Author Topic: Internet Championship: Masque (c) v Crystal Zdunich  (Read 201 times)

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Internet Championship: Masque (c) v Crystal Zdunich
« on: May 03, 2022, 09:14:23 AM »
Post all roleplays for this match here.
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Offline Crystal Zdunich

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Re: Internet Championship: Masque (c) v Crystal Zdunich
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2022, 12:12:39 AM »
Beginning of April
Los Angeles, California
Rose Corp

SCW was in the midst of its huge Greece tour. This was the first time that the company had really gone on tour since the pandemic had begun. So this in itself was a huge deal. It meant that things were getting back to normalcy and that things were going in the right direction. However for Crystal Zdunich things just felt to be a tad off. She had worked her ass off in trying to win the gauntlet match at Blaze of Glory so she could get her future championship match. She knew what was at stake. With the Blast From The Past establishing the next set of challengers for both World Championships she knew that her gauntlet match would name the future challenger for the Internet Championship. This was what she had wanted and it really wasn’t for the title at all. It was because of who had held that title. Andrea Hernandez was the woman that she had desperately wanted to fight. It was one of the women that she had on her hit list. Scratching Vargas off of the list with her gauntlet win was one thing but it wouldn’t bring the satisfaction that being in the ring with Andrea would bring. Everything was going according to plan.

She had exactly what she had wanted. The stars were perfectly aligned. At Into The Void she would be on a collision course with Andrea Hernandez. After their bitter rivalry and the way that Andrea had insulted her wife Seleana with the continuous mocking it was going to feel good to finally put that woman in her place. Crystal was overly excited that she was getting everything she wanted. The only thing that was left was to wait until Into The Void so she can finally correct Andrea’s attitude once and for all.

A few days had passed since Blast From The Past. Crystal was sitting in her office at Rose Corp. She opened up her cell phone as she started typing away on her keyboard. As she was doing so it wasn’t that long until a college aged African American walked into the room. She offered a slight grin as she looked over at Crystal.

“Hello Miss Hilton can I get you anything?!”

Crystal turned her nose up at the woman as she shook her head in disgust.

“Do I know you?! I haven’t really seen you before… Obviously you must be new here… Also for the love of God call me Mrs. Zdunich… I hate the name HILTON with a passion!”

The woman just smiled as she shrugged her shoulders in return.

“Oh… I don’t believe I introduced myself to you. My name is Emily Wi……Well my name isn’t really important. I am an intern here. I am studying drama at UCLA. Miss Chloe brought me on… Anyway do you want a latte or maybe a glass of San Pellogrino water?!”

Crystal keeps her eyes on the woman as she just shakes her head in disgust.

“No, I am fine but thank you very much. I just wished that Chloe would tell me when she is making moves that involve personnel at the company. It doesn’t matter to be honest. Just go do whatever, I was actually in the middle of setting up my tweets for the day…”

Emily opens her eyes in amazement as she looks back at Crystal.

“Social media?! I love social media! I am actually a bit of an influencer. I have a massive following and I could actually help your account in all of the best ways. Miss Chloe actually wanted me to keep an eye on you, and maybe assist if you needed some h…”

Crystal quickly cuts the woman off as she stares blankly into her eyes.

“I don’t need fucking help with my social media account! I think I am doing a fine job on my own. Why don’t you go run along and make yourself useful somewhere else. Better yet you can go serve Melissa at the front desk. Lord knows that girl can use some help. She sits on the board of directors but insists on being a receptionist. I don’t understand people at times…”

Emily just shrugs her shoulders as she looks deeper into Crystal’s eyes.

“There’s nothing wrong with people being humble. Everybody can learn a taste of humility…”

Crystal on the other hand just ignores her as she goes about her tweeting business. She sends a tweet out and smiles as she sits there in anticipation with a smile on her lips. Emily just stands there dumbfounded as she looks back at Crystal.

“What is so funny Miss H… I mean Mrs. Zdunich. What did you write?!”

“I just wrote that I am excited to eventually face Andrea and I am happy to finally get my championship match against her…”

Emily is taken back as she stands there sighing.

“Wait… Did you take a moment to at least clarify what you were saying and completely communicate what you were trying to convey to your audience?!”

Crystal opens her eyes in amazement.

“What do you mean, what are you on about?!”

“As a dramatic arts student they taught us that whenever you go about acting or trying to do anything in theater or even on television that you want the audience to fully believe in what you are saying. This is something that I thought you of all people would know. After all you do own your own movie studio and are one of the biggest actresses in the world so it should be common sense. If you don't, your words might be misinterpreted and…”

Crystal is quick to cut her off as she shakes her head in disgust.

“Nobody misinterprets me… I am Crystal fucking Zdunich, and that alone should be enought o suffice….”

There is a smile emerging from Crystal but suddenly that smile turns into a frown as the tweet she sent out gets retweeted and replied to by Mark Ward. Crystal is taken back as she begins to scream out at the top of her lungs.

“Are you fucking kidding me?!”

“What’s wrong Mrs. Zdunich?!”

Crystal shrugs her shoulders as she looks back at the intern.

“It’s Hot Stuff… For some reason he assumes that I want the World Championship… And now people are liking his tweets. He has a massive following that are painting me in a bad light about how I am a title whore or obsessed with forcing my way into the main event for a World Bombshell Match. I didn’t even say I wanted that match! From the get go all I ever wanted was Andrea Hernandez. That was the main point I made going back to the gauntlet match. After all the stuff she said about Seleana that is who I have my eyes on. The world title means nothing compared to me trying to defend my wife… Why can’t people see that?!”

Emily shrugs her shoulders.

“Because your past will always catch up to you. Nobody will ever take you seriously, even if you were being completely honest and sincere people will only see how you betrayed your wife all of those years ago. On top of that you WERE title crazy and it’s the norm. Recovery in itself is never easy… You can work for a long time trying to establish something but the moment you make one simple mistake people will forget any progress you made…”

Emily walks over to Crystal and places her arm around her.

“I know it sounds weird but I honestly think I can help you with your Social Media account. I can put you in a positive light. I might be going to school for Dramatic Arts but branding has always been my focus. I guess since being raised by my grandparents I felt it was always better to see others in the distance…My mother wasn’t there for me… She should have been but I honestly don’t hold it against her…”

Crystal seems taken back.

“Wow… That sucks… Was your mother a drug addict or even an alcoholic because if that’s the case I can relate…”

Emily shakes her head.

“No… My mother was basically busy raising her brother’s kid. I rather not get into it. So my Great GrandParents had to raise me. All I could do was admire my mother from afar. She is a good one and definitely a woman who would do anything for family…”

Crystal nods her head.

“It’s always cool to have a good family member… I remember when I was doing my own shit and I had an amazing sister in law that helped me out. Jenny is my forever sister and regardless if Todd and I are married. I will always acknowledge her as family. She basically was Brittany’s mother when I was in wrestling school and other stuff…”

Emily nods in agreement.

“Yeah… Anyway I will get going. Like I said if you really need me I will help you with your Twitter presence. Don’t let things get to you… It’s not as bad as they seem, and don’t rush into things…”

Crystal could only look at her phone. It was annoying seeing all of the negative tweets she was getting in return but maybe this Emily girl was right. Maybe she could use the help. It would be something to consider…

One Week Later
Las Vegas, Nevada
Golden Ring Casino

SCW had just started their huge Greece tour. Things were looking up and as most of the SCW roster had traveled across seas to one of the most beautiful beach tours that the company has ever seen, Crystal Zdunich decided to stay back in the states. It was a Sunday Night and it marked the very first Climax Control in Greece. Crystal was nowhere overseas. She instead was working in the Golden Ring Casino. She was running around like a mad woman as she brought drinks and food to various different booths and tables. It definitely was a hectic night as business was booming. As she was waiting tables she caught the attention of one Daniel Morgan. He crossed his arms as he walked over to where she was standing.

“Do you mind if I have a chat with you?!”

Crystal didn’t know what to say as she looked back at her boss.

“Yes Daniel, what’s going on?!”

Daniel nods his head as a grin escapes his lips.

“I appreciate all of your hard work. It’s quite unremarkable how much it means to see you waiting tables again. You always end up making the casino so much money when you help out. However I must question why you are even here. You should be over there in Greece with the love of your life. SCW has been waiting for a long time for travel restrictions to go down and they decide to tour in a beautiful country with so many beaches. Don’t you want to be part of that?! Staying here waiting tables isn’t what you should be doing…”

Crystal shakes her head.

“It’s whatever… You think I want to go over there?! The country already made it known how they felt about me. I was eager to be in the ring with Andrea and Mark acted like I was trying to force my way into some World title match. Is that the only way that they think about me?! I feel like I am not getting my rightful respect. I deserve better and if all you can do is lash out at one of your top talents why should I care or commit into traveling halfway across the word to get mocked by the owner?! It’s one thing for Christian to do it towards me but at least I know he has a respect for me. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have inducted me into the hall of fame. Mark on the other hand really surprised me and it hurts considering I was his personal assistant. Right after that gig I came here to work for you and it has been amazing ever since…”

Daniel nods his head.

“Don’t let it get to you… I would honestly let it go. Just focus on getting into the ring with Andrea and being prepared to take the Internet Championship from her…”

“I am prepared Daniel! As soon as she beat Seleana and I won my match I knew damn well what was at stake. I can’t wait to cross her off of my list and it is going to feel so good to do so…”

“Just train up and make sure you are ready to do whatever it takes to bring the title home…”

Crystal cuts him off.

“It’s not about the title… It’s about Andrea… As long as I can get my hands on her that is all that matters in the end…”

Crystal gives her a nod focused grin but as she does so something gets her attention. The customers are all cheering as they are watching Climax Control on the television screens. Crystal shakes her head in disgust as she stands in front of the television and begins to scream at the top of her lungs. On the television Masque has her mandible claw locked tightly on Andrea. Everybody in the casino is shocked but Crystal begins to yell.

“Damn it Andrea!!! You better fight her… You better show her you are better than her… For the love of God you better pull through and beat the unholy hell out of that Bitch! You are the most hated of the year! You have the crazy winning streak! Just win!!!”

Crystal yells as she watches as there are no ropes in sight. She watches Andrea slowly succumb until she slowly passes out. The referee calls it and even the commentators are silent. The bar area at the casino seems to be silent except for one Crystal Zdunich. She stands up and immediately chucks a plate of food and glass at the television screen. The tv cracks on the impact as both the plate and glass shatter. Crystal stands up as she bangs on the bar.

“You have to be FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!!! How could she lose to that Bitch?! It was supposed to be my match against Andrea!!! Now this Bitch ruined it!!!!”

Daniel looks at Crystal as he sighs at her.

“I told you that you should have been in Greece! Yet here you are throwing a temper tantrum because things didn’t go the way you wanted. Now you are going to stand here and break plates and our big television?! You know what Crystal I am going to suspend you! I am also going to dock your pay to cover for the damages. Go home and get out of my sight. No being a waitress, no being a special events coordinator, no anything until I feel you have learned your lesson…”

Crystal keeps her eyes locked on Daniel.

“Look, I just lost my cool… I am sure we can fix this somehow…”

“Charlotte and Mackenzie! Remove Crystal off of the property!”

With that both of the English women walk over to where Crystal is. Despite being close friends they grab Crystal and they begin to drag her out of the casino. They both seem apologetic but business is business. Crystal is thrown out of the building. She could only sit on the street dumbfounded and questioned everything that just happened.

Few Weeks Later
Rose Corp
Los Angeles, California

Crystal could be seen facing around her movie studio. Her eyes locked on her phone as she took out her Twitter fingers. Emily walks into the room and sighs as she looks right at Crystal.

“Crystal what’s going on now?! Shouldn’t you be in Greece… It’s been a while and I know you are one of the biggest stars in the company. I would have expected that one of SCW’s most successful bombshells would go about building her future title match to make it important…”

Crystal cuts her off as she looks daggers at Emily.

“You think I give a shit about SCW right now Emily?! It’s honestly all bullshit. I am starting to feel like nobody really respects me anymore. It’s a feeling that I haven’t been able to shake off since I won the gauntlet match. It’s crazy how things have changed over the past couple of weeks. I WANTED to face Andrea but now I have to deal with this Masque Bitch. Mikah can’t commit to receiving her championship match so now things are left up in the air. MY wife wins a match that is worth something special and I call Christian out on that predictable booking and now they want to punish Seleana for opening my mouth?!”

Emily shrugs her shoulders in return.

“To be honest you shouldn’t have said anything. Just let Seleana get surprised with whatever was coming her way. You didn’t have to interject. It didn’t matter because Seleana did win anyway but can’t you see that sometimes your emotions and your acting before thinking things through can cause you to get into so much trouble?! Maybe you should just breathe a bit. Let things play out and see where the chips land…”

Crystal yells as she cuts her right off.

“Bullshit… I tried that approach and I did exactly what everybody told me to do. I went to Greece and I gave it a chance. I promised that I would have words for Masque and it didn’t even air on television. What I did was cut off of the program and appeared to be aired a few days after the event. I see how SCW feels about me facing Masque… I am sure everybody has this foregone conclusion that I am going to lose to Masque…. They just need for things to play out so it can actually happen…”

Emily tries to reason with her.

“Crystal listen…”

“Why should I listen?! People still think I am Seleana’s estranged wife. So they can’t ever appreciate the relationship I have with her. Every Time somebody has a match with her they jump on her how they feel I bring her down or the same old shit. Whenever anything is brought up about me it’s always negative… I don’t get what I have to do….”

Emily just sighs.

“Just keep pushing… That’s all I can say…”

Crystal just shakes her head.

“Keep pushing?! I did exactly that… The only time SCW can possibly ever remember about me is to just put me in a random tag team match. That’s the only time I was even used during this entire cycle leading up to the Super Card. I expected much more seeing as I am a contender for one of their championships. I know people wonder why I choose to fight in so many different companies but this is the main reason. I am forgotten…”


Before Emily could say anything else the COO for Rose Corp Chloe Martin walks into the room. Her heels bang steadily against the floor as she looks daggers at Crystal.

“Care to explain what this was all about?!”

Chloe slides a tablet in front of Crystal. She has screenshots of Crystal replying to Christian about the Seleana and Tempest match. Chloe crosses her arms as she looks right at the Latina.

“What was the point?!”

Crystal just looks away.

“I was trying to figure out what was going on…”

Chloe talks louder.

“Well what you were trying to do only made you look worse. Everything you have done has made you look worse since Blaze of Glory. I know you are better than that so I really don’t understand you. If it’s not one thing it's definitely another. First it was getting into it with Mark Ward, then it’s getting suspended from GRC, then it’s almost tweeting your wife out of a championship match, and trying to make things about you!”

“I am not trying to do that… It’s just what ended up happening. I can’t explain why things happened the way that they did. It just went that way…”

“On top of that you have a big match ahead of you… A chance to become Internet Champion and you haven’t done anything towards promoting that goal…”

Crystal is quiet as she finally replies back.

“...I would but nobody even feels I can win… So if they feel like I don’t have a chance why should I?!”

Chloe is taken back as she looks at her boss and friend.

“Really… You care how others feel about you?! I guess this is worse than what I thought… I am going to be completely honest with you. These two months you have been a nightmare to deal with on social media. You are portraying bad publicity towards the company and it’s definitely a Public Relations nightmare. I have an idea but you really need to trust me…”

Crystal raises her eyes.

“And what idea is that exactly?!”

“I was thinking that you could Emily run your social media accounts for a while. She has a good head on her shoulders and will put a positive spin to your life…”

“Hold on, you want this girl to take control of my TWITTER account, what makes you think I even need that!”

“It sounds weird I can imagine but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of famous personalities have somebody that moderates their account. She will be handling things but you won’t be disappointed with anything she does. Just judging from your interactions these past few weeks I have a great feeling that the two of you are going to get along just fine…”

Crystal looks at the girl before nodding her head in agreement.

“Chloe is putting a lot of trust in you so hopefully you won’t let me down. Just make sure my account is running smoothly. This will give me the proper chance to focus on what is important…”

The girl chuckles as she looks right at Crystal.

“Don’t worry it is in good hands I promise! There was something else that Chloe did want to talk to you about especially when it comes to your image…”

Chloe nods her head with a wicked grin as she winks at Crystal.

“Exactly. I think it would definitely be in your best interest if Seleana starts to manage you. You can really showcase that you two have an amazing marriage and that can sort of downplay everybody thinking that you are an estranged wife. Everything is all about perception Christina, and as long as we stay on top of things your public relations is going to look good. You keep your attention on Masque, and we will do what we do best.”

Crystal just sighs as she looks at both women before she replies back to them.

“Okay… We are going to do things your way. I trust you two… Just please help my career because honestly I don’t know what else to do…”

Crystal heads out of the room leaving Chloe and Emily alone. The two women just stare at one another as Emily looks right into the eyes of the Canadian.

“So do you think she suspects anything yet?!”

Chloe shakes her head.

“I doubt it but just keep doing what you are doing. Don’t give her any reason to suspect anything…”

Emily can only shake her head in return as her eyes are still focused on Crystal who is walking away. She never takes them off of her as she just sighs and looks back at Chloe as Crystal finally walks out of sight.

Hello to all of my blooming roses out there. This is yours truly. The one and only burning rose Crystal Zdunich and it won’t be long until I go out there in Athens and compete against Masque for the right to be the Internet Champion. I am going to be completely honest with all of you. I am upset that I have to fight Masque. When I won the gauntlet at the last Super Card I knew that the end result would be that the winner would challenge the current champion Andrea. In my eyes that is all I really wanted. For those who paid any attention to my checklist Andrea was number four on it. Rightfully so considering all of the shit she has said about my wife. She had talked so much shitt about how she was this big bad monster that was practically unstoppable. As a matter of fact her last loss before she started to win match after match going on this ridiculous streak was against me when she screamed out like a little Bitch in our I Quit match.

I offered her a very teachable moment and it was something I hope she learned an important lesson, but sadly the lesson went over her head because she was content with running her mouth and trying to parade around trying to chase around Roulette Championships and something everybody clearly knows is well beneath her.

It doesn’t matter though, right?! After all, as long as she can take the easy way out and not challenge herself that’s always the fun thing to do. I watched from afar and I started positioning myself to make sure I could be the one to silence her once and for all. When I overcame all of those other bombshells and I was the last one standing. I just knew I was going to get what I wanted. I was going to get Andrea and nothing was going to get in the way of that.

At least I thought it was the clear path to her but what I didn’t expect was for Andrea to crumble under the pressure when she was booked against Masque. It should have been business as usual for Andrea. After all, she was beating people senselessly for the last 19 people that she fought. This was her chance to really define her legacy. However when push came to shove she just didn’t handle her business. She got knocked the fuck out! Once Masque put her hand down the throat of Andrea it was over.

To so many people it was a shocking sight, to many others they were left speechless, but honestly when I looked at the entire situation I was a little disappointed. Am I shocked about the entire thing?! Not really because as great as Andrea thought she was, she honestly wasn’t beating people that were on the scales of a Mikah, a Roxi Johnson, an Alicia Lukas or even a me. She basically coasted her way into a bullshit streak and an accolade of most hated that followed. It was bound to happen and it reminds me of Deontay Wilder during his reign of terror as the WBC Boxing Champion!

It’s like oh my God this guy is so amazing! OMG he is the BRONZE!!!!! BOMBER!!!! He’s knocking people out like nothing! However the very moment he goes up against real competition in Tyson Fury we find out he just wasn’t the champion that he hyped himself up into being. He got humiliated in three straight fights. I don’t want to hear about a draw in the first fight because we all know the real result. He was outmatched and outboxed. It showed that in his little bubble he could seem like a big bad dog but when you actually face competition that is on his level he simply wasn’t good enough.

That’s what happened to Andrea and also add in the fact that she isn’t crying for a rematch or trying to get back into the spotlight again, and has been relegated to simply being the host of Into The Void speaks volumes for how she really feels about things.

Anyway enough about that because life goes on and even though Andrea is who I really wanted to face it seems I now have to fight Masque. As I look at this upcoming match and see as we are on the topic of boxing this entire situation reminds me of a certain movie. I really feel like I am caught right in the middle of Rocky 4. I of course am Rocky Balboa. Andrea played the role of Apollo Creed and she damn sure got decimated by this version of Drago. Masque beat her to the point that Andrea was unresponsive. Masque basically killed Andrea inside of that wrestling ring.

Everybody was speechless and it just further established Masque as being this huge threat. People are all shivering at the mere thought of having to step in the ring with her. I don’t see things in that way though. In my eyes after seeing what she did to Andrea it just inspires me to want to be in the ring with her even more.

People can think whatever they want on how I feel about Andrea, but deep down throughout everything she was a rival that I respected in the ring. Maybe it has to do with the fact our fathers had teamed up in Mexico and there was a connection. Maybe it is the fact that we are both second generation wrestlers and that we both are of Mexican descent. Whatever the case I still valued Andrea as a competitor even though the feeling wasn’t mutual. When she got destroyed I know people could only see how I had lost to Andrea in three straight singles matches.

So if I struggled against Andrea what would happen if I have to step in the ring with Masque?! People are already writing me off. I saw the way that my newfound buddy Kat Jones was trying to warn me about Masque. The conversation between her, Amber, and others is just all of their ways of telling me that “YOU CAN’T WIN!”. I can picture Adrienne from Rocky 4 yelling that at her husband and honestly it played a mind fuck on me.

The only thing that was left was for me to play No Easy Way Out and go for a car ride thinking of everything that led to this moment of me having to step into the ring with Masque. If you add that to the fact of what I had to go through these last couple of weeks I felt disrespected.

I felt like I didn’t even want to come on the Greece Tour. It was clear that I was missing for a huge chunk of it. I didn’t like how Mark assumed I would try to insert myself in some World title hunt. I felt stupid for almost ruining Sel’s right to get a championship opportunity. I just had a lot going through my mind. I wasn’t all there and to the SCW roster I am sorry for not being mature enough to be able to handle things in the right way.

However despite everything that might have been conflicting me there is one thing that is not! That one thing happens to be Masque. You see the more I look at her the more I realize that I am not afraid of her. She might be seven inches taller than me and might have fifteen pounds on me but I just can’t see her as being a threat. After all, in the grand scheme of things you want to know the real reason why I don’t see the same thing that everybody else sees?!

The reason is very simple… It’s because I am Crystal freaking Hilton. In my eyes I am the best bombshell in this company point blank. If I wasn’t I would be the only person to hold the World Bombshell Championship five times. I wouldn’t be in the hall of fame, and I damn sure wouldn’t have won a gauntlet match to be in this match.

This past week I had to hear endless bullshit on stuff to try to put me down. One of them being Amber trying to disrespect me like I wasn’t a good champion. I am tired of the mockery and to prove a point I have to go out there and prove that Masque isn’t unbeatable. She isn’t even that good…

Mediocre at best and as long as I keep my confidence nothing will stop me. Masque, how are you doing?!I don’t believe we have formally met. You should know me by now but if not this is probably where you go on a tangent and tell me how the rapture is coming. You think you are going to transport me anywhere?!

Bitch I have been here for a very long time. So I doubt you will do anything to me. After all, I 've been through some shit here. I have been in the ring with the best of the very best. Throughout everything I am still here. I haven’t left and I still beg to fight a list of who’s who so do you think you can really break that?!

I highly doubt that… On top of that there is something that is scarier than anything that you possess within you and that is how I get when a title is involved. That’s not me hyping that up either, that's everybody else in this company.

I get called a championship whore. I am arrogant for accolades and I go crazy for them. So if everybody else hypes me up in this way what will that say for you?! It will mean it will be business as usual for me.

Masque I have witnessed what you have done since you have been here and it has been impressive. You have been here for a little under or over one hundred days and have found yourself with an amazing record. You are also a champion and on your way to becoming something greater.

That’s just swell but you don’t really go anywhere until you face me. I am not afraid of you. Why should I?! What is it that you are trying to hide?!

I can openly admit that I tend to hide a lot. Being an actress I am always one to try to cover up my real emotions with costumes of change. It can be fake hair, sometimes an arrogant personality, and sometimes trying to wear a costume of change to be accepted. Lots of stuff might be inconsistent about me but everything about trying to force a change is consistent.

It makes up who I am and I can admit it. However if you take all of that unnecessary baggage you also have to accept that as a wrestler I will give every single bit of myself to come through or die trying. That is my story but I want to flip it around and ask you a question.

What is it that you are hiding?!

As much as I seem so wrapped up in Andrea, Andrea, and Andrea… You have your mind on Amber. You are obsessed with her and it’s sickening. On top of that I get it that one of your hands is a prosthetic. I can believe that but wearing gloves on both hands. All of the masks that you wear, the full body suits and doing everything in your power not to show any type of skin.

Hell, even your name isn’t recorded…

Hell there’s no list of achievements…

And there isn’t any background information on you…

That is a lot of hiding and if you have to hide that much about yourself it is never a good thing. As much acting as I have done I know for a fact that I have done some stupid shit that makes me people cringe.

I know my poly relationship has become a topic to harp on…

I know the way I have treated my wife is also something to jump on…

There’s so much that people can jump on me about but guess what?! It’s all right there in the open and even though I really hate when people say stuff that I don’t necessarily like. It’s all right there for your pleasure to do whatever you want.

You want to know why?! Because as much you wish to fire on me I am so used to the shots that I know how to clap back. Also they wouldn’t be out in the open if I didn’t expect somebody to be so predictable and fire at me with it…

It’s a case of the same old shit being said…

You on the other hand are basically nothing. With a lack of everything about you that makes you a ghost. You know what they say about ghosts?! They are easy to see through and I can see right through you. As tough as you might be, you need to understand something.

You have something that I want. The Internet Championship means so much to me. It is a championship that I never lost and it is longing to get back around my waist. The last time I held that title I unified it with the World Championship. It is time to get back that missing piece of my life. It’s time to put it firmly around my waist and I doubt there is anything that you can do to stop me.

There’s no doubt in my mind you are one of the best new bombshells to come to this company but honestly at the end of the day you just aren’t me. You don’t walk in my shoes and I won’t let you best me. It’s time for my career to get back in order and by beating you I can personally silence all of the haters who felt like you were just going to steam roll over me.

Then again I remembered something… There certainly is no Easy Out of This…

However it’s not for me but on the contrary there is no way to hide from taking this asswhooping. What have you honestly done to warrant such a reaction that people should be afraid of you?!

Is it because you managed to beat the Kaiju Rainbow?! Yeah… It would have been more impressive if Rainbow actually gave a damn while she was competing in this company.

Should I take you seriously because you managed to beat Adrienne Beaufort… As amazing as I am sure that sounds, the truth is she is another woman who was in this company for practically no time. Her journey started well before it even began so I can’t even give you credit on that because it’s not impressive.

Other than that you can hold onto your win over Jessie Salco but if we are completely honest everybody manages to beat Salco so that’s not really impressive either. I know you were also in the ring with Chloe. So looking down the list of everybody that you fought the only thing that is truly impressive is that you managed to beat Andrea Hernandez. That is the only thing that is worth noting on your resume or should I say CV.

I am battle tested and the last time I lost a singles match in which I got pinned was against Myra Rivers in 2021. It has been a long time and I am not going to show any signs of dropping the ball now. As far as I see things I should be able to go right through you and I will be champion again.

I know you will be happy to introduce this little rose to the rapture and as cute as all of that sounds, that is when you find yourself being pricked by my thorns.

It all has finally hit me… The real reason why Andrea lost to you wasn’t because you were better than her, but deep in her mind she knew that she didn’t want this smoke because the realization would have set in that I had next and she wasn’t going to get past me. Now I know you must be super confident but don’t get caught waiting for some stupid rapture because as the Burning Rose I am going to set your entire world ablaze. All of your hopes and dreams are going to go up in smoke.

Flame on…

The rapture gets burnt to a crisp and the fire inside of me burns bright and nothing will extinguish my flames. I will be a champion and I will rule over the Internet again.




It’s showtime!

Welcome to the curtain call… Take a bow because I am going to roll the credits on you once and for all…

Nothing and I mean nothing will ever stop me from becoming Internet Champion… Mark my words on that…


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Offline Terrorfexx

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Re: Internet Championship: Masque (c) v Crystal Zdunich
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2022, 11:15:51 PM »
Symphony of the Iron Underbelly, Movement No. IX – Two Beds and a Coffee Machine


[The Past – Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, USA, Winter 2005]

She fell over the threshold hard, wrists burning against carpet in painful friction. Arcing headlamps threw strange shadows where they met streetlights outside and bent in and through. Where her hands pulled up in reflex they left bloodied smears that drew streaks of red against the matt-brown piles. The door slammed shut behind, rattling in its frame as the unmistakable thump of deadbolts latching into place echoed against the cheap plasterboard walls.

For a moment one listened and the other wept. Combustion engines spluttered and drivetrains groaned but nothing stopped that hadn’t otherwise intended to and no warbling sirens were stretched out by the compressive attentions of the Doppler Effect, or came screeching to a halt in the parking lot beyond. No heavy boots echoing against the asphalt outside.

The typical sounds of a town; as close to an urban calm as anything could be that was made of metal and concrete and noise.

Abigayle watched her stumble but didn’t stop, instead seamlessly skirting around the other woman sprawling across the floor. Mumbling and whimpering something unintelligible or, at this juncture, unimportant. Probably both. She was already moving towards the bathroom, light on and faucet running in a choreographed pirouette of action-following-action. The mirror-backed cabinet over the sink swung open and she collected a half-dozen brown plastic bottles, sweeping them into her cradled arm.

“ … We have to go back …” The other woman gasped. Abigayle ignored her, unwinding a length of gauze and pressing it to the clotting wound dripping down her temple. It splashed against the creased fabric of the summer dress pulled down and out of shape. She brought the collection of medicines out with her free arm and dropped them onto one of two beds either side of a coffee machine ringed by dust, grease and age.

“Please … Abigayle …”

When the woman on the floor made it up to her knees and then to the door, she got no further than reaching for the brass handle – tarnished and dull where so many hands had grasped it over the years – when the hilt of a palm thumped in against the latch a scant inch from her face. She flinched, stumbling back. “Please, we can’t leave him there to–

Abigayle shook her head. “He is already dead, Marylin, if he is fortunate. If not … It is a self-correcting problem.”

Marylin’s breathing came in snatched, twisting gasps. Pained and staccato. “Oh my god … We killed a cop …”

“He killed himself,” The taller woman corrected, twisting the cap free from a bottle and spilling the coloured tablets into a cupped palm. She held it out. “Take four of these.”

“I can’t go back to jail …”

Stepping back around the bed, Abigayle thrust her free hand under Marylin’s chin. “Take these now.”

And she did.

Looking back, it had been a mistake to wait so late to intervene. The situation had spiralled, but all the variables were known quantities and every aspect played out in a way she could have fully extrapolated. Their clientele had taken some time to adapt to Abigayle’s preferred methodology of business – only slightly longer than the girls who served them – and a few had been particularly reluctant to follow the direction of new management. That had been mostly overcome with firm reminders and the odd judicious use of physical punishment, but by and large, her preference for political sabotage and personal ruin when clients overstepped their privilege had kept a relatively stable peace while providing safety and security for their … Unorthodox cooperative.

Disgust had turned to tolerance, and tolerance was rapidly making inroads towards acceptance. Favours flowed in and out; networks formed. Friends in places equally high and low and  therefore equally valuable soon traded in secrets and suggestions. All, in the words of the woman currently panicking on the bloodied carpet below in calmer times, for the price of a fuck and some conversation.

Money was useful, but secrets were a better commodity. Trading in the promise of information to be requisitioned at some point to be decided was an effective futures trading on Human fallibility and nature. It was a sure-fire bet not that someone might make a mistake, but when. And when they did and needed help, or some mechanism to make the problem go away …

Until Officer Roland “Buck” Van Der Madden had taken his last struggling gasps of oxygen-deficient air, staring into Abigayle’s bright blue eyes as she choked the life out of him in the tired interior of a 1998 Ford Galaxy. She could still smell old tobacco and cherry-scented air fresheners.

She wasn’t particularly fearful of the consequences – because she had amassed so many of them now, in so many niche areas each promising the most severe punishments, that the addition of a few more seemed trite. Meaningless. Instead, she regretted the disruption this could potentially cause her new cooperative, and the damage that might be done in the form of revenge should a false narrative end up winning out over the truth.

They were on the cusp of something significant. A sea change; a promotion from trash to purpose. Status instead of stateless. Why should she stand by and watch a mouth-breathing neanderthal threaten everything because he could not stand to see something threaten his way of life with a concept as novel as equality? No. He had deserved to turn burgundy red, blood vessels bursting in his desperate, piercing eyes …

It had been a mistake not to intervene until so late, but it had been equally such a mistake to get into the car with a known troublemaker beforehand. He had threatened to bring it all down, but she had set those events in motion.

“You should not have entertained him.”

Marilyn glanced up, fingers massaging angry red skin marking telltale handprints about her neck. He had continued to throttle her right up until his heart had seized in his chest. “What?”

“You should not have gotten into his car.”

She baulked, pain giving way to confusion, then anger. “Are you serious?”

Bright blue eyes narrowed, and Marilyn shrank, indignation quickly forgotten. “He pays good …”

Filling the sticky percolator jug from the bathroom sink, Abigayle pressed a thumb against the coffee machine sat on a low table between both beds and watched it shudder to life. “He pays well, because he is blacklisted.”

“You can’t just blacklist–”

The taller woman’s head angled around sharply. Marilyn shrank down onto her haunches. “If you wish to go into business for yourself, you may leave.”

She nodded towards the street outside. “There is the door.”

Not all the women had approved of Abigayle’s new management methodology. Some were traditional in that they preferred to be exploited by those they understood well enough in place of someone who seemed to operate in a way that didn’t marry up with preconceptions. She did not blame them, not initially, but it had quickly become apparent that blame was not required to remove elements which threatened her grand design.

And so she did.

Fingers quested around the blotchy red marks strung out like the impression of some heavy necklace. Marilyn shook her head. “I’m sorry.”

Something brown and hot approximating coffee began to leach out from waxy paper filters and hissing nozzles. “It will take significant capital to make this problem go away.”

“Go away?” Marilyn almost laughed, if the fear in her eyes hadn’t been so transmissive. “We killed a cop!”

“I killed a cop,” Abigayle corrected, matter-of-factly. “And yes. There is almost nothing that does not have a price to ameliorate. Our new business model has provided some powerful benefactors. A significant investment in secrets. I would have preferred to spend that goodwill in a different way …”

Marilyn rang her bloodied fingertips together, shakily climbing to her feet. “You really think it’ll be okay?”

Killing someone with impunity was no mean feat, but having ingratiated their cooperative into every facet of local and multiple aspects of state government, she could see it was an established process of the rich, powerful or carefree. Usually both.

Pulling the percolator jug out from its housing, the taller woman filled a chipped mug to the brim and held it out. “I promised you would all be cared for. It was Doctor DeLune’s final wish.”

Taking it into her hand, Marilyn brought the steaming cup up to her blinking eyes and took a long and deep drag of the bitter, sticky tang. For a few seconds she just stared into the contents, teeth biting into chapped lips as she searched for something. The unasked question lazily spun around the room, taking up more and more real estate as it ballooned with hidden meaning and ambiguous connotations.


She looked up. “Some of the girls talk …”

Abigayle swirled the contents of the jug around, watching it splash against the scored rings circling the glass. There were hairline cracks where too many eager hands had roughly shoved and banged and crashed. “What do they talk about?”

“About Doctor DeLune. They say that, well … That you …”

She pushed the percolator back into its housing and looked over. “That I?”

Marilyn lowered herself down onto one of the beds, broken mattress creaking and ballooning with the slight weight. “Did you?”

Silence for a moment. Then a nod. “Yes.”


Sitting on the remaining bed opposite, Abigayle folded her hands into her lap, palms pressed down against the top of her thighs. For a few moments she stared off into some space in-between, replaying events – decisions and their consequences – back from a vantage point only she could see. “Revenge,” She said, finally.

He had been calm, in the end. She suspected the Doctor had presumed it would be only a matter of time, although she doubted he had any real concept of how long it had been in the planning. In his mind, DeLune had believed that one original sin in the service of something altogether greater would mitigate the resultant sins of the father and their sons. Of course, that was not the case. It could never have been the case.

Mid-sip, Marilyn choked down the turgid coffee. “What? But he helped us–”

“He helped himself,” She corrected, and pulled apart her hairline to reveal a subtle and meandering ribbon of scar tissue underneath the scalp. “It is only happenstance from your perspective that his interests aligned with yours. When that stopped being the case, he would not hesitate to leave you to something much worse. Have you forgotten what happened to Esmarelda?”

She chose not to go into the details of her involvement. That had been at DeLune’s direction and while his justification was sound and the need clear, the circumstances that had driven the former Sister Superior of North Palladium Hospital to end up shuffling free from an unexpectedly truncated mortal coil had been unambiguously, undeniably his.

Marilyn shook her head. “Can I ask you something?”

“Anything,” Abigayle replied immediately. And she meant it.

“How long before … How long did you know, before you were going to …”

“How long beforehand was I aware that I planned to kill him?” She clarified. Marilyn nodded. “Nine years.”


The taller woman offered a slight shrug. “Nine years – although I was not in a position to do anything to further that until relatively recently. Until I was confident he was surplus to my requirements. And yours.”

They did not talk again for a while. Between coffee, cleaning wounds and medicating interspersed with the odd moment of sudden stillness as heavy footsteps echoed past the door, or a loud series of rapid bangs passed without incident as spurned lovers begged for one more chance to make amends outside a neighbouring room. Adrenaline burning out like spent rocket fuel, leaving the mind weary and the soul aching, Marilyn drew bruised legs up towards her chest and laid down on her side.

Padding softly on raised toes, Abigayle turned the overhead light out and perched herself on the very edge of the sunken bed. Differential cooling rates made the coffee machine tick as plastic and metal contracted, building a rhythmic mechanical heartbeat for the background clang of the urban landscape.

“I can’t sleep …” Marilyn murmured eventually, still hunched and facing away.

“It will take some time for the medication to do its work.”

Another silence. Pregnant, expectant.

Abigayle shifted slightly, brow creased. Frowning. “Do you want me to–”


And so she did. She moved over, carefully climbed onto the shifting, lumpen mattress and shuffled in behind Marilyn, draping long arms over the smaller woman to pull her in tight.

Marilyn settled down. “You’ve gotten better at this …”

“I wish you would not talk.”

She laughed. “Why?”

“You make it awkward,” Abigayle replied evenly.

That made Marilyn abruptly spin until the two were face-to-face, or at least, upturned-face to chest. “Are you serious?”

She looked down. “I am always serious.”

Settling in, Marilyn’s words were muffled in against Abigayle. “That’s what makes you so funny …”

She thought about that for a long while. She thought about the last gurgling sounds of Officer Buck as he drowned in his own pink and frothy saliva. She thought about the way DeLune had squeaked in surprise when the blade had pushed in between his ribs, even as he knew it was coming. She thought about the woman in her arms.

She thought about all those things, in every conceivable order, for a long while.

When they crashed through the door four hours later, wood and deadbolts exploding in a cloud of splinters and metal chunks, they found nothing more compelling than a half-filled cup of lukewarm coffee, bloodied carpet tracks and a dozen plastic medicine bottles abandoned in the red-ringed bathroom sink. One of the beds was a tangle of tossed sheets and bunched pillows, the other still immaculately pressed and folded in at three sides.

There wasn’t a whole lot to go on. Flicking his notepad closed, the Patrolman slipped it inside the folds of his jacket and pushed himself up to standing. From somewhere just shy of the doorway, a shadow fell across the light flooding in from an early morning sun. Outside, the rhythmic pulsing of blue sirens reflected off eager faces crowding around upper storey bannisters that lined the courtyard.

“What’s the picture?”

Craning his neck back towards the newcomer, the officer shrugged. “Nothing worth writing home about, Sir. Bloodwork won’t tell us anything we don’t already know – we know who they are anyhow. Just need to stick them to this and let upstate warm up the chair. Forensics from Buck’s car will be our best bet.”

“Won’t get anything out of that scene,” He replied, worn shoe leather squeaking against the threadbare carpet. “Think you’ll find the results a whole bunch of inconclusive once the lab’s done … Analysing them.”

The Patrolman frowned, turning. “Sir? Seems like a pretty open and shut case to me.”

Chewing the inside of his cheek, Detective Terryl Fexxfield shrugged and tugged on the rim of a threadbare fedora sat atop his head. “Funny how hard the easiest things wind up being, when they stop being easy to some.”


[The Rapture]

There is a powerful irony at work here, Crystal. Something which threatens to bludgeon all the subtleties we could pick apart between us under a crashing, rolling, homogeneous wave threatening a singular and irresistible message. Something so painfully inescapable it screens out the intricacies of the words we could otherwise use to draw in such careful patterns of critique and question. A swamping wash of white noise which drowns the precious signal under irretrievable gibberish. It pushes so hard against all the complexities I would so much rather discuss that my hold strains and even mechanically-actuated, composite-reinforced fingers eventually lose grip.

It cannot be ignored any longer … And why should it? Stunning in its simplicity, elegant in the final form of its solution. A primordal truth taken from the hand of God and passed down through his prophets and orators for you to gather with the peasants at the foot of the Mount and listen. 

You are the only one here wearing a mask.

The carved composite on my face is not meant to obfuscate, or hide what should otherwise be in plain sight. Instead it is a facsimile, although not of what lies underneath. In everything I have done, my consistency is elemental and my order as structured as the most linear of processes. My grand design has been laid out in the abstract and built in the reality, a shining machine-edifice of whirling brass and spinning bronze, topped by all the enraptured who have chosen to take the road more suffered. And oh, how they have suffered. From imagination to implementation, everything – all of it – was precisely, definitively, painstakingly, agonisingly laid out as intended.

No lies, no subtle misdirections or false narratives. I did, have done, will do what I always said I would do. Do you not see the truth in that? The honesty? The beauty?

The purity. 

I cover my face not to hide who I am, or what, but to ensure the underlying message is left undiluted by the softness, the vulnerability – the weakness – of my mortality. To show the warmth of skin, the soft hue of cheeks flushed red in chill air, tightness around the eyes as they draw something into sharp focus in scrutiny, perhaps disbelief, or surprise is to suggest there is some ambiguity. Some potential for a change in mind or direction, that at some point I might reconsider all of this.

Impossible. What is now underway cannot be undone, here in SCW and elsewhere. To that end, why not make such irreversibility manifest? Make real that impossibility of a change in course and strap it across those soft, fragile, wavering features that might suggest the answer to the question is anything else but set in stone. Or plastic.

But you do not subscribe to such truth, do you, Ms Zdunich? Ms Millar? Ms Hilton? So many names to one common face, an actress practising her well-hewn craft … And yet it is nothing more than a crass metaphor, swung like a bludgeon to ring some comparative bell. A metaphorical test-of-conceptual-strength contest flanked by renaissance fair reenactors that are simply between jobs. Perhaps now, we have finally found your people and your place. Tell them of ye olde exploits and do not forget to validate their parking. Maybe tomorrow that big break will finally come calling. A golden ticket courtesy of the Zdunich more likely to feature on people’s lips and minds.

How can it be that you are eclipsed, the Moon in her shining, stunning sunlit sky, with so many World Championships to your name? Perhaps for the same reason you no longer carry the name – the names! – which fleetingly brought you to the summit of that Mount. So many former Champions toil in the art of the impossible; doing their utmost to reverse entropy and claim back better times from the past, where they sit in the dark and calcify. Instead, you threw those legacies away. Why?

Were you in search of something more keeping with your station as a transitional pinnacle? A momentary success rarely seen as anything more than a high tide mark for passing talent? Or were you in need of an identity more suited to Megaman-themed tights?

I understand comparisons between the original Zdunich and your apparent reboot are a somewhat sensitive topic, so let me disabuse you of any intentional comparison.

If we step away from your delusion and spend a short while in the real world, it should be obvious that I am not interested in your wife, in much the same way it appears she is not interested in you. Not unless she chooses to make use of the gateway I have built, like you will, and dash herself against the rock upon whose summit I have laid the Internet Championship, just like you will. Or, she makes some foolish decision to interfere in the grand design I have set into motion as intended – as I have always, unwaveringly, intended. My consistency is the metric by which you should truly hesitate before taking my thorn-painted hand, not something so paltry as fear.

Take our renaissance fair and transform it into some ghoulish house of horrors, a fitting venue for something so worn-out as a mere sense of fear. As a wielder of the theatrical, I expected you to have a far more impressive grasp of such subtleties. What is fear, without consequence? It is only the action which gives the concept a meaning or implication. The weapon I wield is pain, not the two-dimensional threat of inflicting it. That is weakness generated by lack of spirit – lack of your strength of will.

Do not paint me as a monster because you are afraid of what is hiding underneath your bed. Instead, rest uneasily but assured that there are far worse things than the anticipation of what waits for you in the dark … Such as what is waiting for you, in that dark.

For such a talented competitor, actress and wife it must have come as a brutal shock to see your much-anticipated address to me “cut for time” (interest) from the company broadcast all those weeks ago. Having listened to those words, and there were not many for someone who seemed so eager to tell the world that they planned to say them, it seemed a justifiable decision. Give the people what they want, and they do not want you.

You talked of how hard it is to be an actress; the demands of all the roles you must learn to play and yet in all your years as a thespian, you have yet to convince anyone that the level of entitlement, arrogance and delusion you exhibit is grounded in reality or justification. A performance so poor, it deserves the attention of something approximating McCartney’s Red Scare and its devastating blacklisting of Hollywood’s elite.

And the up-and-coming “stars” who carried their bags.

Do you hear the things that you say, over the sound of the fans you think clap for your approval?

By what metric do you consider yourself the best wrestler in this world except where the reality in question is constructed, operated and contained entirely within your head? Who challenges who at Into The Void? You come to me for relevancy, recognition. Validity. Not the inverse.

Andrea talked too loudly and too readily about her unassailable strength and standing. The most dominant bitch on the block … And yet she could at least boast a title reign length which suggested an impressive, if bloated basis for cawing and whooping. Her destruction at my thorn-painted hand was inevitable – she doomed herself with her own words – but there was a desperation inside Andrea which could have pushed her further. Threatened my grand design.

What have you achieved by comparison? Fleeting World Championships turned bit-part roles for someone so supposedly talented in adapting, changing, growing?

Did you feel like Andrea could have won as she screamed wide-eyed up at the lights, voice reduced to muffled scream, lips flexing around my prosthetic as it forced its way down her rasping throat? How many must I send into thrashing delirium, courtesy of plastic fingers pushed into soft palettes, before you look beyond the badly-photocopied pages of your latest script and consider the deeper meaning? Further back, behind the teeth. There, where the gag reflex make you choke on such nonsensical words

This is not a slasher flick, Crystal, and you are not the inner final girl. At Into The Void, you will instead find yourself in the starring role of a Greek tragedy beyond any ability to parse and comprehend. Underneath the pitted columns of the Parthenon as it sits as the crown on Athens, you will learn the same painful lesson all others who cross my path have, with one important exception

You are unworthy of my Rapture, and there is no place for you there. Even your mortal enemy turned grudging peer, Miss Hernandez, has been gifted a place in that grand design and celestial machine made burnished and bright. All others have added to its perfection with their own uniqueness, strength of mind and body. But not you.

What could you possibly bring beyond self-delusion and a limitless capacity for bald-faced ignorance in the face of overwhelming truth? I have no need of someone skilled in pretending to be someone else, just as your wife has no real need for you.

If the truth were distilled down into some potent tonic that could be forced into your veins, granting just a few moments of clarity, you are not even the most compelling member of the Bombshells’ division named Zdunich.

Perhaps I will be doing her a favour.


[The Past – Oblivion Garage, Nevada, USA, Summer 2022]

It is remarkable how much variety there can be in black. An all-consuming nothingness that eats the light and reflects nothing in turn. A shiny softness that presents some perfect mirror-finish; reflecting back whatever peers inside. A remarkable range is spread all around, on display in various stages of decomposition, destruction and decay.

I have never shown that much interest in her personal life – not truly. It did not ever seem particularly consequential. After all, she had sacrificed everything internally and externally in the pursuit of three hundred and fifty seven plus days at the summit. It was difficult to imagine anything could compare in terms of such major, all-encompassing importance. Particularly after it had been burnt to ashes and nothingness.

From the doorway, Cassieopia pulls the liner of her strawberry-red coat in tighter, bright candy heels kicking up scraps of charred paper and plastic. She frowns at the destruction all around, nudging aside the detritus with a toe to reveal a scorched concrete floor beneath. Eventually, she glances up and finds my gaze. She holds it well enough, and it is a testament to the increasing confidence of the young woman that her voice does not lilt or sing or show any outward signs of stress.

Still, she is stressed. She fears me. Which is only natural, because with every passing week she becomes more attuned to our cause. More aware of exactly what awaits her when this story reaches its inevitable conclusion and climax. One Cassieopia is regretfully, perhaps, unlikely to see.

“What’re you looking for?” She asks, frowning as her lungs catch on another half-breath of combustion products impregnated into the sagging walls and metalwork turned to slag.

“I am not looking for anything,” I reply, and that is the truth. I have not come here to find something; only to see the latest evolution of my Resplendent Hurricane – one of her finalmost forms as she comes so perilously, beautifully close to finally fulfilling the destiny that has been threatening to come to fruition for so very long.

This was not a discrete act in and of itself, but a catalyst. An accelerant, if the pun is pardoned.

Picking my way between fire-blackened remnants, I pause beside the occasional storage chest and sweep my prosthetic along straight edges warped and skewed by the intense heat. Brushing fine blankets of salt-grey ash clear, strips of silver shine through where torque wrenches, spanners and other tools have survived – insulated against the worst excesses of the blaze. Their survival seems stubborn, but ultimately pointless.

Even if they see use again, it will never be under the same circumstance.

“Did you do this?”

The abruptness of the question catches me a little by surprise and I pause for a few moments. Cocking my head to the side, I glance back towards Cassieopia who has dropped down to her knees to inspect a long, thick pole half-buried in the burnt remnants of a rubber inflation bag. She reaches forward and gently brushes charred plastic away until the thing more fully reveals itself.

A tyre iron.

I stand over her but she does not look away once she has looked up.

“Do you think that is something I would consider?”

She does not hesitate. “Yes.”

I nod, and what little light shines in from the flickering external striplight over the doorway paints my composite face in arcing shadow. “Correct – but no. This is entirely fortuitous and unexpected.”

Her face wrinkles in distaste and she stands. “I don’t see what’s fortuitous about someone’s livelihood being destroyed.”

The sing-song lilt of my laugh makes Cassieopia recoil visibly. It is not important.

“This is not a livelihood,” I tell her, sweeping my prosthetic arm in an arc. “It is a vanity project; a pipe dream. A pretence. Both Miss Ryan and her Husband are wealthy far beyond the need for any of this.”

Her frown deepens. “I don’t understand … What’s this place for, then?”

I step forward, she steps back until I am close enough to sink down and inspect the tyre iron myself. The shaft is misshapen, where its rubberised grip has melted and extruded out in thick, bulging bands. Run-off from molten paint carried somewhere by something has coated its blunt end in a crimson slather, cooled to sticky dregs against the concrete.

Wrapping my plastic fingers about its head I lever the bar free and heft it up. “It is a platitude – an attempt to create something normal to act as a bulwark against the chaos that threatens to envelop them both. This is a fantasy; the idea that someone like Miss Ryan or Mister Bane could ever be …”

The very notion makes me laugh again. “ … Business owners. Partners. That is not what they were meant to be and on some innate level, they understand that. Acknowledge it. Resent it.”

She steps partway through the door, turning back to look at me aside. “You’re talking as if you know them well, like you introduced them or something.”

Cocking my head to the side, I nod. “In a way, I did. Or at least, I created a new love to replace the one that got in her way.”

There is the flicker of something in Cassiopeia's eyes but it is difficult to identify until after the next words leave her mouth. “The Private Investigator?”

Bravery. How unexpected.

I close the distance between us, tyre iron coming up parallel as I force it roughly under her exposed chin. She stumbles backwards, but flailing hands are far too slow to rise in self-defence and end up pinned beneath the bar helplessly. The open door swings open against its stops as she slams backwards hard.

My plastic face presses up against hers and I can hear her breath coming in ragged gasps. Thick reams of burnt paper shift and flutter on a bed of dust kicked up by our urgent footfalls.

“Tell me what you know about him,” I whisper. “ … And how it is you know it.”

“Research,” She says, very confidently for someone in her position. With only a little effort I press the warped metal in and down against the flushed skin of her throat. She struggles.

“Tell me why you are mentioning it now.”
Cassieopia struggles, trying to turn her head away for a few extra millimetres of space to expand her windpipe. I press down harder and the words she chokes up are crushed in on themselves and truncated.

“ … Feels like … Something … Is building …” She wheezes.

Satisfied, I pull the bar in and step away as she slides down and forwards onto her knees. Ugly black streaks make the bright red of her coat dingy and matted and a coughing fit stirs all manner of soot and debris. Watching the young woman struggle to regain her composure, waiting for the heart in her chest to stop its frantic thrashing, I spent a moment considering the remarkable foresight in those words.

She is so close now to being unleashed. The ties that bind are loosening, even the strongest reminders of her humanity being unpicked one-by-one until there is no reason to hold back anymore. No purpose in restraint or hesitation. A living weapon that is perilously, beautifully near self-actualisation and realisation. On the very cusp of recognising that there are no limitations, no restrictions.

Hurricanes do not ask for permission, after all.

World Championships, Garages, Bane … Fexxfield. None of those things matter. Or, at least, they will not matter soon.

The plastic fingers of my prosthetic creak as they squeeze the tyre iron. Looking down at the red-tipped metal, I nod.

I think I have found what I am looking for.


[The Rapture]

The only role you have yet to master is one which convincingly portrays a competent challenger. Perhaps you have spent too long in a self-actualised echo chamber composed of flashing cameras and their wielding paparazzi, in front of an audience of one made up of the Zdunich whose name you presumably took for the star power and draw. Tell me, do you sleep in separate rooms? Fashioned from tinsel-draped towns up on sunkissed hills which look down on the six-dollar-stay motels you frequent, clustered on either side of the drag strip bathed in smeared, neon-pink light; sat on creaking mattress springs and clutching dog-eared scripts for big-break roles that mean nothing, are nothing and require someone like you to fulfil. Someone worth nothing.

Perhaps you were late to SCW’s Greek Tour because the world cannot get enough of you. Or perhaps you were sat on a threadbare carpet, knees drawn up to your chest with the stink of bleach and varnished wood permeating all around, eating up precious time in the hopes a synthetic, fashionably-late arrival would give the illusion anyone had any real interest in anything you say, or do.

Do you turn up the radio to drown out the rhythmic thumping of the bedstand next door crashing against the wall while they fuck? While your lips wordlessly stumble over the handful of lines assigned to whatever meaningless background character serves to frame the main event of the motion picture? Tell me, Crystal, how does it feel to be an accessory? To be perpetually assigned to a supporting role? Always the bridesmaid sobbing in the bathroom, never the bride who sweeps in, frowns and asks if you are doing okay.

It is not because you do not deserve it. No. It is because nobody cares.

Look at the ring of granulated sludge burnt to the bottom of the glass in a black ellipse. Turn the percolator jug from side to side, catching streaky dregs in sickly yellow fluorescence courtesy of the buzzing striplights groaning overhead. Squeeze the foil bags in your brightly-painted fingertips and feel the stale hardness resist your shaking fist. Watch coffee fall in thick clumps into water ringed with limescale, and stare at the bleeding orange POWER light as it flickers with transient voltage.

A quick glance towards the bakelite phone – once pink, now rubbed pale white by time and ultraviolet light and greasy palms. It will not ring; they have decided to go in another direction that lies 180° from you, Crystal.

Peel the foil lid from petite plastic cups of individual creamer, tipped into a mug chipped all around its stained rim. They are still fucking.

Shafts of dirty white light stream in through closed curtains no thicker than gauze, courtesy of shuddering trucks which ring and bang against the loose manhole covers outside. Drop down onto one of the narrow beds, sinking into the misshapen mattress, barely large enough to sleep one and watch the mud masquerading as coffee boil and bloat inside the glassware. Next door, through cheap plasterboard and lacquered vinyl panels someone climaxes and finally – mercifully – the rhythmic banging slows and stops. 

Put your blue travel case, your favourite colour, down on the other bed opposite. Finally, as the percolator plops and hisses and stinks, place your head in your hands and sob.

Is this really what you dreamed of?

Strip away the delusion, Crystal, and you are finally left with a truth of your very own. Not one of validation or affirmation – not in the same way my honesty is rewarded with the Rapture and my grand design realised, but something very much Box Office in its impact. A spartan, threadbare, brutalistic reality which finally lets us meet the real you.

What a lonely final girl she is, with only two beds and a coffee machine to her newest name. For just a night until she rouses herself in the early hours, for a provincial airport and a throaty turboprop that will take her indirectly to SCW’s Greek Tour via whistle stops in places where everybody knows your name.

At least, your last name.

There are no big-break auditions, no urgent meetings with talent executives; not even Miss Cassieopia Mearns will take your calls. No successes to fill up your long days, so where do you spend these long hours in the hopes you will convince those that matter that you do, too? Locked away in six-dollar-a-night motels, drinking yourself first to sleep, then to the toilet bowl and back again. Airport terminal bars, where balding, middle-aged men in business suits two sizes too small, so that their zany ties making up for a lack of personality work with their belts to turn them into walking sausage links, offer to buy you ten-dollar cocktails.

You let them, of course. They would buy you a little more for something visceral, something that makes them feel anything other than bone-crushing weariness as their sweat-slicked shirts stick to the faux-leather of departure gate benches.

Sometimes, you do. What would your wife think, Crystal?

Nothing, I would imagine. The same empty volume welling up inside your chest when you people-watch … Watching all those people with someplace better to be than you. Near you. With you.

The truth that is left to you is small, sad and pathetic. All the better to reflect its owner, who emaciated and starved it on a diet of self-delusion and self-aggrandisement. A room paid for in cash, with two beds and a coffee machine, and all the time in the world created inside your head to ruminate and despair and wish that someone – anyone – would save you from this nightmare. Step into this tragic existence and end it on a small mercy.

An American Dream turned Nightmare, ready to complete its transmogrification into Greek Tragedy. It was not enough to talk hard, but work hard. Be hard of nose and spirit and determination. There are many words for such soliloquies but you lack every single one and so to list them would waste time I do not have and time you cannot spare enough of. If you had boasted a shred of talent to scrape across so much nothingness, to pick out a smear of skill or application in an otherwise barren landscape marked as your so-called legacy, I may have reconsidered. Rethought.

Perhaps I could have saved you from yourself, like I have saved so many others before … But no. I do not think so.

I do not want to. 

There will be no mercy, Crystal, to misquote Sheakespare in fair Athens where I will hear you scream. Instead, for the first time, you will be excluded from second chances, made to forfeit an opportunity at redemption. Unlike all those who came before, your path is one that cannot be remade or reforged.

You are transient, I am eternal. You adopt a new face as casually as you learn which walls of the stall cubicle to brace against, while I have carved one which is shown to all the world and all its actors on that blue and green stage. The same one you have no place pretending to know the most inner workings of.

I am a silent fortress, built to endure and last that stands on the overpass above which all must walk a spell. Some will do so loudly, proud, and will be reeducated for their delinquency. Others wander in, fearful, and find something much worse. Still a few – one – comes to see the value in staying a while. You are none of those permutations of things, because your metaphysical journey does not even begin. The first faltering steps are spent pacing from one side of a bleached room to the other, waiting for the telephone to ring. Begging for it to ring and offer you an opportunity.

Come to my gateway, marked by the shine of the Internet Championship and suffer agonies as others have suffered. Break your blue-dyed skull on these rocks, bleed and bruise for the privilege, and know that when the lights of the Ano Liosia Sports Hall plunge out and a convoy of rumbling trucks ring and shudder over shaking manhole covers, sweeping their high-beams through threadbare motel windows and picking out coffee burnt to the glass, nobody will knock and nobody will call.

Welcome to the Rapture. It will not remember your name.

D̶o n̶ot b̶e fri̶ght̴e̵n̵ed. M̷i̵n̵e i̵s t̴he̵ la̴st vo̷i̵c̶e yo̴u w̶ill eve̴r h̸ear.

Offline Terrorfexx

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Re: Internet Championship: Masque (c) v Crystal Zdunich
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2022, 08:38:43 PM »
Symphony of the Iron Underbelly, Movement No. X – Feelings, Wants, Haves and Have-Nots


[The Past – Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, USA, Spring 2006]

I am not sure if they turn to look at her, or me, but the collective weight of their gazes presses in all around and down on my shoulders. The physiological response is understood well enough – my heart rate elevates and as it begins to bruise itself against the blunt apex of the inside of my ribcage, the lights above suddenly feel hot against flushing skin. Lungs gorge themselves on all the air they can swell to hold but it does not seem to be enough and instead they struggle for the next breath before the current gasp concludes.

All of this is fundamental biology. It is the natural order of a system flushed by endorphins and weak, soft feeling … But as her fingers intertwine with mine there is something new; something that has never shown itself before …

The instinct is to draw back, recoil at the rawness of it. Burned by something molten hot, peeling back the skin, blistering it to the touch. I cannot, because it – she – holds me in hers. Instead it perfuses and permeates, travelling through the fingertips of my left hand until it is routed directly to my brain. There, it kicks over barriers of thought and vaults across self-control, nonchalantly flushing everything with its intoxicating, impossible power. The room threatens to spin away, but she holds me fast.

I am not sure if this is the first time I have looked at Marilyn and thought she was beautiful, but I am sure this is the first time I have acknowledged it. The simplicity of the statement is an order of magnitude out of sorts with the implication. The feeling … Feelings which have upturned everything.

Something animalistic, base but cold in its logic and thought that trumps feeling calls out. Shouts some warning about falling, losing control, but I do not think I could stop it if I tried. The physiology of this is all but obvious, the psychology however is what threatens to force me to stop and squeeze my eyes closed.

She looks back, slows. Our differential pace makes her arm extend across to keep it in mine but she continues forward, and tugs me that way too. The smile picked out in cherry-red lipstick stays constant but the subtle wrinkling of the skin around her eyes betrays worry. I can see it on her face as clearly as she can now search it out on mine. Of course I know there is no real revelation; no obvious “tell”. The suits and dresses milling around us, looking at us but straight through us, see nothing we do not want them to see.

But Marilyn sees me, knows me. The pit of my stomach twists one way and then the other, because it cannot decide whether this is a good thing or bad.

Her fingers squeeze mine and again, the mind fights to resist a response. Do not show her what she means to you. But I do, I squeeze, and lose all over again. The intensity of the reaction is visceral, I am drunk on it. Numbed into a sweet surrender, made slow and sweet like molasses. She smiles and I am captured all over again,

A tray of coffee liquors stirs some half-memory. It would have been fully, completely remembered with the utmost clarity; eidetically, faithfully, but Marilyn clouds the lens of perfect recollection and instead it comes to me in broken frames of reference. Two beds and a coffee machine. She is weeping, bloodstained fingers trembling in the dirty-grey carpet piles of a six-dollar-a-night motel. She asks me if everything will be alright.

The tear-streaked, shuddering face is bright and airy now, bangles of twisted brown hair bouncing as her eyes dart from one delight to the next. She moves on a column of air, effortlessly twisting and mingling as I try to keep up behind. I turn ponderously, like a big-hulled ship from ages past, rudder swinging aimlessly from one side to the other to make a turn that is already too late to effect.

This is not who I thought I was, but I have not been doing much thinking lately.

“Abbie?” She asks, glancing back. “Do you feel alright?”

“Yes,” I reply without a hint of the flutter shaking everything in my chest. This new truth, nascent and green with shoots, has simply thrust up through a rent in concrete. A silent fortress girt by garden. It has found the sun – her – and so it grows. WIthout a care. Without concern for its surroundings or the harsh reality of its existence.

Marilyn squeezes my hand again. “It’s a wonderful night. Thanks for taking me.”

That makes me frown. “I would not take anyone else.”

“You wouldn’t come to something like this on your own,” She shoots back.

It was a necessary evil, without her. The unfortunate incident with Officer Van Der Madden and his less unfortunate death had cost our Cooperative precious stock, but that had been months previous and the careful attention of our ladies, alongside my own forays into companionship for secrets, had done much to rebuild that value. These social occasions were evidence of such a rebuild: powerful State officials, local business magnates, all forming complex interrelationships and interdependencies. Links which all had a member of our Cooperative at its heart; acting as spokes between the hubs of a multi-wheeled train of industry, civic power and culture. To be in this room, now, was to be privy to a select wider audience. Beyond that, away from prying eyes, was an altogether more exclusive power.

It was a necessary evil, without her but with her … There is nowhere else I would rather be.

She smoothes the front of her silver-accented dress down, patting her thighs. “Are you ready?”

Something makes me hesitate and my sudden halt jerks her back painfully. Concern fills her eyes and it washes away something niggling at the back of my skull, tickling the senses with some vague threat warning that translates into nothingness.
It is the last, brutal aftershock of adjustment that comes with recognising that I can no longer rely on myself exclusively. A painful admittance that for the very first time, I have found it acceptable – necessary, vital – to put my trust in another. To believe in them as absolutely as I do myself. To have faith.

“Are you sure?” I manage, voice filled with all the uncertainty it has stored for so very long, locked under a thick slab of self-control unable to weigh down the tumultuous feeling erupting out.

Marilyn nods. “They’re good clients, and if what they’ve said about their boss is even half true, meeting them could change everything.”

Pushing open the white plaster, double-set doors I follow her as she slips in-between and the noise of the bustling reception room is abruptly curtailed … Courtesy of the point of an elbow driven into my temple.

Pain explodes through every sense. I taste iron as something reactionary makes me bite down on my tongue. Staggering backwards, the second blow snaps my head up and inversely to the knuckles pressed hard against my jawline. The bunched material of my cobalt-coloured dress catches my backpedalling heels and I topple.

That newfound faith cuts through the cerebral confusion and transmits a loud message I cannot ignore. Marilyn. It gives me strength to find my knees and then my feet. Vision swims, my heart thunders against the prison of my chest for an altogether different reason, though the effect is much the same. I have to make sure she is safe–

She stands to the left, behind two large men dressed in matching suits pulled in tight across their broad and thick shoulders. Her eyes scan nervously between them but when she finds mine, she shrinks back. They step forward.

“This is for Buck!” One of them spits, swinging an arm. I wait and as it approaches terminal impact, I sweep my right shoulder in a tight turn and use it to deflect the fist wide. Unbalanced, he falls forward and as my circle draws one circumference complete the spike of my heel is driven through the black fabric of his dinner jacket and into – and through – the flesh of his back. He flails and falls to the floor.

His colleague takes a long and generous second to size up his options, taking a faltering step back before some sense of machismo or simple arrogance encourages him onwards. He steps into my guard without a plan, and is swept from his feet by the flat of my foot driven into his calves from in-behind in no better a position. From my vantage point on the floor I watch him join me, head crashing against the varnished hardwood. Fight or Flight spurs his autonomic nervous system to take over, but it is a slow and inaccurate thing and all he succeeds in doing is lifting his head up to present his nose for breaking.

I oblige without hesitation. The wet crack of cartilage signals the end of the road I should never have taken.

They are both gurgling or whimpering. Conscious or not, they pose no further threat. There is only one danger left in this small sitting room facing me.

She struggles to find the words between heaving sobs. There is some barely comprehensible talk of no choice, and threats to her family, but I do not listen. Not really. Something rises up that feels like a newfound purity and power, but it does not take me long to realise that this is not new.

This is me.

Whatever malady, affliction brought me to my knees with weakness, is purged in a singular moment of cold logic. Feeling flushes away like my cooled skin, emptying out whatever I had felt before and replacing it with nothing. All that is left behind in my balling fists is the clear certainty of who I am and what I am.

Absolute belief. Complete and total faith.

She sinks to her knees, chin tipped back by the handful of her hair held in mine. Those same fingers that had offered me such kindness flap and slap against my chest like the patter of rain on a corrugated steel roof. Soft and melodic, desperate. Begging for forgiveness. For mercy.

“Abbie!” She cries, cheeks matching the same hue as her lipstick. “They would have killed me–”

“They would have killed me,” I interrupt. “ .... And you would have watched. You would have made my last few moments alive one of weakness. Not fear for me but for you. For what they might do to you.”

My stomach is sure now which direction to twist in. There is no doubt about how it feels. How I feel.

Slowly, I relinquish my hold on her scalp and she sinks down onto her haunches, sobbing. The fingers of my left hand unclench, she buries her face in my hip and sobs. “I’m so sorry, My God … I’m so sorry …”

She looks up at me from the floor, tugging at the material of my dress.

It is obvious beyond any hesitation, any confusion, what I am, what I want …

… And what I do not want.

“I’m so sorry …” She heaves, bloodstained eyes searching out mine again.

Looking down, it is so clear that I stop to admire the brightness for a moment. The clarity of what is about to happen brings a warmth to my skin and a flutter to my chest that is far more familiar. Far more welcome. “I am not.”

My fingers close around her throat and squeeze. She claws, she jerks and pulls but succeeds only in wasting the puffs of air left remaining in her lungs as she sinks backwards. I go with her, down to one knee. It is curious to think that in this prim and well-adorned room, between fine bone china sitting on hand-painted furniture, two people will die. One coughing, wheezing, twisting and wailing with blood-speckled tears …

The other killed before she had ever truly lived. A brief flirtation with what might have been but what might have-not.

One of the thugs mewls something from where he takes wet and gargling breaths. I think it might be a plea. “Do not worry …” I whisper, squeezing, turning her glassy-eyed head over with my free hand to look at this. “This is a wonderful night …”


[The Rapture]

The scale of your hypocrisy, Crystal, is so logarithmic that it is difficult to quantify in a way that does not make the line on a graph arc directly up. I have listened to you deliver a character assassination on Miss Hernandez to rival the physical one I completed to take her Internet Championship, and in the same breath claim you respected her. From insinuating I am some fear-inspiring monster-made-flesh-and-blood to revealing the so-called truth of my existence as nothing but a pantomime villain, in a segway that is less point-to-point and more broken neck-to-neck.

You flit from one incoherent observation to another. Without rationality, without so much as an interesting play on words. Your relationship with facts and the reality they occupy is as fundamentally compromised as your otherwise questionable yet boastful grasp on arithmetic. I am less interested in the number of World Championship reigns to your multitude of names and more intrigued by the number of times you have had that taken from you.

Five is not the number of interest, Crystal. That is four. Four times you have proven to be second-rate, transitionary. Someone who just was, not someone who ever is. Should I be impressed?

While I have only been Internet Champion once, that is not the number of interest. That is zero. Zero times I have proven second-rate, transitionary. Someone who is. Do you see now the incredulousness that all the world views you through? Standing on the street corner, spinning around chipboard street lights for your big production number, playing make-believe?

You might have been here for a very long time but nobody is counting, because nobody cares. You are a rerun; a Saturday afternoon matinee that ends in the same comfortable conclusion – failure and self-delusion. Do not offer me plastic kudos with talk of being impressed at my record, while drawing your crayon-smeared metaphors and allegories to explain away all the reasons you have nothing to fear, and no reason to tread lightly.

You could do worse than ask your respected peer and long-time shittalker Andrea how best to go about challenging the New Most Dominant Bitch on the Block. I think I will take that from her as I took her Championship and it made it my gateway.

The same gateway you look upon like an opportunity, and not the expedited ticket to suffering that seats an exclusive audience of one blue-haired little girl, who has made a terrible mistake. I promise before those lights and cameras you fawn over so completely cut, you will beg for an expedited end.

Perhaps, however,  it was remiss of me to take so quickly to cutting you in response to the stupidity of your words, without first pausing to consider what motivated you to babble them, so incoherently as if you were learning to talk for the first time. While it is true that there is no growth without suffering, and in Athens I intend to inflict such growth on you that the person who is carried out under those warm floodlights will be a very different woman to the one who clapped hands with her so-called “fans” on the way in, there must be something more to consider.

Something deeper to analyse. You are a simple equation – too simple. In my speed to reduce you to something easily ignored, I stop and wonder whether there are hidden variables that in making assumptions, I have overlooked. Is there something more to you than meets my eye?

The answer is, unsurprisingly, no. What meets my eye is so lacking in depth as to represent a two-dimensional image somehow made walking and talking. Reciting tired cliches with a pull-string back, remarkable only because it is so agonisingly shallow in its depth. Soft and stuffed, so that if the innards were made outward and all the fluff eked out with the tip of the same blade used to cut earlier, I would find nothing of substance. No structure, no strength. What more is there left to say?

Perhaps, there is a little more. I wonder about the things you hold dear. Truly dear, that press up against the thump of whatever facsimile passes for the pseudo-heart in your chest others keep in theirs. What truths do you hold evident? What fundamental things make you something more than a burden for government agencies and utility companies when it comes to regular updating of personal information to account for machine-gun surname changes? What do you think about but never, ever give voice to?

Crystal, I want to talk to you about faith … Of which there are so very many kinds.

Some convictions are visceral institutions, deriving their authority from moral, ethical or legal imperatives which are tangible where they might open a trapdoor to leave you swinging in agony from the end of a noose, or jerking against baked leather restraints as the current flash-fries the fat out of solution in your blood, or deliver some other empirical example of dubious reward from the system. A system you can believe in.

Others are less tangible, because they derive their value not from the explicit but the implicit – from others, their thoughts and feelings. These institutions, like marriage, ebb and flow like the waxing or waning moon; growing in power and strength and just as quickly, tragically, falling from grace and safety. Something I suspect you know well about. There is a deliciousness like the bittersweet tang of coffee rinds on the tongue to see something so beautiful wither and rot until it shambles along only under the inertia of its own existence.

Tell me, when did you get sick of looking at your wife? Can you remember the exact moment the butterflies in your stomach spirited their last tumble-over and loop-de-loop, before replacing their gentleness with the savage twist of a gut that knew the feeling would never come again?

There is only one thing more intoxicating than watching someone’s life fall apart … To see them stand helplessly while it happens. I am drinking so deeply of yours that I think I might have developed an addiction.

Whatever the institution – whether it exists physically in smooth marble arches and crenulated turrets, or conceptually on vellum or in the eyes of someone who used to love you – they are all made real by faith. To have such conviction, a belief in something or someone which eclipses mere logic, that puts the heart in foremost command of your being and relegates the mind to second-place. It has moved mountains and put men on our Moon. What a wonderful thing …

I want to talk to you about faith, Crystal and why it is so often misdirected.

We are such complex creatures, and we build tangled webs that make para-social insects of us all, bound up in hives made from feeling and wants, haves and have-nots. So much of our self-worth comes not from ourselves but others – indeed we sign away fundamental rights and freedoms with some of these institutions, like marriage, in exchange for the impossible promise of forever until death do us part.

Perhaps vows should make clear the difference between physical and emotional death. So many suffer the latter far sooner than the former.

Regardless, we place stock in and uphold those we know, those we do not, pretty faces looking disinterestedly out of rain-speckled train windows, and our most trusted friends. It is all some vast aggregation of interaction and validity and affirmation that gives us our strength and makes us who we are.

Except it is a twisted half-truth; a lie that is based in fact only for the weak-willed and mewling. It was the first thing to screech and cavort and groan as it spun free from the constraints of Pandora and the consequences of her ill-conceived decision to open that box. A terrible cancer that rots your bones and hollows out your soul, making nothing more than a bowl to fill with all the insipid platitudes they pile up with the gruel and the shit.

Belief in anyone else is a falsehood at best and self-deception at worst. It is ignorance, baked into a palpable form of the fear that makes you hesitate when you turn towards your wife in the bathroom, open your lips and hesitate to say I Love You. So you smile as she slips past, toothbrush in hand, and you fester in it. WIthout belief in something, faith is meaningless. Faith in anyone else is meaningless.

And so we come to a rarity – something I have misspoken to you on. When I told you there was a singular, primordial truth, that was a gross mischaracterisation. Inside such a sweeping statement was a complex, bisected reality which deserved better elucidation. Something I will correct now.

Faith in anyone else is meaningless and so, it follows, the only valid form of faith is in yourself. But where does that strength truly come from? Simpletons draw parallels with confidence, but to be confident in yourself is to express the symptom and not the disease – it is the effect, but not the cause. No, the true component of the only valid form of faith is self-actualisation. To fully realise your potential, and all the wonderful things you could do if only you let go of petty concerns such as morality, and whether something was right or wrong or whether you should or should not. Look no further than my Resplendent Hurricane for such a beautiful vision of just what could be, if only white-hot brake shoes pulled away from screeching metal wheels and let such blood, steel and thunder roll unrestrained.

To be at peace with the awful things inside, and whisper them a bargain: why not work with them, instead of against them. Repress? No. Embrace. Add your voice to theirs and revel in the terrible things that will be done violently, willingly – enthusiastically – in your name.

Crystal, not Zdunich. Why do you still cling to something that brings you no usefulness, no joy? Long after it has shamed and stained you. She does not care about you anymore, so why do you persist? You must know it is futile. Still, what the heart wants …

To reach such a level of realisation, one must know themselves and before such a purity of spirit can be achieved, there is an even simpler reality to embrace and a building block of a more complex constant to put in place; a proto-truth of sorts.

You must come to accept who you are, to the exclusion of all the things you wish you could be.

Why do you play to the crowd as if you are an idol, or some higher-order virtue come to symbolise something pure? You are very much turned around Crystal, in so much that you are an opportunist in spirit but literal name, rather than that traditional inverse. You have surrounded yourself with every means to take advantage, and yet instead of embracing the hunger you have like some carrion bird watching its next meal ticket limp, sick and alone, to its inevitable death you hold back. Repress. Why? Clap their hands as they lean over the barricades, smile in your Megaman tights for selfies and perhaps in-between exchanging high-fives and bopping your blue-rinsed head, ask what it is about yourself you find so disagreeable as to hide behind the thinnest of veneers – that of popularity. Of belovedness.

Do you want their respect? If so, you would do best to step out of the aircraft taking you across the Atlantic somewhere after the wheels retract up into its aluminium belly, and sometime before the rolling green hills of Athens in summer sweep into view. If not, then of what possible use is this subterfuge? The mindless masses have no power to offer you, no worth. So it must be some deep-seated internal inadequacy that makes you behave the way you do, and skirt that proto-truth that yearns to be able to grow, and develop into something that can show you the real Crystal. Free of Hilton, Zdunich and all the other names you have made for yourself to make someone else. Someone new.

In a few short days, I am going to grant you a mercy you did not deserve only a while ago. Instead of cutting you down where you stand in your Megaman tights, as punishment for the nonsensical, non sequiturs you spit out in some half-developed abortion of an argument or turn of phrase, I will do precisely the same for a different reason; so that you might be reborn. Not anew, no. Not because we need to see another iteration of the same, tired, cliche. This is not a role for you to play, but a stripping back. A reset. 

With my thorn-painted hand I will give you an opportunity you could never have connived, schemed or manoeuvred into. Something that with all your acting plaudits and World Championship “reigns”, you could never have otherwise obtained using the sum total of whatever reputation and gravitas you think you have – but do not – and leveraged.

There is still no place for you in the Rapture. Why compromise the strength of titanium by introducing sulphur? Why take away from the perfection I have wrought in burnished brass and shining silver, in the name of mindless consumption? There is no need to add you to anything, because you constitute nothing. At least in your current form.

Instead, I will cut out the cancer of your own delusion, and leave in the gaping wound of your chest a convenient space from which the real you can emerge; clamber out and look up and grasp your true potential. The stars are bright tonight, and in all the myriad shapes they make ten thousand stories are told, by innumerable civilisations and their people. Twinkling points of light that have generated tales spanning ten thousand years. Look up, comfortable and assured in your own skin, Crystal, and see that truth.

The truth that their stories are irrelevant. Meaningless. They do not care, because they are timeless. Functionally immortal as far as our momentary flickers of life are concerned. They do not need high-fives and Megaman tights to either feel validated or enact some poorly-conceived plot to curry favour or make gains which are utterly irrelevant in the strategic scheme of things. Cygnus, the Swan. Orion, the Warrior. All pointless, all made to be hooks to hang excuses and labouring, boring rhetoric. They simply are, with no rhyme or reason. Their own existences are assured, undeniable. Unassailable. Beautiful.

These things are without doubt or concern as to what they are. A powerful, unshakable belief in themselves and their purpose to be. A faith so strong it has watched mountains move and men go to the Moon and it will watch long after all three of those things have ceased to be.

So, tell me – are you ready to have faith in yourself?vI am so very ready to find out.

It is showtime … Bitch.

D̶o n̶ot b̶e fri̶ght̴e̵n̵ed. M̷i̵n̵e i̵s t̴he̵ la̴st vo̷i̵c̶e yo̴u w̶ill eve̴r h̸ear.

Offline Crystal Zdunich

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Re: Internet Championship: Masque (c) v Crystal Zdunich
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2022, 11:00:34 PM »
Athens Greece
Temple of Zeus

It was definitely a long flight from Los Angeles, California to Athens Greece but this week was definitely put up or shut up time. Chloe had thought it was a good idea for Crystal to take it easy before her big Internet Championship match. She didn’t send Crystal alone as she made sure Emily the new intern accompanied her. Crystal stood at the temple of Zeus as she just looked around taking it all in. She offered a long drawn out sigh as she looked back at Emily.

“This is crazy Emily. I can’t believe how many people could admire such a powerful man. It really must have been amazing to be Zeus. You have all of this unlimited power and you basically have control over everything.”

Emily looks back at Crystal as she has her head in her phone as she seems to be off in her own little world, and not really paying attention to the woman she is supposed to be interning for.

“I think this would be a perfect place to send out some tweets on your behalf. Maybe we should get some shots of you next to moments, or maybe you in front of the arena. I will do everything in my power to make you look really good Mrs. Zdunich…”

Crystal just shakes her head in disapproval as she looks back at Emily.

“Not for anything but I think you should put the phone down Emily. I know Chloe thinks it is an amazing idea for you to help me out but I don’t think I really need that type of help.”

Emily shakes her head.

“You don’t understand Mrs…”

Crystal quickly cuts her off as she looks back at the woman.

“Also you don’t have to call me Mrs. Zdunich all of the time. Crystal would suffice or if you feel that is too personable then you can just call me Christina. I know I have this image where people assume I am this bitch but honestly that’s not really me… That’s just the façade I put up so I don’t feel hurt when somebody says something I don’t like…”

Emily looks up into Crystal’s eyes as she shrugs her shoulders.

“So I guess Masque was right about you. You are the one wearing the mask…”

Crystal shakes her head.

“No… It’s more like a costume but I guess that’s the same concept. I guess it’s who I pretend to be so people don’t get too close to the woman beneath the costume. I guess you can say it’s the same thing like batman. One would assume that Bruce Wayne is who he really is but that’s not the truth. Batman is who he really is and Bruce Wayne is the costume he uses to hide that fact…”

Emily looks around as she smiles in return.

“Also you do know that Zeus only seems the end all be all because he is the God of the sky. That is why he is appealing because he was the one that could soar above his brothers Hades who get left to control the shithole of the underworld and of course their brother Poseidon who controls the waters. Zeus has firm position at the top and that’s where you always strive to be…”

Emily looks deeper into Crystal’s eyes.

“Christina you don’t have to hide nor should you keep your emotions in. If you do that it’s very unhealthy and it’s only going to come out in your marriage. What’s the point in trying to wear a costume to cover up who you are from the people you are closest too. That’s only going to make you weaker and if there is one thing that I know about you. It’s the fact that you are far from being anything that’s close to weak…”

Crystal looks at the woman as she shrugs her shoulders at her.

“Look I appreciate you… Honestly it’s amazing that you are only 19 and you have a good head on your shoulders. I know you are going to have an excellent future ahead of you but you are doing a bit too much for this internship. You don’t have to dye your hair the way I do. You don’t have to wear the same makeup I do… Being a mini me isn’t going to get you far Emily. I expect big things from you…”

Emily shakes her head as she looks at Crystal.

“Christina as fun as it has been being an intern for Rose Productions I didn’t choose the company because it was this top notch company. I wanted to be attached to the company because I felt it was how I could be closer to you.”

Crystal opens her eyes in amazement.

“Closer to me, I don’t understand…”

Emily sighs as she shakes her head in return.

“It’s a lot to take in but when I saw Brayden and Brittany walking through the hallways of university I just knew I wanted to get closer to you. I just had to be part of this world. Because I rightfully deserved to be in it! I know you asked me about my parents but my relationship with them was strained.”

Crystal raises her eyes in return.

“And why was it strained?! You think I had it easy growing up as well?! No Emily… I wasn’t even raised by my Fucking parents. My dad was off in Mexico or at least the man who I thought was my father, and my mother was a cocaine and heroin addict. I got left on my aunt’s doorstep and she had to raise me. So don’t try to tell me that you were a bit envious of my children’s lives because that makes no sense…”

Emily gets in Crystal’s face as she looks right into her eyes.

“You really want to know what bullshit is?! That you can stand in front of your family and they don’t even know your existence. You try to study and look at things from afar just to understand because you really have a hard time comprehending somebody’s story. The more you get deeper is the more you realize that people can’t change and they simply won’t! Don’t tell me that I don’t know what you went through because you don’t know my side of things. How can you explain that I had to get raised by my great grandparents?! I should have had a happy life but my mother was busy trying to take care of her brother’s child. My mom was only 18 years old when she had me…”

Crystal shrugs her shoulders.

“I am so sorry… Why would your mother not focus on you and instead on another child that didn’t belong to her? Where was that child’s mother?!”

Emily shakes her head.

“I don’t fault my mother because she was being the epitome of what a Godmother should be. She stood in the gap and she was there for her brother. As far as the biological mother of that child?! She didn’t even bother to check on the woman raising her kid. She was off spending two years in Mexico to run away from the world that she thought hated her. She didn’t even bother to check that her future sister in law had gotten pregnant. Not only was she pregnant but she was carrying her Brother Steve’s child. Jenny didn’t know what to do. How could she tell her future sister in law that she banged her brother when he was visiting home from the Military?! She waited to hear back from Crystal Hilton but it’s not like she once checked what was going on at home in Detroit. No… She was too focused on living her Mexican life style…”

Crystal opens her eyes in return.

“Wait… You are Jenny’s daughter?! She never told me once she even had a kid, and by Steve… You mean Steve Hilton?! As in my…”

Emily nods her head in return.

“I am your niece, and yes Steve as in your brother. He acted as a deadbeat about the whole thing but Jenny… My mom didn’t hold it against him. Instead she just went on through life. Her grandparents basically adopted me, and she did what she could. Besides Jenny and my great grandparents, the only one who really knew about me was Todd. Everyone mutually agreed that if anybody asked the story would be that Todd and Jenny’s grandparents just decided to adopt a baby. They would raise me and keep me in the family. So it’s a pleasure to finally meet you face to face. The name is Emily Williams and don’t expect me to stand here and call you Aunt…”

Crystal sighs as she shakes her head.

“Emily… Listen I can explain…”

“Don’t even bother… Like I said you aren’t the only one that knows how to wear a costume. I came through the studio under the costume of being a dramatic arts student but that’s not even what I am studying. Truth is I am a Psychology major and I wanted to see how fucked up you really are. You are a woman who doesn’t atone for anything! You shit on your wife or should I say wives when they don’t serve you. You turn on everyone you love. You even gave away your own son… People try to come back to you to figure you out and you shun them away… You have some deep issues and I just want to know why. Who is the woman that has such a negative pull on those around her…”

Emily shakes her head.

“I dressed like you, I change my makeup and hair color like you because I just want to understand you! Maybe I can gain an understanding but so far it’s looking like I am not getting anything, and that’s okay. It will come to me at some point. As far as being your intern you don’t have to worry about anything. I am still going to make you look good. I am going to do everything in my power to make you stand out so you don’t have to ever wear a costume again. You can’t run away from your problems forever. When I saw Brayden come out of the woodwork I knew I had too as well. This generational curse needs to stop and as much as Brayden might want to change the narrative, or Brittany, or even Aurora…”

Emily takes a deep breath as she looks at Crystal.

“It won’t change until it starts at the top… You started all of this so you need to fix it… I am not holding anything against you but you got some serious shit you need to get the kinks out. I have your back and for the simple reason that if there is one thing I have learned from my mother it’s always to try to see the good in people. She spent years trying to stop her brother Todd from becoming the same evil that was her father Roman and she always admire who you were as a person. To this day she still sees you as a sibling. So I will do only what she would do. I will protect my family no matter how much it hurts…”

Emily just offers a long drawn out sigh as she walks away.

“Anyway I am going to head back to the hotel. Don’t worry this won’t change anything. I will still handle your social media and I will make you look good…”

Crystal places a hand on Emily’s shoulder as she squeezes her tightly.

“I am sorry… I am sorry for what I put you through… I had no idea that me leaving Detroit would have an impact on everybody… I know I carry a curse that has been going on for 21 years. It all started when Brittany and Brayden were born, and I haven’t recovered from it… I will break the curse and that much I can guarantee…”

Crystal let’s tears roll down her cheek as Emily begins to cry as well.

“Thank you for not giving up on me… Thank you for being a niece and at least hearing my story… I will fix this…”

“I know you will and I can’t wait for the day that you will… I love you Auntie. Just please take responsibility for everything you do…”

With that both women walk hand in hand as they leave the Zeus Temple…

Few Days Later
Breakfast Time

It was breakfast time in Athens. Crystal found herself going into the lobby of their hotel so that she could start the day off with some staka with eggs, bougatsa, and of course Grecian pies. There definitely was a lot of local cuisine that was to be had. Crystal had a lot on her mind as she kept visioning everything that her niece had said to her the day prior. Perhaps she was the key to fixing the generational curse. There was a lot of animosity among other things that she had to get rid of and she wanted to do whatever it took to be in the position to do so. As she sat down at a table she saw a woman with raven hair eating breakfast as well. The woman was somebody she knew very well. It was her arch enemy, the woman she hated more in SCW more than anybody else.

That woman was none other than former SCW Internet Champion Andrea Hernandez. Andrea had avoided Crystal for the past two years ever since their I Quit Match at High Stakes from 2020. Crystal had so many thoughts going through her head but maybe what Emily told her had resonated with her. Crystal doesn’t know why she did so but she immediately left her table and walked to where Andrea is seated. She just sat down in front of Andrea, and the two Mexican women just glared daggers at one another as they waited to see who would be the first to speak.

Andrea immediately broke the ice as she rolled her eyes at Crystal.

“What are you doing here?! Last time I checked this was a table for one, and you aren’t invited…”

Crystal nodded her head as she looked back at Andrea.

“I know but I purposely invited myself. The two of us have been through some stuff and I wanted to clear the air on things…”

“Crystal just leave me alone. I am not even cleared to wrestle! I have to deal with this minor shoulder injury and because of such I am stuck hosting the show. If this is about me being on your stupid hit list or the way I treated your wife, I am sure that we can deal with that at a later time when I am healthy enough for it…”

Crystal just shakes her head as she looks at the other woman.

“Actually I have a confession to admit. The stuff that happened with you and Seleana, as much as I should have been angry about the way you mocked her and the entire Zdunich family. Truth be told I actually thought it was very genius. I know you probably don’t want to hear from me but I figured I would give you the truth. A relative told me last night that I had to get the truth out so that’s why I decided to come over here…”

Andrea opens her eyes in amazement.

“Wait a minute… You thought what I did was genius?!”

“If I can be honest when you fought Seleana at the last Super Card there was no part of me that even wanted her to win. I know it sounds very selfish but I wanted you to win. I already knew I was going to win the gauntlet match but I just had to ensure that I could get in the ring with you one more time. It didn’t even have to do with the Internet Championship either.”

“Why would you choose to cheer for me over your own wife, you do realize that makes no sense right?!”

Crystal slowly nods her head.

“I know and you will see that a lot of stuff that has to deal with me makes no sense! But I have kept my eyes on you for the last year and a half since you lost that I quit match to me. I wanted to see what your next move was going to be. Where would Andrea Hernandez go next in her career? I was disappointed that after losing to me you immediately wanted to just chase after the Roulette Championship… “

“Why did you even care what I wanted to do, it shouldn’t have bothered you. You went on to have your little World Championship run so you should have been focused on you…”

Crystal nods her head.

“I know but all I saw was what you were doing. You tried to desperately gain the Roulette Championship and it annoyed me. It annoyed me… You have no idea at how upset I was about the entire situation…”

Andrea sits there looking dumbfounded.

“What do you mean you were upset?! I don’t even know why you cared to be honest. You got your big High Stakes win over me so that’s all that should have mattered in the end…”

Crystal quickly shakes her head.

“No it has nothing to do with that. It bothered me because I knew deep in my soul that you were better than that. I thought you were underselling yourself. You should have been a woman who should have been trying to climb her way into going after the World Championship again but I just felt you were complacent and wanted to take the easy way out. At least things got better when you won the Internet Championship and you became a good fighting champion…”

Andrea seems confused.

“Seriously, I still don’t understand why you would want to take an interest in me. I especially don’t get it considering everything I said about your wife…”

“ I know Andrea but what I didn’t quite understand is why you never wanted to bring my name out of your mouth. What were you hiding from?! You went on record telling the whole world that you WANTED nothing to do with me, and that just escalated to you not even wanting to mention me. I just want to understand why…”

Andrea thinks about it as she shakes her head.

“Why should I bother to tell you anything, last time I checked… I DON’T LIKE YOU!!!”

Crystal looks back at Andrea as she sighs in return.

“I get it… You don’t care for me but let me explain something to you. When you first came into this company I respected the hell out of you. I wanted to face you because I saw you were creating waves throughout the company. When I first challenged you I honestly saw a younger version of myself in you. I just didn’t want you to make the same mistakes I did. So I wanted to help guide you. I wanted to show you the right path. What I didn’t expect was for you to beat me! I was shocked of course but I never expected that I would get a World title match right after that. I beat Roxi and the first thing on my mind was making sure that I defended my title against you! I did so because I knew in my heart you deserved it! Even though it was a triple threat match you beat ME for the title, and right after winning the title you beat me once again!”

Crystal shakes her head.

“You beat me in three straight fucking matches and I didn’t even know what to do with myself. Despite all of that I saw you going down a dark path. One I didn’t want you to go down. It was around that time that we both found out that our fathers were a tag team in Mexico. The Hernandez and Lopez legacy was strong together. You been through a lot of shit when your father passed away but I tried to be there! Yet I couldn’t stop you from consuming the darkness. You shattered my head on a television screen. You gave me a concussion and you took me out of the business for a while. I vowed to make you see the light one way or another. By the end of that match when you I choked you out with that cable. I thought you finally got it but you didn’t…. I…”

Andrea begins to share her heart.

“What do you want me to say Christina?! You want me to admit that match haunts me and is something that I wish I could forget. The reason why I couldn’t confront you or I didn’t want anything to do with you is because it will just channel bad memories and I would rather forget that match.”

Crystal chimes in.

“But you shouldn’t forget it… You should let it be what drives you to get better. You learn from that match and you emerge a better person. Judging from the year that you had after that I would say that you definitely did that! You learned how to bounce back. I truthfully could learn from that mentality because I haven’t let anything go. If I did I wouldn’t get so overly offended and hurt that the COO of my movie studio wouldn’t have recommended that somebody else run my Twitter account. I wouldn’t be a walking spectacle of the joke fest of being selfish and title hungry. People wouldn’t be making fun of me changing so much to find an identity or just wanting to be accepted.

I have done the same thing for 6 years and nothing has changed. I wish I could be in your shoes. As much as that match between us might have hurt you I wish I could be at peace with something. I wish I could get a taste of what you have. I know you probably didn’t want me breathing down your neck for another one on one confrontation but truthfully I wanted that match with you once again. Not because I wanted to check a name off of a checklist but I wanted it so I could find some resolution in my own life. I wanted what you had. You can hold onto that one lost to me but it still doesn’t change the fact that you beat me in three straight matches. You think that doesn’t haunt me?!”

Crystal shrugs her shoulders.

“So when I saw you fighting Masque and she ended up beating you. It really made me question some stuff…I guess that’s why I wanted to confront you in this hotel…”

Andrea opens her eyes in return.

“And what is it that you want?!”

Crystal takes a long deep breath.

“I want you to be honest with me…What chance do I really stand against Masque?!”

Andrea looks at Crystal as she is sincere in her words.

“If I am being sincere and brutally honest truth is YOU CAN’T WIN!!!! You couldn’t even beat me when I first came to the company, and you lost to Amber and other marquee matches. Sure you win one lucky gauntlet match but that doesn’t mean you can just be prepared for her…”

Crystal nods her head.

“I know… You are better than me. At least at this stage in my career, I can honestly admit that and I am happy for your honesty. The real reason why I came to bother you is because I need your help. I don’t have anywhere else to turn but you were in the ring with her. You have firsthand experience of what I can expect. I want you to prepare me for her. I want to know the ins and outs of Masque. I don’t really know where else to turn. I can’t go to Seleana because she really hasn’t had the best record as of late. I love Roxi but she’s doing world title things. So that only leaves you…”

“So you are asking ME for help?! Why should I bother….”

Crystal thinks about it.

“Because maybe I am the lesser of two evils, and how do you think our fathers got along?! I am not asking you to be my friend but I just want the help. I respect you… I may not like you but I RESPECT you. My true goal in all of this is to build myself up and I want you to build yourself up as well. I want us to main event High Stakes which means one of us needs to be Bombshell Champion by then. So consider this a little stop on the way to get there. Don’t you want to be part of history?! Don’t you want to perhaps make history as being in the main event of the biggest show of the year that has two women of Mexican descendant headlining?! Think about our legacy, our heritage…. It would be our story and NOBODY would be able to take it away from us so what do you say?!”

Andrea thinks about it as she just snaps back a response.

“Don’t get choked out…”

“Excuse me?!”

“That’s my first bit of advice. She stuck her hand down my throat. You need to watch for that at all times…”

“Don’t get choked out… Got it… So try not to end up like you did during our I Quit match….”

Andrea just sits there staring blankly at Crystal.

“You know I have better things to do…”

“Sorry I couldn’t help myself…”

“Anyway you want to win and put the work in?! Let’s get out of this hotel and get you trained up… You don’t make moves unless you are working for it. After this little training session I wouldn’t be surprised if the burning rose ignites and rises back up like a Phoenix…”

With that Andrea and Crystal just stare at one another. There is definitely a look of respect between the two of them as they leave the hotel and go to get Crystal in shape for what’s to come.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most confident of them all?!

You know it’s funny when you think about it. I might have been wrestling in the late 2000s but it wasn’t until the early 2010s when I really started to break out of my shell and form a name to my career. It was in 2010 when I was rising through the ranks. I was becoming a household name. I was winning World Championships and people were chanting or booing the name Crystal over and over. It was quite a beautiful sight and it was around that time that I was the self-proclaimed Reflection of Perfection, the Rose Goddess Crystal Hilton.

It was a simple time… I thought that perfect never failed. I thought I couldn’t be stopped, and people honestly bought that hype as well. I mean in 2011 I was voted as the World’s Best Women’s Wrestler according to the OSEW polls. I was the heel of the year, high flyer of the year, Diva of the year, and of course ranked as the best woman’s wrestler in the world… I was voted for that across multiple companies.

Anyway I can talk myself up but that’s irrelevant. What’s more important is the fact that my entire thing is that I would stand in front of a mirror and talk to myself. It was as if I was the evil queen from Snow White and I imagined my own reflection answering me. I was that self-centered and I am not ashamed to say it.  The reason I bring it up is because I didn’t mind hearing myself speak. I loved hearing my own voice speak but after hearing what you said last week it’s no different than what I would hear if I was speaking to my own reflection again.

I came to you bringing up the fact on why I missed most of the Greek Tour, why I felt you were wearing a mask, and how hurt I was over Andrea, and just like one of those Pete the Parrot talking toys. You basically just said the same shit rehashing some stuff I ALREADY SAID to make a point. Hell you even went on this full blown explanation on why I am not a final girl even though I claimed I was one.

From the bottom of my heart you can go royally fuck yourself. I am not going to stand there and act like you are a real badass or I should respect you. I am not the brightest and I can admit that I dropped out of school when I was 13 because I was pregnant. I didn’t get a degree and I don’t have a GED…. So I am not going to try to go to war with you with all of these superb words that you wish to throw out to show off your ego or have this way of being this overly descriptive with a high Intelligence level.

Truly I don’t give a damn, but for a woman who is supposed to be so smart your real power is that you come across like Ditto the Pokemon. You simply just want to copy whoever you are up against. I thought it was bad that Mercedes Vargas can come across like Mokujin from Tekken simply knowing all things but really mastering nothing but I see somebody who fails in comparison. At least Vargas knows what she is talking about when it comes to facts but you don’t have your facts right at all.

You know I can take great pride that I own my movie studio. One that was basically bought to me by my ex-husband Todd WILLIAMS… One of the names you missed out on by the way. At the studio as fun as it is to act and be somebody else or even direct. I think what I love more than anything is having the ability that even though I lack a diploma and clearly I am nowhere your level when it comes to IQ my skills as a SCREEN WRITER are top fucking notch.

I write shit that is so good that you are out here trying to jack my own material and try to use it against me. Remind me to tell my board of directors to send you a cease and desist letter for plagiarism.

Bitch, are you actually fucking serious?! You can’t just use some shit that I already said to make it yours and further your own point. Did you not watch my Fellow Detroit native Eminem’s movie 8 mile when he unleashes his final diss on Papa Doc?!

Rabbit basically said shit that he knew couldn’t be countered or it would look really dumb if he came out talking about the same exact shit. Clearly you must not have seen it because you would have learned a valuable lesson.

Get out of here with that nonsense. I don’t need to work on my gag reflexes and worrying about a hand being shoved down my throat when you are the one who is choking on the shit I already said, and we didn’t even step in a ring yet.

Don’t try to stand on your high horse and act like you know me because you don’t know shit on who I am or what I have gone through. I been through a lot of shit, stuff I am not proud of but guess what I am still here…

There are times I wish I could run away, sometimes I wish I could hit the reset button and turn things around. I made a lot of mistakes but I have always learned how to work through them even if I didn’t appreciate the consequences coming my way. So whatever Rapture that you think is going to come from anything regardless of result my name is remembered by everybody.

No matter if you try to deny it my name is the one in the record books, it is the one in the Hall of Fame, and it’s the one who held the World title the most. As much as people want to say I am nobody they sure bring my name up over and over again.

It doesn’t matter if it’s for achieving a lot such as the laundry stuff of stuff I did in this company that you can find in the history books or the bad stuff, and trust me there’s so much bad memories such as stabbing my wife in the back, not being trustworthy, betraying Despy, and so on. No matter how you look at it I will always be remembered and I will always be a household name whether you believe it or not.

Now I can sit here and talk about being all abstract like a metaphor or I could be comparisons like similes but we didn’t come here to talk about what you might hear in English class. We came here to talk about wrestling and I know I am one of the best bombshells when it comes to doing just that.

I am confident that I have what it takes to beat you. I have been in the ring with people far better than you. I have beaten women that people thought I shouldn’t have but I live to prove the masses wrong. One thing I do take very seriously is the fact that I will make the Internet Championship my very own. It’s a title I never lost in the first place and it will look so good around my waist. It has been way too long since I have held gold in this title, and the Internet championship is the perfect thing to get my feet wet again.

You talk a lot of shit for a woman who honestly doesn’t comprehend on what she is up against. In your mind all you see is a bombshell who took her wife’s Zdunich to stand out and that was the biggest load of shit that I have ever heard. You think that’s why I wanted to take the name?!

No… I took it to showcase that we are in a marriage. It had nothing about star power. Nothing against my wife but I am Crystal Hilton that name alone has all of the star power in the world. Don’t you even insinuate that I am type of trophy wife either because it has always been said by others not me of course, that Seleana tends to come across as a trophy wife.

Obviously that would make sense had you studied what others have consistency said but you are so focused on me that small detail must have flew across your head. I know there might be a lot of things about me that are extremely inconsistent.

Things that I know people love to shit talk about me whether includes hair, name, or even nickname. OMG Crystal isn’t consistency but there’s one little detail that people always miss out. It’s that my biggest form of consistency is in what I do inside of the ring.

Whether win or lose you can rest assured knowing that I am going to bring it and in your case I plan to hurt you in so many ways. I am not afraid of you Masque, and at first I thought that there was something special behind that mask, something terrifying that wishes to rip me from limb to limb.

Perhaps I am like Tommy Jarvis from Jason Lives. Maybe I did bring a dead corpse to life by saying dumb shit that would make you think that this was going to be easy. However in true fashion as you seem blinded by wanting to rapture Chloe, and everybody else. Try to focus on your resplendent hurricane Amber or whoever you seem to have your eyes on…

In true Tommy Jarvis this is when I stand up and provoke the living hell out of you. Whether it’s calling you a maggot head, a chicken shit, or even a pussy I will make you focus on me because things aren’t over between you and I. We need our fight and I refuse to be written off like some blank check. You don’t treat Crystal Hilton like that and she will not be ignored.

I know your biggest plan is to move on from me so you can focus on something else. Perhaps you want to look at new challenges and maybe work on seeing who else there is that could prove useful to the rapture. How dare you not give me what you deserve? It’s just like when Ringo was waiting for Wyatt Earp in the movie Tombstone. He waited to put him to rest but what he didn’t realize was that he had started something with Doc Holiday and that needed to be finished.

I don’t know what your plans are but you ruined what should have been a huge one on one showdown with Andrea. It was supposed to be her and I battling for the Internet Championship but you ruined that match. You took that away from me, and you want to laugh about the entire thing.

Believe it or not I actually took that very personally and that’s why I am showing up to finish it. I made a vow to Andrea that I would beat you. Believe it or not she actually prepared me to be in the ring with you. It’s funny what happens when you get two women who hate each other but have a mutual respect for one. At the end of the day we only see our legacy, and a heritage that was established by our fathers.

A tradition that will carry on with us and right now the next thing on the mind is to push towards having our all Mexican bombshell  main event, Andrea took a huge step in working with me and I am not going to let that go to waste. I refuse to let her down. I refuse to let her down, and I am not going to stop coming after you until I can stand tall as the Internet Champion.

It’s all I want and it will be mine no matter what. I am sure you have this notion where you feel you are good and you could easily destroy me, but I have been through so much that winning is the only option right now. I won’t rest until I can prove that I am better than you.

Everybody might think you are scary but I don’t see that. I am not afraid.

The only thing that I see in front of me is opportunity. This is my chance to get into the limelight, my chance to be center stage and a focal point of the division going forward. You want to prove you belong here?!

Beat me in this Super Card match, prove that you are the better wrestler.

I highly doubt that… I plan to set the world on fire…. I am the burning rose, Flame On…. It’s time to ignite and showcase why I have a flame that refuses to go out. Best of luck Masque… You certainly will need it/

I am the rose that refuses to wither away.

I am Crystal Zdunich, and I am your future SCW Internet Bombshell Champion…


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