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The baritone voice, the voice sounding as if it came from a throat which gargled rocks every morning...sharp rocks, at that...makes the girl freeze. With her arm pulled back away from her body, her whip dangling from her hand and swinging gently against her ankle, Sarah Selena Lacklan knows she looks particularly silly. She lets her eyes turn away from the servant, the cowering worm who had made the major MAJOR mistake of bringing her FULL decaf when she SPECIFICALLY STATED that she wanted HALF DECAF, THANK YOU SO MUCH, and to the massive mountain that was her father.

“...yes, Father?”

She can see his eyes, once blue but now faded to grey over time, roll back in his head, even through the small slits within his alabaster mask. She had to look up, of course. WAY up. She was a hair under 5 feet tall...and desperately hoping for a growth spurt once she got out of this hellish “tween” age...but her father was over six feet tall. AND just about as wide! Wearing one of his black robes, the one with the silver and purple flames on the sleeves, and with the hood drawn down over his head, he looked like a rider upon a steed from Mordor.

“What did I say about whipping the servants?”

Deep voice or not, the derision was thick. Sarah sighs...she had been doing that a lot lately...and lowers her whip arm.

“...to stop…”

Her father gave her a small nod and then looked at the servant.

“Did you make a mistake?”

The cowering servant tried to speak but ended up just stammering a reply.

“To the cross with you.”

Sarah’s eyes filled with malicious glee as the horror took over the servant’s face. After a few moments, the servant nodded, offered a muffled “Yes, Lord Lacklan,” and headed towards his punishment.

“As for you…”

Sarah gulped at having his attention back on her.


Reaching down, he grabbed her by the waist and, with barely any effort picked her up and placed her atop his shoulders. She smiled and laughed as his strong legs, legs built like the birch in Lacklan Forest, carried her away. Through the twisting halls of Lacklan Manor they went, his movements making her bounce as she did when she was a child. Servants bowed deeply as they passed, as much to her as they did for him, each with a mixture of fear and reverence in their eyes.

Up and up the two went, climbing a circular set of stairs, until they reached the highest point in the Manor. After setting her down, her father slowly walked toward a large open expanse in the room and stood before it. Sarah claps her hands and skips forward until she is by his side, and the two look down upon an expanse of gravel far down below them.

“Be prepared, my daughter, for changes for the world await us. Fueled by us. Fires lit by us.”

Sarah looks away from the gravel far down below, the space under construction for what was to become “Lena’s Square” at the foot of “Lena’s Spire,” and up to her father.

“Do you have faith, Father?”

Her father chuckled, his laughter seeming to make the entire room shake.

“Faith is everything, Daughter. Faith in the One Lord God. Faith in the Path of the Light. Faith in I, the Voice of God, the Hammer of His Will. And faith in what I leave behind. My Firestarter. My Blood Princess.”

He looked down at her and she smiled up at him. She couldn’t see his face, of course, with the alabaster mask covering it, but she knew he was smiling at her, too. With slow movements, he reaches up to take the edges of his good in his hand and pulls it down to his shoulders. There were many in the world, particularly his opponents who would shy away from the mass and mess of burn scars that riddled her father’s head, but Sarah was not one of them. In her eyes, her father was as beautiful with skin covered in burns as he was in his portraits and busts when he had his luxurious white hair.

“You have faith in me, Father?”

Her father patted her on the shoulder with a large hand and then turned back to the square down below.

“Ultimate faith, daughter. You can do and be whatever you wish, and you will change the world with your choice. From before you could even walk, I have ensured that you were taught in music, art, dance, history. Everything! No matter what you choose to do, it will carry the impact of the House of Lacklan.”

Sarah nods at his words and joins him in looking down at the square to be named after her late mother.

“Any advice, Father?”

He is silent for many moments, but his deep voice eventually breaks the stillness.

“Too much. Many lessons, I have taught. Many more, I shall. But I will say this: Always make an impact, no matter what you do. The world rests on its laurels, Daughter. It is complacent. And it is our job, our holy duty, to shake the world to its foundations. Always…always...act at that magnitude.”

Silence stretches as the two look down at the square. Sarah leans into her father, and the behemoth softs his stance to allow her to press all of her weight against him.

“I love you, Daddy.”

Presenting the House of Lacklan Saga Story Of:

Leap of Faith, Supplemental: Bonjour

Red eyes in a field of white.


”Pas tout à fait, l’enfant démon.”

Sarah’s head comes up off the table and she searches around with lazy eyes. Her hands desperately scramble around in search of her glasses, and she hurriedly places them on her face. The world turns from a giant blur into a picture less than pristine, and with a pounding head, she understands that she had gotten too far into her drink.


Some of the blur coalesces into the image of her step-mother. And her step-mother’s disapproving face.

“How many times must I tell you? The drink! It is evil, n’est-ce pas?”

She shakes her head...slowly...and tries to clear her vision and thoughts. She looks all around her and takes in the scene: The birthday party was long over, with the crew of World on Wheels working to clean up the place. Part of Sarah is apologetic for the mess they left...over 100 members of the professional wrestling community could become quite rowdy...especially when they decide that the best use of a vegan-friendly cake was to have a food fight...but only part of her. She had spent a LOT of money on this party, after all.

“I’m not drunk, Mumsie.”

That was only a partial lie. She never really drank any more...a very bad experience a few years ago, an experience wherein she had gotten so drunk on mixed drinks that she couldn't see straight, had led to her nearly being raped...and she only sipped wine now. Okay, sipped was a lie. She would strap wine into her veins as readily as her sister would appletinis, or Atty would cheap beer. And once she had given her birthday/wrestling presentation, she had allowed the wine to flow right along with Kenzi’s organic Michelobs.

“My Beloved. Where is Kenzi?!”

A flash of annoyance comes over the Frenchwoman’s face, but it goes away so fast that Sarah isn’t even sure if it had been there at all.

“She is resting, Daughter. As you should be.”

Sarah nods in agreement. She begins to push herself up from the table but her step-mother lays a hand on her shoulder to keep her in place.

“You were mumbling, Daughter. In your sleep. You dream of your father, qui?”

Sarah settles back down and nods. Her step-mother returns the nod and sits down in the chair next to her. With gentle movements, she reaches up and pulls down the conservative scarf covering the majority of her face, revealing the ruined mass of scalp on her head. Sarah does not wince at the sight, of course, though she knew most others became sick to their stomachs. In a twisted effort to be closer to her departed husband, Aveline Lacklan had taken a knife to her head and cut into it, making designs and shapes which matched the permanent burn scars on Jean-Paul Lacklan’s head. While the rest of the world could never understand, Sarah did.

“I miss him.”

Ava nods slowly.

“You dream of him often, qui?”

Sarah offers a nod in return.

“More than I should, I’d wager. Like, I know he would be proud of me, ya know? I know that YOU think he would be all kinds of GRRRRR about some of my decisions-”

The sudden grimace on Ava’s face told that tale better than any word could. Sarah rejected much of her father’s ultra-conservative church when she became an adult, and though he eventually softened on some things, Ava did not.

“-but I know that he would be proud of all I have done. I’m close to 200 matches in less than four years...one could argue only three years if you factor in my time on the DL...and not only have I won a full two thirds of them, but I’ve dripped in all that glitters. And that includes TWO ‘world’ championships! Lots of tag gold with my Beloved, lots of tournaments, lots of everything. I just wish he had lived to see it all.”

Silence flows between them and Ava rests a hand on Sarah’s shoulder. Even though the extremely puffy sleeves...Sarah really liked puffy sleeves...she could feel how gaunt that hand was. Ava had withered the last two years, and looked at least double her thirty years of age.

“This dream. What was it about, hmm?”

A small smile comes to Sarah’s lips at the thought.

“A memory. Daddy took me up to Mother’s spire-”

She could feel the skeletal hand slightly grip her shoulder. Even before “Ava Quinn” had transformed into “Aveline Lacklan,” she hated hearing anything about Jean-Paul Lacklan’s first wife.

“-and spoke to me about things. He was always giving advice, as you know. And that day…”

She trails off for a second.

“...that day was about making an impact. It’s a lesson I have taken to heart, ya know. Everywhere I go, everything I do, I make an impact.”

Ava’s eyebrow raises, and Sarah inwardly muses that, if she wasn’t careful, even that small movement would make Ava’s skin tear. She was so gaunt that she looked like a Rule 63 Skeletor!

“That you do, ma fille.”

Her eyes narrow slightly and her green eyes move back in forth, as if trying to process information

“Do you have such an impact coming?”

Sarah’s small smile from before turns thin and a twinkle comes to her odd red eyes.

“You could say that.”

She looks around, left and right, to make sure that no one was around them. Satisfied that the various employees had moved out of earshot, Sarah looks back to her step-mother and leans in closely.

“I’m going to make Baby Jesus cry soon.”

Ava blinks in confusion.

“You are to tell a lie soon, Daughter? You are better than that, n’est-ce pas?

Sarah gives a wink of her twinkling eye.

“No worries, Mumsie. Daddy would get a kick out of this one.”

She again looks around to make sure that they have a semblance of privacy.

“In a few days, I am going to do one of my vlogs, ya see? I’m going to bust out my Cool Rankings software and break down the Leap of Faith PPV. Look at all the matches, all the participants, and give my analytical predictions. I’ll be funny, witty, mean, the whole routine. But the important part is that I am going to spend MOST of my time on the main event. Normally, I’d be all ‘Ermahgerd! My match is the REAL main event!’ But not this time. I am going to break down both Fuzz and Centy, really get into who they are and what they have been saying and how they have been preparing. And in there, I’m going to let them know that, when I win the 24/7 briefcase, I am never going to use it.”

Sarah lets out a high-pitched giggle.

“It’ll be fun, though! My plan...and I will tell them this...is that I am going to tease a cash-in EVERY time they have a match! Whoever walks out as Universal Champ will have to deal with Sarah Lacklan flying in for every Warfare, Savage, and pay-per-view event just so that I can fuck with them. Mess with them. Drive them NUTS. Even to the point of making a mistake and losing their title to whoever their fighting! Just me trolling them over and OVER again. This way I am ALWAYS on their minds, right? I’ll be like Unknown Soldier, always resting in the background of the picture, always a threat to take away the championship if I decide that it would be a fun bit.”

She leans in close again.

“But there’s the lie, Mumsie. I won’t have to deal with me every show. They won’t hear my music every time they win a match. Because…”

Her eyes fill with a mischievous mirth.

“...because I’m cashing in a Leap of Faith.”

Ava’s eyes go wide as Sarah leans back in her seat.

“Bold, ma fille. Très audacieux! But will that be wise? You will be so tired.”

Sarah shrugs.

“You’re not wrong. Two of my opponents are a waste of time...Geri and Greggo, for fuck’s sake...and another is a middling dude who is going to try really hard and just kinda do okay...but with Page and Rubes there? I’ll be fighting for my life. But I WILL have that briefcase, Mumise. And when the main event ends? When either Fuzz or Centy...my money’s on Fuzz...clutch the Universal Title close to their chests? They’ll hear “Eyes On Me” through the arena followed by wailing guitars. And I’ll walk down the aisle with the briefcase in my hand. And they won’t even sweat it. Why? Two reasons: One, I already told them that I was going to be pestering them, and why not start right away? And two: Literally no one has ever cashed in the day they won the briefcase.”

Sarah pauses for a second.

“Now, I’m not going to bore you with a detailed history of briefcase winners or anything-”

...the relief on Ava’s face was palpable....

“-but no one has ever done that. Ever. There have been a LOT of people carting around a briefcase...a GM or two even thought about making my March Madness prize be a briefcase before I made my ‘Queen of Anarchy’ intentions known...but no one has had the idiotic bravery to do what I am planning. And for good reason, of course. It’s hard as hell to get that briefcase and you would look the fool if you fell on your face! But me? I’m different. I make an impact.”

She chews on her lip for a moment.

“Ya know, I have this buddy named Richtor, right? Big buff dude, kinda like Daddy. And his bit is that he ‘moves the needle,’ and I really like that, because that’s what I do, ya know? I come into places as an unknown and BLAM! I alter the entire landscape of the business. I win tournaments I’m not supposed to win, I beat legends I’m supposed to cower before, I hoist championships above my head and force people to realize that winning is what is important. I move the needle. I create an impact.

“In theory, both Fuzz and Centy would appreciate that. Fuzz came back last year and, after a misstep or two, created impact after impact. He beat just about everyone in front of him...including me, when I was embarrassingly check out mentally as far as the XWF was concerned...and capped it off by winning the Universal Championship again. Like him or hate him, his run has been NUTS. And Centy’s own path to where he is, one of desperately trying to repair his life while lusting over achievements and milestones to make the bluest of rookies weep in admiration, has been something that got the entire company talking about and praising him at a level he’s never seen in twenty years. They have made impacts and moved the needle of the company, reviving a decades-long battle and making it relevant for today. So, in theory, they should be able to grudgingly respect what happens when I come to the ring under false pretenses and walk away with the Universal Championship.

“They will have to raise a glass to my ingenuity! They will have to tip their hats to my bravery! They will have to admit their blindness to my strategy! They will have to head to the back of the Universal line, kicking and saying “ah, shucks!” as they put their hands in their pockets and lower their heads. They will have to admit that, yes, they probably should have avoided name-dropping me a thousand times in the five months I was gone. They will have to admit to being outplayed and outsmarted."

Ava taps a boney finger against her sharp chin.

"What will Kenzi think?"

Sarah's eyes roll.

"Oh, she is gonna be PISSED if it all works out! But she'll understand. And she'll appreciate that the XWF will finally get what it has been begging for, though they are too dumb to realize what it means: A fully engaged Sarah Lacklan throwing down on Warfare. And, by God, it will be beautiful."