PRESENT AND FUTURE
Amidst the chaos of ReVival 5, the final 5 Star Scramble, the Blue Live Crew and the freaking Egg Bandits, and worst of all…the Halls, the scene shifts to the locker room area of the MGM Grand. The sound of the audience loudly cheering plays as a backdrop as the camera follows alongside the reason for the rising octave; Brandon Youngblood, oddly still in street clothes rather than ring attire in preparation for the main event of the evening. Wearing a crisp pair of jeans and a cowhide red short sleeve henley that is nicely conforming to his torso, the Tower of Babel is looking his zaddy best.
What’s he doing? Is he looking to make some grand statement? Hardly. It seems we are following Brandon as he is on his way to catering, or someplace to get a bottle of water. Perhaps a surprise ringside interviewer is going to pop into the scene, get his thoughts on the bracket finals with Impulse? Perhaps a little sample of what’s to come for the winner of Palmer and Jiles? That would certainly fit the bill and get the hype machine rolling.
How about neither? Rather, the Only Diamond freezes, looking forward, all before a smirk starts to cross his lips. There is a murmur in the crowd, a rising tension. When the camera pans towards the reason for his stopping, the cheering grows to an even greater fever pitch.
The Time Lord. The Muse.
Ah, yes. It’s this pain in the ass again. This would also be the first time we’ve actually seen her backstage aside from her occasional snarling at reporters after matches. But now after being eliminated from the tournament, she now officially has nothing to do in PRIME and really, no reason to be here tonight. So…what the hell is she doing right now? A cameraman pops out from some random locker room and he just so happens to be right in her pathway. He doesn’t see her. But by god, she sees him.
She takes a brief running start. She jumps, bouncing off of the wall. This guy looks over to see a nice black boot heading for his face and the poor guy doesn’t even get a chance to duck. Scuffed leather meets flesh as she bolts forward with the magic of parkour and punts him right in the chops. The cameraman, who we can only guess is called Stan, is knocked out with the boot that kicked him on his head. Anna (or to be more precise, one of the many therein) stands there like a proud hunter that has just extinguished the last of an endangered species.
At least, until she looks up at Youngblood’s mug.
There’s a bit of rattling in her skull. A hulking furry shadow snarls in a cage in the corner as if to say YOU. Others jump in to calm it down but in the meantime, someone has to say something. She blinks a bit. It’s the first time she’s seen a member of the roster outside of a wrestling ring. How does one approach this?
Anna Daniels: Helloooooooo?
Apparently, with confusion.
Anna could easily start killing off Enemigos, and Wade Elliott would be stuck footing a tremendous bill, since there’s no way Dametreyus would ever let that crew do the heavy lifting with the two people in this hallway. And why? To protect the Time Lord? To protect the Diamond? After the initial bustle, space clears. Anna’s question is laced with a certain hilarity. Brandon, stepping forward without hesitation, looks at the splattered cameraman, kneels and turns him over before checking his pulse to make sure he’s not dead. The headache he is going to have later might make him wish he was. Standing back up, Youngblood draws ever closer to The Muse, the smirk once on his face long gone after the display moments before.
Brandon Youngblood: Did you have to do that? There’s berries here that are much more deserving.
A moment of silence.
Brandon Youngblood: Hell, he’d probably even pay you to kick his ass.
After the initial confusion of her tone and Suplex Daddy actually using words, there is a shift in the Muse’s demeanor. The smirk that left his face has now moved to her face as she leans against the wall. There’s a certain rasp to her voice, one that wasn’t heard in her previous question. One that gave hints of cigarettes, failure, and the impossibility of her being alive. Before she speaks, there is a warning from the busy corner. Don’t be an asshole, Firebug.
Anna Daniels: Hey, we specifically said we’ll punt whoever’s in front of us. And well…
Anna spreads her arms as if to say TA-DAH!
Anna Daniels: If Berry Boi appears in front on us tonight, he’ll get the same treatment. No profit needed. Hell, we’ll most likely get fined for this. But it’s whatever. Just end up doubling it and handing it over to those Fighting for Nora guys. They need it more than us.
A tap on her chin.
Anna Daniels: And technically speaking, you are also in front of us.
To say there’s an urge to punt him would be an understatement. But there’s another warning. Now is not the time. A sigh as she steps to the side.
Anna Daniels: But we’re not a complete bitch. Wouldn’t wanna give you brain damage before your big fight.
Anna isn’t the only one with multitudes; so many different versions of Brandon would respond starkly to the threat laid before him. However, this one, for what it’s worth, can read the room. He heard them say that anyone who crossed them would be eating boot leather. But if they were going to strike, they would have done so already. Arms folded across his chest, he stands his ground; they wouldn’t respect him if he didn’t.
Brandon Youngblood: Maybe you aren’t punting my skull in because you want me to pick the bones of Teddy Palmer clean after what you did to him.
So many ways that statement can go. Maybe a twisting knife? No. There isn’t malice here, at least on his part.
Brandon Youngblood: For what it’s worth? I think you…everything that makes up the whole of you…I think you should have won last week. And I think if that match happens ten times? Nine of them, you’re walking out with your hand raised. He got lucky. And I know if I was in your boots…that’d piss me off. And honestly, it pisses me off. Want to know why?
He doesn’t give the multitudes that make up Anna Daniels a chance to respond, whether in snark or genuine interest.
Brandon Youngblood: Because out of everyone in this Almasy Tournament? People I have years of history with and names I barely recognized? After the first round, after I saw you, I wanted you in the Finals. Because out of every new face that’s come around this place, you’re the one that made the biggest mark on me. You’re the one I had to research. You’re the most impressive of the lot. If you’d of been around here a decade or so ago, your name is in the Hall of Fame. And that’s not me blowing smoke to save my skin here…
He, shockingly, extends a hand to The Muse.
Brandon Youngblood: You’re the New Era. And I’m a big fan. So, now that you know, know that if I do get past Impulse…if I do get that Universal Championship…I know you’re probably going to be there at the end of the line. How long that is? Who knows. Just, do us a favor…no more chopping down staff…save that. Whoever gets in the ring with you next, you annihilate them.
The Multitudes listened to every word he said. Really listened. Oh, sure. There were parts in his speech that caused discussion elsewhere in her skull. Number one, of course we’re irritated that Teddy Palmer is still breathing air but we’d be damned if we give that Ronald McDonald looking shithead the satisfaction of knowing that. Number two being we were around a decade ago. Just not this part of the multiverse. Where were we in 2012, anyway? St. Louis? It had to have been before the Disneyland Massacre. And the third?
Another shift. There’s a knowing nod. Her vocal cords shift into black and white movies, elegance, and an endlessness.
Anna Daniels: You…are a strange specimen.
What? It had to be said.
Anna Daniels: Honestly, we were looking forward to fighting you in the finals, Brandon. But you’re correct. Us colliding in that ring? It’s inevitable. And we’re not as good as stroking egos as you seem to be. But we’ll give the devil his due.
There’s a moment of thinking before the nod.
Anna Daniels: You might just be the smartest of the old guard. We’ll bowl over our roadblocks. Just make sure you bury everyone else in front of you in the meantime.
The Prime takes the handshake strongly.
The PRIME nods back.
Brandon Youngblood: Wouldn’t have it any other way.
The handshake tapers off, a moment of simmering tension lingering between the two, bubbling up, the crowd in the distance roaring at the idea of seeing these two, eventually, maybe soon?, kicking the absolute shit out of each other. And what a sight that will be.
For now, the two forces of nature break away, the scene moving elsewhere.