Late into the evening, Jessica Matthews (Dean Coulter’s girlfriend back home) is roused from her sleep and spurred into action by a frantic series of anxious knocking on her door. Throwing open the door she gasps in surprise to discover a very drunk and dishevelled Sam Braxton standing in her doorway. Eager to leave the Coalition Compound (and by extension the CWF) far behind Sam hadn’t hesitated in his hurried retreat back to Australia, the journey a tumultuous alcohol induced haze.
“Sam? What? Where’s Dean? Please tell me he’s ok.”
He attempts to reply but lacks any significant sense of control of his body and what comes out of his mouth is a string of incomprehensible slurs and mumbles, ending with ‘nowhere else to go,’ before emptying the contents of his stomach. Then he succumbs to severe fatigue and dangerous levels of alcohol in his system, collapsing to the floor, embraced by the mercy of unconsciousness and missing his body’s handiwork by mere inches.
“Uggghhh! Now I know how Impakt must of felt.”
It isn’t until well into the afternoon of the following day when Sam Braxton wakes up on the couch in Jessica’s living room. Upon waking Sam is greeted by the unfriendly reminder of his previous actions in the form of a brain piercing hangover that draws a deep and almost unearthly groan from the young larrikin.
“Serves you right.” Jessica says, her voice a mix of indignation and anxiety.
With his senses still impaired, Sam is unable to pinpoint the origin of her voice, though it reverberates through his head as if she had shouted directly into his ear.
“Strewth Jess, could you keep the noise down.”
His protestation is met by the timely and appreciated appearance of a mug of freshly brewed coffee.
“You’re just lucky I got the day off.”
“Yeah I know I’m puttin’ you out. But I couldn’t bring myself to go home. And have no one else to call on.”
“I won’t lie. It was quite the surprise.”
An awkward silence falls between the two.
“Worse than having to sit through a Billy Anderson promo.”
“Right…Whatever. But I need answers! What is going on! I haven’t heard from Dean in some time and when I watched that Paradise pay-per-view show, all I saw was you walking away from him!”
That right there was a significant cause for concern. Jessica has never been all that interested in their wrestling pursuits.
“Fair Dinkum…I need something stronger than a caffeine hit.”
“No Sam. I need you sober…and I’d rather not clean up any more of your chunder.”
“Ah…” Sam takes another hearty swig of his coffee.
Sam decides its best not to push the matter any further.
“Turns out things with Dean’s mum were even worse than we thought. Some group of cultist wankers got involved and now he’s dancin’ to their bloody tune.”
“But then why didn’t you stay with him? Wouldn’t he need you now, more than ever?!”
“I…I couldn’t. I’m not a great bloke by any means. Most people wouldn’t piss on me if I were on fire. I know that, but there are lines I know not to cross.”
“This is Dean we’re talking about…He’d never…You’re like brothers!”
It's clearly difficult for Jess to process.
“He turned his back on m-us, Jess! Not once did he come to me.”
“Maybe you don’t know Dean as well as you think.”
Unable to realise in her confusion, Jess is cluthcing at straws, Sam rounds on her. The scowl he gives her, is enough to have her worried. Sam’s violent tendencies are well known and in his current fraught state she wasn’t confident at his ability to control himself.
“Fair bloody dinkum Jess?! You got some nerve!”
He fights through the headache and dulled senses to stand and confront Jessica. To her credit she didn’t back down and returned his look with one as equally, if not more, defiant and enraged.
“I got nerve? You rock up at my door, unannounced, off your face, having abandoned Dean. A man you claim to care about, though you’ve constantly shown people you only ever care about yourself, and you expect me to show you sympathy?!”
“You piked! Just upped and left him!”
“Strewth! You weren’t bloody there! There was nothin’ I could do! Dean would have known, but he wasn’t bloody there anymore. No one was bloody there!” Sam collapses back onto the couch. “I...I’m…sorry. I’m bloody sorry alright!”
It is one of those rare occasions where the usually apathetic Sam Braxton is unable to hold his emotions in check due to his exhaustion and frayed nerved, and breaks down in front of the confused and worried Jessica. Her rising anxiety dissipates slightly and she is by the fallen larrikin in a heartbeat. They embrace, sharing shed tears and finding support and reassurance in each other and allowing the cathartic release of all the pent up emotions. Eventually they break away and laugh nervously at each other and the surreal situation, neither would have ever pictured each other in such a situation.
“The question remains what we’re going to do from here.” Jess asks, wiping her tears and smoothing out her clothes.
“I love him as well, maybe not as much as you, but he is my Dean too.”
“You were never invested in this wrestlin’ thing, and trust me. You don’t want to get involved with these wankers.”
“But we can’t just do nothing.”
There is a moment of clarity, an epiphany, and Sam’s expression changes to one of sheer determination.
“Don’t you worry about that one Jess. She’ll be right.”
“You got a plan?”
“Do I look like a bloke with a plan?” A mischievous half-smile creeps across Sam’s face. “No, what I got is more a goal. I need your computer.”
Sam is inspired into a flurry of action, expressing a glimmer of his former self, under the confused yet hopeful gaze of Jessica Matthews. He begins to chuckle, which gradually begins to turn into an almost maniacal cackle.
“What? What’s going on?”
“The bloody drongos got me booked next week. They still want me to fight. I’m goin’ up against the sheila, Mia Rayne…I can work with this.”
“What’s going on Sam? C’mon talk to me!”
“I never been good at usin’ my head and I’m sure Dean would come up with some great plan to fix this situation. But he ain’t here. So I gotta play to my strengths. I may not be able to reach Dean, not with things the way they are. But I’m as mad as a cut snake and I can make those responsible pay and pay dearly. When he and I first rocked up to the CWF we were determined to change the company, rock the foundations and that bizzo. It was too late before we realise what that was costin’ us. The very thing we set out to change, ended up changin’ us, corruptin’ us. Now it’s up to me to avenge my fallen brother and bring the bloody thing to ruin. I will make them ALL bloody pay!”
A clear new path set before him, Sam sobers up real quick and starts to organise himself, realising just how much of a hot mess he is after a quick trip to the bathroom. Feet through the door, he turns back to regard Jess, who is still very much overwhelmed by everything.
“You’re right. I came a gutser by leaving. I’ll probably wear that for the rest of my bloody life. But now I know what I gotta do and I can guaran-bloody-tee that I’ll do whatever it takes to get him back. I may not have many friends but loathe any and all who dare get in my way. It’ll start with this sheila, Mia, and I make no apologies for what I may do, what I am now prepared to do, cause the CWF needs to bloody burn to the ground.”
“Just…just bring Dean back to me.”
“He saved my life back when we were kids, made me realise I could do better. Now it’s time I do the rescuin’...after I hit the turps, you know. One for the road.” He turns to leave but hesitates, something more coming to mind. “Oh and Jess…I’m ah…sorry about the liquid laugh all over the carpet here. Just…ah… bill me.”
They share a moment, secured by a communal look of determination and solemn nod and then Sam is gone. Though she’s never been Sam’s biggest fan, Jessica Matthews has to be confident in the strength of his bond with Dean and ability to somehow get through to Dean and fix the problem.
If the fate of the CWF was left in the balance, then so be it.
“Not all who wander, are lost…”
Sam’s voice emanates from somewhere within a room shrouded in nothing but darkness.
“At least I believe that’s how the sayin’ goes…”
Slowly the darkness fades into light and a figure stands solemn and alone in the centre of the Spartan room. The figure, assumed to be Sam, stands wearing a hooded leather jacket, with the hood pulled up and his head bowed.
“I’ve exiled myself. From the Coalition, from the CWF. It’s clear I don’t belong. But that don’t mean that I’ll be bloody on my bike and tellin’ my story walkin’. Not while I still got some bizzo to take care of. The world may think me of little importance, that on my own to I amount to next to nothin’. I’m used to people thinkin’ so low of me. But then I’ve never been bothered by what others think of me. Except for Dean…my dearest friend…my brother…We were somethin’ great. If not THE greatest you pitiful wankers ever had the pleasure of meetin’. And how did you thank us? With scorn. With disrespect. And when we didn’t just shoot through, you tore us apart! You took Dean away from me!”
Sam raises his head.
“And that you bloody drongos, was your worst mistake. Dean’s always been there to keep me in check, to curb my shonky tendencies. Without him…well…the bloody gloves are off! I’ve lost the better part of me and everyone is gonna pay! Now I ain’t so good at this yabberin’ bullshit but Mia…gah…fuck I hate this…”
“If Dean were here, he’d mention how there’s some talent within you, you got some real potential as a dinky-di fightin’ sheila and I’ll admit there is something about you that speaks to me. Perhaps it’s the fondness for gettin’ into a blue, but sorry to say that ain’t gonna mean much in the ring.”
“You’re the example I’m gonna set, the first of many. I am comin’ back to destroy the CWF and of course, there’s gonna be collateral. Keep that in mind when I leave you beaten, bruised and broken. I ain’t to blame for the thrashin’ that’s comin’ your way. You have the entire establishment to thank for that.”
“And I ain’t afraid of the company your keepin’ these days. If they know what’s good for them, they’ll stay well out of my bloody way! Especially that whacko boyfriend of yours. It ain’t a wonder how the two of you got all hooked up. I mean you both don’t have all your kangaroos in the top paddock.”
“You may be preoccupied with the notion of gettin’ a victory over me, and beatin’ this stupid bloody clock, but I ain’t about that. Not anymore. I’m gonna be too flat out, like a lizard drinkin’, causin’ as much damage as I can. That’s all I care about! But I promise to make it a real ripsnorter! And who’s to say, after you’d recovered, you won’t appreciate or enjoy the sufferin’ I’ll be causin’. See you in Boston!”
Both Sam and the room are once more bathed in darkness. The determined and malicious look upon Sam’s face is the last thing seen.
It’s an expression that is promising pure, unadulterated chaos.
Bloke: Male identifier
Bloody: Used for emphasis
Chunder/Liquid Laugh: Vomit
Come a gutser: Make a bad mistake
Don’t have all your kangaroos in the top paddock: Not all there/Dense/Moron
Fair Dinkum: Are you for real? Definition determined by context
Flat out, like a lizard drinking: Really busy
Mad as a cut snake: Really angry/mad
Off your face: Drunk
On your bike, tell your story walking: A rude way to tell someone they should/need to leave
She’ll be right: It will be ok/No problem
Sheila: Female identifier
Shoot through: To leave/Pass through
Strewth: My god! An exclamation of surprise
Turps (Turpentine): Alcoholic drink
Wanker: Jerk, generic Aussie insult
Yabber: Talk too much