FADE IN. We watch a man, "The Pulp Original" Alias, adorned in a red hoody with an black anarchy "A" on the back and black track pants with red lining. He's jogging, but the intensity at which he's doing it at is obscured by the thick morning fog all around him. Alias's appearance and general dimensions are not only obscured by the fog, but offset by the massive structure that is the Golden Gate Bridge. So you realize that it might not be just fog on the bridge, but low set clouds, brought forward by the spring weather.
He's already halfway across the bridge, and has his eyes dead-set on the Presidio of San Francisco, even through all the fog. The camera shot is one that is following behind Alias ten to fifteen feet.
V/O"The world is a damned funny place, huh?"
CUT from the camera shot that was chasing behind him some fifteen feet, to one that now seems some fifty yards ahead. It's far enough, so as to keep you well aware just where Alias is, but obscure him in general... this image of him running towards the camera becomes more defined as he gets closer.
"Though maybe that's an odd choice of words, because that might draw on the sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek side of me, and make you think I'm talking about 'funny' haha. No, there's time for that, and there's time for where you and I find ourselves. On the 'funny' strange side of things.
Which happens to be our status quo, anyway. The strange days between us play right into our history, it seems. Though a history we might have, it seems almost dwarfed by that of this establishment. CSWA. History is sometimes all you have, and if that's what's left in the end, then it seems that this place'll have it in spades. Not just the federation though, of course not, but the men that built it...
Including yourself, Mike. You, the most decorated of Unified Champs they say.
And hell, if I where your atypical smart-ass opponent, looking the next step in his career, I'd pick at that. What you've done, who you've done it too, all the things you've accomplished, and the shockingly short span in which it was done in. I'd say something like... if I take you down, then I've almost already proven myself in this tournament. That you're the best possible stepping stone they could have thrown my way. Insert sardonic 'talking down' to said legend here." Alias has caught up the where the camera sits, being very much a clear image of the hardened old salt of all twenty-eight years. Yeah, an old salt at twenty-eight. He continues running though, keeping his same pace, as the camera now follows beside him, keeping pace. The hood is up on his anarchy "A" hoody, but because the fabric hugs the top and sides of his face instead of enveloping them, you can still make out those piercing blue eyes, locked onto there destination, and otherwise granite-etched profile, the slightly flattened nose and all. The voiceover continues.
"Thing is, that would have been my style six years ago... that's my history. My age of over-confidence and talent over brains. You know what? I believe if I come into a fight with you like that, I've already lost. I've underestimated the Wolf and what he's capable of... and I'm not about to put this golden chance on the line, because of that. I know what you're capable, I might not know -- all things considered -- but I know what you can do, what you've done.
When you do what you do, I'll be right there with you... we fought for a short time together, I mean it's been just as long apart now, but we've only really gone against each other once. Though in the end, I feel that I was fighting the Phoenix more then the Wolf, anyway, and you know what I mean.
That's the damn funny thing to me, when all is said and done. I might have a winning record against you, but I've never gotten a full match out of you either. You show-up halfway through and then you give up at the end, either that you don't show-up at all. Not against greater percentage of this wrestling world, oh know I know enough to have seen that you're in things for the fight of it, for the harsh days, the bloody days, the bad days... as long as it leads to the good days, and as long as it doesn't lead you through me.
Suffice to say we're in your house now, where you lived and breathed, not on any path powered by my own motivations. Wait, that's the trick, isn't it? You and I, Mike. For the <i>first</i> time because as much as this is where you might finally be comfortable to fight every last second, I have my own motivations. Motivations as powerful as ever." Alias stops running, as the camera continues his former place, and there he stands... as we distance ourselves from him a grin etches itself across that oddly attractive mug of his, and he slowly fades back into the San Francisco morning fog on the Bay Bridge.
"So here we are... and it's not funny anymore, it's fantastic, because we'll be fighting for every last second."
“I live in fear, Chris...that in the end I’ll burn, my ashes falling like rain...”
FADEIN: ‘The Wolf’ MIKE RANDALLS sitting in what looks like a vacuum of emptiness lit by a single candle. The blackness surrounds the figure as the emerald eyes focus on the flame...
“And every day I pray I’ll watch my divine spark flash...”
CUTTO: August 17, 2004 – tSC TNW #23 Main Event: Alias vs. Randalls, The Championship. In a slo-motion replay, Randalls has countered Alias’ Big Fat Kill (TR Belly to Belly) into a Super Ace Crusher, the sold-out crowd leaping off their feet in hysterics. Neither ‘The Wolf,’ nor ‘The Pulp Hero’ can move post-impact.
“You make it sound so simple, Chris. Everything and nothing as clear as the bottom of a shallow creek. You don’t know me Sheffield...you don’t know where I learned to swim.”
CLOSEUP: Randalls stands up in a daze, fans chanting his name as Alias remains motionless. ‘The Wolf’ wraps Sheffield’s legs into a Cloverleaf – the beginning lock-up of the Devastator...only Randalls stays in that position...seconds seem like minutes, the crowd is screaming for him to turn Alias over into the submission...
“See...I like my water deep, so very deep...where I’m tied to the bottom...”
ACTION: With a grasp of Randalls’ hair, Alias rolls ‘The Wolf’ into a small package...there is no fight...there is only a surrender.
“...with a noose around my feet.”
CUTTO: Back to the candlelit scene...Randalls’ eyes raise from the flame, making eye contact with the camera.
“You cracked the surface of my life, Sheffield. You might have seen things you believe, maybe you trust what your eyes perceived. You can read all my lines, you can say you know my mind...but maybe it’s time to start asking...”
“...I lose myself...”
“...Why I’m still trying to fight its crimes?”
”...I forget myself...”
“See...I’m not here for glory, so don’t believe you’ll find it this time....and if you’re foolish enough to believe I’m here to fight for the sake of a code, or an honor...then you never understood why I chose the scars I hide...”
”...Sometimes I fault myself...”
“Its what makes us so different, Chris...you find fault in our match, when I find everything I wanted to within it. You fight for the final seconds, while I fight to escape them. You have to know by now, Chris...the more you seek the number three, the more you’ll fall into hate and greed...”
”...I freeze myself...”
“...become swallowed and squeezed...”
”...I rain on myself...”
“I know the misery...
...I spent ten years of living in a world of darkness where nothing mattered, but fighting for those final seconds. Seeking them without feeling pain nor emotion, Chris. Casting away the only ‘family’ I ever had, so that I could forget the family I escaped.”
”...OK, so I stone myself...”
“I was an addict. Only breathing for those final seconds...and if they weren’t mine, I’d destroy whoever held them. Ten years of any of those days you speak of with so much reverence and respect. I ruined lives, Chris...I destroyed careers. I tormented souls and found pleasure within crippling men. Ask Hornet if I’m going to hell...ask Guns if I’ll ever be worthy of redemption. Ask my friends, ask my family.”
”...I might even find myself...”
“Yet, there comes a time where I need to set myself free...when there’s no more time left for shame, where I’ve got to put the horizon behind me...I’ve got to forget the pain.”
”...but then again, what happens if I do?”
“Maybe it’ll be a good day, Chris... maybe we’ll part that sea. Maybe it’ll be a bad day, glory just beyond our reach. Will I show you mercy, or will I descend again?”
”...so unzip my pride...”
“All I know is my eyes are open...that I can only sink or swim. I’ve got nothing to preach nor a sermon...I’ve got no selfish memorandums, I’ve got no confusion in me...I know its not for me.”
CUTTO: ‘The Wolf’ blows out the candle, leaving himself in blackness...
”...so I can show this to you...”
“...I never thought the Unified Title would return, Chris. Silver and quick, poisonous and deadly. All its curses, all its clues...its just a feast for fools. But maybe it’s time to shine, Sheff. Maybe I’m supposed to sparkle too...just like a diamond cursed. Roll myself in all its splendor, envy your surrender...and show the world victory. It’s all in my mind... I’ll just let the poison go...”
“...after all, I've always known...it’ll be there for me.”
"So," Alias's voice rumbled across the black screen, before the audible sounds of the sucking in and blowing out of cigarette smoke could be heard, "what can I say to that? That quoting of such heavy poetics?"
FADE IN: The Pulp Original is leaning at the side of the entrance of the Columbus Tower, in downtown San Francisco. It's an infamous building, not just for it's location, some three city blocks away from the Trans American building or for it's architecture, eclectic castle-like towers stacked in a point so as to almost split the street It's also infamous for it's occupants though, being the home Francis Ford Coppola's production company. The camera closes in on him, starting from a shot that seems across the street... closing in on a shot that frames is upper body.
"I've never been one for quoting poetics though, that's the thing. Maybe because it makes you seem slightly nuttier then you necessarily have to be... or maybe it's just because I've been smacked in the head so many times with a chair, that my sense of rhythm is lost."
Alias chuckled to himself, at that last remark, a sly grin sliding across his face. The city hummed around him, and he shrugged inwardly, bringing his arms closer to his body as his hands remained tucked in his pockets. The cold bitter side of spring had reeled it's head, as the last winds of winter had found there way into Bay City.
"Now, you make those final seconds sound like the route of all sins, Mike. They might be to you, I mean the lord knows and Hornet agrees that you're going to hell for what you've done. You've already decided that too, with all the attempts to redeem yourself and fight this, this poison inside you, as you want to put it. Hindsight, they say, is 20/20... though admittedly mine is 20/30. I have a past, and it haunts me... it eats at me every single night and day. I have my ghosts and I have my reasons to fear the afterlife.
If I believed in an afterlife.
You see, I don't fear the devil and I don't care for the fear of gods, because I believe in neither... if I'm going anywhere, and my life is littered with enough bull to warrant it, I'm not concerned, because it's a lackluster exercise to anticipate things if they aren't going to be there waiting for me. It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." Alias grinned once again, that sly self-assured and yet still not cocky grin. He took the last drag from his rolled up cig before dropping it on the concrete sidewalk, extinguishing the ember with the heel of his Chuck Taylors.
"Now I might have said I didn't quote poetic, but I didn't say anything about quoting poetry." A mischievous wink followed. "Do you remember those words, Mike? Doesn't matter if you do I suppose... those are the last lines of Invictus, by William Ernest Henley. I've always found that they fit me quite well. And I wouldn't think to change one thing about the way I've led my life, the sins I've committed, because they've got me here.
My path has given me a baby girl, named Izzy. I actually met her twenty minutes after we where done fighting on TNW 23, you know? heh, I don't even know if I ever told you. Yes, I see what happened that night as a negative, but it was otherwise a damn positive night.
And my path has given me a shot at the UNIFIED World Championship... and that fact isn't lost on me, because every concussion, stitch and spot have blood has been worth the path that brings me to that chance. Maybe these chances don't mean the same to you because of your history breathing these moments, with this title.
That fact doesn't matter all that much to me anymore though, it's the Randall's eye view of the events of life... and as much as you want to distance yourself from those events, I can. I don't need anymore optimism shrouded in pessimism because I've already got enough of my own.
I have my own baggage, everyone does, so I can't keep debating and picking at the validity and impact of yours. You want to fight for your poison, well I want to fight my own fight... all to way TO those last seconds. Be it for victory of the joy of combat, because hell, I'm missing those days. I'll leave you to continue your path, and maybe we'll help each other along the way again, as long as we both make it out of this one in one piece, I suppose. Otherwise, I'm reaching for that silver, Mike, and maybe I'll reach it by sunset." Alias finally stood up from his leaning perch at the side of the building, giving a curt wave before beginning to twist inside of the building... but stopping himself for a moment.
"Now you might think I'm ignorant to the picture you're painting, Mike. I'll let you ponder, in all seriousness, as I prepare. Plus though, if I'm ignorant then that must mean I'm one step away from bliss.
I'll put the bliss on hold until I'm holding silver and diamonds though."
FADE TO BLACK: As he finally makes his way inside the Columbus Tower, with Primetime on the horizon.
FADEIN: 'The Wolf' MIKE RANDALLS standing in the middle of the CSWA Primetime ring as workers are setting up in San Francisco. Cameras are following 'The Wolf,' as he paces around in his street clothes -- a brown cowboy hat, blue jeans and plain white t-shirt.
"Let's cut out poetics, Chris. Let's cut out analogies, theories and religious overtones. Its apparent you've misunderstood every action I've taken as long as you've known me, so I'll skip my problems for now...instead, I'll tell you what I see in you."
"You are WEAK, Chris. I've watched from afar as you let your challenges decide your fate and pave that path you talk about. For someone that was supposed to be the backbone of a newly created federation, you were also weak enough to not stake that claim on what should have been rightfully yours. Now, I'm not going to stand here and blame you for your inactions because I'm not into the whole pot kettle black response...but let's face it, when it only takes $5,000 to sweep you under the rug...I don't want you anywhere near THIS title."
RANDALLS stretches on the ropes, testing them...
"Do you really believe you know why I'm here? Do you really believe you've got it all figured out? You can try and read in between my lines, Chris...but like I've said you don't know my punishment for those crimes...you don't know why its going to be different this time."
RANDALLS releases the ropes and begins pacing again...
"You may not fear the devil, Chris. You may not fear God. You may be able to stand on some tower in this city and try to prove yourself smarter than them...but once you fall from that tower, Chris...once you crash and burn to the earth, you better start fearing fate -- cause with the attitude you're coming at me with...you're testing it far beyond than you'll ever know."
RANDALLS turns to face the cameras directly...
"On the eve of those last seconds you're gloriously waiting for, I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm not here for redemption, Chris. I'm not here to right a wrong. I'm not here to prove to myself that I don't need titles to prove I'm the best wrestler in the world. As you recall, I did a fairly nice job at proving that against yourself, already..."
He finally smiles...
"Believe it or not, Chris...I'm here to compete for the Unified Title...and WIN. I'm here because if I'm not, there will only be questions for whomever would've won. Its been 8 long years since that title has been resurrected...its been even longer to resurrect myself out of the darkness. The difference this time is that if I lose cleanly, I know I can walk away without anger, hate or regret...and if I win...I get the chance to do something I should've done a long time ago..."
"Destroy them all..."
"Give the world the Greatest Champion its ever seen, one that isn't weak...One that doesn't question anything and everything...and one that won't back down, or walk away when the fire is burning. The reason you won't win Chris isn't because you're not better than me...its simply because you don't want it as much as me."
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