Year of Wine and Roses: The First Visit Sept 18, 2022 13:59:40 GMT -5 'The Shine' Brent Alpine likes this
Post by Dionysus on Sept 18, 2022 13:59:40 GMT -5
It would be a quick visit.
It would need to be a quick visit.
Much as I was dreading this encounter, I needed to see him.
After all, I had owed him at one point.
I still kept a few burner numbers for Al Divine, in case he decided to call me up again. It was more of a list of numbers to ignore than actually try. Sure enough, on the third number, I make the connection. Trying with all my might to stomach through his smarm, we make an arrangement to meet along the Blue Line. It was a rail service that ran from Target Field to the Mall of America. I parked my car on the opposite end of the line and took the train up. It was packed with the type of people you would expect to find on the train; regular commuters, the cyclists that would bring their bikes with them on the train, the suburbanites clutching their bags worried they'll be robbed the minute they get on. I took the line all the way to the field, disembarked, and walked about a block and a half to one of the Field's parking ramps.
As I expected, he was waiting there for me, dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans, covering his face with a Minnesota Twins cap. "Its been some time," He said in greeting, holding his arms wide for an embrace. I simply stared at him, walking into the ramp's elevator. Shrugging, he lowered his arms and followed, pressing a button for the top floor. "Too busy with your career to come see the little people more often, huh?" Again, no answer. His overly friendly demeanor was grating on me. The sooner this meeting was over, the better.
The doors opened to a fairly unoccupied floor in the ramp. While they would be packed on game days, today was fairly quiet. No ball game, no major events. So the lot primarily had staff parking up here, and very few of them at that. We walked around the corner, this area being barren of any vehicles. It was only the two of us. "You understand that I don't like you in any way. However, I will say that I appreciate you making the time to come here," I started, being cautious of this snake.
"Ah, that classic Dion charm," Al replied, his shit grin growing across his face. "And for a second I thought we weren't friends anymore."
"We aren't," I retorted, staring daggers into his eyes. "I only need to ask you a few questions."
Another shrug. "Anything for my favorite cash cow."
I grimaced at the thought. This man didn't view me as anything other than a pay day. What kind of sad life does he lead? "You know that my debt was based on both my and my mother's medical needs, but also my uncle's business. And that was only due to him being locked in prison and my father not being around." I held up a hand before he could interrupt. "Since you're somehow in a better standing than my jackass of an uncle, I thought it best to ask you this question. What do you know of my father's disappearance?" Al stared confused, as if he were a deer in the headlights. Then he chuckled, growing into a disturbing belly laugh. Determined to get my answer, I asked him again. "Do you know anything or not?"
Al's laughter calmed down, his breathing getting heavy. "Come on, Dion; I'm just a loan shark. What makes you think I know anything about your dad?"
"You did approach me not long after the accident. You had my uncle making payments to you, as you explained with my own loan. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that you have an idea of what happened...or a hand in it," I accused. The pieces had fallen into place somewhat, and though the picture was incomplete, Al had to have some information I could use to fit together.
Al shook his head. "Look, your uncle took that loan to cover for The Coliseum's expenses. He told me your father had gone at that point. Left the country to chase his dream or whatever. Wasn't even part of the business anymore. I personally helped your uncle get the company under his name-"
"That isn't possible," I interrupted. "My uncle did not take ownership of The Coliseum until two years after he left. But the paperwork was done a year before he traveled." Al's eyes went wide. I had him. "I have the paperwork to prove it. That you and my uncle colluded to acquire sole ownership of The Coliseum from under my father's nose. And if I have this information, he certainly did too. Then he travels to Japan, choosing to remain there to work for a company out there. And after two years of letters and other correspondence, suddenly he doesn't write and only sends checks."
"So he abandoned you."
"I think you two worked a plan to dispose of him. Permanently."
Al's expression was stoic at this point. He knew he had messed up somewhere in this scheme, and now he was caught. He looked me dead in the eye, his expression still emotionless, and replied, "None of this matters now. Your dad is gone. Your uncle is in prison. And you still owe me what you-"
"No. I'm not giving you a cent more," I responded, coldly and with authority. "You are going to get my uncle's money from him directly, not from leeching off of me."
Al stepped closer to me, withdrawing his hands from his sweatshirt pocket. "Is that so?" He took another step, a hand rubbing his chin. "I've had bigger fish than you try and get away from me. Some ended up in the river. But others...I found ways to make them pay." A third step, now within arm's reach. "You know, I heard that your mother was going to remarry. That sounds nice. Maybe I'll go and visit. Give her my regards...and my business." His face twisted into a demonic grin, knowing he was using a pressure point to try and get me to go his way. He held out his hand. "You're going to shake my hand. Tell me you'll get me my money. And we'll be on our way," he threatened, holding his hand out for me to shake.
I knew what I was doing.
I took his hand.
Tightened my grip.
And knowing that Billy and Chris would shout it at the top of their lungs, dragged Al into a Grapevine.
He collapsed onto the ground, having the wind knocked out of him. I stomped on him twice before I kneeled down, grabbing him by the back of his head. I punched him in his smarmy jaw, watching as a tooth flew out. I pulled his head closer to my own, and in a quiet fury, I roiled into him. "Don't you understand, you insignificant shit? I'm the one in control here. You get nothing from me from now on. You stay away from me, my family, and anyone I associate with. If I see you or hear you've been seen by any of them, you'll be the one in the fucking river." He nodded, with fear in his eyes. In retribution for everything he had done, I gave him the hardest headbutt I could muster. I let go of his head, his nose busted open from my headbutt.
I breathed heavily, touching a hand to my face. I had a small cut from my last attack, but was otherwise fine. I looked over the man who had tormented my family, my dreams, and my life for so many years. And seeing him lying in a heap...
I suppose playing nice and witty won't really get me anywhere here, will it?
"But Dionysus, we love your mythos comparisons!"
No you don't. Don't lie to me about it. I'm standing here, once again, staring down a barrel at three assholes that want nothing more than to take me out of the picture completely. Whether it is to actually finish the job they couldn't manage to do the first time, or because their violence fetish demands it, or...whatever the fuck reason Brent has. So forgive me if I'm not really in the mood to wax poetic about some mythology somewhere. If you want to argue about dwarves and mermaids or whatever it is you want, there's an entire ecosystem on the internet for that. Have fun and don't read the comments.
I'll ask the big question; what are you even doing here? What, it wasn't enough for you to flounder as WCF's midcard darling that you needed to return to be Action Wrestling's new punching bag to the stars? You couldn't take down the walking Hot Topic billboard, and yet here you are as a possible contender for the US title. To Ross's credit, he did at least have a win over you. His being here makes sense. Yours doesn't. Now I know what you're thinking; "But Dionysus, you lost too!" Yes, by countout and a medical need to do so, which we'll get to later. Right now I want to ask how you went from hot shit to wet fart in only one match, and still managed to slink your way into this match-up. Someone higher up must have a disappointment fetish.
Speaking of, hello Ross! Glad you can once again stumble into my house for the sole purpose of me kicking you out of it again! How long is it going to take people to realize that you're nothing more than a parasite, latching onto whoever is going to rocket you to the top without adding anything of meaning or substance? I mean look at you; you're a walking billboard of flags so red even Andrew Tate would pull you aside and ask you to tone it down a bit. Fun fact: if you open up the encyclopedia and look up the term "butt rock," your image would be there. I have a million more of these, but the biggest joke is how far up your own ass you are that you think your blood fetish is going to get you any special recognition, yet any time you've tried, you've managed to come up short. I'd sympathize if it weren't for the fact that there is so much pity being placed upon you that you were handed a belt you couldn't even defend. Against me. The guy who chokes at every opportunity, right Kemp?
There are two kinds of people in this world, Ross. Those who fight for blood, and those who fight for gold. Fighting for blood is just fighting for the sake of it. Your brand of diet ultraviolence led you to putting away your former tag partner. Fantastic. Bully for you. ...But what did that get you? Did it elevate you, did it make you look more like a threat? We already know you're the type that will fight anyone and everyone, which is why you've spent more time wanting to impress Papa Corey by being a wish.com version of him. Fighting for blood gets you nowhere; fighting for gold, meanwhile, gives you a purpose. Sometimes, the gold is just that. Your entire tenure here has been to fight for the sake of fighting, and those that fought to win beat you. It isn't too late for you; listen to what I'm telling you before you become like Scala; a stepping stone for others to climb over you.
As for you Kemp, you seem to have your facts confused. See, I don't really control what the announce team says. Not once have I ever used my status as a world champion. Why would it matter, when I have secured the longest tag reign in Action Wrestling? You know, the company we're actually competing in? You're bringing up ancient history and thinking it is relevant all because Billy, the walking heart attack, decides to say so. If you have such a problem with it, take it up with him. I am more than capable of securing victories on my own, and sure, I may have come up short in my more recent opportunities for titles, but isn't this just a projection of your failure to capture...well, anything, since you lost the world title? Lets run through that list, shall we? You returned at Havoc...and lost. You fought for the CBS title at Evolution...and lost. You went to All-in...and lost. Every chance you've had to reinsert yourself into the picture, you've come up short.
And it eats at you.
It consumes your entire being.
To the point where you couldn't even manage to beat me. Look back at the tapes. Did you knock me out? Pin me? Make me tap? No; you only threw me out of that ring. Shit, anyone can do that. Look at Havoc. But you couldn't get the job done in a meaningful, statement-making way. You choked; a very easy opportunity in your mind to secure a win and put you back on the path, and you couldn't even manage that. You just let a lesser wrestler crush your throat. How pathetic. Since The Following left you behind, you've been trying to find your place near the top. How sad it must be to need a group of people so badly that you can't even capitalize on your own. If only I knew what that were like. Oh wait. That's been your primary criticism on me. That I could only achieve victory because Downfall is in my corner. Completely ignoring that The Vanguard wouldn't exist without me. Completely ignoring that a team is comprised of more than one person. Completely ignoring the fact that you caused your own team to crumble, that once you had your use of them, they were discarded away. The thing is, you still need them. You're nothing without The Following. At least when I lose, I can stand on my own two feet, look at myself, and realize where my shortcomings are. At least when I lose, I can shake it off and look forward for the next opportunity I get. It isn't a matt of 'if.' It is a matter of 'when.'
I've heard I "half-ass" my matches every time I've come up short. And yet, in each of those matches, I take people to their limits. That should tell you something; that even at my half, I can do that much. This Monday, I'll go whole ass. And that should terrify you. I've built a career out of playing nice.
And playtime is over.