate.

MDM: Yeh, precisely what I was thinkin’. Anyway, excuse me.

Murphy darts out of the room, and pulls his cellphone from his leather Fanny pack, and dials a number, nervously excited.

MDM: Shannon! It’s Murph, er, yeh fatha.. Listen, you know that fancy school yeh want teh go teh? Guess who can afford it after all! Yeah! So go ahead and tell yeh mah to get started. And have ya dah call me asap as possible, eh? Love yeh too.

Murphy disconnects the call and chuckles. The title was meant to motivate, and fortunately money was the best motivator there was. He was going to be known as the worlds highest paid loser, but at least he’d be known for something.

Toasted Strudel

We switch to the back where Michelle is having a conversation with Poptart and drinking from her Starbucks cup, with the Bronx championship sitting on a table between them. 

Miss Michelle: An easy night where we keep this title and don’t even have to break a sweat is better than the alternative though.

Poptart: Yeah but after training with B this week,  I was kind of looking forward to getting my hands on Eoin.

Miss Michelle: You’ll learn,  its better to walk away with everything than to fight and risk everything.  I used to be like you too, where I wanted to fight for everything – now? Just gimme my shit and get the fuck away.

She laughed.

Miss Michelle: But don’t ever think I won’t beat someone’s ass if I have to.

He nodded and laughed. Bam Miller came walking around the corner towards them. He makes eyes with Poptart, then the title on the table and then at Michelle before Poptart eventually says something.

Poptart: Hey man, I don’t know what your problem is but if you want to keep your eyes in your head you should stop staring at her every time you enter a room with her.

Bam smirked as he stepped up closer to them.

Bam Miller: I haven’t stared at her one time, Toaster Strudel. I might have glanced at her but I ain’t staring at nothing but that gorgeous bitch on the table.

Poptart: Whatever, man. I am tired of you disrespecting my name, too. You keep talking shit about toasters and everything else like I didn’t just whoop your ass for that belt.

He pointed at the title. 

Bam Miller: For one, yes we went head to head in that match but you didn’t ‘whoop my ass’. You got lucky and caught me off guard a few times, but I’m pretty sure I held my own and if she wouldn’t have climbed up that ladder for you, the outcome would have been very different.

Michelle stood to the side,  sipping her coffee and letting Poptart handle his own. 

Bam Miller: For two, maybe I wouldn’t make fun of your name if it wasn’t so fucking stupid.. I mean, Poptart, really?

Bam said with a chuckle.

Poptart shook his head and stepped up into Bam’s face before shoving him backwards. 

Poptart: I’ll have you know it’s a family name. And what’s your problem anyways man? I’m starting to understand why your mom dumped your ass in the trash.

Bam shook his head and looked at Poptart. He then returned the shove from Poptart back to him and then the two of them began throwing lefts and rights at each other. 

Michelle stepped out of the way just as Bam nailed Poptart one good time, sending him stumbling back where she was standing. However, as she went to step out of the way, her foot got caught on the table and she tripped. Poptart reached out and tried to stop her but it was too late, she had fallen down onto the hard cement floor.

She quickly favored her wrist that she hurt as she hit the ground, trying to stop the fall. She gasped audibly as she brought her hands up to her belly.

Poptart looked down at her in shock before rushing over and kneeling down to check on her. Bam spoke up..

Bam Miller: I uh.. I gotta go!

He made a “yikes” face before hauling ass outta there.

Let's Just Not Talk About It

Asher Jules comes into view, lurking around the hallway in his particular lurky way. He turns a corner and comes face to face with the very face he was trying to avoid. Noelle’s eyes grow large as she sees him and his shock to see her. She goes to speak and he bolts, running through a crowd of people that have come out of nowhere, almost as if they were sent just to slow him down. He comes to a dead end and begins to panic. He sees a bathroom and opens the door, slamming it as Noelle reaches the door, Asher looks around, trying to find a way out when he spots the vent at the top of the wall. He pulls a quarter out of his pocket and begins to unscrew the vent. He gets three of the screws out and moves the cover out of the way, climbing into and skittering into the vents. He bangs around, side to side crawl, frantic and huffing for the little oxygen he can get. He scrambles down the length and makes a left. He turns right, and another right, and then left, and left again. He finds a vent and begins to punch at the vent, until finally it launches off, and he falls out of the vent, and hits the floor. He stands up, and wipes the sweat from his face. He opens the door and finds Noelle waiting outside of the door waiting.

Asher: How…

Noelle: How what?

Asher looks back and sees the screws he pulled out of the vent, and dropped onto the floor. He had gone into the vent and come out into the same god damn bathroom.

Asher: Fuck.

Noelle: Where the fuck have you been? Di-

Asher: Listen, I’d love to talk about all ‘f it. Truly. Got the Empire champion. How’s about we meet up right after, and discuss, yeah?

Noelle: Does it look like my head screws on and off? You’re not gonna show! So tell me what the fuck is going on!

Asher: Ok, Ok. Let’s go back to my locker closet, and we’ll talk about it now.

Asher steps out of the bathroom, and leads the way with Noelle following close behind. Noelle turns a corner and a blast of white powder blasts her in the face, temporarily blinding her. When the air clears, not the air she wanted cleared, but the one in front of her, she sees that Asher is gone. She clenches her jaw and walks away, muttering beneath her breath.

Dickie Watson vs Asher Jules

Asher Jules watched Dickie Watson enter the ring area with the kind of pomp and circumstance that makes his head shake on its own. Dickie with the Empire championship over his shoulder, and Asher with nothing on his but a chip. Dickie looked at the man across the ring from him and tried to judge his mindset. Asher hadn’t had a great run of it lately, that was obvious to all. But either had Dickie. And while Dickie knew when it was time to work, things got pushed to the side, he wasn’t so sure about Asher. It took discipline to put the non-important shit on the back burner, and by the look of him, Asher didn’t even have a back burner. Just a barrel fire where he threw all things.

On the other side of things, Asher assumed Dickie was confident in his abilities, and would easily take Asher down. But Asher had an idea. And if it didn’t work, it would be ok. He didn’t expect it to work. But if it did, it might just change the landscape of the area around Asher, and maybe give him some room to operate.

As the bell goes off, Asher runs toward Dickie as Dickie rushes Asher. The speed they display leaving their respective corners is tremendous, and the speed in which they duck each others attempt at hitting the other overshadows it by an inch. Asher trying to spear Dickie finds his opponent out of reach as Dickie leaps over him, and rolls to his feet. Asher also rolls to his feet, but as Dickie runs to drop kick him in the back, Asher rolls out between the top and middle rope, leaving Dickie to kick of the middle turnbuckle.

Asher jumps onto the top rope and slingshots himself toward Dickie, attempting a cross body block, but Dickie catches him, and attempts to spin Asher out of his arms and into a backbreaker, but Asher pushes off and spins himself around Dickie and lands behind him. Shooting toward the rope bank, Asher fires back but Dicke puts a knee out in an attempt to catch Asher in the midsection. Asher leaps easily over the knee and rolls to his feet again, and jumps up onto the top rope, backflipping off in an attempted lionsault. Dickie drops onto his back, and places his feet into Asher’s chest. As Asher lands, he does so with one knee on Dickie’s forehead. Asher clutches his chest, as Dickie holds his head, and the two lock eyes.

Asher rushes toward Dickie, and attempts to slide into his left leg, but Dickie picks his leg up and allows Asher to slide past it, while flipping onto his feet by way of just his right leg. A feat which the crowd eats up. Asher on the other hand slides all the way to the turnbuckle, plans his feet against the post, and uses his momentum to twist under the bottom rope and onto his feet. He jumps over the top rope, kicks off the top turnbuckle, and shoots toward Dickie, catching him in a flying clothesline. The two men both roll out of the move. Dickie onto his back and then feet, and Asher spinning to his feet as he hits the ground. The two men look each other in the eye, and the crowd is loving it. The scroll at the bottom reads “Fake Asher” and “WTF WHERE THIS BOI BEEN?”

Damon Riggs: I don’t know where this Asher has been, but the crowd is welcoming him home!

Asher lunges at Dickie but gets caught by an arm toss which is semi blocked as Asher lands with his feet down, but his back suspended off the ground, holding Dickie’s arm for balance. Dickie lifts his leg, holds it over Asher’s head, and drops, sending Asher’s head into the mat with a bounce and a thud. Dickie stands up fast and runs against the ropes, dropping a knee to the same area and rolling out of it. He bolts to the opposite bank of ropes, but as he turns, Asher collides with him in a cross body block that is so ulgy, it causes everyone to look away in disgust.

Asher and Dickie roll over the top rope and tumble to the floor. They both get to their feet fairly quickly, and as Asher runs into the ring, Dickie rolls in and stands in the corner. What followed was one of the most impressive strings of blocks, and counters that the Fight fans had seen in a very long time. But at the end of it, Dickie showed why he’s the empire champion, and Asher is vacationing in the main event, while Dickie lives there.

After a particularly brutal spinning DDT, Asher laid on his back, trying his best to find where Dickie was, while Dickie positioned himself outside the ropes, ducking down on the apron just out of Asher’s view. Asher slowly rolls backwards off his back, and Dickie fires off the ropes, leaping into the air, and as Asher begins to rise with all fours still on the mat, Dicke places a foot on the back of his head, and slams it into the ground, hitting the RISE TO GLORY picture perfectly. Dickie covers, and while Asher makes an attempt, it is both too little and too late.

Champion's Serenade

No sooner had the victory announcement been made as Paul Montuori had appeared as if from nowhere in front of Dickie Watson. Flanking Paul Montuori is Ricky Rodriguez and Joe Montuori. Dickie looks around, he’s alone.

Paul Montuori: Heh.

Joe Montuori: Who’s ‘mates’ aren’t loyal now? Bitch ass.

The Montuoris and Ricky Rodriguez were backing the Empire Champion into a corner now. Before anything of note could happen, the running mates of Dickie appeared from the back without music or much fanfare but bustle and blunder in abundance. Shawn Warstein and Kasey Winterborn. Now it was three versus three. There was a pregnant pause in the air as the crowd’s tension started rising. It was inevitable that they would come to blows. 

Warstein and Joe were likely the first fuses to blow, and just when it seemed like they were gonna, Brandon Moore came from nowhere and blindsided Warstein. Apathy in tow, Sarah Wolf, Korrupt, Eoin O’Rourke. Mob-handed, 5 of them. They were clearing up the cohort of Dynasty and also Dickie, Warstein and Winterborn were under intense physical pressure.

Brandon Moore launched Warstein out of the ring but he landed on his feet, Moore gave chase and Warstein drove him HARD into the steel steps. He could match Moore’s intensity, he could fight with anyone on the planet. Moore didn’t want to give an inch but Warstein wasn’t asking.

Dickie and Paul Montuori were full on fighting and they started to tumble through the ropes. In the ring, Joe Montuori had his hands full with Apathy and Eoin O’Rourke, who had some kinda two on one battle going on.

Kasey Winterborn had a handful of Korrupt’s mask, and she was dragging him along the top rope and started driving his skull into the turnbuckle.

Apathy broke off from JMont and started piling onto Warstein, turning the tide in his favour. Joe Montuori stood side by side with his brother across from Dickie.

Eoin O’Rourke licked his lips as he prised Kasey off of Korrupt and started to work.

Damon Riggs: It looks like Dickie Watson, Shawn Warstein and Kasey are short on numbers here, they’re all doubled up on.

Sarah Wolf smirks from the top rope, as she watches on at the chaos unfolding below.

Warstein is bloodied. Dickie is beaten. Kasey is pushed against the ropes.

Suddenly a swell of cheers starts going around the arena in an almost Mexican wave type phenomena. A shadow in the sky starts descending. Long blond hair, otherwise unrecognisable. As she descends, she lands in the center of the ring and immediately throws a boot right into the face of Eoin O’Rourke who tumbles out of the ring. Her and Kasey then start dumping Korrupt out of the ring. They make headway to Warstein, pulling Apathy and Moore off him. From beneath the dogpile, the bloodied Warstein groans and mutters.

Shawn Warstein: Just … in … time … sister mine.

Damon Riggs: It’s Betsy Granger! BETSY GRANGER!

J Michael Brilliance: Odds not so uneven now..

Sarah Wolf smirks down on the melee, not intervening. Dickie Watson, Shawn Warstein, Kasey Winterborn and Betsy Granger have managed to take firm control and then Sarah drops off the turnbuckle, and as her feet hit the canvas, a loud alarm sounds all through the arena, and the lights drop to nothing.

The alarm continues to ring out.

Over and over.

Like an air raid siren.

... epilogue

From darkness, we fade back in.

FiGHT medical personnel as well as security have made their way over to where Michelle was still sitting on the ground. They are asking her questions and she is trying her best to answer them with a clear look of discomfort on her face.

Nurse: How are you feeling?

Miss Michelle: I feel amazing!

She responded sarcastically while rolling her eyes.

Nurse: I’m so sorry, that’s not what I meant.

Miss Michelle: I know what you meant and it feels like somethings wrong.. I think I’m having contractions.

The nurse waved over two security guards.

Nurse: I’m gonna have these men help you up, do you think you can stand?

Miss Michelle: I think so..

The security guards each grabbed a hold of her under an arm as they slowly lifted her up from the ground. 

Nurse: We are gonna get you all checked out and make sure baby’s all good okay?

Michelle nodded as the security guards slowly helped her walk towards medical. The nurse watches for a moment, taking notice of the small amount if blood and fluid on the floor before looking back at Poptart.

Miss Michelle: You might want to let Brandon know.

Poptart raised his eyebrows and then took off in a hurry to find Brandon Moore.