(FADE TO:.... the faint echoes of screaming, becoming steadily louder and louder.... moments later, the screen comes alive and we see absolute pandemonium! NWL President Medina lays unconscious upon the debris of broken, splintered chairs..... in the ring, Nevada Smith lays unconscious on his back, along with more than just a few security guards and police officers.... in the spectators section, panic stricken fans are stumbling over each other in an effort to escape..... escape from the man who caused all this carnage.... escape from the man we THOUGHT we knew..... the man standing over the fallen NWL Pres. with mic in hand, smiling..... the man known simply as.....)
MAELSTROM: "That's right! RUN FOR YOUR PATHETIC F(BLEEP)KING LIVES! I've done my impasse-penance.... and I've PARDONED myself!! I'm a free man now!! FREE TO DO WHATEVER THE F(BLEEP)K I PLEASE!"
(begins laughing out loud, in a wicked, malicious manner)
MAELSTROM: "You may ask yourself ..... WHY?! Why have I forsaken thee..... (laughs) But that's the WRONG question! What you SHOULD be asking is......"
(pauses as he snarls sadistically....)
MAELSTROM: "WHO!! Who the HELL is gonna stop me? Has-beens like Nevada?!"
(the camera immediately cuts to a shot of Nevada Smith layed out on his back in the center of the ring)
MAELSTROM: "The people you PAY to protect you?!"
(the camera cuts to a shot of the NWL security force as well as a few police officers layed who are also layed out, some of them only now beginning to stir.....)
MAELSTROM: "The BIG BOSS MAN of the NWL?!"
(camera momentarily cuts to NWL Pres. Medina as EMT's are tending to him, moments later we cut back to...... )
MAELSTROM: "WHO!? WHO ELSE YA GOT?!" Adam Benjamin?! HA! He's a deadman, oblivious to the fact that he's walking the green-mile come this PPV! He'll be dealt with soon enough! So who does that leave eh?"
(drops the mic to his side as his smile widens and he starts to nod..... moments later he raises the mic to his lips and resumes speaking.....)
MAELSTROM: "THAT'S RIGHT..... KARL BROWN!! THE DRAGON NO LESS!
MAELSTROM: "Well..... KB! You had better live up to that dragon moniker of yours. Last time we met, people were under the impression that the bell saved..... ME?!"
(begins laughing in a very animated, sarcastic manner)
MAELSTROM: "Just goes to show you how IGNORANT the fans are! It never occurred to those simpletons that the bell may have saved YOU from ME! Saved you from the deadliest hold in all of wrestling..... THE MORTAL SIN! This time though KB, ya won't have the luxury of restrictions....."
(chuckles to himself)
MAELSTROM: "This time KB..... ANYTHING GOES! NO-HOLD'S BARRED SON!! That means that I can snap yer neck in two with the Mortal Sin and....."
(his eyes narrow with just a hint of an evil gleam to them as he pauses to smile....)
MAELSTROM: "No-one will come to save yer a$$! Yer very career KB, if not yer life, will be at risk! And ya wanna know why KB?"
(pauses as his brow furrows with a menacing glare as he tries to contain an evil grin.....)
MAELSTROM: "CUZ I DON'T GIVE A DAMN ANYMORE!"
(Maelstrom tosses the mic aside like so much garbage and proceeds to walk up the rampway, the same rampway which is blocked by the EMT's who have just braced Pres. Medina's neck in a collar as he lays on the stretcher. Without slowing his pace, Maelstrom walks straight at them and through them, pie-facing one EMT out of his way and shoving the other to the floor. He then stops to stare at Medina on the stretcher, tosses him a facetious salute and walks past it. He then suddenly stops and turns, grabs the head of the stretcher and shoves it down the ramp towards us! Medina and the stretcher roll down the ramp at breakneck speed towards us..... the image growing larger with each passing second.... until it totally engulf our screen and we hear a huge crash right before our image turns to snow...... FADE OUT....)
[FADE IN. A tranquil scene, with a lake to one side, a small glimpse of a wood beyond. The air is filled with a gentle breeze, and everything seems calm. Into view strolls a determined individual, dressed in typical casual attire. Karl “The Dragon” Brown, his arms by his sides, takes in the view as he strolls casually past the camera. He stands side on as he begins]
Karl: So, things went my way. Another chance… it seems my career’s been full of these. All told, I’ve been in the title hunt what… four, five times now? Three different promotions? Only two of those have I made it to a title match though. The first was against Adam Benjamin, and history knows full well how that one turned out. And now… [Karl pauses, watching the water]
Karl: Maelstrom. A man who seems to have shed his skin, a man who is born again, more aggressive than ever, meaner, stronger. Better, some might say. Well, he knows how to take out retired relatives. He knows how to take out a commentator, and he sure as hell knows how to take out President Medina. And he took me beyond my limits the last time. By all rights, I have no hope, right?
Wrong. He seems to think that he’s the one in control, that he’s going to break my neck. That he’s the one I have to fear. The same tired old clichés I’ve heard from everyone from the biggest star to the most inexperienced rookie. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed. No attempts at mind games, Maelstrom? You saw last time that they don’t work on me. No truly inspirational attempt at something new and improved? Or are you hoping the OTT ‘big bad guy gone mad’ routine is going to be enough to scare me?
Who are you trying to kid?
Yes, Maelstrom. Lots of questions. Shall I answer them? From what I’ve seen, the answer to new and improved, and to OTT, is yes. You’re trying. Very.
Why the sudden change? Are you afraid that someone’s coming to take your star away? Was all that talk about not caring just a cover-up? I mean, against Magellan, you spoke long and hard about how despite what he said about him being the best, in reality you were because one group of people said you were. Yet you’ve said so often in the past you couldn’t give a damn about that. In that case, why bring it up? You’d have been better off letting Lars think he was so big and mighty and proven him wrong in the ring. Where it really counts.
No, no, that can’t be it. Oh, I’ve got it. You’re worried people are going to think you’re going soft, and want to show everyone how big and bad you are by attacking a few people who aren’t fighters. I say fighters, because that’s the difference between them and me. I don’t just wrestle. I fight. Ask around. Ask X, who himself said he was going to end my career, take me out, yadda yadda yadda, and all that clichéd crap you’re now spouting. He seemed to think I wouldn’t want to fight him in a no DQ, no holds barred, falls count anywhere match, and last I checked… he got suplexed off the top of a cage, and Bitten onto a chain. He made claims very much like you are, mate. And he got proven wrong.
Then again, I may be speaking too soon. I know full well how good you are. I know full well it’s gonna take more than a suplex from ten feet onto concrete to take you out. I also know something else, something you seem to think the people at home might have missed. So, more for their benefit than yours, let me tell everyone.
The bell saved no one. Last time, that draw, the bell didn’t save you, me, or anyone. All it did was bring a premature end to a match. No more, no less.
But this time… this time there is no bell. No stopping, no premature end, no rules. It’s kill or be killed in effect. And you seem to have it in your mind that you hold all the cards, because “YOU DON’T GIVE A DAMN ANY MORE!!!!”
I never gave a damn about the outcome before really. Only once or twice. It’s the challenge that drives me. The chance to better myself. And I know full well that I have a lot to do in order to beat you this time. But, if you for one minute make the mistake that I’m going to be easy to defeat, let alone easy to put out of action… then you’ll find out the hard way what it’s like to be crushed by the jaws of The Dragon before you even got close to hurting it.
[Karl turns to the camera, smiling into it]
Get over your tantrum.
[Karl walks past the camera again, smiling, as we pan round to see the full lake and the wood beyond. A flock of birds, disturbed, suddenly appears like a black flame over the trees. FADE OUT]
(FADE IN:..... to a black screen..... seconds later we hear the bell-tone sounds of an elevator as its doors open in unison with our screen...... from the center of our screen opening towards both the left and right until we are left viewing an office setting. The image bounces slightly as the cameras proceed forth out of the elevator and into the office. It scans around but finds no one, the office is completely empty. The camera's view bounces a bit as it turns back towards the elevator bank and heads for it but suddenly stops as it hears a sound and suddenly swings around. The office furnishings whirl before our eyes..... too fast to really make out any items in particular.... until it settles upon the source of the sound and we find ourselves staring at a door with a gold name plate which reads.... "NWL President - Andrew Medina". The door is slightly ajar and it's at that point that we hear a voice yell from within......)
VOICE: GET YER A$$ IN HERE ALREADY! I DON'T HAVE ALL DAY!
(at that point the images shakes slightly as the cameraman pushes the door open and steps into President Medina's office. As we step into the lavish office we see someone sitting in President Medina's leather chair, but the chair's high back which is to us does little to offer us even the slightest glimpse of his identity)
CAMERAMAN: Um... Mr. Medina? You called for us, said to get here ASAP and to come in filming?
(the man behind the high back chair doesn't respond.... he just continues to stare out the window, admiring the panoramic view)
CAMERAMAN: Mr. Medina?
VOICE: Son, when you address the #1 man of this company, you'd best learn to do so in a more accurate manner......
(the high back chair swivels around, revealing the man known simply as.....)
MAELSTROM: ..... for now, Maelstrom will do just fine!
CAMERAMAN: Um... uh..... I don't understand? I got a message from the office stating that the boss wanted to see right away?
MAELSTROM: That's right son.... now is there any reason to believe that you are in the wrong place? Speaking to the wrong man?
(Maelstrom's glare intensifies as if to emphasize his insinuations)
CAMERAMAN: Um.... absolutely not Mr. Mael----
MAELSTROM: I just told you Maelstrom will do for now.
CAMERAMAN: Oh! Um yessir Mr.... Um I mean... Maelstrom.
(an uncomfortable pause ensues as Maelstrom continues to glare at the camera..... or perhaps the cameraman himself.... seconds later, a smile emerges on his lips just as he resumes speaking)
MAELSTROM: Actually, on second thought.... you can address me, simply as..... EL JEFE! Understand?
CAMERAMAN: Absolutely, um... El JEFE.
MAELSTROM: Okay, now my first order of business is to announce who I'll be facing in the NWL's first PPV!
CAMERAMAN: Um, Mr. Ma--- I mean... JEFE---
MAELSTROM: That's... "EL" JEFE!
CAMERMAN: Forgive me... EL JEFE, that was already announced not long ago by Pres. Med----
(Maelstrom raises an eyebrow as he glares at him)
CAMERAMAN: I mean... it was already announced a while ago.
MAELSTROM: Well, I'm making it .... OFFICIAL!
(Maelstrom takes a pen and begins writing on NWL letterhead)
MAELSTROM: It's SIGNED and NOW, officially sanctioned! I will be facing "Yours Truly".... Adam Benjamin. Which brings me to the real news, as some of you may or may not know, Mr. Medina has suddenly taken ill and as a result, I'll be stepping in and assuming control of things while he's ....... (grins) .... licking his wounds. Now, my first order of business is to straighten out a few things here in the NWL. First and foremost, I want to address Lars Magellan. Lars, your behavior as of late has been inexcusable..... it's the sort of behavior that gives people the impression that the NWL is ..... (smiles) .... outta control. So, I've taken the liberty of perusing your contract.....
(pauses as he opens up the desk drawer and pulls out what appears to be an NWL contract and studies it)
MAELSTROM: ..... yeah... everything seems to be in order.... everything except for one small detail.....
(Maelstrom suddenly tears the contract in half and tosses it up in the air)
MAELSTROM: YEP! That's right Lars..... YER A$$ HAS JUST BEEN CANNED BY YOURS TRULY? Sorry Benji, but you DON'T have a lock on that term. (chuckles to himself) Lars, I terminated yer A$$ in the ring.... and now, I'm terminating yer A$$ from the NWL. So pack yer bra and panties and get to steppin'!
CAMERAMAN: Um... Mr. Mael---
(Maelstrom tosses the cameraman a glare)
CAMERAMAN: I mean, EL JEFE.... you can't d----
(Maelstrom's glare intensifies)
CAMERAMAN: Um... I mean... uh.... I guess we won't be seeing Lars Magellan around for a while.
MAELSTROM: No doubt. Okay, now the following people, I'll be putting on probation.... which translates into... I'LL BE WATCHING YER A$$ES AND IF I FEEL YER STEPPIN' OUTTA LINE.... YOU'LL BE DEALING WITH ME..... PERSONALLY! That little runt of a nephew of mine... Dakota Smith. Dakota, I want you to submit to a drug and urine test to rule out steroid use! Yer behavior as of late leads me to suspect you've been using..... AGAIN! Now, being the forgiving guy that I am, if the tests come up positive.... yet again, (smirks) I'll give you ONE more chance to clean up by agreeing to seeing a psychiatrist of MY choosing 5 days a week. And don't worry, the NWL WILL pick up the tab! (chuckles) Adam Benjamin, I've decided to forgive you for that little soda toss because, well, being British an' all..... well, I figure that's punishment enough!
(begins laughing mischieviously)
MAELSTROM: HACKER! Yer also on probation for one simple reason. Any man who can't protect his woman is .... NOT A REAL MAN! In fact, You have exactly until ONE MINUTE after I capture the NWL World title to recover her or I'll be forced to pull you off the active roster.... afterall, the roster is for MEN... not men-wannabees! Don't fret none, I'll find you some work as someone's valet or maybe even, someone's .... BIOTCH!
(pauses as he pours himself a drink of water)
MAELSTROM: Nick Savage! It's a good thing Medina tossed yer no-talent A$$ outta here.... saves me the trouble of doing so myself! WATCHER!! You best settle your lil' soap-opera problems on YER OWN time, otherwise I'll pull the spotlight off of ya and demote ya to dark matches. In fact, if I see just one more "goodfella" hanging 'round, I'm gonna hit you so hard on the top of yer head that yer ankles are gonna break! Understand?!
(Maelstrom gives a maniacal, somewhat comical expression before continuing.....)
MAELSTROM: PULSAR! Son, ya broke my heart! Here I was thinking ya had potential.... thinking that ya had what it takes.... then ya done gone an' shattered my expectations of ya by losing to The American in the manner ya did. Ya shoulda seen that coming son!
(shakes his head disparagingly)
MAELSTROM: Clearly, ya need some more schooling.... an' if ya don't get yer act together soon.... I'll take ya to school MYSELF! And finally, Shawn Hart. Now son, I KNOW that life can be confusing at times, but you have got to control those "feminine" tendencies of yours! Hell man, if you're really that confused, just go to the bathroom and look at what you got between yer legs!
(pauses as he feigns stopping to think)
MAELSTROM: Well, actually, that may only confuse you even more! Hell, just STAY IN THE CLOSET while we're on the air okay? So you guys.... ALL YOU GUYS I JUST MENTIONED! You've been forewarned. I'm watching you.... ALL OF YOU! So tread lightly or you'll be receiving a pink slip from ..... EL JEFE!!
(winks into the camera as he offers a broad, animated smirk)
CAMERAMAN: Uhhh, EL Hey Faye....
MAELSTROM: That's "EL JE-FE". Say it with me...ELLLL JEEEE---- FEEEE.
CAMERAMAN: Excuse me.. EL JE-FE.... what about the guy who kidnapped Data? I'm a bit curious why you didn't mention him considering what he did.
MAELSTROM: Hmmmm.... actually, yer right. DOP! You should know better than to "enterprise" within the NWL without offering a "tribute" to .... EL JEFE! So, YOU have until the end of the week to make things right. I don't want money mind ya.... I have plenty of that, particularly since I've decided to cut everyone's salary by 20 percent. Sooooo, what can we come up with that wouldn't cost you a dime? What would be a fitting tribute to me, a man with whose insatiable appetite for pain is only matched by his desire for..... pleasure? Know what I mean?
(Maelstrom winks as he offers a lecherous laugh)
CAMERAMAN:El Jefe, don't you want to at least mention your upcoming match against Karl Brown?
MAELSTROM: Not really, I don't really see the point. The man THINKS he knows what's going on in my mind.... just like every other PIZZLE before him! He's talking this trash about the Dragon's Bite as if he'll be in control of the match..... No....I don't have anything to say regarding that match.... well, hold on.... actually, I do have a thing or two I want to say to you KB.
(motions for the camera to come closer)
MAELSTROM: KB..... lets get one thing straight... right here.... right now........ YOU will NOT be dictating the pace ..... YOU will NOT be controlling the flow..... but more importantly, YOU will NOT determine the outcome of our match! There is ONLY one person capable of handling all that.... and that's why they call him.... EL JEFE! But please, by all means, continue to amuse us all with yer lil' facades of confidence and serenity, I mean, I can't fault you for acting like that, you can't help acting ....."British"!
MAELSTROM: Alright one last order of business. On yer way out, I want you to call a tow truck and tow Mr. Medina's car outta MY parking space.
CAMERAMAN: Uh, I think maintenance would be better suited to---
MAELSTROM: I'm not paying you to think. I'm paying you to do what I say!
CAMERAMAN: Um, actually, you're not paying me at all. My checks are signed by Mr. Medina.
MAELSTROM:I wouldn't worry about that if I were you.
MAELSTROM: Because I'm firing you as well.
CAMERAMAN: You can't fire me! I'm in the Union!
MAELSTROM: Oh, I didn't know that. Well that doesn't leave me much choice now does it?
(you can almost sense the cameraman smiling as we see the camera's image move from side to side as he nods a negative response with the camera)
MAELSTROM: Hmmm.... then I'll just fire the union as well! NOW GET THE HELL OUTTA MY OFFICE BEFORE I DECIDE TO GIVE MEDINA A HOSPITAL ROOMMATE!
(A loud crash is suddenly heard as Maelstrom slams a fist down on the heavy oak desk and glares menacingly at the cameraman. The cameraman backs away cautiously, as quickly as he can, fading us out on the man now known to us as..... EL JEFE ..... FADE OUT....)
[FADE IN. A wrestling dojo, two figures in the ring. One is a rather large, muscular man, and the other is much smaller, dressed in green and white. The larger man has the smaller one in a sleeper hold, as the smaller of the two shifts his bodyweight, taking down the larger man with a headlock, wrenching in on the neck until a man outside the ring calls for them to stop. The two get up, shake hands, and the larger man leaves the ring. The smaller of the two, now recognisable as "The Dragon", takes a sip from a bottle of water, as the trainer outside throws a towel to him. This trainer is known to some fans as Shinji, one of Karl's Japanese trainers]
Shinji: You're doing well, Karl. Keep training away like this and you'll soon see greater success. Match at Unleashed was a let down for you, yes?
Karl: Yeah, yeah, I know. I guess in the back of my mind I was concentrating more on the NWL scene than the Empire one.
Shinji: I did warn you.
Karl: I know. But, this time, there aren't any distractions. This match is too important a challenge for me to focus on anything other than what happens in the ring.
Shinji: This Maelstrom person, he seems to have gone far into the deepest waters, yes?
Karl: I think most would agree with you there. You know, something Suicide taught me was to never believe your own hype. That's something I've heard Maelstrom saying as well in the past. But, you're right; he seems to have gone off the deep end. But I try not to think about that.
Shinji: Hm? Please, explain.
Karl: Well, knowing him, he could be trying to out psyche me before the match. And I'm not about to let it work. He can go around with all the insanity he likes, throwing all the temper tantrums he likes, making all the wild claims that he likes, but it doesn't change the fact that this match has two ways it can go; the one has him winning the title, the other has me winning the title. That's the way it is.
Shinji: But does it not concern you that he is claiming himself above everyone else in the promotion?
Karl: He can prove that by winning the title and helping the company put on a strong showing time after time. If the company folds with him as champion, then it shows he wasn't bigger than the NWL. If it does well with him holding that belt, then yeah, maybe he'd be right. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Still, I prefer to think that no-one is bigger than the company. But if he likes his narcissistic ways, he's entitled to them. Nothing more I can do.
Shinji: I see you're point, Karl. But, would you not say at least that his actions are irresponsible? Acting as if he were the boss, changing his name, calling all others weak and pathetic? Like Hacker, Pulsar, or Watcher?
Karl: Like I said, whatever floats his boat. Although he's one to talk about soap opera's when he's had one going on pretty much since day one. His words are full of hypocrisy, but if he's too blind by his own self-painted delusional aura to realize that, then nothing I can say is going to change his mind.
Shinji: There is truth in that. He does appear to have it drilled in his head that he is superior. The best way that you can prove to him otherwise is to defeat him, whether narrowly or totally, in the ring.
Karl: Exactly. But, let him carry on with his veneer and show of confidence. It’ll make his downfall, when it occurs, whether at my hand or not, all the more poignant.
Shinji: You know, and I am sure Suicide would agree, Maelstrom has thus far said nothing that has not been said ad nauseum.
Karl: And you know full well he’s heard everything I’ve ever said before. That’s the problem with wrestling, and life in general. It’s all been said before. But let’s leave “El Jefe” to his delusions. How about I do some more CV work before the next training match?
Shinji: Good idea. Shall we say… two hours CV?
Karl: Better make it three. Give you time to prep the opponents properly. That last guy wasn’t all that challenging.
[Karl leaves the ring, moving towards a treadmill, and begins running at high speed up a steep incline, as Shinji moves over to teach some other students, letting some know that they have three hours until they step into the ring with Karl. FADE OUT]
(FADE IN: ...... and the first thing we see is Maelstrom, still in President Medina's office, he's leaning back on the high back chair with his legs crossed and extended out and on top of the desk. His hands are clasped behind his head..... the picture of total relaxation.... but his demeanor is stoic. With a nod of his head, he orders the cameras closer. Without hesitation, the camera zooms in so close that we take in every single detail...... a field of unshaven nubs stretches across his face, with only the occasional patch of hairless scar tissue here and there to disturb an otherwise full-growing, short-cropped beard. His eyes, smoldering flames of intensity, glare at us and narrow ever so slightly, right before he begins to speak.......)
MAELSTROM: You know KB...... you're NOT foolin' anyone with yer Peter Pan, clean-cut, humble-pie, proper exterior! That kind of behavior simply doesn't exist in the world WE live in...... the world bordered by four-corners and controlled by a mere three seconds! Fact of the matter is KB...... yer nothin' more than a HYPOCRITE 'cuz yer too much of a coward to say what's REALLY on yer mind! Yer TOO concerned with....... being courteous and pleasing the fans! Telling them all what you THINK they want to hear! C'mon! You speak about MY words being ad nauseum? HELL KB! What about the line of BULL yer flinging eh? You know what I'm talking 'bout! That crap 'bout you not caring 'bout titles but ONLY 'bout improving yerself?!
(pauses as he feigns thinking then suddenly bursts out laughing)
MAELSTROM: GIVE ME A F(BLEEP)KING BREAK KB! Like you said, I've heard it all and THAT line is one of the OLDEST! Me?! Say what you will about me, but at least I SPEAK MY MIND! I'm an a$$-KICKER, not a$$-KISSER! Don't get me wrong kid, ya got skills..... ya got potential..... but ya don't have the "proper" drive...... the foresight necessary to bring it ALL home! If ya did, then MAYBE ya woulda beaten yer old British butt-buddy Benji in the MCW and EPW for those titles, eh? Two shots at gold and two failures...... just a shame that a HAT-TRICK just may be looming on yer horizon. Ya can rest assured however, that I'll do to Benji what you were incapable of doing twice, 'cuz right after I school ya, Benji's next at the PPV!
(a slow, malicious smile comes over his face)
MAELSTROM: What I would suggest to you KB is a little bit of an attitude adjustment. You speak of me being delusional when actually it's YOU who are living in a fantasy land! Why? 'Cuz yer NOT being true to your own self! Yer living a LIE KB! Ya see KB, there's a HUGE difference between strategically "feinting" and outright "fronting". I FEINT! YOU FRONT! How far do you actually think yer going to get whispering as you do...... being a 20-watt bulb? Practicing civility? Hell KB, with all due respect to yer..... ahem, (raises an eyebrow).... in-front-of-the-camera-abilities..... I almost dislocated my jaw yawning while watching your segments!
MAELSTROM: Unless of course that's yer whole game plan..... to bore me into submission! I've been referred to as a "political mastermind" and "political snake" by FW Torch..... and with good reason.... 'cuz I AM! My successes are NOT by accident KB, but rather by design! The first mistake guys like you make is to ASSume that my brawn gets the job done, when in reality, that's only the resulting means-to-an-end! Every move I make is calculated and changed on the fly if necessary.... all led by THIS!
(taps on his head)
MAELSTROM: Ya see KB, I'm not yer average "all brawn-no brain" type of competitor like Dakota.... NO! My body, as destructive as it can be on it's own, is ONLY a tool.... an extension of the REAL threat..... the REAL power..... THE VOLUME! Question is KB...... who's behind YER brains? The fans? That lil' Shinji dude? The seat of yer pants? Suicide even?
(a wicked smile appears)
MAELSTROM: Ya can't go 'round having yer strings pulled..... somewhere down the line ya gotta turn the tables and BECOME the manipulator! Yeah, I know what yer thinking..... but reality isn't always kind..... not meant for the meek or faint of heart. The heart of yer problem lies right in front of ya KB ..... ya simply ..... DON'T CONTROL THE VOLUME! Ya think I'm delusional 'cuz I'm here right now in what USED TO BE Medina's office? Taking control of an unmanned vessel racing towards the finish line? HELL, whether you'll ever admit it or not, whether ANYONE would for that matter, I did what needed to be done! For whatever reason..... the former head of this federation is incapacitated, and I'm keeping the course true until his..... ahem (smiles).... return. It's a thankless job, but I don't care 'bout gratitude...... ya see, it's just the type of guy I am. EL JEFE, controlling the volume!
(his wicked smile widens as he laughs to himself and gets up from behind the desk to proceed walking towards the door)
MAELSTROM: Ya see KB...... without the volume, yer reduced to a 15-watt bulb, getting lost in the shuffle...... maybe so much so that yer upcoming screams of anguish may just go unheard. Face it KB.... yer volume has been..... MUTED!
(Maelstrom nods knowingly as he exits out of the office and tells the secretary outside to hold all his calls until he returns. The secretary gives a wide-eyed, confused look, not knowing what to say, apparently oblivious as to what's been going on. She simply stares, dumbfounded as the man now known as EL JEFE, steps into the elevator and offers us a wink as the elevator doors shut close in unison with our view ..... FADE OUT....)
[FADE IN. Karl is sitting alone, in front of an NWL backdrop, calmly. He’s dressed in his wrestling gear, complete with green and white training jacket]
Karl: You know, I always thought Maelstrom might try that. But the thing is, I am who I am. I’m nothing more and nothing less. What you see, with me, is what you get. I don’t know about the little fantasy Maelstrom likes to picture himself in, the one where he’s total king, but I don’t tend to go round deluding myself.
You ask what’s really on my mind. What’s on my mind right now is this match. The outcome can wait until the final bell, when the announcer reads out the referee’s decision. Is that too much for you to grasp? That someone cares more about giving it their all than winning a piece of tin on a strap of leather? Come on, Maelstrom. I thought you were more intelligent than that. My goal in life isn’t success. I just want to prove to myself just how far I’ve come. The title is a measuring stick, to show me where I am and how far I have to go to the next level. You can make all the little statements about me being a hypocrite you wish. Fact of the matter is you seem to be the one who’s losing the mental game.
Maelstrom, let me give you a brief history lesson. I was brought up in a polite environment. I always speak thusly. Polite, not letting things get to me. If that means I’m not driven, then so be it. I’m the product of my upbringing. From Bedford to Nottingham, to my university career at UEA, I’ve always been polite and courteous. If anything, it’s what makes me who I am. I’m not fronting, Maelstrom. No, far from it.
You speak of being led by your mind. I know that. I know that at least seventy per cent of the victory is in the mind. Outwit your opponent, rattle them, make them start to question their own resolve, and you’ve mastered over half the battle.
Let me make that clear to you. I KNOW THE BATTLE IS MORE MENTAL THAN PHYSICAL.
Loud enough for ya?
I personally don’t care either way what you think about me. My drive to better myself is unshaken. This match is a test. I know full well I might lose. Hell, I’m expecting it. Prepare for the worst; prepare like your opponent is thousands of times better than you in all respects. That’s something all the people I trained with have told me, from Shinji through to Suicide, and all the others in between. And it’s how I’ll continue to train. I’ll let my skills do the talking, not trying any pre-match bullsh[expletive deleted] like you.
Volume? Apart from the amount of hot air you’ve been blowing, Maelstrom, I don’t see any volume from you. No. What I see, despite what you like to pretend, is a scared little boy. The typical school yard bully, trying desperately to get attention. You’re like a lot of the older guys in the wrestling world; you can see your light fading, and you’re trying desperately to hold on. Well, try as you might, your light is going to fade. At my hand or not, that’s yet to be decided. But your light will fade, boy. My career’s starting, and I have a long and arduous road ahead of me. You, well, all I can say is you’ve earned your retirement, and when it comes, I hope you enjoy it.
[Karl stands, walking closer to the camera]
Karl: Maelstrom, this match is bigger than either of us. This is history.
I wish you everything you wish me.
[Karl walks past the camera, which focuses in on the NWL logo. FADE OUT]
(FADE IN..... to the nerve center of the NWL itself.... the broadcasting control room! There we see Maelstrom standing over one of the communication techs, monitoring Karl Brown's latest MIC spot. He remains motionless, one hand caressing his chin as he glares stoically and attentively to what Karl Brown is saying. He then mutters something inaudible to the tech in front of him, who immediately re-runs a portion of Karl Brown's segment. Again, Maelstrom watches attentively..... taking it all in as he nods faintly before turning around and addressing the cameras.....)
MAELSTROM: Well KB, for someone who feels SO secure in his persona, you certainly felt it necessary to meticulously explain just WHY you are the way you are. If it were me? Hell, I could care less 'bout what you thought of me..... I mean, let's get real here, it's not like what you think or say actually matters to me anyhow. Regardless, I feel the need to correct you on something you said during yer lil' "elaboration rant". Something 'bout the ..... TITLE being the measuring stick?
(offers a very animated, "give-me-a-break" expression)
MAELSTROM: Get a clue KB! The title isn't the measuring stick, at least not the ultimate one.... I AM! You win the title, and yeah, you can measure yourself as the best of the NWL "WHILE" yer the champ... but that's it! You beat me however, the #1 ranked wrestler in thw WORLD TO DATE..... someone with a career triple-digit win and single-digit loss history.... well now, THAT'S a measurement that'll carry you BEYOND the realm of just an NWL title reign! That's an accomplishment that only a select few can boast..... that's the ultimate in "exclusive clubs"! Unlike an NWL title reign, which will ultimately come to an end, you beat ME and that is a FOREVER type of reign that will vastly increase your marketability! And while I know you'll likely say my ego is making it's presence known.... that I'm doing nothing more than posturing..... the FACTS are irrefutable! You can acquire "temporary" NWL recognition by winning the strap.... or you can capture INDUSTRY-WIDE recognition, the world over by defeating ....... ME! It's all or nothing, that much is true..... but the fact still remains, history will remember you MORE for defeating ME, than for winning the NWL title. It's by no means a shot at demeaning the NWL title, it simply is what it is..... THE FACTS!
MAELSTROM: Now, onto this other jibberish you spoke of.... 'bout my career winding down? Hell, that's almost as ludicrous as your earlier crap 'bout my being a scared lil' boy! Ya know, I was always of the frame of mind that if ya don't have anything intelligent to stay..... then you should SHUT THE F(BLEEP)K UP! And YOU have the nerve to talk 'bout "ad nauseum"?
(smiles wickedly as his eyes narrow)
MAELSTROM: A little for you though eh KB? Why is that when people like you are unable to grasp a concept..... or for that matter, are unable to exercise a bit of foresight as to what is developing down the road..... they immediately reach for their labeling machine? You accuse me of being delusional because you wear blinders! You can't figure out where the hell I'm coming from, let alone where the hell I'm going with all this and it's eating you up inside! YOU, KB are the scared little boy.... not me!
(chuckles to himself)
MAELSTROM: But be my guest, go on with your cliches' and ASSumptions 'bout how I'm losing a step..... my mind...... whether I'm fronting or not...... it's all good. Believe me, it's not the first time I've heard it, and I'm sure I'll be hearing it for YEARS to come. This match though, is NOT bigger than both of us as you suggest. This is YOUR big break.... not mine! Like you said..... I'm "expected" to win..... the hands-on favorite if you will. I win and I've simply defeated, yet another opponent. But YOU! You win..... and you not only win that strap of gold..... you not only defeat the man that probably has the highest win percentage of all time...... no KB..... you win, and you also get to say you beat the man who now runs the NWL! You get to boast a win over your boss..... EL JEFE! Hell, it's like hitting a multi-million dollar lottery!
MAELSTROM: If you don't choke first that is! As for your wishes, save 'em for someone who actually needs them...... save them for someone like yerself......
(Maelstrom winks and smiles faintly as he turns his attention away from us and motions for one of the techs to get up from his seat as he puts on the head-set, takes a seat, and begins monitoring the control panels himself..... FADE OUT.....)
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