Gas N' Grub Bathroom
February 14th, 2019
There’s darkness, and someone can be heard coughing and clearing their throat. They spit, loudly, and the sound of saliva hitting stainless steel echoes loudly. There’s a flash of bright light and suddenly Nathan Paradine is illuminated in a run-down rest stop bathroom, looking more than a little worse for wear after the first episode of Hostility ReAwakened. He examines his appearance carefully in the cracked mirror, especially the small burn on his neck from getting tazed. He frowns and pulls out his cell phone, dialing numbers quickly before holding it up to his ear.
Paradine: “Yeah, it’s me. What- who the hell else would be calling you at this time of the night, Stewart!?”
There’s a pause as Paradine listens carefully to the response. He rolls his eyes and clenches his fist in annoyance.
Paradine: “Alright, which member of your roster do you think would call you right after the first Hostility show? Got others on your payroll, huh? Although I shouldn’t say that because I’m not being paid.”
Paradine listens again. He lowers his head and kneads his forehead with his knuckles in annoyance.
Paradine: “Listen to me. St. James had some goons rough me up before the show. I’m alright, but he had me dragged into his office. He’s fully aware that you wanted me to be an informant, by the way, so cheers for that. But once again I’ve turned a disadvantage into an advantage. He’s asked me to join a group he’s putting together, and he thinks I’ll be informing on you going forward.
There’s an audible exclamation of anger from the phone speaker, and Paradine yanks it away from his ear, waiting for the shouting to subside before placing it back.
Paradine: “I said listen to me. I haven’t forgotten about our agreement. St. James thinks I’m loyal to Hostility… which I am, by the way, but he thinks that loyalty extends to him. It doesn’t. I’ll play his game and keep doing what I’m doing, keeping my nose to the ground and keeping you updated. At least until you let me out of this contract, alright?”
Paradine nods to himself slowly at the response.
Paradine: “Now, about this triple threat you’ve got me booked in. I know things haven’t been great for me lately, but I really don’t think feeding a couple of no-names to me is necessary-”
There’s another pause as Paradine listens. Suddenly he glances up, his jaw hanging open at the news he’s just received.
Paradine: “Oh, fuck.”
February 18th, 2019
The summer sun is beating down on "The Australian Submission Machine" as he relaxes on a park bench overlooking the Brisbane River. He looks to be in his element now that he's home in Australia; dressed in thongs, shorts and a t-shirt, his ever-present sunglasses on his face, he looks to actually be relaxed for a change. He scratches his chin and indicates towards the river, where a boat full of tourists is passing.
Paradine: "It's been a pretty strange week, now that I stop to think about it. I lost the tag team titles at Modern Warfare. Do you think I've heard from Tobias Devereaux? Not on your bloody life, mate. He's gone to ground and vanished. Maybe it's for the best though, hey? I think maybe with my help he was just prolonging something that should rightfully have been put to rest at Frozen Over. Ah well, on to bigger and better things, right?"
Paradine laughs, however it doesn't quite reach his eyes. One might get the feeling that The Nomad might have unfinished business with not only Devereaux, but also with Kendo and The Crimson Ghost.
Paradine: "And then there was Hostility. What a shitshow! I was assaulted by a couple of over zealous security guards who took me to Christopher St. James, and he told me he knew I was reporting to Jon Stewart! And then he told me that if I didn't join the Hostile Elite, well, he'd cancel my Hostility contract. That was the whole reason I moved back to the States! So of course, I joined, and I promised that I'd actually report on Stewart to St. James. Whew, confusing right? Especially since I have no intention of actually doing that, since I need to honor the original agreement so I can leave the CWF and wrestle for Hostility... damn. This whole situation got really convoluted, really quickly."
As if this is the first time he's properly thought about the absurdity of his current position, he rubs his chin and frowns.
Paradine: "Anyway, I got a call from Jon Stewart. Max Becker is out of this Paramount Grand Prix, and I'm in. This is my "reward" for spying on Christopher St. James at Hostility. Don't even get me started on that; a tag team match in the main event of the second show? Mate, that's a hell of a lot on my plate. A tournament, plus building up an entirely new brand. Lucky, my back is strong and my shoulders are broad."
He slaps his shoulder as if to demonstrate its... broadness?
Paradine: "So this first match is against KC3. Honestly, I don't know much about the guy. He's young, a hell of a lot younger than me; but can youth outmatch experience? In this case, I doubt it. I'm fairly confident I can handle him, as long as there's no funny business at Evolution. But in saying that, given how my last week as gone, I'm expecting some kind of nonsense. It just pays to be prepared, you know?"
Paradine rubs his hands together slowly, almost in anticipation of said nonsense.
Paradine: "I haven't looked so hot these last few weeks. I dunno, maybe it was because of the Modern Warfare tournament, or maybe I'm too busy trying to wrestle like I'm ten years younger than I am. Or maybe the competition has just improved; I swear it wasn't like this in the old Hostility. Not that that's a bad thing, of course, but... I have my honor. If nothing else, I have that. Sure I might bend a few rules here and there, or maybe do something a little bit unethical... but I do what it takes to get the job done. Or at least, I used to do that. I put on a mask and held Hostility up on the Bruise Cruise! Hell, I beat Chuck Norris in a match!"
The memory of that particular match up causes Paradine to laugh; a celebrity marquee match for a major Hostility event.
Paradine: "KC3 reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger, full of fire and venom and a fuck-the-world attitude. He goes out there and he gets the job done, just like me. I like the kid, I do, but it won't stop me from getting my career back on track. I don't give a damn about my win and loss record in the CWF, what I do care about is the competitors in Hostility still seeing me as a threat. They need to understand that the "submission machine" part of my nickname isn't a gimmick; I will snap your fucking arm off, all in the name of good sportsmanship of course. If Jon Stewart wants to hand me an opportunity at the Paramount Championship so I can take it to Hostility, fine. I'll bloody well do it."
Paradine looks sideways at the person he has been speaking to this entire time. It's a small boy licking an ice cream cone, wearing a red shirt emblazoned with the CWF logo. Paradine frowns, as if he's unable to recall exactly what sparked their discussion.
Paradine: "Were you actually listening to any of that, or was I just talking to myself?"
Boy: "My mum said not to talk to strangers!"
Paradine: "Look at that shirt you're wearing, kid. You know who I am!"
The child looks bewildered. Paradine sighs and gives up, leaning back on his own side of the park bench. Will he manage to overcome KC3 at Evolution, or will he be forced to confront the reality that maybe there's no place for him anymore... Hostility, or otherwise.