Prologue: When I Was Born..I Was Born The Man!..And When You Step on That Apron Your Ass Becomes Part of The Game That I'm The Man In!
Fade up the Sin Wrestling logo.
In any profession, whether it be athletic or educational, police work or criminal, there will always be one person that stands out above all else. That one man will set the standard that all others will be held to and more often than not, that standard will never be met.
"I AM..... THE MAN!!"
To be compared to the likes of Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair can be one man's greatest achievement. Meant as a compliment, to the best of the best, it is an insult. In the mind of the best, there is no comparison. There is no one on their level and there never will be. It becomes the career of the best to remain the best, to hold off the top of the mountain and fight away all those who seek to claim it as their own. To fight back the threat of elevation for all they are worth.
The theory of elevation is a myth creamed over by internet fan boys. No matter who is on top, the complaints about lack of elevation are evident. For years, they will scream that a man deserves a world championship push and when he receives it, he immediately becomes public enemy number one and another up and comer takes his place as the internet golden boy. Because of the lack of elevation, the fans coined the term "glass ceiling," meaning that the mid-carders could look up through the glass ceiling and see the main event but could never quite reach it. Constantly bumping their heads into the ceiling with no sign of it giving in.
Sid was never the internet golden boy.
Sid made his presence known in Noah Japan for the first time.Immediately upon Entering NOAH, began an intense feud with Kenta Kobashi...Whom he Defeated In an incredible Semifinal match for the NOAH Championship.He eventually went to the finals of the NOAH championship,but lost to Ikuto Hidaka
Although Sitting around and relaxing after his loss, had its perks,this did not suit the self-proclaimed "Man." It was time to return to Wrestling and claim the one belt that should've been his from the beginning. Sid made his appearence in FMW, made his intentions known, and crushed Hisakatsu Oya in his first match .
Sid made the challenge to Hayabusa,and made the promise that the FMW's Show at the Tokyo Egg Dome would be the site where a new Champion would be crowned. Sid and Hayabusa wrestled an epic match, lasting upwards of forty minutes, before Sid hit the Death Trap and put the legendary performer's other foot in the grave, staking claim to his first world championship. "The Man" had finally reached the pinnacle of his career, 5 years of struggling in Pro Wrestling paying off once and for all. Sid's career was riding high .
And then it all came crashing down.
Atushi Onita took over FMW from Hayabusa and his first act of business was to strip all champions of their titles with the intention of crowning new ones later in the night. Sid didn't agree with this method and refused to take part. He threw down the FMW Heavyweight championship and walked away for what he thought would be forever.
Onita failed. FMW was broken. Hayabusa returned to pick up the pieces and announced that forty-five men would do battle in the main event of a PPV entitled Brawl for all . Forty-five men would do battle and one man would walk out with the Frontier Martials arts Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship. After his first reign had ended so suddenly, Sid had to show them that they made a mistake by robbing him of his championship. He entered himself in the match. Everyone immediately wrote him off as hype. A man FMW had washed out before he could become washed up. Many heralded Komazawa Olympic Park Gym as the place where a new contender would step up and take the crown. Veteran, hungry superstars the Likes of Vicious Vic Grimes,Stan"the Lariat"Hansen And Big Van Vader came from all over to try their hand in the main event.
In one match, Sid climbed the ladder to the very top of Frontier Martial arts Wrestling. Eliminating wrestler after wrestler after wrestler until he was the last man standing.His mask broken,blood staining his features, Sid eliminated The Sadistic ECw Legend Sabu to win the FMW championship for the second time.
Forty-four other men came from all over the world to win the title and "The Man" turned every single one of them away as if they were children playing a man's game. Sid showed every single one of them exactly why he was the man to beat. Sid established once and for all that he has broken through that glass ceiling
And now With Sid firmly back in place, panicked. The wrestlers were threatening to quit if something wasn't done about the living, breathing, ass kicking machine known to many as Sid"The Man"Frankenstein. People were getting concussions left and right thanks to Sid and his arsenal of Ring side Weapons, until one night, Hayabusa pulled the trigger that would almost kill Sid's once and for all.
The match was for the FMW World Championship. Sid versus Mr. Gannosuke versus Mammoth Sasaki. Sid dealt out punishment left and right, taking advantage of them like they were first match rookies until Willy "Hido" Takayama and Tetsuhiro Kuroda arrived at ringside on the orders of Hayabusa, distracting Sid long enough for Gannosuke to sneak a pin on Sasaki to steal the world championship.
Sid cornered Ganosuke,Takayama and Kuroda and his ensuing revenge was so fierce, so brutal, so very, very awe inspiring, that Hayabusa had no choice but to Fire Sid before lives were lost.
For nearly three years, the wrestling world had continued on without Sid and the wrestlers have let out a sigh of relief. Elevation has occurred in his absence and new stars have been born. It wasn't until Sin Wrestling opened its doors that Sid decided it was time to make another impact. In a promotion ruled by Corey Page,Sid felt it was his duty to show them what real talent was like.
After sitting back and watching the business evolve without him, he decided that it was time to return, to show the up and comers that they are not the Man.
... Once upon a broken child..
The pain...and the suffering...of a childhood lost. An empty swing, an empty promise. A broken dream, a broken home. It's strange, how laughter looks like crying, with no sound & rain drops taste like tears, without the pain. the tortured soul that best reflects the ragged edges of human emotion. One man, his life... nothing but a tangled web.. one must face their demons again & again to try & gain the upper hand yet lose that comeuppance in a never-ending cycle of pain and retribution. Bound by loneliness and self depression. Wallowing in his own depression, he seeks no reaction, no acceptance from any one else but His allies. for his whole life, the course if it all began by a broken heart, shattered by god... no more does he trust or care. about his own well being or the well being of those that stand in his way, that dare to try and bring him further down.
his life, not of the ordinary... but more one, that brings you to tears, brings you to feel sorrow and pity for him. something, he rejects, but yet his own eats at him like a plague, watching, waiting to to hurt him. driven by anger, driven by hate... he seeks to fulfill his calling, his life story. complete the story of his dear suffering life. he sees it as his calling, his purpose of life to be achieve this high stature that others so dearly love...his life has brought him nothing but pain, his path, his calling obstructed and set off course by these events... driven him to become a madman... seeking to find those, with no guidance, no confidence, the out casts and misfits of the world, unit them as one and follow them, like a General ... in the army.. sent out to live by his rules, his every word... not fearing to take on anything.. but those individuals he attaches himself to, end up being the ones that dearly cut and hurt him deeply.. a mind is a complicated thing, something of force, of power... a weapon of sheer havoc and destruction, his mind... one that's brought pain to the world, shed blood and let it flow, like the nile river.. sought out to this world his won personal play ground, his field of horror and misfortune... seeking revenge and total annihilation of anyone and everyone that dare to cross and hurt him... he takes not kindly to betrayal..... he walks his life anyone else,except for his allies... they think they understand him, but they don't, they don't at all..
It's my life
And it's now or never
'Cause I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
It's my life my heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said
I did it my way
I just want to live while I'm alive
It's my life
And it's now or never
'Cause I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
It's my life my heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said
I did it my way
I just want to live while I'm alive
'Cause it's my life!
At first, I thought I woke up, but I was dead, so waking up was impossible. I was dead, and I was in Hell, which was only fitting, because Hell was exactly where I belonged. It was so hot. My muscles felt like they were made of lead. I couldnít move my fingers, much less lift my arm. I couldnít breathe and I couldnít really think, but it didnít matter because I was dead, and dead people didnít need to think, or breathe, or move, or anything else. For that one moment, when the realization first hit, I knew without question that there was a God. Iíd given up on religion of any form on a long time ago, but now, some years later, I wondered if "sorry" would be enough. Probably not, because I wasnít sorry and with all the things Iíd done in my life, God would only laugh in my face before sending me spiraling down to where I deserved to spend eternity.
There were voices in hell, but not the tormented screams of the damned I had expected. They were womenís voices, speaking softly as though they did not want to disturb my eternal slumber. I couldnít understand what they were saying, but I could detect a blend of giggles and harsh remarks. I tried to speak, but my dry mouth refused to open. I wanted to see if their faces were as angelic as they sounded, but my eyes felt sewn shut. So, this was what it was like to be in hell: to have angels within your reach while completely unable to grasp them.
As I listened, their voices became more distinct, though I still could not make out their words. There were three of them, all young, all sounding amazingly beautiful. They were talking about someone--about me, I realized after a moment--and they didnít sound too terribly thrilled about being in my company. The giggles I thought were full of mirth were in reality rather nervous. The rather scathing comments were made in reference to my unfortunate condition. It didnít surprise me in the least. Iíd never had much luck with women.
"Heís dead," the most talkative of the group said with the kind of anxiety that only comes from the absolute certainty that you are in a situation blown straight to hell. Having to account for a dead body was never a good thing, I knew that much from too many years of experience.
"Gina, will you please get a grip!" The most pissed off of the three snapped. "I already told you, heís not dead."
No, actually, I am dead.
"How do you know?" the first one, Gina, demanded.
An annoyed sigh, the kind that only comes from people with a severe God-complex. "Iím a pre-med major for Godís sake. I promise you that one of the first things they teach us is how to tell a living person from a dead one, and this one ainít dead. Heís just unconscious."
No, really, Iím quite dead. Iím be the expert here, and I am absolutely certain that I am dead.
"Is he in a coma?"
"No, heís just asleep. I swear to God, Iím gonna kill Charlene for doiní this. If we get busted over this drunken idiot--"
"Yeah, but she said--"
"Screw what she said. You know sheís little miss exaggeration, right? Always gotta be the center of the universe and all that? I swear, as soon as this idiot wakes up, his ass is outta here. I am not getting thrown out of school for him. Heís certainly not handsome."
Hey! Of course, I was too dead to argue, not that I could if I had been alive. Iíd never found myself to be a spectacular specimen of the human race.
"Besides," the third one said, "heís married. Just like her to fall for a married guy."
"Charlene the Slut," the second girl, Bitch, muttered. "If she hadnít tried to jump that guyís bones at the bar we wouldnít be in this mess. Where the hell is she, anyway?"
"Outside having a smoke," Gina answered.
"Well, tell her to get her ass in here."
A piece of furniture groaned as Gina got up, then she shrieked as she stubbed her toe on something.
"Good God," Bitch muttered. She waited until a door closed before continuing, her voice raised as she finally had an opportunity to express more of her rage. "Why in the hell didnít we get a private room?"
"Seeing as how weíre paying out the ass for this shitty hotel, weíre lucky weíre not sleeping on the bus," Cynical replied. "I canít believe we wound up in Ari- freakin- zona. Any other time, Iíd be thrilled out of my mind, but not on a freakiní class trip and not in the middle of here. Are they tryiní to get us killed?"
Youíre lost. Iím dead. You have absolutely no reason to complain in comparison.
"Whatís up?" A new voice, strangely familiar asked. Before I could place its owner, Gina nervously declared that somebody named Summers was checking doors. Her panic grew as she asked where they should stash the body.
"He ainít dead!" Bitch yelled.
"Are you sure?"
"Iím a doctor, Gina!"
So am I, and I say that Iím definitely dead.
"Not yet, you arenít."
Okay, fine, Iím not a doctor yet, either, but I am definitely dead. I know that much, even if I havenít been in a classroom in a couple of years.
"Close enough, Gina. Now help me get his ass up before we all get busted. Carly, I am gonna kill you. Why in the hell did you have to drag him back here? They have hospitals for these kinds of things, you know. Whereís Simmerson?"
"A few doors down," Gina answered, more panicked than before.
"Hannah, go outside and stall her," Bitch ordered. "Hey!" I felt a hard slap across my face.
"And as soon as Summers leaves youíre gonna tell me what the hellís goiní on. Hey, ugly!"
"I think his name is Sid," Girl I Knew From Somewhere offered helpfully.
"Fucking Sid!" I was shook violently by the shoulders, hard enough to finally jar my eyes open.
Wake the hell up!"
I couldnít be in hell. Hell didnít have young, college girls hovering over me, so close that all I could see were their faces. There was a ponytailed brunette with ruddy lipstick and too much eye make-up, a frizzy blonde wearing beaded necklaces that tickled my bare skin, and a crop-topped redhead with the most startling green eyes I had ever seen on a woman. By some unheard of cosmic oversight, Iíd somehow wound up in heaven and these three beautiful angels were here to welcome me.
"Stop staring, you filthy pervert," the blonde said, her voice matching Bitchís exactly. "Get the hell up and get your ass in the bathroom."
I wasnít sure how to make her understand that there was a gross misunderstanding. I wasnít supposed to be in heaven, she really needed to stop treating me like I was still alive, and I didnít need to go to the bathroom. I was dead, very, very dead. I couldnít still be alive. Iíd set out to kill myself, and Iíd obviously succeeded somewhere along the way. Why couldnít I make her understand that?
"Talk about hitting your head too hard," Bitch said, exasperated to the point of snapping, but I wasnít sure why. "Hannah, give me a hand, here. Charly, get over here and help me move his ass! This whole thing is your damn fault, so start pitching in."
"Sure thing," the familiar voice said, "but will you please go easy on him? Youíre the one whoís gonna be a doctor, so you should realize more than anybody that heís been through it."
"Realizing and caring are two completely different things. Now, move." Bitch grabbed one of my arms and pulled as hard as she could. I cried out in agony. Even in death, every muscle in my arm and shoulder was on fire. Someone took my other arm, though with a great deal more care, but I couldnít see which one of them it was because the pain had blinded me. I felt myself sitting up, though by no will of my own, and I buried my face in my hands as I waited for the pain to subside. I couldnít begin to think my way past the agony. I was in hell. Heaven couldnít possibly be this painful.
I removed my hands, the room swirling around me as I tried to find the owner of the voice that I knew Iíd heard somewhere before. I could tell from my blurred surroundings that my personal corner of hell had been made up to look like a cheap hotel room. I wasnít surprised. In fact, my surroundings only solidified my belief that I was dead. If hell was the eternal embodiment of your worst nightmares, my hell would be a shitty hotel room in Phoenix. Then I saw her--her. Iíd killed her.
She reached out, cupping my face. Her hand was freezing and I involuntarily jerked back, remembering the sound of the brakes screeching as they locked up, and the absolute helplessness Iíd felt as the car careened toward her, completely out of my control. Iíd hit her, and weíd both died in that moment. Everything after that had been a dream. I hadnít found those traitors. Jason and Harry and the showdown with Orson Myles had never happened. But dead didnít dream, and if I was dreaming, why in the hell was I dreaming of her?
"Sid?" she asked, even though I knew Iíd never told her my name. "Sid, I need you to try to listen to me for a minute, okay?"
I couldnít be alive because she knew who I was even though I hadnít told her.
"Will you shut up!" the Bitch snapped, even though I hadnít said anything. Or was I talking without realizing it? I did that sometimes, usually at all the wrong moments.
"Come on," the girl Iíd killed said gently. "You need to come with me." She draped my arm over her shoulder and, with the aid of Bitch and her cynical friend, they dragged me into the roomís cramped bath. The girl tried to sit me down on the rim of the tub, but her friends were out of patience and she was unable to support me on her own. I fell back against the wall and collapsed to the floor, not finding air any easier to come by than it had been while I was flat on my back in bed. All the while, I never took my eyes off of her, even as her friends slammed the bathroom door behind us. She kept looking over her shoulder at me as she tried to turn on the water in the tub.
"What are you doing?" I asked, somehow finding my voice and simultaneously managing to make the words in my mind sound like I wanted them to.
"Shh," she raised a finger to her lips for emphasis. "You need to be quiet right now."
"Why?" I asked, aware that my voice had become louder, even though I didnít want it to. "It doesnít matter. Iím dead. Nobody can hear me."
She looked over her shoulder, her eyes wide in alarm. "Youíre not dead." She pulled the lever to start the shower.
"What are you doing?" I asked again. I looked down at myself, trying to understand why she and the bitch doctor-in-training thought I was alive. It didnít seem like there was anything left of me. I felt like everything in me had been bulldozed, shredded, then hit with a stick of dynamite for good measure. My body should have been in a thousand different pulverized pieces, and I could not understand how I was still in tact, unless that was another illusion brought on by hell. I was relatively unharmed, or at least I looked that way. There were cuts and bruises on my legs, arms and chest, but everything still looked more or less okay.
"Why am I in my underwear?"
"Because your clothes were a bloody mess," she replied, pulling the shower curtain shut before sitting down on the toilet so she could look down at me. "Be quiet for a minute, okay."
I had to say something. I wanted to say something, but we were both dead and nothing could change that.
She signed in exasperation, sliding to the floor and placing her hand firmly over my mouth. She gave me the kind of warning look Iíd often given Jason Nigh--the look that said "the next word out of your mouth may be the one that gets you killed." I didnít understand why she was so concerned about not dying, but I slowly nodded my compliance. She stared down at me for a moment longer, then slowly removed her hand.
"Miss Jackson!" A new voice, much older.
"Yeah, Dr. Summers," the girl Iíd killed called back.
"Come in here, please."
I saw the momentary panic in her eyes as she wondered whether or not to press ahead with whatever lie she was getting ready to tell. As her eyes lingered on mine, she seemed to find her courage. "I canít maíam. Iím in the shower. I just got my hair all lathered up." She had turned her eyes to the door the moment she started speaking, absolute terror overflowing from them as she realized the door was not locked. She started to fix the problem, but thought better of it as she reached for the knob. I sighed. Even in death, Iíd found myself right in the middle of an impossible situation I could neither comprehend nor control.
"Iím going to finish my rounds," the Summers woman called back. "Iíll be back in five minutes. I expect you to be out of the shower by then and ready to answer some questions."
The color drained from her face. "Yes, maíam."
"Whatís going on?" I asked again, keeping my voice as soft as I could.
She shook her head, running her hands through her ashen hair. "Iím getting ready to get thrown out of college and Iíll probably go to jail while Iím at it."
"Why?" I wanted to tell her that she was dead, so it didnít matter and she couldnít get thrown out of school or go to jail, but she hadnít realized she was dead yet. After everything Iíd already done to her, I couldnít tell her Iíd killed her. I owed it to her to tell her, but I couldnít.
"Underage alcohol consumption," she replied. "My parents will kill me for that much when I get home. Theyíre religious Nazis. Then our school has this whole ethics code about how young girls of a good moral upbringing shouldnít be caught fraternizing with men while on school functions. Long story." She regarded me for a moment, suddenly remembering that I was a part of the story. "You and I really need to have a serious talk."
"It doesnít matter," I said, my words sounding slurred in my mind. "Weíre both dead. We were killed back there when I crashed my car."
She laughed, even though I could tell she didnít want to. "You may be dead, but I most certainly am not. And since Iím not dead and Iím sitting here talking to you, odds are youíre not dead, either. We need to talk."
"Weíre dead," I repeated. I would have put a lot more emphasis on my words, but I was too tired to emphasize anything.
"No," she shook her head. "You just hit your head really, really hard. Youíre zonked, not dead."
No use trying to convince her, she was in denial. Iíd spent too many years of my life too close to death, and I knew what death was. We were both quite dead, whether she wanted to admit it or not.
"Sheís gonna kill me," the girl muttered, looking back toward the door. She suddenly turned back to me, as though I was her last hope for salvation. "Are you a cop?"
"No." I was surprised by how much the room spun as I barely shook my head.
"But you had a gun back there--hell, Iíve still got it--and you sounded awful, I donít know, cop-ish."
I closed my eyes and tilted my head toward the ceiling, willing myself to maintain consciousness. "none of your bussiness." Silence fell between us, but I was too tired to open my eyes to see what was wrong. I tried to concentrate on her three friends talking outside the room, needing something to distract me so that I could stay awake. They were somewhere between panicked and furious, and though I could distinguish their voices, I could not make out their words.
The girl sitting across from me clapped her hands so loudly that I was reaching for my weapon before I had even opened my eyes. I was startled to find that I was unarmed, and instinct ordered me to my feet before I had time to wonder where my Glock had gone. The girl caught me at the shoulders before I could get too far off the ground. I nearly threw her aside in panic, but recognized her before I could put her through any more undue trauma. There was an almost manic smile on her face as she helped me back to the floor without hurting myself.
"I think Iíve got an idea," she said, standing up and trying to pace. The floor was so small that she only turned in circles. "Iíve got it," she repeated, again clapping her hands together as she bounced anxiously on the balls of her feet. I wished I knew what she had and why it was so bloody important.
"Charlene," she said, turning to me and extending her hand. I stared at it like an idiot, having no idea what she wanted out of me. There was no way I was getting up with the way my head was spinning.
"Charlene Jackson. Itís my name, but everybody calls me Charly." She shoved her hands in her pockets a moment before I realized sheíd wanted a handshake. Charly. It was a nice name, a fitting one: young, perky, not too sophisticated but a far cry from a bimbo. She was certainly thinking a hell of a lot more quickly than I was.
"Sid?" she asked after a moment.
"How do you know that?" Every time she said my name was more unnerving than the last. I was accustomed to being the one who knew everything, and was finding that loss of control quite unsettling.
"The crazy-looking guy in the loud clothes that showed up to help you get those three guys kept calling you Sid. Is that your name?"
I closed my eyes. Jason, she meant Jason. God,I can't beleive of all people,that i would even think about missing him. ..wait a minute..no i would'nt.
She was still staring at me when I reopened my eyes, acting like she wanted an answer to something. I searched my memory for the last thing sheíd said to me, my recall not working nearly as well as it should have been.
"Sidney david august Frankenstein," I finally answered, surprised by how automatically the words came, considering how many of them there were and how long each word was. It was a mouthful, one that often caused more confusion and gross mispronunciations than it was probably worth, but it was my name and one of the few things about myself that I loved.
"Iíll pretend like I understood that." She didnít mean for the sarcastic comment to slip out, but did not seem sorry sheíd said it.
"Sid," I clarified. "Sid."
"Well, Sid," she leaned forward, resting her hands on her bent knees, "I think I have an idea thatís going to keep us both out of jail."
"Weíre dead," I reminded. "Dead people donít go to jail."
She frowned, but only for the briefest of moments. Then a positively delighted smile overcame her face, and she took my hands in hers. "As soon as we get out of this," she said, trying to gently urge me to my feet, "I am going to explain to you how not dead we are. Are you coherent enough to do something thatís going to keep us out of jail, Sid?"
I didnít try to stand, I was still too tired and the room was still spinning too quickly. "Why am I going to jail?"
She scoffed. "You donít know Dr. Summers. Sheís another religious Nazi who doesnít think a woman should look at a man before she gets married. If she catches you in here, sheíll find charges to bring you up on--probably involving the word rape."
"Iím not a rapist."
"I know," she said sympathetically. "You actually seem like a pretty decent guy, all things considered. You saved my ass back there in the alley, so consider my saving your reputation my way of paying you back."
"Youíre saving your own ass as much as youíre saving mine."
"No act is ever committed for purely selfless reasons."
I smiled. So young and already so much wisdom. "What do I need to do, Miss Jackson?"
"Charly," she corrected immediately and strongly. "Miss Jackson sounds too much like an old woman, and if you call me maíam, Iíll have to kill you. Now that weíve got that cleared up, Take me."
"Well, not Take me, take me. Pretend that your a cop or whatever and take me in for questioning. Youíre gonna have to anyway, arenít you? Find out what happened with me and those three guys you arrested and, trust me, there is a story there."
I tried to think things through from her point of view, a perspective that had us both still in the land of the living. It was almost impossible, which meant that not only had I accepted that I was dead, I wanted to be dead. "I suppose I would need to question you, yes."
"Pondering the possibility that weíre still alive after all?" she asked, standing up.
"No," I answered honestly. "Iím entertaining your delusions."
She rolled her eyes, for a moment looking like she wanted to try to knock some sense into me. "Concussion," she breathed, apparently deciding against the idea. "Look, I promise this will make more sense once youíre coherent enough to realize whatís happened."
I tried to dwell on what she was saying, to make it make sense to me. "Youíre saying weíre both going to stay out of jail, if I arrest you in my underwear?"
She sighed, the look on her face telling me that I was the most intolerable excuse for a human being sheíd encountered in quite some time. "Iíll get your clothes." She left me alone in the bathroom before I could ask her anything else she considered stupid. "Get dressed," she ordered a moment later, dropping my clothes on the floor by my feet. "Try to hurry." She closed the door behind her, turning her attention to assuring her friends that it was cool, donít worry, she had everything under control. They didnít sound like they believed her, not that I blamed them. At least somebody still had some sense left. I reached for my shirt, unsure of why I was humoring her.
Getting dressed was relatively easy compared to keeping my footing once I had to stand. The room had stopped spinning, but every hesitant step I took left me with the feeling that I was trying to walk across a waterbed. The floor seemed to dip with every step and move beneath my feet, and I had to keep one hand on the wall to keep my balance. I wished my mind would clear enough for me to get my senses back in proper working order. Even if I was dead, I should have been back in the driverís seat of my body by now instead of struggling for control of what felt like a runaway train. Iíd always had to be at the height of my abilities, both physically and mentally, and Iíd always had to be able to barrel past those boundaries on a momentís notice. Maybe the loss of the control Iíd always prided myself on--that Iíd always relied on for my survival--was part of my eternal damnation.
The girl--Charly, I had to remind myself--had left my wallet and my weapon for me on the counter outside the bathroom. I began riffling though my wallet before I was aware of what I was looking for, and only realized what was missing when I discovered Iíd been robbed. Her roommates probably, they seemed like thieving types. I thought about getting mad, knew I should at least be upset, but closed my wallet and shoved it in my back pocket without another thought. I knew better than to deal with teenage girls when it came to money. The life-scarring trauma I would have to endure at their hands would not be worth the small percentage of the cash I managed to recoup.
"I thought you said your name was Sid."
I turned, surprised by how smoothly I did so, surprised to find Charly hovering behind me. The accusation in her tone startled me, especially since she seemed to be accusing me of lying about my own name.
"Then what the hell is this?" She handed me an identification card complete with my picture and my vitals, but issued under the name of Andy thorne.
"Itís the name I travel under," I answered, wondering how I hadnít noticed the cardís absence from my wallet, and what else I had overlooked.
"Why do you need to travel under an alias?"
I started to remind her that I worked for the military and, as a result, sometimes needed to travel under a name other than my own, but a sharp knock on the door cut me short before I could open my mouth.
"Summers," Charly breathed, frantically gesturing for me to stay put, behave, and please, please, please do what she wanted. I was still a little fuzzy on the details, like why she thought we were still alive and why we were going to jail if I didnít arrest her, but she was absolutely convinced that what she was saying was the truth, and that her fears were real. She hadnít been afraid when sheíd confronted my three missing men, but now she was terrified of a woman I was assuming was her chaperone.
"Just remember, Charly," I heard Bitch say, "this was your idea and I didnít want any part of it. Thatís exactly what Iím telling Summers, too."
I couldnít believe her friends were going to crucify her that way, when all sheíd wanted to do was help me out. I wasnít sure--I wasnít sure of much of anything right now--but I was thinking that she had somehow gotten me back to her hotel room to have her friend the pre-med student look me over. I didnít understand why she hadnít taken me to a hospital, but I was grateful that she hadnít. I could not afford to be laid up and helpless for as long as the doctors would undoubtedly want to keep me, and my superiors would not take kindly to having to explain my injuries.
I picked up my Glock as I heard the deadbolt slide open. I could feel a quickening in my heartbeat as I began pondering what was about to unfold. Even though I didnít feel as though I was in any danger, I could feel the gears in my head beginning to turn more smoothly. My instincts were beginning to come back to me. The floor had stopped moving beneath my feet and the room was no longer spinning. I was back in my element, the life or death situations Iíd been trained to thrive in.
"I see youíve added lying to your repertoire, Miss Jackson," Summers greeted, her voice sharp with authority.
"Maíam?" The sincere nervousness in Charlyís voice covered any attempts at innocence she was attempting.
"Your shower, Miss Jackson. I see that you havenít taken it, even though I seem to remember you telling me that you were in the middle of one when I last checked in. Perhaps you can explain to me what is going on and, for that matter, where you and your roommates have been for most of the night?"
I listened to the conversation from my hiding spot just outside of the bathroom, trying to follow all that was being said but not succeeding as much as I would have liked. Iíd caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, accidentally, as I picked up my weapon, and the sight of my reflection had terrified me. It wasnít because I looked like shit--which I did-- because Iíd looked a hell of a lot worse in situations that were a hell of a lot worse than this one. The problem was my reflection, plain and simple. Iíd gotten to a point where I couldnít stand to look at the person Iíd become or that the girl in the next room was placing her life in my hands. She had no idea what kind of monster I was. She couldnít see past the battered exterior to the murderer hiding inside. I was glad that I was dead. I couldnít hurt anyone else now, including her. Still, I picked up my weapon, checking to see if a round was chambered. Neither Charly nor her professor noticed the noise. To me the sound seemed to echo off the walls.
"Weíve been here all night, maíam," Charly said, her voice bringing me back to what passed for the present.
"Stop lying to me, Miss Jackson," Simmerson replied, what little patience she had nearly exhausted. "I know for a fact that--Good God! Thatís blood, isnít it? What is that much blood doing on your mattress? Whose blood is that?"
That was my cue to pull the secret agent act, whether I was ready to perform of not. I still didnít know what I was doing, or why, but Carly was expecting me to do something. She thought I could save her, when all Iíd done for her was get her killed.
"Itís mine," I said, rounding the corner, the hand holding my Glock hidden behind my back. The very startled woman who greeted me fit the description of every schoolmarm Iíd ever seen or heard of. There was the gray hair twisted into a bun on top of her head, the violet-tinted glasses hanging on a gold chain around her neck. She was short and rather round, the kind of woman who should have had rosy cheeks and a welcoming smile. Her features were severe, so severe that I wasnít sure I wanted to mess with her--and Iíd spent my entire adult life dealing with terrorists.
"Who in the hell are you?" She demanded, momentarily surprising even herself by her choice of wording. It was only a momentary hesitation, but exactly the kind Iíd been trained to take advantage of.
"Captain Jack Fitzgerald Harris Chief of Police ." The longer the title, the more intimidating. I moved toward her with a slow grace I was amazed I still possessed, all the while trying to ignore how much of my blood was on the bed. "Miss Jackson is a key witness to an investigation, and sheís coming with me for questioning."
"I think not!" She declared, her version of "no way in hell."
"Iím sorry, but you donít have a say in the matter." Iíd come up behind Charly, who was watching me with very apprehensive eyes. "Either she comes with me, and I find out what she knows," I locked one arm around her neck, careful not to hurt her, then put the muzzle of my gun to her temple, staring coldly over her shoulder at the suddenly terrified old woman, "or I shoot her to make damn sure she knows nothing."
"Oh my God!" The exclamation came from Gina, who was huddled on the couch.
"I knew this guy was bad news," the bitch muttered, shooting Charly a furious look even though she was held at gunpoint. Inwardly, I almost laughed. The poor girl had the same completely unsympathetic friends as I did.
"You wouldnít," Summers breathed, but she saw my face and what Charly couldnít. Any traces of me were gone, replaced by the merciless killer I was too often required to be. I could feel the change in myself as much as I knew she could see it; a hardness in my eyes Iíd tried a thousand unsuccessful times to consciously duplicate, a teeth-chipping tightness in my jaw, the inner aura of a man who had killed before and would do so again if he had to. I wasnít a murderer by choice--and if it was my choice, Iíd never pick up a gun again--but the survivalist in me had learned to play the part very, very well.
"What is this about?" she asked, moving toward the other girls as I maneuvered Charly toward the door.
"That information is classified."
"Iím calling the police."
"It wonít do you any good."
She stood her ground. "Iím calling them. Youíll be in jail by tomorrow morning."
I shook my head, smiling involuntarily. "Iíll be far away by tomorrow morning."
"I can tell them what you look like. Iíve seen your face. I can tell them about your voice, and all those cuts. They wonít have any problem finding you."
"Then maybe I should shoot you, too."
She tried to stand firm, but her face blanched and her hands began to tremble. "What--what are you going to do with her?"
A fair enough question. "All Iím going to do is ask her some questions. Sheíll be returned safely to her family in a couple of days. I suggest you go about your business as usual and try to forget this ever happened."
"And what are you gonna do if we donít, huh?" Bitch demanded, taking a step forward. ""We donít live anywhere near here, you know, we just got lost on vacation. What are you gonna do if we donít forget about it? Track us down and hurt us?"
"Yes," I answered, my tone so cold and filled not with threats, but with a promise. She took two steps back to compensate for the one forward she had taken, wrapping her arms around herself as she sat down on the armrest. Charlyís professor had left the door wide open for me. I backed out of it, then kicked it shut behind me.
"That was so cool," she breathed, trying to slide out from under my grasp.
"Not yet," I warned her, though I did lower my weapon. "Itís going to look really strange if they happen to see you walking out of here on your own free will. Whereís my car?"
"Finally coming back to reality are you?" She asked, a teasing tone to her voice as she led me toward two bright yellow school buses. "Iím driving by the way. Thereís no way in hell youíre getting behind the wheel of a car in the state youíre in, especially since youíve already totaled one and damn near wrecked another, all in the space of less than half an hour."
"Iím fine." Now that my mind and my body were almost on the same playing field, I was beginning to feel in control of myself again.
"If fine translates out to being fatal on automobiles, yeah, youíre golden." She pirouetted out of my loose chokehold as we wove our way between the buses, where sheíd hidden Harry's stolen car. "So, you still think weíre dead?"
"We are dead."
She rolled her eyes as an exasperated sigh escaped her lips. "Then Iím definitely driving. Give me the keys."
I complied before I could stop myself. As much as I wanted to assure her that everything was fine, one of the voices in the back of my head would not let me argue. "We need to get rid of this car," I said instead. The owner had probably reported it missing by now, and though the authorities probably had far more important things to do with their time than track down a car that was one scratch away from the junk pile, I didnít want to take the chance that they might have some free time on their hands.
"So weíll take it a few blocks down the street, leave it, and hail a cab."
I looked up at her in amazement. "Are you a spy?"
"Why?" she asked with a sinister smile. "Are you?" .She was laughing as she opened the driverís side door. "Oh my god, this is so cool!"
"I'm Not a spy and Keep your voice down."
She did, but only until sheíd reached across the seat and unlocked my door. "You have no idea how cool this is," she continued, firing the engine as I settled myself. "I have been kidnapped by spies. My life is complete, I can die now--and donít you dare tell me that Iím already dead because Iím not, and I donít want to hear it."
"Iím not a spy."
She regarded me skeptically. "Amnesia, too?"
"Career crisis," I corrected. Family crisis, life crisis, death crisis. Name your crisis, Iím having it.
"Spies have career crises?" The car jumped the curve as she pulled out of the lot, jolting me forward. I groaned as my brain collided with my skull, then rested my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands to try to keep from passing out. "Where are we going?" she asked after a moment.
"I told You i'm not a Spy!My hotel."
There was a momentary pause as she considered implications I hadnít even thought about until I realized she was thinking about them. "That would be where?"
At least one of the recall centers in my brain was working, because I managed to give her the address and a rough set of directions. She didnít seem very concerned about finding the hotel and comment that I didnít quite hear about moving up in the world. After a moment, and as the pain in my head finally started to subside, she began laughing.
"Put a gun to my head and everything." It wasnít until I turned a cautious eye to her that I realized Iíd left my weapon on the seat between us. She had picked it up and was inspecting it, her eyes more focused on the cold steel than the road before her. She laughed, pointing the gun directly at my head, her finger around the trigger.
I grabbed her arm and jerked as hard as I could, watching her mouth say the word "bam" as her finger squeezed the trigger. She screamed as the gun she had expected to be empty fired, the bullet coming entirely too close to my head before taking out the passenger window. She screamed again, slamming on the breaks, sending up both crashing into the dashboard. The pistol fell to the floorboard, thankfully not discharging a second round.
"You had a loaded gun to my head!" She shrieked, delivering a stinging slap to my shoulder without giving me a chance to respond. "What in the hell are you doing putting a loaded gun to my head. You could have killed me, you sick bastard! Oh my God!" She hit me again, in case the first one hadnít dislocated my shoulder.
"Of course itís loaded!" I shouted back. "But Iíll have you know that I never even had my finger on the trigger! You have no cause for complaint. Iím the one that nearly got my head blown off!"
"Youíre dead!" She shouted, tightening her fist and drawing back to take a legitimate swing at me. She stopped herself at the last possible second. "But Iím not, so Iím getting the hell out of here before anybody calls the cops." She slammed the car back into gear and peeled the tires as she pulled out. We drove in silence, Charly wearing a disbelieving smile as she shook her head back and forth, me staring out the busted window remembering what it had felt like to have a bullet whiz by your face only a fraction of a millimeter away. After a few minutes of disbelieving silence, she began to laugh.
"What?" I asked, because I could tell she wanted me to ask.
She laughed harder. "Youíre a little spitfire when your temper gets up. I thought you had a cooler temper than that."
"Why would you think that?" I challenged.
She glared at me. "Aside from the fact your a spy?"
"Damn it! I...Aside from."
She returned her eyes to the road, her expression one of sheer amazement. "I cannot believe I just had a loaded gun to my head," she repeated, a trace of invincibility creeping into her voice. "That was so damn cool." And that was all she said until she got her first glimpse of my suite.
"Oh my God," she breathed, stopping dead in the doorway. "Place you work for must be loaded, huh?"
"My organization is as close to broke as you can get while still being operational," I replied, trying to remember where the bedroom was. The sensation of walking on water was back, and the room was starting to spin again. I needed to lay down before I passed out.
"In other words, you must be loaded, huh?"
I hadnít realized there was a couch in the middle of the room until I nearly fell over it. "Yes," I answered her, sitting down, feeling consciousness begin to drift away from me as soon my weight was off my feet.
Charly shrugged awkwardly, looking around the spacious room for a distraction. "Arenít there any questions you want to ask me or anything?"
"Go home," I said, not sure where my words came from. "Iíll take care of everything. Thereís honestly no need for you to get mixed up in any of this, and itís probably better for you if you didnít."
She sighed heavily, running her hands through her hair in frustration, looking as though she wanted to pull a few strands out. "Well, if you donít have any question for me, Iíve sure as hell got some for you."
"Tough," I answered, sharply enough to startle her.
She recovered her nerve with an admirable speed. "You mean you donít want to know what happened between me and those three guys that you just arrested? I donít know anything about little secret government operations or whatever the hell it is youíre running, but I do know thatís pretty damned unprofessional, wouldnít you agree?"
"I agree entirely."
She planted her hands on her slightly cocked hips and waited on me to start an interrogation. I stood up, thinking that I could more effectively intimidate her if I was the one with the height advantage. I winced when I realized that even while standing, she still had a fraction of an inch on me. "Sucks to be you," she said, realizing what I was trying to do. Her eyes swept over me from head to toe, and she did not try to hide her amusement over what she found.
"Fuck you," I said with a smile the minute her eyes returned to mine. I turned away before she could counter, storming down the hall to a bedroom whose location I was still unsure of.
"Youíd like to," she called after me, still laughing, just before I slammed the door to the master suite behind me.
I woke up several hours later, face down in the pillow of the almost unbearably soft bed. My first reaction, as it always was, was to check my pager. Our message system was admittedly outdated, especially for a facility as technologically state-of-the-art as the one I worked for, but we used a numerical system for matters of security. I swore to myself as I tried to interpret the message, which looked like four sets of completely unrelated numbers. The first set, a transfer code, I recognized immediately. The second three took a little longer for me to place as the serial numbers of Myles, Mordecai and Vatutin.The Traitors were being transported back to Sadistic Hq, which meant that they had been recaptured. It took me a moment to remember that I had taken part in that capture. The girl had been right all along: we were both, indeed, quite alive. I sighed as I buried my face in the pillow
Sunday Night Impulse Draco,Casanova,Team Sadistic will be Comming for those Tag Team titles