Description: Aranha wakes up in the backstage area after his championship bout with Mike Bison. His sister, Kelly comes into check in on him. Aranha's got to get himself together...
In the backstage area of the Brute Force Wrestling Arena Aranha's eyes snap open after about three minutes of unconsciousness. While he was in a rested state, his body worked in overdrive to undo the damage done to him by Mike Bison. The broken ribs are now just a hairline fracture and his body has staunched most of the internal bleeding. Most of the swelling on his cheek has gone down. So while Aranha looked like a wreck, he didn't look as bad as he did when he was dragged out of the ring.
He glares at his cellphone, as it buzzes repeatedly. He's pretty sure it is from social media blowing up his phone as a result of this match. He's almost afraid to unlock the phone. He isn't quite ready to face the critics just yet so he sits up and buries his face in his knees as both the memories of a fight from an alternate world and the fight from earlier today come rushing into his mind. Both, involving the same person and both having similar results.
There's a knock on the door and his reply is almost instantaneous. "NO INTERVIEWS!!!"
The Dancing Spider was not ready for the world to see him right now.
The knocking occurs again, the demand for interviews seemingly ignored.
Another follows a moment later, which is interrupted by an annoyed voice, muffled through the door. This is followed by a shout, and a distant crash of some kind.
The door abruptly opens a crack, and Kelly slips in, with a very angry looking reporter glaring from the floor of the hallway and several others staring at her in fearful silence. She leans back against the door to slam it closed before anyone can think to slip in or take any photos, her expression grim and focused as she stares sideways behind her. She flicks the lock, ensuring no one else can get in for the time being.
The room now secured, she gives her brother a much softer look as she walks over, worry clear in her eyes "That looked pretty brutal. You look like your doing better already though. Would have been here sooner, but the hallways were packed, and the press wouldn't move when i asked nicely."
Aranha doesn't bother looking up from his seated position. He doesn't even like his sister seeing him like this. But if he had to choose between strangers who'd probably paint him in a horrible light and his sister who he'd at the very least could count on to try to support him he'd pick his sister. That being said, he'd rather be the one supporting her, not the other way around. He spent too much time being the strong one to want to relinquish that role.
He had to grit his teeth. He hated the idea that if it wasn't for Tessitore, he probably wouldn't be alive right now. And that single thought fills his mind and heart with bitterness. The fact that one of her last acts is what enabled him to live through this brutal beatdown.
His voice is a soft one just shy of a whisper as he says, "I never asked for this."
It doesn't take rocket science to know what 'this' is. Kelly has been living with it too, though embraced it a bit better for various reasons. Calmly, she sits down next to him "I know. None of us ask for a lot of things. Life.... just throws curves at us." She sighs "I know it doesn't help to hear.... and i know i'm nowhere near your calibur to even try to relate to some of the things you've seen or done..... "
She stops for a moment, seeming to try to think of the right words "Theres more integrity than some people care to admit in simply accepting some things and living with them. Standing tall despite them" a glare is aimed at the door she came in through "More than those piranah out there for sure."
"No. Not just this..."
He points to the glowing blue eyes since at the moment that is the only visible evidence of the changes to his body. The other changes were mostly internal at least for now.
"I mean some of the shi.. stuff leading up to it. Stuff leading up to this."
He wants to scream, he wants to throw things, he wants to act like the child he pretty much never got to be because of their upbringing. But he reins it in because he still feels like he can't let his little sister see him like this.
"I never asked for Howard Rust Jr. to puppeteer my unconscious body in his ill-conceived attempt to throw the fight on live TV. I refused the prize for that tournament and yet..."
He points to his face once more indicating those glowing blue eyes.
"I didn't even ask for a bye in the semi-finals and I have all these things happen without my say so and they use it as an excuse to question my legitimacy. 'He needed someone to throw the fight to win a tournament.' 'He only won because he's a Darkstalker.' 'His path into the tournament was built off of mostly weak competition.' 'He didn't deserve to go to the finals. He probably wouldn't have gotten there if he faced Maxima.'"
He lets out a sigh.
"Even at times, I question my own legitimacy. Every improvement I make on myself, I wonder how much of it is actually me improving as a fighter and how much of it is Dr. Questionable Ethics. And I'm tired... I'm so tired of things happening to me without having any say in the decision making process."
Kelly nods, thinking for a moment "No. You didn't..."
She reaches a hand out forwards, palm up. It begins to glow, and a sphere of white flame forms in her hand. Her eyes, like his, begin to glow the same pale white "You know what else you didn't ask for? Parents that.... did what they did. Sisters that made the choices they made. A life in a world that kicks you when you're down, then grinds you into the dirt." She looks up at him, her features soft despite her words "Yet look what you have accomplished despite these? How far you HAVE come? Your judging yourself by the media's view of you. By the top of the top's opinion of you, at worst."
She looks back to the orb of white psionic flame in her palm "Not so long ago I couldn't have done this. Now there is no question I can. If someone else were to tell me I couldn't, it wouldn't matter because here, now, I can see that I AM doing it. Even if I have a bad day later and can't when everyone is watching."
Kelly abruptly closese her fist, the flames snuffing out, her eyes losing their glow, and she puts that hand on Aranhas shoulder, locking eyes with him "The question isn't if anyone ELSE believes or knows. It's if YOU know. Those that KNOW you know. The rest of the world CAN be wrong. The fact you were even able to be IN all this. The battles you've been in and survived, if not won. That says a lot." She pauses to let her words sink in a moment "You hit that walking tank with bricks for brains decently hard, and he downed you in about 5 REALLY hard hits. FIVE!" she can't recall PRECISELY how many, but shes going with it "How many hits do you think it would have taken him to down someone else? Two at most? That says a lot too."
She finally pulls him into a hug "Who cares about the spider bitch. Who CARES what she did to us. Like it or not, we HAVE these qualities and abilities now. Moving forwards is better than the alternative."
For a few moments after Kelly stops speaking, Aranha is quiet as he attempts to both digest everything Kelly has said to him and figure out how he wants to respond. Most of the time, he's careful about what saying what he wants to say. His particular past made it a necessity since it determined when he was to take on the abuse from his parents, whether or not he got jobs, and whether or not he could escape after a job without suspicion on him. Even now that he's mostly legit, it was a tendency that he had no interest in losing.
"Yeah. I didn't choose for my sisters to make the choices they made but I respect it because it was their choice. It was Karen's choice to do what she did. She had agency over what happened to her body. While I didn't like the choice she made, and advised her against that choice, she was able to make it until her addiction made it for her."
Aranha pauses once again, letting it hang there for a moment as he once again considers what he wants to say and how he wants to say it. He viewed her understanding of his situation as fundamentally flawed because they were changed at different stages of their development. Kelly became fighting capable due to her changes, Aranha was already fighting capable and so his viewpoint is different or at least his perception of their views were such.
"As for me, one of my favorite things about learning how to fight and improving as a fighter was that I could point to something I did or a capability that I gained, or some milestone I've reached and know that I got there through my own sweat. Every since she did this to me, I can't say with a hundred percent certainty that it was my work that got me there. She took that away from me and I can't feel anything but anger about it."
Kelly gives a nod "That was what i ment about being near your calibur. I'm looking from the ground up, you from the fifth floor down. I don't know of any way to change that other than to try to change the angle you're looking from. What if, instead of being geneticly messed with, you discovered a new technique that caused some big changes int yourself? Ultimately, a tool is only that. A tool. Something you make use of for a function to reach an outcome. A kick, a punch, a ball of fire, a pie to the face...." she gets a slight smirk .".. a noogie to the head...." which she promptly does unharmfully ."... so what if you looked at it as someone throwing new tools in your toolbox. They only do as much or as little as you choose to do with them, to whatever end you choose to persue with them. It may not be work that EARNED them, but it WILL be work to INTEGRATE them into what you already have, to high proficiency."
She gets a somewhat sheepish look "I mean, think of it this way. It gave me the capacity enough to get started on this path. I didn't need to go through the immense hoops you and most have to to just get a foot in the door. Is it that magic ticket that made me able to beat Felicia, or manage to deflect a freakin lightening bolt from a thunder god? Or was that my own growth in the use of tools that someone else just put into my hands and i had to make the best of?." She turns him to the side to make eye contact again "You need to accept what you are. Whatever the cause. Here. Now. If you fight on two fronts, you'll lose a lot more than on one, and right now are fighting opponents in front of you AND an opponent inside yourself."
Kelly sighs, reflecting a moment on her words "I'm sorry if i sound like i'm trying to force this from you this instant..... these things take time, pateince, and thought. I'm just trying to..... to make you think it through. I'm NOT going anywhere in case you're worried i might jump ship or something."
Perhaps he needed to look at it as additional tools in the toolbox. Why was he mad? If he had to take that particular analogy farther, more tools were added into the toolbox but he had taken time to carefully organize it, now his toolbox has more tools but is also a complete mess. Nothing is in the right place. It's time for him to reorganize the toolbox.
"I accept it but I don't have to be happy about it. You do make a good point though, sis."
Not content to let the noogie go un-returned, he gets her in a head lock and delivers a playful shoulder punch. He knows not to mess with a black woman's hair. Only horrible things can come from it.
For a fraction of a split second, Kelly tenses a bit at the headlock, more out of long-learned reflex than actual fear, smirking and giving a whimsical "EEP!" from the punch "I ALWAYS make good points! I should have sold knives for a living!." She pulls him into another hug "Unhappy acceptance is much better than denial. I'm not entirely thrilled either, but i would say we've both had it worse in ways. I mean, it can only go up from here, right?" she gives a hopeful smile, despite a small hint of doubt in her eyes
It can only go up from here?
Aranha cringes at those words. If Aranha actually believed in fate, he would be saying that his sister was tempting it. As is he's glancing at the door and just shakes his head.
"That's just asking to end up on TMZ."
Aranha then glances at the locker containing his change of clothes. He had to clear out soon and that required changing. That was not something he was willing to do with his sister in the room especially with reporters outside. That was a bad look.
"Alright, sis. I need to change. We'll hang out afterwards."
Log created on 20:27:49 10/01/2018 by Aranha, and last modified on 12:34:14 10/05/2018.