The picture fades into a hotel room, the curtains are closed tight with next to no light filtering in, one can barely make out the furniture and some kind of bump in the bed, presumedly the room’s occupant. A knock on the door breaks the silence, but nothing is moving. After the third knock we hear the room’s lock unclicking and a widening sliver of light sneaks into the room, still no movement to be detected. A silhouette backlit by the corridor light makes its way into the room and towards the curtains, yanking them open, revealing The Shadow, his hair bound into a ponytail in jeans and a Taberah shirt. The camera follows his gaze towards the bed, where the only part visible between blanket and pillow is a wild tangle of red hair.
The Shadow: Myfanwy, time to get up, mylady, adventure awaits!
Myfanwy: [undecipherable mumbling]
The Shadow: Not sure if that’s Welsh or what, but--
Myfanwy: Do you have any idea what time it is?
The Shadow: Well, I do, but I guess that question was rhetorical…
A hand sneaks out from under the blanket and grabs some of the hair, lifting them up, revealing Myfanwy’s face hidden beneath, her eyes squinting against the bright sunlight coming in the balcony door.
Myfanwy: Do you know when I actually fell asleep?
The Shadow: Going with your mood right now, probably not long ago…?
Myfanwy: Exactly. Whoever invented jetlag deserves to be shot!
With that she drops her hair and pulls the blanket back over her head.
The Shadow: Alright then, I’ll just have lunch all by my lonesome.
Muffled by the blanket Myfanwy sounds both unsure and surprised.
Myfanwy: Lunch? What do you mean, “lunch”?
The Shadow can’t hide a smile.
The Shadow: Lunch. One of the main meals in the day, conveniently placed between breakfast and dinn--
At that moment a pillow flies his way, narrowly missing him. The camera turns towards Myfanwy, who propped herself up on her elbows and is trying to get her hair out of the way.
Myfanwy: Look, I barely slept, ok? I don’t care, if you had a clown for breakfast, Mr. Comedy here, but give me 10 minutes and I’ll be out.
The Shadow puts his arms up in a gesture of innocence.
The Shadow: Don’t shoot the messenger, I shall wait outside.
He retreats from the room, quietly closing the door.
The hotel dining room, The Shadow and Myfanwy are seated next to the big glass doors showing the bright Australian summer sunshine. While The Shadow has a portion of Australia’s very own banger sanger, Myfanwy is a sight to behold. Her wild red mane kind of bound together, albeit with strands sticking out in almost every which direction, she is devouring a wild mix of breakfast and lunch food as if she had not eaten in a week. Between bites of his own, The Shadow is looking at the Welsh redhead with increasing bemusement.
The Shadow: You know that nobody will take away any food from your plate, right? And since this is a hotel I am fairly sure they CAN make more, you know?
Taking a bite of bacon she shoots him a withering look.
The Shadow: OK, so I’ll do the talking for now.
This brings him a brief nod.
The Shadow: So I got the card for the show and yeah, not quite lining up in my head.
A questioning look over a fork of scrambled egg.
The Shadow: Looks like I am teaming up with Big Rig Clyde Walker against the Smokin’ Aces.
A surprised look seamlessly leading into a choking sound, followed by coughing. After a few moments aided by a few gulps of orange juice Myfanwy has gathered her breath enough to ask with tears in her eyes.
Myfanwy: Say what?
The Shadow: Yep, I’m tagging - and in the main event to boot.
Myfanwy: But - but - why?
The Shadow: I have no idea, but Mr. Stewart will have a few questions to answer over this. I feel like an innocent bystander that got sucked into a gang war between the Snake Nation and the Glass Ceiling…
Myfanwy: No kidding and with your history with the Aces…
The Shadow: Yeah, I guess that plays into that, too, but he of all people should know that my enemy’s enemy is not automatically my friend or ally…
Myfanwy: Now what?
The Shadow: Well, I’d say we finish our lunch here - or whatever you are having there - and try to make sense of this.
With a shrug she digs back into her brunch (?), even though with a more thoughtful look on her face.
The Shadow and Myfanwy are sitting on a park bench under a tree, looking out over the Sydney harbour, the world famous Sydney Opera House visible across the water. A stiff breeze coming in through Sydney Bay brings some cool relief in the stifling heat of the Australian summer.
The Shadow: Sometimes I don’t understand things and how some matches come to be. Looking at this--
He points at a printout of the card for Evolution 43 in Myfanwy’s lap.
The Shadow: --it makes as much sense as it doesn’t. Sure, I’ve had my run-ins with the Aces, some of which got quite personal, but seriously, this is between them and Byson on one side and the whole Snake Nation thing on the other. What is my spot in this?
Myfanwy: Well, at least you don’t have to defend your title again. Bit less pressure there.
The Shadow: That is true and the maybe only redeeming value of this. But there is more to this than just this. I mean, Ataxia looks like he has finally gone off the rails, the Aces have been all over the place, Freddie looks like a ghost of himself, Duce has had issues, too, Byson, God knows what the heck he is up to, Big Rig is one big unknown (and no, this is not a pun), but I don’t trust any of them further than I can through them.
Myfanwy: Especially since Clyde has the Snake Nation, the Aces have Byson and maybe Jarvis, you need backup. Speaking of which, where is everybody?
The Shadow: Enjoying a walkabout after someone told Sanford there’d be a chance for some whiskey and beer.
Myfanwy rolls her eyes.
The Shadow: Hey!
Myfanwy: You know what I mean. So - Mr. Big Rig…
The Shadow: Yeah. So Clyde, I’m still not sure what to think of you. Pride is not in short supply, neither is attitude, you have your Fifth Wheel boys with you at seemingly all times, plus you and the Smokin’ Aces seem to have dived right into some heated conflict that fits the upcoming PPV Confliction, but while the Aces are no poster children, it takes two to tango and you guys seem to be going for the big ballroom dance here. Now I should not have to worry this much about a “partner” in a match, but like I said, I don’t trust any of you in this. I might be wrong, but I have been burnt one too many times to take this lightly and blindly trust whoever is being stuck in my corner at any given time.
But up to a point my hand is forced to extend at least some trust towards you, otherwise I wouldn’t have to walk down that ramp to begin with and I have never been one to shy away from a challenge, but mark my words, any funny business and you will have to deal with a far bigger problem than the Aces have been so far…
He puts his head back, closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.
The Shadow: Now Smokin’ Aces. Duce and Freddie. I lost count how many times we have stood in the same ring, be it as allies, opponents or over one of your infamous attacks that tried to establish the Glass Ceiling as the prime stable in CWF. But we all see where that has led, haven’t we? You had the tag team titles, you had the impact championship, now you have - nothing. You are a shadow of your former selves in more ways than one. You followed Jarvis into - yeah, where did you follow him? The only thing I could really see here is that you ran into this at full steam and then ended up ramming your collective heads into the glass ceiling you so famously tried to portray against everybody else trying to claw their way up to the top of the mountain.
Frederick, or as you seem to be liked to call these days, Freddie Asshole, going with your exchange last week, you look paler than Ataxia’s face after a sunbath, it feels like all drive, all power has been driven from you, deflated you and you are still trying to find the pump to get you back together…
Duce, you looked more like the Phantom of the Opera of late than a former world champion that tries to regroup and reclaim his former successes. You’ve been shelved for weeks now and how ready are you to come back in full force and take on Clyde and me?
The Shadow: I’ve said it before and it looks like it has come true. Your Aces should maybe stop smoking and your health might benefit from it, you guys look like you belong in the infirmary and a recovery unit, not in a ring… But Byson, I’ll just lump you in with them here, because it is obvious that you can’t keep to yourself anyways. You admit you can’t wrestle, but then again, has that ever stopped people from still trying? No. And not officially being in the ring or part of the match, you are the unknown card that could play into this at any time. I mean, you have proved that you don’t mind underhanded tactics to gain the advantage.
Either way - I will not do you the favour of underestimating your capabilities or anything. And same for you Clyde, I will have my eye on you as well.
Sleep with one eye open, because you will never know what will hit you, from whichever direction…
Welcome to Future World…
He looks over at Myfanwy, who is fast asleep against his shoulder. And with this the feed turns to black.