Naval Discipline Sept 11, 2016 22:59:00 GMT -6
Post by Patrick Jones on Sept 11, 2016 22:59:00 GMT -6
Timing can be everything. Sometimes, circumstances just come together at time by pure chance. Other times, situations are intentionally created. Visionaries of Wrestling has absolutely created the perfect situation for Breakthrough 51. Well, the company organized things as well as possible. Ryan Omega, Sky Sangue, and the Board of Directors saw a chance to take their company’s show to Annapolis, Maryland on the show falling closest to September 11th. Unfortunately, the company’s bi-weekly schedule (and Friday night time slot) prevented the show emanating from Alumni Hall at the United States Naval Academy is actually occurring on September 16th, but the gesture is obvious and well-deserved by the men and women attending the Naval Academy.
It is probably fair to say that more than a few members of the VoW roster could learn a thing or two from the Midshipmen. Their dedication and mental strength is something that most every person on the planet should aspire too. Their physical fitness is absolutely elite. The bravery it takes to sign up for five years of active duty service after completion of courses at the Naval Academy is incredible. Those 17 and 18 year olds are essentially locking themselves onto a plan that will take at least nine years to complete. That course will also likely involve spending at least some time in a combat zone.
Meanwhile, in VoW, people cannot even keep an alliance or promise for more than a few weeks. People run away at the littlest inconvenience. Wrestling may be a business, but you do not have to leave your honor and dignity at the door. Some do just that though because those actions are what are most beneficial to them. One person who has tried to always do things the right way has also decided to pay even a modicum of respect by asking for, and receiving, permission to spend a day training with the Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy.
Drenched in sweat, Patrick Jones comes running to the end of the 4-mile course. Running may be a bit too generous though. Most of the Midshipmen have already completed their run. Jones is…well, he is not walking, but it would probably be more accurately described as a job. The standard issue yellow PT shirt of the Naval Academy is totally soaked. It is a much darker shade than when he was given it this morning. A few Midshipmen are waiting for him. The first to speak is actually a young woman.
“Twenty-two minutes, Jones? Are you kidding me? We should have pushing until you can run faster than a girrrrl.”
The drawn out last words obvious intent as an insult draws a little laughter by the rest of the group, made of three guys and another female. The male that speaks up is standard military issue, about 6 foot tall and probably in the low single digits on percent body fat.
“Don’t feel too bad, Jones. Cook has made it her life goal to embarrass any man who can’t outdo her during any physical activity. She nearly made Cassidy pass out during the push-up section of the fitness test because she did hers facing him and spent the whole time belittling him if she ever got ahead of him.”
The slightly thinner and shorter man next to him slightly hangs his head, presumably being the Midshipmen Cassidy the story is about. Cook, the woman who originally spoke, pats Cassidy on the back. He cuts her a slight glare, which causes her to shrug and smile wryly.
“Thanks, Laughton…Midshipmen Laughton? Sorry, I still don’t know all of those rules. I don’t have any experience with the military. They tend not to want the partially color-blind in a combat zone.”
Laughton, the military prototype, laughs shortly.
“Lieutenant Brickley was really enjoying being able to torture you for not getting that right earlier. We can’t make it easy on you civilians.”
The last word is said with a severe amount of disdain. However, the jest is obvious from the grin on his face. The reminder of earlier tortures has a much worse impact on Jones though. His face screws up in pain.
“Thanks, I was getting tired of getting…cycled? That’s what you call that hell, right?”
The group of midshipmen all nod and even look a little impressed that PJ has picked up the slang for punishment through physical training. Cook speaks up again.
“It is a good thing you didn’t mention getting ‘smoked’. Some other celebrity or athlete had asked the Commandant about if that would happen to him. That mistake was made in front of our entire company. He had to do every exercise while repeating ‘Cycling is my favorite sport.’”
Jones starts to join them in laughing at how awful that experience was, and probably some relief on his part that he had stayed quiet earlier since he almost made the same mistake. That term is Army slang, so the Naval Academy’s leader would certainly not appreciate being asked about something using Army phrasing. Anyway, Patrick’s laughter was cut short as he clutched at his abdomen with a sharp intake of breath and grimace. His discomfort is noticed by the Midshipmen and just adds to their enjoyment.
“Take care of yourself, Jones. We will see you at the show on Friday. You go recover. We have to get to class.”
Jones nods for a moment, starting to smile before becoming very serious.
“Will do. And thank you…all of you.”
He forces himself to stand up straight and look each of them into their eyes.
“Thank you for committing to serve our country. You have no idea how much I appreciate this honor. It may just seem like another day of training for you all, but to see into this world….it’s incredibly humbling. I like to think I am in pretty good shape. You all know this is more than just physical training, but it’s a lesson more people could be reminded of.”
As he finishes talking, Jones shakes the hand of each Midshipman. He has a steely-eyed look of determination on his face. The departure from his normally jovial nature is a dead giveaway of how seriously he takes his respect for what the young men and women before him represent and are doing with their lives. The Midshipmen seem to understand, as they all have also become more serious. The hand-shakes are met with reciprocated nods of respect. After having shaken each hand, Jones turns away and begins to walk towards the parking lot that can be seen between two buildings while the six young Naval officers head in the other direction to another building. Cook’s voice sounds out again though as the two parties separate.
“Oh, and Jones, you better not lose to a girrrrl! If you do, I will personally make sure you do PT with us for the next month!”
More laughter can be heard from the group, and Jones smiles slightly. However, his eyes still look very focused. In fact, they narrow a bit as if he is trying to focus on something in the distance. Nothing is there except parked cars. Jones keeps heading that way. His pace does seem slower. No one would need more than one guess as to why that might be the case today.
A friend is waiting for him in a running car though. John Cruxton is in the driver’s seat of a simple, all-black Chevrolet Impala. Jones reaches for the passenger side door handle but hesitates with his hand over the handle for just a second before opening the door. He climbs into the car and basically collapses. It is as if every muscle in his body has simultaneously relaxed. The chair and his skeleton are the only things giving his body any form. Cruxton shakes his head disapprovingly.
“Maybe this is why you are losing so often. Should I bring you back here tomorrow? I am sure we can work on something with the Academy’s leadership. They could use you as some sort of marketing tool. You might actually in be good enough shape to win some matches. As you know, winning should be just about the only thing on your mind too. You only have until Armed and Dangerous.”
John, while typically serious, sounds like he is admonishing a child. His voice actually has a harsh edge. Jones looks over at him, relief turning to exasperation on his face. The way PJ’s eyes dart up at the ceiling, likely calculating how long is left until Armed and Dangerous, even hints at some worry.
“John…I know. Contract is running out. I’ve done jack shit lately. I know how this business works. If I don’t offer anything, I won’t get anything back out of it meaning my pay and cut of merch and gate will suck. Spare me the details. We’ve talked about this before. I am doing my best, alright?”
Cruxton shakes his head slowly. The expression on his face is not exactly one of disappointment, but you get the idea that he may think Jones does not really understand the magnitude of his situation.
“I know you get along well with Omega, but Sky Sangue is the one who you have to negotiate with on this. She does not have the sentimental attachment to you that your past bosses have had. You will not get her to be lenient because of loyalty.”
Jones slams his right hand against the glove compartment in front of him.
“Damn it, John, I freaking know! Besides, my last boss hated my freaking guts. He would have fired me if I wasn’t lining his damned pockets. Greedy little…aggghhhh!”
The yell of annoyance is joined by another slam of the dash.
John’s tone had taken on some compassion but was cut off quickly.
“I’ll win, alright?! I get it. Katie is having hard times herself. She can’t even figure out who she is. The girl is freaking talented as hell, but if she can’t get her head screwed on straight, she’ll never see a foot coming at it.”
Cruxton just sighs as he silently pulls the car out onto the road, and the two friends head off into the night. Maybe Naval PT is not Jones’s hardest test he is facing…