Backstage at ReVival 19, two men stalk the hall, one of them walking a little gingerly after competing earlier in the night. These two are none other than Eddie Cross and his manager Dave Gibson. Eddie is sporting his yellow gaming shades and jacket again and as they walk up and sit down at a table, Eddie pulls out his gaming laptop and flips open the screen. Normally Dave might chastise him, but after the contest earlier, he deserves a little downtime.
Rounding the corner, still sporting his singlet and carrying a book in his hand is one of Eddie’s opponents from the previous match, Mike McGee. He sees Eddie and Dave and makes a beeline for them.
Mike McGee: Just who I was hoping to see after that little skirmish we all had earlier.
Eddie looks at Dave and then back to Mike.
Eddie Cross: What do you want? I’m trying to re-center after the match. I don’t have time for your HR nonsense.
Mike pulls the book up. It has a picture of Mike McGee on the cover and is titled “7 Effective Ways to Succeed for The Young Mind”
Mike McGee: I’ve been doing some digging and noticed you don’t have a professional resume, no LinkedIn, no degree, and suffice to say no Full-time workplace experience to speak of… or part time for that matter. I thought I would extend an olive branch and offer these words of wisdom that I have written to guide the young and unemployable towards success.
As he holds out the book, Dave looks dumbstruck at the audacity of Mike McGee.
Dave Gibson: Mike, you ain’t a strong learner are you?
Mike McGee: Quite the contrary I will have you know that I…
Dave Gibson: It was a rhetorical question, dipshit.
Gibson snatches the book out of his hands and walks over to a trash can. He picks the plastic can up and makes a show of throwing the book in the garbage. Mike stands mouth agape holding his hand over his heart like someone has just stabbed him and his life is flowing out. Finally, he gathers himself and harrumphs a response.
Mike McGee: Well, you’ll never own a cherry red Kia Sorento with that attitude, buster.
Dave Gibson steps forward and goes nose to nose with Mike. Eddie stands up behind his mentor and picks up his laptop. Dave stares through Mike’s eyes and into his nervous system. He speaks with an icy rasp.
Dave Gibson: Beat your feet, son.
Mike slowly backs up and, eyes darting back and forth as Eddie steps next to Dave, turns to walk away briskly.
Eddie Cross: Hey Mike?!
Mike turns around to see what Eddie wants.
Mike McGee: Yeah E…
The laptop drills Mike McGee over the head with a satisfying sound of the monitor cracking and keys fly all over the place on the ground. Mike crumples in a professional heap and Eddie kneels next to him skittering a couple broken pieces of the laptop and keys across the floor.
Eddie Cross: See Mike, I hear everyone asking who I am. I hear everyone calling me a rookie. Saying I don’t belong. Thinking I am some sort of joke because of my Father.
Mike groans on the ground and Eddie looks down on him with malice.
Eddie Cross: That’s just fine with me. Because they will never see me coming.
Dave taps his protege on the shoulder and nods down the hall as Eddie stands up and they walk down the hall.