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Smoking.. (Sullivan, Genovese, Campbell, Troy)


League Member
Feb 19, 2004
North Shore, MA
The scene opens to an early morning meeting in an office we’ve seen many times before. It was still early in the business day and as light filtered across the room it was quickly noticeable that cleaning crews hadn’t been allowed in to do their jobs in quite a bit. Dust hangs in the air, though the office was by no means filthy.

A tired looking Quentin Sullivan sits in his executive leather chair. It had been some time since he was able to sleep a full night. Normally this wouldn’t be a good thing. As it stood, it was simply a sign that he needed to expand his staff. The NFW was growing, and depending on who you asked, perhaps it was growing too quickly. What normally was a 20 minute weekly meeting for personnel issues, has stretched into a three-hour meeting. Fortunately for him, the person he was meeting with was easy on the eyes, if not entirely trusted. He never trusted women who always dressed to distract. There was always an agenda that had to be watched.

Opposite him and on the other side of his desk sits Natasha Genovese. Before her lay file upon file of information concerning new hires and existing talent. Everywhere else she had ever been, these things were kept on computer disk or remote storage. Here, everything had a file. Over the last few weeks she had spent many a night cursing both Miles and Sullivan for allowing things to become so antiquated. What she lacked comprehension of was the fact that both men liked to keep their hands in things. Computers required computer geeks. Deals needed paper and a handshake. She never trusted men who did business that way. It was too easy to change things. There was always a devil that needed to be chaperoned.

Sullivan spoke and it became obvious just how tired he was as a yawn cracked his lips before the words did.

Sullivan: “Next on the list… Campbell. How’s the weather in Scotland and what’s the chance he’ll be ready for Wrestlebowl?

Genovese took a few seconds to find the file. She knew the answer already. It was always better to put on a good show. You never knew how much Sullivan knew. If Miles was really still in the picture, Sullivan could know everything and be playing her.

Genovese: “The weather in Scotland is fair and becoming mild. Campbell’s in Boston however and apparently training with Mike Randalls.”

The look on Sullivan’s face was one of surprise. He hadn’t expected the kid to be anywhere near a wrestling ring considering the outcome of the Ryan event two weeks ago and he didn’t look that hot at the last Crash TV either. Still, it wasn’t as if Campbell was a mega-draw like some of the other men on the roster. At least, not yet. Sullivan moved to speak and was cut off by a continuing Genovese..

Genovese: “There’s also the matter of this fax from Nike Sports. They’ve heard about Aidan’s return from what should have been a career-ending injury and noticed that he’s been wearing Nike-branded batting gloves since carrying that baseball bat around. They’re putting together an adversity marketing campaign and want the rights to use his trademarks and image in that campaign, albeit to a small degree. Apparently he appeals to the under 20, female, low-income demographic...”

Sullivan’s mouth dropped slightly.

Genovese: “The over 35 low-income married female demographic.”…

Sullivan’s mouth dropped slightly more.

Genovese: “and apparently he also rates high in the 21-35 year old demographic but only when prior convictions for battery are considered among that range…. I didn’t know there was a demographic for that.”

By this time, Sullivan’s mouth was wide-open…

Sullivan: “I had no idea… so what Nike’s telling us is NFW appeals to rednecks, trailer sluts, and convicts and they want to sell to that demographic?! I think I’m offended!”

Genovese: “The contract’s for 3 million dollars of which Campbell’s taking home 300,000. 100,000 budget for inclusion of Campbell in their campaign and a spot branding the Nike logo on Wrestlebowl. ”

Sullivan: “I’m suddenly less offended.”

Sullivan takes a good long swig from his coffee and turns his chair so he can look out over the Boston skyline. Two point six-million wasn’t a whole lot of money but it at least covered some of the projects he was working to recruit. At the very least it would cover production for a few months and likely defer a lot of the cost of Wrestlebowl.

Natasha smiled, if only for her own benefit. Quentin was thinking, and the longer he thought, the more likely it was that he’d agree to the deal. It was bittersweet, for even though she knew that this was the beginning of her plan the entire proposal reeked of Carlo’s humor. It was a very unwelcome reminder that she was still operating as a pawn and there were many things that could still go terribly wrong. The longer she waited, the more her heart pounded. Would this work? Seconds passed and she was almost certain Sullivan could hear the thumping and sense the anticipation..

Sullivan: “Sign the deal. We need to make as much as we can off this kid before he breaks himself.”

She didn’t expect the cold and business-like response from Quentin. Frankly, it wasn’t like him.

Genovese: “Afraid he’s going to burn out then?”

Sullivan: “We need to position ourselves for one of two outcomes if he’s training with Randalls. Either he’s going to be unbreakable, or he’s going to be dead. We’ve given him the ok to run with what creative thinks is the best gimmick we can give him. Either way he has to make us money and we have to take advantage of what comes our way.”

Genovese: “So this is your way of taking advantage?”

Seconds passed as Quentin reached into a cherry cigar box and removed a nicely-packed Davidoff. It was too early for him to smoke. But he had other ideas.

Sullivan: “No, my way of taking advantage is to send an audio crew down to where Mike and Aidan are so we get some choice bits for the Wrestlebowl promo. I’d send a video crew, but I don’t think anyone’s going to want to see what happens to that poor bastard.”

Natasha couldn’t help but smile at that last statement as the cigar, so deftly grasped in Sullivan’s hand finds itself flipped into her lap. Campbell was the last file on their agenda for now. New signings were tomorrow. She didn’t know quite what to make of the tobacco thrust upon her, but it wouldn’t take long for Quentin to get to the point.

Sullivan: “You’re a smart girl Natasha. You know what buttons to push, and what contracts to play. You’ve come from a good school. Let me give you some advice. There are two ways to move up in the wrestling business. One way you pay your dues, and hopefully you get lucky. This is the way I run NFW.”

Natasha picked up the cigar, it was heavy and obviously of good-quality. Seconds passed as she placed the thing in her breast pocket.

Sullivan: “The other is you learn to smoke. One method has long-term benefits and the other only works until someone smokes better than you do. It’s up to you which one you choose. You have the tools for both.”

Natasha stood up and turned to walk out. She wasn’t expecting this conversation now. It was unnerving. Did Sullivan know what she was planning, or was he just trying to reveal a hand he surmised to exist. For now she had to play it cool. As she approached the door one final parting volley of comments was uttered.

Genovese: “I think I’m offended?!!”

Sullivan: “Only if you took it the way I meant it…”

The door slams as Sullivan turns back to his Boston skyline. In the foyer Genovese drew her cellular phone. Now was the time to get things started. If not for the spite of the bastard in that office, then because she had already waited too long.

Genovese: “Yes, this is Genovese.. get me Lindsay Troy.”


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