Dorian sits impatiently tapping his foot on the ground. He is sitting in some kind of office, with navy blue walls, tons of books set neatly in a series of book shelves. Also adorning the wall is a nice large diploma from Drexel University’s Kline School of Law, proclaiming the Juris Doctorate of one “Justin Thyme"
The diploma is centrally located behind the desk of a man whom we can only assume is Justin Thyme, Attorney at Law.
Dorian is dressed in forest green polo shirt and black pants. Thyme, on the other hand, looks just as every bit the part of a lawyer. His black hair is slicked back. He is wearing a black suit, with a white shirt underneath it and a red tie. It is vaguely reminiscent of Alex Moffat’s impression of Eric Trump on Saturday Night Live. Thyme sits behind his desk, picking up a pair of reading glasses and looking over the packet of paper in front of him with laser focus.
"Talk to me, man. Is there anyway around this?"
"To be honest, Mr. Hawkhurst, I don’t believe there is. What you signed for your daughter, Chloe, was a talent contract, permissing her to appear on the television and pay-per-view programming of Championship Wrestling Federation, Incorporated. What that means is that she is not restricted from performing any on screen role or duty for the company, so long as it is permissible by law. Unfortunately, Mr. Hawkhurst, it appears there is nothing you can legally do to prevent your daughter from wrestling, so long as she is signed to this contract. Due to the fact that you, her legal guardian, signed the contract on her behalf, it is, indeed, legally binding."
"Basically what you are saying is that the only way for her to avoid a match is for her to get fired. You sure about that."
"So long as she is under contract, there is no way around it. The company you work for has good lawyers, Mr. Hawkhurst. I’m sorry."
Dorian rises to his feet.
"Well, thank you for your time, Mr. Thyme."
"Of course, if something were to happen due to the neglect of management, you might have a way out of it."
"Again, Mr. Thyme, thank you. But, that is not the way that the Hawkhursts do business."
"I’m sorry you feel that way. However, if a situation should arise…"
Dorian cuts the lawyer off.
"Mr. Thyme, I assure you, it won’t. As I said, that is not the way the Hawkhursts do business."
"We both know that is not true, Mr. Hawkhurst. I’ve faced your father’s legal team in court and he is as cutthroat as they come."
"Fair enough. But that’s not the way THIS Hawkhurst does business. Have a good day."
Dorian extends his hand and Thyme reaches out and shakes it.
"If something legitimate does come up, I will call you. I appreciate your time."
Dorian turns grabs his jacket before he walks out of the office, heading out into the streets of Philadelphia. He reaches into the pocket of his jacket, pulling out a Philadelphia hat to keep his head warm. With his head down, adjusting his hat, he bumps into a beautiful young woman. That woman, coincidently, is Morgan, Dorian’s ex-girlfriend.
"Oh… um… hi."
"Hey, Dorian. Long time, no talk."
"Yeah… listen… I know I messed up, babe. I just want you to know, Chloe’s doing fine and I’m going to meetings again. Haven’t a had drink since you left. I’m not asking you to come home, I mean, I want you to. But, I’d just like it if we could maybe just go out one night and talk. If not, I understand. I know I screwed up."
"Stop beating yourself up, Dorian. We can go out to talk. But, it has to be exactly that: just talk. I’m willing to try and fix this, but we both know this isn’t the first time you’ve fallen off the wagon and I don’t know if I can deal with it again."
"Give Chloe my love. I’ll text you with details. I’ll aim for one of the nights Chloe is at her mother’s. I don’t want her to know what’s going on, just in case things don’t go the way we want."
"Great. I have to go. I’m on my lunch break and need to get back."
"Thanks. Can’t wait to hear from you."
Dorian watches as Morgan walks away. His breath hangs in front of his face as he mouths the words “I love you", unable to actually say them out loud.
Dorian stands there in a freezing cold as the world passes him by. Stuck somewhere between feeling euphoria and phobia, he stands, unsure of his place in her world. Then, he is hit with an epiphany that strikes him like a bolt of lightning.
"She said ‘the way WE want it.’ She still loves me!"
Dorian flashes a smile so bright that the snow on the ground around him should have melted. He walks off with a renewed sense of purpose, as though he has the world at his feet.
SOME TIME LATER
Dorian Hawkhurst is now standing inside of an actual gym, not the makeshift one in his basement. He is running on a treadmill, although he is, admittedly, barely above a jog. Next to him, Chloe is running on a treadmill, going almost full tilt.
"You’re making me look bad, kid."
"I’ve got to train hard if I am going to beat Loki."
A frown crosses Dorian’s face.
"You know I don’t want you to face her. I don’t care if she’s called you out or not. I do NOT want you fighting her."
"Why not? It’s not like anyone else is getting answers out of her?"
"I don’t care if you’re big as a grown ass woman, already. You’re still only nine. When I told you that you could do anything, this is most certainly not what I meant, young lady."
"I’ve been training with Justin Zane AND we’ve got that training session with Zach and Leona later tonight. I’ll be fine."
"Did you not see what she did to Jaiden? She damned near ripped him apart in the most literal sense of the word. The man is going to start having nightmares to get away from his own memories."
"Daddy, you know Mia is thinking about MJ right now. I’m not worried about Loki. Besides, Miss Mia taught me to never be afraid."
"Well, life taught me to be afraid. I don’t want anything happening to you. Loki might just be a literal monster."
"You literally over use the word ‘literal’, you know that, Dad."
"Jesus! Listen, this isn’t some game of Skylanders. If something happens to you, you don’t just respawn. You could get hurt."
"Mister Jimmy wouldn’t let that happen."
"No, he wouldn’t. That’s besides the point. It’s not about what we will let happen. It’s about what Loki wants to force to happen."
"You can’t stop me, Dad."
"You bet your ass I can."
"What are you going to do? Ground me?"
Dorian stops his jog and stands on the sides of the treadmill to avoid falling off.
"Listen, I get it. You want to do the right thing. The right thing doesn’t mean putting yourself into a dangerous situation."
"Martin Luther King died for his beliefs. So what if I get hurt? I already got hit with a frying pan."
Dorian looks around, ever thankful that the gym was empty for once.
"Listen, you’re right. I can’t stop you… yet. Be patient and I will find a way."
"Fine. You do you. I’m dealing with this. You need to worry about Northern Crown, not me."
"We’re not done with this."
Dorian grabs his towel from off the side of his treadmill and wipes his forehead before walking away, leaving Chloe still going on her treadmill.
SOME TIME LATER
Dorian is now standing in front of the familiar black curtain in his basement. Decked out in his familiar Forsaken Demon t-shirt, he stands ready in front of the camera.
"I'm sitting here, and I'm getting ready to once again go to war. I don't know how things are going to unfold, but I'm planning on three long, hard thought matches at Northern crown. Zach Van Owen might not take things that seriously outside of the Ring. Inside the ring, the man is a soldier. In a situation such as this, that's exactly what is needed."
"As much as I'm looking forward to winning this tournament, and in the process handling some personal business, I've recognize that we've got V.E.N.O.M. standing in front of us. I have to say, I appreciated Nina's little Brian Fellows’ Safari Kingdom impression, that doesn't do much to impress me. Fortunately, I speak Parceltongue. The short version I got is ‘blah blah blah’. She said literally nothing."
Dorian looks down and covers his eyes for a moment. You can see him mouth the words ‘I said literally again.’ before he looks up at the camera.
"Now, I'm not going to sit here and go on with the same old tired cut the head off the snake bullshit. I know you've heard it before, man. And while the three of you might actually be snakes, I ain't Indiana Jones, and I ain't afraid of you."
"Y'all are kind of new around here. I get that. I'd still assume that you all are smart enough to do your research. You can use whatever word you want for it, venom, poison or what have you. I've been down that road far too many times. I still stumble down that path every now and again. I ain't especially proud of that fact. But I'm a man and I own up to my shit, whether it's right or wrong."
"I ain't got nothing against you all personally. I kind of appreciate trying to pull off that Britney Spears with the python gimmick. I'm sure there's a million little snake references that we're going to have to listen come out of your mouth. It's your thing. I understand. But in reality, none of that matters. None of that has to do with the demon of sobriety or with the CWF impact champion."
"The way I see it, this is the way it's going to go down. You are going to come to the ring, Zach is going to bust out the Shadow Blade… BOOM! Done. Mega Man 3. Look it up."
Dorian takes a moment to breath, cracking his neck audibly before returning his attention to the camera.
"This match is a game of Snakes and Ladders. I’m going to step on the snakes and climb the ladder. I will be the first to tell you, more than anything, I want to see the Hostile Takeover make it to the second round. If I see Jimmy Allen and Tobias Devereaux. I’m going to be honest with you all, whether it’s the mystery team or Silas and Raven, whichever of those teams is fortunate enough to make it through to the second round, you WANT the Hostile Takeover to make it through if Zach and I get through. At that point, I don’t give two shits about winning. At that point, it becomes about putting a hurting on Jimmy Allen and Bootleg Gambit. I am going to put a hole through them for the things they have done. Tobias, you are nothing more than collateral damage. Maybe you should have chosen the company you keep a little more wisely."
Dorian takes a moment to compose himself.
"Don’t get me wrong, I want to win this tournament, but there are somethings that are more important than that. Perhaps, Loki would be wise to learn that. That’s right, don’t think for a second that there won’t be repercussions for your actions. But, I will handle you when the time is right. In the meantime, Loki, you best bear in mind that you, and anyone else who screws with my family, are GETTING HAMMERED!!!"
Dorian stares into the camera as though Loki herself is on the other side while the camera fades to black.