CALAMITY IX // LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER
By: Dickie Watson
Writing Prompt: No
Date: 12th Dec 2021
CALAMITY IX // LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER
AND WE ALL JUST WANT TO WATCH YOU BURN
“LIGHT THE TORCH” THEY SCREAM
MAY YOU CHOKE UPON A SCARLET FLOOD
SWALLOW BLOOD WITH ME
I AM YOUR ENDING
“Where the fuck is Raven?”
Kasey’s screech echoed within Dickie’s mind over and over again as he stormed into the hallways of the FIGHT Tower. His championship hung from his hand, dragging on the floor, as he narrowed his eyes and grit his teeth. His whole body was taught, and his focus was forward, straight ahead, undeterred. Another moment in which the people in this company jumped him like stupid bitches from the west burrough, like gang members without any clout to their name trying to get a little higher in the world. It was as if this were the Boondock Saints, and they were multiple versions of Rocco. Dunces in the brain, but they would get shit done if it meant a little leg work. It was clear. There was a group trying to rise from the ashes of Ascension and be created new.
Except that wasn’t allowed.
Nothing was allowed except New Status Quo. And for a while, that thought amused him. But what did weak and pathetic people do when they were out of options? They banded together even when they weren’t supposed to. Why should anyone follow any sort of rule? And not one they fuckin’ made? An argument could be made that they honestly just were afraid of anyone rising up, but that wasn’t true. Honestly, in Dickie’s mind, he just didn’t give a shit or care that there were no stables. Mostly…well, because he didn’t trust the one he was in further than he could throw them.
That was the understatement of the century, wasn’t it? The kid who had been fucked up by pretty much every single person he’d ever put his trust into didn’t trust anyone. With everything that had happened in the past year, he wasn’t surprised. The turn of events from the sibling he’d blocked from his memory, his wife Hannah leaving him for man with second grade humor, and his brother Finn doing what he did at the Pro Wrestling EXCELLENCE show, completely annihilating and dislocating his shoulder for no reason except that he could in proving a point…it was little wonder that he even was around people. Hell, half the time, he expected Aiden to get tired of his bullshit and walk out too. Find a new partner. Someone better.
But who was that?
To say that he was furious was absolutely an understatement, and to say that he was okay was a false statement. Everything in his life seemed to be a clusterfuck and there was no way out or away from it, even at the best of times. People he trusted, people he’d begun to turn to like he had those who had his back a long time ago, were failing him now. They were failing him left and right and there was no way to stop it. This was why he isolated himself so often. A trauma response at its highest – if you want something done right, you do it yourself, right? You don’t trust people to do their job, to keep the world from closing in on you. You certainly don’t trust people to have your back.
And you didn’t trust people to not try to destroy you the second you had your back turned.
Hot on his heels was Warstein. Kasey behind him, Betsy following there. Holding up the rear was Aiden, semi-Mission Impossibling himself about, making sure their flanks and back were covered.
Dickie didn’t stop. He kept moving. He didn’t want to deal with any of them. Fuck New Status Quo. Fuck every single one of them. He didn’t need them, and they didn’t need him. That was the consensus, wasn’t it? They were all leaders, so why did they need him? To get him nice and soft so Warstein could turn around and beat him over the head to take his championship? So Betsy could transport them all in the future, figure out the secrets of his mind as an old man, and come back to defeat him? Kasey wasn’t a friend, she was just a tag along on Warstein’s jock and Aiden? Aiden was half out the door and couldn’t seem to find the footing he’d had anywhere else. His only compatriot in the Legacy x Commonwealth experiment wasn’t really here, and that was obvious.
“Dickie!” Kasey tried. Betsy too, crossing her arms. Surely, she was more worried about why James had suddenly disappeared than anything else.
If anything, Dickie’s feet moved faster. He didn’t need them. He didn’t need any of them.
That did it.
Dickie stopped, mid-step. He stopped, and he stared ahead, before his head slowly turned and he looked backwards. Backwards at the four of them. Aiden’d stopped leagues before the rest of them, and it’d been his voice that uttered the name that she called him all the time. She refused to respect him with the name he preferred, she refused to treat him with dignity and respect that family should have given to one another freely. He saw red.
The Empire Championship clanged on the floor as Dickie launched himself the twenty feet backwards at a full sprint at the Australian Wolf. He was stopped only by Warstein, worn out from the match against Preston and Moore, and Kasey and Betsy holding him back. If he hadn’t, Aiden’d likely be on his back for a reason he wouldn’t enjoy.
“The fuck has gotten into you?” Shawn yelled, pulling him back. Eventually, he was able to get him pushed back. Dickie stumbled backwards, hopping slightly as he gained his footing once more. “Calm the hell down!“
“Fuck you!” Dickie yelled. “I don’t have to listen to this shit!“
“This is what they want, ya know.” Aiden walked closer to them, wearily eyeing Dickie. “They want us falling apart. A warning shot, he said.“
“They can fuckin’ have it–“
“If they can rattle us this bad already, then what chance do we have of surviving this, hm?” Calm, cool, collected, Shawn raised a hand in Dickie’s direction in an attempt to calm him down. “We have to be better than this. Smarter than this.“
“You can take your fuckin’ smarter bullshit and go fuck a du–“
“Dickie!” Kasey chastised, shaking her head. “Shawn’s right.“
Dickie’s eyes narrowed. “Of course he’s right. He’s always right, didn’t you know? Ask anyone in the past twenty years about how right Shawn is. They’ll tell you unequivocally that he’s perfect in every fucking way. Of course, you agree, right?“
“Dickie…” Betsy warned.
“Or how about you, Bets? About how perfect you are and fuckin’ great. And yet–“
“Oi, mate, would ya just shut the fuck up for about ten seconds and realize this is exactly what those daft pricks want, eh?” Aiden snapped over him. He crossed his arms, shaking his head. Clearer headed, obviously, was the otherwise loveable and silly Australian. “They want us to implode. They want to get in our heads, realize that we’re not as strong as we keep saying we are, and they want us to fuckin’ dissolve without a kumbayah.“
“They’re scrambling. Trying to find a weak link.” Shawn agreed, looking at Aiden, and then looking over to Dickie. “We have to see past this, past the bullshit, and see what’s on the other side. You know what it is. Dane is trying to get people so that when it comes tit-for-tat, he can walk out of this with his hand raised. Raven broke him. Now it’s all about getting even.“
“So he turns into a bitchass?” Dickie snapped. “Moore hasn’t been happy since you defeated him, and now with him and…” For a second, it seemed a revelation floated over the Russian-British national’s face. He opened his eyes a little wider and then frowned. “They’re building a group.“
“Of course they are. Why wouldn’t they?” Shawn nodded. “They can’t take us out singularly, so they’re trying to amass an underground group to beat us into submission. Funny though…it didn’t work before.“
“No. It didn’t. But we were more cohesive.“
“We still are.” Kasey added, though she took a step back from Dickie. “Even families fight. This is no different. But when this happens, we’ve gotta come more together, not separate.“
Aiden looked directly at Dickie as Kasey spoke, continuing on about trust and family and teaming and everything that the Calamity was not the best at. He watched as Dickie’s face continued to grow more pale, more dejected, more restricted. It wasn’t as if he didn’t know this, but Aiden knew that the further he put more into this, the more he was going to be devastated when it was destroyed. He was going to put up barriers. He was going to sit there and become hostile and attack even when it wasn’t the acceptable thing to do. He was going to create a bubble for himself that no one could penetrate. Even against Aiden.
“Why don’t you guys go try and find Raven, eh?” Aiden suggested then, looking directly at Shawn. He raised his eyebrow in the direction and nodded ahead. “Hopefully, he isn’t knocked out in the dunny.”
Warstein seemed to understand. He wrapped his fingers around Kasey’s hand and started dragging her off. Betsy too, followed. Kasey looked at them both confused, as if she didn’t fully understand why she’d said everything but no one was required to answer and this didn’t seem resolved at all. Nevertheless, when the three other members of NSQ disappeared, it was left with Aiden and Dickie alone. The Commonwealth. One of the most successful teams when they both had their heads in the game. They were Tag Team Champions. This was their normalcy. Dickie turned his head away, though.
“Fuck off, Aiden.“
“Can’t do that that easily to me, cunt,” Aiden snorted, and he walked past Dickie, leaning down and picking up the Empire Championship from the floor. “And you can’t get rid of this so easily either.“
Dickie was silent for a moment, before he sighed and turned his head. “What if I just walked away?“
“It’d eat at you, I’d say. Like a fuckin’ dingo in the Outback, you’d starve and starve, chewing on scraps but not getting the full meal.” The Australian Wolf turned back around and then handed the championship to Dickie. When Dickie didn’t take it, he literally set the weighted belt upon Dickie’s head, letting it drape across his sweat-soaked hair. “You and I both know it’s easy to let ‘em win it, mate. You’ve been dealin’ with this for a while, I think. Trying to be good to everyone. Trying to be the face of the company. But you’re sitting there and placating everyone, tryin’ to be placid, tryin’ to be the neutral party. There isn’t a neutral party here. Either you’re liked, or you’re not. It’s the way of the sport.“
“I…” Dickie sighed again and looked at Aiden, pulling the championship from his head and holding onto it. “I keep telling myself I’m able to carry the weight of this thing. And I mean it figuratively, because while it’s heavy, it’s not like it’s a burden. People expect me to play to their whims. I’m not…I don’t want to. I did that previously and look where it got me.“
“So don’t.” Aiden shrugged his shoulders. “You’ve lived on survival mode I think for a majority of the game. It’s time to up the difficulty. The campaign mode shouldn’t be too difficult for you, and I think it’ll be just what you need. You need to let go of everything. New Status Quo will exist fine, even after this. We all have your back, but you’ve gotta trust all of us. And I know,” he added, crossing his arms over his well-defined muscled chest sans-shirt as always, “that’s difficult for you. But you know Warstein isn’t going to come at you without you realizing it. Raven isn’t either. They’ve been trying to get us in their group for how long? They’re not just gonna fuck it up because some parasites in this company–“
“I’ve never called them parasites. I called Paul one. I called them sycophants. I called them followers. I called them useless. But not parasites. And I did it when they were against me.“
“Everyone is against you. Hell. Even me, mate. You carry that,” he tapped the championship. “You’re always going to be a target. And it will always be this way until you no longer hold the Empire Championship. But you can’t just be docile anymore. You’ve gotta be the butcher. You’ve gotta bring it out. I know you can. You know you can. It wouldn’t be the first time, and I think…you’re finally pissed off enough to do this.“
“Well, I mean–“
“Fuckin’ what, mate? You know exactly what to do. Go to him. Request it. The worst they can do is deny it, and why would they? Ratings out the ass, and you know it. You want to, and I’m fuckin’ here for it. Even though you’ll destroy his face–“
Dickie shook his head. “It needs to be destroyed.“
Aiden nodded, sadly. “I know. And you’ll be the one to do it. They started this war, Dickie. Don’t let ‘em finish it. Fuckin’ go to Xavier. Ask him. And ye shall receive, or some shit.“
“There are so many things…so many things I’d like to say. So many things that I’d like to do. So many words to put on a page, to write, to say, to bring to light and then use in such a way that allows me to cut your very flesh, to the sinew and bone, with just a scathing, terrorizing remark. Every part of my soul wants me to tear you from limb to limb, just so that I can prove a small, broken little point with jagged edges and heinous venom. Sitting here, my hands shake. My voice quivers. But I’m not afraid. No, this isn’t fear that’s rattling through my bones, making me unable to focus, unable to breathe without just that small shake that indicates something other than calm. Other than normalcy, other than a normal heartbeat, other than the serenity that often takes my mind over.
I am fucking furious.“
And it’s true. The Molotov, the Calamity, the Empire Champion sat on the ledge of the FIGHT Tower’s roof. The breeze whipped his hair about his head, across his eyes and the bridge of his nose, and then out into the air. Despite his words, he sits calm and collected. It wasn’t often that he stayed at the tower, but he’d been trying. Trying to get past that “not one of them” mentalities, trying to be something other than what he was.
“Once upon a time, I wished to be respected. I wished to be treated like I was a man that was capable of doing many great things. Maybe it’s because I grew up like a fucking peasant in a far off land, but I thought if I worked hard enough, if I gave back enough, if I did enough, then maybe I would be seen as someone to look up to rather than down upon. It seems that no matter what I do to gain ground with you, no matter what I do to represent you, no matter what I do to the eyes of the people, it is never enough, and there is no chance of survival. I’m destined to be hated, whether it’s because I’m good at what I do or if it’s because I’m in one of the best stables in wrestling right now.“
Dickie stretched out his fingers from where they laid, crunched together on his dark jeans and balled slightly into a fist.
“It’s pedantic. Childish. The squibbling and the squabbling from the wings of the stage, the words from insolent wrestlers who dislike that they’re not in the top of the crowd, the eyes of the world on them. You’re mad because you don’t have the attention like James Raven, the respect and fear like Shawn Warstein. The clout like Dickie Watson, the adoration for Betsy Granger. You don’t have the entertainment from Aiden Reynolds, and you don’t have the love of the fans like Kasey Winterborn.
We have our flaws. Maybe I’m not the most known member of New Status Quo. Maybe I haven’t done everything I needed to to be on the top, but I also am capable of recognizing when my ego has gotten ahead of my ass. I’ll say it once and repeat it for you again simply because I know how hard it is for you people to get things into your head. There is not a leader for New Status Quo. There never was one, and the only time we put it as one was because we had to. A cohesive unit working on the same cylinder and firing upon the same piston is far better than figuring out a pecking order and looking to one person to lead them into the fires of Mordor or whatever the fuck place in that movie Aiden had on yesterday was.
But you won’t listen.
You won’t care.
You’ll just keep the mantra the same, the voice the same, the words the same. New Status Quo this. New Status Quo that. Let’s repeat the same routine over and over again because we have no other recourse, no other ideas other than beat people senseless and jump ‘em when their backs are turned. I shouldn’t really expect anything more than that. I shouldn’t expect nice little quips, a frontal attack, a moment where I can stand across from someone, know their intentions, and move into the fires of battles with the same, equivocal idea. Fight, but do your damndest to win. Not break.“
Dickie tilted his head to the side, slowly, almost as if it were on a swivel. Nothing else upon his body moved but his eyes, which got bigger.
“Which is why the record will change. The motive will change, the war will change. It’s no longer just win, it’s no longer just prove. It’s maim. It’s destroy. I have all the love and respect for this roster on a regular basis and I am proud to be its champion, even when every single one of you hates me for simply holding a belt that twice, it has been unable to be captured. But when you go around, acting like rebellious teenagers who’ve been told they can’t go out on a Friday night, when you jump to conclusions because you can’t think through shit…well, the situation’s changed, hasn’t it? Why should I continue respecting and representing a roster that wants my blood spilled on the stage? Why should I not turn the page and do the exact same to you? Tit for tat, eye for an eye…right?“
He closed his eyes for a moment, turning his head to the left. His eyelids fell open and he looked out upon the burroughs of New York, the ones visible to his eyes. Queens to the left. Manhattan beneath him. His Empire, so to speak. This was what he owned, this is what he ruled. But it could change. One swipe of the wrong thing, one stupid manuever, and it could be all done.
Maybe everyone was right. Maybe he was fucking useless.
Dickie turned his face back ahead, crossing his arms as the wind whipped around him once more. It was audible in the background, a constant thrush against the sounds of the city below. Even in the chilly air, he wasn’t dressed for such an area. Short sleeve band shirt, jeans, combat boots. Dickie was a creature of habit and it showed. But that was consistency. That was honesty.
“I haven’t been happy with my own performances. I haven’t been doing the best I can, but even in all of that…if I haven’t been doing my best, then what hope do any of you have to defeat me? I am the monolith that stands over you all, whether you like it or not. And some little birdie tells me you can’t fucking stand it. None of you can understand why someone like me, who is quiet, doesn’t say much, and doesn’t go balls out on a Tuesday is in the position he’s in.
When I go out there, it’s not fuck around and find out day for me. I’m focused. Determined. Even if I have things going on in my personal life – of which I most absolutely do – I don’t allow them to derail me. Since Toxic Tag, where I was never going to make it with P-Mont as a partner, I’ve been guns blazing every time I’ve arrived. So believe me when I say that you, Ricky…you’re in for a terrible time, I mean it.“
He looked upwards at the covered stars and smiled slightly. A small one, nothing too large.
“I don’t hate you, Ricky, but you’ve gotta be an example. Countdown comes soon, and while Dane’s over there thinking he’s made the best choice in the world and he finally has the world in his hands, while he thinks he can absolutely taste the metal of the championship on his tongue, I’m making sure the rest of you remember what got me here. It wasn’t luck. And it wasn’t some form of gift. I didn’t have to suck off Xavier’s balls to get to where I am like other people have in other companies to get to the top.
It was skill. Determination. And I’m fucking full up on both right now. You are my lamb. You are precious, naive little person who walked with the big dogs because they gave you hope. You realized what you were a part of with the Montuoris, how full of themselves and only themselves they are. Dynasty was a smokescreen for the Joe-P show, and you and Toddy were drug in with a smile and a wave because that’s how easy it was for them to build ranks. But what happened when they started breaking down? Joe came after you for your love of the dry ass desert that is Sahara and Paul disappeared into a literal trash can while losing multiple times in an attempt to look strong and destructive.
Looking back on my own career, I started in a deathmatch company. I feel more comfortable in a deathmatch than I do in a regular match.“
He paused for a moment, raising an eyebrow.
“But that’s for another day and time, right?“
He shook his head, exhaling slowly. His fingers still shook, but it wasn’t one-hundred percent noticeable. At least, not to the naked eye. He knew if he walked downstairs, Aiden would question him. He knew if he stepped into another part of his suite, Amelia would ask him questions.
He liked her. Even when he was screaming at the top of his lungs, somehow, she was able to get him to stop. And he hadn’t experienced that from a friend in a very, very long time. Even Aiden hadn’t been able to get him calm again. He felt like he was breaking at the seams, and he wasn’t allowed to show it. Show it, and be destroyed. Show it, and allow everyone to see how fucking frail he was. How unstable. How…
That wasn’t championship holder material, was it?
“You’ve had a lot on your plate, mate. And your record isn’t as clean as you wish it could be. Season Two, you’re looking at one solid win against Ashlynn. A disqualification win from P-Mont. The rest have been losses. Lycana got your number, and Dave the Motherfuckin’ Dinosaur got it too. You’ve been struggling in every championship opportunity, and when it came to the great Dynasty, it not only disbanded, it fucking imploded. The person you trusted decided to just fuckin’ walk instead of taking out Warstein. He bitched out, and I know that had to weigh upon you. You’re not a bad dude, Ricky. I didn’t forget the words we typed at one another. You were focused on making sure that your people knew you had their back, and I told you that trusting too many was an issue. We disagreed, but we didn’t have a difficult time being amenable. A conversation was easy enough.
Have to say, your choice in girls is a little less kosher than I would like, but we all have that one that fucks us over, eh?
Look. Ricky. You’re not stupid. You’re not even remotely halfassing everything you do like some of the people on this roster. You’ll grow. You’ll be better. But tonight isn’t the night, and the amenability isn’t in my vocabulary. War has begun in FIGHT. A bigger war than Ascension was. You are a lamb. I am the slaughter, and unfortunately for you…”
That smile that was upon his lips slid up and became slightly more malicious. (How’s that for a new personality, Sahara?)
“You’re the first person in my way. I’d say I’m sorry for what’s about to happen, but I’m not.
Everyone will fucking learn.
I’m “The Molotov” for a reason. Never count me out.”