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Jan 1, 2000
(CUT TO: A chessboard, with all of the pieces in their traditional place. A pair of fingers goes to the board and grabs the black rook and holds it up. The camera pans back and shows JJ DeVille lording over the board, STILL wearing his evil cloak from his attack on Jack Bryant. He holds up the rook black to the light, smirks, leans back and steeples his fingers.)

JJ: "Rook Black. We haven't really chatted yet, have we, aside for a few basic missives over the Triple Crown Championship you currently possess? No, we haven't. For that, Rook, I'm going to say something that I rarely, if ever, say. I apologize."

(JJ nods his head.)

JJ: "I say this Rook because I engaged in the usual wrestling blather about you. You, frankly, are a man of discourse. A man of intellect. You, Rook Black, I actually -- and here's another thing I almost never say -- RESPECT you. Because, Rook, you have traits that I admire. You're cunning. Ruthless. Analytical. You think about the moves you want to make well after the ones that you're currently making. That's why you're the Triple Crown champion. And, Rook, you may have noticed that I have a lot of of same qualities. I went from being a forgotten afterthought of Greensboro past into a man who stands at the most hated wrestler alive... but one who has shown incredibly acumen in boardoom powerplays and coups that resulted in the ousting of several people at one time above me in the food chain."

(JJ puts the chess piece back on the board.)

JJ: "Rook, you may have noticed the pronouns we have been using since The Hellfire Club formed. I don't want your title. *WE* want your title and I am the agent chosen to procure said belt. WE want the Everertt Memorial Tag belts. WE have the NFW TV Title. WE want the World Title. Why am I telling you this, Rook? It's simple. I *WILL* beat you if I must. But instead... I'm here to offer you a chance. I'm here to offer you a Faustian bargain of sorts -- I learned that phrase, by the way, at the North Carolina State University, a nationally recognized research institution. Rook Black, I'm here to offer you membership in The Hellfire Club."

(JJ resteeples his fingers, hiding his pursed lips.)

JJ: "That's right, Rook. This is an official invitation to join the elite organization in this sport. You've been around for a while, Rook. There has never -- I repeat NEVER -- been a stable which has quickly risen to the top of a promotion as quickly as we have. I -- WE -- are offering you a chance to join us. Now, I'll be honest. The following may insult a veteran such as yourself. If you do decide to join us, it will be on a junior/associate level. It's not because of your talent. It's not because of your ability. It's simply a matter of trust, of seeing that you're a team player. You may lose some autonomy in your lifestyle -- I may boss you around a bit -- but it's on a temporary basis until we see your dedication to our cause of holding this promotion in an iron fist."

(JJ stares at the board.)

JJ: "Rook, there is one primary benefit to joining us. You get to keep the Triple Crown. That will forever be held in your hands. Have you seen what has happened to Jack Bryant in recent weeks? I'm sure you've heard the rumors and reports of massive brain contusions. By joining us, Rook, you get to benefit on that behalf. By turning us down? Well, Rook... be prepared for a lifetime of ear ringing and blurred vision."

(JJ chuckles and leans back in his chair.)

JJ: "But that's not all, Rook. Far from it. On top of keeping your title, Rook, you'll get what you... what you DESERVE. Like I said -- I respect you. I'm a fan of your work. And I think that you are miscast here in NFW. I think you're taken for granted. In the prelude to the match at Jones Beach, I watched you and was quite impressed. In that match, Rook, dare I say you were nearly dominant? But what was the result? You, Rook, got robbed of a match against Castor Stryfe -- a match that YOU deserve. The victor of that match wasn't you, Rook. It was Randall Knox, aka Impulse. Has he apologized for his blatant thievery, Rook? Has he -- a man who alleges himself a man of integrity -- acknowledged that inconvenient truth? No, he hasn't."

(JJ shakes his head.)

JJ: "This is the same Impulse, Rook, who did not come seeking revenge against you after you turned your back on the short-lived RookPulse tandem. I'm sure you asked yourself why that was. Professional wrestling dictates an eye for an eye. Well, Rook, I'll tell you why even though I suspect you already know this. It's because Randall Knox -- or, more accurately, the corporate marketing team behind Randall Knox -- do not deem you worthy of his competition. They GIFTED him a permanent role at the top of the card. At the main event. He will forever have an infinite amount of World Title opportunities. You do not fit into their plans, Rook. The Triple Crown is not a belt THEY are interested in."

(JJ purses his lips.)

JJ: "Let me ask you this, Rook. During that Jones Beach match, did you get a chance to scan the crowd and see the Team Impulse shirts? How many Rook Black wool caps did you see in the audience? I've been in that board room, Rook. I can tell you how many focus groups Fiona Love has had about your marketability. That, sadly, is zero. Do you think Eddie Mayfield even knows your name, Rook? Do you think he even cares that you're on his roster? Heck -- do you think he even KNOWS you're on his roster? We -- The Hellfire Club -- know who you are. We respect who you are. And we'd like you to consider joining our ranks. Of course, a no answer is not acceptable."

(JJ holds up the White King into the air.)

JJ: "We do not expect an answer right away. This isn't speed chess that some slave wager plays in the park during his lunch break. This, Rook, is the move of a lifetime for you. I expect you to analyze every option. But there is a deadline. We expect your decision in Perth. It's your move, Rook. Do what thou wilt."


Rook Black

Live Long and Pants.
Jul 20, 2007
Bedford, OH
ROOK: "Had I known it was going to be like this ..."

FADE IN: ROOK BLACK standing with his arms crossed, the Triple Crown Championship around his waist. A black t-shirt, blue jeans, cowboy boots.

ROOK: "... I'd have done the same thing."

ROOK: "J.J. DeVille, I hope it doesn't surprise you that I think you're all right. You're a bright guy, a thinker, a planner, a schemer. You're devious. It's a quality that I admire and respect."

ROOK: "I'd be honored to join the Hellfire Club."

ROOK: "Just as soon as you aren't in it."

ROOK: "The Windham Clan's demise is entirely your responsibility, and in certain contexts I'm sure you'd boast about it. But your stable, your powerbase, was squandered over your petty grievances. You drove your ringer, Dan Ryan, out of the fold. You've irreparably damaged the bottom line of this company with your tantrum like behavior. You were bringing down your own gang from within. And when it reached critical mass, that no one, not you, not Troy, could save the Clan, you put the bullet in it."

(ROOK unstraps the Triple Crown Championship. He holds the strap up as the camera zooms in on its surface.)

ROOK: "This set of three triangles, in the mythology of the classic console game that they resemble, are set to mystical artifacts that are representative of certain virtuous qualities. So, in likewise fashion, I have used my authority of being the Triple Crown Champion, to declare what are the three values they reflect."

ROOK: "Cunning. You've got that in spades, J.J. Just like I do."

ROOK: "Ruthlessness. It's what separates me from most of the competitors here. You've clearly got that going for you as well."

ROOK: "Patience."

ROOK: "You're flunking that one, J.J. Your lack of patience, and your, dare I say it, impulsive behavior, makes you a complete and utter liability to anybody foolish enough to depend on you."

ROOK: "And you're not likely to change anytime soon. It's unfortunately the greatest indication of future behavior: past behavior. And if I were any sane member of your current group, I'd be looking at you and seeing a time bomb."

ROOK: "So, here's my counter proposal, to Veronica I suppose, since she's likely the mastermind that has the biggest issue with your virulent behavior."

ROOK: "Send J.J. DeVille after me. Let him compete against me for the Triple Crown Championship. Stipulations, what have you, whatever floats your boat, though I have heard you like things bloody."

(ROOK pointedly looks at the camera.)

ROOK: "Me too."

(ROOK returns to the basic narrative tone.)

ROOK: "And at the end of that match, the Triple Crown Champion will be in the Hellfire Club, and the loser, will be cast down."

ROOK: "You don't have to answer right away. After all, I'm sure that there's a tantrum to endure first from your weakest link. But think it over. Get a consensus."

ROOK: "I'm the type of guy who has far more uses for enemies than he does for friends, so it won't hurt my feelings any should you say no. But to be on board with the gang who holds all the gold, with similar goals, that's a lot of leverage to throw around."

ROOK: "And that'd suit me just fine."



Main Event Caliber
Apr 16, 2012
St. Louis, MO
(Fade in to Leyenda de Ocho in his Rogers Park apartment, puzzled expression on his face. Lufia II for the Super Nintendo is paused on the screen as he gives a puzzled expression.)

Ocho: "Well, THAT'S different. I can't say I've ever seen a game play out quite like this before...the final boss not waiting idly by for the hero, but playing games of his own.

A dual morality. Rook Black, the protagonist to his own adventure...risking everything and potentially changing the landscape of the New Frontier.

I simply know one thing: whatever happens...whatEVER happens, whether Rook keeps his title and joins this sinister band of evil, or J.J. DeVille lays a finger upon the Triforce Championship, I AM coming for it.

I have no choice. I have no alternative.

It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow...just know that at the end of this game, the Triforce WON'T be with the Hellfire Club."

(Fade to black.)

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