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 Forgotten Warriors and Fractured Siblings.

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Mjolnir

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PostSubject: Forgotten Warriors and Fractured Siblings.   Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:05 am

The windscreen wipers swept in a large arc across the bevelled field of glass in front of him, momentarily obscuring his vision before rewarding him with a clearer picture of the road ahead than the speckled and rain-sodden one he had had moments before. Their rhythm was almost hypnotic, and accompanied by the drumming of the falling rain around him could almost have been soporific were the circumstances different. It was only early evening, although with a sky devoid of sunlight and overcast in a dull grey, it would have been hard to have predicted any time at all were it not for the clock set into the dashboard of the car.

Not that he cared about the time, or the weather. There were much more important matters on his mind. Matters which he’d tried to avoid, but which he knew now needed to come to a head. You can only avoid things for so long, Eventually the ghosts of the past rise up and find you.

He peered through the windscreen now, looking forward and upwards at an expanse of brickwork buildings. These old warehouses were testament to the long-forgotten industrial past of this section of the city. You could imagine that the area once rang with the sounds of commerce and industry, the hustle and bustle of manufacturing plants, the thrum of heavy machinery. All this was once contained inside these brick palaces, these monuments to the Victorian age of innovation and progress. But such a time was long gone now, as faded in memory as its symbols were in the buildings themselves. Occasionally you could work out the names of the companies who once occupied these warehouses, just visible in neglected paintwork on the sides of the building, or engraved into the rusting iron work of an entrance. But these were names which meant nothing anymore. The sons, the grandsons, of the men mentioned here had long-since died, and their companies either folded or been subsumed into others.

And soon even their final traces would be gone. Relentless development of urban sites meant it was rare to find one of these places that had not been converted into expensive apartments on the upper floors, and a branch of Starbucks or some other ubiquitous chain in the basement. From New York to Chicago to London, the same scenario was repeated. They called this progress as well, but he was not so sure. All he knew was that things changed. So, it seemed, did people.

But this place, this appeared not to have been touched. A passing car, a casual observer, would see little other than a seemingly abandoned old hulk of a building sitting on the river, looking out toward the rapidly expanding hub of Canary Wharf and London’s new city. He would not see the things David could see, he wouldn’t know.

Shand turned the wheel now and the Aston Martin responded, prowling slowly down the side alley almost like a giant cat. In these brickwork canyons which so narrowly enclosed the vehicle, its V12 engine echoed and growled, seeming frustrated at being forced to progress at no more than walking speed. About 60 yards down, David brought the car to a halt before a chain-link fence. It looked old, could well have been here since the building was built. But the security cameras mounted to the wall and pointed at it could not. Neither could the receiving box mounted on the wall to his left. David produced a small box, pointed it toward the receiver, and pressed a button. He waited for a moment, and before him the old chain link fence folded back with a smooth ease of operation which belied its apparent age.

Again the car moved forward and this time David pressed a second button. Before him, a powerful motor gave a deep-throated rumbling “thrum” as it whirred into action, a sound complimented by the grinding screech of protesting metal being forced into movement against its will. Huge metal shutters shuddered as they began their creaking ascent toward the roof of the entrance in front of the Aston. A combination of age, rust, and accumulated layers of paint had slowed their progress since they were first installed, but they still worked, and they were less conspicuous than fitting a new door.

He rolled the Aston Martin forward, and into what appeared to be a large cage. Behind him the shutters rolled back to the floor, and as soon as they did so he felt a shudder beneath the car. The cage began to rise, up through the building to the uppermost floor. The journey was quiet and smooth. Now they were inside there was little need for further deception.

As the cage door reopened behind him, David slipped the car into gear, backed out and turned the car toward the far side of the huge warehouse. As he did so he kept his senses alert, and his head on a swivel. After all, by now, he’d know he was here

There it was, the whole set-up, the bank of Plasma screens, the leather sofas, the personal gym, the skulking shape of the fully restored TVR Tuscan, and in front of it the Ferrari 458 he’d bought just a few months ago. He’d been here a hundred times, in good times and bad, and yet the whole place had never seemed as alien as it did at this minute. It was like he’d never been here before.

It was his brother’s home – one of them anyway – and yet he felt like a stranger.

David stepped from the car, and walked slowly into the main open area of the vast warehouse. He was dressed casually in pair of jeans and a black shirt – attire he’d rarely let the rest of the world see – but his movements were anything but casual. He knew his brother was here, and yet he’d chosen not to reveal himself. David wasn’t surprised at this, but he wasn’t about to hand his brother more advantage than he had to.

David continued forward, and then he saw it, standing exactly as it had been the last time he was here.

The ring

Not just any ring, but THE ring. The first ring his brother had ever set foot in, a child aged just nine, in a dusty and dirty gym in Bermondsey. He had stood across from Matthew then, and he had told his brother to trust him. He had promised that everything would be OK if he put his trust in him.

David knew every inch of that ring. He knew where there were small rips in the faded canvas, he knew where the boards underneath creaked or moved. He knew which of the turnbuckles would tend to work loose first, how much give there were in the ropes. Every single detail was etched into his mind, into the very fabric of his soul.

It was more than a ring. It was their Genesis, the start of everything, the symbol of the unbreakable bond which had always existed between them as brothers. It meant everything.

And now it was in ruins

The ropes had been torn from the turnbuckles, and now lay across the ring, spilling onto the outside as the rubber casing had been stripped from the rope underneath. The turnbuckle pads had been ripped open, their filling strewn all over the floor in cotton wads. The ring skirts had been slashed to ribbons, and the canvas equally torn and shredded, dumped outside the ring in a heap. The corner posts all leant at an alarming angle where the metal frame of the ring had been bent ad twisted. And in the middle of the ring, as a final insult against his memory, the various boards had been piled and obviously set on fire. All that remained now was charcoal and ash.

David could not help himself. He cried out in anguish, his stomach rising into throat and his head spinning. He gripped one of the leaning corner posts for support, utterly unable to comprehend what he was seeing.

“I don’t remember inviting you into my home”

The voice came from behind him, and David spun around, his mind still reeling. Lounging against the wall was his brother, Matthew Shand. Matt was dressed in a pair of tracksuit bottoms and a polo shirt, his blond hair shorter than it had been before, and his face sporting a short overall beard. In fact, aside from the colouring, his look was almost a mirror image of David’s and the resemblance between the brothers was scarcely more obvious.

David felt a surge of emotion running through him. A mixture of sorrow, anger, regret, and a hundred other feeling which barely had names. He wanted to say something, but found his voice died in his throat. All he could manage was.

“How could you?”

Matt looked nonplussed. He chose to ignore the question. "I said I don't remember inviting you in. You're trespassing."

David wasn't listening. He turned back to the ring.

"Why? Just why Matt"

Behind him, David could actually feel the grin spreading across Matthew's face. "Yeah, I thought that might get your attention."

David took a moment and then turned back toward his brother. Never one to lose control of his emotions for long, he regained some ground now, and initial shock and sadness had given way to the more powerful of his emotions; anger.

"My attention? Jesus Christ is that what all this has been for, to get my attention?"

Matthew laughed, peeling himself off the wall and walking forward a few steps to close the distance between them. "Is that what you think? That this has all been about me wanting some of your precious time?"

David threw his hands into the air, clearly exasperated and trying to make sense of it all, and fighting to keep control of his temper.

"I don't know what this is about Matthew, any of it. I don't know what possesses my own brother to act like this, to do something like this. God knows I have been trying to work it out, but I’m not sure what sort of malfunction goes off in your head for you to do any of the things you have done lately, this little show for my benefit being one of them!"

"This wasn't for your benefit, brother!"

Now it was the older Shand's turn to scoff.

"Of course it was. You knew I'd come. It's why you didn't change the code on the security doors. You obviously wanted me to see this."

Matthew walked straight past his brother and alongside one side of the ring. He bent down and grabbed a torn piece of the ring skirt, holding it out to David. His voice dripped with malice and venom as he spoke now.

"Oh yes, you’re quite right, I wanted you to see this. I wanted you to see yet another thing you have touched, another thing you have been a part of, destroyed and burnt, ruined and in ashes. Just like all those things that have gone before, just like all those people that have gone before. But you are wrong about one thing - none of this was for your benefit, or about you. It was about me. It was about finally setting myself free of you”

“What are you talking about?”

Matt threw the ring skirt down and grabbed a piece of the charred wood that once made up the ring floor. He brandished it toward David.

“You don’t get it do you? This…” he waved the charred plank “All this, this ring, it was a symbol; a symbol of the fact that my whole life has been under your shadow, your control. It was a symbol of the fact that everything I do, everywhere I go, I’m just second fiddle to you and your ego; your relentless quest for world domination. See, to the world out there, this wasn’t the first ring Fireball Matthew Shand ever wrestled in. Oh no, it was the ring the mighty Reaper David Shand instructed his brother in. That’s the way its been my whole life; an afterthought to what you were doing, what you wanted, where you were going. I was a prisoner caught in the massive shadow you cast, and no matter which way I ran, I couldn’t get into the light.”

David shook his head “Matthew I….”

The younger Shand was having none of it. He cut across his brother

“Spare me your lectures and your ‘it was never like that’s’. The master manipulator, the master of the mind games. You forget that I’ve heard them all before and they were as full of shit then as they would be now. Don’t pretend you ever cared, David, because we all know you didn’t. All of us that have been your victims in your life, we all came to realise in the end that we could never compete with you. Difference is the others accepted their fates. I won’t.”

Matthew bent down and scooped a handful of the ashes of the ring into his hand. As he stood, he let them run through his fingers.

“Like I said, another part of you burnt and ruined. Isn't it funny how everything you have anything to do with turns to shit in the end? You’ve held the ashes of all of them in your hands. Friendships, family, even dead wives..."

David's eyes flashed murderously at the mention of Lauren. His voice was low

"Watch your mouth brother"

Matthew's words were spat back, his face contorting into a scowl.

"Brother? Don’t you get it? I’ve broken my bond with you. I won’t be a slave to your ego anymore. As far as I am concerned, its over. I don’t have a brother anymore!!”

“Don’t say that”

“Why?”

“Because whatever mistakes you make, I’m always your brother”

Matthew’s laugh was humourless. He wiped the last of the ash from his hands as he brought them together into a mocking clap.

“Oh very good. A classic David Shand turnaround. Whatever mistakes I make, because of course this all HAS to be my fault doesn’t it? It could never be anything you did, any consequence of your actions. It’s always the other person isn’t it, because David Shand is perfect!”

David took a step forward. Any initial shock he’d been feeling, and any sympathy he might have had for his brother, was rapidly disappearing.

“No, I’ve never claimed to be perfect, little brother, but I’m not the one acting like a spoilt child, engaging in stupid games and smashing his toys up because he can’t get what he wants!”

“Stupid games?”

“What else do you call hiding in shadows and using pseudonyms? I’m not the one hiding behind cowls and capes in order to run his mouth, rather than having the courage to face his problem head on. For someone who claims he wants to break free of me, you spent any awful lot of effort badgering me and making sure people knew exactly who you were”

“Yeah, but that’s kinda the point isn’t it? People have never known who I am, just that I was related to you! You always saw to that?”

“Really, how exactly does your twisted imagination make that out?”

“Simple, you do it to everyone. You can’t ever treat someone as an equal, David. Everyone else has to operate on a subservient level to the mighty David Shand. Just take a look at the one ‘friend’ you claim to have in this business, Myron Fox. You know for all I detest him, in a way I feel sorry for the poor sap, because to you he’s still your little puppet. Your pupil you can jerk around and have at your beck and call. I saw the press conference, I saw the tension between you, and I saw you bark warnings at him like he was still some obedient lap-dog. Its how you see him, its how you always saw him.”

David shook his head, quite unable to believe what he was hearing

“Any tension there was between My-Ron and me was because of you, because I didn’t want my family business aired in public. It had nothing to do with how I see him – which you are wrong about by the way”

“Oh am I? Tell me, how many times have you turned on him? How many times has he trusted you and had it thrown back in his face? I’ve lost count, quite frankly. But I do known WHEN it happens. It happens every time Myron’s profile is in danger of eclipsing yours. Every time he might get close to breaking out of the bubble that is your world.”

Matthew started to count off on his fingers

“He starts to make a name for himself in the WHWF, and you break both his legs. He goes to win his first WHWF world title and you have to spoil that for him. He gets success in the CWA and you turn on him again. He wins the TXA belt, you take it from him. And you are still doing it. He was a music producer, he was happy, and then you had to come along and turn his world upside down, because frankly you couldn’t handle his fame, could you. Couldn’t handle your bitch actually doing better than you”

“You’re totally delusional. You don’t even begin to understand anything that’s gone on for the past two years”

“If I don’t understand anything its because you never held me in high enough regard to tell me”

David turned away and began to walk around to the other side of the ring, clearly having a hard time trying to come to terms with what he was hearing.

“Now you are just being ridiculous. This is just absurd. Matthew what’s gotten into you?”

Not wishing to give his brother any distance or allow him to escape his accusations, Matt follows him around the ring, all the while jabbing an accusatory finger at David as he speaks.

“Nothing’s gotten into me, David, I’ve just woken up and last. I’ve realized that my whole life has been a lie. Right from when you split us from our father…”

“Don’t bring him into this?”

“Why not? Afraid of just how much of a perfect son of his you are?”

David turned back to his brother, his eye blazing and his voice raising in volume and force.

“I am not our father!”

Matthew shouted now himself

“But you’re damn close. See, you like to tell the story that you saved me from the evil dictator, but the truth is that all that happened was that I was taken from one dictator and handed over to another. You might as well have slapped me in chains because after that I was just a slave to whatever you wanted. I was worse than Myron. I put up with more shit than he did because I was family, and I was too blinded by that to see the truth about you until now”

“Really? It’s a wonderfully revisionist view of history you have sometimes! All I’ve ever done is try to help you. Jesus, I even set up your own wrestling company with you!”

“Yes, and then you muscled me out of it so you could take over the business without any of the initial capital outlay. And when you accomplished that you burnt it to the ground just like it was another corporate takeover.”


David tried to defend himself
“…..It wasn’t like that”

“Of course it was. You treated every wrestling company and person in them the same. You went to the CWA and you played that company like a fiddle. You ‘befriended’ Special Giznap, helped him win the CWA title, but then when J-Dub took the belt it wasn’t Giz that got the match with him for the title, was it? No, it was David Shand. You played them all for fools. Giznap, Mark Lewis, Derek Verona – hell you almost killed him – Rocket, the list goes on. And then when the company hit a bad patch, you rode in like the white knight throwing money around like confetti and acting the savior of the company.”

“Hey, my intentions there were honourable”

“Bollocks. You only had one intention and that was to crowbar your way in, wait for the company to fail, and then asset strip it down the bones. And that’s exactly what you did. Now you have this match with Chio Reto, and you’ve done it again, another friend you’ll turn on just to placate your own ego. Companies, friends, family, none of it matters to you.”

“You’re wrong Matt, of course they matter, you matter. God, you’re my little brother, you mean everything to me, can’t you see that. Please, I’m begging you, just stop all this and come to your senses. I love you Matthew, I want to help you.”

“Really? Then where has my success gone, David? Where’s the trophy cabinet in my house? Where’s my invite to the CXA reunion show? I’ll tell you, nowhere, because you always saw to it that I never quite made it, didn’t you? You always ensured that while I might occasionally tap on the glass ceiling, I never shattered it. I never had a chance because at every step my own brother wanted to hold me down. Well I want no more. This ends right now.”

David had walked to the far side of the ring. He bent down on his haunches and lifted a hand full of the ring ashes into his hand. His face looked full of sadness now as he spoke.

“You really want it to end? Oh Matthew. I wish it didn’t all have to be like this”

“Like what?”

“Like this”

With that, David turned and sprung forward. His hand shot out, sending the hand full of ash straight into his brother’s eyes. Momentarily blinded, Matthew staggered back, tripping over one of the ring ropes and sprawling to the floor. Now David moved. Grabbing a piece of the ring board, he jumped forward and brought it down in a wide arc, cracking against his brother’s back as Matthew tried to get to his feet. A second shot spun him over, and now David kicked him viciously in the side of the head. A trickle of blood escaped from Matt’s mouth as he scrabbled to get up, but a second kick sent him sprawling.

Standing over his brother, the charred plank still in his hand, David’s eyes shone in the light with an almost unnatural blue hue. His face in a grimace, he spat at his brother.

“You ungrateful little shit. You think you can just walk away from me? You think you can dictate terms to me? Where would you be without me, what would you be?”

David again brought the plank down, this time as Matt rolled to try to protect himself David caught him in the other ribs.

“I asked you a question!!!” David yelled “What would you be? You’d be nothing, nowhere. I gave you everything!! I showed you everything!! How to run your companies and invest your money. I got you into the wrestling business, opened doors for you! And this is the thanks I get. You sniveling snot-nosed adolescent. You ought to be grateful for what I did for you. You ought to be down on your hands and knees thanking me for the chances I gave you. This ends tonight? You walk away from me? You won’t be told what to do? I beg to differ. No-one walks away from me Matthew. No-one tells me terms. When people leave me its my decision because I don’t have a use for them anymore. Myron Fox found out what happens when people try to defy me!”

During David’s rant, Fireball had made it to his knees. He got a foot under himself and tried to stand, springing forward at David at the same time. He managed to grab one his brothers’ legs, but was groggy from the kicks to the head, and it was a half-hearted attempt. David callously punched him twice in the side of the head and he lessened his grip, falling back to his knees. As Matthew wobbled, David stepped back, then roared forward and buried a knee into his brother’s face. The younger Shand collapsed once again, blood now flowing freely from his mouth.

Now David jumped on top of him. He forced the plank of wood down across his brother’s throat.

“You want the truth, little brother, Ok, here it comes. You’re absolutely right. Everything you’ve said here tonight is true is true. Does that make you feel better to know you were right, that your brother is every bit the devil you make him out to be?

You say I used you, kept you down. Well you’re right. Of course I used you, just like I used that painted idiot wretch Myron Fox. I saw a chance to have you both around to make my life easier, and it played out beautifully because you are both so easily manipulated. For you it was down to some ridiculous sense of family loyalty which I played on. For Fox it was a combination of his desperation to escape the life he had, his ego, and his sense of the fantastic. I was able to offer him that escape from the mundane, and once I’d done that, I had the fool in harness forever.”


Matthew was struggling against David, but as hurt as he was, and from David’s position, he couldn’t shift his brother so he had no option but to listen to his words.

“Of course, you had another little bonus in that I knew all about your trust funds. I didn’t want to lose the chance to get my hands on those. What actually amuses me is how easy it was. Oh there was the odd rebellion, but you are both as easy to play as a cheap violin. I just strung you along, yanked the strings on my meat puppets, and they kept on dancing. Whether I had to slap you down, or pull some cod psychological crap about feelings and emotions and how I’ve changed. Whatever rubbish it was, it worked. I pulled you both back time and time again and kept you doing my bidding, and the fact is there’s nothing you can ever do about it.”

“You see, I’m going to go on using people, using companies, using whoever and whatever I have to if it means I get what I want. At CXA reunion, I’m going to use Chio Reto. The scrawny idiot doesn’t realise it yet, but I’m going to use him to make a point.”

Finally, David got off Matthew and climbed back to his feet. Matthew unsteadily began to climb to his feet. David watched him.

“As for you? Well….I don’t think I need you anymore”

With that, David stepped forward, swinging the plank toward his brother’s head. A moment later, Fireball’s world descended into blackness.
















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Jacks

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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Warriors and Fractured Siblings.   Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:05 am

ooc (naturally): affraid .......Ouch. It doesn't GET more brutal than that! D8 Talk about hard truths..

You did an excellent job on this! Very Happy
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Faulerro

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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Warriors and Fractured Siblings.   Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:41 am

OOC: Excellent, if not utterly terrifying, stuff. That is what I believe they call a heel turn, ladies and gents.
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Mjolnir

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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Warriors and Fractured Siblings.   Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:54 am

ooc: Thanks. Just thought we needed Shand to be a heel for this.

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Julius Seizure

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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Warriors and Fractured Siblings.   Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:51 am

omar gawd! magnifico as per, senor
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