Post by Rated R on Jan 19, 2018 16:19:26 GMT -5
Trace Demon Presents
The Price of Business
I’m not sure I understand how this business works anymore.
"We doing this or not kid?"
One minute Trace and Lila are at each others throats, the next they’re partnering up to try and take out Frank Lynn? This is more confusing that Yukio Blaze’s popularity. Oh sh*t, a Yukio Blaze joke, I really have been spending too much time with Trace.
"Really not sure I’m ready for this Trace."
I knew getting into this that there was politics in wrestling. There’s politics in everything. But how can two people who hate each other so much ever work together like that? Lila said that I shouldn’t trust Trace, but can I trust her any more than him if she’s that willing to crush this whole revolution thing Frank’s going on? Seriously, is he that much trouble?
"Don’t care kid, I’m getting bored. Now come at me."
Trace has taken a hands on approach to my training these past few weeks. It’s helping, I’m getting better every day, but gotta say I’m not a fan. He doesn’t treat it like training, it’s like he really wants to hurt me. Who am I kidding, he probably does.
I make a move, go for a takedown, but he catches me cold with a knee to the jaw. Pretty sure I felt a tooth go into my brain on that one. His arm’s around my neck before I know what’s happening and suddenly I’m flat on my back on the canvas, Trace’s arm around my head, his grip tightening.
"Too f*cking impulsive, no backup plan! Haven’t you listened to a thing I’ve said?"
Still choking me, can’t breath, lights fading, f*ck… f*ck!
”Trace, you got a visitor!"
I gasp as Trace pulls away, desperate to fill my lungs. Honestly don’t know if he’d have let up before I passed out if it wasn’t for the interruption. Not sure if that’s better than the glare he’s giving me now as he towers over me though. The guy’s only an inch taller than me for f*cks sake.
"If you don’t get your act together you’re gonna be stuck down there for a long time. You really think I’d vouch for you when you act so green? Pathetic."
And just like that he leaves, rolls out of the ring with me still on my f*cking ass. D*ck. Thinking about it it doesn’t surprise me he’s working with Lila. He’s probably doing it just to try and screw with Lynn. Trace Demon just f*cks with people for his own amusement. Beginning to wonder if anything else matters to the guy?
The kid’s not getting it. No matter how many times I try and drill it into him, he just can’t adapt. He’s got some rough talent, and he’s got the determination, but what good is getting up from a beating just to get another one. He doesn’t think things through, needs to start fighting smarter instead of just fighting.
"I did not expect to see you here… well, ever."
Lila Sleater, boss b*tch extraordinaire. Hated enemy and yet somehow also my closest ally right now. At least for a few more days until I do her dirty work for her.
"I was in the neighbourhood, meeting a few local prospects down at Gold’s. A few of them said they might head your way. Who knew your wrestling school actually had a good reputation? Of course I suggested otherwise, I’d rather not have you corrupt any more possible future recruits. Ah, speaking of, nice to see you again Tyler."
The kid walks over, holding his neck, probably playing it up for sympathy. Didn’t crank it that hard.
"The two of you being civil is giving me the creeps."
She glances at me, smiling. Gotta be honest, it’s giving me the creeps as well.
"Strange bedfellows, right? Just one of those things you’ll have to get used to if you want to make it in the WFWF. Since you’re still willingly spending time around Trace I assume that’s still your intention?"
"Sooner or later, yeah."
"Later. Much later if you ask me."
"Oh I don’t know. He’s got a good head on his shoulders. I think this one has a bright future ahead of him."
I can’t help but snort. Who’s she think she’s kidding?
"Hit the showers kid."
"Good talking to you Miss Sleater."
"Likewise. I hope you’re still mulling over what we discussed last time we saw each other."
He glances at me, then walks off without a word. I’ve missed something. I don’t like missing something.
"What was that about?"
"I don’t know what you mean."
"What you discussed. What the f*ck do the pair of you have to discuss?"
"Oh come on Trace, do you really think I’d tell you even if we were actually getting along? You know me better than that. Anyway, I didn’t come here to have a casual chat, I just wanted to check in, make sure we’re still on the same page."
"You don’t have to worry about me upholding my end of the deal Lila. Like I said, you give me Frank Lynn on a silver platter, I’ll end him and his little revolution. End of the day we both get what we want."
"And of course you get yourself a shot at the WFWF World Heavyweight Championship."
"What can I say, everyone’s a winner."
I’d kept that one close to my chest. Most people probably thought I’d given up on the title, that I’d turned my gaze to other things. But I’ll never forget the way that gold feels around my waist, and if destroying Frank Lynn gets me another shot at it? Well I’d do that sh*t for free.
"Yes, I suppose so. Honestly Trace, I don’t like having to do this, working with you, hurting Frank, but it has to be done. The man you sold the WFWF to… he’s very driven, isn’t he? Wants things done his way. And Frank Lynn’s revolution, well, it’s not the way he wants to do business. Believe it or not he thinks your little ‘entertainment’ schtick is the way forward. So the revolution has to go."
"Feels like that doesn’t sit well with you."
"I do what’s best for the company. That’s my job. I’m not invested in professional wrestling, I’m invested in the WFWF, and that means doing the right thing by the man who owns it."
"Shame you couldn’t have that point of view while I was running things."
"You’re not the one who hired me Trace, the sponsors were. I answered to them, not to you. Honestly, if I did answer to you I’d still have done everything I did, because you’re not good for the WFWF. You’re a cancer, and your little attempts to undermine me, to injure people, to damage our image, they’re a symptom that I need to get rid of. So I hope you know that just because we’re working together to get rid of this problem, doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you."
"You’re making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Honestly, pretty bold of you to come out and say this before I help you out."
"Come on Trace, what are you going to do? Refuse to fight the man who choked you out?"
"Face it Trace, I know you better than you’d like to admit. When all this is said and done you’ll go back to trying to crush me, and I’ll go back to trying to crush you. We both knew that going in. Nothing’s changed. Now I’ve said my peace, so I’ll leave you to whatever it is you do here. I’ll see you at the show."
I let her walk off, my nails digging into my palm so hard I can feel the blood trickling down my hand.
"One of these days Lila one of us has to win! One of these days one of us will end the other one."
She doesn’t say anything, but she knows it’s true. We can’t do this forever. And if one of us has to lose it sure as hell isn’t going to be me.
< *** >
I don’t really care much for bars, or even all that much for drinking. Maybe a beer while watching the game, but not much more than that. Always been too busy looking after Lucy after the accident. If I did drink then I’d probably come to a place like this. Middle ground. Not fancy, but not somewhere you’d be worried about getting stabbed either. Not getting stabbed is pretty important to me.
"Thanks for meeting me."
"Dude, don’t creep up on me! I’m here thinking about not wanting to get stabbed and here you are potentially getting all stabby!"
"Wow, how does Trace cope with you?"
"Honestly, not well."
I didn’t know what to expect when he asked to meet me, or why he wanted to be so clandestine about it. I know him and Trace aren’t on speaking terms anymore, so what does he want with me? He doesn’t strike me as the in-the-shadows plotting type. I mean… he’s just Jason Anders.
"Yeah well, Trace has never got along well with people. Crazy that he’s so good at talking them round to his way of thinking, right?"
"Look man, all this cloak and dagger stuff? The sneaking out, meeting you here? It’s cool and all, don’t get me wrong, but what’s the big deal? I don’t even know you."
"Right, I know, sorry, I just didn’t want Trace knowing about this. He likes to control things and anything he can’t… well, he tries to make sure there isn’t anything he can’t control. Take that for what you will. If he knew I wanted to speak to you he’d have turned up too, made a big scene of it and honestly? I really don’t want to see that smarmy pr*ck anytime soon."
Okay, I guess they’re really not on speaking terms.
"If you can just tell me what’s going on here so I can get back to not meeting strange men in bars and… oh my god, did that sound how I think it sounded?"
"Look, I spoke to Lila recently and she said that Trace was training someone personally, actually taking him to shows and stuff. She said you seemed like a nice enough guy and honestly, I’d hate to see you get sucked up into the sh*t show that is Trace Demon’s life without at least getting some warning from a guy who’s already been there."
"I don’t need any warnings man, I know that Trace is a crazy mother f*cker but… I’m just doing what I’ve got to do to get my foot in the door so if it’s all the same to you I’m just gonna head on out and try and forget any of this ever happened."
"My daughter is in a coma because of Trace Demon. Did you know that?"
I drop back down into my seat. Seems rude to walk out after he drops something like that on me.
"She got involved with Trace because I let him into our lives and now she’s… they still don’t know if she’ll wake up. Do you know how that feels? To know you might never hear your daughters voice again? See her smile, hear her laugh?"
"Sh*t man… I’m sorry."
I don’t know how the whole coma thing is Trace’s fault but the guy seems to believe it. You can hear it in his voice, that tremble as he speaks. The guy’s messed up.
"You know that saying about the best trick the devil ever pulled? Well that’s Trace Demon, because the best trick he’s ever pulled is making people think he isn’t actually the damn devil himself. Trace Demon ruins lives. It’s what he does. He spends months destroying things just because he can, because he feels like it. He craves chaos and doesn’t care about who gets hurt. And then sometimes he’ll do something that’ll make you think he’s still got a soul, that he can be a good person, and he’ll ride that until he gets bored and then he’s right back to where he started. And it just goes over and over, round and round. Nothing ever really changes."
His fist is clenched on the bar. All that time seeing the guy in the WFWF, playing the lackey or the general manager, I never thought he’d actually be able to muster up any anger. Just didn’t seem to have it in him. But right now? I reckon he’d kill Trace if he could. Maybe that’s the real reason he doesn’t want to see him, not because he hates him, but because he’s scared only one of them would walk away from it. To be honest, my money wouldn’t be on this guy.
"You want to work with Trace? Learn from him? Fine, but don’t think for a second you won’t end up like the rest. He doesn’t want friends, or a protege, or anything like that. He wants a pawn, someone he can control, boss around, someone he can use to make himself feel powerful. And when that stops being fun? He’ll cut you down just like he does everyone else."
"I can handle myself."
"Against Trace? No, you can’t, because nobody can. He’s too f*cking twisted. The only thing you can do is try and cut him down first. Lila told me about the offer she made you."
"So that’s what this is about. Lila trying to manipulate me into doing her dirty work for her?"
"That’s what she’s trying to do. I mean it is but… she wants rid of Trace Demon. She wants him gone for good and… honestly? I think that might not be such a bad thing. I think whatever way it happens Trace Demon being out of the picture once and for all? That can only mean good things for everyone."
"Sorry to say it but that’s pretty f*cked up man."
"Call it being around Trace Demon too long. He does that to you. He’ll do it to you as well if you let him. Look Tyler, I’m just trying to do the right thing here and make you see sense. You want to hang around and see what happens? You go ahead. But I’ve warned you. Whatever happens next? That’s on you. Just… think of your sister, alright? All I’m saying is I’d hate to see her end up like my daughter."
And just like that he’s gone. I think about chasing him down, arguing with him or something, but it doesn’t seem worth it. Jason might be broken because of whatever went down with his daughter but what he said… it’s not the first time I’ve heard it, and I’m starting to think it won’t be the last. Trace Demon says he’s trying to help me, but what has he really done? Other than f*cked with my head? Maybe Trace Demon is this monster everyone makes him out to be. Maybe he’s even worse.
I’ve spent too much time around him already, because I’d never have thought of doing something like this before. I’d never even let something like pass through my mind. But now it comes easy to me. What I’d do, how I’d do it, how easy it could be. It’s easy to think like that now, because all I have to think is what would Trace Demon do? If he was asked to do what I’ve been asked to do? And the answer’s simple?
He’d do it. Without a second thought.
But can I?
< *** >
"What happens after this?"
It’s the night of the show. The night that I crush Frank Lynn once and for all. A true night worth remembering. And here I am, literally moments before I walk out there, being asked stupid questions.
"What are you chatting about now?"
"All this. You and Lila. What happens next? Is this the two of you… I don’t know, a truce or something?"
Good question. Simple answer.
"So you just go back to causing chaos? To warring against her… for what? Just because you can?"
"Pretty much kid."
Would I settle things with Lila peacefully if I could? Unlikely. I like the havoc too much. And what would I fight for then? The sake of it? Sure, maybe, I did this for the fun of wrestling… once. A while back now though. Now? It’s just the madness. What else is there for me, really?
"And if she offered you something else? If she tried to offer peace or whatever? Would you take it?"
I give the kid the benefit of me thinking it over and… there, thought it over.
"Because this is who I am kid. Now, hold this, will ya?"
I hand him my jacket and walk off towards the curtain, towards the lights and the jeering fans, and towards the ultimate demise of Frank Lynn.
I throw his jacket aside and head off in the opposite direction to Trace. It doesn’t take me long to find her, watching the broadcast on a monitor in the gorilla position. She glances up at me and offers a smile. Feels about as genuine as any nice thing Trace has said to me in the past six months.
"Tyler, good to see you. Here to watch the match?"
"No. I’m here about something you brought up the first time we met."
"And what would that be?"
Trace wants me to start adapting, to making the hard decisions? Well, I know now exactly what that means.
"The end of Trace Demon."
< *** >
I told you we'd be back here Frank. I told you we weren't done. Did you listen? Did you hear me Frank? Do you hear me now? How does it feel to know you're so close to getting what you want? How does it feel knowing all you've got to do is beat me and you'll be the one getting to run the show? Pretty good right? Until you remember the important part. You've still got to beat me. I bet one win doesn't sound so close now, does it? Tell me Frank, what's running through your mind more? That you could be the one running things if you win, or that you could lose your whole little revolution? I reckon it’s the latter, because if there’s one thing I know you crave Frank it’s relevance.
You want to be known, you want to be a big thing, you want people to think of you when they think of the WFWF? And how have you done that? Not with your wrestling, no. With your so-called revolution. With all the big talk and the flyers falling from the sky. When you think about it Franky boy you’re no better than all the people you’re rallying against. And I know what you’re gonna say. You’ve got to fight fire with fire, that it’ll all be different when you’ve won your war, but come on, I wrote the book on lying, and you Frank are not very good at it. I see right through you, I know that this whole thing has been about getting yourself the spotlight, and now you’ve got it I know that you’ll do anything to make sure that it stays on you. Which is going to make it all the sweeter when I beat you in the middle of the ring, one… two… three.
But this match isn’t just about beating you Frank, because that isn’t enough. See the last time we faced off you did something that very few people manage these days. You beat me. Now sure we could get into how Future distracted me and that I never actually tapped out, but let’s not cheapen the only worthwhile thing you’ve ever done. You beat me, in the middle of the ring, and that’s all that matters. So this match isn’t just about beating you, it’s about breaking you, and the best way I can do that is by taking away your reason to exist. That’s right, Lila wants to get rid of your revolution because it’ll be good for business, but I want to get rid of it to hurt you. And it will Frank. Losing this match, it’s not just going to cost you your dream of a better WFWF. It’s going to eat you alive. You’ll have to stand by and watch while people like, like Kyzer, like Phillip Schneider, all turn this company into our personal playgrounds. And you won’t be able to do a damn thing about it because your revolution will be dead.
So you’ll sit there, and you’ll watch as the chaos unfolds, and you’ll think to yourself what could I have done if I had beaten Trace Demon. And that thought will run over and over in your head like a telltale heart. Relentless, unstoppable, constant, until it drives you insane. And while that happens I’ll be watching, I’ll be laughing, I’ll be savouring every moment. And even if somehow you do keep fighting, you stay in the WFWF, I will always be there to remind you how you failed, how you cost the WFWF a better tomorrow. I’ll be your shadow Frank, taunting you, playing with your head. Do you think you’ll be able to stand that?! Eh?! You really thought you could come here, to my company, and change things? You really thought that you mattered enough that anybody would give a sh*t about your vision for the WFWF. Frank, there’s a reason Lila came to me. There’s a reason I will be the one to break you and your revolution. Because I am the WFWF.
I will always be here Frank, because I’m invincible, I’m the one constant in this company. I am the beating heart of the WFWF… which makes this company as dark and as rotten as I am. You want to change things but you don’t understand that there is no changing things as long as I am here and there is no getting rid of me. You can hurt me… you can try and break me… but I always come back. I always keep fighting. And I always get what I want. So when I tell you, Franky boy, that what I want is your total and utter destruction well you better believe that I’m gonna get it. Because just like your revolution Frank… I’m going nowhere.