Author Topic: AMBER RYAN (c) v ROXI JOHNSON - WORLD BOMBSHELL TITLE  (Read 235 times)

Offline Christian Underwood

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AMBER RYAN (c) v ROXI JOHNSON - WORLD BOMBSHELL TITLE
« on: March 07, 2022, 03:22:57 PM »
Post all roleplays for this match in this thread.
Limits: 1 roleplay per week, 7,000 word limit.

Good luck!


“To err is human - but it feels divine.”
? Mae West

Offline DistortedAngel

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... Sin City Noir III: Not All Heroes...
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2022, 10:20:14 PM »
“It was like being asleep when you were awake and awake when you were asleep. I'd pinch myself, figuratively speaking - I had to keep pinching myself. Then I'd wake up kind of in reverse' I'd go back to the nightmare I had to live in. And everything would be clear and reasonable.”
― Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me





Prologue:



“I heard a rumour today.

Rumours that could kickstart that fearsome spite that keeps me upright in the face of a cities worth of better people. Rumours that could still my beating heart if I were sure there were enough blood left in my veins to force a squeeze- a heart that's been missing something. A heart that echoes as an illusion while it's pulse ripples through the cityscape, stopping everyone dead who feels it down to their bones in sympathy.
In recognition.

Rumours that I might once again be made whole.

Or empty.

I still haven't rightly decided if I’m honest- just the notion that I want for anything but the validation of a Hero seems almost insulting at this venture and yet here we are, as I wring my hands together in hopes that I’m properly dressed for the occasion.
Perhaps it's easier for some than others to forget that this Sin City belongs to me.
It's been mine for almost a year now- everything I’ve earned, that it's given me to, everything I’ve taken by force and prostrated before the masses who refused to accept otherwise.
In the face of a Heroes failures, I razed it to the fucking ground and rebuilt it with a vengeance- with a guiding hand and watchful eye, with a provision of acceptance that everyone start carrying their weight. That they earn their share- after all, speaking of me comes with a cost that many aren’t willing to pay.

It never stopped them talking.

Ripping out their tongues when they think they’ve gotten away with it though, certainly did.

No more passengers was never a credo, not some slanderous billboard designed to win a popularity contest. I never stood atop looking down to make anyone love me, to be respected and venerated as anything but what I always was.
A hypocrite to some cause my wrath finally encompassed their precious little bubble encroaching without reason, without purpose or excuse except for being a malcontent. A monster as though my plight and my path wasn’t precisely what so many others had fallen upon in their determination to make everything and everyone better around them. In spite of them.

It's been almost a year now, Hero.

Oh, how they haven’t missed you like I have.

I left a trail of silver bullets in hopes you might find your way home, waiting for someone to cross my path and understand that I wanted better for them. To better them. There was once enough blood in my body to make their names immortal if they were willing to spill it, and yet time after fucking time they found themselves sick at the thought of drawing a drop.

Not better than. Just too good for.

Trying to pass them off as the same thing.

All of them loaded their chambers, spoke loudly and eloquently about change and determination- that they had it in them, they’d be the one to show me a mercy I didn’t deserve.

Maybe their hands shook too much. Maybe they saw too much of something else inside me. Maybe staring everything they ever wanted in the eye made them realise that they were simply going through the motions- being told what they were supposed to desire.
I asked, I begged for them to prove to me that they could do it… and not one, not fucking one could squeeze the trigger.

Of course, I never told them they were all blanks.

A good magician never reveals their tricks, after all.

Granted I’ve never much been for games of chance, Hero. Surely you didn't expect that I’d gamble so freely with our fairytale ending, that I’d risk it all on an itchy trigger finger or underestimate the wrong trying-to-be as they scrap their way up the proverbial hierarchy.
I hope you wouldn’t think I’d simply bleed out all across the pavement while I was waiting for you to catch up. Lets be honest, I’d make my statement far more clearly- stained in a deeper crimson than either of us wear before I’d let you down.

Which is a shame given how often I’ve found myself disappointed by your lack of fulfilment to our promised roles in an everlasting conflict.

Maybe it's a Hero thing. Maybe after all this time you took the opportunity to listen instead of talk over my good intentions, that you looked deep inside yourself and found something worth sinking your teeth into. Something that I’ve little doubt looked alot like me.
That being said- you never really recovered, did you?
I can’t expect that you did, harbouring that little grudge I suppose… nurturing it until it blossomed into something tangible, all those ill toward feelings and determinations that you really could do it. That because you’d bested me before, you were capable of a repeat performance under entirely different circumstances, that you had something to prove to everyone else like they somehow influenced a damn fucking thing.

It would be like going up to a citizen and punching them in the face, giving them a play by play on it, sticking around a little too long to savour every moment of it before abruptly asking how their wife's day was going despite the fact they have been divorced for six months.
Entirely irrelevant to the argument and yet something you’d base your whole ascent on.
I like to think that admitting where you went wrong was a first good step back towards where you’ve fallen from- but eventually acceptance comes for us all, and you can’t deny that in the wake of your inevitable ability to choke on the best of opportunities, there has been a resurgence. Opportunities abound for those willing to work for their place instead of those gifted with it cause their ‘clout’ means they deserve it.

There will be some that say you’ve fallen to far, that disagree with your choice and elevated status.

Some might even be jealous that I look at you almost with as much fondness as I might look at my god given right to this city. You were always the one Hero, and it was always going to end a little something like this.

Truth be told, I’ve never wanted to be bested by someone who wasn’t willing to pull the trigger- and yet here I am handing you a loaded gun once again wondering if maybe this time you can bring yourself to do the impossible.
It's never been because it's what I wanted- quite the opposite in fact- but because I knew that you’d never forgive yourself if you didn’t find out and I’d never forgive you for letting me down so definitively. Because I wanted to see if something good could come from a pave of brutality and bloodshed.
Because everything I’d nurtured and built shouldn’t have been left to wither and die for someone else's indecision.

When it comes down to it, sweet Hero… Darling hero.

This is the end of our line. Our story book closes down on us with a thud and we await to emerge in someone else's memories.
To say you’ve had your chance is a gross understatement of facts, at every turn and every crossroad I always gave you the chance- and even now it seems time hasn’t healed all wounds. No longer can I persist in making you seem like you are as important to everyone else as you are to me, no more time wondering if I’m good enough cause I’ve proven it enough times in my head.
No longer will I allow you to dictate who I am and what you think I should be when you’ve done so little to change anything that it's a wonder you ever even showed up.

To go out in a blaze of glory Hero… Isn’t that the fucking goal?

Truth is, it won’t be nearly as exciting as that. Sure, there will likely be fireworks, maybe a celebratory ‘whoop’ as a sober drunk passerby thinks it's Christmas instead of a funeral pyre to everything you thought you were. It won’t be a ticker tape parade like you’re used to, there will be no one to present you with a medal of honour posthumously.

Our Blaze Of Glory, Hero. is far simpler. Far more pure to who we are and what we’ve become.

After all, I heard a rumour today, Hero… one that promised to turn my name to ash on your tongue, one to stop my heart as it threatened to beat once more.

We’re gonna die here Hero.

You and me. Too fucking proud to admit that it could have ended any other way, that either of us could have ever been saved.

We’re gonna die here, in our blaze of glory,... but I make a promise to you as I have always done Hero.

Only one of us will pass away.”
[/color]



******



Part 1: Ultimo


A year is a long time, regardless of the lens you at it with.

There is nothing about the accumulated dirt and grime that changes the passing of time, nothing about the damage that seems to rack up faster than you can breath between the relentless blows or the derision that seems to fester just below the surface cause you can’t bring yourself to fail for the sake of those not willing to work harder.
Nothing changes the way time moves, as much as we might want it to.

No, a year was a longer time than it felt and standing amidst the bustling mid morning underground masses of shifting humanity, a woman in an oversized black hoodie seemed far more fascinated by the faded graffitied wall than the sideways dirty glances and cursory nudges of those passing by.
After all, she was taking up valuable space that realistically changed nothing about their trajectory- but someone had to be blamed for the lack of time management and inability to accept that public transport was exactly that. Public.

‘A heRo WiLL SAvE uS aLL’

If only it were true. Red silently mused as she lingered in spite of their continued insistences, more than content to allow them their sublimated race towards inevitable disappointment, chasing literal deadlines before complaining they’d gotten there too soon in typical fashion.
Inhaling deeply before allowing the breath to stumble out through parted lips, painted with the dried blood aftermath of another threat to her proverbial throne, she reached out to trace a single finger where the paint had bubbled and chipped- faded to the point that the dripping of red resembled more of a foray into pinks than the sanguine distribution it first appeared as.

All she seemed to have was time these days, and never nearly enough of it.

Somewhere else in this city, a One Man Wrecking Crew was looking for her in plain sight. Determined to prove that she was more than what she’d become- shouldering his burden so that he might somehow take on hers as well.
More fingers traced those faded lines now, one bearing a thin white line where a band of metal laid prior. She couldn’t begin to make him understand that there was only an end, that somehow burying the past meant more than savouring the present. After all, she couldn’t live in the now when the skeletons were leaving bone dust on her doorstep.

He’d never find her though.

Not before an end.

The end.

End of heroes. End of sentiments that no longer rang true. Of optimistic enthusiasm about the worst case scenario. Red had thought, like many, that the end had already fallen into the rearview with the Hero’s disappearance. Vanishing without a trace except for the occasional uprising in their name- revolutions never really lasted long, mutiny needed determination and those who sought change weren’t nearly willing enough to dirty their hands for the cause.
Always wait for someone else to spark change. Make damn sure it's their blood that's spilled before you jump on the proverbial bandwagon like you were there shedding sweat and tears all along.

Perhaps that's why so little had changed, before the Hero had less than mysteriously come to realise, why things seemed to stagnate and why everyone was so fucking okay with the status quo being dragged out of the gutter and presented before the masses as something brilliant and new.
No, the graffiti had aged as poorly as every opinion thrown her way. Everyone had a voice until it was time to speak up, to be judged for what they had to say- and when given the soapbox to stand upon, all that followed the Hero’s attempts to cleanse this place of Red’s influence found they had nothing new to say.

Red couldn’t hide the smile, as another commuter in a rush to nowhere important enough to race, almost pushed her into the wall, thinking about the Hero. About the wars they had waged for the heart and soul of this place- and how they’d both come to realise it no longer had one by the time they’d torn it apart.
Despite what many would claim- their spotlight for trying to oppose Red and her corrupted influence over this place having burned out long before their planned 15 minutes were up- the Hero was always her first, always the one who would be her last.

Always the proverbial one that got away.

Bracing against the cold tiles, Red straightened up slowly whilst idly brushing herself off. There was no denying the aches and pains anymore, no smiling through the suffering as though she didn’t feel every fucking blow.
At first it had been easy to feign immortality- stepping out of the spotlight for just long enough that people don’t notice you’re gone, emerging nearly as fresh as before except with a few new bruises and a split lip for her troubles. So long as Red was standing, she was in control and that was always the name of the game…

Control, and who had it.

Some wanted it for personal gains, to prove they were capable of wielding it and to make up for indiscretions of use. Trying to make good where they’d fallen prior as though simply saying you’ll do better next time meant more than the lack of sincerity to which it was spoken with. Others wanted it just because they felt entitled, that they ‘needed’ it as some form of validation that they weren’t entirely bereft of success- shunning all other achievements in favour of power, using pity and pathetic excuse mongering as a weapon to acquire something undeserved.

Of course, then there were those who sought it because it was what they were told they should want. Bright eyed and bushy tailed with good intentions and not a shred of killer instinct to match it. Talent would get them far, but they’d all baulked at her silver bullet breadcrumbs cause spilling blood for gold didn’t sit well with their ethical compasses.

None of them would ever go far enough though, and so Red had fought on. Challenger to her unseen throne after challenger, each with their own method of combat and each woefully outmatched and outlasted by the sheer level of spite that kept the redhead on her feet.
It was Red’s Sin City to defend, it was everything she’d built it as. She'd fought for this place so long there were those who couldn’t remember a time before it- that she’d always just been there and that she always would.

Despite it all, there were the rumours. The sightings and subtleties. A hero looking to rightfully claim something no longer hers.
Red found herself contemplating as her hand came away smudged in faded red, flecks falling away even as she examined it while a smudged hand left the original message marred and scored through.
Fitting really.
Perhaps it was time for a new message to be scrawled unseen on a subway wall. A bombshell that might awaken what stirred and shifted beneath the facade of perceived benevolence and violent mercies.

Defending. Defining. Defying.

Tired. Red couldn’t deny that she was just fucking exhausted, brushing the flecks of faded reds off her hands and against jeans ripped and frayed with wear and constant abuse, sanguine splattered unseen in dark patches she couldn’t quite wash out entirely.

Night after night and fight after fight. It wouldn’t end until she did.

Perhaps it was fitting that it was now a Hero who had chosen to reemerge, Red contemplated as she finally slipped into the moving current of the crowd. Disappearing in moments amid the suits and civilians alike.

After all, being what was best for Sin City was a tough fucking job to do alone.




******



“We always had a special sort of understanding.

You and me, Hero.

We always understood what it meant to make everyone around us for having been there, a positive feedback loop based on influence until it fed into a level of entitlement and false bravado. Too many got too big for their boots cause endorsements came a little too freely from the mouth of someone who knew better.
That's where we differed Hero- I didn’t give praise like candy from a white van, like unsolicited praise from someone who’d only heard of what it was like to ‘be someone’.
You were so busy telling everyone how good they were that you forgot that you didn’t necessarily mean it. Whereas I told them they were almost there until proven otherwise- I made all those who came across my path work for the recognition they earned, while you simply gave them a thumbs up and sent them on their way thinking they were better for it.

Maybe that was our purpose all along- to get everyone of worth behind a pretty new face, a new reason to defy the built in status quo cause you told them they could change the world while they were still trying to figure out how to change their shoelaces in their boots.
You helped create a new generation of challengers who thought their names were worth something before they stepped into the city, told that they would be destined for things far beyond their station cause you had given them the time of day.
You created an army of cannon fodder Hero- bodies to throw in my path until i became overwhelmed with the guilt of what I had left in my wake.

Still you underestimate me, cause Hero… darling… you don’t even know enough people to make me question my fucking confidence anymore.

You tried to breed defiance, but it's only led to a rude awakening. Reality checks abound as those who’d yet to meet my gaze found themselves ill prepared for their actions dictating consequences.
I think what you’ve done for so many is admirable- careers made off the work of your good name. However those who shared your spotlight never seemed to have the greatest shelf life…
Proteges and pet projects left in a pile of broken toys, easily replaced by the next eager up and comer with a good attitude and easily manipulated morality.

No good deed ever went unpunished I suppose.

Personally I stopped repenting for the idea of being right a long time ago. I suppose you still regularly partake in the moral self-flagellations in favour of admittance of wrongdoing instead- despite the fact that moral high horse of yours seems to have long since decomposed beneath you.
Consistently beaten beyond death, following an ethical compass that doesn’t have the capacity left to face true north and yet you believe it anyways. A pied piper of utter bullshit still believing that yours is the only tune that rings of truth while you send all our lemmings off a fucking cliff.

A phoenix looking to rise from the flames long since the smoulder died. Still you think you can rekindle the flames.

It wouldn’t have had to be this way… but you left. You walked away.

Where did you go Hero, don’t you know how I missed you.

Why did you leave…

Why do you keep leaving me?

Probably as much as a hole in the head admittedly- but I wonder if you’ll ever admit that you missed me too, that you needed me more than I ever needed you.
Lets face it though- you need me, you need everything I have and everything I am cause without it… there's something missing. I own a piece of you and with me, you don’t really matter.
Without my name, yours means that much less.

Don’t get me wrong, plenty tried to be you… there has been twelve since last danced, one for each month of the year, a new face for every season and with each I thought I might replace you. Not cause I needed you but because you meant something to me…
I broke all my toys I was given, everyone who tried to take your place- many of them heroes in their own right throwing on a cape cause they thought it's what made you special, what they thought might give them an edge they never had.

You were always more than that- the only one to walk away with a scar in the shape of my bleeding heart.

So you left, realizing that I was more than you could bear. Out there searching for an identity that wasn’t intrinsically linked to everything I’d built- you burned through everything to distance yourself from me whilst propping up tin soldiers beneath you in hopes I might simply fail to notice the veils of denial, the bluster and bullshit that you came up with to deflect from how far you’d fallen.
I stripped away everything that made you special and left you a pile of bare metal, with all the pieces to make something brilliant and instead you allowed the rust to collect.
Little more than nothing at all without the pretty paint job that you undertook to start being yourself once more.

You aren’t nearly who you used to be Hero, and back then you couldn’t best me either.

You’re rusty without that pretty paint job you wore so proudly, an armor of goodness and decency that now lays cracked and dented around your feet. You’re exposed and terrified stepping back into a world that's no longer yours.
You left me Hero, you walked away- did you hope I might simply fall to pieces before you made a triumphant return to save us all, that maybe I’d grow bored of playing Queenpin and simply relinquish my position cause there was no one left to stop me.

No, you fail to understand Hero… I’d have stayed here forever if I thought it meant you might come back to me. Nothing ends without you, nothing begins without us.
What we’ve done was nothing short of groundbreaking, life changing for this place- I was the life lesson you so desperately needed to learn and you were the hubris that I had coming. What Sin City has become is built on the ruins of what we destroyed and to deny that you are anything more without me is an insult to the memories we’ve created.

Tell me I’m wrong, prove to me that I haven’t learned a thing and that there's something left inside you Hero that should still pull at the heartstrings keeping it all stitched together. I need to know that I’m not holding onto strings I should have left to fray- that you’re still worth everything that I’m promised.
Will you fight for those you love- the ones that willingly let you walk back into my house without wiping your fucking shoes. Will you fight for the masses that used to whisper our names, cheering your goodness and condemning my evil- despite the fact we conducted business the very same way.
Will you fight for those who still believe that this whole charade is simply good vs evil and that we’re diametrically opposed instead of two sides of the same coin.

Will you stand by and tell everyone, with a heart full of good intentions that you’ve outgrown me, that you’re finally better than me… that you don’t need me anymore.
Cause you’ve come to save this godforsaken place, right?
Like I’ve left enough for you the same for your emotional attachment to cling to. Like it hasn’t changed from when you last took to their skies and failed to save them from what you’d brought upon them.

They don’t need you anymore Hero. You need them,and they can’t fucking stand you.

Whether you like it or not, whether you admit it or not.

You need me, Hero. More than you need this place. More than this place needs you.

More than it ever will again.

Only problem is, as seems to always be the case with you my sweet Hero…

You’re just a whole lot of too little, far too late.”





******


Part Two: Venandi Studio


Every night felt less and less like it was still hers.

A gentle breeze whipped around Red’s face sending a flutter of errant red across her eyes. It didn’t change the landscape though, a city of lights constantly winking as though partaking in sharing their secrets in obscene little flickers of light.
There were no secrets left for Red to discover though, nothing left beneath the surface to drag up- monsters had been stripped of their veils and paraded through the city streets and heroes had their capes torn from their backs and left in the gutters like fallen flags of vengeance.
Everyone who had come calling, who thought they might be the betterment of Sin City, the betterment of Red had been met head on with violence and spite that rivaled that which a mountain requires to not be moved by the rains.

From her rooftop vantage point, Red became the Queenpin surveying her kingdom. It wasn’t thriving, there hadn’t been great discoveries or changes in the way things had run- but the little things… the almost imperceptible things…
Far fewer had been so openly willing and brave to run their mouths in public with the knowledge that the city had ears, differences had gone to being settled without civility or care, with righteousness set aside for honesty. Violence wasn’t always the answer, but it certainly made up most of the question.

There was no place left for uprising, no revolutions to be sparked. Everyone had their opinions, but few followed beyond the sound of their voices trailing into nothing. Red had long since worn out the soles of her shoes putting out those fires of discontent, the first flames of insurgency stomped out before they’d had a chance to capture the imagination.
Of course, even if it had- no one would have cared who burned for their beliefs, only that the fire burned bright enough and hot enough for them to benefit. That the wretched and the ruined were kept warm by proximity to the dumpster fire for one more night.

Not that it ever stopped the rumours of a Hero trying to rebuild from beneath.

That had become the Sin City's narrative it seemed, as Red pursed her lips and furrowed her brow slightly. Somewhere in this city, a Hero was trying to rally support and remind everyone of a time before Red’s anarchist rule. There was no public support though- beyond those with social and emotional obligation, beyond those who felt they’d been slighted simply because they’d spoken a little too loudly about things they weren’t qualified to speak on, cause they had invited violence to their proverbial doorsteps and found themselves insulted when it actually showed up.
No one believed in the Hero anymore, and that alone brought a little tear of joy to a stormy blue-green eye.
Failure one too many times had left many jaded, had soiled what little good faith had been left after failing to protect and preserve what had been before.
It wasn’t that people weren’t better off, sometimes they just failed to realize what mires they had been pulled from- even if it tore their arm from the socket in the process.

Red, however, was one of the few willing to give the Hero a chance.

One last chance.

Was it to make things ‘right’ or simply to prove once and for all that Hero’s and their idealistic outlooks, their antiquated perspectives on what a black and white scale of morality actually looked like- were lost to time and all the consequences that came with it.
One last chance not to piss away Red’s faith that the Hero was more than some shitty world views and poorly worded witticisms about being better. Doing better. That this place might still be worth living in if she allowed it to return to ‘happy friend times’.

One last chance to prove that she’d changed, when all previous signs showed that it would never happen.
 
Perhaps that was what the Hero failed to understand the most- that watching over a place like this? Enforcing standards to those who wanted to live outside of societal rules and proving that there is no room for vagrants and freeloaders. It meant that there was no room left for goodness in the heart, no friends left to share the proverbial throne.
When you stood atop of Sin City, you took your fucking crown and you wore your thorns proudly. You bleed for the hate that will be bestowed by those lacking the willpower and means to take it from you. Red knew, deep down though that the Hero didn’t have it left in her either… and so she’d be left at the end of this with the crimson still pooling at her stained hairline and her legacy further bloodied by someone elses hands.

Of course, with a momentary flicker of reality crossing Red’s features, one could only bleed for so long.

Footsteps, heavy and determined, echoed from somewhere behind. A stairwell reverberating with thick soles and sharp thoughts. Red knew that sound as it resonated in her chest- only a One Man Wrecking Crew made her heart skip a beat like that, only his presence could make the breeze seem like a gale force wind and her chest explode in silent agony and guilt.
He wouldn’t stop until he caught up, such was their twisted lives… He’d chase her to the ends of the Earth perhaps forgetting that she’d never hesitate to step off it's edge. Meanwhile she sought the shadows of a Hero determined to force them into the light and disprove their influence on this place for good.
Stepping softly towards the buildings edge, another momentary glance over the city that she’d so rightfully claimed as her own all that time ago, another chink in the glacial armor crossed her lips.

A half smile, or something that was supposed to resemble it perhaps.

Red couldn’t help but wonder how much longer she could run- if this City was a game of chess, then she only had her queen left on the board while the king off somewhere seeking further fortune. Whereas the Hero, the Hero had accumulated pawns for days and one at a time, they knew she’d be willing to feed them to Red in hopes that she might clog the gears that ran her toothy maw.
An army might oppose, it might even make for a great story- but in reality it would only ever come down to the two of them.

Red could only hope that the Hero would let it finally be that way.

“Red?”

Hopeful and determined came the call as the toes of her sneakers crept further over the concrete edge. A glance back over the shoulder was no longer needed as the thunder of approaching footsteps rang louder than her pulse in her ears.

“I know you’re up here… Please just---”

Red wondered if the Hero was truly watching, whether she was sitting in the wings like a scavenger or whether she’d dare try to take her heart while there was still life left in the broken carcass she presented. It would never be easy, it would never be clean and no one would walk away without losing something they cared about.
As words trailed off into the whipping winds, Red contemplated thoughtfully about how far she’d come- and whether it was still worth the fight.

It could have been so easy to concede. To allow the Hero her precious city while Red retired into oblivion with the man who’d sought out the fractured pieces of her soul like there was a chance of splicing them back together into a frame easier on the eyes.

It could have been easy- but in the end, this Sin City was still hers…

As the One Man Wrecking Crew burst out onto the rooftop with eyes full of resolve, he was met with yet another empty rooftop.

… and Red had never really learned much about how to share.

"--- wait for me."





******



“I won’t pretend like I’m not tired.

That my bones don't cinstantly ache, that I haven't shed more blood on these streets than rain falls in a year.
I’m tired of the ugliness that comes with what I’ve had to do, of who I’ve had to become to undo the damage accumulated by others' carelessness. By your ignorance and unwillingness to accept that ‘right’ and ‘good’ might not always mean the same thing.
Insist if you must, Hero, but I can assure you that some of the worst atrocities this city has ever seen- including the ones at our own hands were only ever manufactured from the best of intentions.

In your absence, in your reluctance to accept responsibility for what you’d created, I took this place and I did what you verily couldn’t. What you wouldn’t. What you claimed you always strived for and never achieved.
I made this place better… and I did it better than you ever could have, as I’ve always done.
Art often imitates life, and I can only hope that maybe one day you’ll accept that my way isn’t just that of abhorrent violence- but of understanding and what it takes to make those around fall into line.

From the moment you left, to the moment I first heard you start to make waves again- I hoped you had changed, and yet everything I’ve seen till now simply stands to prove otherwise. You haven;t fucking changed in a year Hero, yet you expected everyone around you to and accept that you were fine just the way you were, Even I did. I got better for you… I raised the fucking bar for you in hopes that maybe you’d follow suit, that you’d strive and you’d reach if only out of spite.
Instead, you malinger in your comfort zone. You carved a niche and you’re determined to stay wrapped up safe there cause everything else is fucking terrifying out there- and heaven forbid you aren’t looked at as some paragon of virtue cause your world view got a little muddied.

I should feel a certain way in all honesty- disrespected and derided by your continual determination to ‘stand alone’ but instead?
I’m not even surprised anymore Hero, I’m barely even disappointed. You’ve become predictable to the point that I can almost tell you what you’ll do before the thought has ever crossed your mind, you’re a creature of habit that let it's teeth rot and fall out cause you no longer had use for them. A stalwart of a time and a place that no longer exists- I know you better than you even know yourself and the thought strikes so much fear into your heart that it took you a year to recover from the shock of it the last time around.

You can’t possibly surprise me anymore Hero, not unless you change.

… and we both know you just aren’t capable of it.

I’ve spent far too long walking this path, treading over hot coals as each challenger to my thrown tries to tell me why they are different from everyone else. Of course, their reasons have always been the same- they don’t even bother to say it differently anymore.
Twelve before you Hero, fucking twelve times I’ve been told that I was no longer good enough to protect this place… to uphold the very same attributes I had built. I have walked on fire and glass for everything I earned, long after the soles of my shoes melted away beneath my feet.
Unlike those around me- I kept walking cause I had to, cause no one else could take my place. No one else wanted badly enough to take on my burdens and so I carried them still- now here you are, watching as my back hunches further beneath the weight and feet bleed and crackle as those flames warm my soles once more and you offer to accept my charge.

Like you’re doing me a favor. Like you’re doing anyone in Sin City a fucking favour.

I’ve given EVERYTHING to this city, sacrificed everything I had for everything I’ve done. Yet time after time I’m insulted and ridiculed for my decisions, my actions nitpicked and judged by those incapable of understanding the illusion of choice. My motives have been continually questioned cause they don’t match everyone else's- despite the fact they aren’t the ones walking in the remains of my shoes.
I’ve been made to question my existence so often, I know that shit like the back of my hand.

I’ve done what no one else was willing, yet somehow I’m still the ‘bad guy’.

So just what makes you different to any of them exactly, aside from the pedestal I’ve put you up upon?

What can you possibly do that hasn’t already been attempted- of course we know the answer, though we’ll never admit it aloud. That would harm your image, stained red the pristine white you wear so proudly.

Will you though Hero, will you find my trail of silver bullets and leave me riddled with holes by my own hand?

Will you take my heart and leave me bloodstained- or will you be just like everyone else…

Unable to pull the fucking trigger as I beg for you to end this nightmare I have so proudly created.”


Record
SCW: 15 - 4 - 1
Uprising: 8 - 2 - 0
Life: 0 - 1 - 0</span>

Offline Roxi Johnson

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Re: AMBER RYAN (c) v ROXI JOHNSON - WORLD BOMBSHELL TITLE
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2022, 11:27:15 PM »
"Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. And on my soul, I swear... until my dream of a world where dignity, honor and justice becomes the reality we all share -- I'll never stop fighting."
- Superman (Action Comics, #775)

 
Hello SCW.


I have to take this back, and I have to tell a story because it’s been burning a hole in me for the past 4 months. 4 months, I have had to live with this and it’s been eating at me ever since November 7th. So, if you could, please bear with me as I tell this story.

 
High Stakes was supposed to be the end of a beautiful scenario. It was a great little thing that I had done. It was supposed to be how we kicked off 2022. I was going to beat Amber Ryan, and I was going to become the Bombshell’s champion for a fourth time. I would have gone through every bombshell and jumped through every hoop and overcome everything set in my path, and I would have ended Amber’s reign. It was going to be, and maybe it sounds a bit braggadocios', but it would have been a great story with its perfect ending.

 
I went over this story over and over in my head. I DREAMT about how this would all look, and I had everything planned out and it was going to be great. It was a moment that was meant to be. I KNEW in my heart, in my mind, that it would happen.

 
And then it didn’t.

 
My dream didn’t come true. 

 
I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t plan for things to happen that way. I had this all written out a certain way and it just didn’t happen. And, I’ll be honest with you here, it absolutely rocked my world.  Like, it threw me for a loop, and I acted in a way that I don’t normally act. It became the time I let the fear of something, change the way I do things. 

 
And most people did not like it.

 
Because in my head, I figured “that’s it.” That will be it. I will have won all these matches, I will have put myself in this position, and then after this happened, I would be passed over. I got my one championship opportunity I seem to receive every year and then boom. Oh, you lost, well, time to move on.  I let that get in my head and I was convinced that this was going to be the case. 

 
Because I was there. I was in the ring; it wasn’t like I wanted it to be and I’m still annoyed by that as well. I put in that work, to get a match, one on one, with Amber. I won 5-6 matches in a row. I beat everyone I was put up against there, and I figured, okay, there’s no way they can deny me a one-on-one match. But then they did. Because not only did I have to win those matches, then they throw a number one contender’s 4-way match, and I have to jump on the pinfall to save everything that I had built up, and so, Crystal, after doing nothing, and not winning matches, she gets a draw, and she’s now in the match.

 
I didn’t like it, but that’s what happened. I tried to adjust to that, because that also wasn’t part of my dream. 

 
Everything gets warped and I have to try and wrestle two people, instead of one. And in the end, I ended up on the short end of the stick. 

 
So yes, I had that sinking feeling. So, I made my voice heard. I had to let people know, that I was going for a one-on-one match, and I still wanted it, and I still needed it. That triple threat match was not going to be the end of my story. And boy, it’s like I was asking for my weight in gold or something. 

 
“Roxi’s asking for a handout.” “Roxi’s a charity case. Asking for these things. It’s unbelievable how far she’s fallen.” 

 
I have been here, since 2013. I have never once complained about anything, or demanded anything from anyone. I was told once that if I won a match, I’d be in line for a title match, and not only did I win that match, I SAVED my opponent from a beating by the champion. And do you know what I got? 

 
NOTHING.

 
I’ve been passed over before, and I let it slide.  I am probably the only bombshell on the roster, maybe in the history of the division, that didn’t constantly receive multiple rematches. I don’t get them on random episodes of Climax Control. I don’t ask for them. I’ve been given a LOT by SCW. And at times, I have felt slighted, by SCW. But you know what I didn’t do? Bitch about it.

 
But, if anyone has the ability to complain about anything, it’s me. How many times, I have had so many people paint me as the symbol of evil, and I’m so many terrible things and I’m this awful person, and you know I said it last time. If that’s what I am to people, fine. I could stand here and complain about how ridiculous that is, but I’m not here to do that, today, I just needed to get it off my chest.

 
All I wanted, was this. What I have now. A one-on-one match, against Amber Ryan, for the bombshell’s championship, like it should have been, back in November. 

 
And I completely understand the stakes here. I get it. My back is against the wall, I am facing the most dominant champion in SCW history, and my track record, which has been pointed out regularly to discourage me, against her isn’t great. I never said it was, and I know that regardless of what happens, people will continue to doubt me. And if I lose this match, then I will promptly be sent to the back of the line and I will have nobody to blame but myself. The odds are long, I’m well aware of that. 

 
But despite that, I am more than ready for this match, and I plan on walking away the Bombshell’s champion, not just to shut everybody up, but to prove that I am still at the very top of my game.

 
Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to do something a little different.

 
Normally, I talk about my opponent, and not TO them. But Amber is different, so therefore, I’m going to take this time to talk TO Amber.

 
Hello Amber.

 
You and I seemed destined to do this until one of us, physically can’t do it anymore. It seems one of us have to put the other out, and there’s no way to avoid that. But at the same time, I’ve never been a person who’s tried to take somebody out, no matter what the situation is. You on the other hand, have displayed an uncanny ability try and do just that. You and I both know that the things we have done to each other, probably took years off our careers. But you know what you and I also both know?

 
That those two pieces, simply don’t fit together. We’ve literally TRIED to end each other, and neither one of us, got the job done. You have made me hurt in places that I didn’t know could hurt that way, and I have taken chunks out of you each and every time. So, we seem to have reached this impasse. No matter what happens, we will get up, and we will fight each other again, and again, and again. It never ends. It is why the first time, I suggested that we put this on hold for a while. After that last woman standing match, we both needed it, I think you will agree with me. That road we were on, would have been mutually assured destruction. And I didn’t want that. Not because of what would happen to me, but because of what would happen to you. 

 
You see, while you can sit here and say that you would happily take me out and you’d be happy, let’s not kid ourselves. It was YOU who said you made me better, and you know deep down, I make YOU better as well. We bring out the best in each other, and with as much pain and suffering that we have inflicted on each other, if you succeeded, if you managed to take me out, you know you wouldn’t be whole anymore. Like Superman and Lex Luthor. Like Batman and the Joker. Like Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner for goodness's sake. You and I are here because we are the best opponents. You can’t tell me that facing Myra Rivers or Crystal gives you the same satisfaction as it does to face me. Because we both know that’s just not true. As much as you may not want to admit it, YOU NEED ME.

 
And yes, I can 100% say that nobody has ever pushed me like you do. I would never deny that. Nobody gives me that violence, nobody gives me that fight, like you do. And you know you were just a little bit disappointed when Crystal was added to the match at High Stakes. You know it, and I know. Because it messed up what was supposed to happen, and now what was supposed to happen, is going to happen. And like I said, you know, I have what it takes, to beat you. I’ve done it before. But I will admit that even if I had won at High Stakes, I wouldn’t have felt like I really beat you. It would have been hollow inside, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise. Maybe it was all for this match, and THIS moment. The one we both really wanted, and the one you know puts your world championship in more jeopardy than anything else. 

 
But you know that, don’t you? Of course, you do. I know you too well Amber. You’re not going to slip anything past me, or play anymore games with me. Because you know that we’re past that. We only needed one time of being face to face last week, and already the anticipation is through the roof. Because once again, we get to go out there and try and stop each other again. And it’s just the way we like it.

 
As I explained to you, I simply need you to bring your best. I need everything that you have given me for the past two years. It’s another reason I asked that we go our separate ways. Because we both needed time. We needed time to reach THIS moment. And now that we’re here, we can start all over again. Because that’s what I need, Amber. That’s what I want and that’s what you can give me. It’s a kind of magic, isn’t it? You and I, standing across from one another one more time. I’ve been DREAMING of this moment, and I know you have to. I’ve been ready for this, since High Stakes. So as ready as I am. I need you as ready as you can be. It’s why I stayed away, it’s why I told you I wasn’t going to do anything, but watch. All I want for you, is you, at your peak. You’ve got all the momentum on your side. You’ve got the single most dominant reign in this company. You’ve mowed down everybody, some people multiple times. And now, you circle back, and I’m here. 

 
Just like I told you I would be. 

 
You remember that, right? When you came hobbling in after your ankle was messed up. And I told you, that when you came back, and if you wanted to fight me, I would be here. So, here I am. Ready and willing to go to the depths of hell with you once again, and many more times if need be. I am THAT ready for this match, and anything that comes afterward. And you know that.  And maybe that’s why you gave me that same look you always give me when we were face to face. Because it fills you, with that same excitement that it does to me. 

 
Maybe you were right, that we aren’t as different, as people think, maybe even me. The difference now, is that I helped get you to this spot, I got to where I am, on my own, and I did it, by beating people like you, in this same position.

 
You, are just going to be the next one that I beat, and I take down. I’m going to beat you, and I’m going to take that Bombshell’s championship from you, and you know that. Above all else, you know that. And that’s what drives you after all this time. That you want to fight me and beat me, to stave off what you think you can stave off. 

 
The roles have simply reversed Amber. When you came here, you were hunting me. And now, I am hunting you. 

 
And I have become inevitable. 

 
I know these words won’t sit well with you, and that’s okay. But you know that everything I just told you, is the truth. I am the truth, Amber. I have done it before, and I WILL do it again. The days are counting down and I’m saying these things to fuel you. To make you want to give me the beating of my life. I need Amber Ryan out to HURT me. To put me on the shelf, to end my career. I need THAT Amber Ryan. Because it’s that Amber Ryan that I need to beat, so there are no excuses, there are no what if’s, there are no “I wasn’t ready’s” or anything close to it. 

 
It’s just you, and me, at Blaze of Glory, Amber.

 
And I WILL make my dream come true.


 



 

{The scene opens with Roxi lying in bed next to Keira. The two sleep peacefully until Roxi bolts up, gasping, and looking around, obviously awakening from a nightmare. Keira slowly rolls over as Roxi looks at her.}

 

Keira – You..okay?

 

Roxi – Yeah... just a... bad dream.

 

Keira – It's okay. 

 

Roxi – Yeah, It’s okay... I just... Need some water.

 

{Keira rolls over and seemingly goes back to sleep. Roxi slides her body to the edge and puts her feet on the floor. She stands up, and begins to walk to the door, but out of the corner of her eye, she sees a figure, all in shadow in the corner of the room. She turns and sees the figure get larger, and begin to head towards her.}

 

RUN. RUN! MOVE! MOVE DAMMIT!

 

{Roxi is seemingly shouting at herself, but nothing happens as the figure inches closer and closer until... }

 

Roxi – Ahh!

 

{Roxi bolts up, gasping, and looking around, obviously awakening from a nightmare. Keira slowly rolls over as Roxi looks at her.}

 

Keira – You...okay?

 

Roxi – Yeah... just a... bad dream.

 

Keira – It's okay. 

 

Roxi – Yeah, It’s okay... I just... Need some water.

 

{Roxi again scoots herself to the edge of the bed and stands up, and again as soon as she takes a step she spots the same figure in the corner of her eye. The figure again move towards her, and again Roxi doesn’t move. It comes closer again and again until}

 

Roxi – Ahh!

 

{Roxi bolts up, gasping, and looking around, obviously awakening from a nightmare. Keira slowly rolls over as Roxi looks at her.}

 

Keira – You..okay?

 

{This time Roxi doesn’t say anything as she springs out of the bed and looks around, now almost paranoid.}

 

Keira – What’s the matter?

 

{It takes Roxi a second but as soon as Keira flicks on the night lamp, Roxi relaxes a little.}

 

Roxi – I’m... I’m okay. Just... a nightmare.

 

Keira – You've been having those a lot lately. Not to mention seeing things and hearing things. I think you are a little too wrapped up in things. You need to see the doctor.

 

Roxi – You're right. I will in the morning.

 

Keira – Good. You alright to go back to bed?

 

Roxi – Yeah, let me just... get some water.

 

{Roxi exits the bedroom and heads to the bathroom, splashing water on her face trying to shake the bad dream. She gazes at herself in the mirror and takes a deep breath before she heads back to the bedroom, Keira is still waiting with the night lamp on as Roxi slowly gets back into bed. Keira hugs Roxi around the waist and snuggles into her, as Roxi slowly drifts back to sleep.}

 




 

{The next morning, Roxi is at the guild medical bay, laying on a table and being examined.}

 

Doctor – Have you been having these dreams frequently?

 

Roxi – Only for the past couple of months. Up until then, I haven’t really had a bad dream in a long time. Now they just seem to be popping up out of nowhere, and sometimes, even when I’m wake awake, I see things and have to do a double take to make sure I’m not dreaming.

 

Doctor – I see.

 

{The doctor continues to scan Roxi as machines record data and gives output. The doctor pulls out the readings and reads them to himself.}

 

Doctor – Well, as far as we can tell with this scan, you’re perfectly healthy. Your brain patterns look normal. 

 

Roxi – So, I’m just going crazy then?

 

Doctor – I don’t think so. Usually this can be caused by anxiety or stress being high. It could be that you just need to relax and not stress yourself too much. I understand how being in your position presents a lot of stress, but I think you just need to take it easy for the time being.

 

Roxi – I have an important match coming up Doc.

 

Doctor – Well, try not to take that match too seriously. If these nightmares are continuing, and most frequent to being almost constant, I would say your stress levels are too high.

 

Roxi – I'll do what I can to take it easy.

 

Doctor – Good.

 

{With that, Roxi is unhooked from all the machines that were scanning her, and she soon returns home.}

 




 

 {Back at home, Roxi simply relaxes while Keira is busy training with Cassie. Roxi’s mother sees her and sits down next to her, as they both watch Nate play with some Legos.}

 

Elizabeth – You okay?

 

Roxi – Just a little stressed, and a little tired.

 

Elizabeth – You should be in bed with the way you look, honey.

 

Roxi – I've just got some stuff to take care of first, I know I look like hell. My hair is a mess, I got bags under my eyes. I must be getting old.

 

Elizabeth – You will always be my little girl. I remember when you were small. I changed your diapers. How do you think that makes me feel?

 

{Roxi cracks a smile as she lays her head on her mom’s shoulder for a moment of comfort. Roxi raises her head and leans back as the pairs of footsteps reveal Cassie and Keira coming up from the basement gym. Cassie gives a wave to Roxi and one for Nate as she departs. Keira comes back into the living room,  bending down and rubbing Nate’s head.}

 

Keira – How did it go?

 

Roxi – Doctor says I’m okay. 

 

Keira – Hmm.. Interesting. How about you? Are you okay?

 

{Keira begins playing with Nate, making him laugh as she tickles him.}

 

Nate – HAHAHA! I’m okay! But you keep tickling me!

 

Keira – Oh, right. 

 

{Keira stops and smiles, kissing Nate on the forehead.}

 

Keira – Are you hungry?

 

Nate – A little bit.

 

{Roxi slowly starts to get up, but Elizabeth stops her.}

 

Elizabeth – I'll take care of it. You rest.

 

{Roxi frowns as her mother gets up and takes Nate into the kitchen, allowing Keira to sit down with Roxi.}

 

Keira – You sure that you’re okay?

 

Roxi – I think so. Just need some time to relax and whatnot. Lately everything seems to give me some stress. I don’t know what it is. But, the doctor says I’m fine. He can’t find any patterns or irregularities with me. So... he says it’s just stress.

 

Keira – Well, let me handle making dinner then.

 

Roxi – Actually, there is one thing I need to show you.

 

Keira – Oh?

 

Roxi – Eliza's in the mental hospital, and... we’ll have to check on her after hours.

 

Keira – Have you heard anything different?

 

Roxi – No.

 

Keira – Poor Mr. Penny.

 

Roxi – I haven’t heard anything from him either. 

 

Keira – You know you’re just adding to your stress level.

 

Roxi – Probably. But it’s not going to kill me.

 

Keira – I wouldn’t be so sure. You were pretty intense with that nightmare.

 

Roxi – I don’t even know what to call them at this point.

 

Keira – Still, I want you to relax, and not get worked up.

 

Roxi – After we visit Eliza, I promise, I’ll take it easy.

 

Keira – And no worrying about your match until then either.

 

Roxi – I don’t have much of a choice in that matter, do I?

 

{Keira shakes her head.}

 

Keira – You need to not let all of this get to you. You got what you wanted.

 

Roxi – And now, I have to live up to everything I said. I have to fight Amber again. 

 

Keira – Yeah, but at least this time you know it’s coming.

 

Roxi – And that makes it all the more dangerous.

 

Keira – You can’t become obsessed.

 

Roxi – I’m not the one threatening to break people’s backs.

 

Keira – Fair enough, but you know what you have to do, and how you have to prepare, there are no need to over-analyze the match. It’s pretty straight forward.

 

Roxi – I know, but if I don’t win...

 

Keira – STOP. You’re already stressing about it. Let it go. You know what you have to do, and more importantly, you know who you are, and what you’re capable of. So don’t let anybody else dictate what you think or how you act. You do it, because you know what you’re doing.

 

{The inspiring words bring Roxi some comfort as she smiles and kisses Keira.}

 

Roxi – Thanks.

 

{Keira smiles, but then tries to quickly get up and get her words out.}

 

Keira – Oh, and wehavetogetdressesforKrystalswedding.

 

Roxi – WHOA, WHAT?

 

Keira – The wedding? You know, we’re going to Krystal’s wedding.

 

Roxi – I thought I wasn’t supposed to have any more stress.

 

Keira – Whoa, we don’t have to do anything about that. We really don’t. We’re just guests. And friends. We’re not even part of the wedding party.

 

Roxi – Ugh. I don’t like it when you spring things on me like that.

 

Keira – Well, things have been sprung on me all the time, you know. I didn’t realize we had a damn gym until Jenny said something.

 

Roxi – Yeah, I heard that too. Why do we have a gym?

 

Keira – Because Jenny just bought it and put it in our name.  She figures we’re going to start training wrestlers now.

 

Roxi – Are we?

 

Keira – I don’t know. I mean, I’m training Cassie, and that’s one thing, but a school? I don’t know about a school.

 

Roxi – I have had Holly over for more training, so... maybe we are starting this whole training thing.

 

Keira – It’s really weird that she did that though. We have a whole gym downstairs and that works just fine. 

 

Roxi – To be fair, it is... a little close to everything else.

 

Keira – I guess that’s true.

 

Roxi – Well, we’re figure it out later. Right now, I think it’s time to eat.

 

Keira – I am starving.

 

Roxi – What else is new?

 

Keira – What? I have a high metabolism, you know that.

 

Roxi – Yes, I do. 

 

Keira – And you don’t even have to worry, I will even cook tonight.

 

Roxi – I'll call the fire department.

 

{Keira frowns.}

 

Roxi – I'm kidding. Come on.

 

{Roxi and Keira head into the kitchen as the scene fades.}

 




 

{It is after hours, at the Shady Acres mental hospital. Roxi and Keira are in costume and slide the window open outside of Eliza’s room. Where she lays whimpering and occasionally letting out small cries. Keira looks at her and is concerned and nervous.}

 

Keira – What's wrong with her?

 

Roxi – Nobody seems to know. All she does is this. 

 

Keira – Must have driven Mr. Penny insane.

 

Roxi – It’s why he brought her to the hospital. And they brought her here.

 

Keira – And nothing has helped her?

 

Roxi – All they can really do is sedate her. She’s not...dead or unconscious. She seems like she’s... stuck. 

 

Keira – Stuck where though?

 

Roxi – In hell, from the sounds of it. All she did was scream and cry when she wasn’t sedated.

 

Keira – You mean this is better than it was?

 

Roxi – Yeah.

 

Keira – And there’s nothing they can do?

 

Roxi – Can’t use the paddles, they will kill a person who’s alive. An adrenaline may give her an actual heart attack. 

 

Keira – She’s... just trapped until she wakes up?

 

Roxi – I suppose, so. Yes.

 

Keira – Man, I feel so bad for her.

 

Roxi – She’s fighting an uphill battle.

 

{Roxi and Keira sigh as head out. Keira however stops Roxi.}

 

Roxi – What?

 

Keira – Why did you show me Eliza?

 

Roxi – Because you need to know. You’re my partner and all.

 

Keira – But she’s just... I mean she’s our neighbor and all, but...

 

Roxi – Keira, this could be something that is important. It’s not normal, you’ve seen it for yourself. Why would I keep this from you? If you see it in the future, you’ll need to know at least what to look for.

 

Keira – You’re talking like you’re not going to be.

 

Roxi – I didn’t mean it that way, sorry. I plan on being around for a long time, don’t you worry. I just wanted to be sure you saw Eliza.

 

Keira – What about Mr. Penny?

 

Roxi – We’ll have to keep an eye on him.

 

Keira – Yeah, he must be so heartbroken.

 

Roxi – Well, when something happens to someone you love...

 

Keira – Yeah... I know.

 

{Roxi and Keira do leave, just as Eliza’s cries and whimpers get louder.}

 

Keira – I see what you mean. 

 

{The screams now go back to where they would normally be. Blood-curdling loud.}

 

Keira – What in god’s name...

 

Roxi – Come on, we have to go. The orderlies and nurses will be here soon.

 

{Roxi and Keira make their way out of the window, closing it behind them and getting out of direct sight from the window.}

 

Keira – After hearing that, I think I need to keep a close eye on Mr. Penny. There’s no way he could deal with that. Those screams...

 

{Keira turns away from Roxi, her own memories bubbling up.}

 

Keira – It's like she was being tortured. 

 

Roxi – People are doing everything they can to try and help her. There’s not much we can do now. Come on, let’s go home.

 

{Roxi and Keira depart, not before Keira takes one last look at the window, before the fly away, the scene fading.}

 




 

{The new scene is Roxi once again visiting Amy Jo Smyth. She knocks on the door and AJ answers shortly thereafter, her safety goggles still on.}

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Is the world ending yet?

 

Roxi – Not that I know of, why?

 

Amy Jo Smyth – That’s usually when you come around, red.

 

Roxi – Actually, I’m not here for anything like that.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Oh.. Wait, are you a robot?

 

Roxi – No.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Are you sure?

 

Roxi – You know, I feel like we need to start over. Hi, AJ.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – You haven’t answered my question.

 

Roxi – Didn’t think that would work. No, AJ, I’m not a robot. I just came to talk to you.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Really? 

 

Roxi – Yes, really. 

 

Amy Jo Smyth – In that case... Hello, Roxi darling, what brings you around?

 

Roxi – I can’t tell if that’s more of the cop or the scientist.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Well, right now, I’m sciencing.

 

Roxi – What are you sciencing?

 

Amy Jo Smyth – A home-made Defibrillator!

 

Roxi – AJ... I feel like that’s wildly and unnecessarily dangerous.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Of course it is!  But that’s what science is.

 

Roxi – What are you even defibrillating?

 

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Anything. Just to see if it works.

 

Roxi – And does it?

 

Amy Jo Smyth – The battery was a little...disappointing. But come check out what happens to these soda cans!

 

Roxi – Can we talk about something first?

 

{AJ looks genuinely disappointed.}

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Ugh. I guess.

 

Roxi – It’s actually something you wanted to talk about.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Wait, really? 

 

Roxi – Yes.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Well damn, let’s do this

 

{AJ lets Roxi in, and they go to her kitchen table and sit down. A familiar smell hits Roxi’s nose.}

 

Roxi – Is... Anya here?

 

Amy Jo Smyth – She was. She comes and goes.

 

Roxi – I thought so.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Anyway, what's on your mind, Red?

 

Roxi – I wanted to tell you, since you asked about it before. My... former boyfriend.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Oh yeah... Ted, right?

 

Roxi – Yes.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Yeah so... what happened?

 

Roxi – Ted was... nice to me in the beginning. He was loving and caring and I thought I would spend the rest of my life with him. He always bought me things, asked me how my day was. He made me feel... special.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Okay so?

 

Roxi – Well, I found... handcuffs in Ted’s car. And he was... like a kid’s party magician on the side and I never thought anything of it after a while. Until he...

 

Amy Jo Smyth – He didn’t...

 

Roxi – No, he... he didn’t. He tried, but I fought him off. This was before I had powers mind you, so it wasn’t as easy as it would have been now. But there was a struggle and.. Well we both fell and..

 

{AJ can see Roxi becoming emotional about the incident and almost uncomfortable. She consoles her.}

 

Amy Jo Smyth – You don’t have to tell me the rest, red. It’s okay.

 

Roxi – No, I need to tell you, because I need to ask you something.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – ...

 

Roxi – We fell on his steps he had leading ot the kitchen, I whacked my head on the floor and he... he broke his neck landing on the steps.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Jesus...

 

Roxi – I didn’t mean to... to kill him or anything...

 

Amy Jo Smyth – You acted in self-defense. 

 

Roxi – The police came and, my roommate at the time said they found some very disturbing things. So he would have been taken to jail, but... he’s dead, and I woke up in the hospital.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – You did what you needed to do to live, Red. You shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

 

Roxi – But I do.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – He was going to rape you, or kill you, or both, Roxi. That’s not something you have to take, nor should you. If he was alive today, I’d of shot him myself.

 

Roxi – That’s what I wanted to ask you about.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – … Wait what?

 

Roxi – I mean, clearly, you’ve... shot people, right?

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Yes.

 

Roxi – Have you ever... killed anybody?

 

{AJ sighs.}

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Yeah, and it’s not an easy thing to deal with.

 

Roxi – Have you ever felt like... someone deserved it?

 

Amy Jo Smyth – I’ve shot people to protect other people. That’s what I’ve always told myself, I guess. I never shot anyone strictly to kill them no. That’s now how I do things, but if I were standing in front of someone who did something horrible to me, I can’t say if I’d feel...guilty about shooting them. If somebody was hurting you and I could stop it, and if I had to kill them, you’re damn right I would. Because you are important to me. But that’s more an emotional thing. I’m not going out there looking for people to shoot.

 

Roxi – I guess I’ve just felt guilty about it this whole time. I mean... I killed him. It wasn’t on purpose, but I killed him.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – You did what you had to stop something that could have been even more horrific. That’s what you did. And I for one, don’t think you should feel guilty about that. 

 

Roxi – Why can’t I shake that then?

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Because you are... you’re a good person Roxi. Above all else, you put up with a lot of shit the rest of us wouldn’t. You let it slide and you see the good in people. I mean, shit, look at me.

 

Roxi –  You’re not a bad person, AJ.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – I’m not good either. I’m just the bitch with a lot of guns. I’ve done a lot of dumb things I don’t care to remember.

 

Roxi – I guess that makes two of us.

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Yeah. You uh.. You want some coffee?

 

Roxi – Sure, and then... I guess let’s defibrillate some soda cans. 

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Now you’re talking.

 

{AJ pours out the coffee and the two enjoy the moment as the scene fades.}

 




 

{The scene shifts the day before Krystal’s wedding and Roxi is doing her match prepartion and training in the ring. It has to stop however, when her wrist communicator goes off. She shuts down her training machine and walks over and answers.}

 

Roxi – Vision?

 

Vision – Rox, I just wanted to let you know that it was made public that Eliza Penny passed away.

 

Roxi – Oh... Dammit.

 

Vision – She never woke up. And... have you seen her file?

 

Roxi – Yes. I have.

 

Vision – Then you know who she was.

 

Roxi – Yes. I do. It’s just a coincidence perhaps.

 

Vision – I sure hope so, but it still is a bit of a shock.

 

Roxi – I know. It pretty much hit me as soon as I heard about it. But I don’t understand what or how it all happened.

 

Vision – Early COD was labeled as heart failure. 

 

Roxi – She was... like 29.

 

Vision – 28 to be exact. 

 

Roxi – But she wasn’t connected to her father at all. So, again, if this was done on purpose, it makes no sense.

 

Vision – Well, there’s still more digging to do on this, but, I don’t know if they told the husband yet.

 

Roxi – Me neither, I guess at some point he’ll find out. 

 

Vision – But they won’t tell him everything.

 

Roxi – I think at this point, the less he knows the better. Hell, the less anybody knows the better. 

 

Vision – Have you told Keira?

 

Roxi – About Eliza? No. All that the truth will do at this point is ruin her reputation for what it is now, and... Really, I don’t think Mr. Penny needs to know either. So... I guess just keep it under your hat for now.

 

Vision – Will do.

 

Roxi – Thanks for the update Vision.

 

{Roxi ends the call and leaves heading upstairs to take a shower, and when she does, she stares at the dress she’ll be wearing to the wedding, and possibly the funeral with the scene fading.}

 




 

{Finally, after the wedding, Roxi is shown as she was sitting on the edge of the bed preparing to go to sleep. She looks exhausted from the wedding, but she slips out of her dress and puts on some pajamas. She lays back on the bed before pulling Eliza’s file from under the bed, and reading it to herself.}

 

Roxi – I'm sorry, Eliza. I should have watched over you more closely. Hopefully, we can find out what happened to you, and make sure it never happens to anyone else.

 

{Roxi sighs, before standing up and going to check on Nate and Elizabeth, who are comfortable sleeping in their beds. Roxi smiles to herself, before she returns to her room, and much like them slips into bed and pulls the covers over her, determined to get a good night’s rest for the first time in a while. The scene fades out one last time.}
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Offline Roxi Johnson

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Re: AMBER RYAN (c) v ROXI JOHNSON - WORLD BOMBSHELL TITLE
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2022, 09:52:21 PM »
Wake up, Roxi... 

 
{Roxi sits up, but instead of being in her bed, she’s on the ground surrounded by darkness and silence, outside of her own breath. She stands up, trying to get her eyes to adjust to see any light, but there isn’t any. She is startled by a voice calling out to her.} 

 
Voice – Welcome. 


Roxi – Who are you?   


Voice – Surely, you recognize me? 


{The male voice in the darkness snaps his fingers, and the whole room illuminates. Roxi is blinded by the sudden change of light, and it takes her a moment to have her vision come back to normal. She finally states at the man. He is familiar to Roxi, who gasps audibly at the sight of him.} 


Roxi – Clint?! 


Clint – It is good to see you. I’ve been here for some time, but I had to wait until I was done with other business.   


Roxi – What?   


Clint – Mrs. Jakobsen.   


Roxi – Eliza... 


Clint – You did know, didn’t you? You knew who she was, and yet, you never told anyone. 


Roxi – Because she wasn’t her father! 


Clint – Always so forgiving. Forgive and forget, right? You seem to have forgotten our trip to Germany. Our mission. The one you left me to die in. 

 
Roxi – YOU TOLD ME TO LEAVE! 

 
Clint – And you did. And then you promptly forgot all about me. Much like many people in your life. I have been through the memory banks and there’s so much you’ve let go. Too many painful memories. But yet, so many secrets. 


Roxi – Shut up. 


Clint – And yet, you will happily lead this life of lies, and why? Because you wish to convince everyone you are something you are not. I’ve seen and heard you. You lie so easily.   


Roxi – I need to protect those I care about. 


Clint – And yet... you’ve failed. Time and time again. It’s almost ironic.   


Roxi – You... you used Eliza to get to me. 


Clint – Of course. As soon as you knew she was in the hospital, I knew you’d come. And all it took was a little prick, and soon I would be inside your head. 


Roxi – YOU KILLED HER!   

 
Clint – Driven to the point of madness. Once she was broken, it was simply a matter of time. And now, I have you to play with. 


Roxi – Go to hell. Is that what this is all about? 


Clint – Yes, and no. Today, I will have my revenge. And I will break you, Roxi. So, let us begin. 

 
{Clint waves his hand in Roxi’s general direction and Roxi’s superhero costume is instantly now her attire. Minus her mask. Roxi looks at her arms and torso, unimpressed by this.} 


Clint – There's the hero. Now, you need to save the day, don’t you?   


{A giant door materializes in front of Roxi. She eyes is suspiciously.} 


Roxi – What is this? 


Clint – Go on, be the hero. 


{Roxi cautiously moves to the door. She tries to take a breath, but instead, a familiar smell hit her nose.} 


Roxi – Fire? 


{She charges towards it and breaks through, and it’s a sight all too familiar to her. The Peterson warehouse, where she fought Harold Peterson, and her best friend Claire nearly died. Roxi sees this, and here the anguish cries for help.} 

Claire – Aghhh! 


Roxi – Claire? Claire! Claire I’m coming! 


{Roxi tries to get up and run, but the whole scene comes to a stop, except Roxi who cannot make any progress. Clint just comes up behind her shaking his head.} 


Clint – Poor girl. Dragged into this mess by her best friend. 


{Roxi boils over with anger and takes a swing at Clint, but it misses.} 


Roxi – I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!   


Clint – Like you did your friend?   


{Roxi stops, more tears welling up in her eyes as she still felt all the guilt from this incident.} 


Clint – Her screams of pain are your fault. She sacrificed for you, and you forgot about her. You should share her pain. 


{Roxi is confused as she looks at Claire, only to be impaled on a metal rod, much like Claire was in the building. She drops instantly, holding her side and ribs, the pole protruding from her.} 


Clint – Make it right. Save her, hero. 


{Roxi gasps in pain, as the fire and the screams just resume as if they never stopped.} 


Claire – Help me! Please! 


{Roxi tries to get up and walk hurriedly, but the pain is intense and her body burns and spurts blood. She drags her body towards the fire, but it never seems like she’s making progress.} 


Roxi – Claire... I’m coming … Just hang on! 


Claire – Help me! 


{Using a rush of adrenaline, Roxi finally makes it to Claire, hurting and screaming herself as she uses the rush of energy to remove the pole from her own side, and then one from Claire’s. Roxi collapses from blood loss and tries to get herself up, but it’s too late as the flames around Claire begin to catch her on fire.} 


Roxi – CLAIRE! 

{Claire screams are the stuff of nightmares as she is burned as Roxi cannot get to her. Soon Claire’s screams stop as Roxi clutches at her side and angrily pounds the ground, standing up and in sheer primal mode begins destroying everything.} 


Clint – You failed. Again. 



 

{Outside the dream, Keira is awakened by Roxi’s whimpering and outright screams. She sees this, and instantly thinks of Eliza. That’s all that Keira needs, having heard enough of Roxi’s whimpering and yells, and transmits her to the Guild medical bay.} 


Keira – I NEED A MEDIC! NOW! 


{A doctor walks up, confused.} 


Doctors – What's going on? 


Keira – SHE'S TRAPPED! IN HER DREAM OR SOMETHING! I DON’T KNOW. SHE NEEDS HELP! 


{A team of medical staff rush over and help Roxi onto a gurney, and wheel her away, with Keira following close behind.} 


Keira – Just hold on, Roxi... please. 


 


{Back in the dream, everything disappears and Roxi lays there sobbing. Roxi struggles to stand up in the pitch black, only for another door to pop up. and she is in front of a younger version of her mother, sitting at a bar table, a glass filled with ice and a large bottle of liquor in front of her.} 


Roxi – Mom... 


{Roxi takes a step forward as her mother raises her hand.} 


Elizabeth – Bartender, I’ll have another. 

{Clint slides in, with a sinister grin. Roxi walks forward, trying to intervene, but when she reaches for the bottle, her hand goes right through it. She tries to get her mother’s attention but nothing happens. Clint pours the drink in the glass and serves it Elizabeth.} 


Clint – Here you are my dear, drown your troubles. 


Elizabeth – Thank you. 

{Elizabeth sighs as a chair, flies in behind Roxi, forcing her to sit at it. The arms wrap around Roxi’s arms and legs, effectively tying her to the chair. She is scooted right up to the bar and tries in vain to free herself.} 


Clint – Rough day? 


Elizabeth – Ugh. You have no idea. I tell you these kids today are nothing but a pain. All they do is disappoint. 


{Roxi is forced to watch as Clint serves her mother drink after drink.} 


Roxi – Stop it!  Stop it!   


{Roxi angrily tries to escape the chair, but she can’t. As shot after shot is consumed by her mother, right in front of her.} 


Clint – These are all on the house. 

 
Elizabeth – Thank you. These kids just drive me to drink. Always whining and begging for my attention. Always wanting my approval. Sometimes I wish I never had kids. 

 
{Roxi can’t help but start to cry, hearing the horrible remarks from her mother, while Clint relishes them.} 

 
Clint – What a disappointment this child sounds like. 

 
Elizabeth – You have no idea. 


{Roxi is helpless and has to watch as her mother’s physical appearance begins to change, her face puffing up and the red cheeks appearing. A smile from her mother reveals damaged teeth and paler skin. Elizabeth starts to flat out deteriorate right in front of Roxi, who can do nothing to stop this.} 

 
Roxi – STOP THIS! STOP IT NOW! 


Clint – Look at what you’ve done to your poor mother. You caused this. You couldn’t help your mother. Some hero you are. 

{Clint revels in this as Roxi can only angrily growl and try and lunge for him, but she is unable to break free. When she looks over at her mother, she’s practically melted with sores and rotting skin. Roxi violently tries to get out, finally breaking free with one arm, and grasping desperately, but by this point, her mother is nothing but a hunk of flesh.} 


Roxi – MOM! NOOOOO! 


Clint – So close. But we’re not done. 


 

 
{Outside, Keira can only watch as Roxi continues to scream, and she bangs her fists on the table.} 


Keira – I have to get in there! 


Doctor – It's extremely risky. You may become trapped as well. 


Keira – I DON’T CARE! I HAVE TO BRING HER OUT! I HAVE TO TRY! 

 
Doctor – I can’t in good faith -

 
Keira – DON’T TALK TO ME ABOUT FAITH! THERE MUST BE A WAY! 


Doctor – Only one that’s even viable. 

 
Keira – DO IT! NOW! 


 

 
{Everything goes black as Roxi falls out of the chair, sobbing and angry. She is all alone in the darkness. chains wrap themselves around each of her limbs and pulls her back, trying her down to an X position. She cannot break the chains as Clint approaches her and the world illuminates again. An all-white room.} 


Roxi – I'M GOING TO KILL YOU. I SWEAR TO GOD IF IT’S THE LAST THING I EVER DO, I WILL KILL YOU! 


{Roxi is hysterical and crying as she tries in vain to break away, but can’t. Clint simply shakes his head.} 

Clint – No, you... will be broken. 

 
{Roxi struggles to breathe and shakes her head in disgust.} 


Roxi – You will pay for... for this... 


Clint shows utter distrain as he slaps Roxi across the face.}[/b] 


Clint – I'm tired of your mouth. All I have ever heard is that heroic garbage you spew like vomit. In fact, that’s what you’re going to do now. 


{Clint snaps his fingers and the chain are loosened and she falls to the floor. She tries to say something, but she instantly vomits. Every single time she tries to do anything other than breathe, she just vomits uncontrollably and is left in the fetal position, unable to move.} 


Clint – You see. I am in control. I own your mind. And I WILL break you. I will torture you for all eternity. And drive you to well beyond the brink of madness. You will be NOTHING but my play toy for a long, long time. 


{Roxi dares not speak, just lying there gasping for air and groaning. Roxi can only try and think of a way out, but the pain is too intense for her to think clearly.} 


Clint – Hmmm... how should we do this... You know, you should be happy I’m doing this for you. No more trying and failing. No more thinking about saving the day and keeping secrets from people and all that stuff. You know you don’t want to do it. You should be happy! In fact, you should be cheering! 


{Roxi is instantly placed back on her feet, now clad in cheerleading outfit, complete with pom-poms and she just starts cheering, doing a routine.} 


Roxi – Give me a C! C! Give me an L! L! 


{Roxi continues as Clint watches in amusement. From behind him, a pistol is heard cocking.} 


Clint – Well, who have we here? 


{Roxi’s good friend Amy Jo Smyth is there, pointing her pistol at Clint} 


Amy Jo Smyth – Let her go! Now! 


{Clint chuckles as he simply turns back to Roxi, who is still cheering.} 

 
Roxi – Give me a T! T! What’s that spell?! CLINT! CLINT! CLINT! 


Amy Jo Smyth – I said let her go!   

 
{Clint is rather annoyed as he turns back around, and begins walking towards AJ, who tries to maintain her reactionary gap, but Clint closes too fast, take the gun AJ and shoots her right in the chest. AJ slumps over. Roxi catches sight of what happened, but she can’t stop cheering. Even through tears welling up in her eyes as more and more of her friends and family rush to help her, she can do nothing but do a cheering routine, forced to cheer Clint on, as he one by one, murders all of her friends.} 


Clint – Look at them. All of them. You did nothing to help them.   

 
{Clint finally releases Roxi from being stuck cheering and she crumples to the ground in a heap. With her superhero outfit once again on, she is sobbing, and desperately crawling towards the bodies of her friends, until Clint simply snaps his fingers and wipes them all away. He simply looks down at Roxi with nothing but distain.} 

 
Clint – Why? Why are you even crawling? Do you still think you can win? Do you still think you can fight me? 

 
{Roxi continues to crawl, towards what, she doesn’t even really know. She looks at Clint through the tears in her eyes, trying to get to him, to stand up. To fight.} 

 

Roxi – I.... don’t... care... what it takes... I.. WILL KILL YOU... 

 

{Roxi is able to stumble to her feet, uneasy and filled with nothing but rage and sorrow. She lets out a primal scream before charging at Clint, but it simply leads to Roxi stumbling and falling through a curtain. And suddenly she’s in the aisleway of an SCW arena. Clad in her superhero gear, the crowd audibly gasps, as she falls back down. She looks around, and there’s nothing but jeering and boos.} 

 

Crowd Member – She's been a faker all this time! 


Crowd Member #2 – I can’t believe she would lie like that! 


Roxi – No... I... 


{The boos only get louder as Roxi stumbles back, as garbage is hurled in her direction, everyone having turned on her for lying and being exposed. Clint is dressed in a tuxedo, in the ring, playing the ring announcer.} 


Clint – Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s give a big hand to... Roxi... The FRUAD! She’s been lying to you for years! Keeping secrets from you! Deceiving you! We cannot allow this to stand! 


{Roxi looks around nervously, trying to think of something to do, but she is mobbed by the fans, and lifted up. She is held in place and carried to the ring and dumped, unceremoniously into the ring.} 


Clint – Well? Come on Roxi, this is your big chance. You’ve got to fight back. Or will you fail the fans like you have everyone else?   

 
{Clint stands waiting as Roxi can barely pull herself up. She stares daggers at Clint and charges him. The rage boils over as Roxi throws punch after punch, as hard as she possibly could muster. But, all it leads to is Clint laughing at her.} 


Clint – Come on... You’ll have to do better than that. You have to make me FEEL it. 

 

{Roxi screams as she throws punches even harder with every ounce of force and anger, she can must. Clint goes down and Roxi gets on top of him, punching away through tears of anger and sorrow. She closes her eyes in her fit of rage, but the punching doesn’t stop. It seems like it’s never going to stop until the grunts stop from Clint, and now sound different.  

 

Voice – Roxi... stop... please... 


{Roxi opens her eyes, and she is no longer punching Clint. She’s punching Keira.} 


Roxi – KEIRA?! 


{Roxi stops, seeing her bloody and battered wife no moving, her eyes open and vacant. Roxi breaks down again looking at Keira’s face. She gets off of her as she touches Keira’s face and tries to see if Keira is breathing, which she isn’t.} 

 

Roxi – Keira... NONONONONONONONO... PLEASE... I’M SORRY... I... 

{From behind Roxi, Clint is right there over her shoulder.} 

 
Clint – Let's be honest... you wanted to do that. You’ve wanted rid of her bumbling. You drug her into this, and now... you’ve taken her out of it. Bravo. 

 
{Roxi simply screams as the wrestling arena disappears, and Clint grabs Roxi by the hair and pulls her up, punching her repeatedly and then in one motion, breaks her arm.} 


Clint – There, that makes up for the pain you caused. 


{Roxi crumples to the ground, screaming in even more pain. Clint walks around Keira’s body, looking like a disappointed parent.} 


Clint – Look at what you did. What would young Nathaniel think of this? 

 
{Roxi’s eyes widen hearing her son’s name. She looks up and standing next to Clint is Nate, looking at Keira’s body.} 

 

Roxi – Nate... Please don’t... PLEASE... DON’T DO THIS...CLINT, I’M BEGGING YOU... 


{Clint turns with a sick smile.} 

 
Clint – You beg? You can beg better than that! But this isn’t up to me, this is up to Nate. 

 
{Nate turns to Roxi, pointing at Keira.} 

 
Nate – Mommy... what’s wrong with Mama? 

 
{Roxi can’t answer without bursting into tears. She tries crawling towards Nate, who just looks at her.} 


Nate – Mommy, did you hurt Mama? 

 
Roxi – Nate... I’m sorry... I’m so sorry...   

 
Nate – You're BAD Mommy! 

 
{Roxi just continues to break down reaching out for Nate who turns and looks up at Clint.} 

 
Nate – I don’t want her to be my Mommy anymore... 


Roxi – YOU SON OF A BITCH!   


Clint – Don't blame me. Look at what you did, Mommy. 

 
{Nate grabs Clint’s hand as they both turn away from Roxi, who starts just openly weeping, screaming so much that she’s just drooling on herself.} 


Nate – I want to live with you, Uncle Clint. 


Clint – Of course. I will never hurt you like your Mommy. 


{Roxi’s head just drops, hearing the words and she is so angry, yet, unable to do anything. Finally, another door opens, but this one isn’t one made by Clint, and through steps the actual Keira. Keira sees Roxi and rushes over towards her.} 

 
Keira – ROXI!   


{Keira consoles Roxi, but Roxi is at this point, more than a mess. She’s just bawling her eyes out, arm broken and covered in vomit and blood.} 

 
Keira – I'm going to get you out of here!   

 
{Roxi at this point is just mumbling incoherently, finally looking at Keira.} 
 

Roxi – GO. 

 
Keira – I'm going to get you out, come on... 

 
{Roxi uses her unbroken arm to touch Keira’s face. She shakes her head at Keira.} 


Roxi – I'm so sorry... I failed you... It’s over...   


Keira – No, it’s not. Can you walk?


{Roxi then forcefully grabs Keira, shaking her head.} 


Roxi – I’M A BAD MOMMY... I LET THEM ALL DIE! I'M SO SORRY!   


{Keira can’t believe what she’s hearing, looking into Roxi's eyes and seeing the despair. But she hears Clint clapping for her. Keira turns, the vision of Nate, and Keira’s dead body no longer there. She stares daggers at Clint, her anger boiling over.} 

 
Keira – YOU SICK SON OF A BITCH!


Clint – Ah, the wife. The partner. You must realize that you can’t save her. I am in control of this dream. It’s my rules. I can torture you right in front of her.   

 
{Keira looks over at Roxi who is still crying in a heap. Keira turns back to Clint.} 


Keira – I know you can. You make the rules. A Dream Master. But this, this isn’t your dream. It’s Roxi’s dream. And I know the only way to truly stop it... 

 
{Keira looks over at Roxi and her eyes water, before looking at the pendant ring on her finger she had made, and the one on her finger. She sighs and pulls Roxi up, and places both hands on Roxi’s head, and sighs.} 


Keira – Is to kill her.   


Clint – You wouldn’t dare! 


Keira – That's the rules, you’re bound by them aren’t you. If she dies, you need another host, otherwise, you die too. And if that’s what it takes, then I’ll do it.   


Clint – You'd kill the one you love to stop me? You’re a bigger fool then you look. 


Keira – It's why you haven’t just killed her, and it’s why you’re going to keep her alive. If you really wanted revenge, you would have done it by now. I know what I have to do. I have to do what you can’t. 


Clint – You stupid bitch. I can do anything. 

 
Keira – Except kill her. I don’t know what you did to her, but you’d continue as long as you wanted to. You NEED her.   


Clint – I will enjoy making you suffer and making her watch! 

 

{Keira turns to Roxi, and kisses her on the forehead.} 

 

Keira – For the greater good.   

 
{Keira begins using her energy, as Clint rushes to stop her. Once Clint grabs a hold of Keira, Keira touches the ring.} 


Keira – NOW! 

 

{In a flash, Roxi opens her eyes and gets up, screaming and in hysterics. Everyone is in the medical bay, as Roxi sees Clint, and her entire demeanor changes to one of pure rage. She charges over as Clint is getting up, unsure of what happened, as Roxi grabs him. Keira gets up as sees what’s happening.} 


Keira – Roxi! 


{In the blink of an eye, Roxi and Clint disappear.} 


Keira – Oh shit... 


{Roxi having teleported them to seemingly the middle of nowhere. Roxi is so full of rage and anger that she’s trembling as she screams, tossing Clint onto the ground and mounting him. She has full use of her powers, and she throws one punch and Clint’s head completely just splatters everywhere. Not content, Roxi continues to beat the lifeless corpse of Clint with everything she has. Punch after punch, the bones breaking under the amount of power Roxi uses. She finally stops after Clint is obviously dead, but she picks up the remains, taking them high into the air. She stops, and let’s out a rush of energy that let’s out across the night sky. The blinding light and results wave of energy is incredible, and once it clears, there is nothing in Roxi’s hands. Clint had been completely disintegrated. With all that done. Roxi comes back down to the ground, and falls to her knees and then into the fetal position, sobbing and crying.   

Keira finally is able to locate her, based on the energy used and tries to console her.}
 


Keira – Roxi... I... I’m here. I’m going to get you some help. Please just speak to me... 

 

{Roxi only sobs in response to this. She just can’t deal with everything she has endured. Keira scoops her up and teleports her back to the medical bay of the Guild.} 


Keira – Someone has to help her! 


{The doctors and medical team rush to assist, trying to get Roxi to do anything results in Roxi no responding or doing anything. She just lays there, crying. Keira is heartbroken listening to her cry.} 

 
Doctor – She's going to have to be sedated. 


{Keira can’t stand to listen as the doctors sedate Roxi. She teleports away, trying to think of how best to help Roxi. 

It is the next day, and Keira makes a visit. The same familiar house of Amy Jo Smyth. A lot less subtle than Roxi, Keira bangs on the door as AJ eventually opens it, her shotgun drawn.}
 


Amy Jo Smyth – WHO THE FUCK... Oh... Keira?   


Keira – AJ, I need your help. 

 
Amy Jo Smyth – What? Girl, I almost shot you.   

 
Keira – There's no time. I need to know if you have any science stuff to help Roxi. 


Amy Jo Smyth – Where is she? 

 
Keira – Being treated by the Guild. 

 
Amy Jo Smyth – The what? 

 
Keira – It’s where we do hero stuff. I don’t really have time to explain everything. 

 
Amy Jo Smyth – Well, you’re going to have to. Plus, I think you’re guys’s science is way more advanced than mine. 

 
Keira – What about like... dreams or nightmares. 

 
Amy Jo Smyth – That's neurology. I’m not a brain surgeon, Keira. I’m a chemist.   

 

{From behind AJ, Anya, otherwise known at Pet, sticks her head from under AJ’s arm, to see what’s going on.} 

 
Pet – What the hell is going on here? I was trying to be a good girl and there’s all this racket. I demand an apology for this. 

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Anya, be quiet.   

 

Keira – Look, I just need to figure out how to help Roxi. 

 

{Anya pushes past AJ and is now interested.} 

 

Pet –What did you do to my smile maker?! 

 
 
Keira – Pet, I swear to God, I will drop you right where you stand, if you ever say anything like that again. 

 

Pet – I always knew you would hurt her. She belongs with me! 

 

Amy Jo Smyth – Anya, shut up and go inside.   

 
Pet – I am concerned for my friend. You should have brought her here. I would have worked my magic. 

 
{Keira stares at Pet disgusted, but she begins to think as Pet gets all grindy on AJ in order to get past her.} 


Keira – Wait! That’s it!  AJ, do you know where... Kat’s compound is? 


Amy Jo Smyth – Who? 

 
Keira – Katalina. 


{Anya growls hearing Katalina Starr’s name.} 

 

Amy Jo Smyth – No, but Anya does. 

 
Keira – I need to know where she is. 

 
{Anya gets a cocky smile on her face as she turns to Keira.} 

 

Pet – I know where the bitch is, and I can give you the address, BUT... what’s in it for me? 
 

 
Keira – Pet... I will break every bone in your body... 


Amy Jo Smyth – Alright, calm down. Anya, we will tell Roxi you helped get her better, I’m sure she will appreciate it. She may even come to visit you. 

 
{Anya perks up hearing this.} 

 
Pet – Really? 


Amy Jo Smyth – Yes, but we need the address! 

 
{Pet simply reaches into her bra and pulls out Kat’s dungeon business card. AJ takes it and hands it to Keira.}   

 
Keira – Thank you. I have to go. 


Amy Jo Smyth – Let us know how it turns out. 


{Keira turns and leaves waiting for AJ and Pet to shuffle inside before she teleports away, and then back to the Guild. She sees Roxi is still gently weeping, and she takes her and teleports her to the address to Kat’s compound. Keira, holding Roxi knocks on the door, which is answered, by Summer, the maid.} 

 

Summer – Oh, hello Ms. Keira, and Ms. Roxi. 

 
Keira – Summer, I need to speak to Zoey and Kat, please. It’s urgent. 
 

Summer – I shall relay the message. 

 
{Summer disappears for a few moments, before returning.} 

 

Summer – I shall escort you to the parlor. 


{Summer does just that, leading Keira to the parlor, where Zoey and Kat are seated, seemingly in the middle of a conversation, until they see Roxi basically dangling from Keira’s arms, and they both stand up.} 

 

Kat – Oh dear, what has happened? 

 

Keira – I need your help. More specifically, Zoey. 

 

Zoey – What can I do for you? Or... For her? 

 

Keira – I need someone who knows magic. Like... MAGIC.

 

Zoey – I think you may be confused about the type of magic I - 

 

Keira – Zoey, I’m desperate right now! Please!   


{Zoey glances over at Kat, who nods.} 

 
Kat – I think you are need, dearest. Roxi is a friend of ours.


{Zoey sighs and turns to Keira.} 

 
Zoey – Follow me. 

 
{Zoey leads Keira, still carrying Roxi into her personal room complete with a lot of magic related items and a long table in the middle.} 

 
Zoey – Lay her down there. 

 
{Keira lays Roxi on the table, and she instantly curls up into a ball.} 

 

Zoey – What exactly do you need?   

 
Keira – I don’t... I don’t know what she saw, but her nightmare, it’s... made her like this. I don’t think she can shake whatever it is she saw. I need something that can help her.   

 
{Zoey thinks for a moment, and begins going through some books she owns.} 

 

Zoey – I don’t know if I have anything to make bad dreams go away. 

 

Keira – She just needs this one. Like this whole day.   


Zoey – You mean, she needs a day erased? 


Keira – Zoey, if you saw the look in her eyes that I did, you wouldn’t ask that. 


{Zoey picks out a different books and skims through it, with Kat coming in to supervise} 


Kat – I hope all is well. 


Zoey – I will need you both to strap her down. 

 

Kat – My pleasure. 

 
 
Keira – Not the time, Kat, please. 

 

Kat – Apologies, Love, I meant nothing by it. 

 

{Keira and Kat strap Roxi to the table as Zoey places the book down.}
 


Zoey – This should wipe her mind of everything from the past 24 hours. Hopefully nothing else. 


Keira – Hopefully? 


Zoey – It's magic, Keira, it’s not some kind of computer program.   

 

Keira – I'm sorry, just... if you can. 

 
{Zoey prepares some candles and finally places a hand over Roxi’s eyes and head} 

 

Zoey – sruoh ruof ytnewt morf yromem evomer! 


{There is a flash of light, and Zoey’s eyes glow as she speaks, and then Roxi’s body jolts, and then silence. Zoey nods and closes her book.} 

 
Zoey – That should do the trick.   


{Keira shakes Roxi a few times, and Roxi slowly opens her eyes, seeing Keira.} 


Roxi – Keira? 

 
Keira – Roxi! 

 
{Roxi looks and sees herself strapped to a table, and Kat and Zoey look at her as well.} 


 
Roxi – What... is going on?   


 
Zoey – We wanted you over for dinner. 

 

Roxi – I think you skipped a step. 

 

Keira – Roxi, are you okay? 

 

Roxi – Outside of being tied up inside Kat’s house without knowing why, yes.   

 
Kat – Pfft. 
 

Roxi – No offense. 

 
Kat – Oh no, everyone must be tied up at all times in my house.   

 


{Kat goes on, walking out of the room still yelling at no one in particular.} 

 

Zoey – I better go calm her down. 

 
{Zoey chases after Kat, while Keira unhooks Roxi. Keira catches Zoey’s attention who turns back. Keira mouths “Thank you” to Zoey before she disappears.} 


Roxi – So, you want to explain what’s going on? 


Keira – In time. For now, I’m just glad you’re back. 


Roxi – Uh... sure. Man, I must have been more tired than I thought.


Keira – I'm just glad the nightmare is over.


{Roxi is confused by all this, and the scene fades.} 

 


 


“You can never escape me. Bullets don't harm me. Nothing harms me. But I know pain. I know pain. Sometimes I share it. With someone like you.” 

- Batman (Batman Vol 1 407)


 

Time continues to tick away and we inch closer and closer to the biggest match in my career. I don’t say that to be hyperbolic, I say it, because it is true. For the first time, really ever, I have to think about the consequences of the outcomes of this match. I have think about how it will look if I win, and if I lose. I normally don’t do that, but given the importance, it makes sense to me to do this. 

 
If I win, then I can sit here and tell you that I did what people have been unable to do for a long time. Basically, a solid year. For a year, nobody, myself included, has been able to beat Amber and take the championship from her. People have come close, but nobody has been able to finish the job. And with each passing day, that task seems all the more impossible. But you all know me, you know my story, and you know how I’ve dreamt about this match, and not only dreamt about it, but visualized myself winning it. Because I know that I can. Very few people are seemingly giving me a chance, and making this whole thing seem impossible, but they just added some motivation to what I’m going after.   


So, for those people I supposed I owe a thank you for the extra motivation. I have heard all the noise, seen all the silly hastags like #AnybodyButRoxi and that really only makes me smile, considering who is is coming from and the type of people that are using it. Of course, it died a very quick death, but people wanted to make it a thing. So, I will help them out and make it a thing. It really just tells me that people are nervous, and they are worried that I might be able to pull this off. I was the last people to actually beat Amber and all of a sudden, when I bring up that fact, people who are doubting me, ended up with doubts in their own mind. They didn’t think I knew that. They didn’t see that as something that should be brought up. But everybody wants to jump on Amber’s bandwagon, and at the same time, they want to wrestle her too. I guess this is just the thing where everybody wants to be that one, right? People have had their chances one on one, I have not.  I am taking this chance now, and if you think I am not prepared, you are mistaken.   

 
So, if I win, I can, really justifiably rub it in everyone’s face who doubted me. It’s a thought that has crossed my mind a few times, but do I really want to be that petty? Maybe I should be, because it hasn’t stopped anyone else from doing it to me, right? People are bringing up my record against Amber, because want to use my words against me when it comes to Amber, people just can’t let me succeed, and so the ability to say “I told you so.” is quite tempting I must admit. But I feel like I should be the bigger person in this whole thing. This match is going to be hard enough as it is, without the added pressure of these folks deciding to laugh in my face, when I’ve already done more than any of them, so this really shouldn’t be an issue, but of course, it is.   

 
And then I think about the future, possibly Amber coming back after me, Obviously, either Myra Rivers of Mikah after winning the Blast from The Past. But I said to start 2022, that I was trying to face every single woman I could in 2022, so yes, I am very much looking forward to either, Myra or Mikah in the future, I love the prospect of this. I am thinking about these kinds of things like that, because I believe I can win. 

 
Now, of course, there’s always a chance I lose. And then, everyone was right, and I will go to the back of the line and earn my next chance down the road. I have no issues admitting I was wrong, and that I failed to do something. I know right now I have some pretty long odds. As I said, Amber has taken everything and turned it on it’s head. Things are different now, and we seem to be in the middle of the greatest Bombshell’s title reign in history. She has taken on all comers and she has beaten them all. So yes, there is a distinct possibility that I will lose this match, and then everybody gets to rub it in my face, and tell me that asking for a handout or whatever they want to call this, was my undoing and I am not what I once was. That my dreams were all for nothing. And I would have to live with that for a long time. And you know, I am prepared to do that. That’s what this match means to me. That’s how important it is. 

 

But while we might be in the midst of the greatest Bombshell’s championship run in history, it is, to be fair, not the first time I have heard that. I have seen many people claim to be unstoppable, claim to be untouchable, and get a string of victories that makes them feel like they are justified in saying it.   

 

I have heard it before, and I have stopped it. 

   
Nobody in their right mind, thought I was going to beat Misty when I did. Too much, too soon. I was punching above my weight class. I was not supposed to be able to do that. Misty was unstoppable at that time. She was the division. She was everything.   

 
And I beat her. 

   

When Alicia Lukas was running rough shot over SCW, I had to come back, and then when she was at her peak, when she was the top of the food chain and had put together one of the best years in the history of SCW... 

I beat her. 


So, I am no stranger to toppling people when they believe themselves to be untouchable. And thus, I have all confidence in the world I can do it again. 

 
But where are my manners? 

 
Hello again Amber. 

 
I do hope you are well. I do hope you are preparing to fight me with everything you have once again. There is a reason I have not said anything or mentioned you on twitter, and I would assume the same reason you have done the same with me. So, there are no distractions from one to the other. We don’t need to use those kinds of things to get the advantage over one another. We don’t need to use the tricks from the past that may have worked once. You and I both know that that kind of thing just isn’t required. It wouldn’t work anyway. So, you can rest easy, because this Sunday, I won’t have a glitter bomb trying to get you to open it. Don’t need to use it, don’t want to use it. Maybe you feel in the back on your mind that’s the only reason you lost to me to begin with. But I don’t have another one, and I don’t plan on bringing one to the match.   

 
No, we’re past all that. It’s just you and me. If you want to use your brass knuckles, or fire, or mist, or thumbtacks, go for it. I think you know at this point that it’s not going to stop me anymore, but if you want to rely on them, you go for it.  You do what you feel you need to do to retain that championship.  I think you’ve earned that right. But I know right now, you are satisfied either. You have a referee stoppage, and burying me under a pile of rubble to beat me. And then a triple threat match. You and I both are not satisfied with that. This is the chance we both really have wanted.   

 
And yes, Amber, I will say thank you now, since everyone wants to make this as an act of kindness on your part. As if you gave this to me. You wanted to put that out there yourself, as if this was the truth. The brass decided I was a viable contender and presumably the only one who can stand up to you. And your greatest challenge. You don’t have to admit it, but you know deep down it’s true. When we fight, when we go to war, the whole place changes. I will always respect that about you. You do, bring out the best in me, and I bring out the best in you. I make you go places you rarely go, and you make me go places I don’t want to go. But the difference, I may not like to go to those places, but I am becoming more and more comfortable in going there, and soon enough, I won’t mind going to those places with you as often as you think we need to.   

 
As I have said before Amber, if you wish to fight, when all this is said and done, I will be here, and I will be waiting for you. I will always be ready to fight you. The only difference is, the next time that this happens, after Blaze of Glory, I will be the SCW Bombshell’s champion.


You know it's coming Amber. You know that when you face off at Blaze of Glory, I will beat you. I know I have planted that seed in your head, just like I did the others who doubt me. I saw it in your eyes. You blinked, Amber. You know in your soul that as I speak to you right now, I'm not just another challenger, I'm not just another opponent, I am THE opponent, and the one who will take you down, and end your title reign. No matter what you do, no matter what you say, I saw that look in your eyes. I saw that look of concern. Because you know what's coming.

I will topple your reign, just like I have all those who believed themselves above. This is what I do. And there is nothing you can do about it. I will make sure my dream comes true, and it becomes your nightmare.

 
Blaze of Glory is where your reign started Amber.   

 
Blaze of Glory, is where is will come to an end. 


Sweet dreams, Amber.

 
I will see you there.
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Offline DistortedAngel

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... Sin City Noir III: Not All Heroes ... (Part #2)
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2022, 09:17:42 PM »
"Some people try to change the world one life at a time. Others try to change the world one death at a time. And I try to change the world one bucket full of dirt at a time."
— Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)






Part 3: The Return



They’d never stop.

Not while there was at least one of them still firmly believing that they knew something Red didn’t. As though they were in possession of a key that she hadn’t given them… that hadn’t fallen among the silver bullets she’d scattered like petals and confetti clinking and clattering  across the pavement in her exhaustive wake.
None of them would ever understand what she did… what she had to do… wasn’t pretty. Recognition only flooded in when it was something that could be marketed to the greatest possible audience, anything else was considered criminal and cruel- in spite of the fact it was the same thing just happening to different people.
It was easy for many to criticise from afar, to speak as though experts when they too had fallen victim to their own hubris. Many though had little of value to add to the discussion they so readily kept alive- their advice a verbal mirror of the last person who thought they were ‘special’.

Pulling herself upright, Red caught the opalescent teal aura that radiated off the newest challenger- young and brilliant however left bloodied and beaten under the glow of garish neon and lust.
Another plucky up and comer looking for supposed vengeance over slights that weren’t hers while searching for a sense of validation when the well had run dry years before. Despite all her howling at the moon in an effort to leave Red off-kilter, the young Wolfe didn’t really want this place for herself… not yet at least. Simply out to prove a point at Red’s expense, finding an excuse in someone else's misdirected fury to put Red in her crosshairs.

Red tasted iron on her lips as the resonant footsteps seemed to fade, the alley somehow a lot bigger now that there weren't two of them trying to jostle for position and grabbing for whatever might be at hand. Kicking a trash can lid out of the way, the redhead touched a fingertip gently to the edge of her lip as it came away slickened in crimson- maybe it would have been more worrying if it weren’t such a regular occurrence.
Maybe Red had finally lost herself completely in a void of malice and gratuitous violence she’d created, floating aimlessly in a space she only occupied by herself cause everyone else had been left in pieces by sheer unfortunate proximity. Somehow along the way, it had become an expectation- that anything to do with Red couldn’t possibly involve civility or reason, unable to be negotiated with outside of not tearing one's throat out upon first contact.

She’d become an animal in the eyes of many, deliberate and tyrannical.

Maybe that's why they all thought she’d never notice them trying to slip under the radar. That they didn’t register as a threat cause her pedigree meant she wasn’t challenged by the idea of anyone not on her level.
Problem with that logic was that she was the original mutt… she was a mongrel coming into a purebred class and doing what they’d been bred for better than they could.
No, everyone was a threat when they thought they were coming from underneath, Red quietly mused as she shifted her stance slightly.
Everyone was a threat when they wanted for something you had, when they wanted to take what you’d earned… what you’d built. Even if they denied it, they wanted something from her… they always did, only some hadn't quite come to realise that.

“Are you really doing this too?”

Bone weary and cooly unimpressed, Red didn’t need to turn to know that the Hero had stalked into range. It could have been so easy and yet, disappointingly, she just managed to stand there and look almost bored.

“Aren’t you supposed to be better than all of this?”

Turning to face, the two redheads could have been considered identical… Same height, same build and same trademark cascade of red that tumbled past both their shoulders. Hell the only thing setting them apart was the way the congealing blood that trailed down Red’s neck seemed to capture the nearby fluorescence, casting the stains in an ugly hot pink hue as they trailed beneath her shirt.
Time and time again they’d found themselves face to face- merely feet away, arguing petulant why the others ‘victories’ didn’t count or didn’t matter, still arguing after all this time about who was the best.

Is the best.

Wll be the best.


An expectation of violence hung heavily over them both. That was the way things were supposed to be, right? Only neither initiated leaving little more than a briefly silent stalemate- stares sinking deeper below the skin than any cheap remark or observation of the inane ever could.
Perhaps both were content with their knowledge of the other, provocation being seen as a sign of treachery or simply taking a far lower road that neither could afford to give ground upon. Red knew the Hero possibly better than the Hero knew herself… but standing here and allowing the night to envelop them both with the musty smell of stagnant water and metallic tinge of blood, Red couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at a question that continued to linger.

Who did the Hero really want to show up?

Quietly, Red sighed. Tiredness and a growing detachment from things she was supposed to care about left her feeling heavy. Tired of pretending that all those challengers with bright smiles and brighter sparks weren’t just accessorised facsimiles of what they thought this place needed. Red found herself tired of continually leading the generic and the banal to water time and time again- only to watch them spit into the sand.
Tired of elevating those around only to be blamed when they did nothing to prevent the subsequent fall that followed…

“You know, I’ve come to realise that after all this time…After everything we’ve been through.”

Red paused thoughtfully, gauging the Hero for anything that might be considered instigation, but only finding a stoney indifference.

“I’m so tired of them all trying to pretend to be better. Tired of being blamed for all their failures… I’m tired of all of them Hero. Most importantly though, I might even be tired of you…”

Respectfully, Red lifted her hands with the repressed shrug.

“Everyone shows up on my doorstep with balled fists and big talk. Talking about what they deserve…”

Another pause as the Hero did little more than watch, the furrow of her brow deepening slightly as Red took a step towards. No flinch. Never a flinch.

That would be too easy.

“Wanna know what I deserve, Hero? A better class of opposition… For someone to come at me and actually listen to the things I say.”

Reflexively, the Hero smiled softly in return with a small cock of the head.

“Do you remember who the last person to beat you was?”

Inflammatory, designed to get a rise, it was Red’s turn to twitch in frustration. As though everything she’d tried to get the Hero to understand did little more than glance off her shiny armour of ignorance.

“I have fought against long odds before, I’ve toppled empires greater than yours- even now, standing here. I can see you clutching at the few straws you have left. Hold on a little tighter.
Deep down, you are right. We have torn each other and everything around us apart- so all I have now to ask you is… are you ready to do it again?”


Conflicted, Red watched the Hero take a step backwards although their eye contact never ceased. A challenge made in good faith and worse judgement. An inevitability propped up between them that neither wanted responsibility for.

“I want everything everything in your pockets. I want the violence. I want the same energy you have always given me- because what I need… is to beat you at your best.”

It was never for Red to say that maybe her best was a past memory, that the tank had run out months ago and everything was fumes, that even those were running a little thin. She’d never admit that maybe her best was no longer an option- but that was never to say that it still wouldn’t be enough.
After all, the Hero had never managed to sink to her level- to succumb to the ‘need’ she spoke so very fondly of.

As per ever, half-smile creeping into view as Red started to slink further away, she couldn’t resist the last word… Only this one wasn’t directed towards the Hero, not entirely at least, but towards whatever remnants of a Queenpin she might still have to call upon while promise and sound echoed into the air.

“Be careful what you wish for…”




******



“You’d think with our history that she’d talk to me as though we were more than polite acquaintances.

We’ve fought more than siblings, argued more than friends and been closer in body than lovers- yet still, the Hero talks in my direction like I never listen, disappointed that I haven’t forced the oxygen from my lungs just to breathe the essence of her words.

If you were to believe the Hero, she says she needs this. Need is a strong word granted, but by now I feel as though we’ve earned the right to use it freely- our tale has become an inevitable ouroborous, destined eternal  to choke on the memory of the other.
My poor Hero though, still lost somewhere in the past mindset… Allowing it to define her present, whilst never allowing the present to define her future. Here and now. That's where we are Hero and yet you’re still dreaming in black and white cause that rose tinted nostalgia you love hasn't done many favours to your heroic narrative.

What should have been.

What could have been.

What hasn’t…

… and why it's better this way.

Speculation is key though, and for me… all of this has made my darling Hero into something a little more palatable, a little more real. More genuine and willing to accept that the end of our road was always going to leave us to the same place.
Anything else is just woefully unsatisfying and underwhelming. It's not fitting is it- to know that there might be something beyond this expectancy of destruction.

I’m sure you know the story of the Scorpion and the Frog, Hero. You should know that it's one of my favourites- not because someone wins and loses… but because we have become the living embodiment of this tale over and over again, telling ourselves that maybe this time we’ll break the cycle.
Maybe this time around we’ll be able to look at each other and not see the stains of each other smattered across our souls.
Are you the Scorpion, Hero… or will you eternally be my Frog. Will you trust me this time around that we can cross this river together or will our better natures prepare us to breathe water once more. You could go on without me, you could have always said no…

Instead, I crawled under your skin and spoke words so truthful that you had no reason to deny me any longer. I’m the only one who speaks to you in that way Hero, aren’t I?
I’m the only one not pissing in your pocket and calling it gold, not telling you every affirmation your heart sings for cause the reality is that you don’t deserve it. I’ve become the only person in your life that you can rely on to tell you what you don’t wanna hear…

Truths, Hero. Fucking disgusting and hurtful truths that serve to only make you better.

Breathe deep, the water might be cold Hero but where we are headed, you won’t have to worry about that for long.

You spent so long being told what you were, so long being so ‘universally’ loved that when people decided they didn’t want that anymore, it sat wrong. Everyone else feels like they are owed what you have, one of the few with a true claim of righteousness in this place- meanwhile I’ve been sitting in my ivory tower for too long waiting for them to finish arguing so that I might turn them to ash with a single glare.
I don’t want what you have though Hero, there's nothing left you can give me that I desire but what I ask… Acknowledgement that this is our end. A willingness that what I’ve seen in you all of this time isn’t just a hopeful figment of my overactive imagination, that you have the strength and the capacity to do the one thing that no one else can’t.
Be my Scorpion, Hero. Else perish as you have every other time before cause the fact of the matter is…

I can’t keep doing this forever.

I never said I was untouchable. That was the chorus from the peanut gallery. They proclaimed me immortal as I bled for their betterment. Called me Queen in despite of shunning the crown- not because I didn’t deserve it, but because it might have been the straw to break me as I bore the weight of Sin City upon my back.
They all said I was unbeatable- when it was only their ability and unwillingness to go further, to do more. Be more.

We both know though, that it's not true.

Which makes your repeated failures and attempts to goad me into a fury that much more insulting.

No longer is this about the hunter and the hunted, such a banal perspective on something that has defined so much to so many. No, just because you claim you’re trophy hunting doesn’t make you the hunter, just cause you’re the one carrying the rifle doesn’t make you armed.
It makes you scared, cause you know eventually the time will come to make a decision. It makes you scared cause you know that you NEED it, and I don’t.

I’m not better than you, never needed to be. I am more than you though- and for what it's worth, I always will be.

Still, you want to claim that YOU MADE ME into what I am today. If only you could comprehend that I was like this long before I ever spoke your name, and I will be for an afterlife without you. In spite of you and everything you hope to achieve.
I have no doubt that you made me better, you forced me to be better cause I couldn't simply stand aside and let your bloated and perverted ethics suffocate the potential of this place.
In the end though, I’ve always been this way and I was always going to walk down this path- it's just so nice of you to join me.

I MADE YOU CARE ABOUT ME HERO. Never forget that, that's the reason my name tastes so bitter on your tongue and weighs heavily on your mind. I made you care, and you made me sick with your patronising deflections and derisions. It sickens me that after all this time- you still don’t seem to get it while I’m not sure what else I can do to make your memory live on without further stain or slur on what WE achieved together.

No, I promised you that you’d get your Blaze Of Glory, Hero, and I’ve never gone and made a promise that I didn’t think I could keep.

In fire and fury you’ll get what you so thoroughly deserve, Hero.

… However, I never said that you wouldn’t be facing it alone.”






******




Part 4: The Waking Dreams



Red knew this place would never be home.

A quiet refuge in a place that no longer seemed to love her in the way she remembered, the broken window that she lingered by for too long accepted a breeze dancing across her skin and allowed her a view over a cityscape that seemed to no longer need her.
Maybe this place had outgrown her, that there was nothing left to build on without another to carry that weight forward, leaving her in the mud with buckled knees and a broken heart.

He’d never find her here, as much as the One Man Wrecking Crew might search- like a bloodhound on a cinnamon scented trail through the sewers, always just a little closer to further away. It wasn’t even that she didn’t want him to- but the idea that he was willing to fight so hard for her, when she’d been willing to throw everything to the Sin City breeze for the sake of something that would leave her broken and night after night, when she’d taken all the love he had offered her and left it bloodstained at his feet for little more than a hope it might be still be there when she finally fell to pieces.
She loved him, with the fractured pieces that she could find, but be damned if she could understand why he chose to love her back- when anyone else in the world could appreciate what he tried to build. Castles out of sand and sandcastles out of concrete, a jenga on a perpetual downward spiral.

He would have given everything for her, and she’d been willing to give him little more than an eventual promise to everything she had left.

Good fucking god, she didn’t deserve this man.

Shaking her head vehemently at the thought, Red stepped away from the broken window and it's shattered world view. No, there was always something more to achieve- she just wasn’t quite sure what that was, there would always be a way to make things better… even if it were determined to be swallowed by the mire it had created.
A pipe dream perhaps, but it was the closest she’d gotten to one in awhile.

Red wasn’t entirely sure how long it had been since she’d last dreamed, what it was like to crave and to want for something so desperately that it manifested in the subconscious. After all, she had Sin City… what more could she possibly ask for.
For the past year, little else had mattered, as much as she tried to juggle- this place, it had demanded her everything whilst leaving little room for anything else to slip through the cracks. Nothing else could possibly matter, not while she fought for everything she’d built- besides, if she didn’t give it everything, then it would end up taking more than she had left to offer.

Maybe she could dream of a life beyond this- an existence not predicated around the amount of physical damage it might take before the body reasonably gave out, and why any was always far too much.
That would be nice- a life in a place that didn’t expect sacrifice for a chance at mediocrity or a first born for an opportunity. A life that didn’t come with prerequisite bloodletting and loneliness for a modicum of success. A life… just a life that wasn’t this one.
Yeah, that was the closest Red came to entwining a thread of dreams through her fingers- as though intertwining it might somehow make it more real. Something she could hold. Tangible without penance to be paid.

In her mind, the idea of dreaming was for those with something still left to give, that there was a tiny piece of their mind that was willing to fight and plant the seeds of rebellion in a body more than content to accept the status quo.
Dreaming was a manifestation of the best and the worst that our imaginations could muster, intrinsically linked to the way we feel and who makes us feel that way. For Red, she wanted to believe there was more here for her, that she might close her eyes and see something that didn’t fade into a darkening oblivion.
Part of her wanted to believe she still had something worthwhile left to achieve- but instead behind her eyes, it was just darkness. An empty void that paraded her insecurities across her mind's eye for a little too long not to be deliberate. Trapped in a void that reeked of acceptance.

In  the space of nearly a year, Red had grown comfortable where it otherwise seemed impossible to manage- a throne built from the best that every prior challenger had *donated*simply because they chose to deify their rights in an attempt to prove their worthiness of a position on a summit already far too unstable to handle that weight.
Now a Hero just decided to show back up and threaten to take everything, simply because entitlement came calling and she took it at it's invariable word. There would be no compromise, no quarter given if the insistence continued, Red contemplated whilst rolling her tongue through her cheek thoughtfully.

In all of this- the pain and the triumph, Red had simply wanted for something among it all to remind her of what she really was- no challenger had been willing to push beyond limits marked simply for recognition's sake. She wanted to prove to herself and those who might begin to doubt otherwise that she wasn’t just ‘content’ with being an anonymous figrehead, she wanted to prove to anyone who might give a fuck that even proverbial monsters were worthy of love and respect.

It was no secret that the One Man Wrecking Crew had that in spades, but those same spades had a far greater  purpose of burying all the dead men that had stepped into his path less than mistakenly. This city though, this place would never accept being second best, it would never accept taking her heart and staining it beyond repair with their influence.

Most importantly though, she wanted to prove- mostly to herself- that she was still alive. Blood trickled from the wounds of a carcass for only so long and the escaping air of a dying woman's lungs sounded alot like the words ‘I love you’ on a cold autumnal morning.
This city… This Sin City… it gave her the means, the reason to fight. To prove that each breath wasn’t just a consequence and that the beating of her pulse in her throat wasn’t just the urge to spit it up onto the pavement.

In the end, everyone was looking for a reason, for something to define them. Stupidly, Red had overheard the Hero claim on more than one occasion that she’d been the reason for the elevation towards owner ship and not all those sour patch kids who’d finally managed to figure out trolling and were making up for lost time in 240 characters or less.
Np, Red was defined long before this place. Razing it to the ground as a sign and rebuilidng it in such a way that there could be no argument of intention and no reason left to feel violently ill when she looked upon the way it had been left to rot.

Only there was dissidence, cause there just had to be. Opposition thrived on being contrary despite proof, despite rhyme and reason.

Now, it seemed that opposition smelled blood in the waters despite Red’s best efforts to patch all the wounds. Vultures circling in preparation to swoop on her dying breath, she doubted she’d even go cold before the first of them started to pick away at her legacy.
It wouldn’t go easily though- and if she could just turn away one more usurper to the throne…

Just the one that mattered the most…

Red wasn’t ready to lose this city, despite the way it was falling through her grasp. Without it, what did she have left?
She’d given her everything and received it's possession in return, without that… A heart couldn't be returned to the body and expected to beat again, she didn’t have enough scraps of self left to salvage from the inevitable wreckage.
A One Man Wrecking Crew was determined to prove that she had something left to fight for outside these walls, but for Red…

If she lost this city, if this place was no longer hers…

… then maybe it shouldn’t belong to anyone.





******




“What happens if I lose Hero…

Seems almost sacrilegious to consider such a thing after all this time, and yet I’ve started down that inevitability in the face for the past 12 months simply waiting for the day to come.
Will you be that day, that sunset on my reign… the sunrise on my bloated, rotting carcass as everyone passes it on the street remarking that the mighty truly have fallen.
I promise you it's something that's been at the forefront of my mind for a long time- I can’t deny that I’m running on empty, that I have been for awhile.
Fumes can only sustain an engine for so long and the sputters have been getting more difficult to hide- do I have enough left for you, is there one last combustive burst in this beating heart to make your inevitable failure worthwhile?

I’m not one to believe in fairytales Hero, I never understood the trope you so heavily lean into. Heroes are there as a foil, someone to believe in when the real world refuses to acknowledge that justice and karma are tangible outcomes.
Shitty things and good people, Hero. Here you stand once again as a paragon of virtue to those who need to believe that theres something more than misery- but Hero… oh darling Hero, your hands aren’t nearly as clean as they used to be. Theres dirt on that white cape fluttering in the breeze.
Can you still be the one they need you to be- or have you finally learned the unfortunate truth that I’ve determined tried to embed between your ribs all this time.

Heroes have no place at the top.

Heroes don’t have a shelf life.

You have to be more than someone's moral code, a guiding light of virtue. Justice is filthy fucking dirty and doing good is marred in terrible things. Actions have consequences and to get anything done, we have to do things we don’t like- become people we can't look at in the mirror cause part of us screams that we’re better than that.
Maybe we are, but those around us… those we are trying to drag kicking and screaming into the light aren’t.

What doesn’t kill you…

I’ve lived by that code for a long time Hero. Built a life, a career on the mantra that anything that couldn;t put me in the ground served a purpose- even if I didn’t understand what or why.
By all rights, I should be nearly a decade underground and yet I’m still here- time after time making the universe regret keeping me around.
Will you be the one to change that- are you willing to take that risk on your eternal soul, to wear my damnation as a badge of honour. A year ago I’d have said you were too pure, more concerned with the way you were viewed than fulfilling a necessary role in our cyclic existence…That you’d shy away the things got a little out of hand.

These days, I’m not so sure.

Me, I’ve proven what I’m willing to do for this place. There are stories and rumours circulating of just how far I’m willing to go, what I’ve been willing to sacrifice. Are those tales exaggerated or would I be willing to throw myself into explosives for the sake of saving a place that should arguably mean less- would I be willing to bleed and break every bone in my fucking body if it meant that everyone else got a second chance to step the fuck up.
I’d do anything to make this place better- I’d paint every building in the blood of naive challengers and loud mouthed politicians trying to weasel their way under my skin. I’d stain the roads with the best their personalities had left to offer and smile as lights and sirens threaten to cut me down for the effort.

I made my choice a long time ago Hero- now it's time for you to make yours.

What does this place REALLY mean to you.

You want things to end peacefully, for us both to simply walk away in the end and live our lives- but you need to understand sweet Hero… You aren’t coming just for ownership of a place, but you’re coming to tear my heart from my chest. I have the lifeblood of Sin City deeply embedded in my veins, the soul ripples through my being. Everything I’ve become in the last year is intrinsically entwined to this place- the backbone of Sin City mirrors mine and I can’t simply let you walk through and break it vertebrae by vertebrae just to prove you can.

You openly claim that you want my best, but shun everything I’ve given you in the past. My gifts received with scorn and disdain despite it being everything you asked for. You proclaim peace from the rooftops, while driving your heel into the open cavity of my chest looking to strike at the very essence of what this place has become.
Theres a choice to make Hero- cause after all, actions have consequences. However the one that says you can walk into my house and tear everything off the walls, that isn’t yours to make. You don’t get to walk in and expect I’m okay with you redecorating my insides.

You don’t get to take a swing for the Queenpin and still get to walk away and hug your precious little family afterwards.

I’ve never claimed to be better, to be above what you are capable of.

Just know Hero, for what it's worth, that nothing in this place comes easily.
You have to outdo me. Outwork me. Outlast what little gas I seem to have left in my tank before I drop a lit match down it and take ua both to hell for the fucking laughs.

Outlive me, so you might get to take your little boy by the hand and show him another Sin City sunrise.

Can you- of course you can. That's why we’re in this situation. You are a capable Hero, that's what makes you so much fun. Will you though, will you be able to set aside your crooked moral compass for just long enough to sully your reputation at my expense.
Will you do what no one else could so that you might lord over this city, do you really want it bad enough that you might finally admit that you’re just like me- only in brighter colours.

That, deep down, you kinda like it…

Will you take everything from me?

My heart, still beating from my chest and throw it against a wall cause it no longer solely beats for you, cause it doesn’t represent everything you want it to.

Cause it loves you way too hard and for all the wrong reasons…

Is this the end of the world, or just the end of ours. I’d see this place burn before I let anyone take it willingly from my hand- yet you insist on being spoon fed cause it doesn’t taste the same.
I’d put a hole through you without hesitation, I’d leave your broken and battered remains hanging from a bridge if I thought there might be a message left to send- but I’ve said everything I can… Given you everything I’ve got.
I’ve been the best for such a long time and I can finally see a sunrise on the horizon.

Will you take everything from me, Hero… or will you finally be willing to let go of our fantasy?”






******



Finale:



Two redheads met on a rooftop.

Might have been the beginning of a really crappy joke, you know. If one of them wasn’t bleeding out.

In truth, sunrise in Sin City had never looked so beautiful. Reds and oranges stained a silhouetted horizon, laboured breaths still visible in the coldest light of day. Despite the differences between them though, there was no way to tell the two women apart…except for the fact one of them was crawling towards the edge, leaving a dark trail across the concrete like a macabre snail trail.
There was always going to be one ending to their story- one standing tall, albeit saddened by the outcome and the other smiling as the icy grip of eternity slowly crept around their existence.

“After all, I heard a rumour today, Hero… one that promised to turn my name to ash on your tongue, one to stop my heart as it threatened to beat once more.”

Apathy and acceptance ruled here, a realisation that while they both saw this coming- neither wanted to be the one to admit that it might actually happen. A gurgled platitude, nothing more distinct as the sunlight left them shadowed, erupted softly from the one still dragging their broken and battered body towards the warmth… towards the light that might bathe them one last time in the glow of serenity.
Meanwhile the other, their expression almost indifferent and expectant allowed the distance to grow- there would be no need for a parting shot, their own shirt saturated although it was difficult to tell by whom and stance one of understandable conflict.

“We’re gonna die here Hero.”

A smile crossed the lips of the one on hands and knees as fingertips grasped at the concrete edge, rough and cool to the touch as the last of their strength left them splayed awkwardly, limbs astray and out of control as their hands tightly grasped the edge that kept them aloft.

There was no need for words, no triumphant speeches or monologues of inevitable victory. A silent vigil, a memento of respect for what had been a path of mutual destruction. Still standing, the redhead lingering in the distance made little move to comfort or celebrate- there was no need to gloat, no real victory to be attained despite what they’d both been led to believe for so long.
Another gurgle echoed for far too long, the attempt to create sound from breaths that dissipated in the breeze as quickly as they emerged, a knowing smile crossed bloodied and cracked lips as the light finally greeted them both harshly.
A salute to everything they’d created, everything they’d destroyed.

… and for what exactly.

A city that would promise to never love them back?

“You and me. Too fucking proud to admit that it could have ended any other way, that either of us could have ever been saved.”

Hollow. Unfulfilling.

Was it ever really worth it?

It was supposed to mean so much more. Both of them contemplated in their silences, punctuated only by ragged breaths and the rustle of an unending breeze. This was supposed to be an end worthy of the struggles, a promise of finality to something that had raged on for far too long.
So why did it feel so… empty?

Was this really the way it was supposed to be?

“We’re gonna die here, in our blaze of glory,... but I make a promise to you as I have always done Hero.”

Could have there been another way, a path far more conventional that led them to peace instead of whatever this had become. Were they both so blind as to fail to see that violence was never the only option- or was it simply their natures, two ends of a spectrum destined to collide in such a technicolour nightmare that they broke the light spectrum and found themselves fighting in the dark.
A long breath left the standing redhead as her footsteps ached in the air, the approach too slow to be deliberate and too fast to be anything but urgent. There would be no change to this outcome, no way to take back the blood and the rattle of bones they’d come to accept- still, there was an opportunity perhaps, to accept one last sunrise.

Sensing the approach, the dying redhead… shirt riddled with dark seeping holes as though they’d fallen on a grenade and taken the shrapnel as penance, turned her head. Heavy eyes filled with acknowledgement and a certain level of contentment, a crooked smile- stained scarlet and trailed down her throat- that shouldn’t have radiated the genuine warmth it did.
Forcing the words through the blood and the bile, preempted by a chuckle that could have been mistaken for an exhale under any other circumstance, the redhead nodded to the other instinctively before turning back towards the sunrise as the cool light enveloped them both.

“... I win …”

A pause. Weighty and affirmative, the other redhead responded softly. Inaudible outside their immediate proximity.

“Yeah. Yeah… you did.”

 Husky and forced, the words crackled under the gravity of heartache settling into it's new home.

Two redheads met on a rooftop.

Might have been the beginning of a really crappy joke, you know…

… But only one of us will pass away…


Record
SCW: 15 - 4 - 1
Uprising: 8 - 2 - 0
Life: 0 - 1 - 0</span>