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Ragged Recovery

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1 Ragged Recovery on Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:53 pm

James Ceno


HSW North American Champion
HSW North American Champion
”The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.” - Aristotle




I’m constantly hurting lately, and my head seems to always be in a state of migraine.

It doesn’t matter what I take or what techniques I use.

The pain is ever present. It’s always there.

I’m trying to beat it, to scare it off, to make it ultimately go away.

But it won’t.

It doesn’t want to.

It’s driving me insane.

I’ll make you pay for this...

Eli.


-------------------------------------------

~The Sierra Nevada mountain range filled the background, as the heavy breathing of a silhouette puffs out clouds of vapour against the cloudless sky. It wasn’t horribly cold out, still positive degrees in the Celsius range, but it was still cold enough to make rain clouds out of a person’s breath.~

JC: I’m no stranger to the cold.

~Ceno’s voice is instantly recognizable as he turns to face the camera. He was dressed for the cold, and he was also dressed for some walking, as if he was going to hike to the snow-capped summit, as close as he could anyway.

Something else about Ceno’s voice, he was stoic, almost monotonous. He wasn’t bothered, or he didn’t care, or there was something else that took some of the spirit out of his words.~

JC: I’ve grown up in Canada, after all; the cold never really bothered me.

~James starts walking uphill, and it’s already shaping up to be a troublesome trek, as he goes to touch his head, as if to calm a growing migraine.~

JC: You see, Eli, the coldness I’ve been feeling lately, I blame you for. You’ve switched something off in my head, and these headaches are merely a symptom of that. Something has been effectively, and violently, turned off in my head. Whether it’s my recall, because I have experienced some memory loss, or just my overall personality, something happened to my brain the minute your knee came into sharp contact with my skull, and now I’m feeling all kinds of weird. Well, not that I wasn’t weird before, but you know what I mean.

~As James walks up the mountain path, the weather suddenly came in and the wind blew snow hard into the Firestorm’s face. He turned his head slightly to deflect the breeze, lifting his arm to cover his eyes.~

JC: Eli, whether you’re Goode or The Kid, you did something to cripple me. You did something to put me out so well that I can hardly recall what I said in a phone call to Maya. You did something to knock the whole memory of the last Slam, only for me to remember my place in the main event and lose the evening after that. I woke up in a hospital bed after collapsing in a community pool’s men’s locker room shower; do you have any idea how embarrassing that is? And then there’s the fine leveed against me by Christy via the Nevada Athletic Commission... Eli, your actions have put me through a lot of hell lately.

~The wind blows harder and faster, the air dense with snow as a whiteout consumes Ceno and the camera. A few minutes later, the camera goes from white to clear, the image changed; Ceno is dressed in an arctic Eskimo-style parka, and the scenery has changed from the Sierra Nevada range to the rocky desolation of the Canadian arctic.~

JC: But hell froze over, Eli. Normally, a concussion as diagnosed as mine was should have shelved me indefinitely, but there’s something that Americans don’t have over Canadians: recovery time. Sure, we’re suppose to be much more careful, but when you look at people like Sidney Crosby, who is the new Wayne Gretzky, concussions aren’t something to keep us down. Yeah, his jaw was broken too, but he played with that. As for me, this concussion is nothing.

~A migraine rips through Ceno’s head, but he plays it off, only perceived as just a longer blink onscreen.~

JC: These headaches are so intense too, Eli; I wish I could show you just how much pain there is, but I get to save it ALL for Winter Survival, and you won’t be surviving it. I’ll be bringing my North American Heavyweight Championship back home with me.

~He omits mentioning Paragon, as he had no help from them to win the title, other than a confidence boost.~

JC: I didn’t get help to win against you for the belt; I won’t need any help retaining it. You can come at me with another one of those knees, make me a vegetable; it’s completely possible, Eli, but I don’t fall for the same trick twice. Look at the history of my matches; look at the finishes to each one; watch the same trick being attempted. I’ve never been tricked the same way. Even against you, Eli, all those times, you haven’t fooled me twice. In fact, aren’t I undefeated in our matches against each other since the first of them? We’ve had our grudge matches, and now I get to face you for something that you need and that I have. And the best part is that you’ll never get so much as to touch it again, especially after your very heelish attack.

~Ceno begins to trudge through the snow, the tone of his voice having no variation. The passion could be heard in his words, but he was absent from them.~

JC: Eli, you hurt me, you laid me up, you left me in a situation where I could barely train myself, let alone be in Albany to train Maya to face Annie, but I did it anyway. Midnight will lose her title, but I will keep mine. Maya Jensen will be the next women’s champion, and I will remain the North American Heavyweight Champion. I will watch Mizore fight Jack, but I will not get involved. I want it to be fair; Jack wants us to push the value of pure competition, and that is EXACTLY what I will give Mizore: the opportunity to have a purely competitive match with my mentor and boss. I owe her that, for the respect, albeit reluctant, she has shown me while she trained with Maya as her sparring partner. I owe you, Mizore, and I’ll let Jack do what Jack does; I have no guarantees about the rest of Paragon, however.

~James sighs, turning to face the camera.~

JC: This is where things change, Eli. You took a piece of me. You stole it and destroyed it and now I’ll never get it back. Taking my title away from you before you can get a chance to hold it... that’s not enough. I’m going to make you pay dividends for your injustice to me. And even then, it won’t be enough for me. I will make you suffer, as I have suffered. I will make you experience what I have experienced.

~Ceno shakes his head.~

JC: But at the same time, no, because I can do better: I will just win. I will pin you, or I will make you tap, and I will make you understand that, even when you’re healthier than me, you winning against me is a pure fluke, and you will never be a champion as long as I’m holding the belt and possessing the title of champion. Goodbye, Eli.

~James, cold and calculating, walks away, back facing the camera, as the scene fades to white.~

-------------------------------------------

Every day I wake up now, Eli...

It’s a struggle to remember who I am sometimes.

My memory starts to waver and wander.

Hell, I can’t even remember the truth sometimes.

But there is one inalienable fact that can’t be forgotten.

It’s the only truth I have until I can straighten my head out.

It is simply this:

You’re going to be broken.

I’m going to break you.

I must break you.


-------------------------------------------

~James wandered through the Mean Machine School of Wrestling, finishing a workout that his doctors were screaming at him not to do. He had no help, no spotter, and no sense of direction. He had even bumped hard into a wall, chest first. He was far from stable on his feet, and he knew it, which was why he used to the stationary machines that allowed him to be seated, reclined, or otherwise laying down.

However, he knew that he needed help to go home. He wasn’t driving because of doctor’s orders, but he was far from able to walk home. He could barely sleep at night either, becoming almost narcoleptic with his energy levels; nothing was really being regulated properly, and he was suffering for it, all because he didn’t think he had to get his head checked.

It was the concussion’s fault; it was Eli’s fault. If it wasn’t for Eli giving him the concussion, there would be no change in his self-care. He was barely focused on anything he used to, especially his hygiene. Sure, he’d make sure he was clean, but since his spill in the community pool showers, he avoided full clean-ups. He would give himself a wet towel sponge bath at best, of course privately, but it was troubling, and he knew that. He would need to work on his head after this match.

Eventually, in his daze, James trips and falls over a dumbbell that was left laying around. The thud echoed throughout the room as James slips in and out of consciousness. A couple people helped him up, and Jack swiftly got him into his office, sitting him down on the chair across from his desk.~

JM: I can’t let you wrestle at Winter Survival.

~Ceno’s eyes light up, as he weakly glares at Jack.~

JC: What... what the fuck are you talking about?

JM: There’s no way, with your mental and physical condition, I can let you go out there. You are a danger to yourself and to everyone else.

JC: Really? Jack, are you serious?

JM: You’re sick, James. You were stumbling around like an idiot today. Your interview with Kelly recently was barely worth airing; you’re lucky it was live. You’re hardly physically fit because whatever exercise you do get, whether you’re doing real work here or gallivanting in Albany with Maya and Mizore while training them, you end up worsening your condition.

~As Jack is about to sign a document, James lunges at the desk, grabbing the pen and ripping it away, Jack looking back at Ceno with concern, disgust and frustration.~

JM: Give it back.

JC: No.

~It was a nice pen, a promotional item from Caesar’s Palace. James snaps the plastic body and pulls the halves apart.~

JC: Oops.

JM: James! What are you doing?!

JC: Sending a message, Jack: you’re not taking me out of this match.

JM: Paragon aside, I’m still a businessman, and you’re bad for business right now, James.

JC: I care why, Jack? This is more than Paragon.

~Ceno leans in, a little wobbly, looking Jack in the eye.~

JC: I see three of you right now, and the room is spinning. I am dizzy, my blood pressure is pretty high right now, and it’s giving me an intense migraine. Will that hinder me? Sure, it will, but I’m not letting your bureaucratic bullshit get in my way. I’m getting him back for this, I’m retaining my title, and I’m going to beat him senseless and leave him broken in the center of MY ring.

JM: James, you’re not healthy enough.

JC: Like hell, I’m not. I can still hit hard, hit fast, move around: you’ve watched me.

JM: Yeah, and then you fall down like an old man without his cane. Your equilibrium is so off, I’m surprised you’re not slurring your words.

JC: But I’m not, am I? I’m still moving, I’m still working, I’m still functioning, regardless of how diminished all of those things are, but I’ll be ready for Winter Survival.

~Ceno notices Jack writing with a different pen, and he lunges forward, grabbing his wrist.~

JC: Jack. I can do this. You have always trusted me to do the right thing, which is why you haven’t publicly reprimanded me for my helping Maya and Mizore. This I need to do, regardless of the outcome. After the card, I’ll sleep and do whatever I need to in order to recover from this, and I’ll sleep as much as I need to before the show. Jack, I need to do this, so let me do this.

~Jack looks at James, the Firestorm’s eyes focused still. The Blast takes a minute and sighs.~

JM: Fine. I’ll allow it. If Christy says no, you’re locked in the back.

JC: I’ll even sleep before the match, until the match is ready to start; I’ll be dressed and ready, to make sure I’m all there.

JM: Good enough for me. DO NOT let me regret this.

JC: Have I let you down before?

JM: No.

JC: Then don’t send anyone out with me either, Jack. My score to settle with Eli, and I won’t need help.

JM: I’ll be the judge of that.

~James grits his teeth and releases his hand, and Jack finishes signing off the consent form for Ceno to be in the match, which the latter sees after the signature is on paper.~

JC: So that’s what that was...

JM: And the help you’ll get from whoever is there with you, it will be to and from the ring. Everything else will be in their best interests for Paragon.

JC: Hm?

~Ceno begins to fade slowly.~

JM: I had better call you a cab...

~James falls asleep at the desk, leaning back in the chair.~

JC: Eli... I’m going to enjoy this... [/color]

~Jack looks at James, but he shakes his head as he connects to the taxi company.~

-------------------------------------------

This has been my hell, my pain, my suffering.

It’s all because of you, Eli Goode.

And because of you, you’ll never see the North American Heavyweight Championship.

You’ll never feel it around your waist.

You’ll never see your name on the title.

You’ll only get the chance to imagine it.

To fantasize about it.

You are not worthy of the championship.

Whether it’s the North American title...

Or the World Heavyweight Championship.

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