(OPEN: The mountains overlooking the Pacific ridge, sometime near dusk. Bound and determined for answers, KERRY KUROYAMA hikes his way toward a lone cabin at the rim of a wooded area. He's clad in a simple green hoodie, jeans, and hiking boots, providing much more ample protection from the elements than the standard pads and trunks of The Dojo. Upon reaching the threshold of the simple mountain hovel, Kerry finds the door to be open.)
Kerry Kuroyama Sensei...?
(There is no reply, and he lets himself in. Inside, he finds the cabin to be empty. Kuroyama walks into the center of the room, surveying the scene. Though signs of habitation can be seen here and there, no determination can be made on how recent its been since anyone was here last. Sighing, he turns to leave... and when he does, he finds ROCKO DAYMON standing in the doorway, arms filled with a load of firewood and eyes glaring upon the intruder.)
...I'm surprised you were able to make it up here on your own.
(Daymon enters, walking by the younger man and bringing his burden to the stone fireplace on the back wall. He fixates himself on building the fire as his student watches in quiet study.)
Kerry Kuroyama Sensei... you haven't been back to the Dojo since the show...
Drop the "sensei" bullshit, Kerry... and I don't intend to return for some time.
But for how long? Our number has dwindled to five now. Besides me and Frank, there's just Winslow and the MacGuthrie brothers. This school can't thrive without its founder and teacher.
(Daymon lets out a low and mournful sigh. Meanwhile, his hands, totally detached from his mind, light the timber and set the fireplace ablaze.)
If that show proved anything, it's that I lost the right to be considered a teacher to anyone.
Now that is bullshit, sensei.
Is it, kid?
(Rising from the fire, Daymon turns to look at the younger Kuroyama in the eyes. There's nothing but brutal honesty in his eyes.)
All these years, I've been preaching about "professional wrestling excellence" and what it means to be a "TRUE" professional wrestler... dedicating myself to "Missions" and walking "the Path"... but where did it all really get me? I've lost my family, my fortune, my dignity... and in spite of it all, I keep going back into that ring, making a fucking asshole out of myself and losing something else that can never be won back.
I'm not the things I claimed to be... and I doubt I ever was. All I've ever done is make mistakes... and if it weren't for my talent in kicking ass, I probably wouldn't have gotten as far as I did. All I am now is an old man with old ideas... I've lost the hunger and determination that made me what I was... and there's no place for me now in today's new industry. Believe me, Kerry... you don't want to follow me. You don't want to ruin your potential by making the same mistakes I made.
So get on with your life... and forget about me. I'm better off up here, away from everything.
(Finished with the conversation, Daymon turns his attention to the icebox in the corner and pulls out a couple flanks of filleted meat off of a beast he no doubt killed earlier on the week out in the wild. He skewers them through a spit and sets them over the fire to cook. There he sits, watching his dinner thaw out, acting completely oblivious of his student still standing in the room. Kerry doesn't look so much humbled as he looks stoic and calm.)
I remember my father telling me years ago, in the time he trained you... how you always had the potential to be greater than everybody else, but there was one thing always holding you back. You never could just accept a defeat and move on.
(Daymon does not reply, intently watching the meat cook over the fire.)
One day, Rocko Daymon... you may die just like everybody else. But what you've given to this world will continue to live on as long as fire rages in the souls of men. You may no longer have the hunger or the determination... but I do. So if you choose to no longer follow the Path, then let ME follow it in your stead.
I'm going to prove the weight of your teachings. To you, to those that dishonored you, and to the rest of this world. I'm going to take back the honor that you lost and refuse to take back. I'm going to WIN the IWF Emerald City Championship... and hang it up on the wall of the Dojo -- the House of the UNDYING -- so that EVERYBODY who walks through the hallowed halls of our school knows what the few and proud of us left already know...
That you aren't a failure, sensei. You are a pioneer... a pathfinder... a PROPHET.
And I am NOT your follower. Not anymore. Once the Emerald City Title hangs around my waist, I will take my first step at becoming your successor.
Farewell for now, honorable Iemoto. The next time you see me, I will be a champion...
(Rocko neither replies nor turns away from the fireplace. Expecting this response, Kerry turns to the door and makes his exit.)
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