They say that chloroform has no smell... no taste. But Dean knew better than that now. There was a slight metallic taste in his mouth and a kind of chemical burning smell in his nose. It was disorienting all in itself- but there was a sick part of Dean that enjoyed the feeling. He was a strange guy like that. But right now he had to shake the haze off- he had to focus. Ambrose had to clear his head if he was ever going to get out of here. He was already starting to feel pinpricks and a tingling sensation in his fingers and toes. The feeling crept up his arms and legs and flooded his body. The sensation of control being returned to the owner of the body. It was then that Dean started to notice little details. Like the fact that his wrists were tied together with rope. Or the fact that he could feel a set of hands on each of his arms, lifting what they believed to be his limp and unconscious body. Letting the toes of his boots drag as they ushered him along... but where? Where were they taking him, and more importantly... who were they? Dean opened his eyes and tried to get a grasp on his surroundings but he couldn't. A burlap sack had been thrown over his head to prevent him from seeing. These assholes really seemed to think of everything, didn't they? Well... Dean wasn't about to simply give up now. Ambrose racked his brain trying to remember the fuzzy little details that the chloroform had stolen from him. He remembered sending Sami, Jessie and Jeff off to set up the camera for another promo... he remembered dipping out and smoking a joint; was that it? Had his weed been laced with something? No- that didn't seem right. Dean kept forcing himself to remember. He remembered standing in a filthy hotel bathroom while he smoked. He recalled looking up into the mirror and seeing a grizzled and fuzzy face reflected back at him; one that wasn't his own. It had been looming over his shoulder from somewhere in the shower, like the guy had been hiding there; waiting for Dean to show up so he could make his move. The rest... well, the rest was a blur. And trying to remember it only caused his head to throb and hurt.
So instead, Ambrose decided to figure out where he was going. Dean was hardly a tracker of any kind- but he wasn't ignorant. A gust of fresh air hit him, waking him up even more and flooding his sense with the smell of earth... grass... and pine. Mix that with the cold chill in the air and the crunching of footsteps with every step; and Dean was pretty sure that he was outside in the woods. Not that he enjoyed that prospect, Dean wasn't really a 'nature' guy and after watching the movie 'Deliverance' he wasn't too keen on the idea of being dragged out into the woods against his will. He knew what those insane rednecks wanted to do with a 'Purdy little white boy' like him... and he was going to have none of that. He just had to pick and choose when to act. So for the time being Ambrose just waited- listening to the sound of his captors breathing- not speaking to one another as they dragged him along. When you can't see or move- time becomes a hard thing keep track of. So he didn't even bother. It could have been only a few minuets... it could have been an hour, Dean didn't know.
Suddenly Dean was thrown to the ground. A stinging sensation burns in his knees as he falls to them, hitting the frosted and frozen ground. But still Dean didn't act. He let his upper body slump forward and his head hung low. He was feeling a warmth radiate from his left side- a campfire no doubt, he could hear the wood crackling as it burned. He was grateful for its warmth but he wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for these would-be rapists anyways. So gratitude wasn't something that Dean Ambrose was prepared to give. But what he WAS prepared to give was a blind head butt to the first person who put hands on him. From behind him Dean could feel someone lean over him and take hold of the burlap sack. Ambrose didn't even wait for it to come completely off of his head when without a second thought Dean whipped his head back! Smash! He could hear one of his captors groan and stumble back, clutching his face as blood poured between his fingers. The guy to his right made a move but Dean was ready for him. He swung his tightly bound wrists and caught the guy in the gut and he was about to let him have it in the face when an older, raspy but familiar voice spoke to him.
"Now, really Mister Ambrose... there is no need for all of that. We just wanted a word with ya. There is no need to be so hostile" the voice said.
Ambrose looked over his shoulder towards the man who had spoken to him. And that might not of been the best idea because he was blindsided by a punch to the gut that doubled him over and back down to his knees. Dean shook the painful feeling off and looked up to see the angry face of Luke Harper looking down at him from behind his mane of facial hair. This brought a mocking smirk to his face as the two locked eyes.
'The Lunatic Fringe' Dean Ambrose: "Oh hey, 'Big Rig'...how you been pal? You're looking... I wouldn't say good, because I was never all that good at lying. So how about... alive. For the most part" Ambrose smiled wide and even tilted his chin as if to dare Harper to take a swing.
From over his shoulder came another voice, it was a bit muffled by the sleeve of a leather 'Sons of Serpents' jacket sleeve but Dean could tell it was Mr. Anderson. Ken didn't seem all that happy with Ambrose as he spat back.
'The Head Asshole In Charge' Mr. Anderson: "Well, he's about to look a whole hell of a lot better than you!" he said in almost a snarl as he lunged for Dean.
But that raspy voice stopped him, speaking in a calm but very demanding voice.
"Easy boys, what kind of hosts must me seem like? No... cut him loose. Like I said, we only wished to have a word with him" the elder said knowingly.
Ken Anderson and Luke Harper looked between one another and then reluctantly they approached Dean. Harper pulled a big jackknife from his back pocket. He kept his unforgiving eyes on Dean who simply grinned up at him and lifted his hands up to present the tied wrists.
'The Lunatic Fringe' Dean Ambrose: "You heard the man, cut me loose" Ambrose said with a wink that made Harper consider plunging the knife into his chest.
But Luke resisted and followed orders, putting the blade between the wrists of Dean Ambrose as he jerked up to sever the ropes. Once the deed was done he folded the knife back up and took a few steps back. Never once taking his eyes off of Dean. Ambrose, on the other hand, now began to look around him as he stood up; absentmindedly rubbing his wrists where the rope had been. Judging from his surroundings Dean had been absolutely right. He was in the woods. Snow just lightly frosting the trees and the sky fading into a rich shade of purple around them. And to his left there was a bonfire. Cracking and casting shadows all around, making them seem to move and dance. It was then that he spotted the groups 'elder'. He sat in a antique rocking chair, swaying forward and back. His gray straggly hair was brushed back and he had on matching snakeskin boots and a cowboy hat. At first glance, if fans didn't know any better, they would of just assumed that Bray Wyatt was sick. But this wasn't Wyatt... this was something worse. Much... MUCH worse. This was the 'Elder Snake' himself... this was Jake Roberts. Jake looked at Dean with a menacing gleam in his eyes, smirking rather similarly to Dean himself.
The two just eyed each other from over the fire for a moment before Ambrose took it upon himself to speak.
'The Lunatic Fringe' Dean Ambrose: "I know you're an old, washed up, has been... but I thought even you knew about that little invention called THE TELEPHONE!- honestly... there was no need for all of this, Jake. You're better than that- well, not really. But still, I'm not a hard guy to find. You don't have to go looking to find Dean Ambrose! So if you wanted to talk you should-" but for once, it was Dean who was cut off.
The Snake laughed a little in that gravely voice of his before he spoke.
'The Elder Snake' Jake Roberts: "Oh yes, son. I know you are not a hard man to find. In fact, my boys had no problem finding you at all... they just knew better than to try and approach you. Your reputation for being confrontational is legendary in Attitude Era Wrestling" Jake said, nodding to himself as he locked eyes with the Lunatic Fringe.
If Jake was trying to intimidate Ambrose or even flatter him, it wasn't working. Dean sneered as he bowed his shaggy head and extended his arms out dramatically.
'The Lunatic Fringe' Dean Ambrose: "Well, I aim to please. And you were right to send your two little girl scouts to kidnap me- because had they of confronted me head on... well, lets just say it would end up the way it always does when you Sons of-what the fuck ever cross paths with The Switchblade Conspiracy. They would of gotten hurt. And some how I don't think that would of bothered you all that much, would it? Maybe you are like one of those sick old fucks who sits at home on the computer watching snuff films of peaking out of his window when he sees a man beating his wife. You get your rocks off by watching people get hurt- I should know, we can smell our own. But that doesn't change the fact that you had your dynamic dip-shits PUT THEIR HANDS ON ME! SO HOW ABOUT YOU CUT THE CRAP!... and tell me what it is that you really want? You got me all the way out here, away from my little dysfunctional family... I'm guessing that you wanted something. So spit it out already" Ambrose was starting to grow agitated now, cracking his neck from side to side as he stared daggers back at The Snake.
This made Luke Harper a bit uneasy, and when he took a step towards Dean it was Jake who lifted a hand to stop him. Jake Roberts instead kept his eyes fixed on Ambrose, almost like he was admiring the guy the same way someone might admire a car crash that they can't seem to turn away from. There was a slight appreciation in the way he looked at Dean, like deep down... he understood him. Jake took a moment to collect his thoughts before speaking.
'The Elder Snake' Jake Roberts: "My boy... there is so much to you. So much more than just being the son of a prostitute... or the bastard hell spawn of an alcoholic. Those things, they are just surface deep descriptions. Labels put on you from the moment you fell out from between your mother's legs and they cut your cord. They are oppressive brands that this world would have burned into your very flesh if they could. When the world looks at you, Dean- they see a mad man. A psychopath... a lunatic. But I know that one does not simply judge a book by its cover. I understand that in a case like yours- the complexity is what defines you. I guess you could say it is the string that binds us both, in a strange way" Roberts said in an all knowing sort of way.
Apparently Dean didn't appreciate this because he was quick to fire back.
'The Lunatic Fringe' Dean Ambrose: "Awww, Jake- you're gonna' make me blush. And here I thought it was my boot in the asses of all your disciples that bound us. Or maybe it is the fact that you would know all about deadbeat, alcoholic fathers- after all, you were one! And speaking of parents... wasn't your father a child molester?" the venom in Dean's words made the rest of the group uneasy- but Jake didn't seem bothered.
Instead he nodded and even laughed again.
'The Elder Snake' Jake Roberts: "When you're right, you're right. I've seen the slimy underbelly of society- I am no stranger to it. And neither are you. That is why I felt this meeting was so important. For too long we've been at odds with one another; The Switchblades and my Serpents. For too long we have been counter productive to the things that we want to happen. The truth is, the Switchblades and the S.O.S- they aint all that different, are they? We are just two groups of men, two sets of revolutionaries looking to advance their cause. We are not all that different when you look at us- we are simply two groups trying to change what otherwise would never change. To do what others dread to. In many ways, we are united in that same brotherhood of chaos" the Snake said, attempting to charm the listeners.
Apparently Jake had said the wrong words because instantly grew more hostile and aggressive.
'The Lunatic Fringe' Dean Ambrose: "Brotherhood? Are you serious!? You- you actually THINK we have some kind of brotherhood between us!? Well for a guy who claims to know me so damn well, you don't pay much attention do you!? Because it was a faults belief in a 'brotherhood' that landed me in the predicament that I'm in now! It was a BROTHERHOOD THAT MADE ME SEE THE WORLD FOR WHAT IT IS! And you actually think we share one of those? If so, then I am sure you can see just how well being my brother has benefited Roman Reigns. It hasn't been the best time of his life, that's for damn sure. But if you wanna be my brother, then fine, I'd be more than happy to bust you in the mouth too. Because that is the kind of brother I am. The kind of brother who kicks your ass and takes your things. And from the looks of it- you guys don't have a damn thing I want" Ambrose said a little sarcastically, though his anger was beginning to get the better of him.
Most would of thought this would have angered The Snake, but it didn't, it only seemed to amuse him. While Mr. Anderson and Luke Harper seemed to be unsure on how to react to Dean... Jake only looked on him with more interest and curiosity. His mustached face cracking in a smile when he speaks again.
'The Elder Snake' Jake Roberts: "Now, see... THAT is our brotherhood. It isn’t a union of harmony but one of chaos and destruction. You know that, you can taste it with every breath you breath in AEW. That is why you fight so hard, why you play the games that you do. Now, I can admire that. But tonight, we brought you here to show you that we are not the enemy this week. And even if you don't want what we have to offer, like it or not boy, you need it. Because this week it isn't your pal Sami Callihan or his... lovely little girlfriend that is watching your back. It's us. This week you need to TRUST that you can turn your back on a snake. And to do that... we need to break a little bread. Show a little 'team spirit' for lack of a better word" Jake mused, now reaching down to the side of his chair into a different burlap sack then the one Dean had worn.
Ambrose raised an accusatory eyebrow, watching The Snake with a bit of caution now.
'The Lunatic Fringe' Dean Ambrose: "Oh yeah? And what exactly did you have in mind?" he said this as he kept his eyes on that burlap sack, a part of him expected Jake to pull out one of his serpents.
Jake must of suspected this and he pretended to wrangle something in the bag. But when he pulled his hand out, it wasn't a snake he was holding... but rather, a camera. Sitting in his chair, Jake Roberts points the recording device at Dean. He smiles sinisterly as he speaks.
'The Elder Snake' Jake Roberts: "Well, from what I was told- we interrupted one of those little videos you and your people like to make. So, it is only fair that we should remedy that problem, don't you think? So- how about it kid, can you pour your guts to the world? Because that is what they are expecting. They are expecting you to lead this army right to the gates of hell; they even expect you to kick them down. But Dean, we know better... I know better. I know the truth that is inside of you. I understand... trust me" he almost cooed, like a father trying to inspire his son.
Dean wasn’t a Son of Serpents member but something in him did seem to trust Jake. So as the Elder Serpent pointed the recording device a Dean- naturally, becomes that devil that the AEW faithful know him to be. When the camera was on… the lunatic came out...
The night was growing darker now. The wind was picking up too. The AEW faithful could hear it howl through the trees, shaking the branches so that snowflaks were caught in the breeze and swirled around the inhabitant in the woods. Clinging to the black leather jacket that he had on and sticking in his stringy and messy hair. But Dean didn't seem to notice. Instead he just kept his eyes on the roaring bonfire. How brightly it shined in this darkened place, making tiny flames light up in the reflection of his eyes. Every breath Ambrose took could been seen in puffs of smoke that the wind carried. His boots tromped a half circle around the fire so that it made a snow free clearing as Dean stalked from side to side. Looking more like an animal that a man. His hand reaches up and absentmindedly rubs the back of his neck as though he had been stressed about something.