TAKE ME DOWN TO THE INFIRMARY

By: Sahara

Date: 8th Sep 2021

”It was a joke. A fucking joke!” Sahara shook her head when she stared at the Tweet she had made–

Roster expansion is like a double edged sword. It means the company is growing, which indicates success, but it also means increased competition. Since receiving that initial invitation to join FIGHT, Sahara felt she had established herself as a trustworthy asset, but suddenly new blood was being infused into FIGHT. Why? Was her job in danger? Were they looking to go a different direction after the issues/problems she may have caused with a certain family unit? Le’Andra had suddenly been riding her hard for being an “opportunist”, and a homewrecker. Le’Andra had power, she knew that… On the other hand, she’d been asked to go on a media tour by Miss F and did exactly what was expected of her. She showed up on some talk shows, some radio shows, and promoted the hell out of FIGHT. Sure she ran up quite the bar tab, but she was told — repeatedly — it wasn’t a problem. But was it?! Be that as it may, the roster expansion wasn’t even the main issue at hand regarding that Tweet. At most that Tweet would have garnered a slap on the wrist from Miss F or Serotonin. They know how Sahara is, and wouldn’t have taken it all that seriously. But it was the reply to that Tweet she got from Sarah Wolf that bothered her– The same woman who pretended to be “Dollface” for weeks on end, meticulously planning what unfolded at Toxic Tag, had revealed herself to be none other than Sarah Wolf. At first, Sahara figured she was just collateral damage when she got that black gunk spit in her eyes.. but that Tweet indicates otherwise. Sarah was gunning for her for some reason, and not even Michelle could do anything about it. When asked, Michelle simply laughed and said nobody tells Sarah what to do! “Watch yourself” was about the only advice Michelle could offer, and after what went down with Michelle on Venom, she had other more important things on her mind at the moment; such as planning the destruction of Bam Miller. It was all a fucking mess. Sahara wasn’t necessarily afraid of the former Dollface, that wouldn’t quite describe what she felt. It was more like a feeling of dread. She knew she had something planned, she just didn’t know what it was. Sahara paced around her apartment discussing the various possibilities with herself when she heard a knock at the door. Seconds later, an envelope slid beneath the door, clearly marked SAHARA in bold capital letters. Rushing to the door, Sahara scooped up the envelope and opened the door, glancing both directions down the halls of FIGHT Tower. That’s when she saw him. Or her. Or it! Whoever it was, they were wearing black clothes and a hoodie pulled up over their head. Why? Had to be to evade the OCCHI system. She glanced down at the envelope clutched in her fist and as that confused look started to wash over her face, she realized there was only one way to find out who the hell that was– Springing into action, she rushed down the hall and swept past someone and damn near knocked them over as the hooded figure darted left. The hallways were longer than you’d imagine, so Sahara went into an all out sprint to catch up, dodging various room service carts and whatnot along the way. Turning at the end of the long corridor, she glanced for a sign of where they could have gone and saw an Emergency Exit clicking shut. She charged and kicked the door open, sliding into the stairwell to stop her momentum. Sahara craned her neck and looked up before looking down. She ran down a few steps and stopped. Leaning over the banister, she tried to see which direction the person ran– She heard a rather loud clang emanating from above– Up! Taking two or three steps at a time, Sahara continued giving chase, but the person didn’t seem to stop. Whoever the hell it was they had exceptional conditioning as they blazed a trail up countless flights of stairs. Three or four minutes in, Sahara nearly fell to her knees as she took a moment and looked down the endless series of staircases that stretched into the stars above. After a while, it somehow felt like a paradox, as if she were climbing to nowhere. When there were just a couple of flights of stairs left, Sahara slowed her pace and wiped the sweat from her forehead, realizing they had nowhere else to go but the roof of FIGHT Tower. Whoever this little delivery person was, he or she belonged to Sahara now. The red emergency light was already flashing as the bar was pulled to allow the door to the roof to open. Sahara purposefully looked up into the OCCHI cameras with a smile as she shoved the large metal door open. A cool drizzle hit her skin from the night sky above, washing some of the sweat away–

”You got nowhere else to go.” The blonde yelled confidently to the shadowy figure standing a good distance away. She held up the letter, ignoring the falling rain. ”What the hell is this?”

”I don’t know.” The voice was unfamiliar, yet it seemed as if they were purposefully disguising it. ”I was given explicit instructions to deliver that to your room. That’s all. This sure as hell wasn’t part of it!”

”Then why the disguise?”

The figure motioned around, ”The eyes in the sky, of course…”

But that’s when the figure’s voice faded into oblivion as Sahara finally looked around and it all came into focus. Large swaths of the sprawling rooftop were sectioned off and covered by tarps that were being pelted by rain. She slowly turned toward a vast array of partially erected scaffolding, stretching high above– Her eyes widened as she saw what was clearly a wrestling ring covered by more tarps in the direct center of the roof, with ringposts jutting up through the tarps that looked nearly identical to the much larger lightning rods at the four corners of the roof that reached high into the night sky.

At first, a mere whisper escaped her lips as she took in the majesty of the moment, ”This is insane…”

She turned back and raised her voice, ”What the hell is all of thi–“ But her words quickly trailed off as she realized they fell upon deaf ears. The hooded figure had taken the distraction as an opportunity to make their escape.

”This place–“, she paused as she slowly walked down toward the ring. She reached out and touched the ringpost that resembled something of a miniature lightning rod. The intricate design was second to none, and unlike anything she’d ever seen before. “This place is absolutely insane.” Sweeping her rain matted hair behind an ear, she realized she was still holding what was now a very wet envelope. Tearing it open, she leaned against the spirelike ringpost and held the note beneath a floodlight, trying to make out the bleeding ink.

Dear Sahara, From the mysterious business card I sent to recruit you, to the ‘gift’ I left in your FIGHT supplied apartment, to this note you now hold in your hands; these things were not only meant as an opportunity, but to serve as a reminder of who you once were, and who you could aspire to be. But it would seem recent actions show you’ve either forgotten, or you simply do not care.

To say I’m disappointed with your recent actions vis-à-vis Dane and Allison Riggs-Preston would be an understatement. You deceived, you lied, you cheated, you enabled, and you took advantage of the misery of others for your own short term gratification, which you then bragged about quite openly. You showed no remorse whatsoever. I thought better of you. I believed in you, Lauren. The old saying, ”Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”, is the only thought that springs to mind. Eventually, even the staunchest of believers comes to recognize a scorpion for what she truly is, before I try to carry her across the river.

Be that as it may, I ask one simple favor of you. Look inward. Self-reflect. Do you like what you see? Do you like who you’ve become? There was once a goodness in you that’s been eroded by time. I implore you to find it again, before it’s too late… As with the previous messages, there was no closing signature, nor a clue as to who was responsible. Sahara looked away from the rain soaked note with a momentary sadness in her eyes. Though the weather had picked up and she was completely drenched, with rain dripping down her nose and her hair, it seemed as if she no longer noticed … or cared. She flipped the page, which flapped aimlessly in the wind, looking for any other clues as to who was responsible for these messages and letters. But there was nothing more. Look inward? Self-reflect? Her eyes narrowed and seemed to darken, as if a creeping anger had replaced that momentary bout of sorrow. She balled up the soggy note in her fist and gave it a white knuckled squeeze, causing water to gush out between her fingers. She looked around as if searching for whatever phantom had sent the note, but visibility was almost nonexistent at this point. But that didn’t matter. The wind at the pinnacle of FIGHT Tower was now howling, and rain was pelting her exposed skin like tiny little daggers.

She screamed into the vast chasm of nothingness above, ”What do you know?! You ain’t walked in my shoes! I take what I can cuz if I don’t I’d have nothing! This world spent my lifetime turning me into who I am — and I will burn this motherfucker and everyone in it!” She tapped her chest as she slowly turned, as if someone above were looking down at her, listening to her words that merely scattered in the howling winds. She launched the note skyward–

”You wanna carry me across the river? I swear to God there is no mystery, I’ll sting your ass and use your dead, bloated fucking body as a floatation device to get to the other side!” A bright light suddenly shined on her face, causing her to close her eyes and look away. FIGHT security had finally arrived on the rooftop, approaching Sahara. Their words were hard to decipher with the howling wind and pounding rain– ”SAH- YOU HAVE TO CO- DOWN! THERE- A LIGHTNIN–STOR” Holding out a hand to block the blinding light shining in her face, running eyeliner seemed to etch black tears beneath her eyes, giving those that approached a momentary pause at the creepy visual. She looked completely unhinged, as if that creeping anger had somehow consumed her. It all happened so fast. She’d grabbed the security guard by the collar and yanked the flashlight free from his rain-wet grip. The man tried to cower away, but she held fast, lifting the flashlight high above her head and snarlin–

~~~~~

It felt like the hangover of all hangovers. The back of her head pounded with a dull aching pain. She groaned and went to lift a hand to her throbbing head, but found herself cuffed to a hospital bed. As everything slowly came into focus, she realized she’d been taken to the FIGHT Infirmary. She was hooked into various monitors and had an intravenous injection secured to the back of her left hand–

”What the he–“

”Sahara. I need you to look at me.” A familiar voice approached. It was the same physician she had been assigned after Blood Money, much to her surprise after what she’d done the first time. He shined a miniature flashlight in her eyes a couple of times, causing her to blink rapidly.

”Sorry for the over-abundance of caution. You spooked the hell out of those security guards on the roof, and one of them got ya pretty good with a nightstick before you could ‘kill them all’, as they put it.”

”What?!”

The physician motioned to security guards posted at the infirmary door, ”You can uncuff her, she’s fine.”

After being released, she massaged her wrist, and looked to the Doctor in confusion, wondering what the hell had happened. After running a battery of additional tests, the Doctor attempted to explain what may have occurred…

”Between the wind, the rain, and your makeup, you really put a scare into those boys. I’m guessing the conditions up there made things look a lot worse than they actually were. We already drew blood to make sure you weren’t on anything, but the tests came back negative. FIGHT was concerned after the security guards told them the story of a crazed monster on the roof that attacked them.” The Doctor let out a little laugh at the absurdity of the story. ”You got a couple of staples in the back of your head, but the bald spot shouldn’t be hard for you to hide–“

”My head?” She immediately felt the staples and shook her head.

”You’ll be fine.” ”What about Venom? T-the show?!” ”Don’t worry, I see no reason not to clear you. I’m not seeing any signs of a concussion, surprisingly enough. Buuuut–“ ”But what?”

The Doctor smiled and held up a little cup.

”Going to need that urine sample, in light of everything, I’m sure you understand.”

Sahara rolled her eyes and reached out to take the cup, only the Doctor momentarily pulled it away.

”Let’s not repeat what we went through the last time, please?”

”Yessir!” She pushed herself off the bed and landed on her bare feet.

”You were soaking wet when they brought you down–“

”Yeah, I get it, can I pee for you now so I can get goin’?” She flashed a devilish smile.

The Doctor finally handed her the cup, ”I’d love nothing more from my favorite patient…”

She sauntered over to the bathroom and lifted the hospital gown she was in before taking a squat. As she collected the necessary urine sample, she looked at the Doctor, ”Hey, what’s your name, anyway?”

”James Vincent, PhD.”

As she stood up and handed him the cup of collected urine, she smiled, ”We have to stop meeting this way, James…”

~~~~~

I know the whiskey, it won’t soothe my soul
And the morphine won’t heal my heart
But if you take me down to the infirmary
I won’t have to sleep or drink alone