You are piñatas filled with bullshit.
* Fanatic RP for C13.
(Staring across the river at the Statue of Liberty, we are clearly in New York City, and specifically Battery Park. Being on this side of the New York-New Jersey harbor, the camera cycles through shots of different areas of our nearby surroundings: a fort-like structure, referred to as Castle Clinton; the watch station known as Pier A; healthy and well-maintained gardens that people admire as they pass through; a memorial, where a couple people are seen bent on a knee and murmuring some words; and ferries headed to and from Ellis Island.
We settle on a shot of a large sphere of a charred copper color, mounted on a stand in the park. It has a chunk missing from the lower left area, and a couple holes in other places. Set in the ground in front of the sphere is a flame. And seated on the ground, not far from the sphere and flame, is Larry Tact. He has on a black button-down, collared shirt and relaxed-fitting Kenneth Cole jeans. All things considered of the past week, he looks fairly calm, with one knee bent, the other lying straight forward, and his hands resting on the bent knee.)
LARRY TACT: "Sometimes it's not your week and for the Tact Legacy, that was the epitome of last week. I failed to mark New ERA of Wrestling's 75th show with a triumphant stand against another NEW stalwart, in Jonathan Marx. And then, in the Main Event, I was unable to accompany Fanatic to the ring, and make sure the field was even for his title defense. Not just against the Shadow Cult, but against people like Jonathan Marx."
"I know Fanatic doesn't blame anyone for his loss. He's actually quite motivated to go into the Agganis this week and focus his emotions on the task at hand. I didn't think he'd be setback too far from the loss, despite the fact it was a blow to the Tact Legacy. My brother understands that he's got time to make amends for what happened. He's not shaken for a pretty simple reason: he's got more confidence than to let any one loss shatter his focus. At Cyberstrike 13, he'll be ready to go. And while I'm glad to see him ready to bounce back, I can't say I'm as willing to let what went down go, just yet..."
(He shakes his head., looking more disgusted and sounding clearly bitter.)
"Because it's plain to see the utter bullshit that was coming, from a mile away. We agreed that we would handle it as a team, that the Tact Legacy would look out for each other. Unfortunately, Jonathan Marx decided he could make up for the difference of my absence. Jonathan... ironically, you did beat me at Cyberstrike.... and then showed everyone just how far behind me you really are. You and I may both be multiple-time Champions, and impressive ring technicians. But I helped guide Fanatic to the New ERA Championship through a cool head, and sound decisions. I made it my responsibility to know when to protect and when to let him handle his business. All you did at Cyberstrike was make things worse. Granted, if you hadn't gone out there, Fanatic may have suffered the same result. But at least he would have forced First to figure a way to keep him down, something that First hadn't been able to do previously. And don't talk to me about the Shadow Cult. They're as inept as the sum of their parts. They were a ploy, and Marx, you were the only one who bit."
"Because thanks to your emotions getting the better of you, the man you despise most in New ERA was basically handed the victory. By you. I mean, did you REALLY think the odds were good that they wouldn't be able to get that chair from you?"
(He looks steely-eyed at the camera, then closes his eyes and composes himself, running a hand through his golden blonde hair and looking back ahead.)
"Fanatic is ready to set aside what happened, Marx. He doesn't blame you, because he strongly believes there is a time and a place when the First and the Shadow Cult will be addressed. And at Cyberstrike, he knows you and he have the chance to begin doing just that."
"I say we're not done yet, Marx. It won't be immediate... this week, you had just better bring that ring prowess and ability to its fullest extent, especially with the First on the other side of the ring. But sooner or later, you and I will address this season."
"And with that out of the way... let's look at this week. Let's see what the New ERA Champion and his cult have for us this time."
(He briefly rubs his chin thoughtfully, then shrugs.)
"Here's the thing. I listened to the little spot First and Willard had last week, and it's nothing we haven't heard before. More of the same bullshit. No, but really, almost literally! New ERA should sue you two for plagiarizing yourselves on the company's dime, because the only different thing we found out between last week and this week's spot was that Adrian Willard can't run and speak at the same time. Or he can't do any two things at the same time. I haven't decided which, yet."
"Adrian, you've got some mouth on you, I'll give you that. A nice big, engorgement on your face that doesn't really understand the lines you were told to spout off. Because it's obvious you don't know what the hell you're saying. Ignorance is bliss, though. I guess it all seems cool and new for you to be part of something like the big bad Shadow Cult, right? Helped get First the New ERA Championship, make your splash, right?"
"Now, though, you're in the line of fire. Not just hovering on the side, where we regard you as one of the distractions, but part of our business. The sad thing is, you're still not much more than a distraction, Adrian. I mean, what exactly have you done in New ERA to make yourself noticeable? You aligned with someone who dodged cashing in a title shot until he could finally convince a couple other people that his evil scheme was worth attempting. This took an entire season to accomplish, but you were just the gullible lackey he was waiting for. That doesn't scream 'threatening' to me, Adrian. All it does is expose the fact you were without a cause here, unable to motivate yourself, and unable to make your own mark. You're just another John Doe to First's Jonathan Marx. I'm tempted to take a page out of Yossi Hayat's book, and tell you to just shut up so the grown-ups can talk."
"But then I realize there isn't another grown-up on the other side of the ring, just the First. You're the kid who wants to make the best papier-mâché piñata in class. You brag about all the time and fancy things you're putting on it, insult everyone else's piñata and how there's no way yours won't win. And you do win... but you find out that nobody really cares. Because hell, if you hadn't won with all your bells and whistles on the piñata, you would have been a complete laughingstock."
"If you hadn't won at Cyberstrike, First, you would have been the butt of every joke this week. If you think people didn't have enough reason to make fun of you, well, that would have been like a whole fresh new round of reason. You did win, thankfully for you, and even though it wasn't hard fought or showed you're anything but a paper Champion, a win nonetheless. And if you didn't want people placing blame on your little Go-Ninja Go-Ninja cult, you shouldn't have planned on leaving yourselves so wide open for it. Sorry, you can't have your cake and eat it, too."
"A funny thing did happen this week, though. You won the title, but all anyone seems to want to talk about is the Tact Legacy. We're 'hanging by a thread' after the title loss. Where does this leave Fanatic? What will Larry Tact do in response? Is this the end??"
"You had a golden opportunity to make your voice meaningful, and instead you've only served the Tact Legacy to be further elevated to a brighter spotlight. It's as if we almost should thank you for your ineptitude, First. I guess our thanks will come at Cyberstrike, when Marx stretches you into refreshingly painful positions while Fanatic kicks your teeth in-- and given the match will be under Tag Team Turmoil rules, those double teams will be completely legal all the time. We'll have a merry-go-round of double-team combinations ready for you and little Adrian Willy."
"Really, though, I don't think there's much you guys said of any substance. Yes, you'll all be there to run interference. But do you know what happens to that great piñata, First, the week after you win? Someone comes in and steals it from the school, where it's on display with the others, for parents to see. And then you come into school and find it hanging from a ceiling in the classroom, all busted up, with everyone staring at it. And because nobody likes you, when you enter, they just point and whisper about you. Maybe some will laugh at you."
"I'm glad I never bothered with piñatas. I stuck to the pumpkin and egg contests, where you could just smash them into people's faces. Much more satisfying, great motivation to make a good one."
(He scratches his cheek momentarily.)
"With each passing week, though, the Shadow Cult makes me think more and more of that shoddy operation in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. The First is like that Japanese über-lackey, Tatsu. Adrian Willard and Cameron Cruise aren't cool enough to be foot soldiers, but they'll do as Rahzar and Tokka. It works out a little too well, actually..."
"Here's the catch: you've got no Super Shredder. Hell, you don't even have a Shredder, so you're really up shit's creek in the end. Because when all's said and done, without that power player, you're just a group of guys who go on a run and then disintegrate. At least with Shredder, you've got a chance to linger in the shadows. But without him, you're a passing nuisance. The only question is whether you'll pass by smooth, like a good bottle of wine, or slow like a bad bowel movement. Unfortunately, none of you are smooth-- you barely coordinated a 3-on-1 assault to success. Fortunately, at Cyberstrike 13, we aren't on a deadline to break you apart. In fact, Adrian may wake up one day and realize he's playing follower to an emo kid who doesn't know what to do when he actually gets a big win. And Cameron Cruise... well, he wakes up every day and realizes he's still doing the same thing here. But maybe he has the memory of a goldfish. First, you may even screw your own group once you realize you actually need to defend the title, and ultimately lose. Story of your title reigns. But regardless of your imminent dissolving, this week, Fanatic and Marx are going to bring you're celebration to a very sudden end."
(He stands up, smirking.)
"Because while you're getting your Jersey shore artificial workout on, and wondering what in the hell it is you can talk about now... the Tact Legacy is still here, and still the buzz of New ERA of Wrestling. See this?"
He jerks a thumb back at the sphere and flame, then hooks his thumbs into the pockets of his jeans.)
"The sphere is a Fritz Koenig piece from the lobby of the World Trade Center. The eternal flame serves with it as a memorial. They're symbols of perseverance and reminders of the past. The Tact Legacy comes from a city that respects the past, and simultaneously looks forward to the future, and at Cyberstrike you'll see that, unlike Adrian, Fanatic can handle multiple tasks at once. Because my brother will be more than prepared for the Go-Ninja Shadow Cult, and to also win Tag Team Turmoil with Jonathan Marx. Don't worry, First, the title won't be on the line. Fanatic will do it just because he can."
"Make sure you live it up this week First, Adrian. Once Cyberstrike comes around, the shadows will be blasted by the steady perseverance of New ERA's 'Gentleman,' and the Craze of the Elite Enigma."
(He walks off down the path next to the sphere and flame.)