Private: Nathan Filmix
Kabal Proving Grounds
The regular background noise of screaming soldiers being torn apart across the Kabal Proving Grounds rings loudly within the underground bunker. Unaffected and desensitized, Nathan Filmix sits slumped over a table as Coach Hark impatiently paces back and forth in front of a chalkboard.
“Do you see this diagram, son?” Hark dictates as he points to the board.
Nathan’s eyes spitefully rise to the drawing.
“You got out of position on this move which allowed a lower talent like Anna Daniels to capitalize,” Hark indicates with disgust in his voice.
The Wrestling Junkie repositions himself, enabling his shoulder blades to rest against the back of his chair.
“It won’t happen again. I’ve made note of it,” Filmix responds sharply.
Hark suspends his lesson. He stares a hole right through his student as if he doesn’t quite believe him.
“I sure as hell hope so, son. Because if we didn’t have something to prove before, coming from where we come from, we most certainly do now,” Hark lectures while resting the piece of chalk down onto the table between them.
Nathan knows he let one victory slip through his grasp. He vows it won’t happen again, though. The look on his face says it all. The moment of silence probably lingers on just a bit too long as they stare at each other until Hark promptly disconnects a direct line of sight and begins pacing again.
“Anyways,” Hark starts, “Enough about the past. Nothing can be done about it now except learn and move forward. Speaking of which, this week you’ve got even fiercer competition, in my humble opinion.”
Hark snatches the piece of chalk and writes some names on the board. His writing is so jagged, it makes chicken scratch look legible. Nonetheless, Nathan watches his coach’s hand move intently. Once Hark is done, Nathan murmurs to himself.
“Bobby Dean, Shawn Warstein, Darin Zion,” He reads.
Hark hears him and responds with a mild nod of the head.
“That’s right. THE Bobby Dean. THE Shawn Warstein. THE Darin Zion. If you don’t keep your head on straight then you could get knocked out of this match quite easily!” Hark intentionally lectures.
This is the exact wake up call Nathan requires. The tongue lashing he’s getting now pales in comparison to what he actually deserves and he knows it, too. He is, after all, directly from the most fierce wrestling training grounds in the known world. As Filmix feels the proverbial fire Hark is lighting under him, he can’t help but improve his seated posture. His eyes zero in on the names written in dusty white chalk.
“Get up,” Hark directs to which Nathan does, “And follow me.”
It’s not long before Hark and Filmix exit the bunker through the double bolted doors and into a long underground hallway. There’s the tiniest square windows at the top of the walls, allowing the bleakest amount of surface light in. The mortar explosions and soldier cries are even louder out here.
“I’ve got a few things to show you,” Hark says as they carry on down the hall.
Nathan’s eyes dart back and forth from one beige colored wall to another before they arrive at an offshoot bubble area.
“Here,” Hark presses a button as the double bolted doors mechanically pull open, “Have a look at this.”
Nathan walks in but isn’t followed by Coach Hark. The spherical room is soundproof and, therefore, dead silent. Nathan walks into the middle of the room and notices what appears to be three fully contained viewing windows. Wooden signs are bolted above each pane of glass. They read ‘SPECIMEN 1’ and ‘SPECIMEN 2’ and ‘SPECIMEN 3’. Hark’s voice beckons over the tinny PA system.
“I’m going to turn the light on in the first specimen chamber, Nathan. Be prepared to examine what I’m about to show you,” Coach Hark instructs.
True to his word, the lights on the other side of the pane illuminate, revealing a jungle habitat. The diorama is something straight out of a zoo. Nathan’s eyes immediately go into analytics mode, looking everywhere and scanning everything. He notices a tuft of silver hair under a few leaves.
“What’s that?” Nathan asks.
The crackle of the PA system comes back on.
“That is a sloth, Nathan. But just not any sloth,” Hark reveals as Nathan watches the lazy creature sleep under some bay leaves, “Do you see the clipboard to the left of the viewing window? Grab it and give it a read.”
Nathan notices the clipboard. He grabs it and begins to read, being completely and utterly sucked into the void of focus.
<<<<< SCOUTING REPORT >>>>>
Name: Bobby Dean
Wrestling Style: Boring
Note of Significance: Too rotund for wrestling tights
Strengths: Bobby Dean is the epitome of sloth style. He’s boring, big boned and isn’t afraid to sit on you. Dean won’t hesitate to crush his opponents with his sheer power and size, granted he gets his greasy Texas mits on you. Bobby’s pudginess works great as shock absorption. His threshold to endure pain is high because barely anyone can reach his fat laced pressure points. Bobby Dean has a mammoth amount of experience. His in-ring time runs longer than most careers and with that kind of experience comes forced knowledge on how to endure certain attacks.
Weaknesses: Let’s get to the good stuff. As noted, Bobby Dean is obese, which makes him prone to fatigue and creates an inability to flee from his opponent. Akin to the sloth, Bobby Dean lacks any motivation to try. He would rather sit there, chomping on a Butterfinger, collecting a paycheck, than put effort into beating his opponent. Just from a scout’s observations, Bobby Dean is pure roster filler and shouldn’t be taken seriously whatsoever. He’s a lazy hire to any wrestling promotion who only shows up to eat catering. His slow, sluggish and below average offense makes him the perfect target for anyone to rack up the victories. He’s more likely to die by cardiac arrest making his entrance to the ring than win a world championship.
Nathan’s Breakdown: Here we go. I’d ask why I’m being put up against a slug of a human being like this but all is fair after suffering that unexpected defeat. If I have to prove myself against a peon like this, so be it. I will climb the mighty mountain and believe me, after looking at these profile shots, the mountain does indeed look mighty but not in the way you might think. I could easily latch onto those man boobs and twist them into oblivion. This man is actually satisfied with himself? Looking at this sloth in the cage and the pictures of Bobby shows no difference to me. They are one in the same. There is truly nothing ‘Beautiful’ about a man who badly needs any weight loss program before his aortic valve decides to cave in on itself. Not to worry, if the burgers this fatso downs doesn’t give him a heart attack, then just wait to watch the kind of offense I unleash on his unbridled ass. I will make Bobby Dean my own personal PRIME rib. Do I really need to go on? I will simply outwork you. Next.
Nathan snaps back to reality and throws the clipboard down, sickened over the lack of prestige his first opponent presents. The PA cracks on once more.
“Move to SPECIMEN 2, Nathan and grab that clipboard,” Hark directs.
Nathan retrieves the second clipboard from the wall as Hark turns the lights on in the next containment unit. It’s vastly different from the first. There’s flat land all covered by hay and grass. A few clucking roosters bounce about. Nathan isn’t amused.
“What is this? A farm?” He labors.
“Just watch,” Hark responds over the speaker.
The Wrestling Junkie does just that as a person in a hazmat suit enters the unit with a large syringe in hand. They end up violently grabbing a rooster and injecting it with a weird serum as Nathan’s eyes gaze down to the clipboard he’s holding.
<<<<< SCOUTING REPORT >>>>>
Name: Shawn Warstein
Wrestling Style: Vicious
Note of Significance: Smart mouthed prick extraordinaire
Strengths: Rock solid bodied individual who is big and strong. His mouth might be his greatest asset and an even more dangerous weapon than any physical in-ring prowess he presents. Shawn shouldn’t be taken lightly as he’s made it his mission in life to travel the world with the sole purpose to seek and destroy high level wrestlers. Already a known commodity within the wrestling community, Shawn has the respect of most peers. Warstein can uncork a vicious style of offense that can knock any opponent out in mere seconds if they aren’t careful. Be particularly wary of his legs as they are lethal.
Weaknesses: Let’s face it, a big mouth might as well be a target drenched in red paint. Getting into a war of words can be distracting and this is no exception for an egotistical athlete like Shawn. He would greatly benefit from having blinders on but he simply can’t help himself. Is he good at talking? Yes but it comes at the cost of taking away from his wrestling ability. Already with a loss to his name, Shawn could be susceptible to overcompensating and could be had again. Just from a scout’s observations, Shawn needs to stick to wrestling if he wants to make it anywhere let alone make it in the highly competitive PRIME.
Nathan’s Breakdown: Quite the opposite of Bobby Dean, aren’t we? Not to worry either way. I am more than well aware of what makes a tool like you tick, Shawn. You’re the type of wrestler that has to have things go your way or else you will get all headcase about it and lose control. You need your ego stroked or else you’ll flake off into obscurity. You’re a typical big mouth that needs shutting up and that’s what I’m here to do. I will fluster you with near perfect offense. My barrage will be unrelenting to the point where you will become confused and frustrated until you rage quit. That is when I will truly break you both mentally and physically. You see, wrestling is more than just employing flashy moves. While I have the depth as a tactician, I am also highly skilled at psychological warfare. I am from the Kabal Proving Grounds after all and it’s here where we do some crazy ass shit. Shawn, cross me and I assure that you will leave with a scar on your body and my name forever in your head.
A blood curdling scream snaps Nathan back to reality as he holds the clipboard down by his side. To his amazement, he looks into the second containment unit and sees a disgustingly mutated rooster killing the person in the hazmat suit who is trying to escape for their life. The lights and noise emanating from the unit go dark, leaving Nathan to assume for himself what is still taking place in there.
“I told you. Crazy shit happens in the Kabal,” Nathan smiles grimly.
Hark’s voice once again floods the room from the PA system.
“I guess that experiment isn’t going as planned. What a serum. Anyways, to the third window with you,” Hark says.
Nathan exchanges clipboards as the lights in the last tank spark on. He prepares himself for what he’s about to see next.
“What the,” Nathan’s voice trails off.
In the third containment unit sits nothing. Well, virtually nothing. A lone spotlight shines down the middle of the cage. On the floor, facing the other side of the viewing glass is none other than an innocent cottontail bunny rabbit. It bucks its nose quaintly as its pose is seemingly provocative towards Nathan. Seeing nothing but the bunny makes The Wrestling Junkie somehow irate.
“What the hell is this nonsense? Why a bunny? Why is there a solitary bunny in the last tank, Hark?” Nathan’s voice reflects, full of disdain.
This time there is no response through the PA speakers. Nathan is left alone with his thoughts. Well, alone with a bunny, if you count the furry friend as such.
“This is bullshit,” he mutters to himself before realizing he has all the information already in his hands. He takes a look.
<<<<< SCOUTING REPORT >>>>>
Name: Darin Zion
Wrestling Style: Balanced
Note of Significance: He’s a nice person
Strengths: Darin has a strong connection with the fans, always has and always will. Some might say Darin is quite underrated for a man of his skill. Do not underestimate Darin at any turn, as his varied and versatile approach to wrestling makes him unpredictable. Darin has the ability to catch you off guard if you’re not ready. He has been known to surprise opponents at their worst of times. Zion has competed on some of the highest octane stages in wrestling. His scrappy mentality and resiliency is a rare combination seen in the sport.
Weaknesses: It’s simple, Darin Zion is a panderer. He is a follower, not a leader. He never gets promoted as a “TOP” star because he isn’t. He lacks something instinctually to get to the next level. Lack of opportunities aside, Darin time and again finds himself in high profile matches he fails to deliver in. Major league player or nice fluffy little side attraction? You decide. Just a scout’s observation but Darin’s bark is much bigger than his bite. Even at his measurables, for some reason, he’s always overmatched and held in the underdog regard. Make sure you know who you think he is before approaching and you will succeed.
Nathan’s Breakdown: Darin Zion. I’ve certainly heard the name before. My main concern here has to do with your reputation. Often, it’s the wiry ones who stick to the corners and don’t say much that you have to worry about the most. They are dangerous. Or are they? Might you be the exception? Let’s find out. I eagerly await the moment I get to stand on the canvas across from you, fans frothing at the mouth for our clash, sweat dripping from our bodies as we’ve given our everything to the match taking place. I won’t underestimate you. I won’t underestimate anyone. Everyone likes you? Well isn’t that just skippy. I’m not here to make friends or gain a legion of fans. If it comes from my hard work, then so be it. Darin Zion, meet Nathan Filmix. Meet your end. Plain and simple.
Nathan looks back up at the bunny who hasn’t moved an inch, yet its nose still bucks continuously.
“What a sideshow,” Nathan mutters once more before the PA screeches back on.
“And that’s exactly the message I wanted to convey to you, Nathan. While I want you to be prepared and I don’t want you to take these foes lightly, I also wanted to show you,” Hark’s voice dissipates.
Nathan notices a panel of the wall rising, revealing a surprise fourth containment unit and window. With haste, Nathan walks over. There is no clipboard of information for this special tank. Instead, a carving of a cerberus sits in it like it’s art on display.
“Cerberus,” both Filmix and Hark speak in unison.
“Indeed,” Hark interjects, “You must slay the three headed demon and prove your stake in PRIME. For our reputation depends on it. Make it happen. Make an example out of these three extraordinary and different talents. If you succeed, then you will be the one who is pursued.”
Nathan walks as close as he can to the window, to the point where he can see his breath fogging things up right in front of him. The three heads of the Cerberus, all different in shape, size and presence, are drawn in a way to be adversarial with each other.
“I guarantee it,” Hark notes.