Who Can You Trust? Nov 18, 2023 17:26:44 GMT -5
Post by Peter Vaughn on Nov 18, 2023 17:26:44 GMT -5
Things have taken a pretty dark turn for The Mechanic.
For one, he has lost the WGWF World Heavyweight Title a second time, and now it's held by one of his few close friends in the business, "Cholo" Giovanni Santana. That certainly has changed Peter's priorities, as he'd never go after his friend's championship now that Cholo has made it to the top. Plus, Vaughn has his own real life issues to worry about: considering he's been accused of two charges of assault and an attempted murder.
Recently, the doctor of Vaughn's half-brother Thomas, Dr. Cecil Rodgers, was attacked in his parking garage. Evidence from the assault was found in Vaughn's beloved truck, Gabriella. Vaughn was also accused of attacking Thomas' girlfriend, Rebecca Monroe, after a social event with them. Vaughn, though, has no knowledge of either assault, nor anything to explain either what happened to a pack of coyotes on his ranch land or the disappearance of one of their ranch hands, Chris Jenkins. It's left quite a mystery in its wake: has Vaughn been losing his mind, attacking others without being aware of it? Or is there some more subtle plan going on, that Vaughn has yet to discover?
At the very least, Vaughn has had one bright, shiny moment to cling to: he proposed to his girlfriend, Sadie Anderson, who generously agreed to become his husband. It's a remarkable moment for a man who never seemed interested in having a relationship. Now he just needs to find a way to plan the wedding before he ends up behind bars for a long length of time.
To be sure, Vaughn's life was a lot more simpler when he was just trying to become a World Champion.
~As the shot comes up, we find ourselves in what appears to be a lawyer's office. You can tell this because of the fancy desk, the row of bookshelves with law books untouched since the 2000's, and the snooty degrees and picture of clients on the wall. What you might not recognize is the rubber ball that keeps hitting the back wall, rebounding quickly back the way it came. The camera swivels, showing Peter Vaughn continuing to bounce the ball, as his new fiancé, Sadie, sits impatiently next to him. Vaughn doesn't glance at her, as he's focused on making the catch each time. He fires away again... and an arm in a suit reaches out, catching it in mid-air. The mustached lawyer steps in front, pulling out his desk chair.~
Andrew Wilkerson: That's enough of that.
Peter Vaughn: Sorry, I get bored easily. So what did you find out?
Andrew Wilkerson: What I've found is that this won't be an easy case, Mr. Vaughn.
~The black lawyer readjusts behind his chair, shaking his head before opening a folder in front of him.~
Andrew Wilkerson: The good news is, Dr. Rodgers is awake, and is expected to make a full recovery. Even better, Dr. Rodgers does not recall who attacked him, just that he was hit from behind. That's a point in our favor, as he is not a witness who can hurt us much. There's still the matter, though, of your brother's girlfriend, who gave a rough description of you...
Sadie Anderson: She's lying. Peter would never attack her. He had no reason to.
Peter Vaughn: Besides which, she's said since then that she could have been confused. It's understandable, given that someone went after her.
Andrew Wilkerson: I suppose. But the DA will push hard to use her original testimony, plus the Doctor ID they found in your truck along with some bloody clothes is a problem.
Sadie Anderson: Obviously, Peter was set up.
Peter Vaughn: It wouldn't be the first time.
Andrew Wilkerson: Wait, this has happened to you before??
~Vaughn shrugs his shoulders.~
Peter Vaughn: Wrestling's a strange business.
~With that, Vaughn gets up, with Sadie right beside him. He shakes hands with Wilkerson, looking him in the eyes.~
Peter Vaughn: All you need to keep in mind is that I'm innocent. We'll figure the rest of it out later. Thanks for your help.
~They turn to leave, with Wilkerson taking a seat once more. Vaughn stops halfway, though, looking back over his shoulder.~
Peter Vaughn: Any chance I can get back my...
Andrew Wilkerson: No.
Peter Vaughn: Yeah, I figured...
~Vaughn sighs, as the two leave. Wilkerson turns to his side, opening the lowest drawer and dropping Vaughn's rubber ball into it for safekeeping. We cut away.~
You can't always get what you want.
Now, I certainly can't complain. I've been given plenty in my wrestling career. I'm an 11-time World Champion now, having dominated numerous federations. I've spilled the blood of the best adversaries all over for two years now, adding greatly to my List of the Vanquished. But now, here I sit in WGWF: a non-champion. No gold, no likelihood of gold in the conceivable future. Is my time in the company I helped restore to greatness coming to an end? Well, no. That's the short answer.
The longer one is "No Way In Hell".
I've invested too much in the WGWF to just walk away from it. This is why I've asked for new challenges, new wrestlers who want a piece of one of the most recognizable wrestlers in the world today. I want to face the top names that have escaped me to this point, wrestlers like Austin Ramsey, Spencer Adams, Devlin Knight, and Jenny Myst. I want to pit my skills against the talents that might be running this business next year.
And Candice, in her infinite wisdom, decided to put me against JD Smith.
Now, don't get me wrong. It seems like the genetics might be there for Smith to be great someday. Her father is Slade, her mother is Trinity, two wrestlers who apparently did a lot in the industry. I mean, I know next to nothing about them, but I have asked a few people, and they've said "Oh, I remember that name". They don't tell me much more than that, but just the fact that they recognize them means that they were worth SOMETHING. So maybe JD will be, too. But I can think of no worse start for "The Next Evolution" than to have to go against The Mechanic in her first ever match in the WGWF.
Don't they normally try to start you with someone easy? Like a clown or something?
Honestly, I don't have much of an explanation why management has decided to throw you to the wolves, JD. There are probably only two real possibilities, I suppose. One, management is so impressed with you coming in that they want you to make a major impact right away. Taking on someone like me certainly gives you that opportunity. The second and more likely option is that management haven't been satisfied with the contract signing since it was made... and this is a way to punish you. Hey, the Pages can be vindictive when they want to be.
Just look at how Chris holds J Mont's career loss over that joker's head.
So I guess the question, Smith, is... are you ready for such a big match like this? You've never held titles. You haven't been able to live up to your family's legacy yet, although this could be your best opportunity to date to make that happen. But are you going to be able to do it against a man like me? A man who has seen it all, lived it all, and is always looking to inflict some damage inside the squared circle whenever he's given the chance? What are you bringing to the table, Jane Doe, that I've never seen before? That I won't be prepared for?
The answer, in case you need it, is nothing. You're absolutely nothing new.
Now, will you be great? I'm sure others have already told you this, but really, it's up to you. Whether I wipe the mat with your face and destroy you, or if I barely am able to squeak out the victory with a quick roll-up, it's really on your shoulders... especially if your shoulders are the ones on the canvas. I certainly don't want this to be easy. I want someone worthy to add to my collection. Are you that someone, DJ?
Or am I not going to get what I want?
~As Gabriella pulls off of the main highway, Vaughn expertly directs her towards the PMV Ranch entrance. Beside him, Sadie continues talking, in what has probably been a full-drive argument between the two.~
Sadie Anderson: I'm just saying, the best thing we can do is figure out when the bloody clothes items were stashed in your truck.
Peter Vaughn: I've checked the cameras at the ranch, and I never saw anyone near Gabriella.
Sadie Anderson: You have cameras around the ranch?
Peter Vaughn: Doesn't everybody?
Sadie Anderson: Okay, well, we still need to figure out where else it could have happened, and maybe search it once again for...
Peter Vaughn: No. Not happening. The police already went over her once. I'm not doing that to her again.
~You can tell Sadie's biting her tongue, wanting to say "It's JUST A TRUCK!!" But she knows better than to try to go down that road. Vaughn and Gabriella have a long-time bond now. Even a fiancé isn't coming between them. They pull into the main homestead, where we can see Vaughn's half-brother, Thomas, directing a young man out of the building. Thomas waves at Vaughn and Sadie from his wheelchair, which he's still using after being attacked months ago. The two get out and walk over, with Thomas working his way down the handicap ramp that Vaughn had installed.~
Thomas Hill: Welcome back! Peter, I wanted you to meet Dawson here. He's agreed to join up with us as one of our ranch hands.
Peter Vaughn: Really? You mean Dawson like Dawson's Creek?
Dawson: I don't know, sir. Is that creek nearby here?
Peter Vaughn: ... I'm getting too damn old. So where did you work before this, kid?
Dawson: I spent some time up north, at the Regal Ranch.
Sadie Anderson: I've never heard of that one.
Peter Vaughn: Sounds very fancy, though, and being able to use "RR" as your slogan makes things a lot easier. You don't know how difficult it is to pull off a good brand with PMV, let me tell you.
~Vaughn looks Dawson up and down for a few seconds, then smiles and nods at him.~
Peter Vaughn: Looking forward to working with you, Duke.
Dawson: Er, it's, uh, Dawson...
Peter Vaughn: Not around here it's not. Get yourself a bunk, Duke, and Sadie here will give you a bird's eye view of what you'll need to do here at the ranch.
~Dawson glances back at Thomas, who just shrugs. He then picks up his bag and slowly walks off, heading for the barracks. Sadie watches him go, her eyes narrowing slightly.~
Peter Vaughn: What's wrong, Sadie?
Sadie Anderson: I don't know. There's something... off about him.
Peter Vaughn: Really? ... Well, I trust your intuition. I'll keep a closer eye on him.
Sadie Anderson: As will I...
~With that, Sadie walks off, probably to make sure Dawson is going where he's supposed to. Vaughn smiles after her, then turns back to where Thomas is still sitting there, in his wheelchair.~
Peter Vaughn: So... how's Becca doing?
Thomas Hill: I... I don't know if that's something I can talk about too much with you, Peter.
Peter Vaughn: I just asked how she's doing, not her whereabouts or anything.
Thomas Hill: She's, uh, she's doing good. She's healed up pretty quickly. I've asked her more about the attacker. She really isn't sure anymore what happened, but she still awakens in a cold sweat at night sometimes...
~Vaughn sighs, leaning forward on the porch fence.~
Peter Vaughn: I'm almost certain I had nothing to do with it, Thomas. But don't you worry. I'm going to find out the truth. And once I know who did it, they'll pay. Okay?
Thomas Hill: ... Okay, Pete.
~Vaughn nods and goes back inside, while Thomas sits outside a little big longer, his fingers nervously tapping on the edge of the wheelchair.~
To some, knowing what's coming their way would seem like a blessing. To others, I expect it would be a bit of a curse.
Well, the whole world knows what's coming your way, JD.
I know, in the back of your mind, you're probably wondering if I'm going to go full out against you, a woman, when we're facing off against each other. Well, let me put your mind at ease. I'm very much an equal opportunity warrior. In the past few years, I've had wars with Veronica Salinas, Amber Bane-Ryan, 'The War Queen" Leah Aguero, Veronica Strader, and Ava Arthur, and I treated none of them differently than I did against Matt Knox, Larry Tact, or Joe Montouri.
I'll give you the same respect, Janie D, by trying to knock your head off just as strongly.
Now, will I deliberately be trying to put you on injured reserve, shutting down your career before it ever gets started? Well, no. There's no reason for me to do that. I know barely anything about you, so there's no point in me treating this like a grudge match. But that doesn't deter me at all from going for the same high-risk maneuvers I always would, and some of those can end up doing some serious damage to your inner organs. You might want to plan on some extreme recovery time after our contest, especially if you end up bringing me the fight I crave.
The ribs, in particular, tend to get bruised or cracked if I'm coming from a high enough altitude. Just some words of wisdom, you might want to wear a little padding there.
I can't really give you any other advice, newbie, other than to try and draw on everything your parents ever taught you. Try and let them guide you into a superior, five-star match with me. I'd love to brag to Cholo later that we stole the show from him and Austin. Give me all you've got, and we'll see if it's enough for you to hang with The Mechanic.
I don't think it's going to go down that way. I think I'm going to take your Next Evolution and regress you to wanting to be in your mother's arms again. That's just always going to be my mindset in a match like this. I have to think that your bruises and welts are going to be worth it, as they'll propel me to another glorious victory here in the WGWF. Your pain is my advancement to another pay day.
All-in-all, you have to know what's coming. I'm going to do my damnest to make sure you take the Plunge. And everyone in that arena is going to be expecting your downfall. Now, whether or not they cheer for you when you peel yourself up off the canvas? That's up to you.
Walking out earns so much more respect than getting stretchered out, after all.
~We switch to much later into the night, as much of the ranch looks practically shut down. Even the animals are sleeping... unless they're conspiring about a ranch takeover, but let's hope that's not the case. There IS one sign of movement in the area, though, as we see the bunkhouse door open slowly. Dawson steps out, furtively looking left and right, before slowly making his way over near the chicken coop. He waits for a few seconds, looking nervous, until there's a slight cough behind him that makes him jump.~
~A shadowy figure can be seen, stepping out near the coop.~
Voice: How do you think it went?
Dawson: I think it couldn't have gone much better... other than the slip-up there at the end. But I think I played it off pretty well.
Voice: You'll need to be careful. I think Sadie suspects something.
Dawson: Damn. Should we abort?
~The figure steps further forward, allowing us to see his features more. He coughs for a second, clearing his throat once more.~
Peter Vaughn: No. We stick to the plan. Someone at my ranch is trying to frame me. It will be your job to keep an eye out for who's acting suspicious.
Dawson: It'd be easier if you didn't force everyone to start calling me by my real name.
Peter Vaughn: You really thought Dawson would get accepted around here? Duke made a lot more sense. and you'll certainly remember to respond to it, won't you?
Dawson: ... Fine. I'm only doing this because you got my uncle out of that jam a while back.
Peter Vaughn: And I appreciate it. It shouldn't take too long for them to try something again, if their goal is to take down the ranch. If it's about something else... well, I'll have to improvise. You just be ready, understand?
Dawson: And you're sure you want to leave your own fiancé out of it?
~Vaughn takes a moment to stare upwards at the stars above, before shaking his head.~
Peter Vaughn: I'm not sure about anything. Just do your job, alright? Both on the ranch... and for me. Got it?
Dawson: Got it.
Peter Vaughn: Now go and get some sleep. Sadie will be getting you up at the crack of dawn. You're going to need some rest to survive here.
~Dawson nods, disappearing back into the darkness, as Vaughn continues to look upwards.~
Peter Vaughn: I'm hoping it's not you, Thomas. I really am.
~As Vaughn continues to keep his focus on the stars, we slowly fade out.~