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Fight the Good Fight [Angelica vs. Devlin & Greene - Melee 3]
« on: November 26, 2017, 09:25:20 PM »
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT


Downtown Vancouver
Howe Street

Angelica: Yes, I know it’s not going to be easy!

Angelica Vaughn, phone in hand, was walking down Howe Street. On the other end of the line was Edith Seybold, her agent. Edith was responsible for Angelica’s booking and federation contracts. It was her who had brokered deals for her at LAW, ACM, RCW and most recently F2W.
Fight2Win had been a bit of a leap of faith. Angelica would never have dared to even dream about considering to call herself a ‘fighter’. Heck, many tongues claimed she was barely a ‘wrestler’ as it was, with her multitude of other ongoing ventures that didn’t take place inside of a squared circle. And yet, she had been moderately successful and was enjoying the concept immensely. F2W was an unconventional fighting organization, but it was casting high eyes around the community and Angelica was extremely grateful to be part of it since its inception. And it was a nice change of pace from the usual: rather than going through the motions inside of that ring and between those ropes, she got the chance to go out and FIGHT! Twice now, the stadium of the Cincinnati HitGirls had been the venue for her matches. In her debut she’d defeated Adam Wolfe, only to fall to Elina Cartel in her follow-up encounter. Angelica knew she hadn’t been good enough in that match. Which is exactly why Edith was giving her a severe talking to.

Edith: Your rather shambolic display last time was unacceptable. We’ve talked about this. You need to step up your game!

Angelica: I don’t think it was THAT bad! I could’ve been better, sure, but…

Edith: No buts, Angelica! So many times you have been so close. You’ve been standing on the verge of a breakthrough for so long now that people wonder if it’s actually ever going to happen.

Angelica: Hey now, Elina Cartel is a totes amazeballz wrestler, let alone fighter! I did okay, all things considered.

Angelica stopped walking in the busy shopping street. People bumped into her from all sides so she walked over to hug the wall of the nearest building, allowing them to walk past her.

Edith: Not. Good. Enough! Honestly, Angelica, you’re making it very hard for me. I just managed to get you a shot at the CWC Junior Heavyweight Championship. You’re in a tag team title match at LAW. But why do I get the feeling you’re going to come up short in both? You need to show me something, or otherwise I’ll lose whatever leverage I have left when trying to broker deals or getting you inserted in title matches. Life isn’t a fairytale, missy, and the sooner you realize that the better. Look at F2W for example. You started off well but now people are cutting ahead in front of you. You need a big win and fast, or you’ll continue to drop down that ladder. You’re better than an afterthought. You’re the Future of Female Wrestling and a girl with unlimited potential. But something is holding you back. I suggest you find out what that is as soon as possible.

Angelica didn’t quite know what to say. She could hardly deny it. She was getting recognition from many angles, but she had nothing to show for it. She was having fun and she was happy, but ultimately success was only measured by one’s accomplishments… and of those she had very few.
Sensing her client wasn’t going to answer any time soon, Edith started talking again.

Edith: Look, you’re in Vancouver right now. Use that time to regroup, gather your bearings and approach these next few vital weeks with the grit and determination I expect of you. You’re fighting Brennan Devlin and Ric Greene in a triple threat and you can’t afford to lose that match, for more than one reason. Greene beat Kid Mega and is looking to build a winning streak, while Brennan Devlin. Well…

Ah, yes. Brennan Devlin. There were few people on the face of this planet Earth that Angelica thought more deserving of a complete and utter ass-whooping. The misogynistic bastards who carried himself as the greatest gift God had ever bestowed upon humanity had been on an online crusade to rid the world of female wrestling. Angelica, who was nicknamed the Future of Female Wrestling, felt she was obligated to speak up; to let it be known that the women in this industry weren’t going to take his insults lying down and up and quit just because he demanded it. Of course, she might as well have been talking to a brick wall. If anything, her speaking up on social media seemed to only have fanned his flames. She realized she had stepped exactly into the trap he had laid out for her. Devlin was a master manipulator and failure in this match would surely mean a maelstrom of menacing, mean messages at her address. The torrential form of abuse he was known for was effective only to those who actually cared about what he had to say and Angelica was ashamed to admit his initial comments had triggered her. But now she saw through his façade. She could take him. Of that, she was certain.

Angelica: …yeah, I know all about Brennan Devlin. Don’t worry, Edith, I’ll be ready. He likes his face so much, I’ll make sure to make it a lot less pretty.

Edith: How about the venue. You’re going to be okay wrestling in a church?

Edith’s worries were not unfounded. Angelica’s religious background could potentially mean that she was going to be unwilling to unleash any kind of violence within the walls of a House of God. But Angie tried to put her agent at ease as best she could.

Angelica: Any place that man sets foot in has been desecrated already if you ask me. Don’t worry. Greene or Devlin, I will kick them hard and true until neither of them can get up anymore.

Edith: You better. I have to go, Angelica. Like I said, stay focused. Keep working. And for God’s sake, don’t disappoint me again.

The ensuing beep meant that the conversation was over. Angelica was worried. Edith had indeed been a phenomenal agent, but she was obviously used to her clients raking in the big pay checks. Angelica’s win-loss record wasn’t exactly impressive and it sounded like she was fed up with having to find reasons as to why a company would ever book her even in the vicinity of their main event. Angelica felt bad, because she knew she could do better than this. And she was going to.

The worried look on her face must’ve been apparent. She only now noticed a homeless man only a couple of yards away staring at her. At first glance he looked at least forty but upon closer inspection he couldn’t have been more than twenty. The deep, hard lines on his face, the scruff around his mouth, the bags underneath his eyes… all of that was proof of a rough life lived on the streets. A life without a roof over your head and no place to call home, where you were subjected to the elements and a day was considered successful if you could fill your belly with a hot meal and a tasty drink. He was sitting on the ground, back against the building and had a sleeping bag over his legs that currently was meant to keep him warm. A golden retriever was resting its head on the man’s lap. The dog’ fur seemed to be better maintained than the guy’s hair, which was long and greasy, sticking out from under a dirty red beanie. An upside down cap was lying on the ground in front of him, containing a few coins of loose change.
 Angelica tried looking away as soon as she could, but the guy kept his eyes fixated on her. He had gone through too much to feel ashamed about anything anymore. Instead, he spoke up, calling Angelica out.

Homeless Person: You in trouble, little girl? You look kinda distraught.

Angelica: I’m five foot nine!

It was the first thing that sprang to mind. Nothing annoyed Angelica as much as being called ‘little’, especially since she was taller than the average female. But she immediately regretted her sudden outburst.

Angelica: I’m sorry, that was rude.

Homeless Person: Don’t worry about it. At least you ain’t kicked or spit on me yet. That’s what usually happens when I’m tryna talk to someone.

Angelica: I’m sorry.

Homeless Person: Not your fault.

Angelica: No, I’m just sorry that that happens to you. I wish people would be nicer.

The man shrugged and Angelica noticed his hopeful eyes flickering between her and the cap in front of him. Of course. He was hoping for her to give him something. She didn’t blame him. This was his only means of survival. He could only depend on the kindness of others. Luckily for him, Angelica was about the kindest person on the face of the planet. She grabbed the wallet in her purse and opened it. She grabbed inside, retrieving a handful of bills. About 300 Canadian dollars. Angelica wasn’t exactly rich, but her many ventures in- and outside of wrestling had definitely made her ‘well off’. She could easily miss it and make this person’s day. Heck, maybe even his week. Or month? Who knew. She had no idea of the kind of ordeal this man had to go through on a daily basis. She balled her hand into a fist containing the bills and dropped them into the cap before walking off. She only managed a few yards before a voice shouted at her.

Homeless Person: Ma’am! Ma’am!

From ‘little girl’ to ‘ma’am’ in only a minute. Funny how money made the world go round.
Angelica turned around and she saw the guy getting up in a hurry before moving over to Angelica, his hand outstretched and his dog in pursuit.

Homeless Person: I can’t take it, ma’am. I appreciate it, but it’s simply too much. I’m… scared to hold this much money at once.

To Angelica it was only a fraction of a winner’s purse, but to him it might very well be a month(s supply of food. And yet, it scared him. Many people who were living on the street ended up there because of personal problems. Some were alcoholics. Others were dope fiends. Others were simply incapable of managing their finances and had no family or friends to fall back on. She suspected this guy fell in the latter category. But even so, Angelica decided she wouldn’t take her money back.

Angelica: Look, it’s a gift. There’s plenty of selfishness already and knowing that I’ll have made your life easier, if only for a while, would certainly help me sleep at night. So take the money and go buy yourself a treat. Or if it’s too much to spend on yourself, share it with your friends. I’m sure you know quite a few people who can use a bit of support just as much as you do. Consider that a little contribution not just to you, but to your community.

Homeless Person: I… I don’t know what to say, ma’am.

Angelica: How about your name?

Mike: I’m Mike.

Angelica: I’m Angelica. Pleased to meet you. Now have a great day, Mike.

Mike: Thanks to you, I think I will.

Angelica smiled, turned around and walked off. She was quite hungry herself. Her eyes scoured for the nearest place to have dinner. Nando’s? Why not.

-------------

During her meal, Angelica noticed she was looking out of the window more often than not. She chewed her food down barely tasting it,  her eyes wandering to the homeless fellow she’s gifted her money to. His behaviour was interesting. He kept one arm firmly crossed and his free hand was clenched in a fist, containing the money.  His head was on a swivel. He was anxious, that much was certain. Eventually he got up and Angelica found herself rising from her seat as well. She dropped a couple more bills on the table and without even noticing she was back outside, in pursuit of Homeless Mike, who didn’t suspect a thing.
She wondered why she was following him. Was she really that self-absorbed that she had to see the fruits of her charity come to bear just to feel better about herself? Or was it just plain empathy, making sure that the man wouldn’t screw his life over for the God knows how manieth time? Maybe she just wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to drop all of that cash in the nearest liquor store and drink himself into a coma he wouldn’t recover from. Yes, she told herself. She was just looking out for him even more.
She followed him to the nearest supermarket, however. Angelica wasn’t sure if that meant he was going to buy booze or not, but she sat outside out the store, trying to remain completely out of sight as the golden retriever loyally waiting for his boss. Angelica also waited for about twenty minutes until he came back out with way more bags than he could possibly hope to carry. He was visibly struggling, the weight too much to even allow him to go a couple of yards without having to take a break. People gave him a wide birth however, nobody willing to help him out. It felt like a dagger to the heart. Indifference of good men was often said to be the biggest evil of them all and she was looking at it right now. She ran across the street and without even saying something she grabbed four of the plastic bags in her hands. Mike looked up, surprised and terrified at first, but relieved when he saw her face.

Mike: Oh… Hi again, what a coincidence. I just did some grocery shopping thanks to you. Bought a whole lot of food for myself and a couple of others. This is going to help out a lot!

Angelica: If you can actually get it to them.

It was a simple remark, but very true. Angelica said it with the most sympathetic of smiles she could possibly muster and it put Mike at ease as it clearly implied she was going to help him carry his bags.

Mike: I don’t know what I did to deserve your kindness ma’am, but it sure feels like you were an angel dropped on earth by our almighty lord to do good for his beloved creations.

Angelica: I wouldn’t go that far.

Nevertheless, she appreciated the compliment. They set off in Southwestern direction, towards False Creek. They went all the way down Howe Street until they arrived at False Creek, the body of water that separated Downtown Vancouver from Granville. It was a spot underneath Granville Bridge that appeared to be their destination and it didn’t take them long to arrive at a makeshift camp, complete with carboard houses, improvised campfires and moldy old mattresses that were lying next to the graffiti-stained pillars of the bridge. If nothing else, it protected from rain, but not from wind or cold. And there were quite a few people here, warming their hands at the fire or slumped against the pillar, drinking from flasks they kept in their jacket pockets.

Mike: Here we are. ‘Home’, so to speak. Or at least where we gather.

Angelica couldn’t believe it. She’d grown up in this city, yet for all her problems growing up she had never been confronted with its poverty. Sure, her parents had never shown her any affection or even indicated that they loved her, but at least she’d had a proper roof over her head and three meals every day. These people, stuck in this hellhole, had nothing!
But Mike seemed happy. He walked into his little camp and called a few people over. A tall, lanky person who had long brown hair save for the bald crown on the top of his head. A guy with a beard so bushy it could be mistaken for a shrubbery and hair so long it nearly reached his trousers. And even a woman who clenched the bump in her belly as she walked over. Obvious pregnant. Ever here, love and life found a way.

Mike: Guys, this is Angelica. I’m not sure what we did to deserve this, but she has been kind enough to make a donation to us. I got us quite a bit of supplies and food we can use as we prepare for winter.

People’s eyes widened as they started unpacking, everything from clean water to canned goods and even dog food as Mike’s doggo enthusiastically hopped all over the place.  Of course, there was some booze as well, but Angelica couldn’t blame them for that. She knew all too well the relief it could provide in man’s darkest hours.
Grateful murmurs rose from whispers as more and more people of the homeless community wandered over to see what was going on. They stepped in and nobody seemed to care. These people knew how to share. They were tight-knit and knew that the only way they’d survive was if they worked together.
Angelica looked over at Mike, who was overseeing the somewhat fair distribution of the goods. The only thing he had put aside for himself was the dog food. And even that wasn’t for him. She approached him.

Angelica: I don’ understand.  Doesn’t the city have resources to help you? It seems almost barbaric that they force you to sleep under—

Mike: Force us? They’d prefer to force us OUT of here. Yes, the city does have resources, but they’ve long since depleted, Angelica. The few real shelters across the city are so full of people that the poor and unfortunate have to line up around the block just to get a bowl of soup if they’re lucky. No, we can only count on ourselves. And even that isn’t enough sometimes. We’re forgotten. We don’t have rights. The police turns a blind eye to this place, but unfortunately that also means…

Angelica: Means what?

A couple of people looked up and wandered over. One of them was the man with the bushy beard, the other was the pregnant lady. She looked at least forty, but despite her precarious position the smile on her face was friendly; even though the lines on her face betrayed a feeling of deep sorrow.

Woman: People can do as they please here.

Mike: Francesca’s right. We’ve had some trouble recently. Little gang of college kids coming in here to steal what little we have or rough us up.

Angelica: That’s horrible!

Francesca: But no one will listen. No one will help us.

Mike: It’s why I was so reluctant to take your money in the first place. They’ve been showing up daily recently and I was afraid they’d either steal it or just ruin whatever we bought with it. And we don’t have the means to fight them off.

Angelica felt disgusted. What kind of heartless jerks could possibly try and rob these people of their few precious possessions? She clenched her fists? Such injustice made her mad. She suddenly felt like she was reading Devlin’s tweets again for the first time: thoroughly and utterly triggered!

Angelica: I can fight.

Everybody suddenly stopped what they were doing and looked at Angelica. It was weird, but Angie didn’t back down.

Angelica: I can fight. I know I don’t look like it, but I can fight. Like, really well! I’ve wrestled or fought tougher men and women than some college kids thinking they’re tough.

Mike: Angelica… You’ve done more than enough for us already. Even if you do believe you can fight them off I don’t want…

Angelica: No. This ends today. You guys need someone to stand up for you. Today, that someone is me.

-------------

Several hours later….

Angelica stood in front of a crowd. Word of her offer had spread fast and many of the homeless were eager to see what would transpire. Behind her, Francesca and Mike could be heard arguing. They were trying to keep their voices down but Angelica heard everything.

Francesca: You can’t let her do this! She’s just eighteen years old!

Mike: I’m not much older. Besides, she says she’s an experienced fighter. I don’t know much about it, but she says she’s been in the ring with the likes of Michael Kelly, Kaz Bonham, the Voidstar, the Boardwalk Angels,… She threw those names around as if they carry quite some weight. I think she knows what she’s doing.

It didn’t take long before a little gang of misfits arrived. They were clearly led by a central figure, who was carrying a worn down baseball bat. He was in his early twenties. Blonde curls fell from his scalp, barely concealing a scowl. He looked like he thought the world was his. Like everybody owed him everything. He reminded Angie of Devlin right down to the arrogance with which he spoke.

Gang Leader: Well, what’s this then? These pieces of shit got themselves a new toy for us to play with? What’s the plan here, sweetheart? You’re going to get on all fours and let me have your way with you in exchange for a free pass? Is that it?

Angelica: No. Also, ew. And you will leave these people alone.

He laughed at the top of his lungs before stepping forward, pointing his bat at Angelica.

Gang Leader: And who’s gonna make me? You?

The tip of the bat was a mere inch away from her nose.

Angelica: Precisely.

It all seemed to happen in a blur. She snatched the bat, wrung it from his wrist and in one smooth motion swung it at his knee. As he screamed in agony, it buckled. He fell down to the ground, crawling away from her as other members of his gang rushed in. But as they tried to strike her, she felt like everything was happening in slow-mo. She quickly ducked and dodged every incoming strike. They were simple people. Not professionally trained wrestlers. They were slow. Sloppy. And she made them pay for it. She clunked two heads together before swinging the bat into someone’s gut. A bicycle kick to a face. A mule kick. A roundhouse. And eventually a Vaughnemous soccer kick to the gang leader to put them in his place once and for all.
The whole ordeal barely lasted a minute until they ran scared, dragging their unconscious leader away. Under rapturous applause and howls of the homeless community at her back, Angelica turned around.

Mike: That was amazing! I’ve never seen someone move quite so fast!

Angelica: I told you I could fight! Now if only I could prove it to the world.

Francesca: With that kind of skill. It’s hard to see who could possibly stop you, to be honest.

Angelica wasn’t sure if that was true, but what she did know was that she had stood up for what was right today. She had fought the good fight. She had made a difference in people’s lives and she had used a combination of her kindness and her fighting skill to do it. That was the way forward. That was how she was going to do things. Kindness wasn’t weakness, far from it. You didn’t have to be a misogynistic bastard like Devlin or a weirdo like Greene to be strong or successful. She had proven that today. And at Melee 3 she was going to prove it again. To her agent. To her opponents. To the world. Angelica Vaughn was on the cusp of a breakthrough. And at Devlin’s altar she was finally going to make it crystal clear that the era of the Vaughnemous One was about to begin.