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Messages - B

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1
SHOOT Project Discussion / Re: Revolution S1E7: Feedback
« on: May 17, 2016, 09:52:30 PM »
I loved it, honestly.  I think I understand what Greg means, though.  Sometimes there are certain aspects you want to see fully fleshed out and meticulously presented because you want to revel in every single part of it, from the atmosphere to the technical aspects.  But your match was sick and did exactly what it was meant to do.  The formatting is going well, IMO, for getting those stories told that need to be told in the manner they need to be told.

2
SHOOT Project Discussion / The Legacy
« on: May 17, 2016, 09:34:41 PM »
Oh man.  There was something so dramatic and amazing and kinda hilarious all going on at the same time in this.  Excellent work, Rob.  I can't wait to see where it leads.

3
The Epicenter / Once and For All [Obsidian]
« on: May 17, 2016, 09:32:38 PM »
I want to murder everyone in this room.

The man sitting across from me, drinking and texting while pretending to care about the date he is on.  The date herself, sitting there rolling her eyes and looking at two other men in the room she wants to have throw her in the back of an SUV and skewer until she winds up pregnant and can’t figure out who the father might be.  The bartender who flirts with everyone that comes in the bar, be it man or woman, and clearly is only doing it for tips since she texts her boyfriend when she thinks nobody is looking.

But I am.

I watch.  I watch and I fight the urges that churn within me.  It isn’t that I will give in to these urges, but they are there.  A man my size should stand out in a crowd, but never here.  Never at the Epicenter.  Never at the Speakeasy.  Soldiers come in, sign autographs, find ring rats, take them home.  Fans come in, hope for attention and affection.  Most leave empty handed.  Some get drunk and stumble out into the wilds of the world never to see the light of another day.

People live and die in the Epicenter.  They are, in a sense, the fruit flies of civilization.  They leave small marks on the world and disappear into the nothing.  They flitter into your ear, you hear their buzz, and then they’re gone.  Just like that.  Life is fleeting.  People live their lives trying to claw their way into the light and escape the darkness to the point that they forget just what it is they’re even running from.  I never understood people’s fear of the dark.  Light exposes you, shows the world who you are and what you are, shoves out all of your flaws and your weaknesses.  The shadows envelop you, keep you, surround you, protect you.  Nobody likes to sleep with the lights on.

Every single eye shuts out the light to try to rest, recharge, and reinvigorate oneself for the next day.  The light and the dark go hand in hand.  However, one holds no secrets, the other is only secret.  It has always interested me that the longer you stay in the shadow, the lighter you will become and the longer you bathe in the light, the darker you become.  The light, I have found, casts that long shadow behind you.  That long, sometimes unending stretch of shadow.  It spills the essence of you out onto the floor, the grass, the dirt, and it just keeps on sprawling your essence out for as long as the light and the dark can stretch you.

Amazing thing, light.

Amazing thing, shadow.

All of these people in this room, they do not think of such things.  They think of things such as their next drink.  Their next party.  Their next high.  Their next partner.  Not to say they are all vapid and shallow.  Some may be deep in their own regrets and sorrows and this is their escape.  We all seek that escape.  I, myself, seek to escape my everything, as melodramatic as that may seem.

Those that know me know that I am not a well man.

I have tossed myself onto the rocks of every single sharp piece of guilt and agony that I possibly could that did not kill me.  I threw myself into love, into hate, into pain, into pleasure.  People have called me a faggot, a pansexual, a deviant, a monster, different, unique, and several other names that they have tried to implant in my soul.  Meanwhile, I have kept on being who I am.  A man.  I am only a man.

But I am a man who knows the darkness because I AM the darkness.

“Isaac…”

His name escapes my lips in a hushed whisper and it is as though my heart skips a beat and I am thinking of the love of my life.  But Isaac is no Kyle.  Kyle is long gone.  My brother is not my lover.  He is not my friend.  He is my enemy.

People see a man like me, my size, and they instantly assume that I am an unfeeling monster with an insatiable lust for blood.  That is not entirely true.  I feel.  More aptly, I fear.  I fear Isaac Entragian.  With all of my heart I fear that man.  Make no mistake, I know the difference between a monster and a man.  There is no such thing as monsters.  Only men that make themselves wear the mask of a monster.  I do not fear a man who thinks himself a monster.  I fear a man who thinks himself my brother.  I fear that I will pull my punches.  That I will not get the job done against him.  Make no mistake, this is a job.  A profession.  A career.  I fear a man that thinks himself something less and more than a man. 

I fear Isaac Entragian.

Where I want to murder the people in this room, I can think about how insane that thought is and hold myself back.  Isaac will fornicate, rape, eviscerate, and murder wildly if left unchecked.  He would slither into this bar and he would infect every person, infest every orifice, and ingest every soul.  He craves this.  He has for as long as I have known him or known of him.  Isaac Entragian is everything I am and everything I am not.

I fear me.

So I must act.  I must do something I never dreamed I would have to do.  I will not stand against him on behalf of those I love.  I will stand against him on behalf of those I do not even know.  Those victims before, those victims to possibly come.  I must fight for them.  I must slaughter for them.  I have to do more than defeat Isaac.  I have to stop him.

Once and for all.

“Once…”

I slide the words past my teeth in a growl.

“…and for all.”

I must strike one decisive blow.  I only have one chance at this.  If I fail, he will know my weaknesses and exploit them.  He will kill me.  I have only this once.  I will have to hit him with all I have.  I must dig deep to do what must be done.  For each and every person.  For all time.  For all.

Once…and for all.

I want to murder everyone in this room.

But I will settle for my brother.

4
SHOOT Project Discussion / Re: B's Pride
« on: May 02, 2016, 08:10:24 PM »
I'm so glad you like it, man.  They're a mix of "jobber" characters Josh and I came up with.  There's some fun plans for them in the future, but if you ever want to play around with them, let me know!

5
The Epicenter / Why We Fight [Buck Dresden & the Pride]
« on: May 01, 2016, 10:15:23 PM »
Buck Dresden marches into the locker room area of the Epicenter, ignoring everyone around him.  He doesn’t pay much heed in particular to the men that are right behind him.  These men, virtually unknown in professional wrestling, have somehow made an impact solely by standing up against the man who has run SHOOT Project since its return to glory.  Jackson Jeffries.  Victor Thane.  Dan Richards.  Joe Quinn.  Tadakatsu Mishima.  Salvador Olivares.  Six men.  They call themselves…The Pride.  They say little to one another, merely watching all the eyes that are cast upon the seven of them until they finally reach Buck Dresden’s room.  Buck enters the room and doesn’t pay attention as each member of the Pride follow him in.

Buck Dresden:  Um…why’re y’all followin’ me in here?

Joe Quinn:  We’re looking out.  We have to stick together.

Buck smirks.

Buck Dresden:  Y’all don’t even know me.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  You stood tall against the Herald.  You are as much Pride as we.

Buck shakes his head.

Buck Dresden:  Fellers, look.  I appreciate the back up, I do.  Joshua Breedlove, Kitsune, Akuma Lee…all ‘em boys what came from Magnus International could pop up at any moment so it’s good to have folks on yer side.  But, see, here’s the thing.  I ain’t a member o’ yer club.  Y’all six should band together, sure.  Buncha guys from AlieNation-One an’ Reality Check need all the support you can get here, what with Herald feedin’ y’all to the wolves at every turn.  But…

Jackson Jeffries:  Wait.

Jackson holds his hand up in the air as if to ask the teacher a question during class.

Jackson Jeffries:  Buck, check what you have standing in front of you.  I mean, really look.  Six guys.  Six young, strong, talented guys.  We all bring something to the table.  Tada’s intensity, Sal’s guile, Thane’s cunning, Joe’s strategies, Dan’s ferocity…

Buck Dresden:  An’ you?

Victor Thane:  Jackson’s mouth.

Thane, Richards, and Olivares share a laugh.  Jackson ignores them.

Jackson Jeffries:  I’m talented.  I’m intelligent.  I’m not trying to sound arrogant, but I know there’s more to me than just my name.  That’s where it starts, Buck, my name.  My Dad was a professional wrestler.  He used to mentor OutKast in OutKast’s rookie years.  His name is Wayne Jeffries.  His career and his lifestyle forced me to be a student of the game.  To learn the ins and outs of how people get by in this world we call wrestling.

Buck Dresden:  So, cuz yer Dad was around before wrestling really got as big as it is today, you got a chip on yer shoulder an’ a name to honor, huh?

Jackson turns from Buck, looking at the rest of the Pride.

Jackson Jeffries:  Sometimes I talk too much.  I can get abrasive.  But yeah, let’s be honest here, I want to make it in this business.  I want to be a success.  I want my Dad to look back at his career and smile contentedly, but look at my career and beam with pride.  I want to build a legacy, I want to build something that comes from virtually nothing.  I can’t do that from the bench in a warehouse in Japan.  I can do that here, with these men, fighting in SHOOT.

Richards snorts, spitting a loogie into the trash can by the door.

Dan Richardson:  Jackie’s got a point, Buck.  Me and Joe, we’re Spinebuster Island.  We’re already RCW Tag Team Champs.  That’s who we are and how we do.  Fact is, we cut through the bullshit.  That’s all we’re about.  S’why we’re where we are.  All that bloodshed, that bullshit, we ain’t about to let RCW sink under the weight of the crap Herald’s shoveling on its name.  Feedin’ RCW talent to SHOOT Soldiers like they’re a buncha mooks.

He shakes his head.

Dan Richardson:  Not gonna fucking happen. 

Joe Quinn:  Look at the tag division in this company.

Buck Dresden: What tag division?

Joe Quinn:  See?

Richardson puts his hands against his head, making an explosion sound to show just how much his mind is blown by Quinn’s perception.

Joe Quinn:  Spinebuster Island is the only group that’s rockin’ any sort of legit tag gold in this company and it’s not even SHOOT’s tag gold!  Then you look over here at Thane and Jeffries…

Jackson Jeffries:  American Lions.

Joe Quinn:  …then what you got?  Flying Avengers, maybe?  Cade and that sexually transmitted disease guy?

Salvador Olivares:  Isn’t there a tag team with Corey Lazarus in it?

Joe Quinn:  Who?

Olivares looks around the room.

Salvador Olivares:  Corey Lazarus.

Nothing.

Salvador Olivares:  Corey Lazarus, man…

Dan Richardson:  You know who names their kid Corey?

Salvador Olivares:  Corey Lazarus’ madre?

Dan Richardson:  Trash.  It’s a shit name like Chet or Travis.  Stupid fucking names.

Joe Quinn:  The point is nobody cares.  Not like they used to.  You notice how Master or Herald aren’t advertising SHOOT?  Why nobody’s coming in that is really that well known?  Who’s the biggest name on this roster?  Some of the biggest psychopaths in wrestling history and some of the, no offense, types of guys nobody’d miss.  You, Cade, Stein…you guys aren’t really game changers, you know?

Buck Dresden:  Jester Smiles.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  He doesn’t go by that name.

Buck Dresden:  Still.

Joe Quinn:  Now, Buck, come on.  You love marketing.  What good is Jester Smiles without the color?  He’s just a man.  These guys are assembling killers, man.  They’re assembling killers and they’re assembling…

He sighs as he realizes it for himself.

Joe Quinn:  …victims. 

Buck continues packing his belongings.

Buck Dresden:  Uh huh.  So who’s the killers, huh?  Who’s the victims?

Tadakatsu Mishima:  We are.

Salvador Olivares:  The killers?

Joe Quinn:  The victims.

Olivares slowly shakes his head.

Salvador Olivares:  I was afraid of that.

Victor Thane:  This SHOOT Project is an abattoir.  I think we can all agree on the dangers ahead of us.  But…what we are all missing here is the chance to maintain and strengthen our bonds through combat.  Look at what he has done to us.  Spinebuster Island is facing American Lions.  He expects our competitive drive to hurt us and drive a wedge between us, but this is our chance to bring the SHOOT we came here for to light!

Dan Richardson:  Or we could just say “Fuck it” and burn the goddamn place to the goddamn ground.

Everyone stops, turns to Dan Richardson, and stares blankly.

Dan Richardson:  What?  I’m not opposed to burnin’ the goddamn Epicenter to the ground and goin’ back to Mexico or maybe even callin’ whoever’s in charge of EWA and getting a job out there.  We don’t owe these sorry sons of bitches anything, least of all these bloodthirsty fans they call the Faithful.

Buck Dresden:  We owe ‘em everything, man.  Y’all do, I do.  Everything.

Everyone’s attention turns to Buck.

Buck Dresden:  Victor Thane, right?

Victor Thane:  Indeed.

Buck Dresden:  Thane here’s right, y’all.  Put on a show.  Show ‘em all just how damn good SHOOT oughtta be.  Remind these sick fucks what calls themselves Faithful just how SHOOT came to be so highly regarded.  I’m teamin’ with y’all two, right?  Olivares an’ Mishima?  So, let’s do the damn thing.  Let’s right this damn ship on top o’ Josh Breedlove’s head.

Tadakatsu sighs.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  We must look beyond Magnus International.  We must look beyond Joshua Breedlove and ECLIPSE.

Salvador Olivares:  Let’s do both.

Joe Quinn:  Both?

Salvador Olivares:  American Lions, Spinebuster Island, put on a show for the Faithful.  Blow minds.  Remind people why they watch SHOOT Project shows.  Shake the foundation.  Dresden, Tada, and myself…we will attack the top.  Buck, do you think your friend Magnus is involved?

Buck Dresden:  A guy, ya know, a guy what worked with Charlie thinks so.  He thinks there’s some sorta infection here.  He’s kept a low profile, scared o’ what might become of him.  Folks been disappearin’ randomly left an’ right.  This ain’t like any wrestlin’ I ever seen.  This isn’t even a war.  It’s a culling.  It’s gladiatorial battles fer blood an’ survival.  The best an’ brightest done up an’ left…if they ever got the chance to come back in the first place.  He don’t wanna make no money, that’s obvious.  That means this Master feller’s got money an’ the richest guy I know is Charlie.  That means he’s gotta at least know somethin’ about this.

Joe Quinn:  Money doesn’t equal knowledge.  It only buys and sells.  It sells power, influence, machinations.  It buys goods, services, souls.  There is no money spent here.  No advertisements.  No promotional work.  Just rumors, hearsay.

Jackson Jeffries:  So the question here is…whose SHOOT is this?

Victor Thane:  What do you mean, Jackson?

Jackson Jeffries:  Is it the Master’s?  Is it the Faithful’s?  Herald’s?  Or does it belong to US?!  The people who LOVE this game we play, this sport we compete in.  Guys like Isaac Entragian or the Coyotes or Herald himself act like this is their place, but Jesus…we can’t let them have it.  That’s why we’re together, guys.  I don’t know anybody here, I don’t hardly know you guys.  But what I do know is we’re proud of what this place was, we’re proud of what we can do, and we’re damn sure going to show the world once and for all that the Pride of SHOOT stands TALL.

Victor Thane:  And somewhere…somewhere…Jason Johnson will see a legion of no name Soldiers waging war in his name.

Jackson turns to Buck.

Jackson Jeffries:  But we can’t do this alone, Buck.  Please.  They’re focused on you, let us help you.

Buck drops his head for a moment.

Buck Dresden:  At Dominion, y’all can stand with me.  I’ll stand with you.  Past that, though?  Past that, we’ll need to see what happens.  Fact is, y’all need an in, they’re fucking with me so I’m yer in.  When we get done with Dominion, we’ll see what comes next.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  We overthrow our Master.

All eyes on Tadakatsu.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  We overthrow our Master and his Herald.  We don’t need to burn this place to the ground, we don’t need to rip their heads off.  We need to drive a single, decisive, pinprick into their heart.  A single…decisive…pinprick.

Silence.  All begin to think about Tadakatsu’s words until…

Dan Richardson:  Son of a BITCH that’s some chilling shit right there!  THAT’S why I fuckin’ love you, Tada!  Goddamn!  Pride, let’s go fuck some shit up!

Richardson slaps his hands together, storming out of the lockerroom yelling with delight at the top of his lungs.

Joe Quinn:  I team with that guy.  Like, on a regular basis.  We’ve won belts together…

Buck slaps Joe on the back.

Buck Dresden:  Can’t choose who we team with or who we love, mah friend.  No matter what they say.  C’mon, Pride.  Let’s go get a beer.

And so, Pride leaves with Buck Dresden.  They head out of the locker room and out of the Epicenter and into the night.  They consider themselves the Last Soldiers.  They fight for the House that Jason Built.

They are the Pride of SHOOT.

They fight for the SHOOT Project.

6
SHOOT Project Discussion / Re: Revolution S1E6: Feedback
« on: April 26, 2016, 08:51:54 PM »
You don't try to one up or stack on the hyperviolence, imo.  You build on it, you learn from it, and you let your characters react to it. 

To me, this show is the moment when the new regime shows their teeth.  They want blood, they want violence, and they're willing to kill a guy to let their vision continue to thrive.  For a character like Rohkar, I think your OOC reaction is SO what I anticipate he'd be thinking.

Just my thoughts.

7
SHOOT Project Discussion / Re: Revolution S1E6: Feedback
« on: April 21, 2016, 07:40:56 PM »
Yeah...this is kinda the moment where I knew I was gonna test our limitations creatively and our plans for this place going forward.  So...hopefully, it works and people love it and keep watching, buying into our new product and develop this like LU and as a psychotic dramatic TV show.  It's somewhere between Sons of Anarchy, Spartacus, Lucha Underground, mixed with a little bit of what made SHOOT amazing in the first place.

8
General Discussion / Re: LOL!!!!
« on: April 19, 2016, 07:00:49 PM »
That's our lot in life, man.

Those that don't know, and there are very very few of you out there...Christopher Davis remains one of my all time favorite characters to work with and against.  I love that character and I love that guy.  I don't think anybody could ever say anything negative about the guy at all, haha.

SHOOT will always be around in some form or another.  Either as something awesome and new or something awesome and old.  We'll always be here.  You KNOW you wanna come back, especially with our new format.  :)

9
The Epicenter / Raise A Glass [American Lions]
« on: April 09, 2016, 06:19:38 PM »
“Fuck that masked guy, what’s his name…Harry?  Harold?”

“Herald.”

“What’s the difference.”

“The E, dude.  The E.”

“Don’t forget the O.”

“The E and the O.”

Jackson Jeffries steps into the Speakeasy and is immediately greeted with the smell of cigarettes and spilled beer.  It’s that strange smell you can smell years later because it’s burned itself into your brain and makes you recall the days where your grandfather sat on the front porch smoking his Marlboro Reds or your cousin has her drinking problem and can’t keep a beer steady to save her life.  The memories flood Jackson’s mind but he ignores it as best he can, looking over the small crowd in the bar and then to Victor Thane, who has his arm around Jackson as he guides him to a booth.

Jackson Jeffries:  This place seems…nice.

Victor Thane:  It’s the only watering hole in the Epicenter that Jason Johnson gave any real thought to when he built this place.  I’m not going to go eat at one of those shit chain restaurants around us now.  No no, the Speakeasy serves fine spirits, it serves fine food, and it serves fine clientele.

“Who calls themselves a fucking Herald anyway?”

Thane rolls his eyes.

Victor Thane:  Well, mostly fine.

Jackson Jeffries:  So…

Jackson waves to a waitress as she saunters past.

Jackson Jeffries:  …what’s the advice, Mr. Thane?

Thane smiles.

Waitress:  Good evening, guys, what can I get you?

Victor Thane:  I’ll have your special on tap tonight, my dear.  Jackson?

Jackson Jeffries:  Oh…uh…what are you having, Mr. Thane?

Thane stares for a moment, almost irritated that Jackson wasn’t paying attention.

Victor Thane:  The special.  On tap.

Jackson Jeffries:  I’ll have that, too!

Waitress:  Allllllright.  I’ll get y’all two OMB Pilsners!  Let me know if you need anything.

Thane waves her off.

Victor Thane:  Jackson, I don’t have an illustrious career behind me.  My experience is only somewhat greater than yours.  Despite that, there is one thing I’ve learned from my years on this planet that I want to make doubly sure you’re understanding of as you move forward in this business we have chosen for ourselves.

Jackson Jeffries:  What’s that?

The waitress comes back, sitting the two glasses in front of the two diametrically opposed friends.

Victor Thane:  Keep your mouth…closed. 

Jackson Jeffries:  I…wasn’t smacking or anything.

Victor Thane:  No no, Jackson.  When faced with opportunity, when faced with opposition…keep your mouth closed.

Jackson stops drinking his beer, perplexed at what he’s hearing.

Victor Thane:  Smile and nod and keep your eyes open.

Thane holds his arms out at his side, smiling as he says his advice to Jackson.

Victor Thane:  You can’t let anyone know what it is you believe in.  Nobody can know what you’re against, what you support, none of that.  What people need to know is if they are against or for YOU, not what you’re against or for.

Jackson Jeffries:  But how do they know that if I shut up?

Victor Thane:  Jackson…

Thane chuckles, hearing the innocence of Jackson’s words grate in his ears.

Victor Thane:  …do you want to not only survive, but to thrive?  To make it to the top in this business?

Jackson Jeffries:  Of course.

Victor Thane:  Don’t believe every character and gimmick and passé, contrived bit of nonsense you see on TV or the internet.  Fools that run their mouths off find their careers finished or, perhaps, even find themselves finished.

Jackson Jeffries:  But what about…

Victor Thane:  No.

Jackson Jeffries:  You don’t even know what I was going to say.

Victor Thane:  It doesn’t matter.  Think about it.  Think about every successful Soldier in SHOOT’s history.  Do you think they became famous because they bucked the system?  Because they fought against the titan that was Jason Johnson when he was the god of this arena?

Jackson Jeffries:  Well, Instant Heat formed by beaning him upside his head with a steel chair…

Thane scoffs.

Victor Thane:  And those two were given cushy board jobs for giving SHOOT the boost it needed to become an international phenomenon.  Nobody remembers when Instant Heat hit Jason Johnson in the head.  All people remember about them now is one of them is Jason’s brother and the other is Jason’s brother’s best friend.

Jackson looks around the Speakeasy, somewhat concerned about the point of view being shared with him.

Jackson Jeffries:  Project:SCAR.  Isaac, Kenji, Corazon, Obsidian.  They bucked the system constantly.  They wanted to destroy everything.

Victor Thane:  Kenji was given the chance to saunter into the main event of this new SHOOT and given a World title shot right off the bat.  Isaac was given the chance to walk in and step over everyone else who had earned a shot to face the World Champion.  Nobody cares about Obsidian and Corazon?  You know the rumors, right?

Jackson Jeffries:  Yeah, that he’s not allowed back.

Victor Thane:  Because of his shit attitude, Jackson.  His criticisms.  He stabbed someone while representing this company.  Of course he isn’t allowed back.

Jackson takes a long swallow of his beer.

Jackson Jeffries:  Cade Sydal.

Victor Thane:  The World Champion that spends his time complaining about SHOOT and is barely showcased on cards because he’s getting paid so they have to give him something to do?  That Cade?

Jackson Jeffries:  Del Carver.

Victor Thane:  The Hall of Famer that insulted Jason Johnson and Instant Heat and formed Outlaw Pro Wrestling and is allegedly also on the SHOOT Blacklist?

Jackson Jeffries:  Dan Stein.

Victor Thane:  Never causes any issues backstage, never complains publicly, is given title after title and push after push.  Isn’t he one title away from being a Grand Slam Champion?

Jackson Jeffries:  …maybe?

Victor Thane:  Indeed.

Thane takes another swallow of his beer.

Victor Thane:  Keep your mouth shut, Jackson.  Keep your eyes open.

Jackson bows his head.

Jackson Jeffries:  You can’t be serious.

“I said it before and I’ll say it again…FUCK THE HERALD!”

Thane turns his head towards the commotion.  He sighs.

Victor Thane:  Case in point.

He motions towards the four men sitting at the table across the bar from them.  The men sit at their table, drinks all around.  The four men look to be from some very different backgrounds.  Two burly and excited young white men, one decidedly Latin man, and one rugged Japanese man.  All young.  All drinking.  All smiles.

Joe Quinn:  I don’t know about you guys, but Spinebuster Island didn’t come together to sit on the sidelines.

Dan Richards:  We ain’t on the sidelines, Joey.  Notice that whole we got belts and ninety percent of this place doesn’t bit?

Salvador Olivares:  We make more money in Mexico.  We make more fans in Mexico.  America feels stupid.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  America isn’t stupid.  America is home to dreams that we couldn’t achieve in Mexico or Japan.  We come to SHOOT because our bosses worked here and got famous.  So will we!

Joe Quinn:  Not with that stupid masked fuck running the show!

Thane sighs.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  Masks have history in Japan and Mexico.  Maybe Herald is a luchador?

Salvador Olivares:  Or a…masked…Japanese…what do they call lucha libre in Japan?

Dan Richards:  Pure ol’ wrestling.  Sounds kinda arrogant, y’ask me.

Joe Quinn:  I think it’s puroresu.

Dan Richards:  That’s what the hell I said, Joe.

Swigs of beer all around.  Olivares rubs his mouth free of the residue when he notices Jackson Jeffries and Victor Thane sitting across the bar looking at them.

Salvador Olivares:  We have fans.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  Fans?  They are wrestlers just like us.  They come from A1.

Dan Richards:  HEY!  HEY YOU TWO!

Jeffries points to himself, then to Thane.

Dan Richards:  NO, THE OTHER TWO!

Jeffries starts to look around.

Dan Richards:  I WAS KIDDIN’, YOU IDIOT.  COME OVER HERE, DRINK WITH US!

Jackson Jeffries:  He wants us to drink with him.

Victor Thane:  God no.  RCW’s roster is filled with mongrels with poor taste and loud mouths.

Jackson Jeffries:  They seem nice.

Victor Thane:  They’re screaming insults about SHOOT management.  What intelligence is there in that?

Dan Richards:  YOU COMING OR WHAT?!

Jackson gets up from the booth.

Jackson Jeffries:  C’mon, Victor.

Victor Thane:  Are you mad?

Jackson Jeffries:  What can it hurt?

Victor Thane:  We could be fired!

Jackson Jeffries:  For drinking with co-workers?

Victor Thane:  Co-workers trying to ruin our reputations!  We just got started here!

Jackson ignores Victor, entranced at the men waving him over.  Thane sighs.  He could let Jackson go over there and ruin his potential burgeoning career.  He SHOULD let Jackson go over there and ruin his potential burgeoning career.  But…there’s just something about him.  Thane can’t put his finger on it.  Jackson’s enthralling in a way Thane hadn’t known before.  Thane sighs once again, trying to sigh loud enough that it might guilt Jackson into turning around but to no avail.  Jackson is gone.  Sitting with them.  Thane follows.

Joe Quinn:  I’m Joe Quinn.  That other giant wad of piss and vinegar is Dan Richards.  We’re Spinebuster Island.

Dan Dan Richards:  RCW Tag Team Champions.

Joe Quinn:  I believe you probably know Salvador Olivares, right?

Salvador Olivares:  We have fought before.

Jackson nods.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  I am Tadakatsu Mishima.  One of AlieNation-One’s newest signees.

Jackson Jeffries:  Wow.  Hey guys, I’m…

Dan Richards:  You’re Victor Thane, right?

Jackson goes quiet as Thane sits down next to him.

Victor Thane:  I am.

Dan Richards:  Yeah, I seen you.  Only guy at this table that’s been given mic time.  That masked freak Herald must see somethin’ in you if he’s puttin’ you in front of a camera.

Salvador Olivares:  You should be proud.

Victor Thane:  Indeed.

Thane smiles.  Maybe these men are not so bad after all.

Dan Richards:  Meanwhile, Spinebuster Island puts on the show of a lifetime in that damn ring when we take the RCW tag straps and you know what we get?  Ignored.  Blatantly disrespected and ignored.  We don’t flip, we don’t flop, we don’t do a damn thing but punch you in the goddamn mouth.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  And spinebusters.

Dan Richards:  Hell yeah spinebusters, Tada!  We’ll drive your goddamn back into the mat so hard you’ll think we’re usin’ your body as a shovel to dig your own grave.  This place doesn’t even have a goddamn tag division!  It had to borrow from RCW!  Can you believe it?

Joe Quinn:  If they had to borrow from somebody, though…

Richards nods his head.

Dan Richards:  If you gotta borrow a tag division from someplace…may as well be the place where Spinebuster Island’s at.

Jackson Jeffries:  Damn!  That gets me hyped up just listening to you talk!

Olivares nods his head.

Salvador Olivares:  I agree with this young guy here.  I am not interested in being thrown to the wolves on every single show just for some new monster to feed on me. 

Tadakatsu Mishima:  And you won’t.  I won’t, either.  Salvador, we will throw down if we have to.  We will go to war if we have to!  Herald won’t use us to soothe his savage beasts anymore!

Victor Thane:  He hasn’t used you at all.

Mishima glares at Thane, who throws his hands up in surrender.

Victor Thane:  I mean no offense.  All of you, I get it.  You want to take a stand.  You want to be noticed.  I understand that.  But dark matches and curtain jerking is what you sometimes have to do in this business.  It’s unavoidable.  I am sure Kenji Yamada did it once upon a time.

Dan Richards:  Why are you throwing your hands up, Thane?  We all want to go to war.  Hell, I’m sure we’d be willing to even fight each other to get there.  We want a shot, Vic.  We want a goddamn shot.

Joe Quinn:  All it takes is one shot, as you may notice since you have an RCW TV title match now.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  All I think we’d need is one.

Victor Thane:  Guys…

Salvador Olivares:  We can’t just sit here and drink, we need to serve a purpose.

Victor Thane:  Gentlemen…

Jackson Jeffries:  If we don’t have a light shining on us, then we need to set a fire.

All talking ceases around the table.  All eyes fall on Jackson.  Slowly, Mishima raises his glass of beer.

Tadakatsu Mishima:  Here here.

Dan Richards:  What’s your name again?

Jackson Jeffries:  Jackson Jeffries.

Salvador Olivares:  Jackson Jeffries.

Dan Richards:  A man with some pride.  It’s about goddamn time.

Victor Thane:  Pride…?

Joe Quinn:  Let’s see about setting that fire, Jackson.

Quinn slaps Jackson on the shoulder, bringing a smile to Jackson’s face.  He looks over to Thane, who has an uneasy look on his face that he immediately erases in favor of a smile in Jackson’s direction.  All eyes are on Jackson Jeffries, something he isn’t used to.  No eyes are on Victor Thane, something he isn’t used to.  But maybe it’s a good thing.  Joe Quinn, Dan Richards, Salvador Olivares, and Tadakatsu Mishima all sit around this table with smiles on their faces.  The six talk into the night, happy and excited.

10
The Epicenter / The Fellowship of the Helmet II: A RINGO STARR Journey
« on: April 02, 2016, 03:09:19 PM »
When last we saw the crazy mother fuckers known as RINGO STARR, these heroes of men were left in a particularly bad situation.  You see, ladies and gentlemen, they did not receive an invitation to come to the SHOOT Project.

Now, a good chunk of you take that for granted.  You just sit there, collect your paychecks, show up for a show here and there, whine when production doesn’t get your lighting right, and eat your cheese sandwich in the corner while you masturbate your ego with the tears of every wrestling company you’ve let down and believe me…if you’re not RINGO STARR…that’s probably every single one.  For a select few, RINGO STARR among them, they see the lack of appreciation for the intense work they have done doing nothing in the ring and barely showing up for events to be a horrid slap in the face.  Sure, Bobby and AJ haven’t done shit in a SHOOT Project ring.  Sure, Bobby and AJ are generally only have, like, two fans.  Sure, Bobby and AJ are relatively useless.  But it’s the relativity of that uselessness that brings us here.

You see, Bobby and AJ want to be SHOOT Project Soldiers.  For years, that is all they have ever wanted.  For them not to receive the Helmet invitations was painful.  So, they called in a few favors.  They called several favors.

And when none of those favors panned out, they got drunk and sat in a shitty bar in Reno.

Bobby Ringo:  Fuck this.

AJ Starr:  Fuck this.

Bobby Ringo:  Dude, for real.  We were AlieNation-One Tag champs.  We don’t get an invite to SHOOT?

AJ Starr:  I bet The Riot and fuckin’, like, fuckin’ Azraith DeMitri got invites.

Bobby Ringo:  I kinda feel like one of those deserves to be invited, though.

AJ Starr:  But which one?

Bobby Ringo:  Azraith.

AJ scoffs.

AJ Starr:  Dude, you’re supposed to act like it don’t matter because they got invites and we didn’t.

Bobby Ringo:  Did they, though?

AJ Starr:  Fuck if I know.

“I know.”

AJ and Bobby look up from their table to see a man lording over them.  He is dressed rather warmly for a Spring day.  Rather, he is wearing a trench coat.  The collars are turned up on this man’s trench coat.  We must assume it is a man.  It might not be.  In fact, it is simply a figure.  A trench coated figure.

Bobby Ringo:  Who the fuck are you?

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  Just refer to me as…the Trench-Coated Figure.

AJ leans back in his seat.

AJ Starr:  I don’t understand.  You a figure…in a trench coat?  So you’re the Trench-Coated Figure?

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  You are correct, Mr. Starr.

Bobby Ringo:  So…who the fuck are you?

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  The Trench-Coated Figure.

AJ Starr:  And we give a fuck because?

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  Because I am a veteran of the SHOOT Project…and the greedy sociopaths in charge refused to give me an invitation.  So I have been looking for the wayward souls who have been left in the cold by the discretionary hand of this new SHOOT.

Bobby Ringo:  And you find us in Reno.

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  Indeed.  You see, I am currently in the process of building a…team.

AJ Starr:  A team for what?

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  A team that will take back SHOOT for those of us who deserve to be there but have been denied.

Bobby Ringo:  Ohhhhh shit!

He slaps his hands together.

Bobby Ringo:  So, like, Corazon and King are there, right?

The Trench-Coated Figure looks at Bobby.

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  No.

AJ Starr:  Diamond Del Carver?

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  No.

Bobby Ringo:  Rocky Stellar?

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  No.

AJ Starr:  Chris Davis?

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  No.

Bobby Ringo:  Then nigga what fucking people do you even have on your fucking team?!

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  You shouldn’t use that term.  You’re not black.

Bobby Ringo:  What term?

AJ Starr:  Dude, dude…he means calling somebody “people.”  You know, as in “you people.”

Bobby’s eyes go wide.

Bobby Ringo:  Ohhhhh…oh shit.  My bad, man.

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  That’s not…

AJ Starr:  Dude, I get it.  I’m 1/32 Jewish on my cousin’s mother’s side.  I hate when people make jokes about bagels and shit.  Like, sure, they’re amazing with their doughnut shape and ability to be sandwiches or fuckin’ toast or fuckin’ vessels to shovel cream cheese into my soul…but I don’t need fuckin’ jokes about it.

Fist bump.

Bobby Ringo: Bruh, you’ll find RINGO STARR is the most fuckin’ sensitive fuckin’ squad you ever ran wit’, feel me?

AJ Starr:  Cheah!

Fist bump.

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  Maybe I’ve made a…

Bobby Ringo:  So when do we get to meet the rest of the squad?

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  I don’t…

AJ Starr:  No worries, Trench-Coated Fucker, we on this shit now.  You wanna be in SHOOT, we wanna be in SHOOT, COT damn it, we finna be in SHOOT!  Feel me?!

Bobby Ringo:  Man I feel like you like I took some E.

Fist bump.

AJ Starr:  Let’s go, Trench!

The Trench-Coated Figure lowers his head.

THE TRENCH-COATED FIGURE (IN ALL CAPS):  What have I done?

He sheds a single tear before realizing Bobby and AJ have lifted his car keys from his coat and have left the bar.  With or without him, our heroes are going to do something no one has had the balls to do.

They are going to join SHOOT.

11
General Discussion / Re: Ebay or Craigslist
« on: April 01, 2016, 08:43:44 AM »
That kinda solves it right there, I think.

12
General Discussion / Re: Hello... And thank you all
« on: April 01, 2016, 08:42:59 AM »
I wanted to kinda sit back and enjoy this post for a little while, which is why I haven't posted on it until now.

Some of you may know that I do voice acting on the side.  The guys that run it are nice enough guys, but they have no clue how to run an organization through a website with multiple people in charge of dozens of people simultaneously while helping those people hone their craft and at the same time meeting self imposed deadlines and honing their own craft as well.  I recently told one of them that I just can't work with them anymore unless some things changed in their management style.  They asked me what I was looking for in a business leadership and what makes me think my ideas on how to run their organization were valid.

I pointed them to SHOOT.

I told them I made a shitton of mistakes growing up with this place.  I told them I ignored people's problems, I was a dick to people that didn't warrant it, and that I made every mistake you could think of while running this place.  However, the people that I was like that with kept coming back not because they liked me but because they loved this place and I like to think they understood the potential behind this place that extends far beyond just a simple e-fed.  I told them they're so focused on bringing this guy in or that guy in that they're forgetting what they have in front of them.  I specifically told them this (I'll type the text out for you guys here):

"I have helped run this company for nearly half of my life for no profit besides the hard work and happiness it gave to both me and the people that worked for us.  I don't think I'm going too far here when I tell you all that I've helped refined the skills of a stand up comedian, a horror novelist, graphics designers, music producers, and a legitimate fucking journalist from Chicago.  I know how to run something like this and I know how to help the people that choose to work with me to make it a better place beyond just trying to make myself look good."

My biggest source of pride is how much the people who've come here have done in their own personal lives.  Whether it's living out your dreams or just working a sweet job, there are people from all walks of life here that have written something in SHOOT and have gone on to do amazing things.  I am ever proud of the work people put in to this place and even more so when I look at what they've done here and compare it to the way they evolved as people both professionally and personally.

I will never, for as long as I live, forget something that goes past SHOOT and into AODWF, which most of you probably either remember or may vaguely recall.  It was right after 9/11 and we were all reeling from the events that had happened that day.  I wrote a little piece there, talking about how we have to find the hope through the pain that day had caused and Lee here responded that he wanted to write something like that one day.  I never knew how much that one compliment touched my heart until I can recall years later that black screen with white font and where I was sitting and everything about it.  Lee's single compliment is as etched in my memory as what I was doing when I watched the events unfold themselves.  I don't think I'll ever be able to properly explain how much that one compliment meant to me and how long I've kept it close to my heart as a testament to the relationships, the work, and the skills that we have all constantly striven to elevate as we progress down this road that led us all here to SHOOT.

Thank you, Lee, for this thread and for your thoughts on this place and the people in it.  I love this place, I always have, and it's gone through so many different iterations over the years as it evolves along with all of us.  I firmly believe in our mission to make writers better and to push past just writing RPs and segments and matches.  It goes beyond simple wrestling and if you're not a creative person, it's hard to look at this and understand.  I am proud of each and every person I've ever met here, even the ones that drive me in-fucking-sane.  I don't care if your creativity gave us somebody as epic as a Rocky Stellar or a Loco Martinez or Jonny Johnson or Christopher Davis...or you created a character called Trouble U or Warren Peace or The Poe or Sonny Tutone.  Not knocking those guys there...but those names are too amazing not to mention them, right?  You deserve to give your creativity a home and allow it to flourish and grow into something greater than the small little seed that it was in your mind.

SHOOT is smaller now, and it'll be that way for some time to come I imagine.  We've turned it into a "TV production" of a sort that's focused more on the drama and character evolution rather than the competitive nature and massive shows from before.  We're gonna leave that product to the guys that are more readily capable of it.  We've sorta marketed SHOOT now as the e-fed for the adult writer with not much time on their hands but plenty of need to create something special.  I had one guy I was trying to get to write for us freaking out over the amount of time dedicated to an e-fed and how he couldn't juggle it with his responsibilities and I had to tell him that I teach middle school, I wait hand and foot on my super pregnant can't-even-walk-much wife, care for my animals, unpack my house I've moved into, prepare for my son that is on his way, and still manage to be friendly, talk to my family and friends, and every other sort of adult responsibility you could think of...and I still write.  This place is there for those of us who need to write, who need to create, who need to grow.

I love SHOOT.  I love all of you.  Thank you for helping make this place.  Not just make it what it is today, but just making this place.  Building it brick by brick in a manner of speaking.

Thank you.

13
The Epicenter / The Hunt for Answers II [Diego Reyes]
« on: March 30, 2016, 10:23:02 AM »
I’m somewhat taken aback.  Wait, no, fuck that.  I’m pissed off.  “Get the fuck out of here.”  Does he know who the fuck he’s talking to?  I guess he does since he said my name.  That mother fucker.  If he knows me, he knows how telling me to fuck off makes me feel.  So I fucking wait.  He doesn’t want to see me?  Bitch, you’re going to see me.  Reality Check Wrestling isn’t a house.  He don’t live here.  He probably lives in some fucking villa with his girlfriend or wife or boyfriend or his cats.  I don’t know how he swings, but I guarantee you Real Deal is a cat person.  He just looks like it.

Alright, I’m sorry.  I have to calm down.  I can’t get the information I need by fucking around and insulting the guy.  He and I haven’t really gotten to know one another so it’d be rude to just insult him or get mad that he scoffed at my coming to his place of business, right?  Yeah, I’m not Jonas Coleman, I don’t have the fucking patience or kindness in my heart.  My bullshit attitude and my drug habits kept me from making it in the business, so fuck if I’m going to change now.

So I wait.

Fucking.  Days.

What the fuck?

RCW sees people walking in, people walking out, but never Real Deal.  I know he doesn’t have a fucking cafeteria in there, right?  How is he eating?  He’s been in there for fucking five straight days.  No tour scheduling is worth that bullshit.  Go the fuck home, Johnson.  I can’t sit here and wait forever, can I?  Meanwhile, Jonas is in Las Vegas in the line of fire dealing with this Herald guy and this Master guy and nobody gives a single fuck about it but us…so I got to know.  I have to get his ass out of that fucking building.

Over the next two days, I do some more surveying.  I watch.  My polo is dirty and I smell bad, but at least I’m camouflaged in this ugly fucking city.  I figure out nobody else works in that office building.  There’s no Quizno’s in there or any fucking businesses that isn’t RCW in there.  So when I see the ventilation and the air conditioning units at the top of the building, I get a grand idea.

You didn’t hear this from me and if you snitch on me I will fucking find you and buttfuck you in the ear.  Don’t ask how that’s possible, bitch, it just is.

The first thing I do is slash his fucking tires.  I know it’s on tape that I did it, but fuck it.  He wants to stay in there, he can stay in there.  After shutting down his escape, I have to smoke him out.  I literally have to smoke him out.  How better to do that than setting his air conditioning unit on fire?

So I burn the fucking thing down.

A huge explosion rocks the top of the RCW building and people begin to file out, freaked out.  I changed my clothes.  Instead of my old polo shirt, blue jeans, and cowboy hat and boots…I’m wearing my old polo shirt, blue jeans, cowboy hat and boots and a black leather vest.  Fuck yeah, Mexico camouflage.  I see wrestlers coming out, secretaries, hell I even see a kid or two.  I overhear somebody coming out thinking it’s the work of ISIS.  Yeah, because a fucking ISIS member blew up your AC unit.  Allahu Fuckyou.

Then I see him.

He looks like shit.  More shit than before.  He’s tired, haggard, and he doesn’t look like he’s been eating.  This isn’t the Franchise like fans know him.  Hell, this ain’t even the business owner.  This is a guy who doesn’t get any sleep.  He doesn’t rest.  He doesn’t look normal.  So when I sneak up on him and hold a key to his back, I’m kind of hoping nobody notices.

Diego Reyes:  Walk, bitch.

Real Deal:  Diego?  Do you seriously have a knife in my back?

No.  Of course not.

Diego Reyes:  Yes, I fucking do.  Now don’t make me repeat myself.

He sighs and motions to this one secretary and the other secretary next to her to stay put.  And we walk.

Real Deal:  Where am I walking?

Diego Reyes:  Your car.

He doesn’t know about his tires.  But it’s cool.  He can afford it.  At least I assume he can.

Real Deal:  Oh come on!

Johnson isn’t very happy once he sees the tires.  In hindsight, the tires aren’t a necessary part of my plan, but I’ve been wearing this shirt for a week and fuck you, Johnson.

Real Deal:  My fucking tires.

Diego Reyes:  Terrible city, huh?

He cuts me a look.

Real Deal:  You did this, shut the fuck up.

Diego Reyes:  Heh…yeah.  Yeah, I did.  Get in.

He gets in the driver’s seat and I slide myself into the passenger’s seat.  We shut the doors and it’s really nice and quiet in this car.  It smells good, too.  Wow.

Diego Reyes:  What smellgood you got in here?

Real Deal:  What?

Diego Reyes:  Forget it.

Real Deal:  Look, Diego, if you’re planning on kidnapping me, general rule of thumb is having a car with functioning tires.

Diego Reyes:  I guess that means I’m not kidnapping you.

Real Deal:  So what do you want?

Diego Reyes:  We need to talk about SHOOT.

He sighs.

Real Deal:  I don’t have anything to say about that.  Are we done?

Diego Reyes:  No.  We need to talk about SHOOT.

I put the key in my pocket.  He sees it, says nothing, is very irritated.

Diego Reyes:  Why aren’t you and Kygon involved?

He says nothing.

Diego Reyes:  Where’s Jason?

Nothing.

Diego Reyes:  C’mon, Johnson, you know you wanna talk.

Real Deal:  No, I really don’t.

Diego Reyes:  You know, used to be…a wrestler fights another over a belt, get on TV, get on pay-per-view, fans cheer and boo, so on and so on.  Now, this company that’s been on top of the world is scraping the bottom of the barrel and whoever’s in charge is loving swimming in the shit.  So you need to fucking talk to me, boy.

Real Deal:  I don’t have anything to say.

I’m sorry about this, actually.  But I slap him in the back of the head.  He takes it.  Wait, he takes it?

Diego Reyes:  Real Deal I used to know would slap me back.  What’s the fucking deal?  Why do you look like shit?  Why didn’t you go home?

Real Deal:  Go home?

Diego Reyes:  You been in the office for a week.

Real Deal:  You’ve been watching me?

Diego Reyes:  Well, your office.

Real Deal:  Jesus.

Diego Reyes:  I was gonna get you to talk at some point.  So I kinda set your air conditioning on fire.

His eyes go wide.  He’s pissed.

Real Deal:  YOU FUCKED UP OUR AC UNIT?!

Diego Reyes:  Yes.

Let it sink in.  He has to know how desperate I am.

Diego Reyes:  Yes, I did.

He has yet to slap me.  What the fuck is going on?

Diego Reyes:  Listen.  Something’s going on.  You gotta tell me so I can tell Jonas.

Real Deal:  Coleman?  He’s still up there?

Diego Reyes:  Yeah.  He needs my help.  He needs to know who the Herald is and who the Master is.  You’re my lead.  So talk.

His head drops.

Real Deal:  I can’t, Diego.  I’m sorry, but I can’t.

…the fuck?

Diego Reyes:  Why can’t you?

Real Deal:  You saw my wife and my daughter out there, right?

Diego Reyes:  No.

Real Deal:  You saw the woman and the girl out there?

Diego Reyes:  Yeah, your secretaries.

Real Deal:  No, you fucking idiot.  That was my wife and my daughter.

Oh.  OH.  Oh shit.

Diego Reyes:  Oh shit.

Real Deal:  I’ve kept them with me in the RCW offices.  I’ve turned my office into a bedroom.  I’ve got to keep them close.  What’s happening to SHOOT…Sean and I…we can’t be a part of it.

Diego Reyes:  Put your fucking tastes aside and help…

Real Deal:  No, you don’t get it.  It’s not that we can’t because we aren’t happy with the product.  We can’t help because…

He sighs.

Real Deal:  …this guy, the Master.  This Master has information on me and on Sean.  He knows where our families are at all times.  His Heralds…Master is watching us.  We can’t.  It’s how King was threatened.  Why he isn’t involved.  The Master has a blacklist, people he wants to keep out.  We’re on it.  He wants people that don’t give a shit about SHOOT.

Diego Reyes:  Guys he can mold.

Real Deal:  Yeah.

Diego Reyes:  Guys he can use to cause a shitshow that won’t challenge his authority.  That’s why nobody’s doing multimedia appearances.

Holy shit.

Diego Reyes:  He wants a complacent roster of bloodthirsty mother fuckers.

Real Deal:  Look, I can’t say anything else.  Please.  You’ve gotta leave me be.  Jennifer and Christina…they’re all I have.  Sean and his family…you’ve gotta stop sniffing around.  If you don’t like it, quit.  Leave.  Go.  Go to EWA.  Maybe go to A1W or come back here to RCW.

Diego Reyes:  If you’re worried like that, why are your guys and his guys fighting in SHOOT?

Real Deal:  They’re all handpicked.  Some are what he wants, some are members of Magnus International, some are there for the pop from the fans, some are there for punishment.  Diego…please.

If you could look at him the way I do in this moment right here, all my bullshit and my aggression just fades away.  Here’s a guy who just wants to protect his family.  Fuck SHOOT.

Diego Reyes:  Fuck SHOOT.

Real Deal:  Fuck SHOOT.

He smiles.  We slap hands.

Diego Reyes:  I’m sorry, man.

I get out of his car and look back for a moment.  Other cars have pulled in, probably because of the big boom I caused.  I’m surprised this city has anybody that gives a single fuck about something like this.  He’s got this look on his face.  He’s trying to mouth something, but he isn’t talking.  If he is, I can’t hear him.

It’s too late.
 

14
The Epicenter / The Hunt for Answers I [Diego Reyes]
« on: March 29, 2016, 09:20:05 PM »
The following has been translated from Spanish to whatever the fuck you want it to be.  English.  It’s English.

A couple of weeks back, my boy Jonas and me decided we needed to get to the bottom of a few things.  See, this is something a lot of people haven’t really paid attention to.  Who can blame them?  SHOOT, well, the SHOOT people have known and loved from 2001 to now, has been off and on run by the same crazy white boy and his weird ass circle of friends.  So when this new SHOOT comes around that feels like it’s grimy and dark and something SHOOT evolved from instead of what it evolved into, only a few people gave a shit.

Most of those fucks just wanna get paid.  That’s the thing.  Think Kenji Yamada or Dan Stein really give a shit who’s running the Project?  Fuck no.  They just want their money and their fame.  So what if they take orders from a freak in a mask that calls himself a Herald?  Like they care.  But, see, that’s the fucked up part of what I’m about to tell you.  They need to care.  They’re living and they’re dying and it’s all because of this fucking masked psycho that seems to be everywhere at once.

Who is the Herald?

Fuck, who is the Master?

The Master.

Nobody talks about that guy.  You know why?  Because nobody asks the right questions.  Herald ain’t in charge, he’s doing what his Master tells him.  Which means if you fight in SHOOT, you’re currently taking orders from a guy you’ve never even seen.  But hey, fuck me for wanting to know the truth of the matter right?

See, I ain’t shit.  My career in SHOOT was shit.  I’m Diego Reyes and I’m known for being Jonas Coleman’s best friend that ain’t some white boy hayseed with an eye for marketing or a rich sociopath.  I’m his first tag partner, his first friend, and what I do for that guy ain’t shit I’ll do for many.

So when that fucking guy asked me to try to dig something up on this Herald fuck, I didn’t hesitate.

Where did the Herald come from?

Who is the Master?

Who is the Herald?

SHOOT’s been in existence for a long fucking time and this new SHOOT has been in the thrall of some mystery fucking guy and nobody had any leads on what was going on.  Jonas and I just knew something fucked up was happening.  It’s a mystery nobody gives a fuck about solving because we all know Zex or Cronos ain’t exactly in the business of giving a fuck about anything but themselves.

If you can’t tell, I’m a little bit bitter.

See, I figured the best bet for me to uncover information on the Master would mean that I’d need to uncover information on the Herald.  Back when I used to be a bounty hunter down in Mexico, my favorite part of the job was the hunt and my favorite part of the hunt was understanding the negatives.  What’s that mean, you ask?  I mean that it’s the absence of something that tells the story.  Oh, SHOOT’s back?  Awesome.  Dan Stein, Cade Sydal, Jester…sorry, Eric Rohkar, and other usual Soldiers are there.  But, see, the story’s right there in the negatives.  Who ain’t there.  Who didn’t come.  Who didn’t get invites.  In order to find out who the Master is, I gotta find out who the Herald is.  And in my experience, finding out why the Herald ignored or denied certain people the right to be in SHOOT is my biggest clue.

But who isn’t back in SHOOT?

Lots of fucking people.  So you gotta start at the top and work your way down.  Nobody thinks the Herald is Crimson Kidd or Ichiro Seppuku because what point would that make?  The fucking truth of the matter is I think the answer lies in one of two places.

Japan or Mexico.

And since I’m not legally allowed in Japan, time to go to Mexico.

Because the right and left hand of SHOOT spread out far and wide over the world.  One’s running AlieNation-One in Japan and the other runs Reality Check Wrestling in Mexico.  I’m not saying Real Deal’s the Herald or the Master…but you better damn well believe if there’s somebody that knows something…it’s one of the two guys who helped Jason run SHOOT that have yet to even acknowledge the place since it came back under the leadership of these masked fucks.

So here I am.  Mexico fucking City.  Wearing a fucking cowboy hat because nobody pays attention to a Mexican in a cowboy hat wearing a polo shirt that’s one size too small so my pot belly shows between my shirt and my jeans.  Most anywhere else, some asshole’d look at me and have some shit to say.  Here in Mexico City, though, I’m just another fucking guy wearing shitty fucking clothing doing shitty fucking work.

Imagine my fake as hell surprise when I find myself standing in front of the Reality Check Wrestling HQ.  I walk in the door and I’m instantly greeted with pictures of guys like Diamond Del Carver, Roland Caldwell, Zex, AzteX, Joshua Breedlove, and a shitload of guys that called this place home off and on.  It’s a rinky dink kind of office and it’s got a weird smell, but this whole fucking city has this smell so I can’t bitch much.

Secretary:  May I help you?

I went ahead and translated that from Spanish for you, too.  You’re fucking welcome.

Diego Reyes:  I’m looking for someone.  Guy that runs the place.

Secretary:  I’m sorry, but Mr. Johnson isn’t taking visitors right now.  He’s hard at work scheduling another tour.  Are you interested in working with us?  We’re currently taking applications for custodial services.

Fuck you, bitch.  I look like a fucking janitor to you?  Don’t answer that.

Diego Reyes:  No, thank you.  But I definitely need to see Mr. Johnson.  When can I see him?

Secretary:  Well, sir, it’s likely not for another few weeks.  He’s going to be very busy.

Diego Reyes:  With what?  SHOOT?

I let the word linger in the air because fuck it.  The word hangs out there and then…I hear a door opening.  He’s standing right there.  He looks like shit.

Real Deal:  Diego Reyes.

Hey, he knows me.  This will be easy.

Real Deal:  Get the fuck out of here.

Or not.

15
The Epicenter / Pardon Me [Jackson Jeffries]
« on: March 25, 2016, 05:57:14 AM »
How does a young lion with a disputed lineage manage to forge for himself a career in the field he loves so dear?

How does an overeager athlete with natural talent and innate desire single handedly put himself into position to achieve his dreams?

The boy took the name of the man he called his father when he didn’t have to.  He lived with his mother out in the middle of a Podunk nothing town until 14 when he got to referee a professional wrestling match.  Nobody, of course, wanted to give him the chance to fight in a match.  You see, that’s the funny thing.  Every day he saw talented individuals or musclebound freaks get shot after shot after shot after shot.  He just kept on doing what he could to get better at what he deemed his craft.  He was ready, willing, and able to hustle for his chance in the sun.

His life forever changed when they finally gave him the chance to open up a show.  He was meant to go down, make another guy look good, put on a show.  It wasn’t enough for him.  He put on a dazzling display that wrecked any chance of the guy he was up against getting that shine and the promoter knew what he had to do.

He fired him.  Sent him on his way.  The boy slept in bus stops, thumbed rides when he could, trying to get back to his mother when he learned she was ill.  He came to stay with her, tried to take care of her, tried to make life something resembling normal for her.  He went to high school near her, he cooked food for her, he slept on her couch to be near her.  He worked nights at a fast food spot, went to school during the day, sat with her on the bus while they went to her chemo treatments.  Held her hair back as she threw up.  Held her hair as she sobbed watching it fall out.  In her weakness, she gave him strength.  When he himself got sick, he tried to stay away from her.  Her immune system was shot.  But she needed him.  So he took care of her.

She passed away on a Thursday night.  He found her at 2 AM after coming home stinking of vegetable oils and condiments. 

She only had her cousin near and she wanted nothing to do with her.  So the boy went to stay with the cousin, a bipolar introvert who thought 19th century feminism and temperance was the path to enlightenment.  She hated the boy, she ignored the boy, she would some days be happy with everything around her, but then in an instant the world would crash down around her and she would try to attack the boy.

When he found his mother’s cousin’s body four months into staying with her, he didn’t call 911.  He sat down next to it, numb.  He stared, thinking he would see her chest move up and down.  That she was in a haze from her pills.  Unfortunately, she took too many that night.  It was enough.  He packed his duffel bag, quit his fast food job, dropped out of high school, disappeared.

Until early last year.

The boy, older and stronger, found himself in the enviable position of being signed to an enhancement contract for AlieNation-One Wrestling and, due to the company’s connections, found himself with an enhancement contract with the SHOOT Project.  Perhaps the contract came in no small part due to his taking of his father’s name.  Perhaps the contract came in no small part due to his tenacity, courage, and brash attitude in the face of adversity.  All that one can know for sure…

Jackson Jeffries was a SHOOT Project Soldier.

Jackson Jeffries IS a SHOOT Project Soldier.

His first match goes about as well as can be expected.  Nothing too fancy, nothing to write home about.  Despite that, the young man makes the Faithful cheer him on a little bit, and it’s enough to warrant a concrete contract.  He is here to stay…now.

Jackson Jeffries sits alone in the lockerroom, resting his head against the wall.  He is watching last week’s Dominion in anticipation of Revolution, which is currently airing.  Nobody is coming in on him, he is alone.  Nobody is going to bother him because nobody cares who he is or where he comes from.  So he sits…alone…watching tape and playing back everything he knows to play back and learn about just in case.

Imagine his surprise when in walks another SHOOT Project Soldier.  A man he only knows from reputation.

Victor Thane.

Thane has just recorded his debut vignette, set to air later in the show.  He nods to Jackson, who is quick to get to his feet, pause his video, and rush over to Thane.

Jackson Jeffries:  Hey…uh…excuse me.  Are you…wait.  You’re Victor Thane, right?

Victor Thane:  That depends.  Who’s asking?

Jackson Jeffries:  Oh, uh, yeah.  My name is Ge…Jackson Jeffries.  Son of Wayne Jeffries.  I wanted to meet you and tell you I’ve got to be your biggest fan.

Thane looks Jackson up and down.

Victor Thane:  You’re making me nervous, boy.  You’re not much younger than me.  How do you even know who I am?

Jackson Jeffries:  I watched your career when you wrestled under a mask in Mexico and again when you were on the first AlieNation-One Pro Wrestling tour as…

Thane waves him off.

Victor Thane:  I haven’t had much of a career, but I appreciate the support.  Always nice to meet a fan, even if you’re the first one.

Jackson ignores Thane’s confused dismissal.

Jackson Jeffries:  So I’ve kinda been following your trajectory as a professional wrestler and the beginnings of your reputation and how it’s preceding you.  I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve really wanted to get the shine you’ve got now.

Victor Thane:  Shine?

Jackson Jeffries:  Sure.  You know, you’ve recorded a vignette, you’re in a marquee matchup on Dominion, I mean…people are gonna start watching what Victor Thane has to say, right?  So how’d you do it?  How’d you get to be in front of the camera cutting a promo and getting noticed so fast?

Thane smirks.  Something about Jackson appeals to Thane and he can’t quite place it, but it is enough to allow him to entertain the neophyte.

Victor Thane:  I’ve been driven to this since I was a child, boy.  With no real guidance growing up, I took to what I could to survive and that usually meant a combination of hands and head.

Jackson Jeffries:  So…you’re an orphan?

Thane nods, saying nothing to confirm for sure but it is enough for Jackson to grow a rather enthusiastic and inappropriate grin.

Jackson Jeffries:  That makes SO much sense!  I’m an orphan!  We’re both orphans!

Victor Thane:  …congratulations?

Jackson Jeffries:  Oh man, I wish there was a pay-per-view event or a Redemption Rumble or even a…a…a Tag Team Supercard where we could show off who we are and show the world that we’re worth so much more than dark matches and filler slots!

Victor Thane:  Tag Team Supercard?  You’re looking to be in a tag team with me?

Jackson continues to ignore Thane, off in his own world of thought.

Jackson Jeffries:  I mean, not like you’re in a filler slot because I mean you’ve actually HAD a career so far and I’m just over here happy to not have to be wearing a striped shirt or have generic rock music to come out to.  But could you imagine?  Could you imagine?

Thane puts his hand on Jackson’s shoulder.

Victor Thane:  Jackson, is it?

Jackson Jeffries:  Yes!

Victor Thane:  Can I buy you a drink?

Jackson Jeffries:  Where?  Catering?  Because catering is free for us, isn’t it?

Jackson grins.

Jackson Jeffries:  Because we’re Soldiers!

Victor Thane:  The Speakeasy outside of the Arena.  Let’s depart from this place and really…have a conversation.  Away from potentially prying eyes and ears.

Jackson Jeffries:  Oh…sure!  That would be great!

Thane puts his arm around Jackson’s shoulder.  Thane smiles a dismissive smile as he guides Jackson Jeffries from the Arena.  Neither men know truly what the other is about.  Neither knowing what the future will bring to the other.  Neither man knowing what the SHOOT Project does to the wide eyed and to the narrow minded.  Neither man fully aware of what this drink will do to them, their careers, their lives.  Jackson Jeffries, the brash, optimistic, shattered soul finds himself in the company of Victor Thane, a man he has only seen from afar.  Jackson Jeffries hopes to have an illustrious and superlative career that will change the course of SHOOT Project history.  Along the way, he will make friends, he will fall in love, he will fight for titles, he will accomplish things he didn’t even know he could dream about.

He will also die.

16
General Discussion / Re: The All Inclusive B Thread!
« on: March 03, 2016, 09:04:19 PM »
What's your favorite meal?

*obligatory mom joke*

Also, you put carne asada and a chile relleno in my path and you're guaranteed some serious cuddle time from me later.

17
General Discussion / Re: The All Inclusive B Thread!
« on: March 03, 2016, 09:03:13 PM »
Doing Anything for Halloween?

You know, I never did anything that year for Halloween.  Or the year after, really.  This year?  Maybe.

18
SHOOT Project Discussion / Re: Revolution 132: Feeeeeedback!
« on: February 23, 2016, 02:12:39 PM »
Whatever Jer is saying, I agree with it.

19
SHOOT Project Discussion / Re: Revolution 132: Feeeeeedback!
« on: February 21, 2016, 03:05:45 PM »
My intention is to zoom in and out on matches as it were.  So...start out looking at everything, Guy A versus Guy B then zoom in and see their thought processes, their fears and their concerns, etc...and then zoom back out to see a big move or two...then back in to see how they react to that and what they want to adjust and their inner thoughts, etc.

This first season is, without question, a love letter to the old SHOOT as well as a pseudo introduction to the new SHOOT.  I wrote a huge chunk of the pilot without ever knowing it was gonna get put out there for public consumption so the focus was on things I knew and things I enjoyed at first.  Once I saw we were gonna use it, I began to tweak my approach.  I love Cade's matches and want to continue to read them since I know he loves the idea for the whole psychology aspect.

20
The Epicenter / The Fellowship of the Helmet I: A RINGO STARR Journey
« on: February 21, 2016, 02:52:13 PM »
Fist.

Fucking.

Bump.

Las Vegas has long been the kind of place where heroes have gone to become victims or villains.  Basically, cryptic me is telling you Las Vegas can be a fucked up place.  Hoes, bros, high class clothes, and low class…low class…low class lows.  Things can be seedy for the needy, feel me?  But that’s not what this story is about.  Well, it kind of is.  It kind of isn’t.

“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” by George Michael and Elton John sets the stage as we see two men running in slow motion down the Las Vegas Strip.  We’re going in slow motion here, though, because that’s the important thing to take away from this.  Something slow, something epic, something soulful.  The two men are running their slow asses off, one with a Yorkshire Terrier tucked under his arm, the dog’s head bouncing with each step.  The other man cradling a glittering dildo with a duffel bag strapped across his chest.

These two men, the realest of the real.  The baddest of the bad.  The Vegasest of the Vegas.  The Sinnest of the Sin.  The Cityest of the City.

Don’t know who they are yet?  Let’s look at their faces.

Bobby RINGO.

AJ STARR.

Welcome to the Ballad of RINGO STARR.

This is their story.

Last week…

Bobby Ringo isn’t one of the types to let failure get in the way of his successes.  He wasn’t ever a valedictorian; he wasn’t trained in Stu Hart’s dungeon or whatever the new hotness is for wrestlers these days.  He just kinda fell into the wrestling business.  In his multi-year career, his epically long title reign as AlieNation-One Wrestling Tag Team Champion was a big deal.  He wore the Golden Gloves with pride.  Not Golden Gloves like he could box, nah, this was back when S and J wanted to make their little indy feds something different.  Anyway, Bobby’s career at this point was nearing a solid decade of terror and his match count had managed to make it to a baker’s dozen at long last thanks to A1W.  Thank you, A1W.

Speaking of thank you, A1W, the veteran of the two men in this saga is definitely AJ Starr.  Same amount of time, actually penetrated the baker’s dozen by getting a singles match at some point but, let’s be honest, that was highly contested as being legitimate.  Bobby didn’t believe him.  He tweeted Meltzer who co-signed on AJ’s claim but again, let’s be honest, Meltzer’s credentials went to shit when he beefed with Sasha Banks, I think we can all agree on that.  But nevertheless, despite Meltzer being an AJ Starr dickrider (or Starr-Gay-Zer, as Bobby coined the phrase) there was no wedge that could be slide between the two men who comprise the greatest tag team this side of Adam and Eve.

So we find RINGO STARR, fresh off the boat in Las Vegas.  Back again.  Armed and ready.  Well…almost.

Bobby:  Mother fucker.

AJ looks up from his Nachos Supreme.

AJ:  S’good, son?

Bobby:  You know that whole fuckin’ thing with the fuckin’ Helmet on the fuckin’ papers people fuckin’ got to go to SHOOT?

AJ:  Yeah.

Bobby:  You ever get one?

AJ purses his lips.

AJ:  Yeah, son.

Bobby:  The fuck.

AJ:  You ain’t get one?

Bobby:  Hell no!

Bobby throws his Tracfone on the floor.

Bobby:  I stole this burner from fuckin’ Wal-Mart so I could call Japan and tell Outty to forward my fuckin’ mail to this here Econo Lodge and you know what that nigga said to me?

AJ:  What dat nigga say son?

Bobby:  That nigga said I AIN’T GOT NO MAIL.  How the FUCK you get a Helmet and I ain’t get no Helmet?!  It’s cuz I’m white, ain’t it?

AJ:  I’m white, too, homie.

Bobby:  Cot damn.  COT DAMN.  Can I see your Helmet?  I wanna make sure I ain’t overlook it.

AJ smacks his lips.

AJ:  I threw it away.

Bobby:  WHY AIN’T YOU JUST GIVE IT TO ME?!

AJ:  Bitch I ain’t know you want it!

Bobby:  You ain’t want it?!

AJ:  I ain’t get one.

Bobby:  Mother fucker.

AJ snickers.

AJ:  But who gives a fuck, homie.  They ain’t even got tag titles right now in SHOOT.

Bobby picks up his Tracfone.

AJ:  Who you callin’?  Jim Ross?  Mean Gene?  Bitch I told you there ain’t no tag division there right now!

Bobby:  I’m callin’ Herald.  I wanna know where our Helmets is at.

AJ:  You got Herald’s phone number?

Bobby throws his Tracfone back down onto the floor.

Bobby:  Mother FUCKER.

AJ:  You ain’t got Herald’s phone number.

Bobby:  I ain’t got Herald’s phone number.

AJ yawns, sitting his Nachos Supreme (capitalize them shits) on the floor.
AJ:  Well, homie…

AJ stands up, stretching as he brushes the chip fragments off of his chest.

AJ:  Only one thing to do.

Bobby looks up at AJ, nodding his head.

Bobby:  We finna break in the Epicenter and steal some Helmet notes!

AJ:  …I was gonna say we need to call Buck, see if dude knows a guy.

Bobby:  Then we break into the Epicenter?

AJ shrugs.

AJ:  I mean, we ain’t got nothin’ else to do this week.

Bobby:  Fuck yeah!

Fist bump.

And so our adventure begins.  Our two heroes Bobby and AJ, RINGO and STARR, leave their humble abode in the Econo Lodge and begin their journey.  Poor Bobby, however, forgot his lonely Tracfone on the floor as the two heroes closed the door behind them.  We shall end this staring at the main screen of the Tracfone as it lights up.

NEW MESSAGE

NEW MESSAGE

“STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM SHOOT PROJECT YO”

To be continued…

21
General Discussion / Re: No Context and Chat Gold
« on: February 18, 2016, 02:07:52 PM »
Let's just assume that's 100% accurate.  Being MJ can take, like, a veritable cavalcade of meanings.

22
General Discussion / Re: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DREW
« on: February 18, 2016, 02:05:46 PM »
HOLY CRAP HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THIS, 95% OF WHY SHOOT EVEN CAME BACK

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DREW HILL

23
SHOOT Project Discussion / Re: REV: 133 Everyone
« on: February 18, 2016, 02:04:59 PM »
A-fucking-men.

These last two shows have really shown a dedication to not only tell your stories but to help adhere to the overall arch that anchors this first season.  There is a reason Josh and I always gloat about SHOOT being elite and that has very, very little to do with he and me.  It's in our roster, constantly pushing one another to become better writers and better storytellers, that our reputed sense of elitism can be found.  I am ever proud of the lot of you.

With writers like you all here, I think I've got every right to feel like SHOOT is, was, and ever will be the place where the elite weave some of the most intricate verbal webs out there.  Thank you.

24
SHOOT Project Discussion / Re: I like how...
« on: February 14, 2016, 07:10:25 PM »
Some say Loco Martinez and X-Calibur are still out there somewhere...still fighting.  Sometimes, late at night, if you close your eyes tightly and listen...you might just be able to hear them even now, no selling each other's finishers.

25
The Epicenter / Slaves to the Past [I]
« on: February 14, 2016, 07:07:45 PM »
“So what’ll it be?”

“What’s the cheapest thing y’all got?”

“Water.”

“Water.”

“Yep.”

“Water, then.”

“No problem.”

“On the rocks, though.”

The bartender smirks at the joke.  At least somebody’s laughing.  Buck sits there, alone, sipping water and listening to the clinking of the ice cubes against the glass.  He looks over his shoulder and looks at the people enjoying their Saturday night.  Flowers, candies, wine, whatever the finest accoutrements that TGI Friday’s is willing to offer their clientele on a Pre-Valentine’s Day Night.

Bartender:  You by yourself tonight, man?

Buck Dresden:  Yup.

Buck downs the water.

Buck Dresden:  Jus’ me, by muhself, bein’ muhself, doin’…I guess…muhself.

Bartender:  Where you from, man?  Can’t place the…uh…the accent.

Buck shrugs.

Buck Dresden:  Not many can.  Sometimes I’m from Kentucky, other times I’m from Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, sometimes I’m just kinda just…I dunno…Southern in general.

Buck smirks.

Buck Dresden:  I’m a nomad, barkeep, an’ all I know is I live my life by two codes.  One, whatever you say, make sure it includes lots uh ellipses an’ apostrophes.  Two, no matter what you gotta say in yer life, make sure you can turn yer name into a pun or a slogan.  Hence…here I am, Buck Fucking Dresden.  Buck The Bluegrass Bad Ass Dresden.

“I’m partial to A Better Class of Bad Ass, personally.”

Buck turns his head to see a tall, somewhat skinny man of clearly Nordic descent.  His icy blue eyes and slicked back blonde hair convey a man of sincere taste.  He wears an all-white suit with a satin red tie.

Buck Dresden:  Not to sound…funny…but you gotta be the prettiest man I ever seen.

The man smiles.

Pietro St. Croix:  Pietro St. Croix.

Pietro offers his hand which Buck takes, shaking it.

Buck Dresden:  Buck Dresden.

Pietro St. Croix:  I know, Buck, who you are.  Do you not remember me?

Pietro sits down at the bar next to Buck.

Pietro St. Croix:  I am formerly of Magnus Munitions.  I was assigned to be Charles Brandon Magnus’ second by his father.  It was my duty to watch over him, care for him, see to his safety while he adventured around the globe.

Buck Dresden:  An’ now?

Pietro sighs.

Pietro St. Croix:  Now…now I am currently unemployed, enjoying my ridiculous severance package, watching the world pass me by, wondering and worrying from a distance.

Pietro smirks.

Pietro St. Croix:  Charles and I were close once.  Before all this.

Buck Dresden:  All this?

Pietro St. Croix:  The whole professional wrestling…thing.  Hybrid fighting, whatever it’s branded itself here in Las Vegas.  He moved away from me when he told me I didn’t “get ratings” for him.  He found you, he found that Jonas Coleman character, and he moved away from munitions and from his family.  William, his father, moved me on to other endeavors.  What became of Magnus Munitions under Charles’ reign, well, you already know.

Pietro holds up his hand for the bartender to bring him a glass of water as well.

Pietro St. Croix:  Charles shut his entire family out of the business and had me fired.  Further, he managed to call in some sort of favors he had with Homeland Security and had all of our passports revoked due to possible shady dealings with…less than reputable characters around the world.

Buck Dresden:  Still not followin’ why yer here or why yer talkin’ to me.  I don’t know you from Adam, Petey, and believe me…I damn sure don’t know Adam.

Bartender:  My name is Aaron, actually.

Pietro and Buck turn and stare at the bartender.

Aaron the Bartender:  I mean…it’s close to Adam.

Aaron looks around the bar and slowly steps to the side away from their conversation.  Pietro turns back to Buck.

Pietro St. Croix:  Charles Brandon Magnus locked his family away in the United States while he gallivanted around the world and tried to play Pro Wrestling God with Sean Kygon’s AlieNation-One Wrestling promotion.  You were close to him, yes?  What was his goal?  What was his end result?

Buck shrugs.

Buck Dresden:  Said it yerself, man, playin’ God.

Pietro takes a sip from his glass of water.

Pietro St. Croix:  Do you know where he is now?  What became of him?

Buck Dresden:  After I beat Azrael Goeren at the last AlieNation-One show on the tour, I got the rights to the Magnus International contracts in AlieNation-One.

Pietro St. Croix:  And allegedly you fired almost all of them from AlieNation-One, am I correct?

Buck nods.

Pietro St. Croix:  Does that include Charles himself?  By the end of the last AlieNation-One tour, he wasn’t even performing in the ring anymore, he was trying to take on a more executive role.  What became of him?

Buck Dresden:  I fired him, too.

Pietro finishes his next sip of water and looks over to Buck.

Pietro St. Croix:  No, you didn’t.

Buck Dresden:  Yeah, I did, man.  What else do I need to tell you?  ‘Sides, since it seems you read the goddamn dirt sheets, that must mean you know all ‘bout the inner workings of AlieNation-One and even this new SHOOT Project.  Maybe you reckon you can tell me who the fuck this Master guy is.  Maybe at least the fuckin’ Herald guy.

Pietro St. Croix:  SHOOT Project’s inner workings aren’t pressing at the moment.  The whereabouts of Charles Brandon Magnus, however, remain my concern.

Buck Dresden:  Why?

He takes a long swig from his water.

Buck Dresden:  Chuckie’s diaper need changin’?  This late, I’m sure he’s prolly got a rash…

Pietro St. Croix:  If I may…

Pietro slides closer to Buck, whispering.

Pietro St. Croix:  There is a connection between this SHOOT Project, AlieNation-One, Reality Check Wrestling, and Magnus International.  I’m sure of it.

Buck Dresden:  Well, no fuckin’ shit, Petey.

Buck rolls his eyes.

Buck Dresden:  AlieNation-One an’ Reality Check are both co-owned by SHOOT.  Fuckin’ Jason Johnson started givin’ various members o’ the board SHOOT funds to create their own indy companies around the globe.  OutKast got Japan an’ AlieNation-One, Real Deal got Mexico an’ Reality Check, some other inbred slut gut ran some Irish fed, I mean…it’s kinda obvious what Jason planned on doin’ to SHOOT way back when, when you think about it.

Pietro squints his eyes, confused.

Pietro St. Croix:  What’s a slut gut?

Buck shrugs.

Buck Dresden:  Look, man, so long’s it rhymes, I don’t give a fuck what it means.  I imagine it means a whore what sucked a ton o’ dick and has a boy juice cocktail floatin’ in their gut like they’re named Rod Stewart or somethin’.

Pietro St. Croix:  That was a malicious rumor about Rod Stewart, he never did—

Buck Dresden:  My damn point, Petey, is that it all comes down to rhymes an’ alliteration an’ assonance an’ wordplay.  See, I’m somethin’ of a…whatchamacallit…emcee, y’unnerstand?

Pietro St. Croix:  An emcee?

Buck Dresden:  See, look, y’take a word…let’s say, bitch.  Ya take that word bitch an’ then you got, like, fifty words what rhymes with bitch.  Bitch, switch, snitch, ditch, pitch, glitch, witch, kitsch, skitch, twitch, quitch, flitch, an’ even sitch.  Alla sudden, them words rhyme an’ I’m the next Notorious B.U.C.K, y’see?

Pietro St. Croix:  Some of those aren’t words.

Buck Dresden:  Exactly, Petey!  But when you got the spirit o’ hip hop in yer veins like this here feller, you find countless words in the lexicon o’ life what you can make into whatever you dream of!  I mean, crunk wasn’t a word until, like, a couple o’ years ago.  I mean, unless you count it as past tense of crank.

Pietro St. Croix:  Which no one with a firm grasp on the English language does.

Buck Dresden:  I like this, Petey.  This bouncin’ back ‘n’ forth.  Makes me comfortable.  I like it.

Pietro nods, sighing.

Pietro St. Croix:  I am not Charles, Buck.  I am not your friend.  I am, however, here because I need your help and I think you may need mine.

Buck goes uncharacteristically silent.

Pietro St. Croix:  AlieNation-One, Reality Check, SHOOT Project, Magnus International, maybe even that other promotion the EWA…there is something that is linking all of them together.

Buck Dresden:  Wrestling.

Pietro St. Croix:  Something else.  Something darker.  There is something under the skin of it all.  You have to know it.  You have to feel it.  There are darker things at play here and I think Charles Brandon Magnus knows what’s going on so, Buckley, tell me, where…is…Charles?

Buck’s head drops.

Buck Dresden:  …I sold him.

Pietro’s brow furrows.

Pietro St. Croix:  …you sold him?

Buck nods.

Pietro St. Croix:  To where?  To whom?  Wait, how could you sell another living being?  How could you sell your friend?

Buck smirks a nervous and lonely smirk.

Buck Dresden:  I…at the time, I…thought it’d be funny.  A big fuck you to his stupid wrestling faction fer fuckin’ with AlieNation-One.  I fired some, sold others.  When I say I sold ‘em, I obviously mean I sold their contracts, right?  I sold his contract off.

Pietro St. Croix:  I see.  Again, Buck.  Who did you sell the contracts to?

Buck looks over to Pietro.

Buck Dresden:  Josh Johnson.

Black.

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