Chapter View

What Has Gone Before

Pregame Warmup

Welcome to PRIMETIME!


Lawrence Stanley vs. Troy Douglas


Hornet vs. Nova

Zeroing In

Brotherly Love

Champion's Challenge Tag Match


Kevin Watson vs. S.A.T.

Good Cop?

Dan Ryan vs. Eron


Ivy McGinnis paced the production truck from end to end as PRIMETIME began. She didn’t know why she was so nervous, she’d been backstage for hundreds of shows in her dozen years’ career. Maybe it was because they were coming off an event like GOLD RUSH and Thomas was haphazardly putting pressure on the company to top that event when it would be almost impossible at this venture.

Maybe it was because she was struggling with the lack of caffeine in her system.

Maybe she knew the CSWA’s glory days were already passed – they were well past the point where they could prolong the 1996-2001 explosion, and the only option Ivy, Buckley, and the rest of the roster were willing to accept was a quiet rebuilding, and a second explosion.

Sink or swim might have been okay for 1998, but they were all ten years older and more jaded… and it made more sense (to her, at least), to just… build a boat.


How long was Billy Parsons trying to get her attention? She flinched, broken from her daze, and looked at the young tech. “What’s up?”

“I think we’ve got a problem.”

She walked towards the rows of monitors and scrutinized. The show had just started, Camera One was focused on Buckley and Sammy, Camera Two was a wide angle shot showing the entire arena, Camera Three was the main camera, currently focused on the CSWAVision screen, and cameras four through six were at ringside, waiting for the matches to start to give the appropriate cover.

“What’s going o—n?”

With an instinctive flick of the wrist, Billy switched the live feed from camera three to camera one, and he was almost positive none of the fans at home saw the word Initializing... on the screen.

“Tell the operator on three to stay where he is,” she ordered, as she nudged the tech next to Billy out of his chair, “and punch up the Vision feed on my one, and the code on my two.”

FOUND CSWA version 19
DELETE Windham
DELETE Voltron
DELETE Stephen Thomas
INSERT h#&&!**!$

There was no time to lose. Her fingers hit the keys almost instinctively, and every other tech in the room either crowded her or leaned over to see what she was doing.

File corrupted.

“One down.”

Invalid IP


Invalid IP
Invalid IP
Invalid syntax

Ivy exhaled as she leaned back. “Hex encryption,” she said to one of the younger kids that she didn’t recognize, “I think we’re good.


“Not necessarily,” said Billy, as he pointed back to the screen.



Change is here.

“You need to get in the text directory, Miss Ivy.”

Change is here.

When were these kids going to stop calling her Miss Ivy? It had been a good six years now.

Change is necessary.

“I’m in,” replied Ivy, “Damn it, we’re both in!”


But she was a faster typist.


A text window popped up on the side of her screen, complete with signature red text.


As if on queue, the letters began to appear, one at a time, on CSWAvision.

“Not this time, motherf…”


“He’s bounced!” said Billy, as the techs shook hands and high fived, “Ivy, the screen’s blank.”

“Not anymore.”


“And we’re in to the first match,” said Ivy, “I think we’ve got the screen secured for tonight.”

“What about the rest of the systems?”

“He’s good,” replied Ivy, “He’ll be able to get through this coding eventually… next show I’ll hook my laptop to the truck and run security through it – I’ve got some impenetrable barriers on there.”


“Trust me.”

She looked down at the monitors, watching the match unfold. But her gaze returned to the text box.

Can we really trust you?