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View Full Version : Round 2: Showtime vs. Jace Gryphon



Chad
05-06-12, 10:38 PM
RP runs through Monday, May 14. 2 RP limit in this round.

scotto
05-08-12, 12:36 AM
Chapter 3: Starting a Fire

In the locker room after his match at ULTRATITLE Round 1, Showtime sat propped up against a wall, icing his knee. He was obviously a bit worn out, having just competed in an intense physical contest... and come out on top. As he reclined, he stared a thousand yards.

In walked Proteus, clapping enthusiastically. He hailed his friend, “Well, you did it. A few of the pundits had their doubts, but you showed them. You have earned the right to go to round two.”

“That I have,” Showtime smiled wearily.

“You have earned the right to call yourself a winner.”

“Exactly.”

“You have earned the right to call yourself Daddy.”

“Yeah, I... what?”

“You are now Daddy. ’Daddy’ Showtime. You have vanquished your opponent, you have earned the right to steal his nickname. You are the one and only Daddy.”

“Ahh.... no. I don’t think we’ll be doing that.”

“Oh, come on!” Proteus pled, “What good is a victory over a hated foe if you can’t lord it over everybody. I’m not saying you have to rip out his heart and eat it... but maybe you could nibble a little.”

“Look, what you do at mealtime is your business, P-Man,” Showtime shifted in his seat, “I got my glory when I got my hand raised. That feels like plenty for now. Now I just need to get that done several more times.”

“All right, all right, I hear that. Listen, I’m just saying... I stole Jared Wells’ pants.”

“You what?”

Proteus reached into his gym bag and pulled out a pair of smallish jeans. “Yeah, I thought, as a trophy of sorts, as a memento, if you didn’t wanna steal his name, you could maybe take an article of clothing from each of your fallen foes. Maybe, I don’t know, carry them down to the ring with you, sling them over your shoulder, of course you could wear them, when you’re not in your wrestling attire, just as a constant reminder of who beat who. You’re wearing his pants, and he’s out there, pantsless and ashamed because now everyone has to, like, look at his legs, knowing he definitely lost. It’s just an idea.”

Showtime nodded along. “Uh huh, yeah, I see. I like that you’re thinking in this area. It’s good to remind everyone that I won the match, but right off the bat, I see a few flaws in your plan. Like for instance, you’re assuming that somewhere out there, Jared Wells is going to have to go around, completely pantsless, as a result of having lost to me. Like he doesn’t have another pair of pants, which I suspect he does. If we take his pants, not only are we classic bullies, but, like, it doesn’t do any good. He just goes home and puts on a new pair of pants, and then he gets on with his life. So even though your plan is to do lasting damage, he is, at best, mildly inconvenienced.”

“Hm... okay,” Proteus agreed. “I think I see where you’re going with that.”

“Okay good,” Showtime cleared his throat, “Because that brings me to my second point, which is: I’m not sure I’m comfortable dragging items of other peoples’ clothing to the ring with me. It starts with a pair of Jared Wells’ pants, but if I win round after round, soon I’ve got Jace Gryphon’s tie and Joey Melton’s tweed blazer, and I don’t know, either I’m going to have to carry them around loosely like a human chiffarobe, or wear them and look like a rummage sale hipster--”

Proteus interjected, “—Don’t knock it ‘til you try it, hipster chicks can be wild.”

“—That’s just not the image I want to project. As proud as I am of beating Jared Wells, I’m not so petty that I want to go to all that trouble to remind them of someone I’ll never fight again.”

“Okay, okay, you’ve made your point. The pants thing is, at best, a mildly beneficial plan.”

“Lastly, I’ve just got one more piece of constructive feedback on the plan of... stealing Jared Wells’ pants and carrying them around to the ring with me.”

“I’m all ears,” Proteus said, somewhat defensively.

“My other concern is that I’m pretty sure, in all the confusion and excitement of tonight’s events... the pants you’ve stolen do not belong to Jared Wells.”

“How do you figure?”

“Well,” Showtime noted, studying the jeans carefully, “They’re awfully slim, they appear to be a ladies’ cut, and they have bedazzling on the back part.”

Proteus examined the jeans in his hands “So they do. So... they... do. Well, it was just a plan. I, um, should probably put these pants back where I found them. You rest up!”

As Proteus rushed off to find the rightful owner of the jeans, Showtime sat back and iced his aching joint up. “Ohh, yeah... right there.”

“Beg pardon, am I interrupting?” a voice said from the doorway. Showtime’s back straightened up in a hurry to see the source. The voice was pretty, female, and had a British accent. She stood in the doorway for a moment, dressed in a skirt suit and brandishing a digital audio recorder, a mischievous glint in her eye. She was pretty enough to get any guy stammering, even one so used to public speaking.

“I was just... taking care of some nagging injuries,” Showtime said, “I’m not, uh, one of those ice fetishists or something that gets his jollies from rubbing frozen peas all over his junk. Not that that’s a thing I’ve heard of—wait, why am I worried about explaining myself? I am working on my knee. I just had a wrestling match, y’know.”

“Yes, I saw,” she nodded and took a seat next to Showtime, straightening out her short skirt, “My name is Penny Pickett, I’m a reporter with Independent Sports News.”

“I’ve never heard of that... magazine?”

“Website. Well, blog. Twitter account, mostly. We cover Wrestling, Lacrosse, Ping Pong, Texas Hold-Em, the National Rock/Paper/Scissors Federation, and Major League Soccer, or as it’s properly known, Football.”

Showtime sat back. “So with that accent, you’re either British or putting on the most insane identity charade since Chris Gaines.”

“I don’t know who that is,” Penny said.

“Most people don’t, and are better off for it. So what can I do for you?”

“Well,” Penny said, “My employer was hoping to make a name for us by profiling some wrestlers in the Ultratitle tournament.”

He smiled coyly, “And you picked me? I’m flattered.”

“Actually, several of the more well-known wrestlers have either left already or are too busy with more respected news organizations. I was going to go home, but then I saw you sitting back here and thought you might be willing to chat.”

“Well,” Showtime winced, “That certainly deflated me.”

“Oh, please don’t take it the wrong way,” she said in her warm British way, “People were quite impressed with your showing tonight, a very hard-fought and well-deserved victory... but you’re still something of an unknown quantity amongst this crowd. EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ROUND 1 WINNER SHOWTIME isn’t something that’s guaranteed to garner hits.”

“Hm, I could always give you the inside scoop on which of the competitors are gay. Or pregnant. Or lizard-people.”

Penny smoothed out her skirt again, “Are any of the wrestlers... any of those things?”

“Not to my knowledge,” Showtime admitted.

“Well you’re just a colossal waste of time, then!” laughed Penny. “But I tell you what, I’d love to ask you some questions if you’ve got a moment.”

Gesturing at his icepack, Showtime said “I’m not going anywhere just yet.”

Setting her recorder in between the two, Penny began. “So how do you feel about your victory tonight?”

“Excellent,” Showtime answered without missing a beat. “As tough a competitor as Jared Wells is, I never a had a doubt in my abilities. I think it was a tough match, hard fought on both sides, but I was determined, and everyone in the tournament now knows that.”

The conversation halted. Penny shot Showtime a look of disbelief.

“What?” he asked innocently.

“Are you seriously trying to pass that off as an answer? Nobody else in the press has time to talk to you, and you give me a bleeding one-dimensional press release?” She scoffed. “I’m offended, quite honestly.”

“Oh, come on!”

“No. Tell me something real. That business in your first promo about your dad, about flying acrobats, was that the truth?”

“Yes.”

“So you’re capable of being honest with yourself at least a little bit.”

“Of course!”

“So if people are to care about Showtime, show them who he is. Tell me something real, because the fans out there, they’re not going to get behind the milk-flavoured babyface you’re trying to be.”

The two stared at each other in silence for a moment. Penny ran her fingers nervously along the pleat of her skirt.

Showtime smiled. “I haven’t been pushed in a while. Here’s the truth. You see this icepack? You see my knee? I thought it was a career-ending injury.”

“What happened?”

“Someone wanted to take me out,” Showtime said. “Someone who knew my weakness took a steel chair to my leg and tried to make sure I couldn’t be Showtime anymore. The doctor said I would be on the shelf 6 months, then I could go back to training, but I stayed out a year, and I never thought I’d come back. I thought I was done.”

“Despite what your doctors told you?”

“Yeah,” Showtime said. “I probably could have gotten back in the ring really quickly, but I didn't want to. It’s one thing to go in there and take a bit of punishment and do a few moves. You go in with a bad wheel, you limit what you do, maybe you outsmart the other guy. Maybe you win. Maybe. I wasn’t Showtime because I maybe could pull off a win, I was Showtime because I could fly, like my father taught me. And right up until I took that leap, the Final Curtain, that was in doubt.”

“Go on.”

“You mentioned I was an unknown quantity. That hurts, but it’s true. In some ways, that’s good. I’ve got tricks of my sleeve they haven’t seen yet. The bad news is, nobody’s buying tickets to see this Showtime guy. They don’t know what he can do, they don’t know if he can deliver, they don’t know if they can believe in him to beat a guy like Jared Wells. When I first came out... there was silence. Maybe some polite applause, maybe some distant supportive cheers, but mainly disinterest. And with me doubting my legs, I maybe only had one match to prove to them, and to myself, that I was someone they could get behind. Then I went out there and I started getting my ass kicked. I gave him everything I could early, and he took it and gave it back. And for a second I thought... maybe I’m losing this one. Maybe he’s the better man. Maybe I’m his warm-up...

“But then there was this moment when he knocked me down and I saw this look on his face... this look that told me he was certain he was about to take me out of the tournament, make me a joke, use me as proof he was better... and continue on terrorizing the rest of the tournament. And that’s when I knew. I knew I couldn’t let that happen. I knew that wasn’t how my story ended. I wasn’t the guy who let Jared Wells win. I was the guy who took every awful thing he said and shoved them back down his throat by embarrassing him and making him look slow. I needed to show the fans that everything he threw at me, and everything I’ve had in my whole career still wasn’t enough to put me down. And I was ready to fly. That moment I slew off the top rope with the Final Curtain... it was like being reborn. And when I had my hand raised, there wasn’t silence. I showed them who I was, and now they want more.”

Showtime took another pause, then continued. “That’s how it felt. Crippling, literally crushing doubt... followed by absolute certainty that I was still Showtime, and Showtime had to win that match They called it an upset, but they know the next one won’t be. Now that I’ve lit that fire, it’s ready to grow.”

Another brief pause ensued, then Penny asked, “That about sums it up, doesn’t it?”

“Off the top of my head, that’s about all I can think of. Unless you want to ask me another question.”

“Hm,” Penny thought a moment, “What flavour are you?”

After some consideration, Showtime answered, “Dijon mustard. Really brings out the character in any meal. It’s the condiment of champions.”

“How apropos. Well, I must be off. It’s been great talking with you, Mr. Showtime. If you’ve for half the tricks you claim to, I look forward to your work in the coming round!”

Showtime smiled, “Well, I’m glad I made at least one fan today.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t call myself a fan. After all, I must remain impartial. For journalism, you know. Perhaps our paths will cross again.” She stood and evened out her skirt again. “I must apologize, perhaps you’ve noticed me fighting with this bloody skirt all night. I actually started the evening wearing a pair of jeans, but some oaf spilled cola on it and I had to change into a skirt. Now I don’t know where my sodding jeans have gone!”

“Well, I’ll keep an eye open if any random jeans pop up,” Showtime said knowingly, “But what are the odds of that?”

“I’d appreciate that. Hey, here’s my card.” She handed him the card and shook his hand cordially, then turned to leave. After she was gone, Proteus returned.

“Hey, how’s your knee?” Proteus asked.

“Good as ever. I think we’re ready to head out.”

“Okay, awesome.” The two began to head for the exit. “I have a few notes on your match for next time.”

Proteus spent the entire ride going over Showtime’s match with Jared Wells in great detail, laying out specific weaknesses like “Applied hammerlock too slowly” and “Rotated 45 degrees clockwise for kick when you should have rotated 48 degrees” while Showtime stared out the window. He was half-listening to Proteus’ critiques when something caught his attention. Something bright in the distance.

It was a fire on the horizon. The two pulled up to Team Showtime HQ (AKA the Abandoned Blockbuster) to find the place ablaze.

“Oh, no...”

scotto
05-15-12, 12:28 AM
Chapter 4: Burning Down the House

“I’m just saying,” Proteus said, “Another few degrees and you would have gotten maximum torque on that kick. Full momentum. There’d be no way to block against it.”

“Hey, I won, didn’t I?” Showtime said.

“Yeah, but you could win better,” Proteus argued. “Your wins could be winnier. You could be Made Of Win.”

“By altering the approach on my spin kick. Got it.” Showtime leaned back.

The two were driving Showtime’s Toyota from the venue of ULTRATITLE Round 1 back to Team Showtime HQ, aka the Abandoned Blockbuster. It was late after the show. Proteus was driving, and Showtime was riding shotgun, staring out the window off into space.

“Another thing I want to talk about is your image,” Proteus said.

“Not the pants thing again,” Showtime rolled his eyes. “P-Man, we’ve been tag partners for years. I respect you as a wrestler, as a trainer, and a comedic foil, but I don’t need to take image advice from you.”

“Okay, look, just hear me out on this one. One word: Haircut.”

Showtime ran his fingers over his long tied-back locks. He had to admit, the look was starting to look dated. “Okay,” he said. “I’m listening.”

“Okay, don’t say ‘no’ right away, but... I think you need one of those swoopy haircuts.”

“Swoopy haricut?” Showtime scoffed.

“Yes! From a marketing standpoint, it would make you iconic again. You could look like one of those Justin Biebers from One Direction.”

“I think those are two separate things,” Showtime said.

“Well anyway, I think there are more tweens watching wrestling now than there were a few years ago...”

Showtime sat up. “What’s that?”

Proteus replied, “A tween? It’s a combo-word. It’s kind of like a mix between a teenager and a wiener, I think.”

“No, not the tweens, Proteus... what’s that?” Showtime gestured at a flickering light on the dark horizon.

As they saw it, they began to hear sirens in the distance. “You don’t think...”

“Oh, no...”

They pulled into the parking lot of the Abandoned Blockbuster. Firemen were just putting out the flickering blaze, rescue workers doing back and forth. They approached the line of CAUTION tape and were met by a policeman.

“Is this your property?”

“Uh, well, from a legal standpoint, that’s sort of a... gray area...” Proteus stammered.

“The blaze started a few hours ago,” the officer said. There were no signs of Showtime’s staff of homeless bums. They must have fled instinctually at the first sign of trouble – as hoboes are wont to do. The air lacked that filthy stench of charred bum.

“I’ll miss them,” Proteus sniffed. “Verne. Glenn. Wayne. Alex. Big Pete. Paddington. Morgan. Stitches. Crazy Pete. Uncle Phil. Dostoevsky. Mohammed. Other Pete. And the rest.”

“I told them not to use the hot plate to warm up their cans of soup,” Showtime lamented.

“Well, we don’t yet know the nature of the fire,” the policeman said. “There’s a chance it was arson.”

Showtime and Proteus gasped dramatically.

There was a pause. The officer asked, “May I continue? Okay, good. As I was saying, in cases where the cause is not immediately clear, it’s standard operating procedure not to rule out arson. For instance, if it was for insurance money...”

Proteus interrupted, “Or if, for instance, we had enemies who might like to see us... out of the way?”

The officer looked at the two skeptically. “I suppose... if you had any cause to think that was the case, we would have to investigate. Do you have knowledge of any party who would want to bring you harm?”

“Well, this man is a competitor in the ULTRATITLE tournament,” Proteus explained, “So there’s a chance one of his rivals with an interest in taking him out started the fire.”

“Probably not that likely,” Showtime said, “It’s just a wrestling tournament.”

“Yeah, but at the same time, that’s almost definitely it,” Proteus added.

“So your official statement,” the obviously-exhausted officer said, “Is that it’s almost definitely an attempt on this man’s life, but probably not?”

“Yeah, that sounds about right.”

“Well, we’ll have to investigate this matter... but you two had better clear out. They found a deposit of VHS Tapes buried in the back, and if the blaze reaches it the whole thing could explode.”

Showtime asked, “Are VHS Tapes that combustible?”

“Absolutely,” the officer assured them, “That’s a little known fact about VHS. They’re composed of Vita-Hessium, an extremely reactive elemental compound. When ignited, it produces a dangerous gas that creates nightmarish hallucinations. That’s why they stopped manufacturing them.”

“Well, that sounds made up, but okay, I’ll believe it.” Showtime said, walking back toward the Toyota. Proteus followed behind.

This time, Showtime got in the driver’s seat, and Proteus rode shotgun.

“Where are we gonna go?” Proteus asked.

“Same place we always go when we don’t know what to do,” Showtime affirmed.

“Ah,” Proteus nodded, “The all-night breakfast place.”

As the car pulled away, the guys heard an intense explosion erupt behind them: a flare-up of Vita-Hessium.

At the all-night breakfast place, the pair sat across from one another in a booth, noisily stress-eating omelettes.

“Ummph, urm,” Proteus said, mouth full of egg and cheese, “I still say it was an attack, someone burned down our HQ on purpose.”

“That’s neither here nor there,” Showtime replied, sipping a coffee. “Burning down a building is pretty extreme for someone in a wrestling tournament. What, you think Jace Gryphon is trying to get me? I doubt it.”

“You’ve made some pretty dangerous enemies,” Proteus said. “Remember the time Supreme Power Mitch Doogan tied you to some railroad tracks?”

“I think that was a dream you had,” Showtime said.

“Still, we do need to prepare for the upcoming match with Gryphon,” Proteus reasoned. “Even if he’s not responsible, he stands to benefit. You’ve got nowhere to stay and nowhere to train.”

“Not the most favorable conditions,” Showtime admitted, finishing off his bacon, “But I kind of like it. Reminds me of the old days, when we used to roam the countryside in a van seeking, pretty much never training. Just out there for the thrill of it. When I get out there for my match with Gryphon, people are going to say: That’s Showtime. Someone tried to kill him with fire last night, but he was still the most exciting thing on the show.”

“Someone thinks we’re on the ropes,” Showtime said, “That means we’re doing things right. We’re on the radar. I like that. It makes me feel dangerous. No matter what Jace Gryphon throws at me, I’ll be ready.”

Proteus had a different take: “I can’t believe after all these years of stardom, we’re back to sleeping in our car. And it’s not even a cool tricked-out van this time, it’s a Toyota Corolla.”

“First off, don’t knock the Corolla, you’ve seen the gas mileage it’s getting. Second, I don’t think we’re going to be spending the night there.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, do you have money for a hotel room?” Proteus asked with uncharacteristic sarcasm, “Because I’m pretty sure I just ate $48 worth of eggs, and I’m sleepy and broke and gassy.”

Showtime said, “No, but there’s got to be some other—wait, you ate nearly $50 worth of eggs in one sitting?”

“Yeah, are you proud of me?”

“I’m the opposite of proud, I’m incredibly grossed out,” Showtime replied. “Do we even have that much money?”

Showtime dug in his pockets and pulled out a few loose bills, some mints, and... a business card. It read “Penny Pickett: Independent Sports News.”

“Okay, here’s a long shot,” Showtime said with a devilish gleam in his eye.

“That reporter lady you were telling me about?” Proteus was incredulous. “What makes you think she’d let us stay with her?”

“I think she liked me,” Showtime reasoned, “I mean, she asked some pretty probing questions, she wasn’t just looking for sound bites. Plus, she liked that Dijon remark I made.”

Proteus twisted his mouth in disapproval. “I know you’re in favour of this whole manipulation-of-the-press thing, but I’ve still got to veto it. If she doesn’t turn us away, she’d probably just gather material to write a hit piece.”

“Hey, there’s no such thing as bad press,” Showtime replied.

“And I’m sure she’ll love the fact that there’s somebody out there trying to get you by means most pyro-maniacal.”

“We don’t need to mention that, maybe.”

The two paid their bill and headed back out to the parking lot. They squeezed into the car, and Proteus began to extol the virtues of car-sleep. “We can recline the seats, it’ll make a fine temporary base. We don’t need to go to a hotel, or call that reporter lady, or anything.”

“Uh huh, sure.”

Proteus began shivering, “Hey, does the heat work in this thing?”

“Not really, no.”

“That settles it,” Proteus insisted, “We’re going to the reporter lady, and that’s final. No more arguments from you.”

jacegryphon
05-15-12, 12:38 AM
Jace: "You know, it was his friend that stole your pants...."

Jace Gryphon was leaning his back against the concrete wall in the hallway of the arena, arms crossed across his chest. He was wearing a black suit, his hair slicked back, and a pair of dark sunglasses on. The person he was talking to, was Penny Picket, just as she was walking out of Showtime's locker room.

Penny: "You're Jace Gryphon... How long were-"

Jace: "The whole time. I heard everything. You didn't shut the door tightly behind you and I didn't even have to put my ear against it to hear."

Penny: "Why are you here? And what do you mean about his friend?"

Jace sighed and uncrossed his arms to straighten out his suit jacket. He tilted his shades down to look over the top of them at Penny before pushing them back up on his nose and laughing slightly.

Jace: "If you're going to keep asking me questions, I'm going to assume this is a formal intervie."

Penny: "Well, unfortunately as the organization I work for is a small internet blog site, we don't have the resources to compensate you for your time if that's what you're getting at."

Jace laughed again.

Jace: "I don't need to be paid for my interviews. In fact, I'd probably lose money standing here getting paid to do an interview as compared to the money I could make going out and doing something else. And if I wanted you to compensate me, I could think of some things besides money that you could compensate me with, of course, that would all be a matter of whether or not Shae would approve of such compensation, and she wouldn't. Besides, I'm totally out of your league. All I meant was, if you're going to stand here and ask me questions, let's make this official. Record it, put it up on the internet right beside the interview you just did with Showtime, all in the interest of being fair and balanced. You don't want to end up like Fox News, do you? Wouldn't want to make it look like you're coming off favoring one thing over the other, would you? And as the professional reporter I assume you claim yourself to be, keep the interview focused on your subject material and leave your pants out of it, unless I'm going to be getting into them later, and I'm not."

Penny gave a disgusted sigh at Jace and then shook her head. She flattened out the wrinkles in her skirt and then pulled out her small recording device.

Jace: "Ketchup."

Penny paused and looked at Jace confused.

Penny: "Ketchup? What are you talking about?"

Jace gave a laugh and pulled his shades off, tucking them away into a pocket of his suit jacket. He leaned back against the wall, crossed his arms, and looked up into the piping that ran above them in the hallway.

Jace: "Well, I just figured that much like your interview with Showtime, you're not going to ask me any actual questions that pertain to my match against him in this Ultratitle tournament, so I was just going to jump ahead to the 'what flavor are you?' question. Is that alright with you?"

Penny: "I don't-"

Jace cut her off.

Jace: "Yeah, definitely ketchup. It goes pretty good on just about anything. French fries, chicken, hot dogs, even scrambled eggs. Although, syrup's like that too. Maybe I'm syrup instead..."

Penny: "Jace, if I could just get you to focus, I-"

Jace cut her off again.

Jace: "I'm not gay, I'm not pregnant, and a quick glance at me tells you I'm not a lizard man."

Penny was obviously getting frustrated at this point.

Penny: "Jace-"

Jace: "And how do I feel about my match earlier tonight? How else should I feel? I went down to the ring, I did exactly what I said I was going to do, I beat the crap out of A.J. Irrelevant, I pinned him for the easy three count, and now I move on to the round of sixty-four."

Penny and Jace stared at each other for a moment of silence. Penny looked like she was about to open her mouth again when:

Jace: "All that stuff in my first in my first promo, about my dad being an abusive alcoholic, about getting framed for murder working in the train yards. Yeah, that's all true, but if you were really paying attention, I didn't mention any of that in my first promo. Why? Because it's all irrelevant who my dad is, what I did ten years ago, and I'm sure as Hell no circus freak flying acrobat. None of that matters, Showtime. What matters is what you bring with you down to the ring right here and right now."

Another moment of silence passed. Penny feinted starting to talk twice, as though testing to see if Jace was done yet or not. Each time, Jace kept his composure and just kept a level stare on Penny, waiting to see what she'd come up with next.

Penny: "Are you through?"

Jace: "For now."

Penny shook her head and sighed.

Penny: "If you were just pulling me aside to hold me up and make fun of the interview I just did with Showtime, then I doubt that I'm the one causing you to lose money by standing here talking to me. You seem to be doing a pretty good job of that all on your own."

Jace laughed.

Jace: "Psh! Please..."

Penny: "Now if you're done being a belligerent arse, I'll be on my way now."

Jace clicked his tongue and held up a finger. He pointed down at the recording device in Penny's hand.

Jace: "I noticed you never hit the record button. Now if you're ready to do a -real- interview with a -real- wrestling superstar, just pull up a spot on the wall next to me, press the little red dot on that thing labeled 'record', and be prepared to get some straight-shooting answers to the questions that actually matter. There's no need to be nervous, I've done hundreds, maybe even thousands of interviews backstage throughout my career. If you can't think of any other questions or you're having trouble trying to figure out how to put your question into words, just look up at me with those blue puppy dog eyes of your's, I'll hold your hand and help you through it. Just think of me as that little annoying paperclip down in the corner of Microsoft Word."

Penny muttered under her breath:

Penny: "You've got the annoying part right...."

Penny shook her head and then sighed, turning to place her back against the wall a few feet to the right of where Jace was standing. She pressed the record button on the audio device and held it between the two of them. Jace held up a finger to Penny, then turned and knocked on Showtime's locker room door. Again, it wasn't shut properly, so it swung open. Jace turned and yelled into the room:

Jace: "Hey, Showtime. I'm about to do an interview the way they're meant to be done. I hope you're taking notes."

The only response from inside the locker room was the sound of the shower running in the distance. Jace shrugged and looked back to Penny, who took a deep breath and began.

Penny: "Hello again, everyone. Once again, I'm Penny Pickett with Independent Sports News. I'm here now with another entrant in the Ultratitle tournament, Jace Gryphon. Jace is a two time former World Heavyweight Champion, and is representing the Viking Wrestling Federation at this tournament. Jace, it's nice to have you here tonight."

Jace smiled a little and unfolded his arms. He turned to lean his right shoulder against the wall and face Penny during the interview.

Jace: "Well, I see you've done you're homework. That's a refreshing change."

Penny gave a laugh, finally breaking the ice cold scowl she'd been sporting on her face since she first met Jace.

Penny: "Well, I do have to uphold -some- sort of journalistic integrity."

Jace: "You know, I respect that. So many journalists these days walking around out here with microphones and notebooks and not a shred of integrity to split between them."

Penny: "Alright, Jace. First question. How do you feel about your first round match?"

Jace laughed.

Jace: "I've already answered that question. Should've had the recorder going earlier. Next question."

Penny gave a glare at Jace, the annoyance with him quickly seething back to the surface.

Penny: "Ok then... How are things going back at your home in VWF?"

Jace dropped the Cheshire cat grin he'd been wearing for the bigger part of this segment and sstared at Penny, almost completely in disbelief.

Jace: "You're here, at the Ultratitle Tournament, and you want to ask me about how things are going back in Chicago at VWF? Wow, you really aren't focused on your target at all, are you? You know what though, I'll play nice. I'll give you an answer to that question since I already shot down your first question. Wouldn't want to let you go oh-for-two, now would I? I'm trying to help you out here, and that would be beyond getting off on the wrong foot. That would be getting off on the wrong foot, tripping, and landing back on the wrong foot all over again."

Penny stared blankly at Jace.

Penny: "Are you taking this seriously at all?"

Jace: "Of course I am. I take everything seriously, haven't you noticed? There hasn't been an ounce of sarcasm in anything I've said tonight. And now for the answer to your previous question, so that it doesn't look like I waited until your third question to answer something. Things back at the VWF are pretty much status quo right now. I've been struggling to get back up to speed since returning there, regardless of how much Khars has been holding me back. I didn't win the Royal Rumble, but I was in the last five left in the ring. That's a pretty good showing if you ask me, and I feel it's a sign of things to come. I'm finally turning that corner, and my path back to the World Title is right there within my grasp. Mark my words, if you're back at the VWF listening in on this. Big things are about to happen. Details at eleven. NOW!"

Jace paused talking long enough to clap his hands loudly.

Jace: "I've answered two of the three questions, and in fact if you go back to earlier tonight before this recording started, I have, in fact, answered all three questions you have leveled at me during the course of this interview. Before we continue any further, I have just one question to ask you, assuming that's alright with you, of course..."

Penny shrugged and sighed.

Penny: "Sure, why the Hell not?"

Jace smiled and rubbed his hands together.

Jace: "Great, great. Now, Penny. If you would be so kind, could you please tell me, when are you going to get to the relevant questions?"

A long pause as Penny blinked in thought before answering.

Penny: "I...I'm not sure what you mean? I asked you about your thoughts on your first round match and..."

Jace: "And nothing. You've asked me about my first round match, if I'm being serious, and how things are going back at VWF. If we rewind the closed circuit TV that that security camera over there is sending back to the bank of machines in the security office here at the arena, I've also answered the questions 'What flavor are you?', 'Are you gay?', 'Are you pregnant?', and 'Are you a lizard-man?'. Up to this point in this interview, the only question even vaguely relevant to anything going on here at the Ultratitle tournament is 'How do you feel about your last match?'! And to be completely honest with you, I'm hesitant to label that one 'relevant'."

Penny looked seriously confused right now.

Penny: "What do you mean you're hesitant? It was a question about your first round match here at the Ultratitle tournament. How is that not relevant to anything going on here?"

Jace held a hand up to Penny.

Jace: "Calm down now, there's no reason for you to be getting all indignant on me. I'm only trying to help your journalistic career here, after all. You see, the reason I'm even offering to help you at all is, you did an interview with Showtime just before you walked out here into this surprise interview with me. The whole time, I was standing out here eavesdropping, trying to get an advantage on Showtime, trying to overhear something that might give me an edge in our match. But the only thing I heard was irrelevant information, and more irrelevant information. Not one ounce of what you got out of Showtime was ground-breaking journalism. If that's the way you're going to conduct all of your interviews, I hope you don't ahve your eyes set on the Pulitzer Prize any time soon, because it ain't happening, babe!"

Penny was now showing her frustration very vividly. She had crossed her arms and leaned away from the wall, and she was glaring a hole right through Jace.

Penny: "Fine. Fine then, Jace. If you're such an expert on what is relevant, why don't you ask the questions yourself, and then you can answer them. I'll just stand here and look pretty holding up this recorder while you do all the talking. I'm sure that's what you've wanted all along anyways."

The Cheshire cat smile returned to Jace's face.

Jace: "Precisely."

Jace now leaned away from the wall, straightened out his suit jacket, adjusted his tie, and cleared his throat.

Jace: "What's relevant here is me. Jace Gryphon. I walked into round one, stomped my pathetic excuse for an opponent, and moved on to round two. Now, in the round of sixty-four, I'm placed up against some guy named Showtime. Could the nicknames get any more generic? Honestly! And Mr. Generico wants to think he's going to beat me? Get real. The best thing you've got going for you is your friend who wants you to steal a name or a piece of clothing from each competitor that you beat. My advice, you should've taken 'Daddy' and run with it. After all, the only clothing he managed to steal was Penny here's jeans, and I don't think either one of you are going to be fitting into those size two's any time soon."

Penny: "I'm a size zero, thank you..."

Jace: "The fact of the matter is, if you were to follow your buddy's advice and take something from each opponent that you defeat throughout this tournament, your stealing days are done. You're not taking anything from me, Showtime. Not my name. Not my pants. And certainly not my place in the round of thirty-two. To be completely honest, the contest that we're going to have, I'm almost ashamed to call it a match. You laid your cards all out on the line already. You've shown that your knee is hurt, and that to me just puts a big red target on it. By the end of our match, you'll be lucky if you're able to walk on that leg, let alone if I leave your knee in one piece. I'm not just going to break it, Showtime. I'm going to destroy it. I'm going to destroy everything. Your knee, your hopes of beating me, your bid for the Ultratitle, your dreams of ever becoming anything greater than you already are. The road for you ends here, Showtime. It's time to put up, or shut up, and I'm not done talking yet."

Penny cleared her throat and ran a hand through her hair, pushing a bit of it behind her ear.

Penny: "Anything else, Jace?"

Jace crossed his arms across his chest, relaxing a bit and leaning back against the hallway wall.

Jace: "No, I think that's about it. Do you understand now how to make your interviews relevant? Make them something that the people care to hear about? Please tell me you were taking some mental notes."

Penny nodded.

Penny: "Notes taken. Thank you, Jace."

Jace gave a crooked grin and nodded.

Jace: "It's what I do. Any more questions from your side?"

Penny paused and thought for a moment.

Penny: "If I were to have a match against your girlfriend, Shae Drake...?"

Jace laughed and started walking off down the hallway.

Jace: "Not in your wildest dreams!"

Penny pouted, watching Jace walk off. After he turned a corner, she looked down to the audio device that was still recording and turned it off. The scene fades out as she walks off in the opposite direction.

jacegryphon
05-15-12, 01:47 AM
Jace: "So what are the Vegas odds?"

The scene opened up to show the interior of a gym. By virtue of the fact that there were only two people inside of the gym, it could be assumed that it was either a private gym, or whatever the exact opposite of peak hours is called. One of the two men in the gym was Jace Gryphon. The other was a slightly shorter, much skinnier man. Jace was wearing a black shirt with the words "Make War, Not Love" on the front and a J.G. clover leaf design on the back with the sleeves torn off of it, as well as a pair of black gym shorts. The other man wasn't dressed so much for working out - he was wearing a black button-down shirt and black jeans. As he spoke, a heavy Irish accent could be noticed.

Man: "Why are you asking me? You think I'm a gambler or something?"

Jace laughed as he punched the heavy bag the other man was holding a few times.

Jace: "Think? Lief, I know. We've been friends since elementary school. Whenever Riley calls me up crying, what's the first question I ask her?"

Lief thought for a moment and then laughed.

Lief: "Did that bastard leave you?"

Jace laughed and threw a hard right at the bag, knocking Lief back a couple of inches.

Jace: "And then when she tells me you haven't?"

Lief: (sighing) "Did he blow the rent money playing poker down at the pub again?"

Jace laughed and pulled the gloves off of his hands. He grabbed his water bottle from the floor and twisted the lid off, taking a long sip of the water as he made his way over to a bench to catch his breath. He looked to Lief as he sat down next to him.

Jace: "So?"

Lief gave a short laugh.

Lief: "Five to one."

Jace: "For me or him?"

Lief shook his head and gave Jace a punch on the shoulder.

Lief: "You know I never tell you that part of it, and for good reason. The one time I did, you had twenty to one odds. What did you do? You took a whole week off from training, walked out to the ring and lost."

Jace returned the punch on the shoulder.

Jace: "That was years ago. I was still practically a rookie. But still, five to one odds, that could really go either way, so, I'll take it."

Lief: "You'll have to. There was talk that it might go as far as one to two, but the odds are you're more likely to see one to two if you make it through to face Joey Melton in the next round."

Jace shrugged as he took another long sip of the water.

Jace: "Well, screw what the Vegas odds are. If anyone's betting on Showtime to make it past me, they may as well just be putting the money directly into my pocket. He doesn't stand a chance at winning this match. And the same thing goes for the next round. I don't care if it's Joey Melton or Marcus Davis that makes it through to the next round to face me, they're going to go the same way as Showtime and A.J. Johnson. This Ultratitle is mine for the taking Lief."

Lief: "Absolutely."

Jace: "Don't play coy. We all know the only reason you didn't enter the tournament was because I entered it before you, and you knew you wouldn't beat me, so you figured why bother, am I right?"

Lief gave a soft laugh.

Lief: "Jace, you know if I really wanted to, I could beat you five ways from Sunday. You still haven't managed to figure out an effective defense against Japanese Jiu-jitsu, have you?"

Jace sighed.

Jace: "I'm still working on it. But take that out of the equation."

Lief: "Take that out of the equation, and I'll give it to you. You're a better technical wrestler, a better striker, a better submission wrestler..."

Jace: "And the list goes on and on. But if you keep going, we'll still be here, and I'll have missed showing up for my round two match."

Lief: "Wouldn't want to do that, now would you? All this trash you've been talking up on Showtime, it'd be a shame if you lost by forfeit because you forgot to show up."

Jace shook his head.

Jace: "That hasn't happened once in my career, even at my drunkest. And if you think I'm about to start now, what with the Ultratitle on the line and the other prizes and notoriety that comes with it? Go back to Belfast and take a shillelagh up the ass...."

Lief leaned back and placed a hand to his heart.

Lief: "As an Irishman, you ought to take that back."

Jace shrugged and shoved Lief, causing him to topple off the side of the bench. The two of them laughed as Lief retook his seat.

Lief: "One thing's for sure though, Jace. You win this thing, and that ought to be a definite stepping stone towards you getting back to the top of the VWF and getting that World Heavyweight Title again."

Jace nodded.

Jace: "I'd sure hope so. Nothing's seemed to work out quite yet since returning, but getting that first win here in the Ultratitle tournament, it got the taste of winning back in my mouth. Now that I've tasted it again, I'm hungry for it like I haven't been in a long while. If Showtime, or Joey Melton, or anyone else in this tournament thinks that I'm just going to take one and be done, they've got another thing coming. I'm hungry, and the steak is hanging right there in front of my face. The carrot has been hung in front of the horse, and it's off to the races. I'm going to run right over Showtime, and right through the next guy, and right on through until I win this whole damn thing. You could put up a wall strong enough to stop the Kool-Aid man, and I'll run right through it screaming 'OH YEAH!' all the while."

Lief let out a hearty laugh.

Lief: "Do you ever stop and think about how ridiculous your analogies are sometimes?"

Jace: "That's the problem Lief. I get started and I don't stop. It's like the Energizer Bunny, you get me rolling and I just keep on going and going and going. That's how this tournament's going to play out. First it's A.J. Johnson, then it's Showtime, and the odds have it looking like next it's Joey Melton, but who knows. It could be Marcus Davis. After all, every now and then, the sun shines even on a dog's ass and he could get lucky. The problem is, that lucky dog's ass isn't going to be Showtime this week, and whether it's Melton or Davis next week, it's not going to be them either. The sun's shining on me right now."

Lief broke into a fit of laughter and covered his mouth to try and hold it back. Jace took a sip of his water and then looked to Lief who was still laughing and shook his head.

Jace: "What?"

Lief: "You just, in a round-about way, called yourself a dog's ass."

Jace stopped and thought for a second.

Jace: "Well maybe I did, but it doesn't change the fact that right now, the sun is shining on me, and I'm on my way to glory. There's sixty-three other competitors left in this tournament with me, and there's not a single one of them that will be able to stop me from being the last one standing. The only thing even remotely capable of stopping me now is myself, and lucky for me, I'm on my own side. I want me to win."

Lief: "You're obviously over-worked and dehydrated the way you're rambling on now..."

Jace sighed and nodded his head.

Jace: "You're probably right. To the pub?"

Lief jumped up from his seat with a smile on his face.

Lief: "To the pub!"

Jace laughed as he stood and followed his old friend out of the gym as the scene faded out.