We go from Ivan’s very sincere and remorseful apology to the sight of Dusk as he exits the medical trainer room and heads down a hallway. As he goes to turn the corner, he nearly runs into someone.
“Achetez des lunettes et regardez où vous allez, vieil homme.”
That someone is the Five-Star Champion, FLAMBERGE.
FLAMBERGE: Yes, I am sure.
Dusk: Well, no reason to be rude.
FLAMBERGE: The sun is down, you should hurry before you miss the senior citizen discount at the shitty buffet near l’hôtel lobby.
Dusk: Yeah, okay buddy. Good one.
Dusk begins to walk away and then pauses. He turns around and FLAMBERGE has started to walk away.
Dusk: One minute.
FLAMBERGE turns around and rolls his eyes.
Dusk: Look, I get it. You were born in my second decade in the business. What could some old-time, retiring wrestler have to offer you?
At the words “offer you”, FLAMBERGE’s stance changes from Snotty Dickhead to Full Defensive Radars Raised.
FLAMBERGE: You too, old man? You are going to give me the speech every person with the gray hair and the ego trip seems so eager to give, with none of the asking? When I tell you that I am the sick and the TIRED of the Throwback Once-Stars around here thinking their Speech Dicks still carry the potency-
Dusk: –Ignoring all of that, I see you. Not the facade you want to put on, not the anger that you exhibit in every thing that you do. I see a man who wants to be noticed, wants to be respected. I appreciate it. I understand that. I was in your shoes at one point. Getting accolades for being rookie of the year, taking the business by storm, and feeling like everyone saw me, but didn’t really see me.
FLAMBERGE arrogantly sighs and mutters to himself.
Dusk: But I also know that you want to be noticed and appreciated for what you do in the ring, not out of the ring, and right now, everyone is talking about what you do out of the ring and that is a disservice to the talent you put on in that ring.
The Frenchman starts and stops himself a few times. His body posture looks ready to deliver some heater of a one-liner, but his eyes keep bouncing between anger and confusion and dismissal. Finally, he scoffs.
FLAMBERGE: You do not know the ANYTHING, old man.
Dusk: Yeah, kid, I do. You think you’re reinventing the wheel or something? I’ve seen this movie play out time and time again. I know exactly what you want, but keep acting like a petulant child. I guess there’s a good reason Phil Atken and you get along so well. Good luck. Hope Suplex Daddy breaks you in half.
The Kid storms off in a huff, muttering to himself as he looks back over his shoulder at Dusk. He’s so distracted, in fact, that he fails to notice someone…
The Tower of Babel.
Dressed and ready to go. The appearance is enough to stop FLAMBERGE in his tracks, if only for a moment. A wide smirk spreads across his face, and as he’s about to speak, about the 5 Star Title, about what happened with Nate Colton, about who knows what. Before he can speak, Brandon quickly interjects.
Brandon Youngblood: You have all the talent in the word…ALL THE TALENT in the WORLD. And you’re walking in the halls of the greatest proving ground there is. You’ve had people throw themselves at your feet trying…trying…to help you. To show you a way so you…YOU…don’t have to go through the years…the DECADES…suffering. Remorse. Regret. To let you BE the man you can be. To be the torch you have the talent to be. Do you have any idea…ANY IDEA…what you’ve cost yourself?
The smack Youngblood hits him with buckles his knees.
Brandon Youngblood: Bring everything you got to the Garden. EVERYTHING! Or there won’t be a goddamn thing left of you. You hear me, Julien? Don’t do it for your father. Don’t do it for Phil. Do it for YOUR GODDAMN SELF.
The 5 Star Champion is staring daggers through him, ready to go. But something stops him. All Youngblood does is snarl. FLAMBERGE snarls back.
Brandon Youngblood: Good. Luck.
We go elsewhere.