Unscripted '12: Vega (c) vs. Connor Reese vs. Ricky Runn (Mayhem Title)
Deadline is 11:59pm Central Time, Friday 14th December. Extensions as per thread.
The scene is a dark and desolate New York City street. A foggy mist hovers eerily above the wet asphalt as a gentle rain drizzles down upon it. The street lights barely illuminate the area. Parked along the sidewalk is a dingy looking white van, witch graffiti along the side of it which reads "ESCO." It looks like a randomly vandalized, typical delivery van. The camera slowly pans in towards the tinted windows, making it impossible to see in.
We cut to a shot inside the back of the van. The walls are elaborately lined with a plethora of technological machinery used for communication and surveillance purposes. Random screens flicker, random machines beep, and in the middle of it all sits a skinny man in his mid 40's with thinning hair. His glasses lay low on the brim of his nose as he tilts his head up to look through them. He's wearing a long sleeve button down with the sleeves rolled up, a loosened black tie, and a pair of disheveled pants. He stairs into a computer screen before speaking into his headset...
The room is clear. You're good to go whenever you're ready.
Clear? Already? Are you sure?
What'd I just say, dammit? Room is clear, you have a green light.
The scene cuts to a nearby moonlit rooftop. The view is much more clear at this height, away from the foggy mist that looms below on the street level. Here we find Vega as he pulls a black mask over his face, matching the rest of his entirely black outfit; down to the gloves, utility belt, and even his gun securely holstered on the side of his right thigh.
Vega casually walks towards the side of the roof and hops up onto the ledge. As the camera looks down to share the same view he has, we can clearly see that this building is at least 50 stories high. The white van is hidden, along with the rest of the Manhattan streets by the fog. Vega turns around so that his back is facing the edge of the roof. Without hesitation, he leans backwards and falls off the side.
We cut to a different angle where we see Vega effortlessly repelling from a wire attached from his utility belt to the side of the roof's ledge. Initially it was hidden from our view by Vega's body. He pushes off the side of the building and glides down the rope a couple of stories before gently landing back on the building. He looks through a window into a luxurious looking apartment. As he peers in, Vega notices one of the lights are on off in the distance.
I'm here, haven't infiltrated yet. I see a light on, though. Should I proceed?
Yes. You are good to go.
Vega hesitates for a moment, as if second thinking this order, but instead he tries to open the window. It's locked. He reaches for his belt and pulls out a small motorized contraption which quickly unhinges the lock. After placing the device back on his belt, Vega opens the window and, like a cat, enters the apartment without making a sound. He unharnesses himself from the rope and walks in.
Good. His office is in the northeast corner of the apartment. That's where his computer is.
Vega gingerly walks through the apartment, not making any noise. The light is coming from a room to his left, but Vega's mission objective is to the right. He looks off towards his left, but goes right instead. Vega approaches a locked room, and again with the same device as before, quickly unlocks it and walks in. He flicks the light switch on and the office becomes perfectly illuminated. The computer, however, is odd. It is an old Macintosh, extremely large in comparison to the laptops and PCs we're used to seeing. Vega, however, doesn't react any differently as he walks right up to it. He presses a button to turn the old computer on.
The computer is booting up.
Good. Once it has, upload the files onto your floppy disc.
As the screen begins to light up, Vega leans in to observe an open schedule book on the desk to the side. As he reads its contents, the camera zooms in to clearly see the month the book is open to; "December, 1994." Vega flips through a couple of more pages before he hears the door knob behind him begin to turn.
I thought you said he was gone!
Leave no witnesses.
Eliminate any witnesses!
Vega looks around and realizes there is nowhere to hide. He spots a window, and just as he is about to run for it, the door opens.
Vega stops in his tracks. He stands up straight with his hands up in the air. Behind him is a man in his silk pajamas, barefoot, holding a gun. He holds it confidently, aimed directly at the back of Vega's head as he cautiously walks towards him.
You move, you die. That's a promise.
He places the gun directly on the back of Vega's masked head.
Slowly, the man reaches for Vega's thigh, and removes his black gun from it's holster. He tosses it to the side before returning to an upright position, still pointing the gun at Vega.
Vega obliges, and turns to face the man. He stares down the barrel of the gun, remaining motionless.
Who are you?
Don't say a word.
Why are you here?
Do not compromise yourself.
Vega says nothing.
Nothing to say!?
Vega remains silent and still. The man, frustrated now, reaches with one hand towards Vega's mask while the other holds the gun. He yanks the mask off, revealing Vega's face clearly for the first time. It's clean shaven, to go along with his shaved head. The man furrows his eyebrows as he returns to his original stance holding the gun at Vega.
I've never seen you before. Who are yo-
Suddenly, without warning, Vega grabs the gun hoisting arm while gracefully leaping up into the air. He performs a flawless flying armbar, bringing the gunman down to the ground. Vega wrenches back on the arm just enough to get the man to let go of the gun. He mercifully lets go of the hold before breaking the man's arm, but immediately gets to his feet while picking up the dropped gun. He points it at the downed man, directly at his face.
The man lays there on his back, his hands above his head with a scared look in his eyes.
Please, no... just, take whatever you want!
No what? Please!
What do you mean "no!?" This is a direct order!
I'm not a killer.
Good! Yes, thank you. Please, just take whatever you want, I won't call the cops.
Then why do we give you a gun!? Eliminate the witness!
This wasn't part of my mission!
Do you know what happens to someone who disobeys a direct order!?
Do you know what we do to rogues!?
Yes, I do.
What are you talking about!?
THIS. IS. A. DIRECT. ORDER. GOD. DAMMIT! ELIMINATE THE TARGET!
Vega closes his eyes for a brief moment while taking a deep breath. He slowly exhales before softly speaking up again...
...Vega then opens his eyes...
Present Day, New York City
...and the rest is history.
The scene abruptly cuts to Vega and Alexis sitting at a park bench in Union Square, downtown Manhattan. Vega has the long hair and goatee we're used to seeing him with. He's wearing a long black pea coat and a red scarf. Alexis is wearing a pea coat of her own, a white one, with a light purple scarf. Both are drinking hot coffee out of styrofoam cups on this cold December afternoon.
So that's it, huh? That's the story of your first?
She thinks to herself for a brief moment before asking another question.
So, it was a job gone wrong?
I don't think it was. Our intelligence was never wrong before. I was trained to kill, but I always thought the best jobs were the ones that left no evidence of me ever being there. I've always believed the entire purpose of that mission was to eliminate the target, and never to retrieve whatever information that they allegedly needed me to steal. They needed me to get the first one out of the way... unleash what they knew was inside me.
And, I know what you're wondering. I know what you want to ask me, but are probably a little hesitant to. You want to know how it effected me... if I went to sleep that night, and if it haunts me. It's always what people want to know... those who can't do it themselves, they always wonder; "How can you sleep at night? Can you sleep... at all?"
Well, did you?
Did I what?
Did you go to sleep that night?
Vega casually takes a sip of his coffee, enjoying it with a grin on his face before replying... just as casually.
Somebody once told me, during my training, that it's always the first one that you remember. Truth is, I remember them all... but what may be the sadder truth is that not a single one has ever effected my sleep. Not then, and not now. The only thing that keeps me up at night nowadays is a good party or better girl. It was like I was a natural. As if I were meant to do it. It's a killer instinct. It's something that was within me the entire time, I just never knew it until that very moment. And you wanna know what I realized at that moment?
I realized that I wasn't sorry at all.
She furrows her eyebrows, a bit disturbed by Vega's candor as he takes another sip of his coffee before continuing.
It's an instinct I was born with, and it's an instinct I know both Connor Reese and Ricky Runn lack. Did you hear Connor asking for a submission match for my Mayhem Title last week? Claims it's the only way to restore respect to the championship. The pathetic fact of the matter is that Reese had his chance at the Mayhem title against me... and he gave it up. He had a stand in, somebody else to do the job for him. He didn't have the balls, didn't have the guts to step in the ring with me, and furthermore didn't have enough respect for the title to bother wrestling for it! Now... he wants to restore respect to it? That's what I'm doing, right now. I earned the title shot against three other people, and then after Connor Reese's little stunt, I took out that Boy Scout Ricky Runn to finally take what was rightfully mine from the start.
That's how I know Reese is weaker than me. Perhaps not physically, I don't profess to be a brutish kind of guy... but definitely mentally. Psychologically I am certain I'm levels above anything he could ever imagine. There is no killer instinct in that cowardly man. If it was in him, he would have finished me when he had the chance. His opportunity was laid out for him in a silver platter, one on one, and he passed. Now... now both he and I've got a third man thrown into the mix. A man I've already defeated, so I'm a little confused as to why I've gotta deal with him again. But if the higher ups want me to make an example out of Ricky Runn once again, so be it.
They both remain silent for a couple of moments as they enjoy some more of their warm coffee. Their breath is visible in the cold air, Alexis brushes some of her hair away from her face before breaking the silence.
But, last week... you were the one laying face down on the canvas. You were the one taken off guard and taken out. You were the one who was knocked out, unconscious. It was you, not Connor Reese and not Ricky Runn. It was Vega, The Mayhem Champion, laying flat on his face next to his precious golden title.
Face down at the hands of neither one of those two men. It was Alex Bowen who took me out... former Mayhem Champion in his own right. See, what he did... I respect that. I don't care if I was already down, I don't care if he got me from behind. Alex Bowen took the Mayhem Champion out. Simple as that. Not Connor Reese, and not Ricky Runn. I learned something about all thee men last week on Meltdown. Connor, he attacked me before I ever even said a word. That was a slick move... but he couldn't finish the job. Not even close. A couple of sloppy punches that barely rocked me at all, that's all he did. He couldn't get that Ricky off of him to finish me off. C'mon, I dealt with Ricky pretty handily.
Then, Ricky Runn actually pulls him off of me. This is what I mean about these men lacking a killer instinct. Because of Runn's do-good attitude, he and Connor got involved in a little bitch fight which ended with both of them falling to the outside. But... this Bowen guy. Alex Bowen... he might have something in him. I wouldn't mind getting my hands on Alex, but that time will come. I know very well what my mission is right now and who my targets are. My mission is to leave Unscripted '12 with my Mayhem Championship, no matter what. My targets are Connor Reese and Ricky Runn. I don't care if it's a submission elimination match, I won the damn title with a triangle choke. I don't care if it's a falls count anywhere match, I'll fight anywhere in the arena, anywhere in the streets. I wouldn't care if it was a three way elimination submissions count anywhere match for my title... whatever kind of match these people want, I promise you I will walk away with my Mayhem Championship.
And what about Alex Bowen?
I'm ready for him this time. If he wants to poke his head into my match, step into my business one more time... I'm all for it. I wouldn't even care if they made this a four way match so I could make an example of all three men at once. I won my first four way match to earn the title shot, why not win another to hold onto it? Either way, three way, four way, whatever kind of match... I'm ready. That curb stomp Bowen laid on me last week took something to pull off, and it took something out of me. But it wasn't enough. Reese and Runn, they could learn a thing or two from Bowen. But still, here I am... still breathing. A wise man once said "you don't hunt what you can't kill." Well, Ricky Runn... and Connor Reese? They lack that killer instinct. They don't have what it takes to finish the job. They don't have it in them to...
Vega looks past Alexis, off into the distance before finishing his thought with a sinister grin on his face...
...to pull the trigger.
It was a bright, sunny day in a children’s park in Miami. The camera pans through the sight of the large park. We had kids swinging happily on the swing-set, a young child laughing happily while he went down a large, yellow slide. Then the scene sets to the monkey bars, where we see a slender kid with messy, long blonde hair playing on the monkey bars like it was his natural habitat. He see him going back and forth, and sometimes doing them backwards. The kid had to be at least 9 years old, yet he was still enjoying the thrill of swinging back and forth on a set of bars. Eventually, the boy was approached by a short, brown haired girl looking up at the boy with a sense of admiration, the girl then shouted.
"Ricky you monkey, get down here!"
The boy looked down and smiled back at the girl before lifting himself up to hook his legs around the bars to be at eye level with the girl. The two were only a matter of inches away from each other. Both of their cheeks were a bright red before the brunette leaned in and gave the boy a kiss on the cheek. Causing him to lose strength in his legs and having him fall head first into the sand of the playground.
The camera then fades away from the two young love birds to the sight of the adult Ricky Runn thrived on as a kid. Ricky is sitting at a bench, the park was near the beach so Ricky could take in the beach view, in the corner of his eye Ricky could see the old playground that used to be Ricky's stomping grounds as a kid. Back then, the park seemed so endless and so big, but now, Ricky had his doubts that he would even fit in the big yellow slide anymore. Ricky is in a rather casual attire for his trip to Miami, his hair was pulled back while wearing his WZCW tee-shirt with baggy jeans.
Ricky while normally wouldn't be watching the playground, to a rather funny sight where a portly boy began to attempt going on the monkey bars. Ricky chuckles and says to himself.
"Oh this is going to be good."
The kid then progresses and get's to the monkey bars. The kid looks like your average 10 year old, well maybe if a 10 year old boy after eating 2 other 10 year old boys. To say he was overweight is the understatement of the century. The kid's curly hair almost looked like someone glued potato peelings to the top of his head. He also wore a rather large T-shirt that possess the ability to cover the boys obtuse belly. However the sight of his belly quickly revealed itself when the large kid extended his hands up to the sky to grab the monkey bars. With the kid's short height, and the portly shape, he was unable to even grab them. The kid then backs up, gets a little speed, makes a jump for them and...
...falls... right on his face.
Ricky covers his lips to prevent the kid from seeing the absolute joy the face plant, but even Stevie Wonder would think that was way too funny for his eyes. Once the kid stands himself up right, he quickly wipes the sand out of his face and off his shirt, he sighs and does his best to ignore the laughing and moves to sit down on the bench next to Ricky. The daredevil scratches the back of his head and says with a cheerful smile.
"Hell of a face plant kid, my friend Mikey should start taking notes from you."
The kid looks over with a displeased look on his face, he looks up to Ricky and replies with a snarky attitude.
"You know how weird it is to be talking to strangers?"
"You know how weird it is to be sitting next to them? Consider us even."
The kid rolls his eyes before crossing his arms over and pouts.
”So kid, where’s your folks? I don’t want them to start giving me weird looks for trying to cheer you up if you know what I’m saying.”
"My dad was too busy working and told me to go out and play in traffic, so I just came here."
"Wow kid that's rough... don't you have friends you can hang out with? I mean, I enjoy the company but sure enough you have someone to chill with, right?"
The kid once again finds himself rolling his eyes and replies with the same sarcastic attitude.
”I'm a fat white kid living in South Beach with a sarcastic disposition, I don't have friends."
"Hey man, don't be throwing those big words like disposition at me, but if yeah have an attitude like that you won't get anywhere in life."
"Oh, really how so Sally?"
Ricky tilts his head and looks over to the kid.
"My names not Sally it's Ricky, not cool bud."
The kid rolls his eyes and shakes his head.
"Holy cow are you really that dumb?"
"Maybe, but at least I can grab the monkey bars."
The kid looks offended and turns away from Ricky and pouts. Ricky sighs, not feeling bad for his comment and says apologetically.
"Hey kid, I'm sorry about that, but you really shouldn't worry about someone bringing yeah down though. It's like what Shakespeare once said... 'You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.'
The kid narrows his eyes and spits out in disbelief.
"That was Wayne Gretzky not Shakespeare you... ugh never mind..."
"Whatever, same difference, anyway the point is, if you don't try you'll never succeed, it has been something I have lived by for most of my life... well that was... well before I started hearing those voices in my head... the voices telling me I can't do it, the voices saying I'm nothing more than just a sidekick, the voices telling me, that I will never be better than Austin Reynolds, or hell even better than Vega or Conner Reese."
The kid now looks over with a bit of interest, but still keeps the angry and dubious expression on his face.
"So what happened then?"
"Well... I lost... a lot, I have been so worried about what people thought about I lost the aspects about me that made me so successful. Look, what I'm saying is, that you should just let your freak flag fly, and don't worry about what people think about you. At Unscripted this week, I'm going into a Pay-Per-View that nearly ended my career, and I'm doing that with a big old smile on my face. Sure, people will call me Robin, they'll call me the sidekick, the wannabe, but I don't care anymore. It's the reason why guys like Conner Reese are going to fail in this business, he's far too concerned about trying to make people think he is the future of the business than actually becoming the future of the business. He can go on his ego trip as much as he likes, but that ego won't win him the Mayhem title, no matter how much Stark's little agency pats him on the back, it won't make him any better of a wrestler than me, or even Vega for that matter. It's why Alex Bowen was so successful and is practically a Mayhem Champion, he stopped caring about the whispers behind his back or what people tweeted about him, he goes out there, and lays a curb stop so mean I thought some of his goatee would fly off, unfortunately for us, that didn't happen."
"So then why'd you stop Alex Bowen from hurting the champion? He could have left you a huge advantage for your match against him at Unscripted."
”That's not how you do things... I'm not some two faced crook or a prima donna. I can beat Vega, I can beat him when he is at a 100% I don't want to take any shortcuts or have any excuses, I want to prove I can win on my own. I don't need to prove it to the doubters, I don't even need to prove it to my fans... I only do this for me. I've taken way too many chances, I made too many leaps and bounds now to take the shortcut just so I can appease the doubters that I can make it on my own. I want to know that I can do this.
"So what you're saying is... success or failure doesn't matter, all that really matters is that you get back up swinging?"
"Exactly... I've lost matches, I've embarrassed myself before, if I have learned one thing, is that I can bounce back from failure, guys like Reese and Vega, they're too proud to accept that, all they have known are the up's of this business. They haven't scratched and clawed their way up the ranks like I had to do, Reese knows how hard the business can be, that's why he hides behind his agent, Vega though... he has no idea what's it like to have no one believe in him. Once I win that title... he will have to go through the kind of grueling hell I had to go through in order to win Austin's trust, then the hell that it was to keep the titles, he hasn't seen the side of the business that drives most people insane. That fire made me, it sculpted me, that fire gave me the ability to beat one of the greatest of all time in Austin Reynolds, my tag partner, my mentor, and perhaps one of the hardest working people in this business."
"With what Alex did to Vega though... aren't you worried about what he would do to you if you win?"
"I try not to think about what might happen. Or what could happen, I live in the moment, my minds only focused on what I want, and what I need to do to get it. Am I scared that Bowen is out there beating the tar out of people, yeah... but everyone gets scared, I just can see past it, if Alex wants to interfere with the match? Fine, that doesn't mean I won't change the goal of winning the match. It'll be harder, but nothing is ever easy in wrestling, that's something that both Vega, and Reese will learn soon, I guarantee it. Reese want's the easy way out with submissions only, and Vega's keeping his choice in the dark, he want's every edge he can get, hell... he needs it. They can try all the submissions and cloak and dagger tricks all they want. I don't tap out easily and I love surprises, hell believe it or not, but in submission only matches, I'm undefeated. I took everything they can throw at me, and more, yet I still was able to take one of the slippery people in the business and I made him tap. For me, I can put on a submission as well as I can survive them. Vega and Reese can break both of my arms and I will just throw headbutts till I can't move anymore, and when I can't move anymore, I will keep moving. They've never seen my drive, and they will never be able to replicate anything close to it."
"So.. what should I do then?"
"Do... do what makes you happy... don't go out and do things to impress other people or fit in, do it to make yourself happy. It can be something as big as a championship, or even as little as finally reaching the monkey bars, and do not ever stop because someone doesn't believe in you, or otherwise you stop believing in yourself, and when that happens, you'll end up living with a job you hate and with regrets you will never be able to change, and trust me regret is like herpes, it's always going to be there, it will never go away, and it will make your piss burn with the intensity of a 1,000 suns."
"A little graphic... but I get what you're saying."
Ricky grins then pats the kid on the back and says with a bright smile.
"You know what to do kid, go out there and work at it, work to make the changes in your life, because the one thing you can't make is the satisfaction you get when you finally get to eat the fruit of your labors. There's no easy way to make that fruit, there's going to be blood, sweat, and tears. It's just up to you to make the sacrifice for yourself."
The kid looks over to Ricky and nods slowly, taking in the unusually wise words from the Daredevil. He climbs off the bench to turn to Ricky and say.
"Thanks... thanks a lot actually."
Ricky smiles and points out to the park.
"Thank me by finally climbing those monkey bars kid."
The kid simply smiles and runs back to the park, his curly hair bouncing with every step with a new sense of empowerment, and drive. Ricky grins and says to himself.
Unscripted... this isn't to prove anything to Vega, the STA, or hell even Alex Bowen. Ricky Runn is done trying to be the next Austin Reynolds, or the next big star. Ricky Runn... is going to be the next Ricky Runn."
The Wolf and Wyvern Inn – Late evening
Tyron nods to Dana to take a seat as he approaches the bar. The gem’s weight in his pocket a constant reminder of the day’s stresses. Ale, a warm bed and a hard ride to Sanctuary in the morrow though, and it would all be behind him. He heads toward a space between the patrons, hoping for the attention of the not unattractive barmaid. He looks towards her; she’s laughing at something, most likely a regular’s joke in an attempt to coax a larger tip. Something else catches his eye, his neighbour’s signet ring. The engraving is familiar... Fratrum! He is part of the group that murdered Father. Had they followed them here? No, it wasn’t possible. Nobody had tailed them after they’d left Dhorla. Dana had made sure of that with her magic. Had he simply wondered into the wrong inn? Perhaps, but Tyron doubts it. He doesn’t chalk anything up to coincidence. No, there must be a reason Fratrum is here tonight of all nights. The man turns his head, shocked to see him.
“Me.” Tyron interrupts him calmly before punching the bastard in the face. His attempt to continue the assault are hindered by a clubbing blow to the back. A big man holding a broken stool looms over him. Fratrum had clearly prepared for this.
The big one’s foot rises, Tyron rolls out of the way moments before he could have his chest caved in. He stands quickly, adrenaline letting him overcome the pain. A clumsy fist is ducked, Tyron dives forwards, grabbing both of the Ox’s legs. They both land hard, Tyron on top raining blows on the struggling goliath. A solid blow to the windpipe ends him. He stands, quickly aware that people are closing in on him, cutting off his escape. Well, he wasn’t going to make it easy for them. “Dana, run!”
The first he’d noticed lunges toward Tyron, who barely avoids the dagger. The bastard forces him back, the blade barely deprived of his blood with each well aimed attack. He feels the wooden bar at his back.
“Nowhere to run now, rebel rat.”
Tyron reaches behind him, hoping to find anything to defend himself. His hand closes on something. Steel meets pewter. The mug ruined, but it spares his life. He throws it to the ground, grappling with the scum, not allowing him another shot. Tyron forces his opponent back and his dagger hand away from his body. At least three more Fratrum members are closing in. Tyron can’t afford this. Pivoting on his back foot he throws him into the bar head first. No longer a concern, he turns to the rest, swinging at the closest. He effortlessly blocks and retaliates in kind. Tyron just avoids the blow but sharp agony drives the air from his chest. Unable to stand he drops to one knee. Looking down he sees a crossbow bolt sticking from his chest. It’s the last thing he ever sees.
“Inspect the corpse.” A short man clad in expensive robes instructs. “I do not want to be in this place any longer than I need to.”
“Of course, Lord Caldur.” The shooter places the crossbow on the nearest table, drawing his gladius as he approaches. One could never be too cautious around members of The Order. He kicks the body hard, before dropping down, slicing the right sleeve off with the sword. “He’s marked. Seems to be highly ranked too.”
“Never mind that! Does he have the stones? You know how important they are to the plan Misch!” Lord Caldur sounds frustrated, as if the smell of the lower classes is somehow infectious.
Misch pats down the corpse, withdrawing a single plain ruby. “Only one of the two. It seems his partner escaped with the other.” The lord curses, which Mish ignores, instead rolling over the corpse.
“Can you track her? They won’t tolerate delays.” Caldur sounds scared now, as if a few days will matter to his masters.
He forces his index finger into the bolt wound and examines the blood upon it, taking in the smell and taste of it. He looks over to Dana with a red toothed smile. “Oh, that should be no problem.” He stands, looking towards Lord Caldur. “I assume I have permission to act freely.”
“Yes, of course. As long as you retrieve the gems I don’t care who you kill.”
Misch smiles with a mad grin. It has been too long. The Order of Kellemderiel had overplayed their hand by stealing the Boraza gemstones. Now they were a threat, not a nusance. Though not for long, finally the Daemon Hound was being let off his leash.
A voice breaks through the Inn “AND CUT!” The cameras stop rolling and Connor bends down, extending a hand to the downed actor playing Tyron.
“Cheers James. Good take.” He takes the hand and pulls himself up.
“Let’s hope that the shot finally worked on camera this time. I swear to god if I have to taste that fake blood again I’m going to shoot you with a real arrow.”
He laughs. “If it doesn’t we’ll be doing it again tomorrow. It’s too late to reset for another take tonight.” Connor... James hopes the veteran actor is right, that was the eight take in five hours. Cameron Jameson’s obsessive perfectionism – no doubt stoked by Alexander behind closed doors – demanded everything to be just right before allowing the next scene to be shot. The rate of progress was almost enough to make him hope the pilot doesn’t get picked up. Almost, Alexander and Schwarz’s words about the exposure and money he’d stand to gain if the proposed miniseries was picked up were well worth the frustration.
“OK, that looked good.” He looks at his watch for a moment, contemplating whether to continue shooting or end the session there. “That’s all for today. Remember, we’re starting early tomorrow for location shooting so get plenty of sleep, tomorrow’s going to be a long day.” A long day? How would anyone notice? Every day so far had been long. The sound stage was already a hive of activity, the sickly red mixture being cleaned from the floor and equipment being stored. “James, a word.”
He heads over. “Yes Cameron?”
“I understand that you’ll be leaving tomorrow to prepare for your match at Unscripted. That’s fine, you won’t be needed for any more scenes, so you can go whenever you’re fully packed.”
“Is that all you wanted to say?” He had been planning to do so anyway, the shooting schedule had been designed to take his WZCW commitments into account.
“No. Tell Mr Stark when you see him that my debt is settled.” Cameron was one of those in Alexander’s debt? That explained a great deal about this situation. “You have done a good job, but I will not have him interfering with my creative vision again.” There would be no need to worry about that, at least. Alexander would be able to impose his will on the series without calling in any more debts.
“I’ll make sure he gets the message.” He heads for the door. Passing on the message wouldn’t be needed. Alexander Stark only calls on those in his debt once.
16 hours later: STA corporate jet
Reese pulls out his phone, looking at the time displayed and frowns. What was taking so long? Sighing he puts it back in his pocket and shuts his eyes. Waiting wasn’t so bad, it’s only delaying him from an evening trip to The Circus just that little bit longer, and with the German every little helps. But then, how could he even prepare for his match there? Unscripted is unpredictable in its nature, especially when he doesn’t even know what all of the options are. A submission match would be the best outcome. The German had shown a useful chink in Vega’s armour, and the monkey’s submission ability isn’t in the same league as Vega or himself. However, he doubts that a submission match will be popular among the bloodthirsty fans of Mayhem.
A falls count anywhere match would be more likely, and annoyingly it’s a match that aids his opponents more than himself. Vega’s balance would lend itself well to using the environment to aid his offence, and giving a monkey some new trees to climb is just asking for him to throw himself off them. However, taking the fight outside the ring does give him one advantage. His evolved wrestling style becomes all the more effective. On the thinly padded ground, his arsenal of slams will inflict more damage, and with no reachable ring ropes, gaining a submission even easier.
Vega’s choice though? The unknown bothers Reese, especially after being on Alexander’s rails for so long. It’s also the choice he anticipates facing. People would vote for it just to find out the solution to the mystery. Idiots. Connor shrugs, Vega’s selection will be dealt with at the time. There’s no point in attempting to fathom the mind of a conman whose every word is intended to blur the line between truth and fiction enough to maintain his mask. He doesn’t like what it’ll show about himself. No matter the stipulation, he must be finished quickly, eliminated if the rules allow it. Runn, though was good sport, a monkey to be ended at his leisure.
He removes his phone again, more out of habit than a desire to see how late she was making him. It had been the first chance he’d really had to sit down on his own with just his thoughts for company. In the aftermath of New Orleans, the chaos and drama that followed the riot had kept him too busy to just think and on set, he was either in front of the camera or too tired to do much other than sleep on his down time. But now? He had as much time as it took to set off...
That wasn’t long at all.
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