STABLE WARS 2006: Acid Ed versus High Flying Hitman

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STABLE WARS 2006: Acid Ed versus High Flying Hitman

Post  Stan Daniels on Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:49 am

REPOST: FOR LARS
Another Stable Wars 2006 Rewrite

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Stable Wars 2006 Round 2
Acid Ed V.S. High Flying Hitman
Prologue
If I called it a dark time in my father's life I could be accused of melodrama, and cryptic rhetoric that is unbefitting of my station in this world. Beyond simply those objections, there is always the consideration that my father's life in general is something of a dark time, especially for those of us who were not permitted to share in it. With an already storied career, and certain enshrinement in whatever passes for a hall of fame amongst his peers, I think everyone believed that 2005 was the last time he would compete in the ring. I know my mother did, and there are few days I remember her being happier. Of course I wasn't there for that period of time between the spring of 2005, when he retired and the fall of 2006 when he suddenly reappeared on the world stage, what with my own calling having arisen during that time.

I recount this for you, not to attempt to defend my father's actions, but simply to shed light on those issues which perhaps the trial did not properly illuminate. I shared my father's peers for a few years, in a desperate effort to have my father embrace me as he had those who were not of his blood, so I was not surprised to see that it was the man my father referred to as Mr. Brown who lured him back to the business.

Now I do not wish to confuse anyone, so for the purpose of clarity, and to dispel any negative impressions that you might have brought with you regarding my father, I should point out that Mr. Brown was, in fact, his name. My father was NOT a bigot. My father, more than any other man I have known, judged people by their actions, not their facades. That Mr. Brown was......well.....brown, is simply the strangest of ironies. Anyways, I digress.

Mr. Brown, being one of the more notorious of my father's friends, and something of an unlikable character, was the perfect fit to lure my father from his comfortable retirement, back into the world of pain and suffering that had never stopped appealing to his lower instincts. A good son would tell you that his father fought a battle with those base instincts, but that he lost more than he won. Of course most good sons are liars, and my station in this world does not afford me that liberty. My father did not fight his demons; he embraced them with a passion that would have scared the Morningstar himself.

That was where it all began of course, that simple basic need to let loose the demons that burned in his stomach. At first he was tentative about the idea, knowing that it would be the final nail in his marriage's coffin if he returned. Still I think that nail was a certainty whether he left or not, and my father probably knew that. It explains why he threw himself into a job that was certainly going to cost him his body, if not his soul. He left with Mr. Brown, though he stopped first in a small company in Chicago to sharpen his skills briefly. In retrospect he could have used a touch more time shaking off the ring rust. All things considered, it would have been best had he never returned.

Perhaps you are wondering what any of this has to do with the trial. Ultimately very little, but I feel that if you are to finally hear the details of the trial in an unbiased tone, it is important that you understand the events that lead up to it. Not to worry though, as we are almost done with the preliminary information. All that remains is for me to explain the trickery that allowed the Blood Brothers to secure my father's services for Stable Wars. Trickery that was orchestrated by two men: Richard Grayson and Lars Magnuson.

My father returned to the CWA in the company of one Diggzy Brown, whom my father called SUPERSTAR. To be more accurate Diggzy returned to the CWA while my father was polishing his skills once again in the UWF, and set the stage for my father's return. These two men, the SUPERSTAR and the ORIGINAL Rat Bastard, as a fair majority of his peers referred to my father, did not simply return to wrestling. They returned with a plan, and a goal. It was, perhaps, what set them apart from so many of their contemporaries; that neither man wandered aimlessly through their life. Both men had vision, and this time their vision had fallen squarely on the back of their former employer, who had himself returned to the business, though this time as an employee. As my father waited, Diggzy engaged Lars Magnusson in a brutal feud through the early part of the month of August, setting the stage for a showdown near the middle of the month.

Events unfolded even more fortuitously than either my father or Mr. Brown could have anticipated, as the commissioner of the CWA placed another old employee of Mr. Magnusson in charge of setting the match stipulations. Captain all That, a self proclaimed pimp, and chairman of the Commission to Reinstate Federation X set about arranging what he perceived to be the match of the year in the CWA. Lars Magnusson and Diggzy Brown would square off in the city of Chicago, in a match that would climax at the now vacant Federation X arena, where former employees of the defunct company would appear as lumberjacks for the final showdown. The HARDCORE Living Legend, another of my father's numerous monikers, was tagged to be the guest referee, but he vanished shortly before the match was to happen. Captain All That scrambled and replaced my father with his formed tag team partner, and one half of the greatest tag team of all time, The Mad Bomber.

Thus the stage was set. As the match neared its conclusion, my father arrived, and along with the Mad Bomber they betrayed Diggzy Brown. Lars Magnusson lay across the battered challenger and made the pin. A pinfall which stopped just shy of the three count, as Lars was stunned to see the KING of Butt Kickery (my father's moniker too!) laughing at him. The real swerve was on, as Mad Bomber used his explosive skills to keep Lars' supporters at bay while Diggzy Brown and my father laid waste to Lars Magnusson. Needless to say, Mr. Brown was declared the victor in the match, as he and my father made it clear that they had come to the CWA to ensure that what died over a year earlier stayed dead. They would stop at nothing to destroy Lars Magnusson and his dream of rebuilding Federation X.

The obligatory war of words erupted in the wake of the monumental arrival of my father and his partner, climaxing with the inevitable showdown between Lars and the RINGLEADER of Rage (again my father.) In a cage match that was more brutal than can possibly be described in a simple prologue, Lars managed to defeat my father, though not without great personal sacrifice. The greater victory came next though, when Lars, along with his former colleague and current conspirator Richard Grayson, announced that one of the stipulations of the match contract my father had so carelessly signed without checking was that in the event of his defeat both he and Diggzy Brown would be contracted into he service of the Blood Brothers for a period of thirty days.

All of which explains what my father was doing competing in the Stable Wars event in the first place. Now as to how exactly he ended up on trial for kidnapping.....

Jury Selection

Jury Selection
Jackson D. Sauv, hired counsel to Edward O'Herlihy, was the first of the two lawyers to arrive in the courthouse that day. Much of the preliminary work had been done, and of course they had already participated in three closed door sessions with the judge, as well as numerous hours of intensive work researching the prospective witnesses. Still, the planning and strategizing that went into the questions that Jackson was preparing to ask potential jurors on that day was certainly the most grueling portion of the pretrial work. Understanding the psyche of potential jurors, and grasping which ones would be sympathetic to the defendant was key in any jury trial, and Jackson Sauv had never lost a jury trial.

After all, this was his first.

When his counterpart, the esteemed district attorney of Los Angeles who had been elected into office for his first four year term in December of 2000, and had been reelected in December of 2004, Steve Cooley walks into the courtroom only moments before the judge, it occurs to Mr. Sauv that it could be a sign that his opponent sought extra counsel prior to the jury selection. Still, Jackson has a strategy up his sleeve, and he sees no point in wasting time getting to it. All that he has to wait for is the bailiff....

"All rise for the honorable Judge Spurgeon E Smith," the bailiff announces, and those present in the room rise as one to their feet.

The judge makes his way out of chambers and up onto the stand, where he promptly sits and motions for everyone to take their seat. Unlike the formal process of announcing the charges and the case, that announces the beginning of each day in court during the trial, that formality is not included in the pretrial routine, such as the jury selection. The judge sits and shuffles his papers for a few moments, reading over some of the documents that have been brought to him since the close of the working day yesterday, including the motion that Jackson drafted last night. After a long moment of reading, the judge removes his reading glasses and adjusts his frock, mostly because it looks dumb and he knows it. Then he waves the counsels forward for a brief word at the bench.

"Counsel," Judge Smith says, "please approach. I'd like to discuss this motion." The popular District Attorney Cooley, whose platform of being hard on crime began with the speech to his staff in which he mandated that they 'Show no fear in pursuing the criminal element, also be fearless in the pursuit of justice', has already reviewed the motion, and prepared his counter-argument in an effort to prevent the motion from being passed. He believes that the suggestion that Edward O'Herlihy is in danger of not being tried by his peers if processed under the standard jury selection duties is ridiculous. Still, a precedent has been laid down in a similar, if not exactly the same, situation in recent years and that bodes poorly for his objection. Cooley and Sauv approach the bench together and nod to each other in polite greeting.

"I have just seen this motion," Judge Smith says, "and despite certain misgivings, I am inclined to grant it. Do either of you have anything to say?"

"Of course your honor," DA Cooley begins, "I have to object to any sort of special treatment for the defendant. When we talk about a trial by peers, we're not talking about a collection of personal friends. We're talking about societal peers."

The judge is nodding his head, listening to the argument and at least on the surface putting forth the impression that he is in agreement with the objection that is being outlined. When Cooley finishes his assault on the legality and logic of the motion, the judge looks briefly at Sauv.

"Your honor I agree," Jackson says brashly, "with the DA. To assemble a collection of his friends would indeed be a travesty to justice, and is certainly not the definition of peers as the legal system defines it. However, the legal system does recognize that within our society we have distinct social structures that lead to the formation of groups of peers appropriate to each person. Every effort is to be made to allow people to be tried by peers who can best relate to these people and the application of the law in their lives. The suggestion that everyone in Mr. O'Herlihy's society is a friend of his is nothing short of absurd. It would be like suggesting that every lawyer is a friend of mine. I think we can put together an appropriate jury without endangering justice."

"Counselor," the judge says, "I'm inclined to agree. Do you happen to know where we can issue the summonses for jury duty?"

"Your honor," Jackson says as he hands over a business card for his client's employer.

"Wrassle[dot]net." The judge muses, and hands the card to the bailiff. "Get me a full courtroom of people who have had no personal contact with Edward O'Herlihy by tomorrow morning. We'll reconvene then."

With that, the judge slammed his gavel, and the day's work was.......well over wasn't the right word for it. What it means is that the day in court is over. The DA has other cases to turn his attention to, and a completely new line of questions to consider for the potential jurors. Jackson Sauv on the other hand only has one thing to do before tomorrow.

Sleep.

The next morning comes surprisingly fast for the young trial lawyer, as his restlessness and inexperience have his nerves on edge. As he walks into the courtroom he sees a full house, all of them rather obviously in the same employ as his client; who has sought, and gained, permission not to be present for jury selection. Edward mentioned something about Sunset Boulevard and a 'hot chick' before he vanished last night, and while Jackson has no doubt that he will indeed show up for the trial, he would truly prefer that Ed be with him for this. His insight into wrestler's body language would have been invaluable.

The process is rather simple. Twenty people were summoned for jury duty, and twelve of them must stand for the jury. Each of the defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney are in possession of four vetoes that they may exercise to exclude somebody from the jury. Beyond that, they will accept the jury that remains. It is a simple process that has more impact on the trial in general than even the arguments that will be made during it, or the evidence that is presented. It is the key strategy of what follows, and it must be handled correctly right from the start.

"All rise," the bailiff announces once more, and the process is under way, "for the honorable Judge Smith, presiding."

"Be seated." The Judge states as he reaches the bench. "Gentlemen, I see no new motions before me today. May we proceed straight to selection then?"

"Please your honor," the DA agrees.

"Of course your honor." Jackson says.

"Bailiff," the judge says to start a process that will be repeated twenty times today. "Please present Mr.....Silencer?"

The judge's tone makes it abundantly clear that he does not like the fact that these 'peers' have been asked to use their performance names. The trial is running the risk of rapidly turning into a circus, which is something that he won't allow. In any event, Silencer walks up onto the stand, and the DA opens the information packet on this juror. The court employees did a wonderful job of digging up this information in a very short amount of time.

"Mr Silencer," the DA begins, "your bio says that you were briefly in the employ of Federation X."

"Very briefly." Silencer admits. "It didn't work out for me."

"Nonetheless," the DA continues towards his point, "while you were there, was Mr O'Herlihy employed there?"

"He might have been." Silencer replies. "I didn't bother to notice."

"Thank you," the DA says. "We'll exclude your honor."

One down, and three to go. The process is going to take a long, long time. Indeed, it does just that. For six hours the incumbent representatives of both prosecution and defense debate the merit points of each juror back and forth, eliminating a few here and there. Jackson believes that he may have made a cunning move in allowing somebody that the DA clearly expected him to exclude, and so did not exclude himself. A performer from TWF claiming the mantle of Thor. What the DA expected, and what actually happened were drastically different. The reason Jackson didn't exclude the obviously delusional man? His favorite Star Wars movie was Episode 4, which he proceeded to recount line by line, until stopped. Anyone who likes Star Wars that much has to hate Natalie Portman. Score that a win for his client. Actually, in the end, Jackson manages to secure a few wins. The juror list is as follows:

Juror #1 - Thor
Juror #2 - Hooligan
Juror #3 - Mike Anthony
Juror #4 - Robert Morgan
Juror #5 - Brad Rhodes
Juror #6 - Little Al
Juror #7 - Paradox
Juror #8 - Gabriel Black
Juror #9 - Stush Oslo
Juror #10 - Krypto Knight
Juror #11 - Krigshot
Juror #12 - Josiah Power

As the two lawyers leave the courtroom that day, they shake hands and congratulate each other on their ability to put together a tough jury that would be fair and seek justice. The level of hyperbole and dishonesty in the air is unbelievable. With only forty-eight hours until the trial started, Jackson is beginning to realize just how in over his head he is. He steps out of the courthouse, and walks towards the well manicured shrubs to the left.

One vomit later and he's ready for trial.

Trial - Day 1

Trial - Day 1
"All rise," the bailiff's voice rings out at the start of the media event of the year, "for his honor Judge Smith presiding."

The judge enters the courtroom from his chambers and walks up the steps to the bench where he promptly sits himself, and adjusts the wire-rimmed glasses on his face.

"You may be seated," the bailiff advises, and as one the courtroom sits, including the jury.

The judge takes a few moments to consider his notes and then looks up.

"Counselors, are you prepared to being?" he inquires.

"The prosecution is prepared your honor," answer District Attorney Cooley.

"The Defense is prepared your honor," answers Jackson D. Sauv.

"Prosecutor, it's your statement." The judge says, indicating that opening statements are now to be rendered, starting with the prosecution.

DA Cooley gets to his feet and walks around the table in front of him. As with any high profile case, he is determined to be seen as much as being heard. It's good for his public image, and for reelection. As he approaches the jury, he begins his speech.

"Gentlemen of the jury," he opens, "I do not envy you the task that is set before you in this trial. You are asked to review the evidence that one of your own the accused, Mr O'Herlihy, did in fact kidnap and flee the country with the victim, Ms. Portman. Because of the high profile nature of the crime, and the fame that surrounds the victim you will be bombarded on all sides by the media and their interpretation of events. Please be sure to keep a clear mind as to the facts in this case. There is no doubt that Mr. O'Herlihy interrupted a brunch that Ms. Portman was attending, assailed the people who were with her, and then forced her into a waiting vehicle and sped off. Eye witness reports will confirm this sequence of events. The defendant then fled the country using some questionable means of transportation, all the while keeping Ms Portman in confines that prevented her from escaping to freedom. When he finally arrived in Toronto, Canada at the direction of his employers, the defendant then turned over Ms. Portman to a Mr. Davros, who in turn brought her safely to freedom, and turned over Mr. O'Herlihy. The defense will have you believe that it was all an elaborate hoax. That Ms. Portman, despite her absence from this trial or perhaps because of it, was in on it from the beginning. They will claim that she needed some free publicity for her upcoming movies after agreeing to do that horrific interpretation of Alan Moore's classic V for Vendetta. They will claim that she was actually free to leave at any time, and that a great deal of the planning of the event was done by her. You are called upon by society to sift through the facts of this case and not be swayed by mere supposition and posturing by the defense. Thank you."

The DA walks away from the jury looking very pleased with his opening statement. He outlined the events as they transpired, and attacked the widely spread rumors that might have prejudiced his jury prior to the start of the trial. The defense would certainly struggle to overcome that opening.

"Wow." begins Jackson D. Sauv as he himself rises behind the table and looks at the jury. Rather than approaching them, he opts to simply make his case heard while standing beside the defendant, who looks oddly out of place in his suit. "When you put things in that light......it sure sounds like Mr. O'Herlihy did something wrong. Forget life, maybe you should sentence him to death!" The joke is in poor taste, but then Jackson is speaking to wrestlers. More than a few of them chuckle and one or two openly laugh, despite the judge's scowl. The DA won them with facts, but that won't be enough. Jackson is going to win them by speaking to their level. "Or.....and this is just an idea.....you could wait until the real facts of this case are laid bare by eye-witnesses, and allow the truth to set you free of this burden. Free like my client will be, once the truth has been revealed. You see, this is not an issue of kidnapping. It is nothing more than a publicity stunt that has gone awry, leading to efforts on behalf of the entertainment industry to salvage the image of one of their young leading ladies. Too late. How do you salvage the image of somebody who so adequately destroyed the role of Amidala? I tell you now, it is not by sullying the reputation of a pillar of the community like Edward O'Herlihy." Jackson pauses, then smiles. "Hey! Who am I kidding? The only thing that pillar has ever supported in a community is the bar! Am I right?" Again the wrestlers laugh, as they all know by reputation that it must be true. "BUT......being a wrestler......and being a tough as nails son of a bitch.......doesn't make you guilty of criminal intent. That is why you are here. Peers who understand the back room dealings that your promoters make with Hollywood all the time. Peers who can see through the political landscape of a DA who needs reelection and a studio that needs publicity. Peers who can see the truth!"

The opening arguments take less than fifteen minutes, but they leave the courtroom in complete chaos. While the Bailiff gets everyone quieted, the judge calls the counselors to the bench, where he glares at Jackson.

"Young man," the judge says sternly, "you are in a very dangerous position right now."

"Not to worry your honor," Jackson smiles, "danger is my middle name."

"Don't get smart with me son," the judge snaps.

"He's not your honor," the DA regretfully admits, "It actually is his middle name. It's on his driver's license."

"Whatever," the judge brushes that aside, "I do not want to see any more grandstanding in this courtroom. No more accusations, unless you can back them up with fact. And knock it off with the needless humor! Understood?"

"Yes sir," Jackson lowers his head.

Witness #1

The two counselors walk back to their tables, when the judge asks the Prosecution is they are ready to proceed. When the DA confirms that they are, the judge orders them to call their first witness.

"Your honor,"the DA announces, "the people would like to call to the stand Jake Gyllenhaal."

The crowd in the room is instantly buzzing as the rising star of Hollywood walks through them and makes his way to the witness stand. He is sworn in and the DA instantly starts by asking the most pressing question of all.

"Mr. Gyllenhaal," DA Cooley starts, "can you tell us where you were around noon on the 20th of September, last year?"

"Yes sir," Gyllenhaal answers, "I was out for brunch with my friends."

"Can you relate the events that transpired during that brunch?" the DA prompts.

"Well sir," Gyllenhaal replies, "we had just finished having a tea, after our meals, when suddenly this waiter comes crashing in through the doors to the kitchen. He stumbles for a second then collapses to the ground. We notice that there are four or five forks stuck out of his back. A moment later another man walks through the same doors, and this guy is huge. Massive."

"Is that man in this courtroom today?" the DA says quietly.

"Yes."Gyllenhaal confirms. "That's him right over there."

"Let the record show that the witness identified Edward O'Herlihy." The DA proclaims. "Continue Mr. Gyllenhaal."

"Anyways, the big guy walks across the room, looking straight at us the entire way. I see that he's staring almost directly at Natalie, so I get up and stand in his way. He punches me square in the face, knocking me out cold. I don't know what happened after that, but when I came to, everyone else was crying and shouting about him getting away with Natalie." Gyllenhaal concludes.

"Thank you. No more questions." DA Cooley states.

"Your witness." The judge announces to Jackson.

"Mr. Gyllenhaal, I'd like to go over part of your testimony," announces Jackson. "You described my client as massive."

"Correct."Jake says.

"Is that in comparison to your own girlish figure?" Jackson asks.

"Objection!" shouts the DA.

"I'm trying to gain a frame of reference," Jackson points out.

"I'll allow a frame of reference," the judge says, "but you will not insult witnesses in my courtroom counselor." "Of course. I apologize for any offence." Jackson returns to the cross examination. "So you were saying that he is massive....but in comparison to what Mr. Gyllenhaal."

"Anyone. Just look at him." Jake replies. "He's frightening."

"Are you gay Mr. Gyllenhaal?" Jackson inquires.

"Objection!" shouts the DA. "Mr Gyllenhaal's sexual orientation is not on trial here!"

"Sustained." The judge says. "Counselor you've been warned once already."

"My point your honor, is that just because you may look a certain way does not mean that you are a certain way. Nor just because you portray a certain type of person in movies or on television, doesn't mean you are that type of person in real life. Wouldn't you agree Mr Gyllenhaal?" Jackson continues.

"I would. Except about him. He knocked me out with one punch." Jake retorts, clearly perturbed by the questions.

"Right, I was getting to that." Jackson states. "Since you were knocked out you didn't actually see my client forcefully remove Ms. Portman against her will did you?"

"No." Jake admits.

"No further questions your honor." Jackson finishes.

Witness #2

"You may call your next witness," the judge informs the DA

"The people call Mr. Davros," the DA announces.

As one the jury turns to look at the man who enters the courtroom, and walks up the aisle, through the little gates and makes his way to the witness stand. Swearing the oath, Davros takes his place and the DA begins the examination.

"Mr. Davros," the DA begins, "the defense is claiming that Mr. O'Herlihy was under direction from you regarding the kidnapping of Natalie Portman. That seems like an absurd request for an employer to be putting on an employee. Can you explain it?"

"Well," Davros answers, "in the course of running competitions across the full breadth of our industry, we seek to determine who the greatest wrestler of them all is. On occasion, such as this one, we also seek to determine which collection or stable of wrestlers is the greatest. To that end, I sometimes task the performers with assignments designed to measure their creativity and imagination."

"Wouldn't it be easier to just let them wrestle?" the judge pipes in, unable to help himself.

"Your honor please." the DA says. The judge nods, and the DA continues. "So you did in fact assign Ed O'Herlihy the task of kidnapping Natalie Portman?"

"I did," Davros admits, "although I did expect him to come up with a better solution than beating one of his fellow employees half to death, knocking out a well known movie star, and actually terrorizing this fine actress. For what part I might have played in contributing to that, I am truly, truly sorry."

"Did Edward O'Herlihy deliver Ms. Portman to you in Toronto?" the DA asks.

"Yes he did, at which time I instantly took her into my protective custody and detained him for questioning by the police." Davros explains. "By that time, we had already heard of her kidnapping and surmised that there was a very real possibility one of our performers had taken their instructions too literally."

"Too literally? So you never intended for Mr. O'Herlihy to actually kidnap her?" the DA presses.

"Never." Davros exclaims.

"And what about the defense's suggestion that a secret arrangement between yourself and her studio was reached to facilitate this, and boost her media appeal after that tragic performance in V for Vendetta?" the DA prompts.

"Untrue." Davros says simply, although he shifts uncomfortably in his seat. "Plus I thought she was wonderful in V for Vendetta."

The room goes deathly quiet.

"What?" Davros says in confusion, "I did!"

"Your witness," the DA informs Jackson.

The defense attorney gets to his feet this time and approaches the witness stand. He drums his fingers on it for a moment, and then looks at Davros.

"Mr. Davros," he starts, "do your employees always follow your directions explicitly?"

"Practically never." Davros admits.

"So they are allowed a lot of room to interpret what is handed to them as an assignment? Without fear of reprisal from you?" Jackson asks.

"Certainly." Davros confesses.

"Yet it never occurred to you that by suggesting that they perform an illegal act," Jackson points out, "that one of them actually might?"

"Never." Davros states confidently.

"So nothing illegal has ever happened under your watch?" Jackson asks, and the entire jury shifts uncomfortably in their seats.

"Well....." Davros doesn't quite answer. He doesn't need to.

"I see.....and so does the jury. No further questions your honor." Jackson walks away.

He had gone easy on Davros, mostly at Ed's request. Hammering one's current employer too hard on the stand can make for a great deal of difficulty in obtaining work in the future. Plus the star witness was going to be coming up soon, and Davros' position wouldn't mean very much.

"This trial is adjourned until the morning at eight am." The judge announces, and the courtroom begins to empty (though not until after the judge has left.)

Trial- Day Two

Trial - Day 2
Witness #3

"The people call Liv Tyler to the stand," announces the DA at the start of the next day of trial.

The jury focus their eyes on her like she's the second coming, and the young starlet walks her way down the aisle and into the witness stand, where she takes the oath. A quick smile at the jury, and a wink at Ed, and the DA is stunned into silence for a moment. He looks around and notices that Ed isn't really paying any attention to the trial. Rather he's busy conversing with a young man who has been sitting in the courtroom behind him throughout the trail. A young man who looks a good deal like a wrestler, except that he's got a cast on one arm, and some bandages on his neck. The DA's attention snaps back to Liv.

"Ms. Tyler," the DA begins the day, "can you explain for us what you saw on the 20th of September, last year?"

"Sure," she says with a voice as sweet as honey, and lips that Haley wishes she had. "I was at lunch with Jake, Natalie and Susan, when suddenly this big fight breaks out in the kitchen. A lot of banging and crashing goes on, and after about fifteen minutes our waited comes stumbling out through the kitchen door. He's got forks in his back, plus one in his neck, and his arm looks like it's been broken. A moment later Mr. O'Herlihy walks into the room, and immediately looks around. Once he spots us, he walks straight across the room towards us. Jake gets very defensive and jumps up to stand between Mr. O'Herlihy and the rest of our table, kind of blocking my view of things. Then all of the sudden he drops to the ground and stops moving. Mr. O'Herlihy reaches for Natalie and says something, but I didn't catch it. I was too busy worrying about Jake. Next thing I know, Susan is dialing 911 on her phone and everyone in the place is in a panic. The waiter got up and dashed off to try and help Natalie I think."

"Would you be able to tell us how Mr. O'Herlihy looked when he came towards your table?" the DA asks.

"Angry." Liv says. "His face was really red, and he seemed really upset."

"Did you feel like you were in danger?" the DA inquires.

"Not until I saw Jake get knocked out." Liv replies, "then I really started to worry."

"Last question Ms Tyler. Have you ever heard of a studio creating a faked media event in order to bolster a performer's marketability?" says the DA.

"Never," Ms. Tyler states. "That would be reckless."

"No further questions." the DA sits down.

Jackson DANGER Sauv gets to his feet and approaches the stunning Ms. Tyler. With a smile, he begins.

"Ms Tyler did you actually see my client assault anyone?" asks Jackson.

"Well......no but....." Liv stammers.

"You didn't actually see him strike your waiter at any point?" Jackson asks.

"No." she admits.

"You didn't actually see him strike Mr. Gyllenhaal?" he inquires.

"No." she admits again.

"Did you see him force Ms. Portman to leave against her will?" Jackson asks.

"No I did not. I was distracted by Jake's injury." Liv states.

"So you didn't actually see my client do anything illegal?" Jackson charges. "No further questions."

Liv Tyler is excused from the stand, though her time there doesn't exactly inspire the prosecution with confidence about the outcome of the trial. She adds little to the sequence of events, and was rapidly discredited by the defense. Perhaps their strategy to not call Natalie Portman herself was going to backfire, but there was little that the DA could do about it. Her studio had insisted that she not miss her scheduled filming, so she was out of country during the trial. It was odd that she wasn't going to be around though. The DA assumed when he got the news that the studio would relent under public pressure, but they had held fast to their position. It is very strange though. The rest of the day follows pretty much a similar pattern, as the prosecution rounds out the witnesses by calling a bus boy from the restaurant, Susan Sarandon, a border guard who saw Ed and Natalie cross over in Saskatchewan, and a diner chef who claims that they ate in his restaurant. He's rapidly discredited when he claims that after they left, Elvis also visited his restaurant that day. When the second day of trial ends, the prosecution has rested, relying heavily on the facts, and witnesses who one might argue, at best saw only a bit of what was happening. At worst they saw nothing. Tomorrow the defense arguments would begin, and if all went well......end this farce once and for all.

Trial - Day 3


FINAL DAY
Trial - Day 3
"Your honor," Jackson says cautiously, knowing he has stepped on every last nerve that the judge has, "the defense has only a single witness to call in this case, but we believe that it will illuminate the nature of the situation, and exonerate Mr. O'Herlihy."

"You may call your witness." the judge states.

"The defense calls," Jackson announces, "High Flying Hitman, of the SAVF."

The DA frowns, not having considered this particular performer worthy of an interview. His mind races with questions, most of which involve the worth of an injured wrestler taking the stand in an unrelated case. High Flying Hitman makes his way through the crowd and down the aisle, nursing a broken arm, and some bandages on his neck. As he makes his way up onto the stand, he swears the oath and takes a seat.

"HFH," Jackson begins, "I can call you HFH?"

"Sure." the kid smiles.

"HFH," Jackson continues, "how do you feel seeing the man you know as Acid Ed on trial for kidnapping?"

"Objection!"the DA shouts. "What is the relevance?"

The judge looks at Jackson, who has gotten away with an awful lot already. The defense attorney raises his hands to signal that he does indeed have a point. "It will become clear quickly your honor," Jackson promises.

"See that it does," the judge says sternly, "over-ruled."

"HFH?" Jackson prompts the young performer to continue.

"Awful." High Flying Hitman admits.

"Why is that?" Jackson asks.

"Because if not for Acid Ed," HFH confesses, "it might be me going to jail for kidnapping."

"Can you explain?" Jackson says with a winning smile, knowing that that statement just won the case. The shock that went through the room was audible.

"Well......you see......I'm kind of new to wrestling. I come from a pretty crappy background, and I've been the king of bad luck through most of my early life. I'll spare you the details, but I swear that it is true." HFH claims. "In any event, I was matched up against Ed in the Stable Wars competition, with the direct assignment of kidnapping Natalie Portman. Whichever of us succeeded, was going to win, and bring his stable some very valuable points."

"So Ed beat you to the punch," Jackson says, "and in doing so saved you from breaking the same laws that he broke?"

"Not exactly sir." HFH confesses. "Its common professional courtesy in our industry to make sure you're not stealing each other's thunder. Ed dropped by the locker room to meet with me and discuss the competition, and found me packing for my flight to Los Angeles. I was going to kidnap Natalie."

"Did Ed leave you to it at that point?" Jackson asks.

"No sir," HFH answers, "he did not. For whatever reason, and I can't rightly say that I know which one it was, Ed decided that I had promise in the industry. He tried to take me under his wing and offer me some guidance, foremost of which was that we weren't actually supposed to kidnap Natalie. That we were supposed to pretend to do it."

"And you believed him?"

"Not at all." HFH exclaims. "We're talking about the HARDCORE Living Legend.......then SENTINEL of Sedition......the ORIGINAL Rat Bastard. I might not have been around that long, but I'd been around long enough to know better than to trust the man. The tales of his swerves and treachery are legendary. I assumed he was lying to me, so as to make his own task tat much easier."

"So what did you do?" Jackson wonders. "I waited until he was suitably distracted and I hit him over the head with a steel chair." HFH explains. "Then I left for the airport."

"And then you thought the better of it and chose not to go through with the plan?" Jackson leads the witness, though at this point nobody is objecting. Everyone wants to know where this thing is going.

"No sir," he says with shame in his voice. "I flew to Los Angeles, and stalked Ms Portman until I saw an opportunity. Posing as her waiter I served lunch to her and her friends, looking for the right chance to spring my trap. And if not for that man right there, I would have."

High Flying Hitman points at Acid Ed, who nods at the kid, and offers up a vintage hockey smile.

"Can you take us through the events that prevented you from actually going through with the kidnapping?" Jackson requests.

"I can." High Flying Hitman replies, "I had just finished serving the tea that the group requested after their meal and was returning to the kitchen to spring my trap. I walked into the kitchen and found that the staff had all been cleared out. I looked around, but the chefs, dishwashers and other servers were all mysteriously absent. I knew something was wrong, and in the pit of my stomach I felt this ball growing. My first reaction was that the police were on to me already, and I have to tell you.....that wasn't a good feeling. Then I heard the sound of flesh smacking something hard. I looked behind me to see Ed hitting a skillet with the bottom of his hand. I was going to ask what he was doing there, when he waffled me upside the head with the skillet, sending me crashing over the prep counter and through a bowl of Asian Chicken Salad. I landed hard on the tiled floor, but rather than being down and out, or immobilized with pain and confusion, the attack did something I didn't expect. It crystallized my mind. I was no longer spinning with concern over police, or second guessing my tactics and strategy. I was fighting, and this much I knew, and knew well. I sprung up, just in time to catch Ed's double foot dropkick to the chest as he sailed over the same prep counter I had just slid across. He landed on the counter and I flew backwards into the large dishwashing unit. My back ached from the way the corner of the metal unit slammed into me, and Ed was on me in an instant. His hands wrapped around my throat and he started squeezing, obviously going for a choke out. I fumbled, looking for something with which to defend myself and maybe buy some extra time to regain my bearings. I found the high pressure water gun, which I promptly heaved up and unleashed directly into Ed's face. It must have caught him off guard, because he tumbled backwards and grabbed at his eyes in pain. I drove a knee into his face, and sent him stumbling over backwards. My first thought was to drop an elbow on him, but the plethora of weapons around me beckoned. I grabbed a cheese grater and immediately moved in for a little work on his forehead. I should have gone with the elbow; I had only hit him with water after all. As I moved in to work him over, Ed kicked me square in the gut, which caused me to drop the cheese grater. Ed kipped up, which was damn impressive given his age, and suddenly I caught a glint of light flashing off his fist as it swung. I ducked, and watched as his brass knuckles dented in the side of the fridge. Spinning under his arm, I yanked the fridge open and launched a bowl of beaten eggs at him. They splattered into his face and dripped down, but he just wiped them off and stared at me, completely unimpressed. I resolved in that moment, that I was going to make an impression on this guy one way or another. I grabbed the meat tenderizer that was lying on the prep table and launched at Ed who was caught unprepared by the sudden move. The meat tenderizer opened up a cut on Ed's forehead, and he slipped on the egg that had dripped onto the floor. I saw my chance. I turned to run out the door and try and finish my mission. Ed grabbed a server's tray and whipped it at my back, knocking me forward and slightly out of control. I hit the doorframe instead of the door and knocked myself senseless. I stumbled backwards, where Ed hit his devastating, and totally original ACID CUTTER on me. Like so many superstars of our industry before me, I was dropped like a bad habit by the move. Unlike the rest of them though, I somehow managed to draw upon the last of my adrenaline reserves to avoid the flying splash.....I think he calls it the Acid Drop.....that came next. I rolled under the prep station, which thankfully has a very high base. The sound he made when he hit the tiles was pretty gross, but it let me know that I had a minute or two to try and shake off the effects of that awesome move. I pulled myself out the other side of the prep counter and stood up, but I was stunned to find that he was already standing up on the other side, waiting for me. It was like this guy was built for fighting in strange and unusual places. Reaching back, I grabbed a frying pan handle and swung at the guy. Ed stopped the swing by punching the pan with his brass knuckles, but it hurt him worse than it did me. I got some reverberation, but he got the hot oil that was in the pan all over his hand, and the ache of the impact that probably broke a bone or two. As he bent over, grabbing his hand in pain, I took the chance to smash the pan over the back of his head, which knocked him to a knee, and opened a cut on the back of his head now."

"This all sounds very violent," Jackson inserts.

"It is," HFH admits, "but that is the nature not only of our industry, but I would dare say the nature of both Ed and myself. Nice enough guys to have a beer with, but you sure as hell don't want to cross us. In any event, I flew off the prep counter once he was down and drove a knee into his back, which made a sick popping noise. Two elbow smashes and a couple of left hands later and I was certain it was over. Not only was I going to succeed in kidnapping Natalie first, but I was going to go down as the guy who laid out the HARDCORE Living Legend. It was a big moment for me. I lifted Ed's face to let him know it was over, and he poked me in the eye! Just like that, as easy as you please. A finger in the eye. I just about doubled over in pain, from that simple little flick of his wrist. Thirty seconds later, Ed is on his feet as I charge at him with a lot of rage. That really hurt. He tips a shoulder and catches me in the oldest tell in our industry, allowing him to backdrop me onto the cutlery stand. My back ends up covered in about six forks which go clean into me, and I get a small cut on my neck from one of the knives. Probably a steak knife. Anyways, I manage to stagger back to my feet, and Ed just kind of looks at me with this look like he knows it's over. Which pisses me right off. Then he goes ahead and tells me again, he's not here for her. He's there to make sure I don't ruin my career with another bonehead play. That just hacks me right off, and I take a wild swing at him. He blocks the swing and hits a second ACID CUTTER on me. I don't know where he learned that move, but I have to tell you it is simply unfair that he should know it. I might have been able to come back from one, but not two. I stagger sideways from impacting not on the floor as a typical version of the move would cause, but the prep counter. I guess my staggering took me out, through the kitchen door, because when I finally wake up again, I'm lying in the middle of the restaurant, and EMTs are looking after the wounds in my back. I drag myself to my feet and take off out the door, ignoring the shouts of the EMTs."

"And this was the last you saw of Ed?" Jackson inquires. "He had disappeared with Natalie and left you behind. He had won."

"I guess that depends on how you look at things," High Flying Hitman says, "I'm not the one here on trial for something I didn't really do."

"But he did take off with Natalie afterwards." Jackson concedes. "So he did kidnap her."

"It sure didn't look that way when I saw them in Toronto." HFH states.

"Objection. Speculation." The DA shouts.

"I'll allow it," the judge says. "Hitman can you explain?"

"Sure. I get back to Toronto to find out that Ed has been declared the winner of our competition, and I see him handing over tickets to Natalie," High Flying Hitman says. "Turns out she's a huge wrestling fan, and has been a member of the Acid Ed fan club for some years. I hear she was even the president of the Harvard chapter when she was in school. Anyways, I walk over to see what's going on, and Ed explains that in order to stop me from making a career threatening mistake, he called ahead and spoke with the Hollywood chapter president, who explained the situation to Natalie. Ed never kidnapped her, she went willingly. It had all been prearranged."

"What did you do when you heard this?" Jackson asks.

"I punched him. Knocked him on his ass." High Flying Hitman smiles at the memory.

"Which sparked another brawl?" Jackson suggests.

"Not at all." Hitman answers. "He told me that was my free shot. Then he told me that I would see. That there would be fallout from this whole thing and I would be glad I wasn't on the other side of things."

"And are you?" Jackson says with a raised eyebrow.

"Very much so." High Flying Hitman replies. "That man did me a favor. Even if I didn't know it at the time. Which is why I felt compelled to come forward and try and bring this to a just resolution."

Jackson DANGER Sauv turns his attention to the judge. He knows that he has just effectively gutted the prosecution's case, mostly because High Flying Hitman had the courage to come forward and speak the truth when two entire industries were banking future sales on him not doing that. The movie that Natalie Portman is now shooting will get a fair about of extra publicity, but it won't be the sympathetic type they were hoping for. As for Davros and the EC of Wrassle[dot]net, well their curtain had been pulled back, and now there was no covering it up again. The fix was in, and everyone knew it.

"Your honor," Jackson states calmly, "Assuming that the court can contact Ms Portman under oath to verify these facts, I submit that this case should be dismissed. I would also recommend to my esteemed colleague, that his office needs to begin looking into Ms. Portman's studio and into the executive committee at Wrassle[dot]net. Somebody is guilty of something here, but it certainly isn't my client."

"Counselor?" the judge turns to the DA who has just seen a witness that didn't interview well, and had nothing to say earlier finally open up and gut his case.

"You honor....." he seems momentarily at a loss for words, "......I......well......the people have no objection your honor."

The judge nods.

"Then, pending the contact with Ms. Portman," the judge announces, "this case will be dismissed. Mr O'Herlihy, your counselor will be in contact once we have taken Ms. Portman's statement. Rest assured we will be inquiring as to why the information your colleague provided did not come from Ms. Portman's people, or from your employer. You are free to leave under your own recognizance, but please don't leave the country until you receive the discharge notice."

Ed smiles. It is a big, wide toothless smile. The smile of the victor.

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Stan Daniels

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