One more match....
Fade in: on the same gym we saw prior to last week's Combat. The Watcher sits in the middle of the ring, legs crossed, in black shorts, sneakers, gloves, a cut-off white shirt, and his mask secured on his head. Fanatic comes into the room, sunlight from side windows casting their golden color over the room. Fanatic enters the ring and sits on a turnbuckle while Watcher finishes his meditation. Watcher finally turns his gaze upward at Fanatic.
Fanatic: Hey, man...I thought you'd be training in here, not falling asleep.
Fanatic laughs, but quickly stops as Watcher looks away.
Fanatic: What's the matter?
Watcher: I failed.
Fanatic: What do you mean? The match against Brown?
Watcher: I couldn't beat him. I lost my chance to achieve my goal.
Fanatic: Maybe, but man, look how far you've gotten! You knew the competition would be stiff. You didn't want it to be any other way. You gave all you had, and just came up a bit short, is all. It's nothing to worry about.
Watcher looks back at Fanatic.
Watcher: Yes...I suppose so. I shouldn't see it as the end.
Fanatic: Of course you shouldn't! You're still at the top of the NWL. Well, at the top level. You'll get your shot at the title soon, no matter what happens. You're going to be in line for your chance. Just give it some time.
Watcher looks away again. Fanatic leans back and flips over onto the ring apron.
Fanatic: You've got to lighten up a bit! You still have one more match left in the WLS, and from what I hear, Lars Magellan is coming in with some momentum.
Watcher doesn't respond.
Fanatic: Just don't get down on yourself too hard. You've trained too much to let one setback throw you off.
Fanatic hops off the apron and walks out of the room. Watcher continues to sit, cross legged and in thought. He clasps his hands together and leans his chin on them when the door of the gym opens, again, and Larry Tact walks in. Tact comes forward to the ring and leans on the apron with his arms.
Tact: Hey, I've got some news you should know.
Watcher doesn't move.
Tact: It's a message from our contact. You're family's safe.
Watcher's head snaps to the side, looking at Tact.
Watcher: They're out?
Watcher: Where are they?
Tact: They'll be out of the country in a few hours. It's over.
Watcher reaches his hand to his mask, running his fingers over the red marks running across it. From underneath the mask come a couple teardrops, running down Watcher's neck.
Watcher: Finally....that's it...
Tact: Yes, well...not entirely. There's one more person who needs to get going.
Tact reaches into a pocket and pulls out a couple papers, with a ticket stapled to them.
Tact: It's time you started over. You've got nothing more to do here.
Watcher: Thank you, Larry. Thank you...
Watcher stands up and steps through the ropes, landing feet first on the floor. Tact puts out the ticekt package for Watcher to take, but after a few seconds, Watcher pushes it back into Tact's hands.
Watcher: ...but first, I have one more match to fulfill.
Tact looks dumbstruck.
Watcher: President Medina...he provided me with a means of income...a place where I could feel safe, in the NWL. He gave me a safe haven, when my options were practically nonexistant. For months, I have been able to last through the searches, the setups, and the pressures of everything thanks to the NWL. I have one more match in the Wrestling League Series. I mustn't throw my obligation back in the face of the NWL. I must show up, and face Lars Magellan.
Tact: Look...you've done well. I'm proud to have seen your training pay off. You made some mistakes in the past few weeks, but you're one of the best new talents on the circuit. But if you go to Combat this week, you'll be making another mistake.
Tact looks sternly at Watcher, putting a hand on his shoulder.
Tact: I know you don't want to disappoint Medina. But you've got more at stake here than a spot in the ranks. There's more to lose than just a match. You're stepping into territory that you don't belong in, if you show up. I won't be able to help you. There's nothing more for you to do there. You've got to understand....you have to leave. Take your talent, your family, and go overseas. You can wrestle there, I know people who would love to have you. Go where you can start fresh. Don't make this mistake.
Watcher and Tact stare at each other. A few moments pass before Watcher brushes Tact's hand off his shoulder.
Watcher: I don't intend on staying after the match. But I'm not leaving before facing Lars. It's the last match I need to complete this chapter of my life. Then I'll have my closure.
Watcher turns and walks towards the exit.
Tact: What is it that you want out of this match?
Watcher: Like I said, closure. This will give me what I need to move on.
Tact: To move on...what are you saying? You're family's safe, isn't that enough? What does wrestling a match have to do with moving on?
Watcher stops just short of the door.
Watcher: Consider it my last hurrah. One more match to show....that I'm not...
Tact: ...not what? At the bottom of the WLS? Is that what this is about?
Watcher turns around.
Watcher: Of course not. It's just a matter of fulfilling obligation.
Tact: Obligation to who? It sounds more like you just want to go out winning.
Watcher: Winning has nothing to do with it. I've already got what I wanted. I don't need to win the WLS.
Tact: You can't win anymore. It's not a matter of winning that. It's your pride, isn't it? You just don't want to be seen as a man who walked away.
Watcher: I have an obligation...
Tact: Yeah, to yourself. Don't you realize? Nobody's going to think you're afraid for walking away. You have to leave. There's no point to staying here. It's only going to put you at risk! They're still coming after you as long as you're still in the country!
Watcher: I'm not afraid of them! Just like I'm not afraid to show up at Combat, and make Lars Magellan see the error of his own ways. Haven't you been listening to him go on about how he's the best? How he thinks it's nothing more than a formality to walk into the ring and beat me? He thinks he's really the one who deserves to be number one contender, and off of his wrestling ability! You and I both know that's ludicrous. He's not ahead of Maelstrom...or Dakota....or Karl Brown. And he's not ahead of me! There's nothing more to do about it than show him just why that is.
Tact: I think you've been wearing that mask a little too tight. Don't you realize the risk you--
Watcher: I don't need to hear about risk! I've been at risk for months. I've worked hard to get myself into shape to compete in the NWL. I made the NWL more than just a place to hide myself away in. I made that place a home. And I don't see anyone who would allow another man to come into their home and proclaim superiority. Lars Magellan came in after I did, and he thinks he can best me in the NWL? Whether or not he can, I'm not completely sure of. But I know Lars Magellan isn't going to have it so easy as a countout win to prove as much to me. I won't be beaten that easily.
Watcher turns his back to Tact and opens the door to the room, exiting. The door closes and Tact stands next to the ring, looking at the door with disdain.
Tact: You should just walk away, but....I wouldn't be able to, either.
Cut to: a shot of an NWL backdrop. The Watcher stands, in black leather pants, a dark blue cut-off shirt, matching the color of his mask. Black gloves adorn his hands, and he also wears combat boots.
Watcher: Lars Magellan. You've shown a lot of guts going into your match with Dakota Smith, and not being deterred. Not feeling you were outmatched going in, just because of records. Numbers. Just as Karl Brown overcame the pressures, you did so as well. But don't think I was blind to any of that. I've watched you, just like I've watched everyone else compete. I've seen your efforts and your mistakes. I've seen your attacks on those who didn't deserve such hostility. And I also noticed how much was going on during your match against Dakota. You were able to pull out a win, but not due to your wrestling ability alone. You had good focus to keep your head in the match. Dakota lacks that. But I don't. I will not have my sights swayed from their focus, my target for the night. You. I will give you my full effort and show you something that you should have realized the moment you entered the Wrestling League Series. This isn't a series between four no-talents and Lars Magellan. This is a series between the best talent that the NWL has to offer. These are matches where anything can happen. Anyone can win, and that was shown when you pulled out a victory against Dakota last week.
Watcher crosses his arms over his chest.
Watcher: I don't owe you an apology. I don't owe you a thanks. I don't owe you anything, Lars. I fully anticipated you might be able to pull out a victory over Dakota Smith. That was the only way I would have been able to gain any ground on him. As it turned out, I couldn't get my end of things done, but that doesn't mean you did me any favor. You were out to win for yourself, nobody else. Your "employer" must be every bit as conceited as you are, Lars, because I don't see how any sensible person could cope with your way of thinking. You think one win is going to propel you to the "best wrestler" status here? You're wrong. The best of the NWL comes in the form of its World Champion, who will potentially be crowned this coming Combat. But you are not the best in the NWL, Lars. You are not the best wrestler, even. That's not something I'm going to let slide, Lars. I could go into reasons why you are not at the same level as I, but I prefer to let my actions speak for me. In the ring, you will quickly find that conceit clouds the mind. And you are far more conceited than I.
Watcher looks back at the NWL logo on the backdrop before turning back.
Watcher: There are some things that I will miss. But you're constant self-promotion is not one of them, Lars. Before I take my leave, there is one more match to have. There's one more opponent that awaits. Lars Magellan...don't think that you can get away with your self-glorifying campaign at my expense. You can distract yourself and everyone else by talking about this person you're bringing to Combat. You can make like it's more important than anything else that will go on. But the truth of the matter is....I don't care about your guests, or your welcoming party. I only care about going to the ring and beating you, so there will be no question as to who is the better wrestler in the NWL between the two of us. I will not tolerate you parading in and expecting everyone to buy into your words, when you haven't proved anything except that you talk a good game, up to last week. Last week, you showed that you had more focus than Dakota in the heat of battle. But I will show you, at Combat, that the pressure doesn't get more intense....your choices aren't more scrutinized....your credibility isn't more tested....than when you come and face the Watcher. Because I don't hold back for talkers, or showboaters. I only welcome that arrogance and overestimation into the ring. Into the impact zone. And you'll find the truth in my words when your star, too....is broken.