CALAMITY VIII // THE VENGEANCE
By: Dickie Watson
Writing Prompt: No
Date: 31st Oct 2021
CALAMITY VIII // THE VENGEANCE
ALL HAIL THE DARK PHOENIX
BLOOD AND FEATHERS FROM THE BROKEN PIECES
YOU DON’T KNOW ME
AND IT’S NOT YOUR TIME
TURN AROUND AND GET IN LINE
The wind whipped across the members of New Status Quo as they stood on the precipice of their figurative mountain. Each carried a piece of the puzzle with them to create the whole, which was exactly what was needed in order for them to carry out their takeover of the Fight Tower. Each was integral to success. From Shawn Warstein’s continued patience to set his goals aside for the greater good, to Betsy Granger’s continued belief that they could see this through, that the lights were all ready to be lit and their lives changed forever. Kasey Winterborn, so distrusting of herself, persevered and refused to be seen as nothing more than a tool to be used on a whim. Aiden Reynolds’ trust in not only his friendship, but the link and succinct breadth of brotherhood he shared, dropping everything and coming to the aid of the man he considered his family. The bonus piece of James Raven’s unwavering loyalty, even in the face of confusion, was their saving grace. Each piece mattered.
Each piece mattered.
Bruised and battered, they alone stood the test of Ascension, they alone were what was left of the ashes of every stable. Each of them, built for their own reasons, perished as an afterthought. Friends, family…none were able to rise above the haphazard stable built only because they were pushed, only built because they alone were targets. A common goal. A common boundless goal. They were the new status quo to see, to meet, to defeat. This was what badgering and blackballing and attempting to low blow and sneak your way into championships and the limelight came to. The ones you thought were weak, the ones you thought were beneath you? They rose and defeated you all. Not one member eliminated. Not one member defeated.
This is your doing. A revolution. Cry wolf, cry worthlessness…but remember, you created this.
But to Dickie Watson, it was primarily a cementing of what had started from the beginning. Everyone talked. Everyone stated that Paul Montuori was going to walk out of Night One as Empire Champion. He let them talk. He let them piss and moan in the background with their hands held up like they were the true winners of each night. He didn’t come to FIGHT to be seen as a man in the background like other places wanted him to be. He came to fight. To prove that the limelight was his…and his alone.
Miss F and Xavier Black faded to the background, gone from the roof as the sextet stood there, gazing out upon their empire. Their islands. It’d been a rough night, and that was the least of phrases that could describe it, but they’d come out on top as a team. There were no weak links. There were no fights for control. A seamless, boundless team destined for greatness.
“I think we should celebrate,” Kasey’s voice rang out first as she looped her arm around Warstein’s. “We fought a war and we won.“
“I agree!” Betsy, too, looped her arm around Raven’s. She was obviously pleased to see him, and beamed at him when he smiled, though a little hesitant, back in her direction. Whatever was going through Raven’s head was his struggle and his alone. They would all, of course, be there for him. But he needed to accept it too.
Aiden and Dickie looked at their teammates, and looked at one another. Neither had their significant others with them (nor did Dickie have anyone either). So Aiden, in the goodness of his heart probably, stepped closer to Dickie. “Don’t you fuckin’–“
“WE DID IT MATE!!!” Aiden reached out and hooked an arm around Dickie’s neck, putting him into a sleeper hold as only a brother would do to a sibling. Sputtering, Dickie pushed at the burlier man and somehow managed to disentangle himself, taking two steps back with eyes full of annoyance. Aiden guffawed. “Aren’t you happy about this? We beat those certified bushpigs at their own game.” He clapped Dickie on the back of the head. “You’re fuckin’ welcome.”
“Nah, no, you’re all right.” Dickie nodded, raising his hand and rubbing the back of his head. He reached into his back pocket, pulling out a key of his own. The Empire Penthouse. It’d been dead since he’d won the championship, not fully willing to build his roots into this company until he’d proven his point. He himself had listened to the men and women of the company, listened to how they didn’t want to accept this newcomer, this…heathen of a man as their champion. He didn’t want to own it. But thoughts and emotions, they changed.
He was willing to accept his place. He felt like now he’d earned it. He held the key up, dangling it from the chain it was on. “I don’t think the Fifth Turnbuckle is going to be the same for a while so maybe there’s something in there to celebrate with.“
Agreeing with one another, they turned and headed for the locked door that they’d come through to get themselves to the echelon that they were. Talking amongst themselves, they didn’t even realize that Dickie hadn’t moved. He watched as they walked towards the staircase, his feet rooted to the spot in which he’d stood. Kasey and Shawn. Betsy and James. Aiden. Legacy. The Commonwealth. Two separate teams, rooted together finally in a partnership as they’d been teasing for months it seemed. Was this just acquisition for James and Shawn? Ownership of yet another group that they could get used to before they turned their backs in an attempt to rise above?
No, no, no…trust is earned. They trust you. Fuckin’ trust em back, Dickie.
He couldn’t lie. The feelings never did quite leave him, and they probably never would. Trust was hard to give. Feelings of doubt were so ingrained in his life and his brain was that he was always and forever going to be alone, and it was proven to him by years of mistreatment and abandonment. Friends were only there to use him. Family turned their back more often than not. He’d searched so many times to people he could trust, people he could lean on, and they’d disappeared as soon as he’d actually put effort into the relationship, to make it whole.
Abandonment would always be at the forefront of his mind. He feared it, he avoided it, he stepped away from it sooner than not. Yes, they were his friends now. Yes, they were his teammates. But they could walk at any time. They owed him nothing. Part of him was willing to state that the rules of the game had changed — they could put on the show, but they didn’t have to really work together. Or maybe, he could handle it on his own.
“Oi, mate,” Aiden turned back for a moment, looking at him as he realized his footsteps weren’t with the group. Alone, he knew the expression. He’d seen it before. Months ago, when Dickie was faced with facing the one person he’d, all along, thought had his back. Then, the frightened face of Dimitri stared into a mirror and tried to end everything instead of facing his fears head on. Then, he wasn’t the tried and true wrestler, he wasn’t anything more than the abandoned kid who no one gave a damn about. There was no Dickie Watson. Only Dimitri.
The Australian took a couple of steps backwards and headed to look Dickie straight on, in the face. Out of everyone, he was the one person that could get Dickie sorted out. Despite the jokes, despite the obliviousness that he portrayed, Aiden wasn’t stupid. “This isn’t the same, and you know it.“
“It could be.“
“But it isn’t,” Aiden shook his head. “I didn’t get offa me ass, lose time in my season pass for Call of Duty, to play dice with a buncha bumfuckers from Shitville. The four of you believed in something, you have a group. I came in for support, and I’ll stay until I’m not needed here anymore. We are a team. They’re not going to turn their backs on you. If I remember correctly, Warstein has told you his intentions, mate.“
Dickie wasn’t much shorter than his tag partner, but he still felt like he was smaller for believing differently. “There is no tie here, and I think that’s what bothers me.“
“So,” Aiden threw his arms up and placed his hands behind his head. “Let this be the tie that you all have. That we all have. I know you trust them to do their jobs. I know you trust them to have your back right now. Trust them in the future. And when the lies start coming, then step back and be like,” he cleared his throat, adopting the Cockney accent that Dickie had, “Aye bruv, it’s time for me to step back and fuck yer faces up, eh?“
Dickie’s nose turned upwards and he looked at Aiden with a narrowed expression. “Do I actually sound like that?“
“Aye.” Aiden snorted. “You forget a majority of your consonants when you’re drunk, mate. SPO’ O’ TEA, AYE?!“
“I hate you.”
“No, you don’t.“
“Мудак.” Dickie swore in Russian, rolling his eyes as he called him an asshole.
Aiden held a hand over his heart, “Moo-duck to you too, motherfucker.“
The response was enough to make Dickie snicker. He would never tell him, but Aiden was usually right about these things. After all, the fact that he’d gone through his own waves of bullshit in tag teams and life…and he still was able to turn around and treat Dickie like a brother and trust the people around him…it was something to be commended for.
“Just…give it time. Look what we’ve done. The whole company sat there and told you all you were trash. You proved them wrong, just like you always do. Inaugural champion time and time again, they’re doing themselves a disservice by treatin’ you like you aren’t good. We’ve proven that people forced together can band and make themselves stronger than the opposition. That’s all. Let’s just…every day this shit, mate.“
He nodded, putting his foot forward. Fearing it would only give credence to it, and if he didn’t, maybe this time, it wouldn’t be an issue. Maybe this time, he wouldn’t end up in a bathroom with a shattered mirror to his wrist in drunken terror. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing…
Even his mind wasn’t agreeing with him. But that would be for another time, another place. Aiden started walking forward, and he followed, heading for the entryway into the building. They headed down the stairs, boots hitting the floor in tandem. Upon the landing, they looked at the wreckage below, shaking their heads. There would always be damage and terror in their wake. This was absolutely certain, and it would be something that the rest of the company would need to get used to.
New Status Quo did not give up that easily.
“Dimitri,” said a voice behind them. He looked back, stopping in his tracks, to look upon the face of Xavier Black. The man, filled with tattoos from head to toe, adjusted the buttons on his shirt as he approached them. Miss F, though nowhere to be found, was probably already trying to get repairs on the building so that it would be ready for when the FIGHT Talents would come together again.
“Mr. Black,” Dickie replied, looking at him directly.
“A moment, if you have it.“
Dickie glanced at Aiden, before handing him the key to his suite. The Australian took it silently — there were no words needed in order for them to recognize what needed to be done, or what the other was going to do. He aboutfaced and shoved his hands in his pockets, looking up at the taller man. “Sure.“
“I realize,” Xavier started as he peered directly at Dickie’s face, “that you were thrust into the limelight rather quickly here at FIGHT after Blood Money. There are enough people who didn’t think you were quite the…“
“Competitor?” Dickie supplied. “I’m well aware. I listened for weeks on end about how I was just fuckin’ lucky to make my way to the top of the pops.“
“Well, clearly, you’ve made the case, signed it and sealed it, and won. I was hopeful that you would be able to handle the notoriety that being the Empire Champion would put upon you.“
“It’s a mantle that you kind of have to accept if you earn it. It’s not just about pretty championships and winning things…it’s about being able to hold it in your hands and accept the responsibility that you represent the brand. I think a lot of people miss that in the shuffle.“
“You do, however, realize the place that you and your team have put yourselves in, correct?” Xavier tilted his head to the side slightly, inclining it downward. “Since you are the only stable now…it should not be so surprising to you that you’re likely a target now. All of you.” His eyes flashed, not maliciously, but mischievously. As if he had plans ahead for them, or could see the roster as they banded together against this New Status Quo.
Dickie raised his head slightly, chin darting upwards in some bit of defiance. He tilted his own head, a small smile combing across his lips. “Mate, I’ve been a target all my life. All of my career. If there’s anything I relish in…it’s making sure those that target me regret it in the end.” He walked past him then, pushing off from where he leaned against the wall, and kept his hands in his pocket.
Xavier said something, but Dickie didn’t hear it. He moved towards the door to his suite and opened it.
There were goals ahead. Let them target him, let them target New Status Quo. Let them unite under their banner, and let them all learn the same lesson.
You don’t fuck with hungry wolves.
The setting was familiar to him, a sight he’d come back to over and over again over the years. With his hands shoved in his pockets, he stared at the old facility. It was a gothic structure, a singular building, now run down and filled with people that he didn’t know or really wanted to. It was still running, the Catholic Nuns parading their children across the fields. He hoped they didn’t see him, but if they did, he was certain they would know who he was. His experiences there weren’t quite as trivial and terrible as others might paint them. He’d even have a nice cup of tea and tell his stories if they wanted him to. He couldn’t imagine that they hated their kids, even if they were stricter than the average home.
But that was the thing about Dickie. He followed the rules until they weren’t viable anymore. Until they didn’t serve him in the best manner.
He stood there, watching from the hill above. This time, however, he was not alone. Standing next to him, his eyes focused on his phone, was Aiden. He had headphones in, and he seemed to be listening to something. However, the man ripped out one of them and looked over to his tag team partner.
“Why,” he started, “does this cunt look like he would want to work at a mortician’s office just to spend a little bit more time with the corpses?“
Dickie sputtered, turning his head with wide eyes. “Aiden!”
“Living proof over here that it isn’t what you look like that makes you who you are,” Dickie gestured to himself.
There was a pause from the Australian, who looked at his phone, and then looked back at Dickie.
“So you aren’t a projectile missile to fling at opponents?” He questioned, quite openly, referring to a majority of their tag team moves. Aiden had a good forty-to-fifty pounds on Dickie, so it was easy to launch the other wrestler as an offensive move.
“…” Dickie was silent, and he rolled his eyes.
“I see what you’re saying. I mean, look at the company we’ve got. None of you — save for me — are lookin’ like you’re bonafide wrestlers. I mean, James has his abs of steel and Warstein looks like he could cut a bitch with his eyes on a bad day, but the rest of us — save for me — don’t fit the bill. And yet…“
“And yet, we’re the Islands Champions. I’m the Empire Champion.“
“Quick, retract that statement. They hate when you point out true things.“
Dickie looked up at Aiden once more, shaking his head and leaning backwards against the rental car that he’d purchased for his stay in London. He crossed his arms and gazed down at the Orphanage, looking at the kids as they came out in a line for recess, ready to play for a little while before going back for lessons.
“That’s true. Look at what we’ve done. Look at all of us. Ascension has come and gone, and what did we say at the beginning of it?” Dickie started, the tone in his voice changing just slightly. Stronger. Better. “We said that we were going to rise to the occasion, that we were going to come out on top. Not because we’re better than anyone else, but because we’re fucking smarter. We didn’t split up, we worked as a team, we didn’t allow ourselves to be eliminated. And even when the chips came down, we had surprises in store for everyone. We came out on top. We became your New Status Quo, and now…we know what bothers you all the most.“
He inclined his head in the direction of his tag partner. “You hate that he was able to come in and defeat your prized competitors and stars. You hate that loyalty crossed borders, and the mercenaries that existed in the tower were there to put a stop to every single one of your laid plans. You hate that you forced us into a corner, and that us being forced became the strongest stable in the entirety of FIGHT. You hate yourselves for what you’ve done, and at the end of the day, it was us that stood the test of time.
Maybe you should be disappointed in yourselves for your own fucking failures. Just like Paul Montuori should be for failing miserably in talking shit for weeks and not coming out with that beautiful belt that he claims was his from the beginning. And yet…yet…it’s still in my hands. This company is in my hands — our hands.
Perhaps I could spend months on it. Perhaps I could spend weeks and months and years talking about how I’m going to do something and let it fester and harbor within me. But I don’t. When I decide I’m done with something, I put a stop to it. It no longer exists. That’s part of the reason it’s so easy for me to move on when the time comes; because I’m fuckin’ done and I’m not going to let my fallacies and my failures rise above my work. I see a mark in which I’d failed, and I moved forward. I learned from it. I didn’t harp on it for days and weeks and years.
I’m not Grah–“
Dickie looked at Aiden. He opened his mouth. “Clau–“
Aiden ripped out his headphones from the phone and raised the phone into Dickie’s face, playing a loud air horn sound over his words. Dickie stared at him, his eyes narrowed and he frowned.
“You know, I really do hate you.“
“The feeling is mutual, Moo-duck.”
“You know, I only brought him up because as I last remembered, this was the huge feud of the show. Vincent Black and that redacted motherfucker who thought it’d be a good idea to bring my name up for a company that shit the bed two weeks later had a war of the worlds between them. Like me, it was Vincent who decided to shut it down. He said his piece. He moved forward. Onwards and upwards…
You know, I respect him. Vincent. In a world where wrestling families grow exponentially, he’s been able to make his name known across his circuit as this man who was to be feared. Respected. That he’d downright humiliate you. And to hear someone else talk about him, it’s like he almost became obsessive, but…if he’s anything like me, which I’m inclined to say he is…then the stories are wrong. Black doesn’t–“
“Wait wait, Black? As in Sirius Black?“
“No Vin–…is Kallie reading to you?“
Aiden shrugged. “She has a pretty voice. Little bit of a hick, but I think that’s the Coloradoan. Coloradan? Colo– whatever.” Another judgmental stare rose from Dickie, to which Aiden narrowed his eyes. “You speak the Devil’s language.“
“заткнись, черт возьми.” Dickie snapped, telling Aiden to shut the fuck up.
“I told you, I don’t speak French.“
Dickie sighed. “Vincent obviously isn’t the type to harbor shit. That’s apparent from his push forward. And for that, I respect this dude. Your fuckin’ owner of this company is your brother — your twin — and you realize that the path you’re going to walk is ten times harder just because of that. But that doesn’t stop him. I respect that in individuals…you know, the work ethic. Pushing forward, onwards and upwards as a person…similar to me.
But you’re not me.
As much as I respect this dude, I also realize where he came from. The Old Guard. The type that’s still trying to live in this world, to become a candidate for something other than the broken. But there comes a time…and that time is approaching at a speed akin to light, where boots should be placed on the mantle instead of on the floor. They should be a memory, a moment in which you fondly remember the places you been and the things you see. Oh, the places you’ll go, and some shit. I think it was Kurt Vonnegut that said that there were certainly fates worse than death, and in wrestling…it’s when you’ve outlived your hype.
Maybe I’m wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time, but as a leader in this company, I have the distinct honor and privilege of showing all of you what the fuck it looks like to be a workhorse. Besides my one other company, I live and breathe this place. Fuck, I actually took the time and effort to live in the tower. I train daily, I fight with this bitch here–“
“Oi, now you wait a second–” Aiden sputtered.
“–every day in an effort to get better and hone my craft. Every single one of you decide that you’re, for whatever reason, a cog in the machine that makes this run and turn around and tell me how to do my fuckin’ job. How’d that work for Asher — who I actually like. How’d that work for people like Paul? Joe? FYA? The Cure? A slowburn on losing competitive life is a problem, and while you’re over there living your lives, I’m over here looking at this as my life. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a life to have outside wrestling right now. Maybe…
Maybe it’s because I put this first.
Maybe it’s because I live this first.
Now I don’t begrudge anything. I choose to be this champion. I choose to come here and fight like hell to make sure you and everyone else in this company knows my game. I didn’t come here to fuck around. I didn’t come here so you guys can come with weak ass, Gothitelle Pokemon bullshit to wave in my face.” Dickie waved his hand, while Aiden tried desperately to remember what the hell a “Gothitelle” was. “There are no Gods, goddesses, kings, queens, leads, or demons that can vilify my world. Maybe in your world, Vincent, you’re a demon of your own making. A bonafide destructive force. But in my world, mate? You’re just another stepping stone.
A cog in my machine.
So, lemme tell you how this is gonna go, Vince. As much as I respect you as a human being, if I allow you to defeat me like Dane Preston did, then I’ll never hear the fuckin’ end of it. Right now, I’m not interested in failure. I’m not interested in doing anything more than solidifying my brand. FIGHT! NYC belongs to New Status Quo, and I am nothing if not forced to move forward. My goal? To put your head on the chopping block.
Do you all get it now? Underestimated, I’m certain none of you will ever move in that direction again with me. I am nothing if not a force to be reckoned with, and a reckoning comes alive the second I hit that ring. I’m not The Calamity for nothing. I want you to bring everything you’ve got, so that when I have my fist raised once more, you and I both know that we’ve fought like hell and held a match for the ages.
This is my rise. This is my future. This is my legacy.
And you? You’re standing in my way.
See you soon, Vincent. Win or lose, I’m looking forward to this. Let’s start season two off with a motherfuckin’ bang.“