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Faulerro

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PostSubject: Friends and Foes   Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:10 pm

Life hasn’t been easy for me since Melanie walked out of Dan’s gym and, in the process, walked out of my life. It’s been even harder, in fact, since David accepted my challenge and made that damning condition of our match being Trinity of Iron. Not only am I alone now, but I have to prepare for the sort of bout that a sane man wouldn’t be seen anywhere near.

Of course, when it rains faeces, it pours diarrhoea. That is exactly why I currently find myself face-first in the wet grass of a Barton field, mud in my eyes and four pairs of booted feet kicking the living hell out of me. Sprawled out in front of me is the remnants of a takeaway I was meant to be taking home, curry sauce leaking about the place and brown prints where it had been stamped on by my assailants.

2011 could have gotten off to a better start, to be honest.

I do know who my attackers are, despite the fact that my view is obscured of them now. They had the common decency to approach me and explain their reasons for their assault before doing so, which was nice. I still find it hard to appreciate, but I can’t fault their manners.

The leader of this group of four extremely built men is Andy Leonard, a former soldier for the American army from Massachusetts, who has the dubious honour of being one of Soudouki’s many exes. To be precise, he preceded me, and it was his return that inspired her infidelity and our eventual break-up. As you can imagine, he holds a very special place in my heart.

He and his military mates walked up to me as I was on my way home with a bag of deep-fried goods, and informed me that since I had the gall to step into the eyes of the public, which I took to mean “be announced by CXA to participate in the show”, they had to teach me a lesson. I’ll admit, I’m a little fuzzy as to what offended them exactly, but they certainly seemed genuine in their feelings. Several punches and kicks later, I found myself in my current prone position.

Andy is by far the most vocal of the group, yelling obscenities while he takes it to me with hard shots to the kidneys with those steel-toed boots of his.

“Fuckin’ British piece of shit!” he exclaims venomously, “Fuckin’ tea-drinkin’ pussy! This’ll show you! This’ll fuckin’ show you!”

Despite the extreme pain I’m feeling right now, I decide to weakly speak up, “You know... ow... you’re going to have to... OW... clarify exactly what you’re... ouch... trying to show me here... owww... ‘cause all I’m seeing is dirt right no-OW!”

I hear them stop their barrage of brutality, and am thankful, at least until he almost pulls my hair out from the roots and lifts my bruised carcass up to face him. He’s grimacing as if his testicles were in a vice, and begins to boom at me like an angry drill sergeant, wads of spit colliding with my face as he does so.

“Fuckin’ pantywaist shit! You gonna talk shit to me, limey? You don’t know shit about who I am!”

To accentuate his point, he drives his fist into my stomach, and all of the oxygen I was previously holding onto evacuates my body in an instant. His friends laugh with great amusement over this display. Must be some sort of in-joke between them.

“Son, I’ve been to fuckin’ war! You couldn’t understand for a second what that’s like! So don’t talk your British bullshit to me!”

Again a punch. Air I didn’t even know was still remaining is ejected. You certainly can’t call this guy inconsistent.

Somehow, even with my lungs emptied, I manage to wheeze out some words.

“That didn’t answer my question at all...” I follow that up with a much-needed cough, and happily sprinkle saliva all over his face to return the favour.

His response is predictable, but it’s not like I can do much to prevent it. My gut gets pounded and he lets me drop to the grass. More laughter from his friends. Try as I might, I really can’t see the funny side here.

“Soudouki, you fuckin’ idiot!” he yells at me, completely mis-pronouncing her name, and presses that boot of his on my cheek, “I’m showin’ you that you ain’t good enough for ‘er! Can’t even fight back, fuckin’ wrestler bitch!”

Once I’ve struggled enough to regain my breath, I speak out again from my curled up position on the ground.

“Soudouki...? Are you kidding me...? She and I aren’t... an item anymore...”

My pointing out of facts is rewarded with a stomp on my cheek, and I can practically feel it bruising right afterwards.

“I know that you fuckin’ British shit!” he spits, demonstrating his vast vocabulary further, “Why the fuck would she get with you again anyway?”

“Enough talkin’, Andy,” one of his friends impatiently pipes up in the voice of a manchild, “Let’s jus’ keep kickin’ the shit out of ‘im!”

“Shut your hole, Billy, or I’ll smack you,” he warns his friend, who backs off as a result, and continues to quite literally talk down to me, “Reto, you ain’t shit. You hear me?! You ain’t...” he stomps me twice as hard this time for emphasis, “...shit!

After letting out a rather un-manly yelp, I make sure to correct him, “I... thought you said... that I was shit. British shit, to be... precise.”

His reply comes in the form of more violence. I’ll spare you the exact details, but my lower half is not feeling peachy after it.

“Listen to me, you know-it-all sack of horse manure,” he says while kneeling down to my level, “This country’s upholders of the law are clearly fuckin’ worthless, because they let your sorry ass out of jail when you should’ve been a lifer after what you did. Nobody hits a fuckin’ woman where I come from.”’

Ah. This makes a bit more sense now, and I have to admit that this lot are quite justified in beating me up. I did leave a fist imprint on Soudouki’s heavily made-up face not too long ago, and I’m actually surprised I didn’t get into much trouble for it. Apparently Soudouki decided not to press charges, a move which I couldn’t have predicted. I’m not going to say I was right to do what I did, especially considering her response, even if it did feel damn good at the time.

“More importantly though, you fuckin’ ruined her!” he wakes me from my train of thought with a hard slap to the face leaves sparks spinning around my field of vision for a good minute, “If it weren’t for your homo-lookin’ self showin’ up, she never would’ve got away from me! I was gonna make an honest woman out of ‘er, you little slimeball!”

“Um,” I speak up, hoping that this time I don’t get hit for my effort, “Correct me if I’m...” I cough violently, before raspily managing the rest of my speech, “...if I’m wrong, but I’m fairly certain she left you long before she and I decided to get together.”

“Not then, moron!” he slaps me yet again, and my hopes are in vain, “I thought she’d finally come to ‘er senses when we hooked up a few years back, and left your sorry ass in the lurch! Turns out she up and left me too! Whatever you did to my little Sue completely fucked with ‘er!”

“Hrm, don’t recall doing anything of significance,” I inform him, my voice and delivery considerably smoother now, “You sure you just weren’t an unbearable lover? You do rely on the word fuck a tad too much. That can get old quickly.”

“Shut your fuckin’ mouth!”

I have no choice to, as he motions to his friends and they begin their beating again. Fists and feet come from all directions and I’m left with no means of defending myself.

“I’ll show you! I’ll teach you a fuckin’ lesson! I’ll fuckin’ show you!”

Oh, you’re showing me, alright. Showing me that four men can beat up one dork and a bag of fish and chips. Nice work.

I suppose I do deserve this to a point, though. I had hurt Soudouki, and not just when I physically punched her. There was a good reason Melanie walked out on me, after all, and maybe it was to blame for that horrifying dark side I got a glimpse of from Sou the day it happened.

I’m not proud of who I am on the inside. I can try as I might, but that horrible side always shows itself in the end, and everything falls apart when it does.

The annoying thing is, though, that I need to be in touch with that which is on the inside – my true self – if I want to achieve what I’m aiming for. I don’t get into contact with my pure persona very often, so I’m hoping that should I ever really access it, I don’t see a grimy monster in the mirror. That’s certainly what that encounter with Soudouki has led me to feel will happen.

As I think about that, a fist to the face switches off my lights and the world around me fades out.

----

In my haze, I experience a memory. A completely vivid flashback, in fact. It’s 1990, and I’m a child in primary school. My new glasses have been knocked off my face and crushed by other young kids simply because I was wearing them. They laugh at me cruelly as they toss the remains over the fence. The situation is awfully similar to my current one.

Teachers stand nearby and watch. Instead of coming to my aid, they shake their heads and give a look that seems to say “boys will be boys”. Despite the fact that I’m a helpless child, still new to the experience of public school, I’m being humiliated and harmed by my peers and my educators are simply shrugging it off.

I am completely alone in my misery.

Until one person shows their face.

I’ve never met them before. They step in front of me, silhouetted by the shining sun, and put out their hand. I don’t know how to react. I’m just a terrified child and nobody around me seems to care about my plight. Why should this person be any different?

“Take my hand. I will help you, Christopher.”

My voice comes out shaken and stammered, “W-who are you...?”

“I’m your friend.”

I’m still scared, but their words soothe my nerves. I take their hand, and I have the power to get to my feet.

“Good. Look at them. They are breaking your glasses. What will you do?”

“I... I don’t know...”

“Yes you do. Come with me. We will teach them.”

“Wha... what will we teach them...?”

“Teach them that you are stronger than them. Come on.”

Half an hour later, my parents arrive at the school, as they were informed I was in trouble for beating up the children who picked on me. The school tries to defend the actions of those kids, insisting that I was at fault for aggravating them.

I speak up, even as these adults argue with raised voices and long words. My formerly weak voice now has a powerful rasp behind it, as my new friend grips my hand and encourages me.

“I didn’t do anything wrong! They got what they deserved!”

The headmaster, a weasel-y man with a high opinion of himself, looks at me condescendingly.

“Christopher, I will not accept this kind of behaviour in my school. What makes you think you can hurt other innocent children?”

“Innocent my bum!”

The headmaster scowls at me, “How dare you! You should be expelled for this, young man!”

“Chrissie, why did you punch those boys?” my mother asks me, apparently not convinced that I am in the right.

“I’ll tell you why I did it!” I exclaim proudly, “I did it because they deserved it, and... because I can! I’m stronger than them!”

My new friend smiles at me.

“You are stronger. Remember that, Christopher.”

----

My dream ended there, as another fist jars me awake. The words of that friend ring in my ear.

I am stronger.

I’ve already been punished enough for my actions. Melanie’s nowhere to be seen. I have to face David Shand in an inhuman match. I’ve got enough on my damn plate. The only reason this supposed white knight is getting his friends to tenderise me is to make himself feel better about not being able to keep Soudouki.

I’m not going to allow him to get away with this.

I’m up. I power to a vertical base, shoving all four aside. I turn my attention to Andy, and again my voice is smoother than it really should be.

“Enough of this crap. You can stop blaming me for your damn mistakes.”

They all laugh; a familiar sound. They seem to be very much amused by my attempt to stand up to them.

Enough of this crap!” Andy mocks me in a bad English accent, “My fuckin’ mistakes? I don’t make mistakes, son.”

“You invaded Iraq, didn’t you?”

None of them take too kindly to that one, and they leap onto me. For all my renewed vigour, I’m fighting four very conditioned men, even if the scars on their forearms indicate war injuries that should be slowing them down. I give it my all, striking any that come close enough, but end up being clubbed about the back of the head by Billy’s brick-like fist, knocking me to my knees.

“I got ‘im, Andy!”

“You fuckin’ did too, Billy! Now pick the British fucker up!”

Billy obliges, lifting my almost-limp body up by the underarms, and drags me in front of Andy. The ringleader prepares to sock my right in the face with his tattooed right hand, but I handily cut him off with a desperate headbutt, and force myself from Billy’s grip. Andy holds his forehead and yells in agony. Apparently I found his weak point; and considering his reasoning, it doesn’t surprise me that it’s his head.

“Just to clarify,” I tell him, driving the point of my elbow into his skull, “I’m English!”

My moment of glory doesn’t last long - a recurring theme in my life – as Billy hits me in the back of the head for a second time and this time I find my brain undergoing a power cut as I slip from reality for a second time.

----

Conscious has faded. Another flashback. Another strategically-placed one.

I’m in my adolescence. It’s still the 90s, and I’ve just been dumped by my first girlfriend. Naturally this is a much-relived moment for me, and yet it never helped from a cathartic standpoint. Still, here we are.

Teenage relationships shouldn’t be taken seriously, but as a hormone-riddled youth who is experiencing this kind of thing for the first time, it feels as though my life is over. I don’t have many friends to support me, so I simply find myself going home and locking myself in my room. I’ve closed the curtains despite it being the middle of the day, keeping the whole bedroom as dim as my mood. I squeeze a pillow and ask myself a slew of questions.

Why did she do this? What did I do wrong? Wasn’t I good enough? How could I move on without her?

“Pick yourself up, mate. You’re better than this.”

I look up and see a familiar image. It’s my friend.

“I don’t want to. This is horrible. I don’t believe this!”

“Come on. She’s not worth it. She never treated you right anyway.”

I don’t answer. I know inside that they’re right. It felt as though the whole relationship was just a dare from her friends anyway; I was just being played because I was a dorky kid.

“Now get up, Christopher. We’ll show them.”

“What? What can we show them?”

“Nobody messes with you. You’re better than them and they know it. You always get the answers right, so they’re jealous. How many times has this happened?”

Again, they’re right. I’m still upset, but I do feel better now that my friend says this.

They reach out their hand, and I take it. I get to my feet.

“Her friends smelled funny, didn’t they? That was weed, I know it. Let’s call the police.”

“Are you sure...?”

“Of course I am. This will prove how better you are.”

I believe their every word, and with the enthusiasm they’ve given me, I go off to make that phone call.

----

I wake up with a start, and I’m back on that field.

My face is in the mud again, and I see a slightly worse-for-wear group of rowdy Americans now leaving, apparently satisfied with their handiwork. As alertness tightens its grip around my mind, I start to feel the effects of their beating. I’m hurting in places that I wasn’t even aware possessed nerves.

I try to get up again, but I’ve been too badly hurt. My legs won’t obey my commands. It’s as though I’ve got a double decker bus on top of my body.

I can’t have them just walk off after this. I shriek out with what’s left of my strength...

“Come back here you oil-humping septic tanks!!”

That got their attention. Before I know it, a furious Andy is bearing down on me again.

“Not had enough, have you? I’ll keep you down for good this time, you fuckin’ redcoat.”

And so I’m getting attacked from numerous angles again. What I intended to accomplish by inciting more abuse from them escapes me, because I am in no condition to do anything in response.

Then, without losing consciousness this time, I’m struck with another memory. Another flashback to an earlier time.

----

I’m a professional wrestler. Emphasis on professional. This is my job now and has been for years.

I’m working for the Central Wrestling Alliance, and yet another beating has been executed upon me. The perpetrators are former friends of mine. This sort of thing is par for the course in this business, but it still hurts.

Nobody has come to help me. The EMTs have already left; the show is over and not a member of staff is to be seen in this whole arena. The people responsible made sure to do this somewhere it wouldn’t be witnessed. I’m bleeding a lot, and feel weak.

A hand comes out just like it does every time I’m down. With friends of mine either back at home, far away from this ever-moving lifestyle of a wrestler, or having stabbed me in the back, there is always that one who’s always there.

“Get up. We’ve got to get you out of here. You need medical assistance.”

“Leave me. I don’t have anybody now.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m here.”

“You can’t help me this time. Just forget it. I’ve no desire to continue.”

“Quit your bitching. Take my hand and we’ll get you to a hospital.”

“That won’t work.”

“Only if you won’t allow it to work.”

I let my hand drop.

“I’m done.”

“No. You’re stronger than this. You’re better than this. Christopher, come on.”

“You can’t help me, damn it.”

“Allow me to, and I will.”

They grab my hand this time, and pull me up forcefully. I’m up to my feet. I’m woozy, but I’m up.

“Now let’s get you to safety, my friend.”

----

Reality sets in around me. Not a hundred percent, but clear enough. I’m up, and Andy and his friends can’t believe it.

My mind is telling me I shouldn’t be standing, but I’m defying it. Hell, I’m fighting them. Without even giving it thought, my wrestling instincts drive my actions, and I systematically attack each one. Even as the others try to intervene, I succeed in eliminating one. Then the other. Fists, elbows, kicks, throws. All of the skills I’d refined in my training with Dan come into play.

The bricks on the ends of Billy’s wrists try to incapacitate me, but I am too quick for them. I’m moving with a speed that a person of my size was made to operate at. Perhaps even faster than that. An extended kick to the jaw sees the big tough former soldier’s legs give out from underneath him and he crumples into a pile.

Only Andy remains and he’s yelling at me, apparently not deterred by the downfall of his comrades. I don’t hear a word. The only words I hear are the voice of that friend, all the way back then.

“Honestly, have a little faith in me, and thus yourself.”

Andy tries to fight me off. He can’t. I’m on a whole other level. I’m not even control on a conscious level. The one kicking him in his most sensitive points is the true me.

”I’m the only real friend you have. I accept you for who you really are, and I give you the strength to pick yourself up. You might even say that I am, in fact, your strength.”

Andy was trained in the harshest of environments, and suffered through the most overwhelming torment just to be ready to fight for his country, but he cannot fight back against me.

And even though one would never consider this in a real fight, I pull out a weapon from my wrestling arsenal that always put an exclamation mark on my battles. It’s what my true self wants to do more than anything else.

His face is driven into the dirt with a ChiDT.

As I regain control of my body, I don’t feel any of the pain. The adrenaline is pumping through my system, preventing any of it from registering. From the low that enveloped me when this had started, I feel a high unlike any other. I feel awakened again.

The voice echoes in my head still, and I let myself drop to my knees. The memories of that time wash over me.

----

“You like the name Chio, don’t you?”

“Yeah. It was a nice deviation on my old moniker. What do you think of it?”

“It’s just right. Works even better than Christopher.”

“Thanks, I’m glad you think so.”

“Okay Chio, we’re nearly out of here.”

“That reminds me. You never told me your name.”

“Hm, I suppose I never did.”

“What do you want me to call you?”

“Oh, it really is a good name. Very fitting, I think. I mean, considering I’m here to remind you of how much you matter.”

“Come on, spill it already.”

“Hehe. Alright, alright. As soon as we’re... there we go, the doors were unlocked. Thank goodness.”

“Yeah. So what is it?”

“Well, Chio. You can call me Dearest Worldbelonger.”

----

“...Worldbelonger, are you there?”

I hear them speak for the first time in years. They’re laughing.

“Chio, what are you talking about?”

An amused sigh breezes through the back of my mind and their words spill out of my mouth.

“I never left.”
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PostSubject: Re: Friends and Foes   Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:10 pm

ooc: .....brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

btw, i've been meaning to talk to you about something related to this, but admittedly ive been terrible at getting around to it. Like with many things lately. I'll try and gather my thoughts and write you via facebook tomorrow or something.
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PostSubject: Re: Friends and Foes   Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:58 am

ooc: Chris, that's about as perfect a role-play for the situation as its possible to get. Absolutely brilliant.

You managed to not only continue your character's own personal development, but also find the perfect way to counter Shand's allegations and show how Chio stands a chance in the fight - his heart, his ability to find that other level and keep coming back, because its what he's had to do all his life. Its superb.

Absolutely loved it.

DS

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Faulerro

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PostSubject: Re: Friends and Foes   Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:46 am

OOC: Thanks guys. I wanted to write something special to make up for the delay between posts, so I'm glad you enjoyed this one.
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