:: - The Set Up - ::
The Facility at O'Hare International Airport had been in place since the late 60's, when Political Unrest seemed to be at their highest of the Civil Rights Movement. It was little more than a warehouse in the beginning, a place for assets to rest and recoup after working whatever bit-part the Family was having them play. Since then, the place had gone over Radical Changes, catching a fair amount of Funding from the United States Government, in conjunction with a number of other Independent Organizations. It had moved underground, and what was once a simple warehouse on the edge of the Tarmac, became a sprawling underground Village. The warehouse that was once the center of the structure, served now only as a loading dock, a place where assets and equipment could be moved throughout the facility by way of a massive elevator that descended into the complex.
Jessica had worked out of this Facility for the last few months. Working alongside the Funded Family on various projects, as well as with the Nomad gangs that worked the area. Since coming across the Pacific she had managed to get comfortable with the living arrangements of the facility. So as the all Black Power Wagon made its way into the warehouse that night, it felt good to be home. The elevator descended in a slanting pattern, the large machinery straining with age, sending loud echoes throughout the space. At the bottom was a multi-level parking deck, which was starting to feel roomier as the Winter Seasons had begun to set in. Gone were the crowds and unrest of the summer, and due to that fact, the Family was less inclined to need "Outside" help to handle the day-to-day workings of the City. Finding a parking spot was easy, managing to get themselves near the personnel Transport, a long set of tub shaped shuttles, running on a track throughout the various areas of the facility.
Jessica and Hannah were housed in the Living Quad. A set of buildings made to mimic the look of a High-End Chicago apartment complex. As the shuttle made its way through the facility, the real scale of what was being done was fully put on display. The Complex was Gigantic, stretching the entirety of O'Hare Airport, various large pillars holding the structures in place. Overhead the sounds of Landing Airliners could be heard as they made their way to and from the Tarmac. Below, the area was a sprawling city-scape, a Dome in the center with a simulated Sky that would cycle with the Weather patterns of the region. It also was complete with a large display, casting a Holographic Tree up the center of the Dome, this too was on a cycle; and was now showing yellow and red leaves to mark the Fall season. On the far side of the dome was the "Staging Quad" where assets and Nomads alike could prepare for whatever the Family had for them. Complete with a Training Center, Shooting Range, Gym, an Obstacle Course and Briefing areas. Where vehicles and equipment could be staged for transport, above, a large bay-door could open, allowing for transport Helicopters to be flown directly onto the pad.
The Living Quad was more of a Main-Street USA Type feel. With Various Shops and Restaurants, prioritizing the needs of those living within the Facility, a Grocer, a small diner, and a number of entertainment venues. It was built this way, as in the Beginning, the Family was Intended to live Underground for the majority of their Lifetimes; so provisions had to be made to make the place seem more than what it was. These businesses were staffed by Corporations Outside of the Families Center Control scheme, and were instead Regulated by their Respective Hierarchy. Some choosing to lower the number of Staff during the Winter months, to allot for the dwindling customer base.
Jessica and Hannah stepped off the Tube and into the square, Hannah stretched, letting out a loud Yawn.
"Home Sweet Cave..."
Jessica chuckled to herself as the sound of a landing Aircraft echoed across the ceiling. Across the square, the "Working" Son of the Chicago Family was making his way towards them.
"Oh Great..." Hannah rolled her eyes.
A Visit from a Member of the Family usually meant a Debrief, meaning that something that the two had done; was something outside of the plans they might have put in place. What happened that night wasn't too far from what the Family had come to expect from the two women, so it was a little confusing when the man, who was little more than a child, handed them the order for Debrief.
The Main unit of the structure was built to house the Family proper, each Family was made up of a Structure similar to that of a normal American family, several Children, High Ranking and Capable assets who had either proven themselves to be loyal to the region, or assets that were born under the roof of the Facility itself. A Mother, a senior Member of the Family, the coordinating asset that communicated with the various Complexes across the country. And the Father, the Patriarch. Usually Male, but there were instances where the "Father" figure had been played by a Rank-1, Senior Female Asset. This person oversaw the workings of the region, answering only to Supreme Command. The Unit the housed the family was made up of several levels in the Chicago Facility. The Central Living Quarter, which was more akin to a Villa, the Communication and Development Quarter, which housed projects and prototypes from various tech-companies the world over for use with the Family's Operations, this was how Jessica came into the Possession of her Somewhat "Advanced" Prosthetics. And the Privatized Training Quarter, which was a Higher Level Training Center, designed specifically for Assets under the Family Umbrella.
Jessica had been apart of the Tokyo Family, and her entire life leading up to the moment she left was dedicated to the cause. After a few months as a Nomad, her resolve hadn't shaken, she had always had an aversion to the structure of power within the Organization, which was why she found it easy to strike out on her own, live outside of the confines of The Underground. So finding herself sat there in that office was somewhat unwelcome, the office was in the front of the Living Unit, a single room with Gray walls, plants and Wooden accents lining the corners of the room. A Large desk with a set of padded chairs on the far side. A Large Flat Screen Monitor mounted into the wall on the left side. The two had done their job, and once again, done it well. So it again was puzzling for them, to see the look on the Father's face as he went over the documents in front of him.
"Hannah Warr, and Jessica Tremor. The most persistent of my Headaches... Care to explain just what the hell went on out there?"
A couple of moments passed, as the two looked to each other as if both wanting to answer. Jessica sighed it off, wondering why they were being questioned in the first place.
"Exactly what you sent us out there to do."
"We sent you out there to give a message, not tear down an entire building."
Jessica scoffed, yeah, the two might have been a little heavy-handed, but this wasn't out of the ordinary.
"You sent us out there to do a Job, and we did it, the message was sent. Richard and his outfit are going to disband, what more do you want?"
"Disband? What's left for them to disband?"
Hannah laughed, shaking her head.
"What's going on here? You think that those people were just going to roll over and listen? You know what's going on out there, don't you? People are actively going against authority, and in their eyes, we're just another Arm of the "Deep State." We did what we had to do to get Your Message across."
The man takes a moment, taking in the disrespectful tone her voice seemed to carry, nodding slightly before sweeping his hand across his phone, putting an image on the screen to their left. The screen kicked on, and the girls began to understand. The man they had gone to meet, Richard, the leader of a Union of Employees and Militia Members was plastered across the screen. The Girls had left him shaking in that room, surrounded by the wounded men he would have called his "Soldiers". But the image on the screen was different, a beaten and battered man, lying motionless on the floor of the complex. His men around him, their still bodies accented in streaks of red across the dusty floor.
"What is this?"
"This is what I have to now clean up, another mess..."
"Another? What are you showing us this for?"
"They're dead, Hannah. We sent you out there to send a message, and you killed them?"
"No the fuck we did not, when we left that mother fucker he was definitely still breathing."
"Watch your mouth... You Both have proven to be... Useful. But whatever happened tonight, can't happen again. When we took You in, given your history we knew it was a gamble, and situations like this only add to what everyone already thinks, you know that, don't you?"
He was talking just and only to Jessica, she sat uncomfortably in her chair. He was right, the mistake she made in Tokyo would have put anyone else on the chopping block. As an insider, it afforded her a different level of consideration, rather than marching her out to die like anyone else; the Family had sent her around the globe. It was pretty much the same thing, her ties had been severed, and the life she had known ended. The hospitality shown to her by the Chicago Family didn't go Thankless, and she knew the risk they were taking bringing her on board.
"Jack, I promise, when we left that building; that man was alive."
The video drone had done its job, oversaw the aftermath of the meeting. As the video began to close Hannah noticed something, a flash of something in the corner of the screen.
Hannah pointed to the edge of the screen, as the camera panned, just for a second we could see a single man stepping into the open door of an All Black E-Tron. Its passed over quickly, Hannah touches the screen, forcing the video to rewind and play back in slow motion. Hannah and Jessica look to each other as the video pauses, enhancing, as the image comes into focus, Jack sits back in his chair, a noticeable level of Alarm growing in his eyes.
"You look like you know who that is..."
Moments pass as Jack's hand covers his lips, the two had seen him angry, upset, hell, the way he looked when they first walked in was enough. But this was different, he looked worried.
"Whats wrong, Jack?"
"Were you Followed Here?"
Hannah scoffed again, the two had lived under The Family for their entire lives. Had always adhered to the strict process of secrecy.
Jack nodded, his hand still firmly against his face.
"Okay, so lets say you're telling the Truth, and you did in fact leave Mr. Carmichael and his friends alive. Who do you know would have an interest in doing something like this?"
The two girls shared a knowing glance, the two had shared an encounter. Something they had managed to leave out, as it was something happening outside of the scope of the Organization. It was the only thing the two could think of. Jessica had little to know memory of the actual encounter, for her, there was a blank spot in her memory. Hannah on the other hand, remembered it clearly.
"Jessica and I have a price on our heads, Akagi Oyabun hit us in Colorado. Sent what pretty much amounts to a Strike team and ripped down an entire Hotel Structure.... We Were lucky to have escaped."
There was a level of insincerity in her voice, Jack picked up on it. But considering what was in front of him, he chose to ignore it for the time being. Instead moving along to the figure on the video.
"You think this person is part of the same outfit?"
"I'm sure of it." Hannah's eyes are aversive. There was something she wasn't telling him.
"Look, if this is going to be a problem, I can handle it myself."
"As much as I would like to believe that, if Hannah is telling the truth then you two are in deep with some very serious people. People who seem to have an interest in making both you and Us look like we don't know what we're doing. Things are on the table now, more than just you and Akagi."
"This is something that's on us, there's no reason the Family has to take the hit for us. Put out a statement, put it on us, we'll carry it."
The problems just kept piling themselves on. First the fallout from Tokyo, then the problem with their outside Employment, then the Hotel Incident in Colorado. The two girls nodded together in agreement. As much as they hated to, They would have to shoulder this too. Jack however, offered the girls a bit of respite.
"As easy as that would be, it wouldn't be the answer to the problem. This person, these people, would still be out there, and they'd still be a problem for everyone, not just the two of you. Something has to be done to handle the problem, and these people need to be shown that they can't meddle in the Family's business like this."
"So what would you have us do?"
"I want you to do exactly what you've been doing, making noise. You two are on your way to Texas this week am I right?"
The AWS was running a show in Southern Texas, that was true, but what that had to do with the situation was puzzling to them.
"Yeah, but that's for something else, it would be stupid of them to make a move on such a grand scale, on national television."
"Your little Fights aren't what I'm talking about Jess, fortunately I already had something in the works for the two of you."
He Brushes his phone again, throwing another set of Images onto the screen, a set of documents quickly scrolled through to a picture of a short statured woman, the typical political type, pantsuit and straightened hair.
"We've been Contracted as an escort, usually we wouldn't take on this type of work. But, with the winter coming, and budget cuts under the new administration, we're going to have to take on whatever work we can to make it due. The two of you are going to escort Miss Williams to her destination in Southern Texas. By itself, its not hard, the only real threat to her in this climate is political extremists, and those types are becoming less and less active as the winter sets in."
"So... You're putting us out there as bait?"
"You got it, when this person makes contact, IF, this person makes contact. I want you to bring them in, I'll debrief them myself."
"And by that you mean, Make an Example out of Him."
"Once they're in my hands what happens to them isn't your problem. Meet the Mark, do the Job. When this Person makes contact, do what the two of you do best."
The two nod.
"We will be putting out a statement, you both will bare no responsibility for the time being. Once we've brought this person in, we can see where we go from there."
Jessica and Hannah hold their phones up, Jack swipes the information into their devices. Nothing more needs to be said, and as the two left that room there was still the question of just what Hannah had left off the table. It was uncharacteristic of Hannah to be so enigmatic.
"You weren't 100 with him back there, what's up?"
"Sam, what do you remember about that night in Colorado?"
It was always striking for Jess to hear that name, the name she had gone by back in Tokyo. That night had gone by in a blur, blacked out in spots.
"I remember the lights, we were under fire, and then... Nothing."
As the two reached the center of the compound, Hannah looked up at the tree, sparkling at its edges in the Orange and Yellow light cast by the leaves against the simulated Night Sky.
"There was someone else there, Sam. Someone else brought that Building down, you don't remember? You fought him. It was like nothing I had ever seen before..."
The Dark hole in her memory was deeper than Jess knew. She struggled to remember, but there was nothing. She remembered waking up in the Facility, her arms mangled, the Mechanic spent hours putting them back together. But how she got there, was blank.
"I can't Remember..."
"He was fast, not like... Modified Fast, like everything he was, was a blur."
"Sounds like he's running some Advanced Tesla-Level Tech, where would a Nomad get--"
"No Sam, what that was, wasn't tech. It was something else, his acceleration, the human body can only handle so much, which is why there are limits on how modified organic material can be. He was something else."
Jessica let out a bit of a chuckle.
"What are you saying? That I fought Barry Allen? Now I REALLY Wish I could Remember It."
"I'm serious, we need to watch our backs, I don't know how; but I can't help but think that you didn't kill him."
"Can't get'em all I guess. Next time I will, whoever this is, wants to make us look like shit, this is twice he's stuck his nose where it didn't belong. And this time he's gonna pay for it."
"Jack wants him Alive."
"Oh He Will Be, what level of Alive that might be is up for debate however."
With that statement, Jessica began making her way towards the living quad. Hannah watched her friend for a few moments, she shouldn't be gaslighting her like this. But what Hannah saw from Jessica that night did more than surprise her, it almost Frightened her. But there was a game to play, and a face to keep, Hannah shook it off. Whatever Happened next would no doubt be hard to swallow, and whether or not they were ready...
was Just Another Question.
Back to the game it seems, Hannah and Jessica sit calmly in their room within the Facility. With everything that's been on their plate, between being Exiled from SCW, thrown out of XWF, and the troubles that come with pretty much booking themselves wherever they could. It was all becoming a little redundant, when it was compacted with everything that was happening outside of their lives in the ring. These little sessions were getting to be more and more time consuming. They sat down to catch up on the latest from the Prove Yourself Gauntlet, a way to go over what has been said in response to what the two had put out just a few days before. As the scene opened, the two looked a little confused.
"So... what are we looking at here? Who is this, Hyper Fan-Girl?"
"This is....Jessica checks her notes Jen-sen Kidd?? I think."
"Oh... well what is she doing at a Con?"
"Fuck if I know..."
the two listen as "Jenny" Incoherently rambles about Call of Duty Mods for a few moments before jumping into her unhinged statements about Jess.
"What is this bitch talking about??" Hannah laughs.
"I don't know dude, but I want that Rock-Man Shirt."
"Yeah its what Mega-- ya know what nevermind." Talking to Hannah about Video games was a futile endeavor.
The two listen on as the girl rambles about Nintendo Games not working and various pieces of her "Hardware". None of it making much sense. Its in the middle of her Paragraph about her Braces, that Hannah bursts out laughing.
"She's not THAT Funny, Jesus."
"Dude, look at the guy in the background." She continues cackling.
Jessica Rewinds for a moment, and indeed a guy has stepped to her table on the Con, through the differing Focus we can see the guy is obviously confused as to what the hell Jensen is even talking about. He motions towards her momentarily, but is quickly sent away by a member of her staff team.
"What an absolute Shitshow!"
The two continue to laugh periodically throughout most of the promo, when its finally done the two breath a deep recharge, before breaking into laughter again. Before long they calm themselves, Hannah picking the camera from its Tripod and bringing it around to face Jessica.
Jessica Nods, turning to the camera.
"Sigh, so here we go again. I have... Many questions, so I guess we'll have to start from the top. Who is coming to a Gaming Con, to hear someone talk about Wrestling? Judging from the people I see in this video, there isn't a person walking passed that can understand what it is you're even talking about. Number 2, if you're at a Con, interact with your goddamn audience, no one is walking up to your booth to watch you cut a promo. And I can see that you are both confusing and alienating your own fanbase by carrying yourself in this manner. Not that I Care that much, it just seems a little stupid. But then again not much of what you said cast an aura of intelligence. You seem to be Very Focused on yourself, and how you look to this company. So I suppose the final question would be, Why? What are you doing here? This obviously isn't the place for someone like you. Because as much as we'd all like it to be, this is not a Video Game. You aren't scoring any points, or getting any power-ups, its just fists, in your face."
Let me tell you something "Jenny", in the last month while you've been Here, I've been through two different feds, kicking ass, and only that. Why? Because I Don't give a FUCK About the Names. You've managed what little acclaim you can find through a single company, meanwhile I've come across the globe. Someone like me, doesn't have to prove themselves to show "What They Bring To the Table" Because Mother Fucker, I AM The Table. Because when I walk out to that ring, its a Goddamn Feast. Each and Every Night these people wait, not for people like you, but for people like me. People who aren't concerned about looks, or what the people in that locker room think of me; because at the end of the day, the only person who really matters, is me. It doesn't matter how many titles you've held from whatever Nameless organizations you've been with in the past, because now you're in the Asylum, with the single most Brutal Entertainer this business has seen in a Long Time, Rest in Peace Jerome Young. But you wouldn't know shit about that, where I come from, we'd rip the braces right out of your skull and straighten your teeth by hand.
Tell me what the fuck I need to be "Puttin' Respect on Your Name" for? When you've done what amounts to literally nothing in the grand scheme of things. Nothing. What did you bring to this company? Other than a following of Acne Ridden, Incel, Simps? A Bunch of literal Fuckboys, who actually throw money at Pixel Hookers on twitch? Nothing, nothing at all. So I don't know who you're trying to convince by speaking with such vigor, me, or yourself? If no one has said it before, you definitely don't cast the biggest aura of self respect, self confidence, or any of the traits that make someone successful in this business. I'll say it again, this isn't a game, and unlike your little Twitch Chat, you can't just shut it off when someone shuts you down. There aren't any Mods to Ban someone from that ring, so when you're laying on your back getting the actual fuck stomped out of you, maybe you'll begin to reconsider your position here. Because lets face facts, someone like you just doesn't fit the Bill of Asylum Championship Wrestling.... Well Maybe I'm wrong, you do seem to be legitimately crazy, But I digress.
She had to mention Texas though, just to get that little Pop from her Audience, its always funny when someone has to get themselves over by way of Geography; its literally the only way some people can get people to pop at all. Texas isn't something to brag about these days, from Right Wing Extremists to Worthless Congressmen handing out conspiracy theories to the lowest common denominator, its no secret that Texas is the actual Nazi Capitol of the United States. A Haven for stupid fucks just like you, who buy into whatever the media wants to sell them. Which is why its going to be my pleasure to rip your goddamn head off in front of each and every one of your "Home State Fans". Drape you in a Blue Shirt, with Ol' Joe's face on the chest and hang you High for every single one of them to see. What the fuck you got to say Now? Go Ahead, struggle to put a few words together, and please make sure they're more coherent than whatever the hell this is, because this wasn't a promo, so much as someone's fevered ramblings.
Lemme tell you this, "Hon". Find whatever common ground you like with your fellow superstars, because after all this is said and done the only thing you'll share is a hospital room. So make all the friends you want while you got the time, because come the 31st, I'm about to show you just what it takes to actually be someone in this game. So get your grind on while you can, level the fuck up, because you're about to walk into a boss battle that you aren't ready for.
But lets Move Along, Huh?
The Camera nods in agreement, it fumbles for a moment as Hannah sets it back on the Tripod, moving back into frame and sitting next to Jessica, both of whom begin watching the television in the weird, sideways posture that has become a staple of backstage Monitor Watching. As the Screen kicks on, we can see a little Anime opener, an Obvious Cheaply Made Rip-off of the Popular Anime Series Pokémon. The two look on in sheer disbelief, their eyes growing wide with amazement, but also a fair amount of Alarm. When its over, the two spend a couple of moments in silence before Jessica bursts out in uncontrollable laughter; Hannah however, seems disgusted with what she's just been forced to witness.
"Oh My God! THIS IS GOLDEN!!!!"
"Are you kidding, this makes me want to fucking kill myself..."
"Ya know what I take it back, I think we might be looking at simply the best of all time, get that Camera over here."
Hannah shakes her head, standing to retrieve the camera and once again focus in on Jess' reaction to the video.
"Absolutely Fucking Incredible. You know, when Jenny was mentioning that there was a Weeb in here I didn't take her all that serious. I was expecting like, maybe somebody who appreciated "Hataraku Maō-sama!" or something like that, but no, we are sharing the ring with simply the greatest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Oh My God, could something be more gold than this? Like, Can I please walk to this? This is easily a number 1 hit, a worldwide phenomenon. How can simple creatures like us be allowed to share the ring with such pure and unfiltered excellence? Oh, my god... someone please help me.
All Jokes aside, what in the actual FUCK is going on around here? Is Asylum just taking whoever walks up off the street and letting them wrestle? Are we settings ourselves up for another Mass Transit? Because from the way it looks, we definitely are. So here's what's gone on, as far as I see it. I have been put into a match with a Twitch Thottie, and one of the most Prolific Weebs I have ever had the displeasure of laying my eyes upon, like bitch, I feel like I can smell you. The two of you definitely deserve each other, so it would make perfect sense for the two of you to find your common ground within the confines of this match. But I have to remind Zoey, just like I reminded Jenny, that this isn't an Anime; there aren't any Super Powers, no Hyperbolic Time Chamber to get you ready for what's to come, no Pokéballs to hide inside of. When we're in that ring, all that's going to matter is what you actually brought with you. And judging by what I'm seeing here, you have nothing other than a catchy little intro, that I'm sure someone is about to hand you a big fat Cease-and-Desist, I know I would.
It will honestly be my pleasure to lay the two of you in the dirt right alongside each other, and after its all said and done, the only E-D that will play for the two of you will be My Theme Song. Because as much as you'd like to believe it, and animate yourself into something that you clearly aren't. There is nothing about you that tells me that you're going to be able to make it through the Gauntlet. So the best thing you have going, is Jenny's offer, and I suggest you take it.
But Time is short, So I'll wrap this up, whatever anyone else has to say this week, its probably for the best that you just save it, because nothing you can say now is going to change what's going to happen. You're walking into a situation you will be unable to control, and as much as you'd like to believe your Max Level, or the Hero of your own Story, it's all just bullshit. And there will be nothing in the world that can stop what's about to happen to you. The only story that matters now is the story of Asylum Wrestling Society, and how an entire organizations worth of People, were laid in the dust by a single person.
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