Darkwing is hanging from a pull up bar as Pablo, the grizzled hairy mexican trainer, snarls at him.
Darkwing executes another pull up.
Darkwing thinks to his match with Eli and Brian Hollywood. He shakes his head as he recalls the sloppy roll up he executed to win the match, which, with his weight advantage, was enough to hold Eli down. It was something his Sifu taught him in Jeet Kun Do. Not the sloppy roll up itself, but the act of holding an opponent down.
But such cheap tricks couldnt bail him out of every hard matchup. The rust was real. It was obvious that 6 years was too much to overcome in one match, but wrestling, like everything else, was a process and we get to grow here with Darkwing together.
One person determined to grow Darkwing was Pablo. The stocky and hairy mexcian version of Mickey from Rocky had known Darkwing for a while, and watched him grow into a competent martial artist. Truth be told, he was annoyed Darkwing went back to HOW and his goal was to get Darkwing to acknowledge his reasons for returning.
Darkwing feels the burn, but he pushes through, as Pablo’s eyes narrow at him. Darkwing is in his full wrestling gear, as Pablo demands it to fully be his true self while training.
Pablo: What the fuck was that roll up? You wanna talk about it now?
Pablo shakes his head.
Pablo: hmm. Okay. Stop.
Darkwing drops to the ground. He’s sweating and breathing deeply. He really isnt feeling this conversation.
Pablo: How are you going to finish off your next opponents?
Darkwing: I…..I don’t know.
Pablo: You know what is odd to me? You haven’t said anything yet. No firey Darkwing speech. No jokes. No trash talk. You can level with me. Its just us. Why haven’t you said anything yet?
Darkwing looks away for a second, and ponders the question. He can’t deny Pablo’s observation.
Darkwing: ……cause im bored, Pablo.
Darkwing: I…..I havent found a reason to be…me. The only thing that wakes me up, is Bobbinette. She’s a tie to my past.
Pablo nods slowly before dropping a bomb of a question.
Pablo: What about Jatt Starr?
Darkwing: Jatt….he seems…broken. Desperate. As he is now…..he wont rekindle my fire. So its fine if we dont fight again.
Pablo seems surprised.
Pablo: Then why are you back in HOW?
Darkwing: I don’t know. To help a friend?
Pablo: You love Bobbinette, but not that much right?
Darkwing smirks and resumes his pull ups.
Darkwing checks his cell phone as he sits in his custom royal blue Tesla. He hasnt spoken to Elon Musk in a while and thinks to himself he should visit the facility he has in Texas soon. But these thoughts are quickly dissipated as he sees some missed texts from Bobbinette.
‘We have a match.’
Darkwing replies quicky, ‘We do?’
Bobbinette was apparently on her phone and instantly replies,
‘Yep, I think we are opening the show this time, which is beneath us, but more evidence they want to keep the black hall of famers in check. But we’ll show them, right?’
Darkwing replies, “yeah. Who are we fighting?”
‘Bobby Dean and Jiles Cancer I believe.’
Darkwing’s brow narrows. He genuinely is confused.
Bobbinette doesn’t reply this time. And for Darkwing that says more than her supposed reply. He feels so disconnected and lost at times, back in wrestling. He doesn’t know who is who, he recognizes some of the old guard, Kostoff, Sektor, MMM, Starr, and a couple others, but that doesn’t seem to be who or what HOW is anymore.
He feels out of touch. He genuinely knows nothing of his opponents and although he feels like its a waste of time, he should see what they are saying, right?
Darkwing decides to give it a few days. He will fly out Friday night. Its Tuesday now. Let’s give his opponents some time to muster their thoughts.
Darkwing was dressed in a simple white button up shirt and some dark jeans with black and white Nikes. He’s driving down PCH, Pacific Coast Highway coming from his house on the cliffs. He wants to go down to Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s for a few things before a quick training session with Pablo. It’s been a busy week as Darkwing has some projects in the works and one of them involves a national TV spot he shot before returning to HOW. So theres a bit of a….last minute feel to his movements today. He is rushing to get everything done before 10PM his time so he can pack for his flight.
Suddenly, breaking his thoughts, he hears the all-to-familar whine of a police siren. He looks in his rear view, and checks his speed. The speed limit here was 40, he was going 39. Thankfully, he naturally drives slower when he’s deep in thought. The police car is indeed pulling him over.
Thinks Darkwing as he approaches a gas station near the Hawthorne blvd intersection with PCH. He pulls in and parks the car at a pump and turns the car off. Instinctively, he quickly gets his license and registration on the dashboard and puts his hands on the steering wheel before the officer even gets out the car. For black people, this is entirely recommended and normal procedure to avoid being shot for allegedly pulling out a weapon when merely reaching for paperwork. Darkwing even starts recording on his phone, facing it towards the window from the cup holder in the center. He is able to darken the screen so its not as obvious what hes doing.
Even where Darkwing went was intentional, as there are plenty of cameras around here and Darkwing can be at least vindicated later if the cop does anything wrong.
Darkwing’s hand trembles, same as before. He’s anxious.
The police officer is white, balding, and a bit chubby. Clearly past his best days on the force, but still hanging on. He has the classic CHIPs shades on(80s reference) and a small hitler-ish mustache to go with it. He approaches the window, which is already halfway down. He glares at Darkwing, peering into the car as well. He sees the fresh looking 37 year old with his hands visible and license and registration on the dash, and is a bit taken aback.
Officer: What are you doing over here?
Darkwing: Driving, or so I thought.
Officer: Okay, lets try that again, okay? Where are you headed?
Darkwing: Southbound on PCH.
Officer: Headed to where…?
Darkwing: To some point south of our current position.
Darkwing is incredibly calm. His sarcasm and relaxed demeanor have the intended effect of controlling the interaction thus far.The officer is uncomfortable and Darkwing notices this. “I most defintely got killed on the plantation for being defiant in a past life” Darkwing thinks smiling internally.
Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?
Darkwing: Well, I was going 39, which is slightly under the posted speed limit. My registration is to date, as im sure you’ve checked. Um…my taillights are not out. My car is unique even amongst Teslas so its not matching any stolen vehicles. So no, I haven’t the slightest clue.
Officer: I see you have your documents ready. You get pulled over often?
Darkwing: Im a black man in America, officer. Wanna take a guess?
The officer looks uncomfortable immediately. Darkwing trapped him. They both know this is the all too classic Driving While Black. Darkwing has, in the most veiled and slickest of ways, made it clear he was aware.
Officer: Give me your drivers license.
Darkwing: Im not obligated to, since you’ve made no mention of any crimes committed, but im in a good mood. Here.
Darkwing smiles wide, mouth closed though, the teeth will come when the officer was finally defeated. He rolls his window down fully and hands the license over. The officer looks it over, and looks confused.
Officer: You’re Matthew Crawford?
Darkwing nods slowly, eyebrows raised in a slightly mocking way.
Officer: You wanna tell me why you’re out here, or does this need to turn ugly?
Darkwing cant help but chuckle.
Darkwing: You see the address on my license, right?
Darkwing: So….lets use some detective skills, if you can. If that’s my address, why would I be about 5 miles away from there?
Officer: Im asking the questions here.
Darkwing: Sure, but im trying to get us both, mainly you, to the answer here. So….why would I be 5 miles from my home?
Officer: You’re telling me you really live there? It’s not some friends or lovers house?
Darkwing: Ha, nice deflection. You know better. Or are you implicitly saying its not reasonable that a man like me could live there?
Officer: Get out the car smart ass.
Darkwing’s smile is gone now. He feels his anger boiling. He’s been pulled over so many times……
*17 years ago, City Of Industry, CA 8:22PM*
GET OUT THE CAR!
Matthew Crawford, a young Darkwing who had still been undiscovered on the indys, back when he used a Diamond Cutter as a finishing move(The Darkness Cutter), was being pulled over by a mexican, overweight cop with a large obnoxious handle bar mustache and stubble to go with.
‘WHEN I FLASH MY LIGHTS, YOU PULL OVER IMMEDIATELY!’
The LA County Sheriff didnt even bother to wait till he got to the car. Darkwing back then drove a 2000 Hyundai Elantra colored white.
Darkwing: Im sorry, I was trying to find a safe place.
Darkwing had pulled into an abandoned parking lot off the road to a warehouse. It was dark, and road was narrow.
“YOU DONT MAKE DECISIONS! I DO!”
Darkwing trembled. He already had his license and registration out.
The Deputy snarled, “You nearly caused an accident back there.”
Darkwing: When I pulled out the gas station? That car had barely broke the plane of the intersection, and…
Deputy: DID I ASK FOR YOUR INPUT??
Darkwing was stopped cold.
The anger boiled.
*16 Years ago, Moreno Valley, CA 6:56PM Perris blvd*
Darkwing was walking down the street to his mothers house in the area. To switch things up, he had taken the bus to the local mall and decided to walk a mile back for a small bit of exercise. It was good to do normal things, as wrestling the indies was tiring and unforgiving.
Darkwing was wearing a black hoodie with jeans and grey New Balances. About 20 feet ahead of him was a black dude with a white tshirt and sagging jeans.
Suddenly, a Riverside County Sheriff pulls up with the flashing lights. He stops both Darkwing and the other man and makes them get closer.
Deputy: So….hiya boys doing?
A half hearted ‘fine’ was shared by the two black men.
Deputy: Well, im just getting to know people in the neighborhood. I know youre wondering why I stopped you. I just want to get to know people here.
Suddenly, a mexican man on a bike speeds by.
The deputy looks a bit flustered.
Deputy: See, ill stop him too, its not just you two boys.
Darkwing knew what this was.
Deputy: Where you two going?
Darkwing: Firstly, we are not together. He just happened to be going in my direction.
Deputy: Oh okay, where are you going then?
Darkwing: To my mothers down the street.
Deputy: Where you coming from?
Darkwing: The mall.
Deputy: And you?
He motions to the other black dude.
Black man: I was headed home to the halfway house around the corner.
Darkwing cringes. ‘No…he’ll assume..’ he thinks as the officer blurts out,
Deputy: Oh? Got any drugs on you?
Darkwing’s anger boiled.
Darkwing: Yes. No. Im not being detained. You didnt observe a crime. If I get out this car, I will be filing a complaint with Eric IMMEDIATELY.
Darkwing: Yes. Eric Garcetti, the mayor. I met him at a dedication event for a library in South LA recently. Great guy. He’d be very interested in this. Wanna see where it goes?
The officer hesitates.
Darkwing: You know, I have a match against two people I dont even know. I have to go destroy these people because I wanna win. If I can go and crush people ive never even heard of, dont think I wont ruin the supposed career of some numnut cop who cant fathom how a black man can live with rich whites.
The officer stares and hands back over the license.
Officer: Have a good day.
He storms off and speeds off.
Darkwing: Bobbie was right. It really is some bullshit being black in HOW. They dont know what it feels like.
Darkwing shakes his head, ready to prove once again black excellence is here in HOW.