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PRESIDENTIAL FINAL: Jay Phoenix vs. Jason Payne

Phoenix

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There is a light that is rarely seen.

It is the light that transcends night and day; that bridges the gap between darkness so absolute that it is not just the absence of light, but that absence of any chance of light, and the light itself that burns … like the implosion of a thousand suns … so bright it is blinding in it’s intensity.

On clear Winter mornings it is sometimes seen, in that split second as the moon goes down and the Sun is not yet raised.

It is the hazy corona that fuels the imagination when watching a rising dawn, and it goes by the name of twilight, the light that is not quite fulfilled – the light that is not quite real.

Well, that ISN’T the light that brings this scene to life, nothing quite so flashy or romantic, it is simply a normal light bulb, inside a plain lamp, resting on a wooden bedside cabinet.

A hand … tanned and well muscled, well the forearm part that can be seen is anyway … is seen reaching from under a pale orange duvet cover that is covering a large wooden framed double bed, to flick the lamp into life with a muffled groan … a groan that coincides with the ringing tone of a phone going off somewhere near by.

The hand moves to grab a small clock, turning it towards the covers … the display reading 07:23, and another muffled moan is heard from within.

A voice … and yes indeed it is also rather muffled (there is a big heavy quilt in the way between voice and listener after all!) can just about be heard coming from within the bed.

“Whoever is phoning at this time of the day had better have some damn good life insurance!”

With yet another groan, the quilt slowly moves, as a pair of muscled and tanned legs shuffles their way out from concealment, to fumble around on the ground before getting their balance.

The quilt is pushed away totally, to finely reveal the extremely tousled, and not quite awake figure of Jay Phoenix.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Phoenix stretches his arms up above his head, his mouth … which is nearly visible through the mass of hair that resembles more an Auburn coloured hedgerow instead of a head of hair … opening in a wide yawn as his feet fumble around on the ground for something.

He is wearing only a pair of black shorts, and his body is exposed to sight, showing that while not extremely large, Phoenix is very well muscled, his body tone more lithe than bulked.

There is a tattoo of a Dreamcatcher that covers the left side of his chest, three feathers hanging from it to come down to his mid stomach level, and on his left bicep another tattoo ... this time of a Phoenix surrounded by bands of flames … is just visible as his arms raise above his head.

The phone can still be heard ringing as Phoenix pushes his hair back away from his face, exposing strong, regular features to view, his green eyes still a little clouded from sleep, and he shouts in the direction of the ringing.

Phoenix: “ Isn’t anyone going to get that damned phone?!?!? ”

When there is no response, Phoenix … with a long suffering sigh … stands up, looking longingly back at his comfortable and warm looking bed before stumbling towards the doorway, wincing slightly as he tires to avoid contact with the cold floor as much as possible (which is patently impossible because he cannot fly or levitate).

Walking down a hallway … pale white walls and warm yellow wood floors … Phoenix comes to a stop outside a set of double doors, from behind which the sounds of the phone ringing can be heard slightly louder than before, and he mumbles to himself while he pushes them open.

Phoenix: “ … why do I pay money to have people work for me when I have to answer the phone myself?”

The double doors open wide to show a sparsely furnished living room … two large bay windows take up one complete wall, diaphanous white drapes covering them, allowing the diffuse sunlight of early morning to filter through, a marble framed fireplace is the centrepiece of another wall, an ancient looking bow above it in pride of place, two large orange and red patterned couches face each other on either side of a low coffee table, a chess board the centrepiece here, a game in mid flow … in which stands an elderly looking man, with his back to us.

Phoenix suddenly looks like he has woken up completely as his face clears and takes on a look of confusion as he peers around the room.

Phoenix: “ … hang on, I don’t have a phone in here …”

The older gentleman turns around when he hears Phoenix behind him, and there is an immediate recognition of resemblance between him and Phoenix. Though his face is lined with age, and his hair … still long but thinning … is grey, there is no doubt that this man is related to Phoenix, and Phoenix’s next words just ratify that feeling.

Phoenix: “Grandfather!!! What are you doing here?”

The old man smiles in welcome as he holds out his arms for an embrace, and as Phoenix walks forward the sound of ringing is again heard and Phoenix stops in his tracks starting at the mobile phone in his grandfather’s hands, who, noticing the stare, holds it up with a smile.

Grandfather: “ I just bought myself a new mobile, isn’t it great?

It has 101 different ring tones, so I thought that I would try them out … anyway, what are you doing up at this time?”

You can see many different thoughts … many about various forms of violence to a family member… running through Phoenix’s head, by the barely controlled, and not very well concealed emotions that play across his face, but with obvious effort he just smiles … a tight grin with no humour … as he replies.

Phoenix: “ Oh, no reason at all … just thought that I would get an early start is all”

Grandfather: “ … but you only just flew back from that event last night didn’t you … the tournament one?”

Phoenix (with another humourless smile): “ Yes, I got back at 3am last night, and got to bed at 4am … but who needs sleep anyway, I mean 3 hours is more than enough!”

Not noticing the obvious sarcasm in Phoenix’s voice, his grandfather just smiles as he continues.

Grandfather: “ Good, good ... nothing like an early start to get the blood flowing my boy.

So how did the tournament go?”

Phoenix walks over to one of the seats, sitting down as he leans back into the material, rubbing his eyes as he almost visibly resigns himself to being up and about at this time of the morning.

Phoenix: “ Well, I suppose it went pretty well to be honest, I have to say that I didn’t find the match to be any competition at all, it seemed like Minion wasn’t even there.

I am hoping that the next match will give me a little more competition to be honest; I would rather lose knowing that I fought to my best than win so easily again.

… we will have to see though, but as this is the final I am assuming that there will be a little more competition this time, though that is in the hands of Jason Payne now, not me. ”

Phoenix’s grandfather sits opposite him, on the other side of the table, and looks down at the chessboard as he speaks.

Grandfather: “ Well I didn’t raise you to take the easy way out, and didn’t pay for all that training just so that you could sit back and have easy matches … though I am still a little amazed that you have put so much into a tournament that you didn’t even really want to be part off!”

Smiling, Phoenix replies.

Phoenix: “Well, when the tournament started I was still retired remember, it is only because of your meddling that I am even part of the tournament … my history and past achievements are well documented in the industry though and it seems that on that merit I am still welcome.

As for why I have tried so hard after originally saying no to it, that is simple … for the challenge!

What is the point in staying in federations where the competition has run dry … where I have beaten the best that there is to offer there?

What is the point in going after more titles in those same places … just so that I can call myself the best?

This way I am in a tournament in a federation that has supposedly some of the best wrestlers around, and in order to prove myself the best, all I have to do is one thing.

Win.

That is a challenge that I find worthwhile, and that is the reason that I am part of the tournament.”

Phoenix’s grandfather reaches down and moves one of the pieces on the chessboard.

Phoenix: “ Grandfather … please … I have been playing this game for weeks now, and I really don’t want to screw it up … I mean you know that you aren’t very good at chess!”

Grandfather: “Don’t be cheeky … I taught you didn’t I?”

Phoenix: “Yes you did, but that was years ago, and I have been playing a lot more over the last few years”

Grandfather (Looking at the board): “Oh, I can tell that you have been practising … anyway, who did you say you are you facing next in the tournament?”

Phoenix: “... someone called Jason Payne I think”

Grandfather: “You think?

Shouldn’t you really KNOW who you are facing so that you can prepare?”

Phoenix: “ Hey I only found out last night when I got home ... give me a chance”

Grandfather: “ … the same sort of chance that you will get when you get in the ring with this man that you know nothing about you mean?”

Phoenix: “ ……………. Ok, you are right.

I have all the matches from the tournament on tape, as well as any interviews that they did in the build up to the matches themselves, so why don’t we go and see what this Payne guy is all about?”

Grandfather: “ Good idea … nice to see that you can still do some things you know.”

Phoenix: “ What is that supposed to mean?”

Phoenix and his grandfather stand up and start walking out of the room, and as the scene closes the older man points back at the chessboard.

Grandfather: “ … well I am glad that you wrestle better than you play chess … that was checkmate!”
 

Phoenix

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Jay Phoenix

... the man who has faced the best that the world of professional wrestling has to offer, and triumphed

... the man who has held every single title that he has ever gone after, bar one

... the man who lives his 'gimmick', preferring to wear his heart on his sleeve and be himself instead of hiding behind some facade

... the man who would be 'king' so to speak, of the Presidential Tournament

... is sitting on a rock, a lake visible behind him, as the scene opens.

He is wearing a pair of brown leather trousers, and soft, supple moccasins, with a light white cotton shirt ... his hair loose and free down his muscled torso, a light sheen of perspiration just visible coating his skin.

He is breathing regularly, though a little heavier than normal, as if he has been running, and on the ground beside his feet, resting against the rock, is a long bow and quiver of arrows.

Reaching down he takes one of the arrows out of the quiver, and takes a small, but extremely sharp looking bone handled knife from his boot and as he starts to tidy the fletching he speaks.

Phoenix : "You know that even though I thrive for the challenge of competition within the world of wrestling, when I pit my heart, body and soul against another man in the ring, I also think that there is nothing more truly satisfying than being out here, one with nature, alone with nothing but your wits to survive.

I have spent the last few days in training for a match with Jason Payne, the so called Dog of War.

... a match that is growing ever closer with each and every heartbeat.

This is not just any old match, and not just because it is for the CSWA Presidential Title, but also because it is the culmination of my journey back from retirement and I am putting every thing that I have into this one moment in time.

It is always better to face a worthy opponent, and at the moment I am a little disappointed that Payne doesn’t seem to be taking this as seriously as I do … I mean for a Dog of War his bark is suspiciously quiet. Maybe he thinks that his bite is enough to scare me with.

Here and now though, for this one night, this one match ... I have to assume that we think as one.

We both want to win that match, both of us for our own reasons, and while I don’t know what his reasons are … and may never find out … I can acknowledge at least that we are both striving for the same thing.

Victory.

For me it is a chance to prove that I am worthy of the accolades that I have won in the past, it is a chance for me to live up to the challenge that I have forced upon myself.

No-one has ever pushed me into being the best wrestler that I can be

... that is something that I have set for myself, and while I will admit that it is not the easies of roads to travel, or the most accessible destination to get too, it is a cross that I have made for my own back, and I intend to carry it all the way!

Finally though the destination is in sight!

There are many places where one can compete, where one can prove himself, but for those of us that have chosen the path of the warrior there are really only two names that mean anything today, in my mind at least.

The departed and lamented PWW and the CSWA.

Now it is no secret that these two places always competed against each other in my heart, or that they have always striven to be the best federation in the world of wrestling, and I have to be honest and say that I find it hard to chose between either of them as the truly best.

One thing that they have in common however is the wealth of talent that they have within their fold ... and in the past I was considered solely a PWW talent, a man that wrestled there alone, a champion only in the PWW.

I achieved my glory there, I won the titles and accolades that they had to offer, and I was ... and still am ... immensely proud of my achievements there and then.

... but times changed, and I changed with them.

When the PWW closed it’s doors I thought that my tenure in wrestling was gone with it. Until the Presidential Tournament came a calling that its, until the CSWA opened it’s own doors to me.

… doors that I decided … after a bit of persuasion … to walk through.

While to some I will always be a PWW wrestler, someone that does not truly belong here in the CSWA, by the time this tournament draws to a close everyone will see that I have paid my dues.

Win or lose I will have made my mark in the CSWA, a mark that will hopefully be remembered.

I have never backed down from a challenge here, be it from the lowest ranked wrestler on the roster, to certifiable legends … I faced them all and did my best each and every time that I entered the ring.

... and all of that for one simple goal.

... one simple purpose.

... one reason.

To be the best that I can be!"

Phoenix reaches down and takes his bow into his hands, checking the way it is strung, and testing the pull on the string itself as he continues.

Phoenix : "... I have said in the past that titles are not the be all and all of a wrestlers career, but unfortunately for others the titles that we hold are the measuring stick by which we are judged.

I am happy enough, and secure enough, in my own abilities, and in the victories that I have won, to know that I do not actually need any more gold around my waist to tell me that I am good enough.

... but the simple fact of life in this business is that the sometimes in order to be able to hold your head up high and prove that you am as good as you say that you are you need some physical proof.

Something tangible like the Presidential Title perhaps, in a place with as much history and legacy as the CSWA.

I hope, Jason Payne, that you don’t hold a grudge against me, or think that this is personal … because it isn’t my friend, it is simply business.

You are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The simple fact is that I am the hunter and you ... and that title we are both fighting for ... are my prey, and though I would sometimes wish otherwise, one of the most fundamental aspects of life is that the strong survive, and that the weak are preyed upon.

I have tracked that title for a long time now Payne, from the first day that I agreed to enter the tournament itself, and now I have it in my sight, and I believe ... truly believe ... that it is my time here in the CSWA.

I think that no matter what you do you will not be able to stop me from taking what I want Payne, because with no disrespect intended I do not believe that you have the desire inside you burning as hot as I do

... I do not believe that you know what it feels like to truly have a fire burning so deep inside your soul that you feel that you will explode into flames

... and I do not think that you are strong enough, no matter how well you think you will do, or how hard you try on the night, to survive the battle against me.

I have heard it said that every dog has it’s day, unfortunately for you though your day is not today … your time is not this time.

The time is now Payne, and it is my time

... BELIEVE IT!"

Pulling the bow back to it's full reach, Phoenix places the arrow against the string and swings around from where he is facing, releasing the arrow as it flies into the distance.

As the scene begins to fade the image follows the arrow along it's path where it is seen impacting into a cut out of Jason Payne … directly through the chest.
 

Jason Payne

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Fade in on the interior of the Basham-Schultz Wrestling Academy. The ring is surrounded by empty, white chairs. The camera pans around the ring, showing off the seemingly rebuilt interior. The camera fades into a new angle showing off more of the arena. You can see what appears to be one entranceway for wrestlers to walk through. Lining the walls of the entryway are dozens of small posters featuring wrestlers mostly from the past, but a few recognizable names from today. The camera angle fades again to another angle. As the shots change, Payne's voice over can be heard rumbling from the background.


Payne V.O. - "Phoenix. The road that you began to trod upon so many weeks ago is quickly coming to an end. For the first time ever, your path will cross with that of the Dog of War. I can not think of a more perfect setting for this encounter. Regaradless of what happens, who wins, and who loses, this guarantees to redefine the careers of us both in ways that neither of us can predict. I for one, can't wait."

The camera fades to the outside of the arena. The once run-down exterior, the broken windows, the busted sign, all replaced and seemingly reborn from what it once was. As various shots of the exterior are shown, Payne's voice is heard again.

Payne V.O. - "I have been studying your history Phoenix. A history that impresses me. You are worthy of my respect, something I have not said about an opponent in a long time. It does me good to think of the history that you and I will make together in the ring, to decide who is worthy of the Presidential Championship."

The camera settles on a shot of the exterior of the Academy. The doorway is in the center, and appears to be closed. Slowly, a lone figure is faded into the picture. The figure is wearing a pair of urban camoflage pants with black combat boots. A white, button-downed shirt hangs loosly over the jeans. Over top of everything else is a long black duster. Jason Payne's shoulder length brown hair blows in the slight breeze as he walks towards the camera.

Payne - "Respect notwithstanding however, if you think I am just going to let you walk into this match and hand you the title, then you are sadly mistaken. You see, while you are looking for the chance to put a cap on your career, you are looking at the hungry dog that wants to get to the top of the pile. Jason Payne has worked long and hard to get this far, and just because I am going up against quite possibly the greatest challenge of my career, doesn't mean I'm going to treat you any differently then my other opponents."

Payne walks slowly towards the camera, his duster billowing out from behind him like a cape. Payne's wearing black sunglasses, even though the sun isn't shining. In fact, it appears a storm is just on the horizon.

Payne - "You can sit and study all the tapes you want Phoenix, till your blue in the face. The fact is, it's not going to help you. It's not going to help you because everything that has already happened, no longer matters. When you and me meet, it will be as if the past has been forgotten. You want to know if I know what it's like to have the flame of desire burning inside of me. Yes, I do. Because that same competitve fire that burns within you burns within me as well. The only difference between us being, when we meet, your dreams are going to go up in smoke."

A thunderclap rumbles across the sky as Payne gets closer to the camera. The sky begins to darken noticeably. The wind picks up a little bit, blowing Payne's hair across his face. Payne seems undisturbed by the worsening weather.

Payne - "I'm putting you on notice Phoenix. You have no idea what you are up against. None whatsoever. Talk about desire, talk about dogs having thier day, whatever you want to do. You're stepping into the ring with one of the most sadistic bastards there is in this business. I don't care what I have to do. I'm going to do whatever it takes to win. At the end of the day, when it's said and done, you'll be staring up at me with the Presidential title in my hands..."

Another thunderclap rumbles across the sky, and with it, the impending rain begins to fall in sheets. Payne's hair is instantly matted to his head. The droplets of rain fall down his face, but you can barely notice as the rain comes down torentially.

Payne - "...and the flame within you, dying out..."

FTB
 

Phoenix

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It is a crystalline clear day.

It is the sort of day in which the sunlight is so bright and the colors so brilliant that it almost hurts the eyes to look.

The skies are empty of clouds from horizon to horizon, a deep blue void that stretches away forever, never seeming to begin, and never seeming to end.

Just being.

Out of that void … and out of that sky … blazed the midday Sun, directly overhead, high above, a white-hot glare that can only be seen by squinting your eyes so tight that they are almost closed and then quickly looking away again, seeing more the impression … the memory … of the Sun’s image rather than the star itself.

The light floods down upon the land, bringing out the colors of early Summer with startling clarity, even the browns dried and dusty earth, but especially the greens of treetops and the grass underfoot … and the blues of a small river that meanders through the setting like a couple of young lovers strolling throughout life, hand in hand without a care in the world … or the coppers … greens … yellows … of the wildlife, the bushes, the flowers that are scattered around, bright colors dotted around like paint dropped from a master painters canvas.

In the distance the Sun’s heat rises …where the slight breeze whose effects can be seen by the swaying of the grass as it dances to itself, and the movement of the treetops as they seem to reach out to one another does not cool it … in waves, defining everything in sight almost as if it is etched in glass.

In fact it gives the impression that a sharp cry, or blow, could shatter everything and send it tumbling into obscurity in shards of memory gone by.

It is a day for living where all promises made might find fulfilment.

It is a day for hoping where all dreams conceived may come to pass.

It is a day for thinking about life and it’s myriad complications … and thoughts of combat and competition seem oddly out of place.

… but as a figure steps out of the trees and into view that is the first thought that crosses our mind.

The figure is familiar and is instantly recognisable as Jay Phoenix.

He is dressed in a loose fitting white cotton shirt that comes down to just below his thighs, over jet black leather jeans that can be seen underneath it … Magnum boots are tucked under the legs of the jeans.

Phoenix’s long auburn hair moves gently in the slight breeze of the day, brushing against his chest like waves caressing the beach ... his face framed by the cascade of hair that falls around it.

There is a calm and serene look on Phoenix’s face, his piercing green eyes mirroring the smile that plays around his lips.

There is something indefinable about him that hints of a slow, confident power, but also to anyone passing he almost appears to be part of the landscape rather than an interloper … something completely and utterly at home here in nature … part of it.

With a voice that is just slightly above a whisper, almost as if so as not to compete with the background noises that nature supplies … the wind, the birds singing, the insects buzzing, the water flowing … Phoenix begins to speak

“ … and so the war of words has begun.

While it is gratifying in the extreme to see that for really the first time in this whole tournament there is someone who has been chosen to face me in battle had the courage to take that first step, and to show themselves ready, I also have to say that I am disappointed already.

I had hoped that there would be someone worthy to challenge me.

I had hoped that there would be someone worthy who could match me.

I was wrong.

Instead I have to listen to Jason Payne make promises that he has no hope of being able to follow through with.”

Phoenix walks over to the river, and kneels down beside it.

Reaching one hand out to gently place it in the flowing water allowing the liquid to flow up and around his outstretched hand, Phoenix continues

“I have to be honest and say that I was impressed with Payne’s words at the outset. He appeared to be a man who respected this business as much as I do. He appeared to be a man that had respect for his opponents just as I do. He appeared to be a man who had respect for the motivation, desire and excellence required to get this far in a tournament such as the Presidential Title Tournament.

… but appearances, of course, can be deceptive.”

Taking his hand out of the river, Phoenix watches as water drips off his fingers back into the flowing water below.

Shaking his hands to brush off a few drops of water, the figure walks away from the river, talking ahead of him as his back faces the screen

“It is all well and good to talk about respect Payne, but you actually have to believe in it to.

I completely agree with you in the fact that past accolades and accomplishments won’t affect the outcome of our match, and agree whole-heartedly that the culmination of the tournament should be a great battle … but you are wrong when you say that the past is nothing.

You see my friend we all have something to learn from the past. If we don’t look backwards then we are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again. If we don’t recognise our failures then we can never improve. If we don’t respect the past while living in the present then we have no future.”

Phoenix turns and faces the camera once more, the wind blowing his hair back and away from his face to eyes of piercing green that almost seem to burn a hole through the air with their intensity.

He holds out both arms at his side, almost wing-like in it’s connotations as he speaks

“… your lack of understanding for, respect for, the past is not why I am upset though. No it is simply that you have to resort to the stereotypical arrogance that pervades our sport and try to threaten me, to psychological affect me, to scare me, with your thinly disguised bravado.

You think that you can scare me with the threat of physical violence?

You think that by proclaiming yourself a sadistic that you will make me hesitate when we meet in the ring?

You think that you can put the flame out Jason?

... think again.

You see while I live in the here and now I am not stupid enough to ignore the lessons learned in the past. I have fought in many matches, many tournaments even, and one of the things that my opponents had in common was the misguided belief that they would do something that the ones who came before were unable to do.

What is that you ask?

You said it yourself my friend … you pointed out that you are aware of my history, you pointed out that this is going to be the biggest challenge that you have ever faced. History does not make me old or jaded you know, it simply makes me experienced.

… and it is that experience that will be your downfall, it is that experience that will make you simply another name on the list of fallen warriors who tried so hard to do something that I refuse to allow.

I won’t let you beat me.

You see only one person can win the battle between us ... only one person can win the tournament.

Only one man can be the Presidential Champion.

Me

You may think that my words are boastful, but I prefer to think of them as the truth.

I am not afraid of the truth you see, in fact in this upcoming battle I am not afraid of anything, for the only thing to fear … as you will no doubt soon find out … is fear itself!

So be ready Payne, be ready for our meeting, be ready for the past, the present and the future all colliding at the same time as history and destiny decide our fate, and be ready for one thing more my friend.

Be ready to feel the heat!””

Jay Phoenix walks back into the trees, moving slowly and purposely until he is out of sight again, and as the scene fades to static his voice can still be heard reciting what seems to be a verse as that too fades away

Look around the corner
Look around again
Second time you look and
Second time, insane
Again you have to wonder
Again you have to fear
Again it's getting colder
Again it's coming near

Not only have you torment
Not only feel you fear
And then again you wonder
And then again it's near
Just try to think quite slowly
Just try to think quite clear
But this time it seems darker
By this time it'll be here

Now it's getting closer
Now it's almost here
This time please don't wonder
This time please don't fear
All the day seems darker
All the day with tears
This time it is colder
The meaning of fear

Calm down, don't fall in panic
Calm down, don't fall in fear
You now become a maniac
You want to know how near
But one more time you wonder
But one more time you're here
Now it is getting colder
You're in fact feeling fear

All day it's now so dark and
All day you know it's near
But with some might you look and
You see that it's not here
All night it is much darker
All night you now it's near
But with some might you look and
See the meaning of fear”
 

Phoenix

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The scene opens as we find Jay Phoenix sitting at home once again.

It is night, as can be seen by the dark sky outside the large patio doors. The room is unlit, and the only illumination comes from the large hearth fire in front of the leather chair that holds Phoenix.

He is dressed in black jeans and a black shirt, and is staring intently into the flames, as if looking for something that can’t be found

Phoenix (without looking up from the fire, his voice oddly subdued) : "There are times in everyone’s life when the true meaning of importance is shown. It is not money…fame…or anything like that, it is the friends that you make, and the family you care about that matters above all else. The loss of one of those cherished ones brings everything else into perspective, just as loss has brought that home to me."

Phoenix sighs before looking up into the camera.

There is no trace of the customary smile on his face as he begins to speak

Phoenix : "I would normally have the Shaman to turn to in times like these; his wisdom can normally calm me and release my fears, but at the moment he is away paying his respects to the family of the Elder who has passed away, and I find myself alone"

Phoenix thinks for a moment before continuing

Phoenix : "Jason Payne. In just a few short days a great honour is coming to us, as we fight to decide who carries on the tradition of the Presidential Title. This is an honour that we should not be allowed to take lightly, and I hope you will follow me in proving yourself worthy on the night … giving your all, and showing that the memory of the title will live on in us, by competing to your utmost for the belt"

Phoenix reaches down into the shadows, caused by the dancing flames in the hearth, beside the chair and pulls up a bow. The bow itself looks spectacular in the fire-light, and it’s very ancientness can be seen in every carving

Phoenix : "This bow has been in my tribe for generations, and is always passed down from father to son, and carries with it the pride of my people…their very Spirit. As the Shaman’s son … my father … passed on before he could be given this bow it skipped a generation and Shaman gave it to me. I have always tried to prove myself worthy of that honour and so, on Rebirth, I pledge myself on this very bow, that I will fight with my whole Spirit to claim the title, and if … no when … I win it, I will carry it proudly, and defend it in not just in honor of the men who held it before me but also in the memory of He who has passed onwards as well, always"

Phoenix stares at his reflection in the polished wood of the bow

Phoenix (a somber look on his face) : "So Jason Payne, I hope that you will live up to this honour as well … but know this and mark my words well for this match is now for me about more than just the battle between us, more than just the belt itself, it is now about the memory of one who has passed. So while it is very true that winning is not everything, in the here and now … in this match … it is the ONLY thing!"

Phoenix holds the bow across his lap, as he looks back into the flames as he voices fades out to blackness

Phoenix: “… and Grandpa Older I wish you good journey my friend, may you fly high on the wings of the eagles, always loved, always remembered.”

~fin
 

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