The whisper of a light breeze blowing past... the rhythmic patter of shoes against the pavement... the controlled, yet heavy sound of breathing...
Slowly, the scene fades in to a close up of Lucas Greene. His hair is pulled back, the loose pony tail bouncing from shoulder to shoulder as he jogs along. His squinted eyes stare off ahead of him, concentrating on the path ahead of him, both literally and figuratively. They are filled with focus, determination, and dilated blood vessels, the likes of which have not seen before in Lucas Greene. Behind him, the scenery passing by; trees, fields, road signs. As he continues to jog down the road, we are joined by a voice floating around in Lucas's head. It seems to be his internal contemplations about recent and future events in which he is involved.
"You finally make it back to the big time, Championship Wrestling Federation, and how do you feel your first night went?"
His brow furrows...
"It was a nightmare..."
Suddenly the scene inexplicably changes to a flashback of sorts. The shot is still a close up on Lucas, but the environment around him has changed. As the shot zooms out, he is no longer jogging down the road, but standing in some creepy backstage area of what looks like a circus. The look of determination is gone from his face, replaced by anxious confusion. A fog rises up from the floor, almost thick enough to trip over, making it difficult to navigate the unfamiliar surroundings.
"Hello?" Lucas cries out, but gets only a low moaning sound mixed with creepy laughter from off in the distance as a response. He continues to struggle as he moves around, his legs feeling heavy and unresponsive. The maniacal laughter begins to get louder and closer, but there is nothing Lucas can seem to seem to do to escape. Suddenly, several deranged looking clowns leap from the shadows, laughing and taunting Lucas. However, Lucas just begins to laugh along with them.
"Whoa! Clown dudes!" he exclaims.
"That must have been one funny joke if you're laughing that hard. I could hear you coming from a mile away. Quick, how does it go?"
The clowns' laughter subsides as they look at each other in bewilderment. They scratch their heads and shrug their shoulders as they disappear once again into the darkness beyond the fog.
"Well," Lucas says with a huff, "that was rude."
Moving on, Lucas rounds a corner and is faced with a hall of mirrors. We inches his way up to the entrance, cautiously looking inside. He steps in, feeling his way forward, trying hard not to get lost in the menagerie of reflections. However, the task seems nearly impossible, as he finally peers into one of the mirrors and is greeted by the angry, roided out reflection.
"Oh man, not you again!" groans Lucas, quickening his pace.
Trying to get through the hallway as fast as he can, Lucas starts to get lost, taking wrong turns and running into mirror after mirror. As he slams face first into one particular mirror, he looks up to see a reflection of himself pulling out all the joints he has stashed on his person, and throwing them on the ground. Lucas quake in horror as the reflection begins to stomp on all that sweet mary jane, and grinds it under his heel.
"No way, man," Lucas cries out, "that's just wrong on so many levels!"
Mortified by these hideous reflections of himself, Lucas really starts to panic, and begins kicking at the mirrors, smashing the reflections one by one. Finally, when it seems like all the mirrors are smashed, Lucas turns to run, only to come face to face with a reflection without a mirror. The reflection stands there, his hair cut neat, tidy, and short; wearing a formal business suit, tie, cufflinks and all; an old, wooden tabacoo pipe pursed between his lips as he reads the New Yorker.
"I say, old chum," the reflection snorts with arrogant indignance, "this is who you should truly be. You'll never make it in this world as this hippy-dippy wrestler. It's time to grow up, get a hair cut, and get a real job."
"Nooo! It's not true!" Lucas screams, tears welling up in his eyes.
Lucas hauls off and punches the reflection right in the face, causing it to crack.
"My word, what do you think you're doing?" the reflection remarks, as the crack spreads.
Lucas takes a step back as the reflections expression grows darker, and more malevolent. However, as he steps back, he bumps into something. Slowly turning around, Lucas now finds himself surrounded by all the reflections he had just smashed, all of them standing there cracked, but mirrorless. The crowd begins to move in on Lucas, forcing him to cower in a ball. As they close in on him, reaching for him and roughing him up, Lucas finally has enough and screams at the top of his lungs.
Suddenly there is silence. Lucas opens his eyes, one at a time, and realizes he is now alone. The thick fog now envelops him, so much so that he chokes on it. He struggles to take a breath as he stands up. Looking around wildly, he stumbles through the fog, hoping to reach an exit from this terrible place. The fog seems to begin dissipating in one particular direction, so Lucas continues on that way. The fog abruptly gives way to a clearing, and Lucas bursts out gasping for air. He falls to his knees once more, until he gets some air in his lungs. He slowly rises to his feet, but freezes in horror as he looks up. Before him, maybe twenty feet in front of him, stands a cannon, fuse already lit. Lucas doesn't even have time to think about moving, as the cannon fires, sending a cannonball right at him. But this is no ordinary cannonball, no... it is Fitzgerald Everett Bentley, The Ringmaster. And just like at Evolution 26, all Lucas can do is watch as the Cannonball crashes right into his chest.
The impact jolts Lucas awake. He sits up straight in his bed, sweat pouring down his forehead as he scans the room. No cannon... no crazy reflections... no thick fog... just the dirty room of the sleazy motel Lucas was put up in for the night. The shot zooms in to a close up of Lucas's face as he wipes the sweat away.
"Sweet jeebus, it was just a dream," Lucas says with a sigh of relief.
And with that, the scene instantaneously cuts back to the present, on a close up of Lucas as he continues jogging down the road. The shot zooms out a bit more, showing more of what's going on in the background. It would appear that the side of the road is littered with bystanders, gawking at Lucas as he runs past. The voice in his head continues to pondering...
"And what exactly was all that about with Azrael, attacking him like that? That doesn't exactly sound like the Lucas Greene everyone loves... well, that everyone knows at least."
Lucas rolls his eyes at the thought.
"That's not exactly the way it happened..."
The scene transitions to a shot of the backstage area of the Nassau Coliseum, where we see Lucas hiding behind a stack of boxes. He has just finished taking a few hits from his glass pipe, when all of a sudden, an arm shoots through the boxes, grabs him by the collar, and yanks him out into the open.
"Whoa, maaan! What gives?" Lucas mumbles as he rights himself.
Glaring at him, the Angel of Apathy, Azrael stands there for a second, and then just launches into a tirade. He mentions something about Lucas being part of the problem in CWF, or something like that. Lucas doesn't really pay any attention to Azrael, as he is instead looking around the floor for the pipe he dropped when he was so violently dragged from his hiding spot. Azrael continues to vent his frustrations, "stoned this", "stupid that"... Lucas is sure that it is all very interesting, but...
"Where did that silly pipe get to?" Lucas mutters as he bends down and starts pushing boxes out of the way.
"That was a Christmas gift from mother dearest, I can't just lose it."
Azrael has his back to Lucas, pointing at the people around them, and hollering God knows what at them. Eventually, it Azrael tries to calm himself down, and turns back to face Lucas. However, at that exact moment...
"AHA!" Lucas cries out triumphantly. He jumps to his feet, and throws his hands up in the air to celebrate. In doing so, he connects with an accidental uppercut right on the point of Azrael's chin, sending him crashing into more stacks of boxes.
"I found it!" Lucas exclaims, turning to show Azrael his prized pipe. He looks down at Azrael, who is rubbing his, and shaking out the cobwebs.
"What are you doing down there? I already found it, ya goof." Lucas says, placing a hand on his hip.
"Oh no, dude, look at that!"
Lucas holds the pipe up to the light, reveal a crack going from the bowl, all the way to the mouth hole.
"Dang it," Lucas sighs, kicking his foot in disappointment, "I can't believe I broke it. Mom is gonna be so upset."
Beginning to get upset himself, Lucas yanks a joint from the breast pocket of his shirt and lights up. He only gets a couple puffs in, when he hears a booming voice coming up behind him.
"What the hell is going on over here?"
Lucas turns around and takes a hard gulp, as he comes face to chest with CWF's Head of Security, T.J. 'Fridge' Flint. Lucas quickly hides the lit joint behind his back.
"Ummm... you see..."
The rest is history as we know it, and with that, we are thrust back to the road where Lucas's trek progresses. Still lost in his own head, the voice continues to drill Lucas on his thoughts, this time looking to the future.
"So, you went from possibly finding yourself in contention for a World Title shot, to opening up Summer Games. How are you going to gain back some momentum in such a low spot on the show?"
Lucas just grins; he doesn't see it that way at all. In fact, his mind wanders back to when he first got the news of his pay per view match.
The morning sun shines in through the window of a rinky-sink diner somewhere in New York. Lucas Greene slumps over the counter, still feeling the weight of a disappointing return to the ring. He sits there playing with the food on his plate, swirling his fork around in the oozy yolk of his fried egg. The patron sitting near him looks at his watch, and then quickly jumps up from his seat. As he dashes out the door, obviously late for something, he drops the newspaper he had been reading. Lucas notices the paper on the floor, and looks to see if anyone else is going to pick it up. Since no one else moves an inch, and he's in need of some sort of distraction, he leans down and picks the newspaper up. He licks his fingers to grip the pages, and then continues licking them, getting all that tasty egg grease from every nook and cranny. He then begins flipping through the pages, looking for some good news, when he finally gets to the sports section. That's when he sees it, a full page ad for CWF's Summer Games.
"Summer Games?" he wonders to himself, forgetting already about his own company's upcoming pay per view.
"Didn't we already have the Olympics this year?" he wonders aloud.
He looks the whole ad over, still not noticing that it clearly says CWF at the top of the page. He still thinks it's for the actual Summer Olympics.
"Holy crap!" he shouts, surprising everyone else in the diner.
"They're putting pro wrestling in the Olympics? That's frickin' awesome!"
Then Lucas notices his name near the bottom of the page.
"Whoa! Oh man, I'm gonna be in the Olympics? Who woulda think it!?" he says, nearly in tears of joy. That's when he sees the name after the 'vs'.
"Ah snap, I'm facing that dude from last week, the guy with the anger issues, whats-his-face... Azog? Aerosmith? Azrael? Yeah, that's it. I hope he's not still ticked off that I embarrassed him last week. But, on the other hand, he did make me break my favorite pipe, which I still have to replace. Know what? Maybe after I beat him, he'll think twice about what went down, and buy me a new one to make up for it. That WOULD be rad... but he doesn't really seem like the type to feel bad for other people, so I'll probably be better off just saving some cash and making one myself."
Lucas drifts off into space for a moment, before reeling his thoughts back in. He looks back at the newspaper ad, and suddenly realizes his match is opening the show. He leaps out of his seat, filled with shock and excitement at the prospect of opening an Olympic Games.
"This is a big deal," he explains to the rest of the diner, even though nobody has a clue as to what he is going on about, "a big honor... and responsibility... and big time pressure..."
Lucas trails off as his brains finally processes all of this. It hits him like a cannonba... err, brick wall; his knees weaken, his palms get sweaty, if he had of eaten spaghetti, it would surely be on his sweater already. He frantically searches his pockets, but to no avail. However, his eyes light up as he remembers his emergency joint. He reaches up into his trusty blonde locks, and pulls out a thin, pinner joint, and then returns to his pockets once more. Again, he comes up empty handed, and looks to the other patrons for help.
"Excuse me folks, I seem to have misplaced my Bic," he explains in a tizzy, "I'm under a lot of stress here, so would it be asking too much to borrow someone's lighter so I can torch this thing?"
Immediately after asking, Lucas's eyes grow wide as dinner plates, which is tough for him considering how squinty his eyes usually are.
"Torch..." he thinks to himself.
"Torch!!! I don't have a torch! How am I going to do the opening ceremonies for the Summer Games without a torch???"
Without another thought, Lucas charges out of the diner.
The waitress that had been serving Lucas makes that distinctive throat clearing sound to get Lucas's attention and summon him back into the diner. Lucas obliges and pops his head back in the doorway.
"Forgetting something, sir?" she asks with a frown.
"Oh man, I totally spaced out there... thanks" he replieswith a sheepish grin.
Lucas grabs the nearest lighter being held out to him, and lights the spliff still dangling from his mouth.
"Can someone point me to the nearest hardware store?" he pleads between drags. Everyone just continues to stare at him without saying a word. Lucas just waits for a reply with baited breath, but finally gives up and rushes back out, leaving the waitress holding up his unpaid bill.
"Sir... sir? SIR!!!"
As the waitress's voice echoes and fades away, we come back again to Lucas Greene and his journey. The camera finally pulls back to reveal Lucas's whole body. We finally see him running down the road with a shoddy, home made Olympic torch held high. People have seemingly lined the road to cheer him on as he makes his way, one would reckon, to Summer Games.
Once more, the disembodied voice ringing in Lucas's ear returns.
"So, your big plan is to play up this Summer Olympics thing, and what? Run the torch from New York, to Landover? That's a pretty bold move, but one that seems to have gained you a bit of a fan following. One question though, if your running all that way, why in the hell are you doing so down the middle of the highway?"
Lucas just nods, apparently happy with his big idea for the show.
Wait... middle of the road? What do you mean...
Suddenly, Lucas snaps out of the whacked out daze he's been in since we found him. He looks over his shoulder, and nearly jumps out of his track pants. He is startled to see a news reporter jogging along with him; his microphone shoved in Lucas's face.
"Where the frick did you come from?" Lucas yelps, nearly stumbling over his own feet with the distraction.
"Mr. Greene, we've been following you for the last miles, covering your story," the reporter answers, sounding a little annoyed, "why are you in the middle of the road? You're going to get yourself killed."
In his dazed and confused state, Lucas had apparently wandered out into the middle of the freeway. The cheering fans along the side of the road aren't cheering him at all, they are actually shouting at him to get off the road. The reporter looks incredibly nervous as a number of cars swerve to miss he and Lucas.
"I've asked you, I don't know how many questions, and you've just been giving one sentence answers, rambling on and on incoherantly, or just making weird facial expressions without saying anything at all," remarks the reporter, cringing with every near miss by the cars speeding by.
"What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Oh dude, you should have said something," Lucas says with a halfcocked grin. He holds the home made torch down in front of him, and pulls something out of his pocket. Packing it into the flame at the top of the torch, Lucas holds it up again, and purses his lips around a small hole near the base of the handle. He takes a huge drag off the torch, which is also a home made pipe apparently, and then lifts it back up to its dignified position.
The reporter just stops in his tracks, and stares in disbelief.
"Fucking stoners... CUT!" he hollers to his cameraman, who slouches down beside him, desperately trying to catch his breath after running all that way with his camera.
"This is fucking ridiculous, lets get the hell out of here."
With that, Lucas leaves the reporter and cameraman in his dust, and continues his run towards Summer Games and his role in the 'opening ceremonies'. As he disappears off down the road, we can see the DC skyline on the horizon.