Post by Boardwalk Angels on Apr 7, 2018 7:38:28 GMT -5
* Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 *
* Serena’s Cafe *
* Malibu, CA *
“...right now, Mrs. Cornett?”
The striking young woman of Israeli descent sits across from Farrah Cornett, who is patently impatient and even more irritated than is her usual these days. She draws in a long gulp of coffee from her cup and nods, eyeing Esme as she passes her executive assistant her portable camera case. Esme accepts it but looks ill-at-ease, an expression not common for her.
“I suppose if the fire is there what sense in wasting it. But suppose your, er… guest… shows up in the midst of it?”
Impatient, yes… and irritated most certainly. But Farrah still weathers the questions of her assistant calmly.
“I’ll edit things later. They’re making me wait on purpose, I’m sure. Psychological tactic and all that.”
“Understood, ma’am. Just a moment.”
Unzipping the small leather case, Esme takes out the camera and examines it briefly for several moments, getting a feel for it while continuing to speak to Farrah, her efficient nature starting to take hold much to her personal relief.
“And you’re sure you want me posing the questions for this, Mrs. Cornett?”
“Absolutely. Consider it practice, since you’ll be doing a lot of it when you finally set to work on your novel. With how realistic you want everything to be in that, you’ll be doing a lot of question-asking of a lot of people.”
“You make a good point. Are there topics I should… avoid?”
“I’m an open book. Let the people I lay the truth on worry about the rest.”
Faintly smiling, Esme nods and in moments she has the device turned on and ready to go.
“At your pleasure, then, Mrs. Cornett.”
The view centers on Farrah, the only change to her well-dressed appearance being the LAW Tag Team Championship over her shoulder and, just beneath it, the Rose City Tag Team Championship. The decorated young woman stares into the camera, taking a moment to sweep her recently-cut hair aside a little. The shorter length adds a little something… perhaps enhancing what was already there or shifting the tone of it. That much depends on who’s looking. For the moment, it adds a touch of seriousness to her as she leans back in her chair a little. Lifting her coffee for another sip, she gestures to the camera.
“Alicia Lukas. Roxy Cotton. You couldn’t come up with an odder pairing in LAW if you tried. On the one hand, you have a well-traveled, decorated champion with an earned reputation as a bitch-wrecking badass. Even since before I took the step up to the professional level I knew her name. To say I admire you isn’t quite strong enough. However, Alicia, I do have one question: who the fuck did you piss off to get saddled with ol’ Cottonmouth? Did you switch Megan Helms-King’s coffee with decaf? Did you switch Lucas Dupree’s spray-tan with spackle? Seriously… someone must have it out for you.”
Farrah chuckles quietly, eyeing the camera over another sip of coffee before lowering it and taking on a more proper posture and tone. Humor was all well and good, but…
“Let’s be real here, Alicia, bearing in mind that Zoey is probably going to say something similar when she gets the chance: we’re fans of yours, for reasons likely similar as well as different. People call themselves tough or talented or spectacular all the time. You learn to tune it out because, most of the time? They’re full of shit. It’s all hyperbole, trying to make people more interested in seeing them pound someone’s face and get theirs smashed up in return. When you say it, though, people believe it. Maybe it’s the eye-black or the multiple titles. Maybe it’s the sparkle in your eye when you’re spiking someone like a football in the middle of the ring. But when YOU say you’re a badass, no one questions it.
That’s a little something we have in common. When I say I’m going to fuck someone’s life up in that ring, it’s going to happen. When the non-believers, like your partner, make excuses or retorts to the contrary, I direct them to the record books in LAW and Rose City. Either their tune changes or they go the road of your partner and either make excuses or feign ignorance. Roxy’s had her tail kicked in by both Zoey and myself, twice by the Sorcerous Angel herself, but to hear her spout off that was the fault of her partners. Or the people in charge. Or the fans. Or because one of her implants shifted when she got groped. Whatever. The numbers, though, don’t lie. For over 400 days we’ve been champions here. For a little longer than that, we’ve been undefeated. That’s not an accident. That’s not one woman carrying the other. That’s not a fluke.
It’s the Boardwalk Angels. It’s what we do. You know this because you said as much and because I heard it in your tone. And being real? That meant a lot. When fans sing your praises and friends and family tell you how good you’re doing, that’s nice. When someone you look up to says it, it means so much more.”
Gesturing seemingly to air, Farrah does not take her eyes off the camera. Instead, she gazes upon the titles while someone, their upper half cut off by the focus of the camera, refills her mug. The Crimson Angel murmurs a thank you and adds a small amount of sugar to the cup, stirring before taking a drink.
“I suppose I should probably talk to you, too, Cottonmouth. Frankly, though? I just don’t fucking feel like it.”
Her eyes avert in a direction just past the lens. There’s a faint shake to the frame and Farrah waits, quietly, until a meek Esme speaks up from behind the device.
“Whenever it suits you.”
Another drink of coffee is taken as, briefly, Farrah shows some amusement at her assistant’s confusion and discomfort.
“Per your request, Mrs. Cornett, I’ve come up with some questions for you pertaining to the upcoming match-”
The formality is obviously amusing to Farrah but she keeps herself neutral by all outward appearances. How, then, do we know the humor is there? Well, she’s not covering her lips due to an unsightly cold sore… that’s more Roxy’s game.
“-the first being the question that so many have been asking over the last several weeks: what’s the story between yourself and your partner, Zoey Madigan-Star?”
Ah. Figures that she’d start with a hard one. Farrah lowers her hand and her expression becomes one that betrays distaste. She stares into her coffee for a few moments, her response quiet and to the point.
“Both of us are dealing with personal issues right now. Those issues, naturally, prompt one side to want to help the other. Neither side, however, really desires that help. I don’t need Zoey trying to console me through nightmares or help me deal with a cult who’s decided I’m right up their alley. And she certainly doesn’t need me kicking a sex doll’s ass for her when she’s more than capable, if unwilling. Anyone with eyes and a brain can tell that we’ve gotten heated over the last couple weeks, both on Twitter and backstage at LAW. But anyone who thinks that this is some kind of chink in our armor to be exploited is deluding themselves. Our reign isn’t an accident and our streak isn’t a fluke. We earned what we have. We’ve earned the respect, the accolades and in some cases the fear as well. If people want to think otherwise, we’ll just add them to the list.”
One can imagine Esme nodding and perhaps taking notes. In fact, the scratch of pencil on paper pretty much hammers that last idea home before she queries again.
“Over the last couple of weeks it appears as though you have new challengers for your championships: Amy Jo Smyth and Kate Steele. You’ve some history with both, but more with Steele than with Smyth. What do you think of their possible placement as the new top contenders?”
“I think that LAW is scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point.”
Comes the immediate response, prolonged by more coffee before Farrah explains her answer a little more thoroughly.
“Not trying to bite the hand that feeds saying that, but it’s the damn truth. Do you think that Zoey and I signed on with Rose City just because we were looking to fill in some free time? The place is bursting with tag team talent. So are several others companies for that matter. But LAW? At this point, I think we’ve scared all the other teams away. Or at least beat them down so badly that they have no desire to take a shot at us again. I don’t know which I find funnier.”
And chuckle she does around another draw of coffee.
“Are you not worried that people will take that kind of talk as a challenge and come knocking on your door? Or that perhaps LAW will find some way to get the titles off of you to revitalize the division?”
“...you’re serious, aren’t you?”
“You wouldn’t find that a reasonable action?”
Considering it briefly, Farrah, much to her chagrin, seems to agree with such a plan of action as not only reasonable, but possibly necessary. Though obviously not in the case of her and Zoey.
“That could be why they’ve put us up against Alicia and Cottonmouth now that I think about it. I mean, why not put us in the ring with someone we respect as well as someone we fucking loathe? The chaos alone is enough to put even a seasoned team off their game. In the same motion that we’re trying to power our way through one of the sport’s best we’re forced to deal with an attention whore who’s every breath is geared toward getting someone to react to her. I’d almost call it a genius pairing if I were a card-carrying psychopath.”
The coffee is all but forgotten at this moment. Farrah, the more she thinks about the possibility posited by Esme, is getting more irritated by the moment.
“In the same damn line that lends a little credence to the odd pairing of Smyth and Steele, too, doesn’t it? Not a lot in common there other than title success and longevity. Steele can’t decide what she wants to be, though, and Smyth mostly seems interested in entertaining herself rather than anything serious. She’s never gotten over what she considers those snubs at the Awards earlier in the year. But if you put them together, the strangeness of the pairing almost makes some weird sense.”
Finally remembering the thermomolecularly-enhanced caffeine extract before her, Farrah takes a grateful sip.
“But neither team has a shot. That’s what it boils down to. Give Alicia a better partner and yeah, Zoey’s knees would he knocking and my teeth would be chattering. But Roxy? That’s not a partner. That’s a fucking handicap. If this is LAW’s idea of competition anymore… these titles are going to be ours forever.”
She’d kinda gotten off on a tangent there. A few moments later, though, her attention is taken as a familiar woman comes up to the table, dark of hair and with a title of her own over her shoulder. Farrah rises slowly with fury in her eyes as Esme backs away slowly, putting the camera on both her employer… and the woman known as the Oni of the Red Lady, Etsuko Mitsuzawa.
“I arrived when the Red Lady instructed me to.”
“Fine. Then the Red Lady is late.”
Farrah turns a sidelong glance at the camera.
“Shut it off, Esme.”
With the device stopped from recording, Farrah rises while Etsuko walks the rest of the way to the table. While she seems very much calm and at ease, Farrah, on the other hand, seems one little nudge away from a very big boom.
“So… I’m here, as requested. What now?”
“Now you are informed that the time to make a choice is soon in coming. The sooner, the better, in fact. While there is enough of you left to be of use to the Red Lady.”
“How many times do I have to tell you that I’m not joining your cult?!”
Only slightly does the word ‘cult’ draw a reaction from Etsuko. However, she does not let the bait draw her in.
“Every denial is one step closer to acceptance. You need what she offers, Farrah. You know this. Even Ruby has told you as much.”
“Ruby’s drinking too much of your Kool-Aid, Etsuko. You tell your Goddess that she isn’t having me. My family gives me what I need, as do my friends and my partner. Sell your snake oil to someone with nothing to lose.”
“And how much longer will you have those things if you keep progressing as you do?”
The question brings Farrah pause, and in that moment of silence the seething becomes stronger. Etsuko looks on, impassive, then turns and walks away.
“Where do you think you’re going?!”
“I’ve done what I came to do.”
Not having an immediate response for that, Farrah stares after her before slamming her fist down on the table in frustration. One can only imagine the repercussions if she’d somehow knocked over the coffee. Esme looks on for a few moments, then tentatively speaks up.
“Should I… start this up again?”
Retaking her seat after a moment, Farrah gestures in a gesture of acceptance.
“Not much left to say at this point, though, is there?”
Inwardly, Farrah was thankful that she had learned by this point how to turn herself on and off where it came to addressing matches and opponents and what-not. Otherwise, Etsuko’s somewhat-riling appearance might have very much ruined things before they reached a satisfactory conclusion. And who would want that?
“I mean, chances are Zoey has said everything already that needs to be said, including putting that brat Roxy in her place. That seems to be one of the few people who can pull that out of Zee on a whim. It would almost be worth it to me to just… stand back and let her turn you inside out, Cottonmouth. And no matter what kind of shit you talk? You know, deep down next to all those insecurities and the memories that keep you awake at night, that she can do it.
See, that’s what people like you will never understand. How many times must it be said? You don’t piss off someone like Zoey Anne Madigan-Star. You don’t turn the sweetest person in the world into the most angry, vindictive bitch on the planet. I tried pushing her into letting a little of that out, reminded her of who and what she was fighting for… and she made me tap out. One of the most dangerous women in LAW submitted to one of the kindest and most genuine… all because I provoked her. And what I did in that regard is nothing compared to the kind of shit you’ve tossed, Cotton. Taking a shot at her brother was bad enough. Keeping it up, though? All I can chalk it up to is you working your way into assisted suicide. That or you’re even less aware of the real world than you let on.”
Downing the rest of the coffee, heat be damned, Farrah stands back up with both belts over her shoulder anew. Tossing a few bills on the table, she stares into the camera one more time.
“I guess we’ll find out this Sunday, won’t we? It wouldn’t surprise me if you’re left lying in that ring having had your ass kicked not only by the Boardwalk Angels, but by Alicia Lukas as well. And that’s enough, even in the mood I’m in, to bring a smile to my face. Forget the flying… worry about the sudden stop at the end when we knock your ass out of the sky, Cottonmouth. Where you’re concerned, Lukas, may the best woman win. But your partner’s gonna die.”
She gestures for the cut-off...
...and Esme proceeds to put the camera away, speaking as she does.
“Where to now, Mrs. Cornett?”
“I’m supposed to meet Zoey soon. Drop me off at Malachi’s?”
The two take their leave of the cafe, the scene fading to a final black.