A few wispy clouds lazily move across the blue sky, the sun inching closer and closer to the horizon, preparing to plunge the autumn scenery into the twilight of dusk. The Shadow is sitting on the stone circle around the status in Ravenhearst Manor’s backyard, leaning against the pedestal the angelic figure is standing on, his brow somewhat furrowed. The camera turns and glides back to show him looking at Myfanwy, who is in what almost looks like a dance routine, but with added kicks and jumps.
The Shadow: You don’t cease to surprise me, what is this that you are doing?
But Myfanwy seems to be caught up in whatever she is doing and does not respond, even though he still gets an answer from across the lawn.
Damiano Carvanha: Capoeira.
The Shadow’s head swivels over to where the Portuguese Druid is standing, leaning over the rough stone wall that is encircling the old graveyard.
Damiano: It is a Brazilian kind of martial arts.
The Shadow: Looks like a dance to me…
The heavily mustachioed man gives a hearty laugh.
Damiano: Yes, it does, back when it was invented it was made to look like a dance, so that the slave owners would think they were just doing that and not practicing to fight.
The Shadow: Nice. And she knows it?
Carvanha gets up and smiles.
Damiano: I guess so…
And he turns around to leave. The Shadow turns back to Myfanwy and the turns and kicks that all flow into each other in mesmerizing fashion, so much so that he does not even realize that she is standing right in front of him, waving her hand in front of his face.
Myfanwy: Earth calling The Shadow.
He snaps out of his trance with a start.
The Shadow: Sorry, but that was beautiful!
The redhead smiles and sits down in front of him, gladly accepting the water bottle proffered by the Weaver of Dreams. After a long sip she waves a stray strand of hair out of her face.
Myfanwy: Thank you. You looked at me as if you’ve never seen something like this before.
The Shadow: Well, I haven’t, so that’s quite right actually. I had no idea you did--Capoeira?
Myfanwy: Yes, Capoeira. I’ve been doing it for years when I was younger, but have not done it in at least two years, so I figured I’d try and see, if I still could do it. And turns out that I can.
She laughs. She lets herself fall back into the lush grass.
Myfanwy: I wish I would have had the confidence last Thursday.
The Shadow: Loki?
When she replies, her voice has a distinct edge to it.
Myfanwy: Yes. This, this-- argh, I don’t even know what to call her!
The Shadow: Jester?
Myfanwy: Yes, but no. She is not right in the head, got at least one screw loose!
The Shadow: Haha, I think she’s wired completely differently up there, but that is also what makes her so dangerous. She does not think like everybody else and does not see dangers and risks the same. So she will do things that we would think are crazy.
Myfanwy: No kidding…
The Shadow: And I don’t want you to get hurt. So I would--
He stops mid-sentence and does not continue. Myfanwy lifts her head and looks at him.
Myfanwy: You would what?
The Shadow: Her arm. The scars. I saw them better last week and-- I have to find Thibodaux!
Almost as if summoned the dark skinned Druid comes out of the building in the back of the graveyard.
Sanford: You rang?
The Shadow: Yes, try to get a close up image of Loki Synn’s arm. I think that might be the key.
Despite looking a bit surprised by the request, Thibodaux turns right away.
Sanford: OK, boss, on it. I’ll try to make sure it’s HD.
The Shadow: Thanks, Sanford, much appreciated.
As the Louisianan disappears back through the door he had just come out of, The Shadow turns back to Myfanwy, who has propped herself up on her elbows.
The Shadow: But she is going to have to wait a little.
Myfanwy: Ah yes, the “Maestro”.
She tries to do the quote marks with her hands, but her limited movement range almost unbalances her.
The Shadow: Yes, a new Mr. High and Mighty, flaunting his martial arts skills and his superior analytical skills.
Myfanwy: Isn’t he European, too?
The Shadow: Yep, Norwegian. But that doesn’t matter, I’ll treat him like anybody else.
Myfanwy: How much martial arts experience do you have?
This question seems to take The Shadow by surprise.
The Shadow: Uh, not much, why?
With that she gets back up, tying some loose strands of hair back.
Myfanwy: Then come at me.
He looks at her as if she just sprouted wings.
Myfanwy: I’m serious, try to attack me.
The Shadow: I can’t, I--
Her look darkens a bit.
Myfanwy: Trust me.
The Shadow: OK, but I don’t want to--
Myfanwy leans forward and starts a left-right pattern before turning into what at first seems like a gymnastic move, but suddenly she twists mid turn and lands a kick to The Shadow’s shoulder, rotating back right to her feet. She smiles at him.
Myfanwy: So how ready for the Maestro are you?
The Shadow: Apparently not ready enough!
Myfanwy: Then let’s get started!
The Shadow cocks his head.
The Shadow: You will teach me Capoeira?
Myfanwy: Well, I’ll try..
With that she grabs his hand and pulls him to the centre of the lawn, the camera slowly zooms out as she begins to show him some of the basic moves of Capoeira.
The picture fades in to a shot of Ravenhearst Manor. It is still dark and only one window is illuminated, the rest does not betray any signs of life. A cut to the inside, where the embers of a fire still glow in the hearth, casting a weak light on the room before, where a wide armchair reveals two figures asleep. Suddenly the loud bang of a door crashing open startles them awake, one of the two figures unceremoniously falling off the chair onto the floor.
Myfanwy: Am y nefoedd yn hoffi! Beth mae'r uffern yn digwydd?
The light flicks on and a very out of breath Alistair McLean leans against the back of a chair, while Myfanwy and The Shadow shield their eyes against the sudden intrusion of brightness.
Alistair: Nae idea whit ye jist said…
He still draws in big gulps of air.
Alistair: But it did nae soond healthy.
The Shadow yawns and stretches.
The Shadow: How late is it?
Alistair: Fower thirty, so nae too bad.
Myfanwy lets herself fall backwards onto the carpet in front of the hearth with a disbelieving grunt, her red hair splayed out around her.
The Shadow: Not too bad? What are you doing up at this ungodly hour?
He rubs his temples and tries to get his hair out of his face, encountering a rather unyieldy knot.
He holds up a stained piece of burlap. The Shadow squints at it, then motions the Scot to come closer.
The Shadow: What is that?
Alistair: Ah know bluid when Ah see it.
The mention of the word “blood” has Myfanwy suddenly look up alarmed. Reaching out for the piece of burlap, The Shadow mutters
The Shadow: Ataxia...
Myfanwy: How do you know?
She peels herself off the floor.
Myfanwy: From just looking at it?
As she comes nearer, he holds out the burlap.
The Shadow: This is exactly the same burlap he uses for his mask. And this is his handwriting.
Now it is Myfanwy’s turn to squint.
Myfanwy: Handwriting? Where?
The Shadow can’t help but chuckle lightly.
The Shadow: That scrawling there, that’s Ataxia.
She casts an unbelieving look at him.
Myfanwy: And you can...read...this?
The Shadow: Read is a big word, but I will try to figure it out. But while it is a good sign that he is alive, just the omen of this is not good!
After rubbing his eyes once more he gets up and moves over to the table, closer to the light to try to decipher it.
The Shadow: How did you get this thing to begin with?
The Shadow gives a double-take.
The Shadow: Wee-what?
Myfanwy has joined the men at the table, now looking at the Scot with a furrowed brow.
Myfanwy: A pigeon--brought this??
Myfanwy: How on earth--
The Shadow: I believe it. Ataxia is in trouble, he doesn’t trust regular channels.
Both of the others turn towards him.
The Shadow: This says that we will get more messages, but he has to split them up and kind of code them.
Myfanwy picks up the piece of burlap, staring at it, then turning it one way, then the other, apparently unable to make out anything legible.
The Shadow: Let the others know, please, to be on the lookout, who knows how else we’re going to get these…
The picture fades out with Myfanwy still trying to figure out which way to read Ataxia’s message by holding it upside down now.
The picture fades in to sun setting, making the tips of the Rocky Mountains seem to glow. As the camera zooms back, two silhouettes are outlined against the setting ball of fire, their hair blown by the wind coming down from the mountains. The camera turns around them, showing The Shadow and Myfanwy, both with a determined look on their faces.
The Shadow: Velkommen til galehuset, Herr Tønnesen, welcome to the madhouse. Another new face in our hallowed halls, looks like we have a Scandinavian Invasion of late, Lundmark, you, now all we need is a Dane and we have the holy trinity, haha. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, take this one at a time…
So Maestro, the Chiseler, the Modern Day Da Vinci. Pretentious or just confident? Or should I say pretensiøs eller bare trygg? Coming into a fed like CWF you need confidence, that is for sure, just look around at all the old and young talent we have roaming around, But it is a very, very fine line between confidence and arrogance, between believing in your own strengths and overestimating them and failing to realize that you might not be all that invincible after all.
Sure, you managed to win your first match against Reggie T Rascal, but let’s be honest, he has not really shown much since he joined, so let’s not put too much weight on this particular victory. However I have met young guns like you before, people that just came into the federation and were trying to cut their teeth and I know better than to underestimate someone based on their relative inexperience. Look at the last one, Jimmy Allen and see where he went - a shot at the World Title you claim to be ready for already in Edmonton.
But enough about him, let’s get back to you, shall we? An an interesting bird we have here, haven’t we?
He lifts one finger.
The Shadow: Spent six months in Tibet as a monk to teach yourself discipline.
The Shadow: Taught in Jiu-Jitsu, judo, submission wrestling and apparently some ancient martial arts techniques.
The Shadow: Deeming being able to enter his first PPV in a tag team tournament as a step down.
He lowers his hand with a cynical smile.
The Shadow: I guess two out of three is not too bad, it it? But let’s be serious here. I always find it funny how people seem to feel the need to flaunt all the different techniques they have learned and all the different enhancing experiences they’ve had, as if this knowledge would make their opponents quiver in their boots. Well, it takes more than that to instill fear in me. However it gives me something to work with and thanks to this lady here--
He points at Myfanwy next to him, a smile creeping onto her face.
The Shadow: --I am better prepared than I would have before this. You know, you are not the only one that studies his opponents, dissects their strengths and weaknesses, but I don’t need a blackboard. Not everything lies in the analysis and the meticulous research, it is easy to get lost in it. When you think that you have your opponent all figured out, laid out in front of you, their moves, their ins and outs, but then when you stand in the ring and face them, they just sometimes refuse to follow the rules that you had laid out for them, they just bring in this element of unpredictability that can have your whole carefully put together house of cards come tumbling down in an instant.
Last week you mentioned Shakespeare and as he says in “Hamlet”, ‘Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.’ Now I don’t know where you came from, but CWF does not stand for Cozying up With Fred, here you have to deal with people as unpredictable as they come and if you think that you have me figured out, think again. Don’t let Rascal fool you, for he does not know what he is doing here. If you think that he is as good as they come around here, think again as well, because you will have an uphill battle and prepare to meet with a solid block of the blackest of obsidian.
The camera zooms in on The Shadow now, the sun reflecting off his piercing blue eyes.
The Shadow: Like I said, confidence is good, but let’s see how much good it did you when you lay in the ring, splayed out like the Vetruvian Man, shall we?
With that the camera zooms out again, turning around The Shadow and Myfanwy once more, outlining them as silhouettes against the sun that now has half sunk beneath the mountain tops, as they begin the battle dance of Capoeira.